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Okay, What is normal?

 
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Rangemaster



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 412
Location: Montana, Glacier National Park

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2001 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I am well versed in 35mm and medium format, but I have recently aquired a Graphic View and a View II, One of them came with a 100mm lens, what I am wondering is what is considered a "Normal" lens for these particular cameras, much of the books that I have say up in the 200mm range is normal, just thought I would get some input.

Thanks in advance

Dave
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LelandRay



Joined: 24 May 2001
Posts: 115
Location: Mississippi

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2001 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard that "normal" length was equal to the diagonal measure of the film, and a measurement of a sheet of 4x5 a minute ago yielded 159mm. (It's very early, and those little marks on the ruler are really, really small.)

A 200 would be longer than "normal," though as a practical matter, it would be about right, IMO.

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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2001 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mathmatically, the normal (diagonal of the film) is 162mm but most Press cameras used a moderately wide 127 or 135mm lens. As an architectural photographer I tend to shoot wide so the first lens I grab for interiors is a 90mm. (The 50mm on my Hassy is there almost permanently which is roughly equivelent to a 100mm on 4x5))

Portrait and landscape shooters out west will tend to shoot longer than normal, so their normal lens may be that 180.

The books I have give a range of "normal' lenses for 4x5 as anything from 135 to 210

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LelandRay



Joined: 24 May 2001
Posts: 115
Location: Mississippi

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2001 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Pacemaker Speed Graphic has a 127mm, virtually everything I shoot with my Pentax 67 is done with a 165. In 35mm work it's either an 85 or a 20 for me.

"Normal" is a word not often applied to me, so I try to attach it to lenses.

Shot below from a 135mm Rodenstock this morning. Graphic View II, 1/15th @ either f32 or f45, Kodak Plus X. It was just too blasted hot out there today, even before eleven, so my morning of "goofing off with a camera" almost turned into "ER for heatstroke."



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Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. -- H. L. Mencken
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Rangemaster



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 412
Location: Montana, Glacier National Park

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2001 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man you guys have been great thanks for all the information, most of the message systems I corespond on, would laugh you out of the place when you ask a question of this nature, thanks. And that is sure a nice picture. thanks for that also.

Dave
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DonH



Joined: 03 Jul 2001
Posts: 33
Location: SURRY SIDE !!!!!!!!!!!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2001 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Normal" is a word I don't like-much to rigid. My regular lens on a Speed is 135mm, because I shoot "Retro Press", that doesn't mean I don't use a 90 or 208 as necessary! I guess it's a case of use what ya got or like, and HAVE FUN!!! And, LelandRay, thanks for the photo.
Don
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danimal



Joined: 22 Jun 2001
Posts: 48
Location: Upper Sonoran Desert

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rangemaster,
normal is as normal does. What's "normal" to you? The only hard and fast rule I've ever heard for a "normal" lens is "a focal length equal to the image diagonal". In that case, a normal lens for your GV would be about 6 3/8". Kodak made a 6 3/8" Anastigmat lens. Mine is a good performer.
Interestingly, Zeiss made a 4.25cm lens for their Contax camera. Why? Because the diagonal of a 35mm image is actually 42.5mm. 50mm is no more "normal" for a 35mm camera than a 35mm lens is.
Once again, what is normal to you? I like the look af a slightly long lens myself. 210mm on 4x5 or 100mm on 35mm have a more natural perspective to my eye, when compared to "normal" lenses. The angle of view of a wider lens seems to render a scene "normally" to me. It's an interesting question, "what's normal?", isn't it?
I think that what you'd really like to know is "what's a good general purpose lens for my GV/GVII?", and I can answer that without a lot of trouble. A lens in the 150mm range, +/- 25mm, will be about right. You might find that you get more coverage from a longer lens, which makes fooling around with your camera's movements more fun. But long lenses tend to be slower and that makes focusing a pain. Experiment.
Do you live near a shop that can rent you lenses? Rentals are a great way to learn about the lenses you'll eventually buy. Check it out.
Dan
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Kim



Joined: 10 May 2001
Posts: 44
Location: upstate NY

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2001 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have understood that "normal" refers to the normal field of usable vision of the human eye which is somewhere around 50 degrees, so a "normal" lens would be a lens that covers a field of view of 50 degrees for that particular format. Since 45 degrees is pretty close to 50 degrees the idea that the normal focal length is equal to the width of the film works well. Interestingly if you tak a "wide angle" lens and crop the height of the image to make a panorama view, this view will look "normal" and not wide angle. In the same way if you enlarge selection from the center of a negative the view will look "long"

good light to all

Kim
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Padeye



Joined: 30 Jan 2002
Posts: 21
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2002 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you only have 50 degrees of useable vision I hope you don't have a driver's licesne

In all seriousness "useable" vision is a tricky thing. You should have peripheral vision that exceeds 180 but actute vision for reading is actually a very tiny area.

Trying to duplicate the view of the human eye is folly. It can't be done with flat media. To duplicate human vision you'd need to create a fisheye lens that was also rectilinear. Neat trick if you can pull it off but I don't think so.

The best we can do is use appropriate lenses and techniques so that the perspective doesn't look unnatural for a given scene.
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