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Is full frame really necessary?


Emanuel
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Equivalency is such a silly topic, especially with mirrorless. Who actually walk around with a MFT, APS-C, or medium format camera and says: what would this look like on FF? That person is missing the point IMO. Is it really that hard to understand that 24mm f2 is a 24mm f2 regardless the size of the sensor or lens? The only question that comes into play is: does the image produced by the lens cover the sensor or not. This is easy to know because we now have mirrorless  WYSIWYG.

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I think the biggest drawback for larger sensors is they have always been a few years behind the smaller sensors in performance, at least in mirrorless hybrids.

My most important spec is 4k60p. Fuji had it in 10 bit HEVC two years ago.  The FF Sony & Canon 10bit took two years to catch up & match it. And they are still nowhere near the $1500 the X-T3 was. Panasonic's GH5 4K60p also looks great from two years ago, I still have MP4 samples I downloaded late 2018 that look indistinguishable from FF 4k60p.

It used to be in the old film days that a doubled increase in format size gave a doubled increase in resolution. So when I first heard DSLRs were about to go full frame I thought, Great!  But, in digital it's not that simple. Video UHD is still 3840 x 2160 no matter the sensor size.

The other major drawback is price - this from Wikipedia...

"Production costs for a full-frame sensor can exceed twenty times the costs for an APS-C sensor. Only 20 full-frame sensors will fit on an 8-inch (200 mm) silicon wafer, and yield is comparatively low because the sensor's large area makes it very vulnerable to contaminants—20 evenly distributed defects could theoretically ruin an entire wafer."

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Thank you for making this comparison.

 

All three of the images differ from each other perceptibly, despite detail missing in the black background areas and despite the fact that the "given" DOF is way too deep for valid test.  It's best to start out with a longer focal length and show detail that continually runs from in front of the subject to a far distance in the background.

 

Also, I have never seen a equivalency test that shows how the foreground limit of the DOF -- that's very important in an equivalency test.  I think that I have only once seen an equivalency test that actually showed the location of the background limit of the DOF.

 

In addition, is there a zoom lens on the 1 inch camera?  Zoom lenses handle focal length differently from primes.

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By the way, It's good that you did not use two formats that "contiguous" in size -- most tests are APS-C vs. FF, or M4/3 vs. APS-C.  The differences between such similarly sized formats is slight.

 

However, if you do the same test between Super 16 and 8"x10", the differences in DOF roll-off and the in general look of different sized formats is readily apparent.

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FWIW, I did a very quick basic comparison between MFT, APS-C and FF at a couple of focal lengths a few years ago on here and the differences in those specific limited instances with zoom lenses to create the correct equivalent focal lengths were marginal.

A more thorough test at different distances using primes would possibly yield more telling differences but I got bored.

Close enough for jazz as we would say.

 

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IF I spent ages and ages, setting it up and trying for an exact match, the photos WOULD look extremely close (24 at f4.8 vs 8.8 at 1.8) even with this apples to fish comparison.

Again though why on Earth would I want to?

Given I used a more than thirty year old prime against  a much more modern fixed lens zoom on a tiny 1 inch sensor camera and to me, the photos are pretty similar (with errors down to me), I think I proved my point.     I could have also used my Sony Zeiss 55 1.8 (at f8 VS 2.8 also a Sony Zeiss lens) and it would be a closer match.

Lastly, if you compared different M43 lenses against each other at the same focal length and/or different M43 cameras the look would not be the EXACT same as no two of ANYTHING will be exactly the same.

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4 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

FWIW, I did a very quick basic comparison between MFT, APS-C and FF at a couple of focal lengths a few years ago on here and the differences in those specific limited instances with zoom lenses to create the correct equivalent focal lengths were marginal.

A more thorough test at different distances using primes would possibly yield more telling differences but I got bored.

Close enough for jazz as we would say.

 

Thanks for the reminder of that thread.

That thread alone is reason enough to not proceed any further since people would argue with the bloke who designed the Metabones speedbooster as well as one of the best lenses ever (Coastal Optics 60mm f4),there is zero point in a non entity like me trying any further..

 

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On 9/12/2020 at 11:03 AM, BTM_Pix said:

FWIW, I did a very quick basic comparison between MFT, APS-C and FF at a couple of focal lengths a few years ago on here...

Thank you for doing that comparison!

 

 

On 9/12/2020 at 11:03 AM, BTM_Pix said:

... and the differences in those specific limited instances with zoom lenses to create the correct equivalent focal lengths were marginal.

... but, as you state, there were differences, nonetheless, even though zoom lenses were utilized for the test.  The differences that I see are significant.

 

In addition, the comparison suffers the same maladies that afflict all equivalency tests so far.  The front and and rear limits to the DOF are not clearly shown.  Also, not visible is the focus fall-off outside of the DOF range. 

