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03-31-2015, 04:41 AM   #1
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Advantages of FF

From what I can discern the advantages of the FF vs. APSC are essentially:

1. Lenses which perform at their "true" focal length.
2. Larger prints at higher resolutions.
3. More dramatic DOF.
4. Having the cachet of a professional.

Am I missing something?

03-31-2015, 04:45 AM - 1 Like   #2
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1) Lenses which has their true "angle of view", focal length doesn't change.
2) yes
3) more little dof
4) I don't think that this is related with the FF / APS-C
03-31-2015, 04:47 AM   #3
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5. Better low light performance.
6. Bigger viewfinder.
03-31-2015, 04:53 AM   #4
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7. Better Dynamic range :-)

03-31-2015, 04:54 AM   #5
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Number one should actually be "Lenses designed for the 35mm frame provide their original field of view".
Number two is only true where the larger format has a higher number of sensels.
Number three is a value judgment that implies a shallower DoF is more dramatic than a deeper one for any given subject.
Number four is the view of an inadequate amateur or pretentious professional (in my opinion).

You could add another few, such as:
A 35FF DSLR can have a bigger, brighter viewfinder than an APS-C DSLR;
Ultra-wide-angle lenses are simpler to design and manufacture for a 35FF camera than an APS-C camera.

Last edited by RobA_Oz; 03-31-2015 at 05:20 AM.
03-31-2015, 05:11 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
Number one should actually be "Lenses designed for the 35mm frame provide their original field of view".
Thank you for this correction.

I admit that this is the biggest draw for me.

QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
5. Better low light performance.
As well as this.
03-31-2015, 05:18 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by oculus Quote
Thank you for this correction.

I admit that this is the biggest draw for me.



As well as this.
Getting the full field of view of the wide to medium FL lenses is a big draw for me as well, having a majority of legacy K-mount and M42 lenses.

Improved low-light, high ISO IQ will be useful, but I have no real problem with the IQ of current APS-C bodies in that regard. I don't mind the output from my Q in low light, but then I tend to judge things based on my film days, including what an OVF should look like…
03-31-2015, 05:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by oculus Quote
1. Lenses which perform at their "true" focal length.
All lenses perform at their focal length. But image circle is another thing. A 50mm lens on medium format will be much wider than 50mm on APSC, even though it is the same focal length. Focal length is a lens property and has nothing to do with camera. But if the camera has a bigger sensor, then it can capture a wider field of view. Of course, this only works if the lens produces an image circle that is big enough to cover the whole sensor. I think what you mean to say was that a lens should be optimized to produce an image circle for the sensor that it will be put on, so the lens is as compact as possible given its focal length and aperture. And now there are plenty of APSC lenses, made by every brand. Look at DA 15mm ltd, Sigma 30mm f1.4,..

QuoteOriginally posted by oculus Quote
2. Larger prints at higher resolutions.
Nope. If FF is 24MP it has the same output resolution as 24MP APSC sensor. So you don't gain anything. The input resolution is higher with APSC, because it has higher pixel density (but this has its downside, as it can cause more digital noise). But yes, a 36MP camera will let you print a higher resolution on a given piece of paper than a 16MP camera. There are no 36MP APSC cameras, because the pixel density would be way high and difficult to manufacture. But if you have more total sensor area, you can end up with higher total pixel count, which is why FF cameras tend to have overall higher MP than APSC cameras. But not always.
QuoteOriginally posted by oculus Quote
3. More dramatic DOF.
Only if by "dramatic" you mean "shallow". Keep in mind that not everyone wants shallow DoF. Often you want a wide DoF, for example in landscape photography, product photography, macro...
And if you use something like Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 or Pentax DA* 55mm f1.4 or DA 300mm, you will still have really really shallow DoF. Oh, and DoF depends on aperture, not on camera (technically lens focal length, aperture, and focus). It only appears to be more shallow on FF because it captures a wider field of view on a given focal length. So it is easier to get DoF that looks shallower on FF, true.
Look at group f64 - their main idea of dramatic photos were photos with ultra wide DoF. And it was difficult to achieve that with those big cameras they used.

QuoteOriginally posted by oculus Quote
4. Having the cachet of a professional.
This is the big one. Unfortunately, a lot of photography has more to do with convincing people that you are a photographer than actually making photos. And you can easily convince them if you have a big camera, that costs a lot, has a lot of MP (only photography term that non-photographers understand), and an established name on the front.

