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02-13-2012, 01:31 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
No one has ever on this forum, or anywhere as far as I know, posted series of pictures that that demonstrate the superiority of FF over APS-c. Feel free to point me to the place if there is.
Has anyone ever posted a series of images that 'proves', to every viewer, that aps-c is superior to m43? If not, why bother with aps-c seized sensors, since there's no difference, and m43 can be generally smaller/cheaper?

QuoteQuote:
That would suggest that the difference is largely theoretical, or if you prefer imaginary. But, enough people prefer FF, I'm assuming there is something about it that makes people feel better. Be that psychological or more comfort with the very close physical characteristics.
I can see from statements like the above and ones by parallax, etc that this thread is allowing some folks to vent their frustrations with the FF argument and take some cheap shots, and that's fine. But speaking as a proud Pentaxian who shoots both formats: there are advantages (and disadvantages) to both formats, but there's nothing 'theoretical' or 'imaginary' about:

1) Getting at least one stop better ISO performance
2) Getting more DOF control (incorrectly described as 'less DOF')
3) Ability to get wider with common lenses, and get more interesting FOV/DOF combos in the wide, normal, and mid-telephoto range
4) Getting advanced features, like state-of-art AF, exposure and flash control (not FF-format dependant, but tends to come with the bodies)
5) Larger viewfinder

As I like to say to Nikonians - shoot my 15ltd, 35ltd or 77ltd on my K20D for a week and you'll come away with a renewed appreciation for Pentax. What I say to Pentaxians: shoot only my $110 50 1.8D on my D700 for a week, and you'll be writing letters to Pentax, asking for a FF camera. (well, most of you would.)


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Last edited by jsherman999; 02-13-2012 at 01:37 PM.
02-13-2012, 01:32 PM   #32
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QuoteQuote:
Of course since i'm expected to have Pro FF setup, and since i'm gonna buy one i'm gonna profit from the bigger pixels and/or a hefty increase in resolution...i'm gonna love the shallower depth of field and the bigger FOV
Well then, you need to look at this thread..
02-13-2012, 01:50 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Well then, you need to look at this thread..
Here's an image from that thread. aps-c, FF or MF? (link)



Point is - "show me a series of images that proves FF is better" can be almost meaningless when showing samples online. The difference shows itself with iterations, and over iteratons is when personal preferences are made, often through many types of difficult and challenging shooting situations, not from looking at one or two images online taken out of context.

The image above, as shown, could have been taken with the Fuji X10. Does that make the X10 'equal' to MFD?


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02-13-2012, 01:52 PM   #34
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There are real technical advantages to bigger sensors.

This becomes most apparent if you move the other direction, e.g., look at the shortcomings of the Q.

Real advantages include:
  1. better viewfinder
  2. wider FOV
  3. more lens choices (you can get an FF 50/1.4 but not the equivalent APS-C 33/0.9).
  4. higher dynamic range (a bit more than a stop)
  5. lenses can be cheaper
  6. less challenge for the camera's AF system
  7. slightly better diffraction limit

All these advantages come without any disadvantages, except perhaps
  • price
  • file size

There is no disadvantage regarding "reach" as long as the pixel pitch is at least as high as in the smaller format (-> 36MP FF to keep the K-5's resolution) since you can simply crop to APS-C size.

Commonly quoted but non-existent advantages for FF include
  • lower noise: A larger sensor does not have less noise. A noise advantage is indirectly enabled by bullet 3. above.
  • bigger pixels: First, sensor size is independent from pixel size. Second, pixel size does not matter. "Fat" pixels do not perform better than small pixels.


02-13-2012, 01:53 PM   #35
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Damn you normhead i'm salivating...a few more years till i can afford a medium format thoug Or a digital back for a Sinar camera i have acces to.

Been toying with the idea of making my own large format camera...i'm pretty skilled making things and with patiente i'm sure i can pull it off.
Build your own large format camera - Rayment Kirby Cameras

So the question shouldn't be "why FF?" but "why aren't we demanding affordable large format and medium format???"!!!
02-13-2012, 02:21 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
So the question shouldn't be "why FF?" but "why aren't we demanding affordable large format and medium format???"!!!
You can get a used 4x5" field camera, lens & lens board, film, meter and loupe for cheaper than you can get a new D800.

