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06-20-2012, 10:35 AM   #1
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Someone PLEASE give me some insight, full frame three-dimensionality

I'm almost pulling my hair out here. I know the difference between full frame and APS-C sensors, but I have been seeing examples on flickr and other sites nonstop that is driving me crazy. I like to do portraiture a lot and I notice that a lot of the portraits I browse that stand out to me are done with a 5D, Mark I, II or III. They stand out to me because I LOVE the way the photos are rendered on the sensor. Many photos I see have a VERY noticeable three-dimensional effect as opposed to their crop-sensor counterparts, taken with the same lens. This bugged me so much that I started searching specific LENS group pools, notably primes that have apertures as wide as 1.4 or even the Canon EF f1.2, and ALL the ones that stood out to me, without me even knowing the camera, were from a Canon 5D model, or a Nikon D700. I have been starting to deduce that the sensor is enable them to capture this THREE-DIMENSIONALITY moreso than the lens and even the photographer, but I also consider that a higher percentage of photographers that shoot with a full frame body are serious professionals as opposed to their APS-C counterparts.

I'll show some examples, these are all from the Sigma 85mm F/1.4 EX DG HSM pool on flickr, just giving an even playing field with the same lens available for many different systems.
All from a Canon 5D iteration:
All sizes | lost in the woods. | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
All sizes | Mary 1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
All sizes | Victoria | Flickr - Photo Sharing!






and a couple from a D700
All sizes | Temptation (Portrait / Necoco #63) * | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Jamie | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I understand that a lot of these are obviously post processed, but it shouldn't effect the perspective that much. If you can provide some insight on whether its the camera's sensor or the photographer bringing these pictures to life, please let me know. Or if you can provide me with examples of APS-C portraits that convey this three dimensionality also, please do. Because like I said, many portraits, taken with the same lens, many wide open, and the full frame cameras seemed to jump way off the screen for me.


Last edited by brandonbpm; 06-20-2012 at 10:40 AM.
06-20-2012, 10:43 AM   #2
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most of these are being shot wide open 85mm 1.4 on a FF sensor. to duplicate the FOV and DOF on an apsc sensor you would need a lens that really does not exist. closest is the DA*55 which really does have a lot of this character though

to replicate an 85 1.4 wide open you would need a 55 closer to an f1.0, but the older 55 1.2 out there would likely be close enough to count (porst or the old nikkor for instance)

that is largely where that difference comes in (bokeh rendering and colour processing aside)
06-20-2012, 10:47 AM   #3
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Professional photographers use:
• tons of experience
• studio lighting
• beautiful models
• expensive cameras

I think some of these shots could be done with similar impact on APS-C. But they aren't.

I'm not suggesting that FF doesn't add anything to the equation. Far from it. But other factors have to be considered. If you are perusing Flickr and a photo catches your eye, there is a good chance an experienced photographer took the photo, and a good chance that the lighting was good and the model was paid.
06-20-2012, 10:49 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
most of these are being shot wide open 85mm 1.4 on a FF sensor. to duplicate the FOV and DOF on an apsc sensor you would need a lens that really does not exist. closest is the DA*55 which really does have a lot of this character though

to replicate an 85 1.4 wide open you would need a 55 closer to an f1.0, but the older 55 1.2 out there would likely be close enough to count (porst or the old nikkor for instance)

that is largely where that difference comes in (bokeh rendering and colour processing aside)
Oh wow, I knew about the crop factor affecting the field of view, but I didn't think it had that much of an affect on DOF. Are you talking about the Porst 55 1.2 or is there another model?


Last edited by brandonbpm; 06-20-2012 at 10:55 AM.
06-20-2012, 11:00 AM   #5
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Here's two taken with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 as well, but with my K-5



Model: PENTAX K-5
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/125 sec
Aperture: 7.1
Focal Length: 85mm
Flash Used: No -- lighting off camera

It would look even better if I shot much closer to wide open -- f/7.1 is stopped down pretty far.



