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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 10 Feb 2012 (Friday) 20:51
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for a cropped format, what is the "nifty" fifty

 
melcat
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Feb 12, 2012 00:43 |  #31

frankk wrote in post #13871049 (external link)
It's a fact that 50mm is considered "normal" view...this is not something I made up (or necessarily agree with). I am not speaking personally but for your enjoyment I'll leave your with this.

Yes, it's considered "normal" by some on 24mm x 36mm, but that doesn't make it true. Several posters in the thread you link describe a simple experiment you can perform if you have at least one working eye to disprove it. Here's another one:

I assume you are reading this at a screen of some sort. What's the angle subtended by that screen from your head position? Now look up at the wall/curtain/window just behind your screen, or the room in front of you. It's a wider angle of view, isn't it? Do you still think your eyesight has a constant "angle of view"?

Finally, for most of last century 24mm x 36mm was not the dominant format. That was 2 1/4 inch square. The diagonal of that is 81mm, and the "normal" lens on that was 80mm.

The diagonal rule has nothing to do with eyesight or physics but is simply an empirical rule based on the types of pictures usually taken. Oddly, it seems to hold true regardless of aspect ratio and is so applied by camera manufacturers.




  
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frankk
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Feb 12, 2012 04:17 |  #32

melcat wrote in post #13872030 (external link)
Yes, it's considered "normal" by some on 24mm x 36mm, but that doesn't make it true. Several posters in the thread you link describe a simple experiment you can perform if you have at least one working eye to disprove it. Here's another one:

I assume you are reading this at a screen of some sort. What's the angle subtended by that screen from your head position? Now look up at the wall/curtain/window just behind your screen, or the room in front of you. It's a wider angle of view, isn't it? Do you still think your eyesight has a constant "angle of view"?

Finally, for most of last century 24mm x 36mm was not the dominant format. That was 2 1/4 inch square. The diagonal of that is 81mm, and the "normal" lens on that was 80mm.

The diagonal rule has nothing to do with eyesight or physics but is simply an empirical rule based on the types of pictures usually taken. Oddly, it seems to hold true regardless of aspect ratio and is so applied by camera manufacturers.

Let's agree that everything you say is 100% true. The OP asked is the nifty-fifty popular because it is cheap or 50mm. I was distinguishing the difference...the popularity of 50mm with a [misguided] history of being normal, and the nifty as a cheap but good version of a 50mm.

If you reread my post you'll see that I am calling out its FF (from film) and not stating it as my opinion. BTW, I like your post. Good information.




  
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Sirrith
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Feb 12, 2012 07:29 |  #33

7D_Shooter wrote in post #13867220 (external link)
Nifty fifty is the 50mm f/1.4
Thrifty fifty is the 50mm f/1.8

The 50 1.4 doesn't actually have a nickname. Both apply to the 50 1.8. The 1.4 sometimes gets called by one of those names by people who don't really know very much about lenses and get it confused with the 1.8.


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SkipD
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Feb 12, 2012 07:32 |  #34

JHaegs wrote in post #13871667 (external link)
To answer your question, a 50mm lens on a 60D has roughly the same focal length as an 80mm lens on a FF body.

This is wrong. The truth is: a 50mm lens on a 60D has roughly the same field (angle) of view as an 80mm lens on a FF body.

JHaegs wrote in post #13871667 (external link)
If you want the actual focal length of 50mm you will need to get something around 30mm for your 60D.

All lenses for our SLRs (film or digital) are marked with their actual focal length (or focal length range in the case of zoom lenses).

It appears to me that you have completely confused focal length with field of view. Thus, your advise to others is not only very confusing but it is totally incorrect.

The focal length of a lens DOES NOT CHANGE when one uses it on different format cameras. "Format" refers to the actual size of the film frame or digital sensor in a camera.

JHaegs wrote in post #13871667 (external link)
A lot of people suggest this FL because the perspective is pretty close to what the human eye sees.

This, too, is incorrect.

Perspective in photographs is usually considered to be the size relationship between objects at different distances from the camera. This is controlled only by the distances between the camera and the objects and not by focal length.

A "normal" focal length provides a similar field of view that one would see with the naked eye when viewing the scene through an empty frame that's the same size as a print of the photograph of the scene when holding the frame at the same "normal viewing distance" as the print would be viewed at. For example, if you had an 8x10 print (of an image made with a "normal" focal length lens for your camera) viewed at 18" from your eyes and an empty 8x10 frame held at 18" from your eyes, the view in the frame would be similar to the view in the print.


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7D_Shooter
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Feb 12, 2012 08:10 |  #35

Sirrith wrote in post #13872724 (external link)
The 50 1.4 doesn't actually have a nickname. Both apply to the 50 1.8. The 1.4 sometimes gets called by one of those names by people who don't really know very much about lenses and get it confused with the 1.8.

There's no need to be insulting. You can find different opinions on this; thank you for sharing yours. Mine remains unchanged.



  
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Sirrith
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Feb 12, 2012 09:26 |  #36

7D_Shooter wrote in post #13872844 (external link)
There's no need to be insulting. You can find different opinions on this; thank you for sharing yours. Mine remains unchanged.