Of course, you wouldnt want to shoot sports, a wedding, birds in flight, a kids birthday party etc. with that beast.
02-13-2012, 03:11 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnie0674 Quote
I understand that larger pixels perform better. But are the pixels really any bigger in a 24 or 36 megapixel full frame sensor than a 16 megapixel APS-C sensor?
Good point - the sensor elements aren't necessarily going to be smaller if making a full frame sensor is an excuse for more megapixels.
02-13-2012, 03:59 PM - 1 Like   #38
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QuoteQuote:
The image above, as shown, could have been taken with the Fuji X10. Does that make the X10 'equal' to MFD?
That's not why I posted the link, I posted the link because of
QuoteQuote:
, I take a 645D to appreciate not only the superb image quality but also a huge viewfinder
And i would assume even tighter control of DoF, and professional appearance...
I'm just curious , most of the things people say they have to have FF for are done better by the 645D, so I'm curious, why pick FF as your stopping point. Why not go all the way?. God knows I've said forever it's not about the pictures.

QuoteQuote:
So the question shouldn't be "why FF?" but "why aren't we demanding affordable large format and medium format???"!

Affordable is the problem. Apparently it's much easier to produce large size film than large size sensors, and it's pay up front. With digital you pay for all the "film" you will ever use when you buy the camera. Lose the camera and you've lost 100,000 exposures of film. With film the camera is relatively cheap and you pay for film as you go along. Probably more expensive in teh long run, but it never takes the huge bite out of your wallet.

QuoteQuote:
So, given that a full-frame chip will cost approximately 12-16 times more to produce than an APS-C chip, and given that sensor evolution isn't over by a long shot, is there any point in going after bigger formats?
Makes you wonder, given the above statement, exactly how much of the cost of 645D is the sensor? 1/3 to half would be reasonable guesses.

QuoteQuote:
a lens is a three-dimensional object. Double the radius of the image circle while keeping the optical formula identical, and your lens will have to weigh eight times as much. Keep the pixel pitch on the sensor the same, and your larger lens will have to be twice as sharp (because the aberrations get enlarged right with the picture, when you scale up the design) -- which means a different and more expensive optical formula and/or tighter manufacturing tolerances. In other words, when making the sensor bigger, there will be a law of diminishing returns, since the weight of the limiting factor shifts from the sensor to the glass.
Class A

with all due respect... you can have all those "advantages" and it can make not one bit of difference to the image. It may be that if you shoot a certain style you may need all or one of those advantages...

QuoteQuote:
higher dynamic range (a bit more than a stop)
HIgher than a K-5? wow,

QuoteQuote:
more lens choices (you can get an FF 50/1.4 but not the equivalent APS-C 33/0.9).
No but you can get 85.1.4 for your APS-C but not the equivalent 135 1.4 for your FF. This kind of argument always pretends like FF is always at an advantage. Sometimes, my depth of field is perfect at 50 and 1.4 mm on an APS-c camera, and using the same lens on an FF system would simply mean cropping the image to APS-c size. No one has done any analysis to show whether you come out on top using an FF or APS-c system. Everyone who uses an FF system seems to like it, I'm not saying it has no value. But is it necessary?

jsherman pointed me to an argument that pointed out "your best lens on APS-c isn't as good as your wort lens on FF", a point the author demsontrated, with 1 on 1 pixel peeping. That's the only way to see the difference. Some of us would argue that's just not relevant.

Price is an issue.... for most of us.

QuoteQuote:
Getting more DOF control (incorrectly described as 'less DOF')
In what way is that incorrect? DoF is measurable, there can be more or less of it, it is the distance between the nearest and furthest points in acceptable focus, distance, as in, there can be more or less of it. An FF can achieve less DoF, but you have to want less DoF to make that worth paying even 10 cents for. . That's just plain fact. Again, in any situation. Shooting with your renowned 50 1.4 on FF or APS-c you have the same DoF. The only issue is what camera's DoF is more appropriate to the picture being taken. Based on my shooting style, 95% of the time I would prefer more DoF to less, which would mean 95% of the time I would be happier using an APS-c camera. Your shooting style may differ, but, what I'm saying is there is no intrinsic advantage to FF, it's different not better, accept with pixel peepers. The fact that theoretically there could be an advantage to shooting FF, doesn't mean that there is, or that you'd ever run into a situation where there wasn't an acceptable workaround. You can get all caught up in theory and imagine things to be really important, that aren't.

QuoteQuote:
The image above, as shown, could have been taken with the Fuji X10. Does that make the X10 'equal' to MFD?
In practical terms... if you can take the same image with an Optio W90... for that image, yes it makes my W90 equal to the 645D, and if that's the picture I need, taking it with a 645D instead of your optio 90 would border on insanity. Not in terms of the pride you take in your equipment, or oneupmanship in the forum... but in terms of that image at that size. I'm not at all concerned with theoretical minutiae. I will always make use of the best equipment I own for a specific shot, just on the odd chance I might need a better image quality of higher resolution or whatever. However if APS-c continues to be good enough...and no one can tell if my images were shot with APS-c, FF or MF for that matter, I'm not going more expensive. I'll bet that APS-c FF and MF at 1:2 crop are pretty much indistinguishable, for most images. And that the differences that are an advantage in one situation are a disadvantage in another.

