The normal focal length: with the Leica Summilux 1.4 50 asph. in Fröslevlejren


Weites.Land besucht immer wieder das KZ in Dänemark nahe der Grenze Dänemark-Deutschland. Das Fröslevlager, im dänischen „Frøslevlejren“ liegt vor den Toren von Padborg am Ortsrand von Fröslev.

Perhaps the most universal focal length: 50mm standard lens (35mm / full frame)

Portrait of the Förslevlejren in Fröslev near Padborg / Danmark


See what you normally see

what is normal?

The Leica M Summilux 1.4 50 asph has been owned for many years. to my favorites. I don’t even care about the high light intensity. I find the 50mm focal length as a normal focal length to be particularly versatile. Because in my eyes the normal focal length 50mm is ideal for what is probably the most versatile lens. No matter which manufacturer.

With the normal focal length 50mm, more precisely with the Leica M Summilux 1.4 50 asph. we have recently portrayed the Danish concentration camp Fröslvelejren near Padborg.

We only see sections

our normal vision

Somehow we try to get as much as possible into the picture while taking pictures. Wide-angle photography sometimes has extreme features. Again and again I look at pictures and let them work on me. Do my eyes stick to the picture or do I already have the next motif? Do I come to rest within the picture? Are my eyes and senses guided?

As a rule, we see only a small part of our surroundings ourselves, and we often focus only on one detail.

No telephoto and no wide-angle lens

The 50mm focal length: between the chairs

The 50mm focal length is frowned upon by some and loved by others. Probably simply accepted by the majority of photographers.

The 50mm focal length (normal focal length) offers exactly the bridge between the wide angle and the family of telephoto lenses.

Fröslev Fröslevlejren, Leica SL 601, Leica M Summilux 1.4 50asph. | ©
Fröslev Fröslevlejren, Leica SL 601, Leica M Summilux 1.4 50asph. | ©

One for everything

The 50mm focal length can do many things correctly, but nothing wrong

Admittedly, the 50mm focal length as a normal focal length does not manage to show a church up close. And it doesn’t create an impressive depth effect in a portrait like a telephoto lens.

But she asks to find a section and tell a story with this section. Because even within the normal focal length, the 50mm focal length, I still have a lot of design freedom, which I do not have in the form of a wide-angle lens or telephoto lens.

From the action

The focus on detail.

The normal focal length or the normal lens forces you to search for a detail in a design sense. Of course, today you can also shoot with a wide-angle lens and then zoom in. This is something I am 99.5 percent opposed to. At pictures are taken, which are then reproduced in the same way.

In maybe 5 out of 1000 pictures, a section is sought if I simply cannot get closer to the subject when taking pictures.

But a prime lens like the 50mm lens can be really helpful to find and pinpoint its cutout. The visual impact will be a much calmer and more concentrated, similar to our natural visual behavior.

Because when we look at things, we do nothing but look for a detail and concentrate on it. Of course there is still something on the right and left and above and below – but we cannot see it. And if we do, we move our eyes or our heads. So with the normal focal length, the normal lens, we look for the point that really interests us. In the end, less information in an image is perceived better and viewed longer than a dynamic image of a wide-angle shot that is overflowing with information.

Fröslev Fröslevlejren, Leica SL 601, Leica M Summilux 1.4 50asph. | ©

"The normal focal length or the 50mm lens is one of the most popular focal lengths in 35mm photography."

Fröslev Fröslevlejren, Leica SL 601, Leica M Summilux 1.4 50 asph. | ©

Details are more exciting than the big picture

With the normal focal length, we discover the former concentration camp in Denmark, Fröslevlejren near Padborg

Again and again we drive not far from the Danish border to Fröslevlejren near Padborg. we do not live far away from the Danish-German border. So the Fröslevlejren has become a place that always touches us.

We can now stand in the middle of the Fröslevlejren and take a look around and take photos around it. This allows us to completely depict the entire Fröslevlejren in just a few pictures.

Or we look for details that we consider concise for Fröslevlejren. And take pictures of them. This is where the normal focal length or the normal lens helps us.

The fate of the individual tells more than a statistical overview

You can feel pictures. Or just see.

Quite often I have the Leica M Summilux 1.4 50 asph in Fröslevlejren. Admittedly, this high light intensity is not necessary. From aperture 2 I would get along perfectly. Because often I have to stop down accordingly to frame my picture. And the hype about the light intensities that are actually superfluous today in digital photography does little to help me.

But in general I have the possibility to control the focus point at a normal focal length with a normal lens and thus to focus on another detail within the image.

Every detail a story

How a concentration camp works

The picture with the telegraph masts is about communication with the command center, in the other the lamp stands for constant control.

Or the entrance gate, which only points in one direction. The barbed wire, which limits the outside perception and participation due to the blurred background.

Or the barrack, whose sign is sharply depicted in the foreground and thus shows that each building has or had its own function. Curious to see what was going on in the next building.

The memorial stone, remotely reminiscent of what happened there in the past, or the plaque with the many names in which one looks for one fate and is still having trouble finding it in the crowd.

In the title picture, I turned the focus point. The face in front is not recognizable. But the place of these people. you want to know who they were. No matter whether perpetrator or victim.

In search of the motif

and in search of history

No matter with which lens you photograph, you should respect the place you photograph with respect. This goes hand in hand with being interested in the place. In this case also for its history.

We should also use the viewfinder as a viewfinder and not focus on the trigger.

And this process helps when using the normal focal length, the normal lens. Because the viewing angle is simply restricted. And so we are motivated to think about what should be included in this picture and what information is not a priority for us

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