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Is full frame really necessary?


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It's certainly not necessary - but given the lenses available to us at reasonable price points, it is certainly more convenient.

There is simply no lens available for aps-c or m4/3rds that can offer the convenience and range of something like a 24-70 f/2.8 in a single package.

Even the amazing Sigma 18-35 only becomes something like a 27-52mm f/2.5 when you're talking about FF equivalency. Not as wide,  nor as much reach when compared to a 24-70. Aperture that is just barely faster (but not enough to even be noticeable), and no IS versions.

And it doesn't help that the manufacturers have largely ignored QUALITY aps-c lenses for a good decade. How long has it been since any of the lens makers released a new ~17-50 f/2.8 or similar lens? Canon's own version of this lens (17-55mm) doesn't even work on their own S35 cinema cameras without vignetting. Meanwhile there is a 28-70mm f/2 lens available for FF now (which would be require a 18-46mm f/1.4 for a comparable aps-c lens).

Even the insanely-spec'd Voigtlander 10.5mm f/0.95 only has a FF equivalence of 21mm f/1.9. You can buy a 21mm full frame lens that is a stop faster for 1/3 of the price. 

So, to summarise - no, FF is not necessary (as proven by all the films shot on s35 over the last century), but it certainly offers advantages to people chasing certain characteristics - even taking into account that direct equivalency is possible (because unfortunately in practice it does not exist).

 

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2 hours ago, barefoot_dp said:

..Meanwhile there is a 28-70mm f/2 lens available for FF now (which would be require a 18-46mm f/1.4 for a comparable aps-c lens).
 

Just curious as to the theory that an f/2 in FF would require an f/1.4 in APS-C?

I just checked several lenses on my X-T3, pointing to my computer screen with this post.

Using manual exposure, 1/60th at ISO 1000:

APS-C Fuji zoom 18-55 required f/8 at 24mm.

My Nikon full frame 24-85 on a dumb adapter also required f/8 on it's manual aperture ring at 24mm.

A 16mm C mount 25mm prime lens at f8 measured 1/3rd stop lower, due to some black vignetting.

Why would aperture brightness change one stop between FF & APS-C, assuming no other glass added?

 

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8 minutes ago, Jay60p said:

Just curious as to the theory that an f/2 in FF would require an f/1.4 in APS-C?

I just checked several lenses on my X-T3, pointing to my computer screen with this post.

Using manual exposure, 1/60th at ISO 1000:

APS-C Fuji zoom 18-55 required f/8 at 24mm.

My Nikon full frame 24-85 on a dumb adapter also required f/8 on it's manual aperture ring at 24mm.

A 16mm C mount 25mm prime lens at f8 measured 1/3rd stop lower, due to some black vignetting.

Why would aperture brightness change one stop between FF & APS-C, assuming no other glass added?

 

The overall amount of light coming through the lens wouldn't change, but you lose a stop in terms of depth-of-field, and generally also a stop in terms of ISO performance (although the latter isn't always consistent) when going from Full Frame to APS-C.

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6 minutes ago, David Bowgett said:

The overall amount of light coming through the lens wouldn't change, but you lose a stop in terms of depth-of-field, and generally also a stop in terms of ISO performance (although the latter isn't always consistent) when going from Full Frame to APS-C.

1) Depth of Field: I think you are saying in full frame at 28mm the depth of field is shallower than at 18mm in APS-C, with fields of view about the same.

Which you prefer is a personal preference. I want the deepest depth of field possible, for me less depth of field is major downside to FF.  Nowadays I shoot family video and I want everyone in the room to be in focus as much as possible. I don't shoot narrative (did years ago), but now I want less trouble keeping moving & unpredictable subjects in focus. I know that the FF shallow focus was the big thing in recent years for a lot of people, but that would be a major PITA for me. I don't like seeing auto focus working in my shots (for me it's distracting & often picks the wrong person), I prefocus as much as possible in manual. I like using old FF SLR manual zooms with or without a speedbooster, on a tripod. For better depth of field I use at least f/5.6, fast f/2 lenses have no appeal for me.

Speaking of deep focus, that is the technique I really admire the most in the older B&W Hollywood films, I love some of those wide angle shots showing a room - with a ceiling! - as in Citizen Kane. I admit, I prefer wide angle shots over telephotos. I have the Fuji 10-24 zoom. All my telephotos are vintage SLR.

