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35mm movie lens is equivalent to 50mm Still camera lens


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#1 JP Dela cruz

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 03:02 AM

Someone told me
35mm movie lens is equivalent to 50mm Still camera lens.
And 50mm movie lens is equivalent to 65mm Still camera lens.
Did anyone know about this?

P.S. sorry that I didn't put my real name here! I wasn't think it was a big issue to put real name or not. ^^!
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 04:33 AM

If you go here you can work out all the equivalents;

http://www.panavisio...lenseqvform.asp

Yes, you have to use your real name.
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#3 Nick Mulder

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 05:29 AM

Did anyone know about this?

Yup, people knew about this ...

Edited by Nick Mulder, 09 March 2007 - 05:30 AM.

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#4 Daniel Smith

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 04:08 PM

It's roughly a 1.4x conversion factor.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 05:53 PM

It's interesting to me that Hitchcock preferred "normal perspective" lenses and mentioned that he shot most of "Vertigo" and "Psycho" on a 50mm lens. Herb Coleman, I think, mentions that Hitchcock was upset with him for shooting a pick-up shot in the restaurant scene in "Vertigo" on a 35mm lens.

But since "Vertigo" was shot in 8-perf 35mm VistaVision and "Psycho" in standard 4-perf 35mm, a 50mm lens would have given him a different perspective. In fact, a 35mm lens on a VistaVision camera would be a little like a 35mm anamorphic lens -- it would be wide-angle.
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#6 Paul Bruening

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 08:10 PM

In theory, the diagonal measurement of the capturing image plane defines what is normal in a lens. In reality, lenses have some variation depending on their design. Not so much, however, that people can't come up with some rules of thumb, which is what you will get around here in casual converstaion. As far as agreement... nope. Some here will attest to as low as 35mm for normal (assuming a 35mm, academy, spherical, 4 perf frame) and some, like me, lean towards as high as 50mm. Ultimately, it has to do with how close to your eye a lens will deliver. If you look through the veiwfinder and items both in the foreground and background have the same relative proportions as what your eye sees, then it's a normal lens.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 10:23 PM

The reason why it's not an exact science is because you have to balance field of view considerations with image perspective. Sure, a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera shooting 1.85 seems to not shrink or enlarge the subject or distort the room, but the view is so cropped compared to what your eye sees that it feels "long", more telephoto than normal, hence why most of us would consider a 40mm or 35mm to be more "natural" in terms of capturing the space.

This is one reason why I like the 50mm anamorphic lens, with double the horizontal view compared to spherical 35mm photography. To me, it really captures what a room looks like to your eyes.

But like I said, it's an art, not a science.
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#8 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 10:47 PM

as david mentioned, there are two separate factors: parallax and field of view. usually any disagreement in the "what lens is like human vision" question is because different people are placing more emphasis on one of those two. i believe there's no existing format where you can have both parallax & fov coming close to matching human vision.

to me, there is something powerful about matching the parallax of human vision, though it will of course feel like the pov of someone mentally "zoomed in" on a portion of their vision.
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#9 Dominic Case

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 02:11 AM

Sure, a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera shooting 1.85 seems to not shrink or enlarge the subject or distort the room,

There are a whole lot of assumptions required if you want to be precise or objective about a "normal" lens. So far no-one has mentioned the way the image is projected, for example. If you assume the "standard" viewing distance as a proportion of the projected image size, then you can go with one particular camera lens as "standard". For a different projection set-up (or just a different seat in the theatre), you'll get a different visual sense of foreground versus backgroud image size, so a different lens would appear to be "standard".

Basically it's down to angle of view. If the screen fills the same angle of view as the original scene, you have a "standard" view. The cinema screen rarely fills your field of vision, real life usually does, (unless you are watching real life through a camera lens ;) ) - so it seems cropped, as David says.

The "inexact science" is the compromise between seeing your field of view reduced to fit the cinema screen, or seeing it cropped to fit the screen.
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