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"who needs full frame"

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

  1. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    You'd still notice the difference between a 300mm f/2.8 and a 500mm f/2.8 though - through your arm as well as through the wallet. Much as I prefer full frame, a smaller sensor (within limits) certainly makes sense at longer focal lengths - and the small loss of image quality may not be important if you're working in good light.

    I still think it's possible to build a good quality full frame DSLR that's no larger or heavier than the Olympus OM-1. And yes, I'm well aware that it wouldn't suit everyone - but I reckon there are a lot of potential customers out there who would like one if it became available. Unfortunately, it looks like the manufacturers are united in their determination to deny us the choice.
  2. LargeFormat

    LargeFormat Well-Known Member

    Some five years ago nearly everyone on the forum seemed to think dSLRs needed to be bulky and heavy. It was suggested that smaller lighter cameras couldn't be held steady and the controls couldn't be operated by anyone with small hands. Putting my OM-2 next to my a900 just shows how far apart the two are. It isn't just the body, which would be even worse with the vertical grip, but the lenses are huge.

    PS says:
    Might be the solution. I'm pretty convinced that Sony has a 48MP sensor. It is the only explanation I can think of for giving Nikon a clear run with the 36MP unit. The NEX mirrorless solution allowing 100% of the light to the sensor is the way it will go and could even be the a9x bearing in mind how long that is taking although, to be fair, it is currently very much on par with the Canon 5D3 so long as it doesn't take too long.
  3. AlecM

    AlecM MiniMe

    I use a grip on my D700. About the biggest lens I use is my 30mm f2.8 with 2x converter. Using a smaller body, or removing the grip, doesn't feel right. Having that fast a lens requires lots of glass and it's always going to be heavy (someone will now mention Canon's weight-saving fluorite developments, but you know what I mean!)
    I was all 'fingers & thumbs' the other day when shooting with my FE (apart from the 'chore' of winding on, I kept having to adopt some strange hand shapes.
    My hands fit the D700 perfectly so, whilst I'm not suggesting bigger is always better, it suits me and the photography I do, just fine.
    I might venture that if the D4 had a 1.3 crop sensor like some of the pro Canons, that extra bit of reach might have prompted me to start asset-stripping the garage.:D
    As it is, something of Biblical proportions will need to happen to put the D800 + grip in range (didn't they have interest-free credit in Revelations......?);)
  4. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    I take it you mean 300mm with 2x TC? :)
  5. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    I always thought that 666 was a misprint of 6%.....;):D
  6. AlecM

    AlecM MiniMe

    Indeed. The TC20E mkIII AF-S Teleconverter to be precise. Damn, I was avoiding typing all that! ;)
  7. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    I think you mean DO technology.:)
  8. AlecM

    AlecM MiniMe

    :D good one!
  9. AlecM

    AlecM MiniMe

    Ah, DO.....doh!

    ...as I say, you know what I mean....;)
  10. alanS

    alanS Well-Known Member

    I have a 35mm "full frame" DSLR, an APS-C and a couple of MFT's. The full frame DSLR gives the highest image quality but there isn't much in it and I can shoot the MFT in low light with lower ISO's so that evens things up a bit. The MFT arguably has a better VF too as it's brighter than that of my full frame camera and allows accurate focusing in light too low to even manually focus the full frame camera. So that's another factor in favour of a smaller format camera.

    For anyone who grew up with 35mm cameras there could be appeal in full frame digital cameras even if there is no image quality advantage and even if the VF isn't as bright and low light useble as that of other formats because lenses will give the FoV they're used to and also DoF they expect. I can get shallower DoF from MFT by using a wide aperture and reducing the camera to subject distance or by using a longer lens at wide aperture. These tricks will give shallow DoF but not the exact spacial relationships, magnification, DoF and look that the 35mm full frame camera will give.

    So, just because I'm old and used to the old stuff and the way things used to work and look I want a full frame camera.
  11. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    :confused: your last section seemed to argue for MFT but you say "I want a full frame camera" which you have? :)
  12. alanS

    alanS Well-Known Member

    You are confused aren't you? :) I waffled on at length to say that although some smaller formats may match important things like FF IQ and VF or even better them they can not match exactly the framing and DoF and relationships of a FF shot. Let me explain further, just for you :)

    A 25mm lens on MFT will give you the same FoV as 50mm on FF but not the exact look at the same aperture. Use a wider aperture and you will get the same DoF but not the exact magnification / look... if you follow me. Use the same 50mm lens on MFT that you'd use on FF and you still can't get the exact look becuase the framing will be different or you'll need to increase your camera to subject distance and change things still further. Use a longer lens on MFT and... it gets difficult doesn't it? You can get the same DoF or even shallower from the smaller format cameras and you can get nice framing and vcery nice shots but you can not match exactly (or at least not without a whole load of hassle and work) the FF shot.

