This is on a Sony NEX, so the 35-mm equivalent focal length is 75mm.

What kind of photography is this focal length good for?

I shoot low-light, landscapes / cityscapes, and the typical vacation photos. I rarely shoot portraits, people, kids or pets, macros, or studio shots.

I have the 19mm and 35mm prime lenses, and I was wondering if I need a 50mm lens, either the f/1.8 prime or a zoom lens (I don't have one). Thanks.


1 Answer 1


A common answer is that slightly longer than normal lenses such as your 75mm FF equivalent are great for portraits. Two reasons for that are:

  1. The angle of view is about right for filling a frame with a person from a distance that won't cause a lot of perspective distortion. If you stand close enough to your subject to fill the frame with their face using a wide angle lens, the center of the face will be exaggerated -- you'll give them a larger nose than they really have. Long lenses, on the other hand, do the opposite: they compress distances, making subjects look somewhat flat.

  2. Less important, but still a consideration, is that a normal-ish lens puts you at a distance that's comfortable for most subjects -- you're not sticking the camera right in their face, nor are you so far back that you need to shout to be heard.

If that's the kind of answer you're looking for, then perhaps you don't need this lens since you don't shoot portraits.

Keep in mind that lenses don't care about the subject and will happily shoot whatever you point them at, so rather than thinking in terms of categories, consider whether you have a need or want for a lens with a 26 degree angle of view.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 ...lenses don't care about the subject... \$\endgroup\$
    – Christian
    Nov 1, 2013 at 13:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, Caleb. Unfortunately I don't know whether or not I need a 26-degree angle of view. Would you say that it's too narrow for my kind of photography (low-light and outdoor)? Or would you say that it will let me shoot the interesting part of a scene without the secondary stuff that comes in at the sides when you use a normal or wideangle lens? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 3, 2013 at 4:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you don't feel a deficiency in what you've got, you don't need anything else. At some point you might say to yourself: Boy, it seems like I'm always cropping my photos to show just the middle part. What a waste of pixels. I wish I had a way to use my whole sensor to record just the middle part of the photos I'm taking. When that day comes, it'll be time to look at buying a longer lens. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Nov 3, 2013 at 6:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I wish I could accept your comment, but since I can't, I've accepted your answer. Thanks again, Caleb. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 4, 2013 at 14:14

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