2) ISO performance: I think you mean full frame has less noise at high ISO compared to smaller sensors, I agree there. If I was doing street photography at night I would be concerned with this, but I rarely hit ISO 10,000 with what I shoot. (Indoors I have 5000K LED bulbs in all my lamps which allows mixing window light with the lamplights without white balance problems.)

 

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4 hours ago, Jay60p said:

Just curious as to the theory that an f/2 in FF would require an f/1.4 in APS-C?

I just checked several lenses on my X-T3, pointing to my computer screen with this post.

Using manual exposure, 1/60th at ISO 1000:

APS-C Fuji zoom 18-55 required f/8 at 24mm.

My Nikon full frame 24-85 on a dumb adapter also required f/8 on it's manual aperture ring at 24mm.

A 16mm C mount 25mm prime lens at f8 measured 1/3rd stop lower, due to some black vignetting.

Why would aperture brightness change one stop between FF & APS-C, assuming no other glass added?

 

It is not just "theory".   

A 50mm lens is a 50mm lens no matter the format but if you are multiplying the focal length to get an equivalent focal length, you should ALSO multiply the f stop.....if for some god forsaken reason you actually wanted to shoot two cameras with different size sensors alongside each other (and everything else was equal), you would need (aprox) a f1 lens on a 1 inch sensor camera, a 1.4 lens on a M43 camera, a f2 lens on an APSC sensor camera and a 2.8 lens on a FF sensor and a f4 lens on MF (though MF sensor size varies). 

A 50mm f1 lens has a aperture of 50mm, an f2 50mm lens has an aperture of 25mm.    If you use that 50mm lens on M43, you are using it as if it was a 100mm lens but it still only has a 50mm aperture and 100/50 is 2...hence f2.

 

That said, I have NEVER chosen a camera lens based on equivalence but again, FF is no less necessary than ANY other format so those saying it is not necessary should also be saying M43 is not necessary or APSC or anything.

If I want a similar photo using my RX100 iv against my A7s with 55 1.8, I have to use f8 on the FF and 2.8 at 55 (equivalent...the camera even says 55 but it isn't) on the RX100.

There are advantages to all systems.

Now, that said equivalence arguments belong on DPR, not here.

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5 hours ago, Jay60p said:

Just curious as to the theory that an f/2 in FF would require an f/1.4 in APS-C?

I just checked several lenses on my X-T3, pointing to my computer screen with this post.

Using manual exposure, 1/60th at ISO 1000:

APS-C Fuji zoom 18-55 required f/8 at 24mm.

My Nikon full frame 24-85 on a dumb adapter also required f/8 on it's manual aperture ring at 24mm.

A 16mm C mount 25mm prime lens at f8 measured 1/3rd stop lower, due to some black vignetting.

Why would aperture brightness change one stop between FF & APS-C, assuming no other glass added?

 

You are using all the lens on the same camera?  Ahh, it is because as I said, a 50mm lens is a 50mm lens regardless of the format.

When you use them on a different format they are still the same focal length but you get an EQUIVALENT focal length (and different angle of view) to a different lens you should also multiply (or divide depending) by the same factor.

 

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1 hour ago, noone said:

FF is no less necessary than ANY other format so those saying it is not necessary should also be saying M43 is not necessary or APSC or anything.

 

No one has said that MFT or S35 or even 1" sensor is necessary for anyone to deny that it is not.  Fullframe however seems to have some users suggesting it is necessary, hence I imagine why this thread was created, asking that very question.  

I shoot MFT and don't feel that format is necessary, nor do I feel S35 is necessary.  It maybe a requirement if you're looking at cinema cameras, as there are few fullframe cinema cameras out there.

8 hours ago, barefoot_dp said:

It's certainly not necessary - but given the lenses available to us at reasonable price points, it is certainly more convenient.

There is simply no lens available for aps-c or m4/3rds that can offer the convenience and range of something like a 24-70 f/2.8 in a single package.

And it doesn't help that the manufacturers have largely ignored QUALITY aps-c lenses for a good decade.

Fullframe ILC and their equivalent lenses are numerous and affordable as they are targeted for Photography which has often favoured 35mm in the past.  Professional photo cameras are more likely to be fullframe with APS-C reserved more for budget users who are less likely to buy a wide variety of expensive lenses.

Once you look to invest more money in dedicated cinema lenses, there are more options for S35.  For most of us, this is out of our reach.  

