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03-28-2016, 02:38 PM   #1
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Full frame for telephoto and macro?

Now K1 is coming, and it is definitely a wonderful camera, particularly for long-time pentaxians. I have FA 20, 24, (F)28, 35, 31, 43, 50, 77, 135, and 200 lenses and was waiting for FF for years. -- I am more than ready to have an FF camera.

And I have owned A7 FF for quite a while. from my logic and experience, I think FF is better for wide to short-tele range. When focal length is over 135/200, which DOF control is not a big problem for even a slower lens on an APS camera, I don't see the benefit of using an FF camera over APS other than better noise control at higher ISO. But if not a professional wide-life photographer, why do we need 125/200-500mm range on FF? And the heavy, bulky and pricy F2.8 tele-zoom?

My experience of using tele lens on FF digital was limited on Sony A7, so manual focus only, and the grip and operation on A7 is not really for tele-lens. I actually only tried, and tested the lenses, but never really used anything longer than 135mm on A7. On film? that was many years ago before I had DSLR. So I wonder if I missed anything here: what's the benefit (other than noise control at high ISO) of using FF system for telephoto and macro?

-- the reason I am asking is I have seen quite a lot posts saying getting rid off tele-lenses such as 50-135 or even 60-250 for coming K1 and 70-200, and using DA macro limited on K1.

03-28-2016, 02:42 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
Now K1 is coming, and it is definitely a wonderful camera, particularly for long-time pentaxians. I have FA 20, 24, (F)28, 35, 31, 43, 50, 77, 135, and 200 lenses and was waiting for FF for years. -- I am more than ready to have an FF camera.

And I have owned A7 FF for quite a while. from my logic and experience, I think FF is better for wide to short-tele range. When focal length is over 135/200, which DOF control is not a big problem for even a slower lens on an APS camera, I don't see the benefit of using an FF camera over APS other than better noise control at higher ISO. But if not a professional wide-life photographer, why do we need 125/200-500mm range on FF? And the heavy, bulky and pricy F2.8 tele-zoom?

My experience of using tele lens on FF digital was limited on Sony A7, so manual focus only, and the grip and operation on A7 is not really for tele-lens. I actually only tried, and tested the lenses, but never really used anything longer than 135mm on A7. On film? that was many years ago before I had DSLR. So I wonder if I missed anything here: what's the benefit (other than noise control at high ISO) of using FF system for telephoto and macro?

-- the reason I am asking is I have seen quite a lot posts saying getting rid off tele-lenses such as 50-135 or even 60-250 for coming K1 and 70-200, and using DA macro limited on K1.
You give up 1.5x crop (magnification) for the better image quality and higher MP count. Its your call if that something you want/need or not.
03-28-2016, 02:43 PM   #3
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Well, the benefit will always be better image quality all around (less noise, more resolution, more DR, better colors). For macro there aren't really any drawbacks of using FF, but for telephoto the FF format requires bigger lenses, which means bigger size, heavier weight, and higher costs.

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03-28-2016, 02:52 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
more DR, better colors
QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
ou give up 1.5x crop (magnification) for the better image quality and higher MP count.
Isn't more DR and better color the result of bigger pixel? K1's 36mp sensor density is same as K5's. If pentax releases a new 16mp sensor APS camera, I guess it should do at least as well as cropping from K1's 36MP.

03-28-2016, 02:56 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
Isn't more DR and better color the result of bigger pixel? K1's 36mp sensor density is same as K5's. If pentax releases a new 16mp sensor APS camera, I guess it should do at least as well as cropping from K1's 36MP.
Plus generational improvements. In the K-1's case it has an edge over the K-5 in both these areas (though the K-5 still holds up really well for its age).

I'm not sure if we'll be seeing any more 16 Mp sensors going forward, since now Pentax has the opportunity to make a low-noise FF model.

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03-28-2016, 03:07 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
'm not sure if we'll be seeing any more 16 Mp sensors going forward
I know. Everyone wants more MP, sadly. -- I did hope K1 had 24mp...

Anyway, I hope pentax will still release new APS camera, around 20mp, so I can keep using 60-250 or 55-300 when I need reach.
03-28-2016, 03:19 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Now that they have their massive engineering feat over with, I'm hoping they will be willing to consider such refinements as a lowering of the base ISO to 50 or thereabouts.

I do not think a lower MP sensor would have been useful. As things stand, K-5 users stand to lose very little in crop sensor pixel density when they change to the K-1; K-3 users will lose quite a bit. A 24MP sensor would have left a LOT of people who still want to use their crop sensor lenses feeling more than a little let down.

Can @kenspo or @Adam or someone else who's handled this camera confirm for me exactly what happens when you go to crop mode? Specifically, does the outer "full frame" zone remain visible, or is it blanked out somehow? Because if it remains visible, I am already formulating the manner in which will use it.
03-28-2016, 03:42 PM   #8
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Visible, as in visible in the viewfinder? Yes, it does; there's a thick frame marking the crop area, but the "outside" is not blocked in any way. This is known.