Where was I being insulting? Since when did saying someone doesn't know much about lenses become an insult? You could say that about 95% of the world's population. It may be your opinion, but the fact remains that when you talk about the nifty fifty, most photographers who have heard that name before will think you're referring to the 1.8, not the 1.4.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Feb 12, 2012 10:26 |  #37

I have to say in all this that JHaegs nailed it when he stated "Holy crap, the guy asks a simple question and all of a sudden we are debating the origin of the nickname, exactly which lens it applies to, the "fact" that it's a term used by wannabe pros trying to sound more knowledgable, yadda yadda yadda..."

Restating my original question "I'm ready to make a purchase but should I as a cropped body format be buying something like the Canon 28mm f/1.8?" All I needed to know that for my cropped 60D a 30mm is likely going to give me the same versatility of a 50mm on a FF body because it will yield to me the same approximate field of view.

I don't find this question misleading on what seems to be a frequent topic. Even now there is someone who posts he has a 50mm on a 60D and can't understand why he can't take a picture 8-people wide. He has obtained an good explanation but I see the thread again drifting to irrevalent details.




  
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JHaegs
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Feb 12, 2012 12:12 |  #38

SkipD wrote in post #13872730 (external link)
This is wrong. The truth is: a 50mm lens on a 60D has roughly the same field (angle) of view as an 80mm lens on a FF body.


All lenses for our SLRs (film or digital) are marked with their actual focal length (or focal length range in the case of zoom lenses).

It appears to me that you have completely confused focal length with field of view. Thus, your advise to others is not only very confusing but it is totally incorrect.

The focal length of a lens DOES NOT CHANGE when one uses it on different format cameras. "Format" refers to the actual size of the film frame or digital sensor in a camera.


This, too, is incorrect.

Perspective in photographs is usually considered to be the size relationship between objects at different distances from the camera. This is controlled only by the distances between the camera and the objects and not by focal length.

A "normal" focal length provides a similar field of view that one would see with the naked eye when viewing the scene through an empty frame that's the same size as a print of the photograph of the scene when holding the frame at the same "normal viewing distance" as the print would be viewed at. For example, if you had an 8x10 print (of an image made with a "normal" focal length lens for your camera) viewed at 18" from your eyes and an empty 8x10 frame held at 18" from your eyes, the view in the frame would be similar to the view in the print.

Excuse me for putting it as simple as I could. A 30mm on a 60D will look pretty similar to a 50mm on a full frame. Therefore, if a bunch of FF users are recommending 50mm lenses for the "FOV" then the 30mm would be a good choice. I never meant that the actual FL changes on the lens- you hear all the time that an Xmm lens on a crop is the EQUIVALENT of an Xmm lens on a FF.

Also, I didn't make the 50mm perspective statement up. If you want to debate that, take it up with the MANY members that stated it previously.

John from PA: the 50mm f/1.8 is a great lens. I've used it before for parties and the FL wasn't too bad for group shots- even on my crop body. I'd suggest picking one up and giving it a try. You can always resell it without really losing any money. I'd also suggest something like the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for parties and general purpose shooting. Not as fast, but a lot more versatile when you don't have a lot of room to work with.


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kawi_200
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Feb 12, 2012 13:14 |  #39

John from PA wrote in post #13873314 (external link)
I have to say in all this that JHaegs nailed it when he stated "Holy crap, the guy asks a simple question and all of a sudden we are debating the origin of the nickname, exactly which lens it applies to, the "fact" that it's a term used by wannabe pros trying to sound more knowledgable, yadda yadda yadda..."

Restating my original question "I'm ready to make a purchase but should I as a cropped body format be buying something like the Canon 28mm f/1.8?" All I needed to know that for my cropped 60D a 30mm is likely going to give me the same versatility of a 50mm on a FF body because it will yield to me the same approximate field of view.

I don't find this question misleading on what seems to be a frequent topic. Even now there is someone who posts he has a 50mm on a 60D and can't understand why he can't take a picture 8-people wide. He has obtained an good explanation but I see the thread again drifting to irrevalent details.

I think the problem is the title of the thread. It is also a question, and it is different than the one in your first post. Regaurdless, 28mm will frame like a 45mm, close enough to 50mm. If you want to do the field of view conversions for yourself just take the lens you are interested in, 28mm, and mulitply by your crop factor 28mm X 1.6 = 44.8mm. Or if you know the FOV length on FF you are going for, 50mm, divide that by your crop factor for the focal length you need to get similar framing... 50mm/1.6 = 31.25mm


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betatech
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Feb 12, 2012 18:44 |  #40

John from PA wrote in post #13873314 (external link)
I have to say in all this that JHaegs nailed it when he stated "Holy crap, the guy asks a simple question and all of a sudden we are debating the origin of the nickname, exactly which lens it applies to, the "fact" that it's a term used by wannabe pros trying to sound more knowledgable, yadda yadda yadda..."

Restating my original question "I'm ready to make a purchase but should I as a cropped body format be buying something like the Canon 28mm f/1.8?" All I needed to know that for my cropped 60D a 30mm is likely going to give me the same versatility of a 50mm on a FF body because it will yield to me the same approximate field of view.