I'm sure for many looking for a single or just a few lenses to invest in, fullframe is more ideal, as you can get a great single zoom lens that covers most needs, lowlight and zoom range at a good price.  With MFT, I use a variety of primes that give me a range from 12mm 1.4 to 75mm 1.8.  I have a 12mm to 35mm zoom lens at 2.8, which only disadvantage to a 24 to 70mm 2.8 is that depth of field and lowlight will be inferior at the lowest aperture.  The range is still there for regular shooting.  And of course the lenses are smaller, and easier to carry a number of.  

So there are advanatges a smaller sensor can provide, cheaper options if your needs are extreme telephoto.  You can adapt a lot more lenses out there to it and video functions are less likely to be crippled by crop or overheating.  

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29 minutes ago, SteveV4D said:

No one has said that MFT or S35 or even 1" sensor is necessary for anyone to deny that it is not.  Fullframe however seems to have some users suggesting it is necessary, hence I imagine why this thread was created, asking that very question.  

I shoot MFT and don't feel that format is necessary, nor do I feel S35 is necessary.  It maybe a requirement if you're looking at cinema cameras, as there are few fullframe cinema cameras out there.

Fullframe ILC and their equivalent lenses are numerous and affordable as they are targeted for Photography which has often favoured 35mm in the past.  Professional photo cameras are more likely to be fullframe with APS-C reserved more for budget users who are less likely to buy a wide variety of expensive lenses.

Once you look to invest more money in dedicated cinema lenses, there are more options for S35.  For most of us, this is out of our reach.  

I'm sure for many looking for a single or just a few lenses to invest in, fullframe is more ideal, as you can get a great single zoom lens that covers most needs, lowlight and zoom range at a good price.  With MFT, I use a variety of primes that give me a range from 12mm 1.4 to 75mm 1.8.  I have a 12mm to 35mm zoom lens at 2.8, which only disadvantage to a 24 to 70mm 2.8 is that depth of field and lowlight will be inferior at the lowest aperture.  The range is still there for regular shooting.  And of course the lenses are smaller, and easier to carry a number of.  

So there are advanatges a smaller sensor can provide, cheaper options if your needs are extreme telephoto.  You can adapt a lot more lenses out there to it and video functions are less likely to be crippled by crop or overheating.  

Thing is though I actually see far more people saying things like FF is not necessary than saying it is...why is that? 

Just like DPR in the M43 forum, lots of angry posts about FF trolls and equivalence but the vast majority of those posts are started by M43 users (I long ago stopped participating there but visit those forums out of interest now).

 Again, it comes down to the individual....FF IS necessary for ME (as a hobby) as is a 1 inch sensor camera and a Fuji superzoom with a half inch sensor (that I use as a 1 inch sort of by using EXR mode), for others, M43 or APSC or anything is "necessary" but is ANYONE saying people who use smaller sensor cameras are wrong?

I guess I should stop now since I am turning this into something I would hate it to become.

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6 minutes ago, noone said:

Thing is though I actually see far more people saying things like FF is not necessary than saying it is...why is that? 

Just like DPR in the M43 forum, lots of angry posts about FF trolls and equivalence but the vast majority of those posts are started by M43 users (I long ago stopped participating there but visit those forums out of interest now).

 

People see and react to the posts that trigger them the most.  Sony users says DpReview is full of Canon trolls, Canon users say it is full of Sony trolls.  Who is to blame.  I see both, but then I am neither Sony or Canon.  Its the same with fullframe or MFT.   I've seen and read many posts suggesting MFT is inferior to fullframe, even here.  Doubtless you've seen the opposite.  

Ultimately this thread has asked a question.  Most have answered it..   general opinion is that it isn't necessary, which of course its not.  No more than any other format; but with the industry moving towards fullframe, it is a question many of us will continue to debate as fullframe dominates the hybrid market whilst slowly entering the cinema camera market.

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3 hours ago, SteveV4D said:

People see and react to the posts that trigger them the most.  Sony users says DpReview is full of Canon trolls, Canon users say it is full of Sony trolls.  Who is to blame.  I see both, but then I am neither Sony or Canon.  Its the same with fullframe or MFT.   I've seen and read many posts suggesting MFT is inferior to fullframe, even here.  Doubtless you've seen the opposite.  

