Normal Human Perspective

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Troy Hamon

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I agree with the rather extensive discussions about ways of deciding what a 'normal' perspective is from the erudite to the tongue in cheek. I haven't seen what is usually described as the optical standard answer. The size of the image that you are working with is the critical question. The 'normal' lens is supposed to be the diagonal distance from one corner of the film to the far corner. This is the hypotenuse of the right triangle...which for a 35 mm frame (36x24) works out to 43 mm. For whatever that's worth.

Far better answers were given by Pierre and Thilo, among others, way back on the first page. My answer may have been what you thought you were looking for originally, but as so many others have said, it is a totally subjective question that some people a long time ago developed a standard (but not necessarily right) answer to.
 

phfitz

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Hi there,

The easiest way to find this is to mount a 58mm on a 35mm camera, hold it vertical and focus with both eyes open. That's why most camera companies offered 58 - 60mm premium lenses when 35mm first became popular.

Just a thought.
 

blansky

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Flotsam said:
I'd like to find a "Beer Goggle" lens that sees the world from the perspective a guy who is sitting in a bar at 2:00 in the morning after a full night of drinking copious amounts of beer. Every woman looks like a super-model. :cool:

I thought that's what a Holga was.



Michael
 

Flotsam

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blansky said:
I thought that's what a Holga was.
Michael

Sure, it gives you the visual distortion but where's the inflated false sense of self-esteem?
 

srs5694

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phfitz said:
The easiest way to find this is to mount a 58mm on a 35mm camera, hold it vertical and focus with both eyes open.

If you're suggesting you try to match the image size in the viewfinder with what you see directly, the trouble is that it depends on the viewfinder's magnification (or put another way, the apparent size of the viewfinder image). If you try the test with two different cameras, you can get two different results.
 

Sparky

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a different take?

Well, having read through most of the responses - and finding the question a bit 'lacking' in definition... I suspect that the question isn't referring to 'perspective' which is identical in all lenses regardless of focal length, but rather 'angle of view'. I don't know about YOU guys - but from what I can tell with my own vision - my angle of view is significantly greater than 140º. Actually it's about 180º in the horizontal and about 120-130º in the vertical. So - I would HAVE to venture that something like a zeiss hologon would best match it. Though I don't know what their focal length is off hand. From the way I understand matters of human vision we tend to see this really large angle of view but the brain limits what part of this visual field we pay attention to. And I think this is completely variable in different individuals and at different times depending on what we're paying attention to. I'm not trying to be 'difficult' or part with the masses in any way - it just seems obvious (??) to me... that's my 2 cents. Maybe I'm just not understanding the question.
 

Kiron Kid

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david b said:
I know this is a silly, elementary question but I have to settle a bet.

What lens in 35mm format, gives a perspective closest to the human eye?
Is it a 50mm lens, 35mm lens or something else?

It's the 35mm lens. As we go throught life, our eyes aren't fixed straight ahead. They wander from side to side. Very similar to the 35mm field of view.

Kiron Kid
 

Ed Sukach

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I would suggest that human perception, not optical characteristics are the question here. The focal lengths assigned to "Normal" lenses have been chosen for optical reasons: A focal length equal to the diagonal of the film frame results in the most efficient optical design, as far as maximum and minimum aperture ... and a number of others.

How we PERCEIVE the object, is not directly related to comfortable design. There is a reason 100-180mm lenses are used for portraiture in medium format - the perceived "ballooning effect of shorter lenes is especially annoying in portraiture. We are MOST sensitive to familiar physical appearances, and therefore facial perspective.

But - don't take my word for it, Try a portrait with a "short - wide angle" - lens and see what you think.
 

gnashings

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Another little, highly un-scientific tid bit from me.

I took a 24mm lens today and walked around using it as my sole means of seeing (through a camera). Every once and again I'd stop in front of something and look wihtout the aid of the camera, and reaction was without exception "WHOA!!! That thing is SO close!!!"
Did the same with a 80-200 zoom and a 50mm. To make the long story short, for some reason, the 50 seemed to give me fewest surprises when I lowered the camera to have a "human perspective" look for comparison. Things seemed most "the way I expected".
I have to concede, I don't think this has anything with "field of view", and more with how much info we are able to process at once - which looking strictly through a camera forces one to do.
Just my observation - my eyes may be weird. Or I may be most accustomed to a 50mm lens - I don't claim that these "findings" are in any way absolute :wink:
 

Helen B

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I wonder how much the size of the image in your field of view would affect the outcome of your experiment.
 

titrisol

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For me a 40-45mm lens has the same perspective my eyes do when looking at a "general" scene.