I don't find this question misleading on what seems to be a frequent topic. Even now there is someone who posts he has a 50mm on a 60D and can't understand why he can't take a picture 8-people wide. He has obtained an good explanation but I see the thread again drifting to irrevalent details.

Not sure if this would help, but it could answer your question. I'm using a t3i which has the same 1.6 crop factor. I was also looking into the 50mm but new the crop factor needed to be considered. I attempted the Canon 50mm and a Minolta 50mm -- The images were great, but still didn't have what I was expecting. Since I was testing the 50mm I decided to include the crop factor into the equation and tested a Canon 35mm ( This provides a 56mm with 35x1.6) and the Canon 28mm ( 44mm with 28x1.6). With testing the 35mm and the 28mm, in my opinion both provided the 50mm perspective I was looking for.

If possible I would try to test out the 35mm and the 28mm to see which one provides the picture and detail your looking for. If you are unable to test the lens's I would go for the 28mm as I feel that would provide the 50mm perspective your looking for.


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SkipD
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Feb 12, 2012 19:01 |  #41

betatech wrote in post #13875294 (external link)
Not sure if this would help, but it could answer your question. I'm using a t3i which has the same 1.6 crop factor. I was also looking into the 50mm but new the crop factor needed to be considered. I attempted the Canon 50mm and a Minolta 50mm -- The images were great, but still didn't have what I was expecting. Since I was testing the 50mm I decided to include the crop factor into the equation and tested a Canon 35mm ( This provides a 56mm with 35x1.6) and the Canon 28mm ( 44mm with 28x1.6). With testing the 35mm and the 28mm, in my opinion both provided the 50mm perspective I was looking for.

If possible I would try to test out the 35mm and the 28mm to see which one provides the picture and detail your looking for. If you are unable to test the lens's I would go for the 28mm as I feel that would provide the 50mm perspective your looking for.

There's absolutely no such thing as a XXmm perspective.

The terminology that should be used is XXmm field of view or XXmm angle of view. However, one has to realize that the field or angle of view is also affected by the format of the camera that the lens is attached to. There is no standard 50mm field of view, for example. A 50 mm lens provides a radically different fields of view on various camera formats. It's a short tele lens on an APS-C format and an ultra-wide-angle lens on a 4"x5" view camera. What is probably appropriate terminology for the thinking here is a "50mm field of view on a 35mm film format camera".

Regardless of the camera format or the focal length used, perspective is controlled ONLY by the distances between the camera and the various elements of the scene in front of the camera. Please read our "sticky" (found in the General Photography Talk forum) tutorial titled Perspective Control in Images - Focal Length or Distance?.


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betatech
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Feb 12, 2012 19:29 |  #42

SkipD wrote in post #13875369 (external link)
There's absolutely no such thing as a XXmm perspective.

The terminology that should be used is XXmm field of view or XXmm angle of view. However, one has to realize that the field or angle of view is also affected by the format of the camera that the lens is attached to. There is no standard 50mm field of view, for example. A 50 mm lens provides a radically different fields of view on various camera formats. It's a short tele lens on an APS-C format and an ultra-wide-angle lens on a 4"x5" view camera. What is probably appropriate terminology for the thinking here is a "50mm field of view on a 35mm film format camera".

Regardless of the camera format or the focal length used, perspective is controlled ONLY by the distances between the camera and the various elements of the scene in front of the camera. Please read our "sticky" (found in the General Photography Talk forum) tutorial titled Perspective Control in Images - Focal Length or Distance?.


Well excuse me for not using the proper terminology that this forum requires to assist a forum member on a issue.

As for what was meant by perspective so there is no confusion, -- using 28mm may provide what your looking for ( I guess using the word perspective in a different meaning is not allowed).


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Feb 12, 2012 19:32 |  #43
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betatech wrote in post #13875518 (external link)
Well excuse me for not using the proper terminology that this forum requires to assist a forum member on a issue.

As for what was meant by perspective so there is no confusion, -- using 28mm may provide what your looking for ( I guess using the word perspective in a different meaning is not allowed).

The way you use it, it is not different meaning, it is the wrong meaning.


What we see depends mainly on what we look for.

  
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Feb 12, 2012 19:41 |  #44

Hermeto wrote in post #13875530 (external link)
The way you use it, it is not different meaning, it is the wrong meaning.

Perspective has more then one definition and meaning. But im not here to argue or start a rant -- So you win and I give.

Would it be possible to get back to the OPs question and provide some information that could at least assist the OP and possibly myself since I have also been looking into this. The thread contains little information or more of a drag of rants. But there is still some decent information that is useful I would much rather see it continue with that information.


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SkipD
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Feb 12, 2012 19:55 |  #45

betatech wrote in post #13875581 (external link)
Would it be possible to get back to the OPs question and provide some information that could at least assist the OP and possibly myself since I have also been looking into this. The thread contains little information or more of a drag of rants. But there is still some decent information that is useful I would much rather see it continue with that information.

Read posts #4 and #11 and you'll have the required answers.


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for a cropped format, what is the "nifty" fifty
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