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Which micro four thirds lens comes the closest to the human eye?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Dede, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Dede

    Dede Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 10, 2011

    I'm very interested in a native lens for my Olympus E-PM1 that equals the view of my human eye. Which lens comes the closest to the view of the human eye? (I figure the 20mm, but how close does it come?)

    Thanks in advance
  2. chrith

    chrith Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 12, 2010
    olympus 9-18 at the wide end
  3. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    The human eye sees at s 21mm FOV if I recall correctly, so 10.5 mm in M43 format
  4. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Theres a good discussion over here on this very topic

    Cameras vs. The Human Eye

    Quick answer would appear to be the 20mm or 25mm Panasonic or 25mm Voigtlander which corresponds to a 50mm full-frame prime lens approximating an image the brain is happy with as a good representation of what the eye sees.

    Long answer (as described in the article) is that it depends on a lot of different factors (conclusion - the human eye is an amazing thing!).

    Edit - looking at the other responses it looks like I'm in the wrong end of the scale :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    The eye is a very, very wide angle lens. Much more so than anything you're likely to print, and the aspect ratio of 4/3 (and every other camera system) is all wrong to emulate that. It's generally accepted that 20-25mm in :43: is going to produce the least distortion compared to what we're accustomed to seeing.
  6. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Basically it's easier to train your eye to see what the lens will see than it is to match a lens to your eye.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    This is kind of a loaded question, and both answers above are true, in their own way. You can see about 160 degrees field of view, for instance when looking forward and seeing something coming at you. The usual 43-50mm lens equivalent field of view is an estimate, because when you look at something, it is only a smaller area that you are able to focus on, and while things are happening in your peripheral, you can't really get a good idea of what's happening. You couldn't read a book in your peripheral vision, for example. So, this angle of "conscious attention" is more like 55 degrees, which is somewhere between a 20-25mm lens on our cameras. Also, this angle of view preserves perspective and magnification, as we see it.
  8. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    You're right, it's is a loaded question :smile:

    As phigmov says, the human eye sees very wide. It also essentially sees in fisheye, which the brain then sort of software corrects (who said it was cheating?!).

    But then the human eye is very sharp in the centre and very soft away from the centre, so in terms of what you actually see, you're looking at 35-50mm (full frame equivalent). But then the human eye tends to see a specific subject with an awareness of the surrounding context, so in that regard we're closer to 35mm than 50mm, which slightly isolates the subject.

    In terms of a 'neutral' view - that is, one that isn't magnified when you bring a 100% 1x viewfinder to your eye, my understanding is that it correlates to the diagonal of the sensor/film. Hence Pentax's legendary 135 format 43mm Limited.

    Not sure exactly what the diagonal of a MFT sensor is?
  9. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    human eyes are wide angle but most of it is not in focus so maybe it's equivalent of 12mm at f1.4 or so on full frame.
  10. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    My understanding is that we also see with very deep depth of field (or, perceived depth of field, due to the eye's ability to focus very rapidly), so probably not an f1.4...

    Actually, does some smart person here know if the human eye does actually have a measurable 'focal-length'?
  11. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Perfect example! I was considering mentioning the Pentax 43mm, I thought about it, and it's actually the reason that I typed 43mm above as the limit of normal focal length :smile:

    By the way, the 4/3 diagonal of 22.5mm is technically the ONLY parameter that is fully specified, which is why even though the current sensors are 4:3 aspect, to maximize the lens capabilities, any other aspect that preserves a 22.5mm diagonal is still considered 4/3. That's my understanding of the system, anyway.

    Kind of. You need to introduce the caveat that with the human eye, only the center is in focus, while a 12mm f/1.4 lens would have a plane of focus parallel to the image plane, considering that it isn't a tilt/shift lens, and is functioning correctly, etc. So maybe it's more correct to say parallel

    I think his f/1.4 statement is because of what I mentioned above, about a lot not being in focus, but saying that it's like f/1.4 isn't really correct, because with the eye, a portion of the image is in focus, while with a lens, a plane is in focus.

    I think we established pretty well above what the focal length of the eye is. If you're considering what you can focus on, it's about 45-55 degrees field of view, although this isn't true for all people, in all situations. I've read online somewhere that the human eye has about a f/2 aperture. Stick your finger 5-8cm away from your eye, focus on it, and enjoy the bokeh :rofl:
  12. AbsolutKev

    AbsolutKev Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 6, 2011
    Johor, malaysia
    Wow! Im confused..... Haha...
    But my advise is to hop down to the rental store n test it out b4 rentin it. Dat way u can c wat s best for u. :)  cheers n all e best
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