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What is considered a normal lens?


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#1 Cosmas Demetriou

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 04:43 PM

Hello, Cinematography.com members.

 

You have been so helpful in the past that I want to ask another question.

 

I am a set designer going to a location on Monday (downtown Boston) and I want to use Artemis on my iPhone to see what the camera will see. We will be filming an action sequence on a prominent street with brownstones. We don't know yet what our camera platform will be but wondering if I set my platform to Super 35mm Panavision Genesis what would be a good range of lenses to cover for?  From wide angle (but not extreme wide angle) to "normal" (if that is a term that is used any more.) What I'm concerned about is "what is the widest that the camera might see."

 

Wondering if the concept of a "Normal lens" still exists?  I thought it was the point where a wide angle lens becomes a  telephoto.  In 35mm still photography, I believe, it's the 50mm lens but wondering if the term is used any more.

 

Thank you.

 

 


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#2 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 05:39 PM

Well a very standard range of focal lengths for a five-lens set of primes would be something like: 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm

 

And that range would cover you for the vast majority of needs, wide to telephoto. 


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 05:42 PM

I think the camera in the iPhone itself is something around a 27mm in terms of 35mm cine terms, so you won't see wider than that.

 

"Normal" is a subjective term but anywhere in the 27mm to 50mm range is fairly normal for 35mm cine, i.e. not wide-angle and not telephoto.  I think the diagonal measurement of Full-Frame 35mm is something like 43mm so a 1.5X crop of that for 35mm cine is something like 27mm.  Personally I think of 35mm as being the "normal" lens for 35mm cine and the 50mm being the normal lens for Full-Frame 35mm.


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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 05:57 PM

Have you spoken to the director and DP yet about their ideas on lens selection and the shots they want to get? Because they may not be even planning on using normal focal lengths...
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#5 Cosmas Demetriou

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 06:48 PM

I haven't, but your point is well taken. I will ultimately talk to him, of course, but I want to just have a starting point that is in the ballpark. I appreciate your point. Thank you.


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#6 Cosmas Demetriou

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 07:22 PM

"Personally I think of 35mm as being the "normal" lens for 35mm cine and the 50mm being the normal lens for Full-Frame 35mm."

 

 

 

David, by "50mm being the normal lens for Full-Frame 35mm" do you mean still camera 35mm?


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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 07:28 PM

Yes, Full-Frame or FF35 is what most people are now calling the standard 8-perf 35mm still camera frame (36mm x 24mm). Same as VistaVision.


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#8 Cosmas Demetriou

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 08:36 PM

Thanks to everyone for your replies. I appreciate it.


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#9 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 02:42 AM

Just a thought,though not exactly your department.. but if you can give the DP some idea of where the sun is at certain times of day in that street.. Im sure it would be gladly received.. although I guess they will be doing this at a later date too.. 


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