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04-28-2009, 08:40 AM   #121
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QuoteOriginally posted by Art Vandelay II Quote
It seems like most all of these full frame vs APS-C debates center around IQ. I can't be the only person that thinks both formats have more than good enough IQ.

For me it's a tunnel vision thing. APS-C bodies view finders simply aren't as good as FF view finders; period. This weekend I tested out a Nikon D3, D700, Sony A900, and Canon 5D Mk II; then played with a K20D & Olympus E3. All I can say is don't ever try and use a APS-C or 4/3's camera after picking up an A900. The E-3 felt especially good in my hand (better then the K20D even), but with the memory of the A900 fresh in my brain I couldn't get over the feeling that I wasn't seeing the whole picture. It's very similar to dropping down from a 50" TV to a 32" model.

That said, I'm not a telephoto junkie (my longest lens is 100mm), and if I where I'd shoot APS-C or 4/3's just because fast 300mm+ full frame lenses weight almost as much as my car. So I think it just comes down to what you want to do. For wild life photography I'd personally get an E3, D300, Canon 50D, or K20D, but for portrait shooting and general photography under 135mm's or so then I just don't see much of a case for APS-C aside from price.
Your canoe is in the mail.

04-28-2009, 09:19 AM   #122
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
Its a matter of degree. Please read the link I posted. If you think the Canon 17-40 F4 has "acceptable" edge performance, fine.

Also, film is not so sensitive to incident light angles. The problem is less pronounced.
Steve, I have used the 17-40f4L on a 5D quite extensively and I have to agree with you: at f4 the corners are a blurry mess and you have to get to f8 to get the excellent sharpness FF deserves: not a stellar lens in my book and I had to let that one go.

But I also use the 24-105L and the 70-200f4L and both are more than acceptable in the corners, even at f4.

Furthermore, the Sigma 12-24 is also quite amazing given the giant field of view, even though it is a slow lens (f4.5-5.6) but maybe it was designed for digital (? I don't think so but I am not sure?).


Older 35f2 is outstanding from f2, 50f1.4 is so-so until f2.8, outstanding after (I bet my FA would have been better), 100mm macro is excellent from f2.8 so... what can we make of that? That some lenses are better than others?

As you pointed out, not all "old" 24x36 lenses need to be recalculated for digital FF, actually, even older primes (M42) are pretty amazing on FF.

In fact, most good lenses would probably only need minor tweaks to offer good performances on FF and I am 100% sure that the problem is elsewhere and has more to do with economics and strategy.

Ned made it sound like most older lens designs just wouldn't cut it on FF and that it was THE big problem one had to solve before going FF.

To me, it's just a more acceptable (or politically correct) justification of why Pentaxians shouldn't wait too much for a FF than saying: "We don't have the finances to run three rabbits at the same time so don't wait for a FF from us anytime soon..."
04-28-2009, 09:23 AM   #123
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Regarding Ned's justification for not releasing a FF body, It might make sense on the short term but really not on the long term.
At this point I have been craving for a Pentax FF digital to go with my FA Limited. I am very well set with my two K20D and the two DA* zoom so I would not buy a new APC-S body or lenses for a long time - specially with the recent price increase.
On the other end, I would purchase the equivalent of a D700 in Pentax mount. Or even better the equivalent of a Pentax LX or MX in digital FF. Do I need dozens of lenses to justify this - no. If enough current Pentax owners are interested in getting a FF digital setup and purchase a new FF body and FF lenses, it could become a more interesting proposal than everybody staying with current setup. On the current technology, would the future K30D, represent such an improvement over the K20D that I would upgrade...unlikely.
What I have been doing is starting to shoot film - FF it is - a couple of used bodies, a scanner and I am set.
So I have purchased already some serious Pentax equipment put to make me open my purse in the future, it would take likely a FF body. Now just looking at the K7 picture, the prism box look so much like a good old film body...of course it has to be spoiled by video, small sensor,.....

Cheers,

Luc
04-28-2009, 09:55 AM   #124
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
I don't get this. Why must lenes be great at the corners in order to make FF viable when the same demand apparently is not mandatory for all other formats? I've shot film; MF and 35mm and APS digital. Whats common for all these formats, with their dedicated lenses, is that many lenses are not that great at the corners. So what?

Of course it is the case for all formats but here the problem is: do older FF lenses good enough for FF sensor?
An FF lens on APS-C sensor will rarely be very bad because it uses only the center of the lens so corner softness isn't a big problem. It will be a lot more problematic on FF sensor.

04-28-2009, 10:04 AM   #125
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I think it's called setting up a strawman arguement.

Writing off the concept of a full frame camera because a few lenses have dodgy corner performance when wide open seems to be the only arguement that they can come up with.

That the three biggest companies aren't buying into it tells me more about who know what than anything else.
Seems the guy who can't read is you.

Ned didn't write off FF concept, it writes off FF now because they do not have lenses to put on it, which is quite logical.
Having FF lenses and no FF camera isn't a big deal (except price/weight of lenses) the opposite is plain stupid, you'd be the first to cry because there's no lens to put on the body.
04-28-2009, 10:09 AM   #126
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I think we should open a dedicated FF vs APS-C subforum.

