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03-03-2017, 09:19 AM   #1
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Using APS-C Lenses on Full Frame Cameras

I've got a few apsc lenses that I actually like (but don't necessarily need) and am wondering if there is any reason to keep them. I've done some reading on the subject already and have found:

Pros:
Smaller Lenses = Lighter Load
Lenses Are Less Expensive

Cons:
Loss of Resolution
Vignetting Due To Not Covering the Full Sensor
More Noise (Claim made by Tony Northrup)

Those seem to be the only things I could find. The cons definitely seem to outweigh the pros and don't really seem to give any reason to ever use the aps-c lenses on full frame. Is there anything missing? Are there any other benefits out there for using asp-c on full frame cameras? Obviously, you always want the right tool for the job, but I really am debating getting rid of my aps-c system entirely (which I love, but don't use as much because of all the benefits the K1 gives over the K3) and sticking with full frame.

03-03-2017, 09:34 AM   #2
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I have a few APS-C lenses that I love and would not give up, and I use them on m K-1. My Sigma 10-20 is one. It i a great lens and I can shoot down to about 15mm FL without vignetting. I can also use this lens on both my K-7 and K-01.

Also, the K-1 has the crop mode, which allows you to automatically make your camera an APS-C sensor camera with about the same resolution as a K-5.

Finally there is the back-up option. I have the K-7 which is now relegated to the back-up camera since I have the K-1. I will still need a nice compliment of lenses to keep this as a back up.

That said, what do you have that you are considering letting go? We all have an LBA that need to be satisfied!

Regards,
03-03-2017, 09:37 AM   #3
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DA lenses on Full Frame: Test Shots thread - PentaxForums.com
03-03-2017, 11:13 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
I've got a few apsc lenses that I actually like (but don't necessarily need) and am wondering if there is any reason to keep them. I've done some reading on the subject already and have found:

Pros:
Smaller Lenses = Lighter Load
Lenses Are Less Expensive

Cons:
Loss of Resolution
Vignetting Due To Not Covering the Full Sensor
More Noise (Claim made by Tony Northrup)

Those seem to be the only things I could find. The cons definitely seem to outweigh the pros and don't really seem to give any reason to ever use the aps-c lenses on full frame. Is there anything missing? Are there any other benefits out there for using asp-c on full frame cameras? Obviously, you always want the right tool for the job, but I really am debating getting rid of my aps-c system entirely (which I love, but don't use as much because of all the benefits the K1 gives over the K3) and sticking with full frame.
Do you already have a K-1? If so, I would keep your APS-C lenses and test them out in Crop mode.
Yes you do lose resolution, but the crop mode takes care of the vignetting and honestly noise wont be much of a factor (if at all).

There were a couple of lenses on APS-C that i really missed a lot when I switched to full frame...such as the Sigma 8-16 and Pentax 16-85mm

03-03-2017, 11:30 AM   #5
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you may also be interested in this discussion Is a K-1 body worth buying if you only own APS-C lenses? - PentaxForums.com.
03-03-2017, 11:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigDave Quote
I use them on m K-1. My Sigma 10-20 is one. It i a great lens
Yes, and theres a thread about using a 1.4x TC(not the DA) where it becomes 14-28 and doesn't vignette.




QuoteOriginally posted by BigDave Quote
Also, the K-1 has the crop mode
Yes, and dont forget 1:1.....chops either end down but retains the height, so vignetting is eliminated on most of the DA lenses.
03-03-2017, 01:10 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigDave Quote
I have a few APS-C lenses that I love and would not give up, and I use them on m K-1. My Sigma 10-20 is one. It i a great lens and I can shoot down to about 15mm FL without vignetting. I can also use this lens on both my K-7 and K-01.

Also, the K-1 has the crop mode, which allows you to automatically make your camera an APS-C sensor camera with about the same resolution as a K-5.

Finally there is the back-up option. I have the K-7 which is now relegated to the back-up camera since I have the K-1. I will still need a nice compliment of lenses to keep this as a back up.

That said, what do you have that you are considering letting go? We all have an LBA that need to be satisfied!

Regards,
I don't think I have anything too coveted, but they are lenses that have worked really well for me in the past. They're just not seeing as much use as I hoped they would.

My APS-C gear is:
K-3
Pentax 18-135
Sigma 17-50 2.8
Sigma 10-20 4-5.6
Rokinon 8 3.5 (Removable lens hood)

I also have these two full frames that I'm considering dealing as well (They overlap too much with other lenses I have):
Tamron 28-75 2.8
Tamron 70-200 2.8

That gear has been very good to me. I really debated keeping it, but I just got a Sony A7ii (which I bought for my A, M, and m42 lenses. Damn, LBA hit me hard) to compliment the K-1. There are just too many good lenses and cameras out there... So much gear, so little time.

---------- Post added 03-03-17 at 12:12 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Do you already have a K-1? If so, I would keep your APS-C lenses and test them out in Crop mode.
Yes you do lose resolution, but the crop mode takes care of the vignetting and honestly noise wont be much of a factor (if at all).

There were a couple of lenses on APS-C that i really missed a lot when I switched to full frame...such as the Sigma 8-16 and Pentax 16-85mm
I do have the K-1 and the problem is that I have lenses that overlap already. My 24-70 replaces my 17-50, etc.

So extra noise is introduced?
03-03-2017, 10:14 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
So extra noise is introduced?
Extra noise is not introduced, but when you take photos in crop mode, it only uses an APS-C-sized portion of the full frame sensor. The image only has about 15 MP, the pixels in that image will be "bigger", so any noise might be more noticeable. Compare this to taking a photo using the entire full frame, it is 36 MP; viewing or printing the two pictures at the same size will result in the effective pixels of the crop photo being bigger, and therefore noise would be more noticeable than in the FF image, depending on your viewing or printing size.

