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04-16-2013, 06:41 AM   #1
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Lens choice question.

I'm looking for some guidance here. When I got my SP1000 in the mid '70's it came with a 55mm f1.8 lens. It is my understanding that a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera approximates what the eye sees when you look through the view finder. With the smaller sensors in many digital cameras, I get the impression that a 35mm lens does the same thing. I have a K200D and in addition to the kit lens I have a 50mm f1.4 lens. I am wondering if there would be any benefit to getting the 35mm f2.4 lens and using it to relearn how to use my camera or if the 50mm would serve me just as well.

I appreciate hearing from those of you with more experience.

04-16-2013, 06:47 AM   #2
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You have to multiply your lens focal length by factor 1,5x, so a 50mm lens will give you a effective field of view of a 75mm short tele. A 35mm lens will bring you to 52,5mm FOV.
04-16-2013, 08:53 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gord K. Quote
I'm looking for some guidance here. When I got my SP1000 in the mid '70's it came with a 55mm f1.8 lens. It is my understanding that a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera approximates what the eye sees when you look through the view finder. With the smaller sensors in many digital cameras, I get the impression that a 35mm lens does the same thing. I have a K200D and in addition to the kit lens I have a 50mm f1.4 lens. I am wondering if there would be any benefit to getting the 35mm f2.4 lens and using it to relearn how to use my camera or if the 50mm would serve me just as well.

I appreciate hearing from those of you with more experience.
Why not just set your kit lens to 35mm, use it for a period, consider the results, and if they are what you want, then consider the 35mm lens? You have the range 18>55 to play with.
04-16-2013, 08:59 AM   #4
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When I got my first digital SLR I kept my 50mm (no way I had the money to buy the camera AND a lens). That I was now using a short tele as a standard lens, though noticable, didn't bother me. It was 6 years before I augmented my lens set with a 35mm (Though I had already added a 12-24, and 24 is already getting normal-ish).

If I understand you correctly you have the kit lens? So you're covered at 35mm (50mm equiv.) already (only not with a fast prime), but have gained with the 50 (75mm equiv.) a very good portrait lens.
I'd say stick with the kit lens and the 50 for low light/portrait/small DOF etc., and if you ever miss a true "standard" prime, you can always add to your collection.

As for relearning your camera, a prime is a good idea, but I wouldn't be too fuzzy about the focal length. Anything not-very-wide-not-very-tele to me would be fine. Keep the 50.

04-16-2013, 10:18 AM   #5
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It's still true though that a ~50mm lens gives you the same magnification in the viewfinder as the human eye, but the field of view is much narrower in an APS-C than film.
04-16-2013, 11:09 AM   #6
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As lcts states, you can relearn with a 50mm.

You will also find out under which circumstances it limits you and that can be the time to consider another lens or a flash or a tripod or whatever.
04-17-2013, 12:57 AM   #7
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I'd stick with the 50 mm it's a cracking lens, good and fast too, it will be almost become second nature through continued use.

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 04-17-2013 at 03:16 AM.
04-20-2013, 08:56 AM   #8
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After I bought my 35mm 2.4, it's been my camera the most. I think people forget what "normal" view means to the viewfinder. On a film camera with a 50mm lens, you can look through the viewfinder with both eyes, and it would look normal: the relative sizes of objects are the same between both eyes. If you take a 50mm lens and put it on a cropped dSLR, it'll look mostly the same. "Normal". The relative sizes of objects are the same between both eyes. That's because the viewfinders in film and dSLRs are calibrated so that 50mm is "normal". You could essentially walk around with both eyes open.

The biggest difference with a cropped dSLR sensor is that the field of view will be narrower. So imagine stretching your arms out and making a rectangle with both of your hands. If this is what you see with a film viewfinder, make the rectangle smaller. That's what you'd see in the cropped dSLR. With 50mm, the same image is projected on the film/sensor, but since the sensor is smaller than film, less of the image is captured.

Anyways, I use the 35mm 2.4 a lot because it's a pretty versatile focal length. 50mm on a cropped sensor is a bit too much "zoomed" in for everyday use, in my opinion. I can see why 50mm was a popular focal length in the film days because 35mm on a cropped sensor gives a similar field of view.

With all that said, the 50mm is my second favorite lens to use. It's fun and has great results. Just not a "walk around lens" for me, which can be different for you.

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