Model: PENTAX K-5
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/125 sec
Aperture: 6.3
Focal Length: 85mm
Flash Used: No -- lighting off camera

If you want, I can try to set something up tonight and shoot closer to wide open. But you get plenty of 3D effect even on the smaller cropped sensor.
06-20-2012, 11:05 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by brandonbpm Quote
Oh wow, I knew about the crop factor affecting the field of view, but I didn't think it had that much of an affect on DOF. Are you talking about the Cosina 55 1.2 or is there another model I don't know about?
Nikon made a 55 1.2 that will mount on a Pentax (loosely but it fits) the Cosina is the tomioka (So is the Porst I believe and a few other names though they used many manufacturers for their product in the slr era)

the true 85 1.4 translated is likely 1.0 since a 55 0.95 would translate to an 87.5 1.4

As pointed out though most of those examples are also to do with lighting and good models as well as an experienced tog. I think you could probably get a lot of what you are looking for from a DA*55 1.4 with a good set of lights and the right model

to really achieve the best effect the model needs to be away from the back drop no matter what you shoot with and then you need to be the right distance from the model. Lighting is easily as important as the DOF of the lens. Even a tak 55 1.8 will achieve a lot of this look thogh maybe not quite as small of an in focus zone (not a bad thing)
06-20-2012, 11:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
Here's two taken with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 as well, but with my K-5



Model: PENTAX K-5
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/125 sec
Aperture: 7.1
Focal Length: 85mm
Flash Used: No -- lighting off camera

It would look even better if I shot much closer to wide open -- f/7.1 is stopped down pretty far.



Model: PENTAX K-5
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/125 sec
Aperture: 6.3
Focal Length: 85mm
Flash Used: No -- lighting off camera

If you want, I can try to set something up tonight and shoot closer to wide open. But you get plenty of 3D effect even on the smaller cropped sensor.
You don't have to go out of your way, but I would love to see it as inspiration if not anything else

QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Nikon made a 55 1.2 that will mount on a Pentax (loosely but it fits) the Cosina is the tomioka (So is the Porst I believe and a few other names though they used many manufacturers for their product in the slr era)

the true 85 1.4 translated is likely 1.0 since a 55 0.95 would translate to an 87.5 1.4

As pointed out though most of those examples are also to do with lighting and good models as well as an experienced tog. I think you could probably get a lot of what you are looking for from a DA*55 1.4 with a good set of lights and the right model

to really achieve the best effect the model needs to be away from the back drop no matter what you shoot with and then you need to be the right distance from the model. Lighting is easily as important as the DOF of the lens. Even a tak 55 1.8 will achieve a lot of this look thogh maybe not quite as small of an in focus zone (not a bad thing)
I got this shot over the weekend, and just used my nifty 50 1.7, and I thought the result was good, but found that even it wasn't quite as shallow as I wanted, and thanks to you, I now know that it is more like f2.8 than what 1.7 would be on a full frame.

Part of it is the angle, because the rest of her body isn't anymore than a couple of feet further away than her face, but even on this one:
Again wide open at F1.7

I felt I got more bokeh out of my tammy at f2.8 and 75mm.
06-20-2012, 11:26 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Put the 85 1.4 on your apsc and stand back a little further and of course you will get even shallower DOF than the 50 1.7. the 5 mm from 50-55 makes a difference even.

A good low price option can even be am m100 2.8 which will easily achieve the isolation




06-20-2012, 06:16 PM   #9
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Brandon, great pics. Really like the PP.
06-21-2012, 04:50 AM   #10
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thanks a lot noons. Well I know this isn't the right thread for it, but I find it wasteful to start a new one when my question is related to this thread.

Can someone recommend a good portrait prime to achieve a similar effect of the photos above? I was considering the sigma 85mm f1.4 I mentioned before, but now I understand I have more options. I would like a focal length 70mm-135mm so the M 100mm f2.8 seems like a great option, especially since I have a soft spot for manual focus primes. Any other suggestions?
06-21-2012, 05:19 AM   #11
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The samyang 85 1.4 is on my short list . I've seen some pretty impressive shots with it. It's FF compatible so future proofed, and it's cheapish ($300 or so)

there is a good review on the forum, with comparisons to some very pricey pentax lenses

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/46479-review-s...erical-if.html
06-21-2012, 01:03 PM   #12
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I don't agree that these types of shots are all necessarily shot wide open - but certainly the lenses are at f/4 or wider.

