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"who needs full frame"

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Learning, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I am not shouting. Those capitals are from the cover of AP. Well they were capitals until I previewed my post. Also DXx in the tag field was DX until the tag processor complained.
    It seems that from the article we all need full frame. The results of a test between an Alpha 77 and a Canon EOS 5D Mkll are unequivocal.

    But hang on. I don't need to print to A2. If I did then I would buy a Blad or scan large format.
    I don't need wide angle; I hardly use my Sigma 10-20.
    I do use my 70-300 Nikkor often and a Sigma 150-500 more than the 10-20. I do not want the bulk and mass of long full frame long lenses and I suspect that my extended family would rather inherit cash rather than a £5000 pound camera with even more expensive lenses. After all if I went full frame it would be D4 not D800(E).

    There are some of us who want a flagship DX camera.
  2. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    At the moment, I have two full frame Canon bodies, (5D & 5D II); a 50D APS-c, this probably gets most use; and a 1D Mark III - APS-h, I think.

    When purchased, I had good reasons for each one at the time - in particular the 1D Mark III which is large, heavy and now has the lowest MP count of the set. For a period with the lenses and extenders I had, it gave me the best shots of birds, but I now think that honour has gone to the 50D which has the highest pixel density, and as I rarely use high ISOs my images are fine. (If money wasn't an issue, I'd get a 1D Mark IV for its extra pixels.)

    However, I do like the view through the viewfinders of my 5D bodies, and most importantly the majority of my lenses work as I expect them to do. The 5D Mark II has plenty of MP so that I can crop if I need to. Of course, wide-angles work as intended.

    BUT, the lenses are large and heavy and it's not a casual event when they get taken out. Even if sensor resolution could be raised 10-fold, and the lenses reduced to roughly a third of their current dimensions, there would still be the problem of angular wobble to contend with, so firm tripods would still be necessary. However, the drop in weight of the lenses would be welcome. I expect the tripods would have to remain heavy so as to provide a firm support.
  3. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Well I have seen A2 print from the 5DMKII and even that require interpolation.

    A2 is 34MP at 300ppi. So it needs 162% upscaling to fit. So the A77 extra 3MP does not get you far anyway.

    Hence until now A2 300ppi has been MF. Hence Nikon's move to 36MP. :)

    Also now A2 printing at 300ppi is lot cheaper because all the labs geared up for it (they saw this coming). So alot more shooters are going print to A2.

    But I agree there is quite a penalty for using FF in the weight stakes. Unless we see some more mirrorless cameras with FF sensor on board.
  4. Atavar

    Atavar Well-Known Member

    If they had tested the DX sensor against a 2012 full frame sensor and not one designed in '08. (Think D4, D1 top ISO in the 100k area) i think the verdict would still be the same, don't you?

    I found the bit on Quantum Efficiency interesting, managed to miss that article so i'll have to go through my back-issues and read all about it. Unfortunately they were filed using the Bedroom Floor Indexing method, so it may take some time... :(
  5. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Compare for example the Canon 5D mk 2 full frame body and the Canon 7D APS-C body, these have fairly similar specifications except for the sensor size and pretty much the same build quality. According to the specifications on the Canon website, the size of these bodies is also very similar (152 x 113.5 x 75mm vs 148.2 x 110.7 x 73.5mm) and the full frame version is actually 10g lighter (810g vs 820g).

    True, you can get lighter APS-C cameras than the 7D, but they aren't built to the same standard. You have to compare like with like, and the direct experience from the Canon range is that the smaller sensor makes a totally insignificant difference to the size or weight of the package.
  6. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler


    And compare an Olympus E-5 to either of those cameras, too...
  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Will look forward to reading this AP.
    "Need" is a very subjective word. There are advantages of FF for wide angle use and disadvantages ( of cost, weight) for long lens use. My preference is for the full frame, the price increment to medium format is still too great for me but I prefer the field of view of a 6x6 over that of 24x36. On the other hand. If I was calculating whether to buy a 600 m lens on ff compared to a 400mm lens + crop body the latter would be favoured.
  8. AlecM

    AlecM MiniMe

    The answert is 'me'!
    Simply because it just feels 'proper' to me. Unfortunatley, I have no scientific reason. I like the viewfinder of my D700 so much more than I did the D300 (now moved on to a new owner). I can only hypothesise that I grew up using 35mm SLRs, so the FX feels more like 'home' - anything else just isnt the same - down to the ridiculously loud slap of the mirror in the D700 (useful as a bird-scarer in my experience)!:D

