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03-04-2016, 10:59 AM   #1
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K-1 So What Is Full Frame Going To Provide Over A Crop Frame DSLR

Let's view the major differences: 1) Field of view larger with full frame; 2) Broader dynamic range and better low light/hign ISO performance providing higher quality image on full frame; 3) Full frame preferred in architectural photography due to a wider angle, which is useful in tilt/shift lens; 4) Full frame has a shallower depth of field than a crop sensor DSLR, which can be beneficially aesthetic (more bokeh); 5) Crop sensor DSLR's offer many advantages when it comes to cost and when married to a telephoto lens many of the aforementioned full frame advantages become somewhat less compelling; 5) crop frame DSLR are currently more compact; 6) high end crop sensor DSLR's can provide quality similar to that of a full frame at a fraction of the cost; 7) full frame DSLR provides a bit better overall quality, but the salient point is the type of photography that you shoot and your budget.
It will be interesting to see how the new Pentax K-1 is accepted and at what cost level it will stabilize at. If the cost differential becomes compelling it may prove very interesting.
What are your observations and thoughts on the subject?

03-04-2016, 11:25 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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I think you will find folks that will argue that all of the supposed advantages of FF can be accomplished with a crop sensor.

The only advantage that you missed and perhaps the most important is that you can now say "of course I shoot with FF!" All the cool kids do
03-04-2016, 11:31 AM   #3
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I've been looking at a lot of images here from a lot of sensor sizes lately, and I have to say that the bigger the sensor, the more space there seems to be in the image - even in identical views. Hard to define why, but it's there. I've been scanning a lot of 35mm slides recently after working exclusively with APS-C for a number of years, and I hace the same feeling - it's why I moved from 35mm to 120 (6x7) back in the day
03-04-2016, 11:34 AM   #4
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I think one advantage no one mentions is that on the K1 you will have a little less of a diffraction issue than on the K3, so can shoot at narrow apertures for more DOF in certain instances where you want it. Should be about the same as on the K5 though.

03-04-2016, 11:37 AM   #5
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One big benefit of the FF camera will be that older glass can be used as was originally intended, so far as field of view and depth of field are concerned...
03-04-2016, 11:39 AM - 4 Likes   #6
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I've said this so many times....
1. One stop narrower DoF. (APS-c is already too narrow for me.)
2. Better high ISO performance. (Hard to argue with that one, but,not relevant in every image.)
3. Better DR. ( but this is often relevant only in landscape images, definitely not relevant in many images.)
4. More resolution for large prints. ( Like larger than 20 by 30 inches, relevant for a few, not relevant to most.)

On the down side
1. One stop narrower DoF at the same f-stop. (this can go either way, it's good thing more than it's a bad thing.)
2. Your DA*300 is now the equivalent of a DA* 200, but it's still ƒ4. (relevant in every image.)
3. Slower frame rate. (relevant in a few images.)
4. Bigger more expensive lenses to do the same thing. (relevant in every image.)

Overall, I think the things APS-c does are more relevant to every day shooting than the special things FF does, I'm guessing once I have the FF if I ever manage to swing it, I'll probably use it somewhere between 5% and 20% of the time. It's a nice thing to have, but APS-c gives me more, and many people I know with both still find the crop sensor is their work horse. Most of the time they need more of what the crop sensor does, some of the time they need what the FF does.

Oh ya, and if you have an FF, when the amateurs stand there and gawk at what you're doing, and ask "is that a full frame" you can fulfill their expectations as opposed to always letting them down like I do.

Last edited by normhead; 03-04-2016 at 12:14 PM.
03-04-2016, 12:01 PM   #7
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i already won the popularity contest. So let me state another truth here. That may be a slap in the face. 200mm are 200mm on whatsoever format. AFAIK Pentax has never recalculated focal lengths for aps-c ... not even for Q...
Focal length is focal length. Still.
200mm are still 200mm.
the magnification of a 50mm lens on APS-C, may be equivalent to the magnification of a 77mm lens on FF. That is a fact. and no whining and subliminal calling me a nazi wont change that.

not that anything wrong was stated here "black on white",

but it reads as a the DA*300 would deliver something proportionally different than an FA*300...
proportions - magnification - background compression -> DA*300 - FA*300 --- same.