There is just one valid question here.

Do I need less depth of field. If the answer is yes go FF although you should also look at MF too, if you need more DoF, save yourself the grief, stay with APS-c.
Do I need the maximum in sharp images at more than 2500 wide pixels on a computer monitor? If yes, go FF or MF. If 2500 or less, APS-c is good enough and the pictures will be indistinguishable.

Assuming you can get a good print at say 120 DPI.. which I'd go with, my own personal rule of thumb, but probably a bit conservative, .. am I going to print these images over 40 inches in width?
If the answer is yes, you may need to go FF or MF. By my rule of thumb an MF 645 D would get me to about 60 inches.

The parameters for actually "needing" FF are so small as to defy assigning a % to the numbers of photographers who need them.

ANd as well many times limitations of a particular system can be overcome. FOr example, meeting pixel count limitations by taking multiple exposures , stitching your images together and achieving sharpness by reducing the huge image size. Even thinking you "need" FF doesn't mean their may not be work around for the few times you actually do require it.

02-13-2012, 09:02 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
lenses can be cheaper
I'm pretty sure one advantage of APS-C is lenses can be smaller, hence cheaper.
02-13-2012, 09:24 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnie0674 Quote
I'm pretty sure one advantage of APS-C is lenses can be smaller, hence cheaper.
Suprisingly this is not the case, FF lenses are indeed generally cheaper so long as you are comparing equivalents (in focal length and aperture).
02-13-2012, 09:36 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Suprisingly this is not the case, FF lenses are indeed generally cheaper so long as you are comparing equivalents (in focal length and aperture).
I think that would depend on what youre comparing - 200mm vs 300mm or 14mm vs 20mm
02-13-2012, 09:38 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Suprisingly this is not the case, FF lenses are indeed generally cheaper so long as you are comparing equivalents (in focal length and aperture).
Very true. Try to get a an APS-C equivalent AF lens at 50/1.8 for $100

My crappy Canon 50/f1.8 EF lens combined with a 5D produces excellent images for under $100
02-13-2012, 10:10 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
with all due respect... you can have all those "advantages" and it can make not one bit of difference to the image. It may be that if you shoot a certain style you may need all or one of those advantages...
Sure. For many, the IQ of a Q and its lenses is sufficient as well.

Everyone has to make their own call as to what format is good enough, but that doesn't detract from the fact that there are advantages to going larger.


QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Higher than a K-5? wow,
Yes, of course (assuming the same sensor technology is used).

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
No but you can get 85.1.4 for your APS-C but not the equivalent 135 1.4 for your FF.
The equivalent FF lens is a 127/2.1. The respective 135mm lens would be a 135/2.2.

There is a Pentax 135/1.8 (not in production but Pentax does not offer a 85/1.4 either).

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
No one has done any analysis to show whether you come out on top using an FF or APS-c system.
As falconeye once put it very concisely: "FF is a superset of APS-C". You don't lose anything but gain a few things (ignoring current sensor prices and file sizes).

QuoteOriginally posted by arnie0674 Quote
I'm pretty sure one advantage of APS-C is lenses can be smaller, hence cheaper.
APS-C lenses have smaller image circles, but often the overall glass needed is dictated by focal length and speed. I understand that only rarely (I believe retrofocus designs are the exception) can you convert a smaller image circle into actual cost savings.

Also note that an APS-C has to have tighter tolerances to achieve the same overall performance (because of the higher enlargement factor). An FF lens only needs to reach the performance of an 200/2.8 APS-C lens at 300mm and f/4.2.

Last edited by Class A; 02-13-2012 at 10:18 PM.
02-13-2012, 10:24 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote

I'm just curious , most of the things people say they have to have FF for are done better by the 645D, so I'm curious, why pick FF as your stopping point? Why not go all the way?
I would love a 645D. I just don't think I'll ever be able to afford it.
02-13-2012, 10:24 PM   #45
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Bottom line for me in this discussion

I am just happy to see pentax survive under ricoh and know i have at least 5 years worth of new kit coming out.

After my APS-C pentax kit I would hate going to any other maker even taking out the cost factor. For me FF means:
1. more weight
2. less depth of field for macro work
3. reduces all my tele lenses
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