    You can get a very nice shot from MTF (or any other format) but it'll be a different shot to the one you got from FF and if you have fond memories of 35mm film and how you used to shoot that might matter.

    That was and is my point :)
  13. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Well first the article was comparing APS to FF which is a crop factor of 1.5x so a 50mm is created at 33.33mm on the APS camera. So DOF impact issues are less on that cropped down sensor.

    But in alot of cases you can compensate by adjusting the f stop value and get nearly the same DOF.

    In the case of a APS to FF it is 1.5 stops actually I think it is the crop factor. So if you shot at f5.6 for a DOF on a 50mm you would just shoot a f4 or just under and get a similar look on a 33mm on a APS sensor.

    It only becomes a issues if both lenses at their widest setting say both at f/2.8

    All of the consumer level cameras out there have sensors either APS or smaller. Pros look for FF sensors because they offer more resolution and better noise handling (higher ISOs).

    7D with a 33mm lens get 10.2ft of DOF on a subject at 10ft when f8 selected.
    5D with a 50mm lens get 09.76ft of DOF on subject at 10ft when f11 selected.

    That is going to look pretty close in the final image because the DOF is 5inches out.

    Have look at this calculator and run some numbers.


    A MFT camera like the E510 it needs f5.6 on a 25mm in that case you get 9.87ft at 10ft which is 1inch out.

    This is why smaller sensors do become a pain because in certain situations you end up with DOF you don't want. So it is best to have NDs around for MFT in case you want a wide f stop and you want to keep a low shutter speed for blur effect.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  14. Jacqui Jay

    Jacqui Jay Grasshopper's Sage

    Alex, do you recommend the grip? I have the D800 on order and, as you know, it is lighter than the D700. I am used the carrying the D3X with the same lens/TC as you so I will welcome the lighter camera but am wondering about the balance when the D800. Does the grip give an additional shutter?
  15. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

  16. alanS

    alanS Well-Known Member

    It's not just a matter of DoF though is it? And Lord protect us from DoF tables :)

    I know you can get less DoF from a smaller format. All you have to do is fiddle with your lens focal length, aperture and camera to subject distance and there you go - less DoF, but you have to work very hard indeed to get the same shot, even if it's possible because DoF isn't the whole story, it's a combination of the factors that make each focal length and the shots produced very slightly different. You can probably get as good a shot and you can probably get a better shot with, for example MFT, different lenses, different apertures and different camera to subject distances but not the same shot. To get, for example, a FF, 50mm shot at f2, 25ft from the subject you need a FF camera and a 50mm lens at f2 and 25ft from the subject and anything else is only going to be very close.

    The differences between for example FF 50mm and MFT 25mm may be small and may even be invisible to some but if you're used to the look you got with a certain lens when used on full frame you may well see a difference when using a 25mm lens, the exact same 50mm lens or 75mm lens on MFT. My most used camera at the moment is a MFT with 25mm f0.95 lens but I also want a FF camera because I grew up with 35mm cameras and because I now have FF, APS-C and MFT and have convinced myself that I see the tiny differences.

    Anyone else can make their own mind up :)
  17. PhilW

    PhilW Well-Known Member

    But that's exactly where it counts. My starting point with any of my lenses is wide open. 1.8 for the 50mm and 85mm, and 2.8 on my 70-200. That's because for me getting a tiny DoF is more important than using the optimum aperture for sharpness (usually stopped down 2 stops-ish).

    So with any of my lenses, wide open I will get less DoF with FF. And that's enough for me to "need" FF.
  18. Old git

    Old git In the Stop Bath

    On the other hand.....

    I am entirely happy with my E510. It's small (even with the power grip) convenient and takes images that are sufficient for my needs. For that and economic reasons I have no need of FF
  19. PhilW

    PhilW Well-Known Member

    Precisely - it's an entirely personal decision

    For me, size and weight are irrelevant. It's not unheard of for me to wander round on holiday with my 5D kit and my Bronica!
  20. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    ...and some steroids to help carry them round...:D

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