Last edited by patarok; 03-04-2016 at 12:07 PM.
03-04-2016, 12:12 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by patarok Quote
i already won the popularity contest. So let me state another truth here. That may be a slap in the face. 200mm are 200mm on whatsoever format. AFAIK Pentax has never recalculated focal lengths for aps-c ... not even for Q...
Focal length is focal length. Still.
200mm are still 200mm.
the magnification of a 50mm lens on APS-C, may be equivalent to the magnification of a 77mm lens on FF. That is a fact. and no whining and subliminal calling me a nazi wont change that.

not that anything wrong was stated here "black on white",

but it reads as a the DA*300 would deliver something proportionally different than an FA*300...
proportions - magnification - background compression -> DA*300 - FA*300 --- same.
I don't think there is any magnification going on, rather you are recording a smaller section of the viewed image onto your sensor.

03-04-2016, 12:13 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
On the down side
1. One stop narrower DoF at the same f-stop.
4. Bigger more expensive lenses to do the same thing. (relevant in every image.)
Err.. don't these two contradict each other? If you have one stop narrower DoF for the same f-stop, you could just get a lens that's a stop slower for your fullframe. The size and weight differences there are marginal. The prices probably wouldn't be too far apart either.

Of course, for the same exposure, you'd have to raise your ISO 1 stop (assuming the same shutter speed), which could lead to more noise. But then the fullframe sensor has less noise at the same ISO to start with.

But I'll stop here and not mention the E-word.
03-04-2016, 12:28 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
Err.. don't these two contradict each other?
No... not at all.

"1. One stop narrower DoF at the same f-stop". Refers for the most part to shooting at the sharpest part of the lens,which is ƒ5.6 on many lenses for both APS-c and FF. So, if you're aiming to shoot with the shapers f-stop, APS-c gives you more DoF at that stop. Th FF will be diffraction limited at ƒ8. That would be the theory. Practically, the FF will have slightly more resolution to start with so will likely have a bit more resolution even after crossing the diffraction divide than the APS-c given the same MP. SO, ya, it's pretty much a moot point.

"4. Bigger more expensive lenses to do the same thing. (relevant in every image.)"

This one, I have been beside all kinds of Nikon Canon guys shooting 600mm with my A-400. I can't emphasize enough, this is major if you're using long glass. IN fact for a lot of images these guys are using a 500mm lens for, I'm using the 1.4 TC on my 60-250. The difference in size is pretty dramatic.

Last edited by normhead; 03-06-2016 at 07:21 AM.
03-04-2016, 01:02 PM - 1 Like   #11
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The narrower DoF was the most difficult issue for me to manage when i jumped from m4/3 to FF (sony a7r) a couple of years ago.
Suddenly those flowers in the foreground weren't in focus every time I shot landscapes at F8 whilst auto focused somewhere into the distance or at infinity.
For the first time since my film days hyperfocal distance became a major issue again.
Armed with hyperfocal charts I set off into the deep blue yonder and my automatic lenses with no focus scales on them. Still no reliable results.
Then, I tried checking the accuracy the digital distance scale in the viewfinder whilst using my expensive sony zeiss lenses. Totally inaccurate.
Autofocus a third of the way into the scene at f8 and use live view to check the DoF, the internet suggested. Difficult to do, fiddly, time consuming and unreliable.
Then, I resorted to my much cherished collection of pentax k and pentax m lenses. Fully manual with hyperfocal distance scales. Relief! The flowers are back in focus!

The point of this post is to highlight to landscape photographers the need to be fastidious about the hyperfocal distance when using FF. They may find themselves drawn back to manual lenses for that reason until manufacturers address this issue, either as of old with a scale on the lens or innovatively with a digital hyperfocal button that automatically and accurately focuses the lens at the correct distance.

