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JLuke 03-21-2012 09:57 AM

50mm everyone should have one
This weekend i just found the joys of 50mm glass. Picked up one of the super cheap (124 shipped) nikon 50mm 1.8D lenses and i love it, not so much for how sharp it is, but that particular focal length.

It took me a few minutes of shooting to notice it, but it's the EXACT same focal length of your eyes, when you go back and forth between the viewfinder and looking over the top of the camera, it's like looking through a plain piece of glass.

Was fun running around taking pictures in a mindset of 'what you see is what you get". Alot more intresting and fun taking pictures this way than standing in one spot with a zoom lense snapping away.

But anyway, was just throwing this out there, if you dont have a 50mm, you should. I do have a 35mm and even though it's close to the same zoom, it's a huge difference.

Luckless 03-21-2012 10:27 AM

Just remember to keep your crop factor in mind. 50mm on a full frame is good, but you'll be longer than "Normal" on a smaller sensor. I've been trying to track down a good 28mm and a 35mm for my Canon Rebel. Seems the EF-28mm lenses are hard to find retail in Canada. 35s weren't that much better.

That said, I still love my Canon 50 f/1.8 lens, even with crop. Lovely little lens that looks like it is going to stay my primary.

Frink 03-21-2012 12:44 PM

50mm is 50mm, and will be normal looking though a full frame viewfinder or a crop viewfinder. You just don't get as much "normal" in the final image with a crop sensor :)

If you want the images to be the same, then yes a 35mm or 28mm on a crop will be similar.

Primes are a great way to get you zooming with your feet and thinking about your positioning and composition.

Schmitti 03-21-2012 12:48 PM

Having not bought a lens in a while.... is there still a magnification factor with newer DSLR's. When I bought my KM DSLR in 2006 it came with a 18-whatever lens which was comparable to a 35-whatever lens on my Minolta 35mm body.

I do find that this causes problems with bigger Tele lenses like my fixed 400mm which has significantly more magnification than it did on my 35mm body.

So I guess the question is... are they marking lenses as 50's even if they are really a 25 or so and they are only to be used (or assumed to only be used) on a DSLR?


Luckless 03-21-2012 02:56 PM

Magnification factor is based on the sensor size. If you use something with a small sensor like the APS-C in Canon's Rebels, and some of their older/lower end professional lines, then it will record data as if using a lens with a focal length 1.6 times as long. Longer focal lengths means greater magnification.

If you buy a full frame camera, then the sensor is basically the size of traditional 35mm film, so you don't have a crop factor.

Focal length of a lens is still its focal length, no matter the sensor size. It is the distance the lens needs to bend parallel rays into a focal point. Crop factor doesn't actually change the focal length, just the apparent effect.

If I take something like an 18-55 zoom, and put it on my rebel with the 1.6 crop factor, then when looking through the view finder at a nearby central target it will seem around the same size at about 50mm or so. However if you look close at the outside of the frame, you will notice that you're seeing far less, and your angle of view is narrower.

Pull back to around the high 20s, low 30s, and try again. Your central focus object shrinks slightly in the view finder, but stuff at the edges of the view finder better matches what you are actually seeing.

Schmitti 03-21-2012 03:22 PM

Ah Hah! I will need to look into that!

This is what I have..

Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D: Digital Photography Review

didn't see anything in that about sensor size... but I'm probably just technology ignorant.


Schmitti 03-21-2012 03:25 PM

Oh ho!

Could it be this:
"Minolta-A bayonet lens mount, 1.5x focal magnifier "
From here:
Konica Minolta-Maxxum-5d-Slr Review: Overview

Luckless 03-21-2012 05:13 PM


If you look at the specifications on it you will see

23.5 x 15.7 mm CCD sensor

Compare that your classic 35mm Full Frame: 36 x 24 mm.

Take the diagonal of your full frame, and divide it by the diagonal of your sensor. This gives you your rough crop factor. Since focal lengths are apparently close approximates, this value gets rounded off to something easy to work with. 1.5 and 1.6 are close enough and easier to work out in your head than 1.5309 or 1.6216.

sparky 03-21-2012 08:19 PM

50 mm equivalent glass/body combination: Epic.

I came by 50 mm quite by accident. I was using my 24-105 a lot, but didn't like the F4 speed rating on it. So I went on a quest to buy myself a prime for low light stuff. Low and behold, my most common focal length I found I used with the lens (looked at the RAW data) was about 32 mm on my 500D crop body, which is roughly 50 mm...

The rest is history.

Actually I now shoot 90% with my 30 mm Sigma 1.4. Can't see myself need another lens again.

worrptangl 03-21-2012 08:27 PM

I'm hoping to get a Sig 30 for my B day this year. I use my nifty the most but want wider.

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