Typical use of the normal lens

The normal lens is superior to all other lenses in many situations. One of the most common situations involves a dimly lit room interior. The occasion may be a party, a business meeting or just a gathering of your immediate family. The shared element is a low light level.

Flash is often employed to overcome low light levels, but it has its drawbacks. In the first place flash pictures can't be taken unobtrusively, as can available light pictures with a fast lens. Second, flash destroys natural lighting, producing flat, shadowless images. Finally, focusing is still a problem, since it has to be done in relative darkness before the flash is fired. Clearly a fast normal lens has the edge.

If you know you are going to be involved in a dim light situation, use ISO setting of 400 and above. If possible turn on more light, or do anything else you can to raise the illumination level and fill in shadowy room corners. When you take indoor pictures with a wide open lens, try to keep all important subject elements about the same distance from your camera. Otherwise, because a large aperture greatly reduces depth of field (especially at close range), many parts of your pictures will be annoyingly out of focus. With outdoor scenes at night subject placement is not as critical to sharpness, because greater distances result in increased depth of field.

Another area in which normal lens has a clear advantage is vacation photography. Most people on a pleasure trip use a camera merely to record the experience and not to indulge in serious projects requiring several lenses. They prefer to travel light and a camera with just its normal lens allows them to do so. This combination not only serves the needs of the casual picture taker but it also provides a versatile tool for the talented hobbyist. At least 90 percent of all vacation subjects can be handled by the normal lens.

A camera with one lens is easy to carry aboard a plane, easy to carry on long walks and easy to keep track of during busy vacation times. If the lack of a wide angle lens keeps you from capturing an entire scene, photograph it in sections. You may like a piece better than the whole anyway. If the lack of a telephoto lens prevents you from obtaining a close up of a distant subject, try to move nearer or have the normal lens image enlarged. Better still, concentrate on the thousands of subjects that are ideal for your normal lens.

A small flash takes a little extra space but it permits you to photograph many subjects with greater ease. It will match the angle of view of your normal lens and will often give you better lighted record shots.

One big advantage of using only a normal lens, whether on vacation or not is that it is always in place on your camera and ready to go. There is no need to ponder the matter of which lens to use. There is also no need to change lenses because the wrong one happens to be attached.

The normal lens is a good people lens. Babies, children and adults are all rendered with good detail and perspective from a comfortable distance. Tight, heads only portraits are not recommended because of the perspective distortion, but if people are approached no closer than about 1.5 meters (5 feet), they are treated kindly.


More about Normal Lens Features

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