Then every day we can start a new fight, a new thread.

I know its tempting to start, Im tempted myself, mostly because of all the misconceptions and the full picture of pros and cons never seems to be presented.

Maybe one should make a sticky with a list of facts and findings regarding this. doubt that would bury it tho.

Myself I am pro FF, but I know pentax will not make one, or an APS-H one in any foreseable future so its tiering that ppl think a camera will be FF every time a rumor comes along of a new camera. saying the K-7 might be FF is like saing it might have a built in coffee maker at this point.
04-28-2009, 10:10 AM   #127
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
I can't believe this thread devolved to another "FF is better" slapfest.
FF is "better". Bigger sensors generally are for the sharpness and data they can capture. There is no dispute on this point.

The question is: Is the significant cost increase for the FF system (body + glass) worth the marginal increase in IQ given the majority of shooting situations?

Ned's answer is no, reflecting the general Pentax conclusion. Pentax would rather see you buy their 645D MF for that level of investment, because the differences are less incremental, and serve to better differentiate the market.

For Pentax, already struggling with a market share problem, the issue for FF becomes one of trying to satisfy a minority of users in a minority of shooting situations. FF would only exacerbate their market share problems, diverting resources from the larger goals. That's a poor business model.

The issue about glass and edge quality is based on the price/performance factor. The more one pays for an FF system, the more likely the demand that the entire equipment system meet the expectations. Outstanding sensors demand outstanding glass for that level of investment. Many quibbles about the quality of glass have the subtext regarding this price/performance measure.
04-28-2009, 10:11 AM   #128
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Of course it is the case for all formats but here the problem is: do older FF lenses good enough for FF sensor?
An FF lens on APS-C sensor will rarely be very bad because it uses only the center of the lens so corner softness isn't a big problem. It will be a lot more problematic on FF sensor.
That's really not the point. FF lens edge problems on FF are no worse than DA lenses edge problems on an APS DSLR. Have you seen the edge performance of the DA* 16-50/2.8?

04-28-2009, 10:11 AM   #129
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
1. By emphasizing the high ISO qualities you're changing the yardstick. High ISO resolution is not necessarily a feature of the FF sensor itself. Current MF cameras often don't go over ISO 400 for a variety of reasons. Sensor gain is a technical advancement that relies a lot on software interpretation.
Noise performance is, actually, a function of the sensor, all else being equal. MF backs are tuned to absolute performance at low ISO because high ISO doesn't matter to MF back users for the most part, so that's not really an applicable comparison. All else being equal, lower pixel density will translate to lower per-pixel noise levels. This will continue to be a selling point for FF sensors until we hit the practical density limit for both APS-C and FF, at which point the extra resolution of FF sensor at the same density will still allow it to be downsized to the resolution of the APS-C to reduce noise, so it will continue to have an advantage over APS-C. We're a ways away from that though.

QuoteQuote:
2. Virtually all APS-C cameras sold in 2009 are capable of stunning results that place the format well beyond most 35mm film cameras. So the relative value of APS-C is already proven in a smaller form factor than FF. That's critical to widespread sales. APS-C satisfies 99% of the DSLR market in terms of quality, and it's only going to get better.
99% is your subjective number, but I won't argue against the fact that APS-C is already very capable and more than enough for the vast majority of users.

QuoteQuote:
3. Prosumer APS-C bodies can go substantially lower in price. In fact, I expect they will as they are in the "feature addition" phase right now with HD video come into into vogue. You will likely see APS-C bodies drop into the sub-$400 range, with older models below that. The bodies are not the cost issue (EVF replacing mirrors/prisms). The optics are. That's the FF rub.
Prosumer APS-C bodies won't drop to sub-$400 at introduction anytime soon. I predict the next generation of mid-range FF bodies will be in the low $2K range, and the next generation after that will be sub-$2K. Prosumer APS-C won't drop that much in 2 generations. There just isn't room. But we're both gazing into our crystal balls at this point, and yours might be clearer than mine.

Cost of optics has been the rallying cry for APS-C for a while (Olympus in particular), but how many manufacturers have actually capitalized on the potential? Olympus often charge FF-equivalent prices on their lenses. They've gotten better now that prices have settled down a bit, but they still charge way too much for their lenses that only need to project an image circle big enough to cover a 2x crop sensor. Pentax might be close with their DA Limiteds, but it's hard to compare those to anything since no manufacturers have anything similar. Plus there are very few APS-C lenses, particularly large-aperture primes, that match up in max aperture and image quality to existing FF solutions. So it's all fine and well to say that APS-C optics are cheaper, but until we see top quality APS-C lenses of all varieties, where's the beef?