The main advantages of FF were that it was established long ago, so there were plenty of lenses made for it. And it was a sort of sweet spot, not as big as MF, and not too tiny. APSC was made because it was much easier to make a smaller sensor. The other advantage of FF over APSC was wide angle lenses. Wider than 24mm is ultra wide and rather difficult to manufacture, but on APSC 24mm is not that wide. This argument no longer holds, because with modern lens engineering we have plenty of UWA lenses made for APSC format, and they are not that big and they do not cost an arm and a leg.
The other thing that people mention as FF advantage is having bigger pixel sites on the sensor (lower pixel density than APSC). This means they are gathering light from a bigger area and are more separated from each other, so there is less potential for noise. These days, APSC and FF has very similar pixel density and this difference in final quality is not that noticeable.

I think the real difference is that FF cameras are simply bigger and more expensive. And that means the manufacturer will pack it with all sorts of features, add a faster processor, bigger buffer, record more bits, and so on. This is the real reason why FF cameras tend to be better than APSC cameras. And they cost 2x, 3x as much - they better be! A Nikon D810 with a good lens costs much more than K-3 with a good lens, so the D810 better have some advantages. And I expect a Pentax camera that costs as much as D810 would have to perform just as well


Last edited by Na Horuk; 03-31-2015 at 05:38 AM.
03-31-2015, 05:28 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by oculus Quote
From what I can discern the advantages of the FF vs. APSC are essentially:

1. Lenses which perform at their "true" focal length.
2. Larger prints at higher resolutions.
3. More dramatic DOF.
4. Having the cachet of a professional.

Am I missing something?
1. wrong. There is no 'true focal length'. Don't believe those canikon fanbois. 35mm film was amateur stuff.

2. nope. Not 35mm equivalent specific. Prints are just larger with more megapickles. Has nothing to do with sensor size or shape.

3. Nope again.

4. Nope. As said above. Up to the end 35mm film was for amateurs. Because it was TOO SMALL for pros. Pros shot (and shoot) medium format or large format.

From a mf POV the difference between apsc and 35mm is... ridiculous.

Last edited by Volker76; 03-31-2015 at 01:13 PM.
03-31-2015, 05:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Volker76 Quote
. wrong. There is no 'true focal length'. Don't believe those canikon fanbois. 35mm film was amateur stuff.

2. nope. Not 25mm equivalent specific. Prints are just larger with more megapickles. Has nothing to do with sensor size or shape.

3. Nope again.

4. Nope. As said above. Up to the end 35mm film was for amateurs. Because it was TOO SMALL for pros. Pros shot (and shoot) medium format or large format.

From a mf POV the difference between apsc and 35mm is... ridiculous.
Can you explain this last statement? Do you see any advantages at all in a FF camera?
03-31-2015, 05:39 AM   #11
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Those could possibly be the advantages of some FF cameras, certainly not all of them. You're being very generous attributing those things to all FF cameras. So, my comment would be all those things are possible, but not necessarily so. Although with a D810 or Sony A7r you could definitely have them all. I think the biggest attraction to FF is taken as a whole it is really versatile. As long as you're good with the extra weight, inability to use APS-c glass at full resolution, and less DoF per given FL.

Last edited by normhead; 03-31-2015 at 05:53 AM.
03-31-2015, 05:41 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobA_Oz Quote
having a majority of legacy K-mount and M42 lenses.
Likewise. This is actually the reason I chose a Pentax for my first DSLR, the huge variety of legacy glass at relatively inexpensive costs. For me as an amateur, one of the pleasures of using the legacy lenses is haptic as well. They just feel great.
03-31-2015, 05:55 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by oculus Quote
Likewise. This is actually the reason I chose a Pentax for my first DSLR, the huge variety of legacy glass at relatively inexpensive costs. For me as an amateur, one of the pleasures of using the legacy lenses is haptic as well. They just feel great.
I agree. This is the main reason I chose Pentax as well. And I understand that you would want a camera that will squeeze the most out of those lenses.
I gave up on that wish when I noticed how soft many of my m42 lenses are in the corners even on APSC. On FF, those corners would be near the centre of the image, and the FF corners would be even softer (lenses tend to be softer in the edges of their image circle).

Either way, it looks like Pentax is making an FF camera. We expect it to be reasonably priced. FF lenses have already been announced and more will be coming soon. So everyone that wants K-mount FF so much will be able to get it. Its just that Pentaxians have been teased for years about how great FF is, and a number of us have enough.. The problem is that many of those jokes caught on as if they are fact
03-31-2015, 06:04 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by oculus Quote
Can you explain this last statement? Do you see any advantages at all in a FF camera?
A 645 frame is about 3.5 times bigger than a 35mm frame, and a 67 frame is about 5 times bigger. The step up from apsc to FF (approx 2x) seems less impressive in those terms.

I'd still prefer an FF camera over an apsc one though, even with it's measly 2x increase. (645z is a bit too expensive for me)
03-31-2015, 06:12 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by oculus Quote
Advantages of FF
Bragging rights too, mines bigger than yours...
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