Ultimately this thread has asked a question.  Most have answered it..   general opinion is that it isn't necessary, which of course its not.  No more than any other format; but with the industry moving towards fullframe, it is a question many of us will continue to debate as fullframe dominates the hybrid market whilst slowly entering the cinema camera market.

IF a Pentax Q did every thing I wanted, I would ONLY be using that and I would have got another (mine died too early)...a lot of fun to use.

FF is JUST as necessary to those who use it generally as ANY other format, should I start a thread about is M43 necessary?.

As to Canon and Sony trolls of course they exist and so do Olympus, Panasonic and Fuji ones....Not Pentax of course since no one uses it anymore (just kidding, I love Pentax and would still be using APSC Pentax if they did what I wanted).

I just do not see the need for arguing about sensor size (and yet I am posting more in this thread than anyone).

No matter, use what you like and have fun!

 

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8 hours ago, noone said:

It is not just "theory".   

A 50mm lens is a 50mm lens no matter the format but if you are multiplying the focal length to get an equivalent focal length, you should ALSO multiply the f stop.....if for some god forsaken reason you actually wanted to shoot two cameras with different size sensors alongside each other (and everything else was equal), you would need (aprox) a f1 lens on a 1 inch sensor camera, a 1.4 lens on a M43 camera, a f2 lens on an APSC sensor camera and a 2.8 lens on a FF sensor and a f4 lens on MF (though MF sensor size varies).

OK, I was not familiar with the Equivalency Debates so I found this all quite confusing.

I found Wikipedia to be even more confusing. But then I found this excellent article:

https://photographylife.com/equivalence-also-includes-aperture-and-iso  that begins -

"I know, I know. After the 2012-2017 Great Equivalence War, photographers everywhere agreed never to utter that word again. Nasim’s famous quote, “Everyone is right, everyone is wrong,” has been etched both into the peace treaty and into the hearts of millions. However..."

So "aperture equivalence" is about matching depth-of-field between formats, not brightness or exposure.

And about the FF F/2 and aps-c f/1.4 :

15 hours ago, barefoot_dp said:

...there is a 28-70mm f/2 lens available for FF now (which would be require a 18-46mm f/1.4 for a comparable aps-c lens).

that is also about matching depth of field (to the shallow side).

So FF has an advantage if you are generally trying to throw the background out of focus, which is the current fashion no doubt about it. (Which seems to be about getting a "Hollywood" cinematic look?)

But if you want as much of your field of view and the people in it in sharp focus (like I do), then shorter focal lengths on smaller sensors have an advantage. Which is why I for one don't need FF.

 

 

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4 hours ago, noone said:

 

FF is JUST as necessary to those who use it generally as ANY other format, should I start a thread about is M43 necessary?.

 

You're taking this thread personally.  To me MFT is necessary as I have MFT lenses.  But in the wider issue, is MFT necessary, ie essential to making great video.   No, that would be silly. 

Fullframe gets singled out because companies are shifting towards fullframe, even in the budget range.  With Panasonic delaying a GH6 and focusing on fullframe cameras, I am asking is fullframe necessary.  Not as an attack on fullframe, but a question of do I need to move to fullframe to take advanatage of the latest camera technology.

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3 hours ago, Jay60p said:

OK, I was not familiar with the Equivalency Debates so I found this all quite confusing.

I found Wikipedia to be even more confusing. But then I found this excellent article:

https://photographylife.com/equivalence-also-includes-aperture-and-iso  that begins -

"I know, I know. After the 2012-2017 Great Equivalence War, photographers everywhere agreed never to utter that word again. Nasim’s famous quote, “Everyone is right, everyone is wrong,” has been etched both into the peace treaty and into the hearts of millions. However..."

So "aperture equivalence" is about matching depth-of-field between formats, not brightness or exposure.

And about the FF F/2 and aps-c f/1.4 :

that is also about matching depth of field (to the shallow side).

So FF has an advantage if you are generally trying to throw the background out of focus, which is the current fashion no doubt about it. (Which seems to be about getting a "Hollywood" cinematic look?)

But if you want as much of your field of view and the people in it in sharp focus (like I do), then shorter focal lengths on smaller sensors have an advantage. Which is why I for one don't need FF.

 

 

It is about getting the "same" photo (DOF, noise levels ETC).     If you just want it as the same focal length, then that is a different story but a 50mm f1 lens on M43 does not make a 100mm f1 lens, it is still a 50mm f1 lens but is equivalent to a 100 f2.   