03-03-2017, 11:52 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by leekil Quote
. The image only has about 15 MP, the pixels in that image will be "bigger", so any noise might be more noticeable.
The pixels *aren't* bigger at all.

This is not film.

They will be rendered identically by the output device - 75 DPI or whatever.
03-04-2017, 06:39 AM   #10
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When they come out with a lens as good as my 18-135, like 28 to 200 for a walk around, and it's as good as my 18-135, and a lens as good and competitively priced as my Sigma 8-16. I might consider giving up my APS_c lenses. But I don't have lenses that perform similar functions on my K-1. Well I do have an FA 28-200 but it's a terrible film lens.

As long as I have a 24 MP APS-c body and a 36 MP ff body, there just isn't enough difference to give up all that functionality. I like my K-1 but it's not an efficient camera in terms of range or avoiding lens changes.

Last edited by normhead; 03-04-2017 at 03:17 PM.
03-04-2017, 07:57 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
The pixels *aren't* bigger at all.
Less downsampled? We need a vocabulary to be unified and widely adopted to describe these things.

By way of example, here's the same photo three times cropped more and more,with the dimensions of the crop listed below (in pixels:P), then downsampled to a common viewing size. The crop at each jump is approximately 2x, compared to the 1.5x crop from FF to APS-C (so more extreme). This is iso1600, 1/250s out of a k5iis (and not starting with the full sensor image in the first place). Noise reduction in LR turned completely off.

The moral, to me, is given a fixed output image size, the more you crop the more noise becomes objectionable (with the caveat that you might be able to do a bunch of cropping before you even notice any noise at all). A side-moral is that even the 5+ year old sensor from the k5 series is pretty darn good (and would look even better with some noise reduction), so having to crop your K-1 down to a k5 level of performance isn't going to make you cry.

If it was me with a K1, I'd keep my APS-C lenses until I got around to buying suitable FF replacements then sell off anything redundant (this is assuming no APS-C body is kept as backup). That K1 has an extra enhanced k5-series hiding in it, and there's no reason to be shy about using it in the interim, or even long term if you have an aps-c lens or two that you just love.


03-04-2017, 08:30 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
Cons: Loss of Resolution
Vignetting Due To Not Covering the Full Sensor
More Noise (Claim made by Tony Northrup)
The only problem with noise is listening to the noise coming from Tony Northrups mouth. Seriously, using APS-C lenses on full frame is fine, as long as you're exposing properly and said lens can cover the format: the lens itself will have no effect upon noise levels.
03-04-2017, 08:33 AM   #13
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You mention getting rid of your aps-c system entirely. I guess a few have thought about that, I know I did. But the advantages of the smaller system kept on 'cropping' up and I realised I should keep it. There's the obvious ones of size and reach, but the more nebulous advantages of having both include:
#Having a spare camera and lenses that I'm not to precious about. This is refreshing and rewarding as it opens up newer ways to work/play.
#It's so often handy to have overlapping kit to compare results or to diagnose problems.
#Aims/objectives change. One moment it's trees, then it's scrambling over rocks, then it's buildings. Perhaps it's infrared. Or salty seascapes. Or gritty deserts (like we get a lot in the UK ;-)
The only problem then is storage space ... and the little one of the cash locked up in all that 'spare' kit.
03-04-2017, 09:19 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
You mention getting rid of your aps-c system entirely. I guess a few have thought about that, I know I did. But the advantages of the smaller system kept on 'cropping' up and I realised I should keep it. There's the obvious ones of size and reach, but the more nebulous advantages of having both include:
#Having a spare camera and lenses that I'm not to precious about. This is refreshing and rewarding as it opens up newer ways to work/play.
#It's so often handy to have overlapping kit to compare results or to diagnose problems.
#Aims/objectives change. One moment it's trees, then it's scrambling over rocks, then it's buildings. Perhaps it's infrared. Or salty seascapes. Or gritty deserts (like we get a lot in the UK ;-)
The only problem then is storage space ... and the little one of the cash locked up in all that 'spare' kit.
In addition to the points you bring up, the APS-C lens line up is more fleshed out than the FF line up. Ricoh is making strides definitely, but it will be a while before the FF has the depth and options of the crop side.
03-04-2017, 10:11 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
Those seem to be the only things I could find. The cons definitely seem to outweigh the pros and don't really seem to give any reason to ever use the aps-c lenses on full frame. Is there anything missing? Are there any other benefits out there for using asp-c on full frame cameras?
The primary justification usually presented is if you have APS-C lenses that cover some range lacking in your FF lens arsenal. So if the widest FF lens you have is 28mm and you also own the DA 15, well, if you go wider than 28mm, you're only choice is to shoot the DA 15 in crop mode. I suppose you could also desire to use APS-C lenses if they were better in terms of rendering, color rendition, contrast, etc. than any of your FF lenses — although, if that's the case, it would seem to me you would've been better off sticking with APS-C. I'm probably in a minority here, but I have absolutely zero interest in using APS-C lenses on an FF camera — not because you can't get terrific results (you can, depending on the lens in question and your skill as a photographer) but more from an efficiency standpoint. The notion of dropping $1,800+ on an FF camera and not using the complete sensor would seem to me a waste of money and resources, sort of like running the heater with the windows open or buying a chocolate cake and only eating the cake part while ignoring the frosting.
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