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12-11-2011, 12:16 PM   #1
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If FF better for wide angle photography?

Well! when I was in Vegas and tried to capture buildings at times I had to tilt my camera up to include the top of the building, which in turn makes the building lean. Now, with a FF, as it will capture a wider view I wouldn't have to tilt the camera up as much would I? Is this wrong?

If I were to use a wider angled lens to capture it, say a 16mm instead of the 24mm, wouldn't that now be affected by the barell distortion inherent in extreme wide angle lenses?

Does FF help capture a wider scene without getting into these distortion issues?

12-11-2011, 12:23 PM   #2
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If you do not raise the camera to the height of the center of the building and keep the camera parallel to it, you will either have to tilt it upward, of have a lot of foreground.
12-11-2011, 12:25 PM   #3
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With FF, you'll simply get more in the picture, so yes definitely and limitation on the wide end is certainly the biggest drawback of the smaller sensor. Wide-angle junkies who came from shooting full-frame film are generally driven crazy by APS-C sized sensors because they feel they are being cheated out of much of their field-of-view. These people will not be with Pentax in the future if they don't come out with a FF body because Canon and Nikon have good options there now...
12-11-2011, 01:46 PM   #4
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No. You can get reduced sensor format lenses with the same angle of view as lenses for a Full Frame camera, so the size of the sensor is not an issue. It is true that designing ultra wide angle lenses for smaller formats is more difficult. A DA 12mm lens gives the same angle of view as an 18mm FF lens. In Pentax's own lenses that is as wide as you get with out having to use a fisheye lens, which you could then "de-fish" in software. Third part lens manufacturers do make some wider non-fisheye lenses, which you could use.

If you are specifically talking about photographing tall buildings, and having them appear to narrow towards their tops then you need a shift (or tilt/shift) lens. Full Frame or reduced sensor size makes no difference. BUT Pentax's own shift lens is a 28mm lens on Full Frame so it acts like a 42mm lens on a reduced format sensor. There are third party tilt/shift lenses that you could buy in Pentax K-mount that would give the shift function and have a wider field of view.

If you wanted more versitality, then you need to look at Canon or Nikon both of whom have tilt/shift lenses in the catalogue which cover multiple focal lengths.

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12-11-2011, 02:01 PM   #5
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Good info above. Such distortion is a matter of perspective, dependent on camera.placement / subject.distance, and on lens-to-frame geometry (lens tilt/shift). If you must be close to and not at the center of a tall subject, you need tilt-shift. You can avoid this: 1) place the camera at the center of the tall subject, and/or 2) move back from the subject, and/or 3) correct perspective in PP. Shoot a slab building from its base, and radical lens movement or PP are needed to straighten it out. Shoot that slab from 1km away with a tele lens, and it remains rectangular.

If you choose to correct the perspective in PP, be aware that pixels will be s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d, so you'll need to downsample the image in order to retain resolution and detail. If you're doing this for money, it may be worth your while to use a medium- or large-format camera -- 135/FF won't really make much difference except in non-extreme cases.
12-11-2011, 02:10 PM   #6
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As others mentioned, with a FF sensor you get a wider angle of view for a given focal length. You can get the same angle of view on a smaller sensor by using a shorter focal length.

Depending on your end goal, you can correct most of perspective distortions in software. I use the Lens Correction module in Lightroom all the time with excellent results.

If you want to get really serious about architectural photography and perspective corrections while capturing the photo then you need a view camera with a digital back. I modified a Calumet 4x5 to use my K-7 as a back and works quite well. Too much hassle though to set it up, so it stays in the studio.
12-11-2011, 02:10 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by seventhdr Quote
No. You can get reduced sensor format lenses with the same angle of view as lenses for a Full Frame camera, so the size of the sensor is not an issue. It is true that designing ultra wide angle lenses for smaller formats is more difficult. A DA 12mm lens gives the same angle of view as an 18mm FF lens. In Pentax's own lenses that is as wide as you get with out having to use a fisheye lens, which you could then "de-fish" in software. Third part lens manufacturers do make some wider non-fisheye lenses, which you could use.