That "outside" area is, however, not recorded; I'm quite certain of that, because of the increase in FPS available in crop mode (less data to transfer). The DNG specifications would allow for storing the full image and marking a crop area, but this facility is not used by the K-1.

03-28-2016, 03:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
I know. Everyone wants more MP, sadly. -- I did hope K1 had 24mp...

Anyway, I hope pentax will still release new APS camera, around 20mp, so I can keep using 60-250 or 55-300 when I need reach.
I was hoping for a 24mp BSI sensor in the K-1 for optimal balance between resolution and low light performance as well as AF and fps speed, -4ev focusing too. Very high resolution could still be had with pixel shift.

The megapixel race sucks. Look at full frame pro cameras. 16 to 20 megapixels.
03-28-2016, 03:46 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Can @kenspo or @Adam or someone else who's handled this camera confirm for me exactly what happens when you go to crop mode? Specifically, does the outer "full frame" zone remain visible, or is it blanked out somehow? Because if it remains visible, I am already formulating the manner in which will use it.
It does remain visible; all that happens in the viewfinder is the crop frame appears.

QuoteOriginally posted by HopelessTogger Quote
I was hoping for a 24mp BSI sensor in the K-1 for optimal balance between resolution and low light performance as well as AF and fps speed, -4ev focusing too. Very high resolution could still be had with pixel shift.
I think 36Mp is a great balance on FF. The only reason spots cameras are lower res is to facilitate huge burst rates and buffer sizes (plus you probably don't need that much resolution of action).

According to DxO, the top two overall FF sensors are in the 36-42 Mp range

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03-28-2016, 03:49 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
I know. Everyone wants more MP, sadly. -- I did hope K1 had 24mp...
there is no 24mp ff camera that i know of that has superior pq over the 36mp camera from the same manufacturer? canon excepted, of course, because most of their sensors suck.

a simple comparison in dxo or whatever will prove that... k-1 is going to take a better picture than the k3ii, no question about it.

QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
Anyway, I hope pentax will still release new APS camera, around 20mp, so I can keep using 60-250 or 55-300 when I need reach.
you don't get more "reach" with any crop sensor, because the focal length of a lens always stays the same regardless of what camera body it's put on.

you can't zoom with a sensor.
03-28-2016, 04:00 PM   #12
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@HopelessTogger:
And I'm happier with the choices made for the K-1. This camera is made for image quality, not speed; and it offers just enough resolution so the crop mode is actually useful.
36MP "full frame" sensors are available since 4 years ago, and they have pixel densities similar to that of the 16MP APS-C sensor. That's no megapixel race, that's progress.

Those "pro cameras" you're talking about have 16-20MP not because lower resolutions are better, but to limit the amount of data which needs to be transferred, processed and stored. Even so, they cost $5500-6500 to be able to offer that level of performance. As for a 16-20MP "K-1"... nowhere near the price, nowhere near the performance; at most you could have expected some 6.5-ish fps at the full sensor resolution.

As a side note, check DPReview... they started testing the D5. Guess what: ISO 3 million is utterly useless, even for web; just a marketing trick: surprisingly, Nikon didn't rewrite the laws of physics. And low ISO DR is Canon-level, which is quite a step back (though for the intended usage, it might not matter).
03-28-2016, 04:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
According to DxO, the top two overall FF sensors are in the 36-42 Mp range
DxO cares MP count only :-). More MP sensor always wins in their test. i am sure 2 years fro now 56 or 80 mp sensor will be on their top. 24mp is enough for me. Hard to process and store RAW files from >40mp sensor.

- but that is another story. I point was, for long reach, using APS lens on APS camera makes more sense than FF lens on FF camera, let aside APS lens on FF camera using the crop model.
03-28-2016, 04:08 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
DxO cares MP count only :-). More MP sensor always wins in their test.
that's not true, the 50mp canon 5ds for example is ranked something like 24th place in the sensor rankings: Camera Sensor Ratings by DxOMark - DxOMark
03-28-2016, 04:09 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
@HopelessTogger:

As a side note, check DPReview... they started testing the D5. Guess what: ISO 3 million is utterly useless, even for web; just a marketing trick: surprisingly, Nikon didn't rewrite the laws of physics. And low ISO DR is Canon-level, which is quite a step back (though for the intended usage, it might not matter).
And a lower pixel count A7S definitely is the king of high ISO:
This is How Good the Sony a7S is with Low Light and High ISO

Bigger pixel can only be better at same tech level.

---------- Post added 03-28-16 at 06:11 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
that's not true, the 50mp canon 5ds for example is ranked something like 24th place in the sensor rankings:
But this 50MP from D5S is the best in their test amount all Canon sensors. It only means Canon doesn't know how to make a good sensor. :-)
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