    Then there's my old AF-D lenses doing their 'proper' thing on the FX body. Could it be my brain just working in 35mm (it's like the old metric vs imperial thing again)?
  9. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    That's one of my reasons as well, but at a recent camera fair I was able to look through the viewfinder of an OM-2, and I think that was better still. In my collection, I have a Nikon F3HP, and that expensive viewfinder is very pleasant to use.
  10. LargeFormat

    LargeFormat Well-Known Member

    This caused me to get out my OM-2 and compare it with my a900. Putting aside that the OM-2 is so beautiful and small it was the viewfinder that I was interested in. In spite of the OM-2 having an f1.4 in place compared with the a900's f2.8 the latter was bigger and brighter.
  11. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I do!

    I still have and, very occasionally, use two F5 bodies. It is much easier to choose between film and digital if all one has to do is select the appropriate body.
  12. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    If we are talking about just sensors here then they should have just tested the 5DMKII against the NEX7 instead.

    There you have no 70% mirror. :)

    Also that would be interesting in that the NEX7 might very well be the future of all cameras down the line especially in the consumer market.

    If Sony do have another sensor in the cupboard ie 48MP FF sensor.

    A NEX9 with that onboard and 3 million dot EVF might raise a few eyebrows. :D
  13. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    Is it any reason why someone doesn't produce something in-between? FF sensor costs 20 times that of a aps-c. There must be some middle ground there were your getting a large sensor but the costs are still reasonably low. Is the aps-c the largest you can go before prices sky rocket?
  14. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    You're describing APS-h as used in the Canon 1D range of DSLRs (original 1D, 1D II, IIn, III, & IV). They have a crop factor of 1.3 as opposed to the normal factor of 1.5 (Nikon), or 1.6 (Canon) for APS-c. The 1D range of camera bodies are large & heavy.
  15. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Yeah, sizes are covered here.

  16. rjbell

    rjbell Well-Known Member

    Yes i'm aware of the aps-h but this was still an expensive sensor to produce as far i'm aware. There must be a point where the price is say double or triple or even more but still a sensible price to produce over the 20 times of the FF
  17. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    The full frame 1Ds mk3 was pretty much double the price of the APS-H 1D mk3.

    Dunno how much of the difference in price is down to the sensor as I suspect the 1D sells in much higher numbers than the 1Ds....or at least I know way more people with a 1D than a 1Ds.
  18. John_Black

    John_Black Member

    Both Canon 1D and Leica M8 have sensors between APS-C and full 135 and both are being replaced by full frame successors. So long as you are using telephoto lenses the cropped sensor has moderate advantages as well as disadvantages. However if you want to use wide angle and T/S lenses the cropped sensor has only disadvantage to set against the cost. Whatever lens you use the full frame SLR is letting two and a quarter times the light, compared to the APS-C so the viewfinder is always brighter or bigger.

    Tim Coleman in his article did not explore the above issues. What he did establish is that todays APS-C sensors are about as capable as the full frame sensor introduced three years previously; this is not a surprise. He also established that after three years the Canon 5D MkII is still at the leading edge and has justified it's winning the vote as the all time great.
  19. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Not at all - I have the 90mm and much prefer it on a 7D to a 5D2, especially when using it with extension tubes. (I got it to use instead of a 100mm macro on a tripod)
  20. PhilW

    PhilW Well-Known Member

    "Need" is a very strong word in the context of a hobby. I can't really say that I evem "need" a camera, let alone an expensive one.

    But I certainly can say that given the opportunity I'll never own a less than FF dSLR

    For me (and these things are personal) the pro's and con's of FF are:

    - Bigger brighter viewfinder
    - smaller dof possible with a given lens
    - lenses perform as expected

    - cost
    - lenses perform as expected

    to the down sides: Cost, well I can afford one, so not a major issue. The lens thing is a double edges sword. I like to use wide range sometimes, so FF is good there, but I don't benefit from the extended reach from the crop factor.

    On the plus side the viewfinder is probably the most important, as I for one found I compose better shots through my 5D for example over my Samsung cropped sensor. Narrow dof is essential for my style and FF gives me more (or less lol) of it.

    People have mentioned the bulk and weight of FF kit. I have excluded it from my list as it's neither a pro or a con for me. Even with my 70-200 f2.8 L on my 5D I don't find the weight an issue, even for all day use and wandering around. I am built like brick sh*t house though :D

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