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Thread: normal lenses

  1. #1
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    normal lenses

    a 'normal focal lengthlens is typically defined as havinga focal length equal to the film-format diagonal. in case of 35mm film that is close to 43mm. so, why, I ask don't we see lenses with that focal length?; we have many close to it; 35 or 50mm,but I've never seen 43 or ;let's say 45mm.why do you think that is?I use 35 and 50mm a lot and can see 43 or 45 having an advantagein viewing angle and weight over the typical 500mm normal.confused:
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    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
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  2. #2

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    I'm willing to bet it has something to do with that mirror... most 'normal' 50s are retrofocus, to give room for a decent size mirror. The flange to filmplane distance on most slrs is around 45mm.
    Quite a lot of 35mm fixed lens rangefinders came with ~45mmlenses, which reminds me that Leica seemed to settle very early on a 50 as their standard - so for that matter did Zeiss with the Contax, although there was no mirror to give room to.

  3. #3

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    Most probably because Leica was launched with that focal length and people got use to it.

  4. #4
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miha View Post
    Most probably because Leica was launched with that focal length and people got use to it.
    Something like that.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  5. #5

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    Yet more Leica koolaid...

  6. #6
    MDR
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    Plenty of 45mm lenses the Nikon GN Pancake is a 45mm, Pentax made a 43mm lens, Minota MD 45mm, etc.... The lenses for the early Contaflexes were 45mm as well, the standard lens for Contax G was a 45mm Planar. Some fixed lens RF cameras of the 50 to 80's had 45mm lenses. It's interesting to note that many 45mm lenses were Budget lenses and/or Tessar Design. I believe the reason that so few people use these focal lenght has to do with the fact that it's neither wide angle nor tele it's an in-between focal lenght in 35mm. In MF the vast majority of early 6x6 was fitted with what would amount to a 45mm lens the 75mm lens.
    I personaly love 45mm lenses because they are just a little wider than 50mm but still offer the advantages of the longer focal length in terms of speed and look.

  7. #7
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    As noted in Post #2, the retrofocus needs of 35mm slrs was a major force to push 50mm lenses to become a defacto normal standard 35mm lens.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  8. #8
    Tony Egan's Avatar
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    Xpan is one 45mm I can think of which can be used in "normal" mode in addition to the panoramic setting. Also, my first 35mm camera was an Olympus Trip which I think was 40mm. Interesting question. Might have been a case of, oh, let's just make it a nice round number?
    http://www.tonyeganphotography.com/index.html
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." Groucho Marx

  9. #9

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    Normal essentially is what you normally see when you look. Or near when focal length equals the diagonal of the selected image size.

  10. #10
    Peltigera's Avatar
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    A quick look at my 35mm cameras shows me:

    Olympus Trip 40mm
    Zeiss Ikon Contina Ic and IIa both 45mm
    Agfa Sillette 45mm
    Paxette I and II both 45mm
    Balda Baldessa 45mm
    Minolta Uniomat 45mm
    Halina 35X 45mm
    Yamato Pal Jr 45mm

    That is about half of my 35mm cameras - not rare if 50% of an essentially random selection have 45mm lenses.

    I think it needs saying that the diagonal of the image as focal length is a very rule of thumb quantity - there is no biological or mathematical reason for it, it is just a relationship that has been noted to produce a similar flat image as the human eye does on a doubly curved image sensor.
    Last edited by Peltigera; 11-30-2013 at 02:32 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: correct grammar.

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