What is a normal lens?

In photography, a “normal” lens means that it does not change significantly the perspective of the photographer over to his subject. In other words, this lens renders the subject almost exactly as the photographer sees it before him. It does not magnify nor does it make objects smaller.

Minolta 50 mm normal lens

Click to enlarge: Minolta 50 mm normal lens

Normal lens uses

So what can be the purpose of using such a lens?

Well, it is used to render the subject of the most natural way possible, without distortions. This type of lens is very often used by street photographers, for example, who want to bring back images of events, captured in the most natural way possible.

Other advantages

Another advantage of this type of lens is that they are relatively small and therefore lighter. They are also relatively inexpensive while providing excellent image quality with excellent sharpness. Many also offer a maximum aperture much larger than that offered by other types of lenses, zoom lenses in particular and at a very reasonable cost. This feature is particularly popular for photojournalism work, especially in low light or at night, for example.


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