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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:21 am 
Trying to work this one out and your advice and opinions would be much appriciated.

I have recently made the jump to a 550D.

Back in the olden days I used to use an Olympus OM2. I hade a 50mm lens and understood it to be really usefull because 50mm 'saw' the world as your eye's did.

Now with a crop sensor camera is this still the case. I'm guessing that the perspective etc will be the same but that because of the crop factor the field of view isnt.

Is a 50mm lens the same as a 80mm on a full sensor or 35mm film camera?

Is a 30mm lens on a cropped sensor the same as a 50mm on a full sensor or 35mm film body.

Ian


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:27 am 
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Hi Ian,

Well, any lens is usefl if it frames the subject but on your 550D you can also think of a 50mm as a classic portrait length as it gives the same field of view as an 80mm lens fitted to a full-framer.

Bob.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:11 pm 
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For the cropped sensor camera i would certainly look into the 28mm, 30mm and 35mm length lenses, these will give a more standard view on your 550D.

Lenses to consider are the:

Canon 28mm ƒ/2.8 or 1.8 (budget depending)
Canon 35mm ƒ/2.0 or 1.4 (budget depending)
Sigma 30mm ƒ/1.4

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:21 pm 
My understanding was that the 90mm lens on a 35mm film camera was ideal because of the way it flatteringly 'flattened' the subject and that it wasnt just about field of view (not sure this is the right term btw)

How does the distortion caused by the focal length relate to the field of view caused by the difference between a full and crop sensor.

Or am I complicating something unnecessarily?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:37 pm 
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Hi Ian,

Too complicated! The field of view determine the perspective so a 50mm lens on a 1.6x cropped sensor behaves just like 80mm on a full-framer in that respect. The big difference is that depth of field is naturally a bit shallower on a full-framer for the same f-number: to get the same shallow depth of field on a 50mm lens in front of a 1.6x crop sensor as compared with an 80mm lens in front of a full-frame sensor you'd have to brighten the aperture (lower the f-number) by that same factor of 1.6 times. But that's theory and is only really useful to bear in mind if you routinely shoot with both sensor sizes. As you already have your 550D while shooting portraits with a 50mm lens you just adjust the aperture until you achieve the desired DoF.

If you're a real glutton for punishment I explored the relation between DoF and the the diameter of the entrance pupil in my thread Size Matters but I don't suggest you read that unless you are interested in how DoF and sensor size are related.

Bob.

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
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Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:52 pm 
Thanks Bob,

I'll keep my life simple and with my crop sensor (factor 1.6) I'll consider a 30mm as a standard (as the eye sees it) lens, any thing with a shorter focal length as wide and anything longer as zoomed.

Hmmmmm, I can feel prime lust coming on. Be great to have a couple of relatively fast lenses, 30mm and a 50mm I think.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:41 pm 
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Don't forget the 85mm f/1.8, a great lens which gives approx 135mm focal length on a crop body.

Great optics, smallish, fast ring USM focusing and not too expensive.

I have 28, 50 and 85 giving me equivalents of approx 50,85,135. I would like a prime equivalent for 35mm but the 20mm lens is only f/2.8 and reports say it could be better optically.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:56 pm 
Hi ianganderton,

Another advantage of using full-frame lenses on cropped sensors, is that you usually avoid any vignetting...or rather light fall-off at the edges.

...and if we are picking nits to the extreme where....the center part of a lens is the sharpest part of the lens....so if sharpness is your game you have yourself another advantage.

Of course...FF lenses are typically more expensive too...

Cheers :-)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:31 am 
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Keep in mind that it is a CROP factor, not a zoom factor. I find that a 50mm sees my subject as my eyes see the subject, though, of course, that which surrounds the subject will be cropped out of the final image. To get the same field of view with a 50mm on a crqopped frame, to include the environment surrounding the central subject, I need to move further back.

I have cropped-frame Canons, and three 50mm lenses, each with it's own personality and ideal uses. I am feeling the desire for a fast 35mm prime lens now, but I believe 50mm will remain my favored focal length.

I have tested the concept my walking around with a zoom set at 35mm. I do have 24/2.8 and 28/2.8 primes, which I find a bit wide much of the time, if I leave the house with either as an only lens. (I have nothing against wide lenses; indeed, my favorite zoom is the 10-22mm EF-S.)

This is just my way of seeing things. I am not an expert, just a serious beginner.

Also, I seem to remember a recent thread that polled members of the Cameralabs forum, regarding their pick as an only lens. A large portion of responses from pros seemed to be the 85mm, for a one-and-only lens. 85mm on a full-frame is fairly equivalent to a 50mm on a cropped-frame.

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