If I want to take a photo from about 600' away from my front door, and I want it to emulate what a person would see with unmagnified view, what mm would I set my camera lens length AND then what size do I print the photo so that it does not magnify what the naked eye was able to see from that distance? I had always heard about 50mm is similar to human eye, however, printing that would change the view depending on the size you print out. I am not interested in the angles off to the sides coming into play, merely seeing that image of my front door and putting it on paper in a way that looks like what I could see focusing on that front door from those 600' away. It seems in my reading it is more complex than necessary (or than I would have guessed), but I hope someone can help me understand a simple way of representing this view on paper. Thank you :)


BTW, I have a Nikon D50 digital and two Nikkor adjustable lenses (28-80 & 70-200) for this project

  • \$\begingroup\$ Related, but not necessarily a duplicate since you're starting from a place where you've thought about it more (including prot size) What lens focal length most closely resembles the human eye perspective? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Oct 27, 2013 at 16:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also worth looking at How to capture the scene exactly as my eyes can see? I think this is basically the same question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Commented Oct 27, 2013 at 16:26
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree this is largely a duplicate question, but it does seem to be focused on field of view -- of course we would also need to know the viewing distance to the print answer this question (otherwise I will take the very easy answer -- print it life size and view at 600' :-) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 27, 2013 at 17:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer. photo.stackexchange.com/a/8919/15871 \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Oct 27, 2013 at 21:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's unclear whether you're going to take the image from your front door, or of your front door from 600' away. Sounds like the former at first, but then you say that image of my front door. So, which is it? Also (and this is critical) from what distance do you plan to view the print? \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


There is no good answer to this question.

Yes, a 50 mm lens will show the scene at about the same size as you would see it directly. However, this applies only when looking through the viewfinder of a camera with a full frame sensor. If your camera has an APS-C size sensor then the viewfinder will show an image that is about 1.5x larger. With other sensor sizes, yet other magnifications apply

Once you print it, all bets are off, as the image size will depend on both the size of the print, and on the viewing distance.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If @niki he has a Nikon D50, he doesn't have a full frame, and the equivalent of a 50mm in his case would thus be a 35mm. \$\endgroup\$
    – Max
    Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 23:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Max That's why I mentioned the 1.5x enlargement, and put in a link to other sizes. \$\endgroup\$
    – hdhondt
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 9:21

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