But, wouldn't this 12mm lens have much more significant barrell distortion than the 18?, so how could the answer be no to FF being better in being able to use a lens with less barrell distortion for the same purpose

If you are specifically talking about photographing tall buildings, and having them appear to narrow towards their tops then you need a shift (or tilt/shift) lens. Full Frame or reduced sensor size makes no difference. BUT Pentax's own shift lens is a 28mm lens on Full Frame so it acts like a 42mm lens on a reduced format sensor. There are third party tilt/shift lenses that you could buy in Pentax K-mount that would give the shift function and have a wider field of view.

I know about tilt lens, but I know it will fix it, but I am not talking about this, just the fact FF covers more of a scene and thus reducing the need to change the camera sensor to subject angle in the first place

If you wanted more versitality, then you need to look at Canon or Nikon both of whom have tilt/shift lenses in the catalogue which cover multiple focal lengths.

Regards

Chris Stone
................................................
12-11-2011, 02:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by demp10 Quote
As others mentioned, with a FF sensor you get a wider angle of view for a given focal length. You can get the same angle of view on a smaller sensor by using a shorter focal length.

.................
But doesn't a shorter focal length lens have more barrel distortion?


Last edited by pcarfan; 12-11-2011 at 02:23 PM.
12-11-2011, 02:15 PM   #9
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Photozone's review of Pentax 12-24 includes this: "The Pentax DA 12-24mm shows a pretty good distortion characteristic for an ultra-wide zoom lens. At 12mm there's a relatively pronounced degree of slightly wavy barrel distortions (~2.1%) which decrease continuously when zooming towards the long end of the zoom range where the lens is basically free of distortions."

Photozone's review of the F-mount (Nikon) Zeiss 18mm (equivalent in FOV to 12mm on APS-C) says this: "The Zeiss Distagon 18mm f/3.5 produces a moderate degree (~1.8%) of barrel distortion. This may be noticeable but it's actually very good for an ultra wide-angle prime lens. However, there's a bit of a wavy sub-frequency in there so if you want to eliminate the remaining bits of distortion this may not be all that easy anymore."

Looks like format doesn't have too much to do with it. Zeiss makes good lenses. So does Pentax.
12-11-2011, 02:19 PM   #10
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I know I don't like the distortions I typically see in wide angle lenses and I know for a given focal length FF shows more of a scene and thus I assumed it reduces the need to go as wide as I will have with APS-C.

Is this wrong?
12-11-2011, 02:24 PM   #11
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I've never notice any distortion with the 12-24, but nearly any kind of distortion should be easily correctable in most software programs.

This is from a 10-17 vs 12-24 comparison.
12-11-2011, 02:32 PM   #12
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specialK,
thanks...that's not much at all...cool! so the barrel distortion is obviously negligible.

So, why is a 24mm being a true 24mm better as in a FF camera vs just using a 16mm in an APS-C? any advantage at all?
12-11-2011, 02:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
So, why is a 24mm being a true 24mm better as in a FF camera vs just using a 16mm in an APS-C? any advantage at all?
The advantage is better resolution of 24mm lens.
12-11-2011, 02:44 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Emacs Quote
The advantage is better resolution of 24mm lens.
That's about it, eh!...also, possibly wide angle lenses being generally larger for the same F-stop and due to this size restriction they can't be made as fast as a longer lens, no?

But, I wasn't really thinking of this, just the ability to capture the same scene from the same distance with less distortion. I assumed attaching a wider lens will result in lens distortions that I thought was inherent in wide angle lens design.
12-11-2011, 03:36 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
But doesn't a shorter focal length lens have more barrel distortion?
Using a lens profile you can correct for lens distortion (and other things) with a push of a button, so even if it is present it is not an issue.

Profiles exist for all modern Pentax lenses and you can create your own for older ones. If you are using Photoshop or Lightroom, they are already there.
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