A normal lens has a focal length approximately equal to the diagonal measurement of the film format or sensor size

The concept of the normal lens is based on a particular type of perspective that is generally regarded as natural for human vision.

This “normal perspective” means that the image produced by a normal lens will have a three-dimensional feel like what we see with our own eyes, and where subjects appear to be in correct proportion.

Because of this, normal lenses are considered by many to be good general-purpose lenses, and are commonly used with digital cameras.

The idea of the normal lens also dates back to pre-digital times when it was believed that most images should be taken at waist level.

A lens that produces a field of view similar to the human eye when held at waist level is considered to be a normal lens.

Let’s take a look.

What Is a normal lens

What Is a normal lens?

A normal lens depends on the camera format you are working with, as well as how close you are going to be to your subjects.

A normal lens in 35mm photography would be around 50mm. The same rule applies to 16mm film.

However, when shooting with Super 16mm film cameras or digital video cameras, the term “normal” refers to lenses slightly wider than 50mm.

Why? Because the image area is smaller and that means the field of view is wider when shooting with 35mm or 16mm film cameras.

In most cases, a 35mm film camera will have a focal length of 50-55mm attached to it at all times.



What Is A Normal Lens?

The normal lens is a term used in the film industry. It refers to the fact that a 50mm lens is roughly equivalent to the distance between the average human eye and the normal field of vision, which is about 50cm.

We often use the normal lens when shooting close-ups of people’s faces because it gives a more flattering perspective than longer focal lengths.

Fifty millimeters is also a common focal length for many consumer cameras and video cameras, which makes it more affordable and easier to use than most other lenses.

It’s sometimes referred to as a “normal” lens because it captures images at roughly “normal” size, not because it’s necessarily a standard lens length.

While we can use the 50mm focal length for many types of photography, sometimes it’s not ideal.

For example, when photographing in tight spaces, wider angle lenses can be preferable because they allow you to take in more of the surrounding environment.


And if you’re shooting portraits from further away, telephoto lenses allow you to isolate your subject from the background, creating an image with increased depth of field.

Normal Lenses Vary For Different Formats

The normal lens refers to the focal length which, when multiplied by the lens magnification, gives one hundred. If a normal lens is working at its optimum, then it will give you a picture that is equivalent to what your eye sees.

That is why they are referred to as 50mm lenses since this focal length works with a magnification of 50.

What this means for photographers is that the focal length of a normal lens is different depending on the format of the camera that it is being used on. For example, a 50mm lens on a full-frame 35mm camera will be equal to 75mm on an APS-C crop sensor and 80mm on an APS-H crop sensor.

Why does this matter? Because if you are using an APS-C or APS-H camera and using lenses designed for full-frame cameras (or vice versa), then you cannot take photos with your camera at its full capacity. You simply cannot take pictures at the same angle of view that you could if you had used a lens designed for your specific camera format.

On top of this, many people find that having two different lenses in their kit can help a lot.

What Is A Normal Lens Used For?

A lens that is considered “normal” in a 35mm camera is one in which the focal length of the lens is approximately equal to the diagonal measurement of the film frame. Or, if you prefer, it’s just your basic, all-purpose lens.

Trying to use a normal lens when it isn’t suitable is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. What you end up with is having a wasted film, or lots of unnecessary digital storage space – or both!

You can use your normal lens in many situations and applications. As long as you stick within the parameters of its capabilities – and those are considerable – you will take excellent pictures with it!

A normal lens is useful in landscape photos; obviously, when you’re taking pictures of landscapes, having a wide angle of view is very helpful.

Not only do you get more terrain in your picture, but you also have less chance of including distracting objects in your shot. And when shooting at higher magnifications with a normal lens, especially the classic 50 mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 prime lens.

Shooting A Film With One Lens

You can make a movie with one lens, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Shooting with a single lens forces you to get creative. The results can be beautiful and cinematic, as seen in these four examples of films shot entirely with one lens.

Tiny Plastic Men

The 2013 film “Tiny Plastic Men” is all about two plastic toys (one representing the optimists and the other representing the pessimists) who must come to terms with the fact they will eventually be thrown away. 

They shot the film on a Canon 5D Mark II using only a 50mm prime lens. This allowed director Christopher Caldwell to focus on the faces of his actors, which he felt best conveyed the emotion he wanted to capture.

The film premiered at SXSW and was picked up by Paramount Vantage for distribution in theaters. It also aired on Hulu and Amazon Instant Video.

Brothers Hypnotic

Brothers Hypnotic is a short film that follows a young kid who gets hypnotized into believing he has superpowers. 

They shot the film on an iPhone 4 using only an 18mm wide-angle lens. This choice forced director Adam Levite to shoot from lower angles, which helped him achieve an interesting perspective.

The movie won several awards including Best Director at Dances.

Should You Use Medium Telephoto Or ‘Portrait’ Lens For Filmmaking?

There is no right answer to the above question. It’s an age-old question that many filmmakers, both amateurs, and professionals alike, have debated.