QuoteQuote:
4. As with most premium products, manufacturers can go a long way to retaining the margins by elevating pricing. In such a small market segment such as FF, there is less incentive to compete on price. Look to the MF market for an example of that dynamic. Again, the optics are the key.
That's true. But FF is much lower on the premium-price-vs-competition scale, i.e., there's a larger market than for MF and more incentive to compete on price. Obviously FF will never be cheaper than APS-C, but it has already dropped significantly (5D was $3300, 5DII is $2700) and will continue to drop more rapidly than APS-C can.
04-28-2009, 10:15 AM   #130
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QuoteOriginally posted by hopey Quote
Because I can use image stabilization to prevent motion blur, right? There's no substitute for more light-gathering ability when you need to capture subjects in motion.
04-28-2009, 10:17 AM   #131
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
That's really not the point. FF lens edge problems on FF are no worse than DA lenses edge problems on an APS DSLR. Have you seen the edge performance of the DA* 16-50/2.8?
No it is exactly the point: people want to reuse their lenses from the past and Pentax of course would have liked to reuse their past FF designs. It is possible but wouldn't be satisfactory because corner sharpness was less an issue on film as well as telecentricity.

Both phenomenon are less when FF lens used on APS-C. Look a the Sony 35/1.4. Soft as hell can be. They need to update the design, for ALL lenses. This is huge.
04-28-2009, 10:23 AM   #132
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QuoteOriginally posted by Art Vandelay II Quote
It seems like most all of these full frame vs APS-C debates center around IQ. I can't be the only person that thinks both formats have more than good enough IQ.

For me it's a tunnel vision thing. APS-C bodies view finders simply aren't as good as FF view finders; period. This weekend I tested out a Nikon D3, D700, Sony A900, and Canon 5D Mk II; then played with a K20D & Olympus E3. All I can say is don't ever try and use a APS-C or 4/3's camera after picking up an A900. The E-3 felt especially good in my hand (better then the K20D even), but with the memory of the A900 fresh in my brain I couldn't get over the feeling that I wasn't seeing the whole picture. It's very similar to dropping down from a 50" TV to a 32" model.
I was going to make this point earlier, but wanted to address the arguments on the table first, namely image quality. I agree regarding viewfinder size. Viewfinders on FF DSLRs are still not as spacious as on the best film SLRs, but they're worlds better than on APS-C DSLRs. After using my 5D, looking into my 40D viewfinder is like looking through a small tunnel, and the 5D's viewfinder isn't even that big for a FF.

For those who aren't aware of how big a difference there is in viewfinder sizes, take a look at this handy reference image:
A comparison of Viewfinder sizes - Canon Digital Photography Forums

Can we get an OM-1 viewfinder in a DSLR one day please?
04-28-2009, 10:28 AM   #133
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
Seems the guy who can't read is you.

Ned didn't write off FF concept, it writes off FF now because they do not have lenses to put on it, which is quite logical.
Having FF lenses and no FF camera isn't a big deal (except price/weight of lenses) the opposite is plain stupid, you'd be the first to cry because there's no lens to put on the body.
Wrongo Thibolious, I wasn't referring to his Illustriousness when I wrote that. Please read my replies in the context they are written rather than making up your own to suit your agenda.
04-28-2009, 10:33 AM   #134
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Wrongo Thibolious, I wasn't referring to his Illustriousness when I wrote that. Please read my replies in the context they are written rather than making up your own to suit your agenda.
Sure my dear Troll, my only agenda I could have would have to make guys like you being kicked out of this forum. Really a shame admins won't. But then, did I massacred your name? Why do you need to it do with mine?
04-28-2009, 10:35 AM   #135
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
I appreciate what FF can bring (high ISO performance is what tickles my fancy), but I surely wouldn't pay current prices for FF bodies just to get good ISO 6400 performance, higher MP count, or better DOF control. I suspect more than 90% of the market won't either, regardless of brand they own. Telling are Nikon and Sony's plans to release more made-for-APS-C lenses. If APS-C is that much of a dead end, why bother releasing such new lenses? They simply could've slowly killed off their existing APS-C lens line and concentrated solely on FF lenses.
I hope I didn't come across as claiming APS-C was a dead end. It's a great format, has its own virtues, and will continue on into the foreseeable future.

QuoteQuote:
For all the negativity espoused by the smaller 4/3 sensor in non-4/3 users, at least there are far less grumbles from Olympus and Panasonic users about FF. They accept that it has flaws, but they work around those flaws and are still upbeat about future sensor tech being able to improve what they have.
I think that's because 4/3 is such a departure from FF--different mount, etc.--that there's no hope for FF for them. When you buy into Olympus or Panasonic you know that you're buying into 4/3 and 4/3 only, whereas with other manufacturers there's always at least the hope of FF. Pentax is now the only manufacturer with a FF-compatible mount and specification that doesn't have a FF camera. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, but that's why there's grumbling about FF amongst Pentax users and not 4/3 users.

Personally I'd much rather see Pentax concentrate on APS-C and becoming the best, most specialized APS-C manufacturer in the market. Pentax has a head start already with DA Limited lenses and just needs to continue to exploit the size benefits of APS-C with more high quality lenses, particularly more large aperture primes. 55mm f/1.4 is a good start.
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