I predicted that the demand for the manual pentax legacy glass would increase once pentax released their first FF camera. I will watch the second hand websites with interest!!

Last edited by ACG; 03-04-2016 at 01:09 PM.
03-04-2016, 01:06 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRCDH Quote
K-1 So What Is Full Frame Going To Provide Over A Crop Frame DSLR
24x36mm image format? I think that is about it and quite enough if that is what will work for your usual subjects.

For the much longer answer, there are many threads in this (FF) section of the site with long discussions regarding DOF, high ISO performance, lens equivalence, pro qualifications, FF mojo, pro look, ED therapy, and all sorts of other considerations.

If you are interested in experiencing the difference first hand without an expensive purchase, I suggest a film SLR. Two rolls of film with a fast 50mm (normal) lens attached and you will have a good introduction to how format affects your photography.


Steve

(...shoots everything from tiny phone sensors through to 4x5" sheet film...every one is different...none are fully equivalent to the other...each has its place...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 03-04-2016 at 01:14 PM.
03-04-2016, 01:08 PM   #13
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The biggest change for me to get used to will be field of view on lenses. I am used to grabbing one thinking of the field of view I am used to, and now my 12-24 on the K1 will have the same field of view my 8-16 does on my K3. The focal lengths are still whatever is on the lens, and the apertures are still the same too, just the field of view will be the biggest change with the lenses I have.
03-04-2016, 01:16 PM   #14
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Tons more cheap used options for wide angle lenses. Everything in the 28-35mm range becomes wide again, rather than merely normal.


I suppose the flip side is that the traditional portrait range now requires starting at 77-85mm, where there aren't nearly as many cheap options floating around as there are in the 50-58mm range.
03-04-2016, 01:22 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I don't think there is any magnification going on, rather you are recording a smaller section of the viewed image onto your sensor.

it is acknowledged that a focal length somewhere in between 35-50mm equivalents to what we see in the viewfinder. I guess there is a reason PENTAX made a 43mm lens(other story) Try to set your lens to app. 40mm or so. look through the OVF. and look with your other eye straight ahead and close the eye in front of the OVF. On viewfinders like the ones in K-5 and K-3, it will be hard to tell a real difference, other than that there is a frame around what you see when you look through the OVF.

The result what you see through this viewfinder with a 43mm lens mounted on an APS-C body would be app. the same on a FF camera equipped with the same spec OVF.

A 300mm lens would magnify this result app. 7x
and it does so on FF
and it does the same on APS-C

The difference from APS-C to FF "in the camera", is (exactly like crewl1 stated) only that you have a bigger frame around your "magnified" picture on a FF lens than you would have on an APS-C camera.
(And oculararly/ostensible compression of DoF depending on the chosen aperture)
So in that point crewl1 is right. In reality there is no real magnification going on from FF to APS-C and that is exactly what i wanted to hold on with this writing. BUT(t):
if you turn the coin, there is. Because: one normally would take the output and only enlarged to 1.56 times he would compare it to a shot of a FF camera in the real world.

looking at a 9x13 cm print of a shot taken with 300mm on a full frame body and comparing it to app. the same shot taken with 300mm on an APS-C body, the result of the APS-C is in the end indeed "magnified", because the APS-C sensor took out a smaller frame of the same proportional reflexion that lands on the sensor layer... but gets printed on the same sized paper or ends up on a webpage with the same proportions (AxB) as a FF picture would.


this is the reason why i want to remind you, that i clearly stated "magnification may be equivalent" and not "magnifies to"

again reason of posting: Focal length stays focal length.
A FF-capable lens
(a lens that projects a reflection of what you see in your viewfinder, over the whole area of 24x36)
like the DA*300(actually a original FF design) on a FF-DSLR body, gets you nearly(may be a difference in -->IQ) the same as an FA*300 on a FF-DSLR body, given that you use the same aperture stop.
Only to avoid misunderstandings or misreadings.

---------- Post added 03-04-16 at 01:24 PM ----------

THX VoiceOfReason. Field of View. That is what explains a long story short and avoids misunderstandings.
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