Our eyes have the marvlous advantage to make the field of view/perspective different when we focus on somethign.
 

RichSBV

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It may be completely meaningless, but this is what was told to me 35+ years ago...

The "normal" lens is selected for any camera to offer a 'normal' view of a scene. This 'normal' view would be considered as looking through the camera as it was a plain window. No magnifaction, no reduction.

So, if you look at a scene with your eyes, then through the camera, it looks the same. No magnification and no reduction. The camera just become a window...

Whether or not this is true (seems logical to me), or if the diagonal of the film vs. the focal happened as an optical coincidence, I have no idea... But it's an explanation that stuck with me for a long time...
 

gnashings

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Helen B said:
I wonder how much the size of the image in your field of view would affect the outcome of your experiment.


Good point - the effect with the WA was magnified when looking at wide objects (like a stretched limo, for example) - so I think a part of this is psychological. But over all, it seemed reasonably constant - I found the 50mm to be the least intrusive "window" (to borrow a term from RichSBV).

Of course, then there is the fact that I am using one eye, looking into a viewfinder which is small, etc. Also, I do not have a collection of lenses graduted in small enought increments, and frankly, this was just a fun little experiment which i doubt has any scientific value.

edit - sorry about the typos... no time to really edit.
 

Dimitri

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modafoto said:
How do you calculate it?

How do I calculate what?

If you are referring to the human vision part (the agle of view), I don't calculate it. I "copy" it from books/texts/etc. I beleieve there is a (more or less) commonly accepted way of calculating it taking into account the degree of sharpness in the complete human fov(?) (which is about 180 degrees horizontal and 90 or so vertical)

If you refer to film it is the diagonal of the 35mm frame.
 

Black Imp

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david b said:
I know this is a silly, elementary question but I have to settle a bet.

What lens in 35mm format, gives a perspective closest to the human eye?
Is it a 50mm lens, 35mm lens or something else?


HI, I'm new at this forum.

I won't try to give a technical explanation of any kind- many ppl here are more indicated to - but I would like tell you my personal experience:

a month ago I was studying a particular house to take a picture with an infrared B&W film - honestly I can't shoot more then a few films a year due to lack of time - I was prefiguring the picture first of all with naked eye, without seeing through the camera... by the way, after mounting some lenses to make some tests I found out my eye had previewed the picture like a 85mm and it's a feeling I 've had a lot of times before but it had never been so clear. I don't think it's a question of angle of view but something involving perception: we - expecially male people - are mentally more concentrated on one particular at once rather than on the whole image we can focus on. I guess peripherical view is not used to get details but other aspects of the environment, like the luminosity of the scene, the change in some big shapes, and mainly the movements. Instead when we examine a picture taken with a wideangle lens we can - if the dimension of picture printed is small enough - have the whole image in focus and we can embrace it whole - even thou in some degree it happens the same thing as when we see reality: we see it detail by detail -. That's why I don't think it's correct matching the human view with a wide angle nor with a 50mm.

in few words I substantially agree with Sparky
 
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gnashings

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I think we have something here - there is a dual nature to this beast! And yes, sexist as it may sound, apparently the male vision sees things a bit differently as far as areas of primary concentration etc (I can't wait to see the jokes pour in on this one) - but that aside, it seems like so:
1) Human field of vision
2) How much visual information are we comfortable looking at, and therefore, like looking at.

It seems those two have distinctly different answers - and perhaps the old 50mm was some sort of compromise? I still tell you this - walk around looking through a WA lens and you will get dizzy! All of a sudden, you are not just seeing but being forced to register ALL of that huge field of vision (and barrels and pins etc :wink: ). So that can't be it. Try it with a short tele (85, 100, 135) and you will feel like you have tunnel vision - even though it will probably match what you would want in apicture... I think that makes it more complicated than simple calcualtions of field of vision, angles, etc.

Personally, right now this human's perpective is getting blurry because I need sleep - what lens is that ?:smile:?
 
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