Using a film analogy, the larger film area of 120 film does help with the small gradation cues that give a 3-d look. Yes, the look is different even equalizing FOV and DOF.

With digital sensors something similar is going on, I feel - like the difference between a smaller-than APS sensor vs APS.
06-21-2012, 03:03 PM   #13
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What I've noticed in my own photography is that, for a dimensional look to an image that gives it real depth, what tends to be required is a biting sharp image where it's in focus, and then a smooth transition into the out of focus areas. Images that're all sharp and then all of a sudden complete bokeh, while pleasant, don't tend to have that same depth (of course, there're exceptions).

Some images of my own as examples...



This shot is super sharp around the couch/his face area, and smoothly transitions into soft background in front and behind that point, letting the in-focus area contrast nicely and pop out well, IMO.


Similar effect here.


In this shot, since the subject is in the background of the image, there's not so much of a 3D pop to it, but the smooth transition into sharp focus gives it a nice sense of depth.


Bit of a boring shot but again - very sharp focus, smooth transition into blur.


I think this is a good example of a shallow DoF, bokeh shot that doesn't really pop. Here, there's no transition - it's either sharp focus or blurry background, so the subject isn't able to stand out as much.

All of the above photos were taken on an APS-C camera. I find that generally, normal to wide perspective lenses are most effective at this effect - fast 50s and 35s (FF equivalent) in particular. I don't like telephotos as much for this reason as they transition too sharply, for the most part, into pure bokeh, and don't "pop" quite as much. There are, of course, exceptions:


Taken from Steve Huff's D700 review, using a Zeiss 100mm f2.

I hope my images are fairly convincing of APS-C's capabilities of having that dimensional look to photos. I do, however, agree that full-frame makes it a lot easier to achieve.


For example, this shot, taken on APS-C, has a decent amount of pop but on full-frame, I would've been able to stop down a full stop and retain the same depth of field, increasing the sharpness where it's in focus, and giving it that much more depth.
06-22-2012, 02:49 AM   #14
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1) Topicstarter examples look really good
2) As always, examples taken with cropped sensors that supposed to show APS-C shots are good enough prove the APS-C isn't good enough

The explanation is very simple: when shooting wide open, lenses usually have not enough local contrast and details. But with FF you use lens that 1.5 times longer and tends to produce more details with greater contrast, the difference is up to 1.5 times in case both lenses are decent ones. On the other hand, APS-C shots need to be magnified 1.5 times more to achieve the same print size and this decreases visible local contrast in any given point in 1.5 times (Local contrast is a length of gradient in the point. Magnifying of picture in λ times is substitution of x,y variables to μx,μy, where μ=λ⁻, and thus we have via the derivation formula |grad I'|=|μ∙grad I| < |grad I|, since λ>1). So, we have up to 1.5=2.25 times advantage of FF, which is usually the case when shooting wide open.

The conclusion is larger sensor makes fast lenses more usable at wide aperture settings.
06-22-2012, 03:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by brandonbpm Quote
I understand that a lot of these are obviously post processed, but it shouldn't effect the perspective that much.
Actually, I'd say it has a huge impact on final rendering. If not... entirely.

QuoteQuote:
If you can provide some insight on whether its the camera's sensor or the photographer bringing these pictures to life, please let me know.
Tough to say given the lack of information. Though one things for certain.. that is where each of these images have undergone PP so as to achieve the look found in these images. That being said, it needs to be said that "all of these images" can be replicated on an APS-C sensor as well, though it could take more work(depending on the conditions) which could undoubtedly discourage some people from trying.

QuoteQuote:
Or if you can provide me with examples of APS-C portraits that convey this three dimensionality also, please do. Because like I said, many portraits, taken with the same lens, many wide open, and the full frame cameras seemed to jump way off the screen for me.
There have been many images posted on the forum sharing the same depth or spacial dimension as the images you've posted. Though I don't quite remember the thread at this time(its been awhile). That being said, I'll have a look around and post a link if I can find it.
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