If you took three photos..

50mm f2 on M43, 100mm f2 on FF and 100mm f4 on FF (all things being equal) first and third will look the same second will not.

That is how it works.....Now why on Earth you would want to or need to do that is an entirely different issue.

As for getting as much DOF as possible, you do realize that even with an 85 1.2 lens FF you can have infinite DOF wide open?   Otherwise, just stop down or use a different shutter speed.

I have not been DOF limited yet with any system really (used many P&S including a Pentax Q. 1 inch Sony, M43 mirrorless, 43 DSLR, 1.5x APSC mirrorless, 1.6x APSC DSLR, several APSC 1.5x DSLRs, several FF mirrorless and larger format with film).

I only need FF because it gives me what I want that is not available with smaller formats and when/if they ever do, I will always go with smaller where possible.

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33 minutes ago, SteveV4D said:

You're taking this thread personally.  To me MFT is necessary as I have MFT lenses.  But in the wider issue, is MFT necessary, ie essential to making great video.   No, that would be silly. 

Fullframe gets singled out because 

Well YOU are taking it personal it seems because MFT is necessary to you.

FF is necessary (CURRENTLY) to me.    No big deal.

I disagree about why it gets singled out.

 

I am done with this thread (I am sure I will WANT to respond but guess I better not).

 

To all, enjoy what you have, use what you want.

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1 hour ago, noone said:

Well YOU are taking it personal it seems because MFT is necessary to you.

FF is necessary (CURRENTLY) to me.    No big deal.

I disagree about why it gets singled out.

 

I am done with this thread (I am sure I will WANT to respond but guess I better not).

 

To all, enjoy what you have, use what you want.

Actually I am trying to move away from MFT.. I have 2 EF-S lenses I use with a metabones adapter or without on a Pocket 6K.  I even got my first fullframe lens recently.  I am looking at getting a fullframe hybrid to replace my GH5, unless a GH6 is announced soon to wow me.  Then we shall see.  However I am also looking at cinema cameras that are S35.  Sensor size is immaterial to me.  Its the options available in both cinema cameras and hybrids that dictate my choice of sensor.   

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1 hour ago, noone said:

If you took three photos..  50mm f2 on M43, 100mm f2 on FF and 100mm f4 on FF (all things being equal) first and third will look the same second will not.

Strongly disagree here.  Even if #1 and #3 match according to the "equivalence principle," they won't look the same.

 

The DOF on a Super 16mm camera can be made to "mathematically" match the DOF on an 8"x10" camera, but they will not look the same.  Furthermore, in the same scenario, the rate and manner in which the DOF "rolls off" will differ between those two different formats.

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13 hours ago, noone said:

A 50mm lens is a 50mm lens no matter the format

Not really.  A 50mm lens for Super 16mm usually has to pack more lines of resolution into a smaller area than, say, a 50mm lens made for medium format.  That difference in lines-per-mm makes a difference in look and in sharpness (which is involved in DOF).

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1 hour ago, tupp said:

Strongly disagree here.  Even if #1 and #3 match according to the "equivalence principle," they won't look the same.

 

The DOF on a Super 16mm camera can be made to "mathematically" match the DOF on an 8"x10" camera, but they will not look the same.  Furthermore, in the same scenario, the rate and manner in which the DOF "rolls off" will differ between those two different formats.

I know I know (here I am again).

Three quick and dirty photos 24 1.8 FF, 24 equivalent at 1.8 1 inch camera (funnily enough the camera said 24mm the exif says 8.8mm), 24mm ff at 4.8.

Close but not quite exact and the 24mm lens is more than 30 years old and manual focus (though still a very good lens) while the 1 inch is a very good zoom lens that is aprox 4.8 equivalent at 1.8.

All at 1/25 auto iso 1000 for the RX100, 4000 for the 4.8 and 640 for the 24 1.8 (again, close but not exact matches.   Errors are down to me, not equivalence.

All resized to the same size.     BTW, to match or better the little RX100 to M43 at 24mm equivalent I woud need a 12mm prime and even a 12-40 2.8 pro zoom would not beat it at the wide end (but pass it from 26mm equivalent and up).

I just thought i should give samples ...now I am out , really, truly well maybe , ok probably.

A rx100 18.jpg

b 24 48.jpg

c 24 18.jpg

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