Describing the two lens types, the ‘portrait’ lens is the one that offers a wider angle of view, thus capturing more of the scene that is being filmed. This is what most standard lenses have in common – there is a wider angle of view provided by these types of lenses.

Medium telephoto lenses, on the other hand, are exactly what their name suggests – they provide a more narrow field of view. However, they also have much greater magnification capabilities than their wide-angle counterparts.

So in choosing between one or the other, there are several factors that you need to consider. These could be anything from your budget to your end goal for using either of these two lens types.

You’ve probably heard about medium telephoto lenses being used in professional filmmaking contexts. Now, imagine yourself shooting a video in a room that has been decorated with beautiful ornaments and furniture. 

If you’re just an amateur filmmaker who wishes to shoot some short videos with your DSLR camera at home, then consider opting for a cheaper alternative – a wide-angle lens instead.

Which Lenses To Buy For Film Production

There are many types of lenses available on the market today, from fish eye lenses to telephoto zoom lenses. Some lenses are made of glass, and some are constructed from a combination of different materials, such as plastics and metal. Each lens has its unique purpose and characteristics.

It is important to note that there are no rules in the film industry on what lens should be used for what shot. Many films have been shot with a wide-angle lens, in extreme close-up, because it was more effective for a particular scene or shot.

Also, when using prime lenses with a zoom lens adapter, you lose light at both ends of the zoom range. This can be compensated for by increasing the shutter speed or increasing the ISO on your camera so that you don’t have to use a tripod.

There are also two types of prime lenses: ultra wide-angle and normal focal length.

Ultra Wide Angle Lenses

Ultra wide-angle lenses were created mainly to be used with 35mm motion picture cameras. They allow the cinematographer to create shots that would not be possible with any other type of lens.

The downside to using an ultra wide-angle lens is that it distorts subjects and creates an optical illusion known as “keystoning”.

Choosing The Best Lenses For Filmmaking

The first lens you should buy for your camera is a 50mm prime lens. It’s the equivalent of the human eye, and it’s relatively cheap. You can find a 50mm lens for under $200, and they’re worth every penny.

Trying to save money by purchasing the absolute cheapest camera out there is a mistake because the lens quality will be poor and you’ll regret buying it in the long run. If you want to save money, wait until you can afford a lens that is of higher quality.

To choose the best lenses for filming, you need to consider two things: what you plan on shooting and how much money you want to spend. The more you spend, the better the quality of your lens, but this doesn’t always mean that higher-priced lenses are better suited for your needs.

If you’re looking for a versatile lens that can shoot everything from landscapes to portraits to sports and still images, then purchase a zoom lens in a range like 24-70 or 70-200 or even 28-300. These lenses are expensive but often worth it if you need something versatile.

If budget is an issue but you still want something versatile, make sure that your zoom lens goes from a wide-angle (28mm) up.

Wide Angle Lens vs Normal Lens

First, let’s make a few distinctions:

Normal lens: This is the lens you see on a lot of cameras. It’s 50mm or 35mm, and it gives you a normal field of view. It’s how we see things with our own eyes, and it’s the most popular lens for “regular” people.

Normal Lens on a Sony A6000

Wide-angle lens: This is any lens that gives you anything wider than a normal lens. Zoom in at 20mm and you’re at the wide-angle end of the spectrum. At 10mm, you’re getting close to fisheye territory. The same 20mm on a different camera body might be considered “normal” instead, depending on what the manufacturer considers its normal lens.

Wide Angle Lens on a Sony A6000

Fisheye Lens: Any lens that lets you take pictures that have an appearance similar to what we’d get if we were looking through an actual fisheye lens would fall into this category. Usually, this means a very wide-angle (14mm or more) and very short focal lengths (8-10mm).

Fisheye Lens on Sony A6000

How To Use A Wide Angle Lens?

A standard lens is a lens that is not a wide-angle lens or a telephoto lens. The standard lens in film and video production is 50mm because it gives you the most natural viewing perspective. Although this lens can be used for many types of shots, it’s ideal for close-ups and two shots.

Tilt And Focus Pulling With A Standard Lens

To understand how to use the standard lens effectively, you must first know what tilt and focus pulling is. Tilt And focus pulling is a camera movement that will allow you to control the depth of field in your shots.

To explain what these camera movements are, we’ll use the example of a 50mm f1.4 lens. If you’re using another focal length, adjust the numbers accordingly. You want to shoot with a T2.8 aperture so that you have enough depth of field to keep your subjects in focus at all times.

So let’s say your subject is five feet away from your camera; at that distance, they would be at 5 feet x 2 = 10 feet away from your camera when they fill the frame, which is not ideal because you want them to be at 5 feet x 2 = 10 feet away from your camera when they fill the frame.

Naturalism Of A Standard Lens In Filmmaking

A standard lens is a lens that is not a wide-angle lens or a telephoto lens. The standard lens in film and video production is 50mm because it gives you the most natural viewing perspective.

Although this lens can be used for many types of shots, it’s ideal for close-ups and two shots.