 

Furthermore, the DOF is rather deep.  The visual benefits of larger formats are more readily revealed by a shallower DOF.

 

 

On 9/12/2020 at 11:08 AM, noone said:

IF I spent ages and ages, setting it up and trying for an exact match, the photos WOULD look extremely close (24 at f4.8 vs 8.8 at 1.8) even with this apples to fish comparison.

I don't think that they would match too much more closely than what is shown -- not with two primes and not with a shallower DOF and not with clearly showing the foreground and background limits of the DOF.  Also, there seem to be some problems with the test that make it inconclusive.

 

The images certainly wouldn't match if two dramatically different sized formats were compared, such as Super 16 and 8"x10".

 

 

On 9/12/2020 at 11:08 AM, noone said:

Again though why on Earth would I want to?

Perhaps one would do so to prove one's point.  So, far I haven't seen a single equivalency test that actually demonstrates that two prime lenses made for different formats can match.

 

 

On 9/12/2020 at 11:08 AM, noone said:

Given I used a more than thirty year old prime against  a much more modern fixed lens zoom on a tiny 1 inch sensor camera and to me, the photos are pretty similar (with errors down to me), I think I proved my point.

Again, thank you for doing the test, but, unfortunately, the differences between the images are prominent, and the test suffers from many the same problems inherent in every DOF/equivalency comparison so far.

 

On 9/12/2020 at 11:08 AM, noone said:

Lastly, if you compared different M43 lenses against each other at the same focal length and/or different M43 cameras the look would not be the EXACT same as no two of ANYTHING will be exactly the same.

The images from two different M4/3 primes of the same focal length would probably not look as different as the images shown in the test.

 

To do a proper test, a lot more of the variables have to be controlled, and crucial data cannot be obscured (as seems to be the case in most such DOF tests).  It's not easy to wrangle all of those elements, but nothing will be conclusive until somebody does it correctly.

 

In the meantime, here is footage shot on Zev Hoover's 8"x10", reflective DOF adaper, and here's a video by our own @Gonzalo Ezcurra testing the focus and DOF on his 14"x14" MiniCyclops DOF adapter.  Neither clips are making a DOF comparison with another format, but note how some of Gonzalo's shots intentionally show the foreground that is outside of the DOF range.

 

I would like to see someone use M4/3 to match the looks in the above videos.

 

 

On 9/12/2020 at 3:30 PM, noone said:

since people would argue with the bloke who designed the Metabones speedbooster as well as one of the best lenses ever (Coastal Optics 60mm f4),there is zero point in a non entity like me trying any further.

Not sure how someone arguing with Brian Caldwell is relevant to the points made in this thread, but us "non-entities" should hold our ground!

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4 hours ago, tupp said:

... but, as you state, there were differences, nonetheless, even though zoom lenses were utilized for the test.  The differences that I see are significant.

 

In addition, the comparison suffers the same maladies that afflict all equivalency tests so far.  The front and and rear limits to the DOF are not clearly shown.  Also, not visible is the focus fall-off outside of the DOF range. 

 

Furthermore, the DOF is rather deep.  The visual benefits of larger formats are more readily revealed by a shallower DOF.

 

Yeah, the problem with equivalence tests is finding or having the equivalent lenses to not prejudice the FF camera.

Having to have the FF at f4 because the APS-C had to be at f2.8 and the MFT with the SB could be f2  is not doing the FF any favours.

Matching the focal lengths also make it a challenge without using a zoom as well of course as at least they maintain the same contrast and colour for each camera.

I'm trying to think about which set of cameras and primes that could be used for be a totally accurate test if someone wanted to do it properly and its a tricky ask to get exact matches.

 

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I think it this way: When I was in the audience of Camerimage festival I heard something interesting from James Laxton, the DP of the masterpiece "Moonlight". Paraphrasing very freely: I love the look of THAT lens. Now I just want more of the image of around the frame of my Super 35 Arri with the same perspective, DOF, image characteristics. Whoopy, Arri LF, here you come!

Of course I was paraphrasing very freely, as there is no Super 35 cinema prime just fitting the larger image circle of an LF camera. But we get the idea I think. Give me more space around the frame with the same lens. Equivalent focal lengths are helpful to consider an approximate of look and DOF and FOV characteristics one gets with one sensor size and another.

But it is an approximation due to lacking equivalency regarding ALL lens parameters and magic attributes of the same lens.

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12 hours ago, tupp said:

 

The images from two different M4/3 primes of the same focal length would probably not look as different as the images shown in the test.

 

 

That would depend on the lenses but if someone really went to the trouble of trying for an EXACT match they would need to take into account everything including each individual lenses characteristics, and that would be almost as difficult to do with two M43 lenses of the same focal length as it would with a Pentax Q and a Mamiya 7 with a digital back (assuming you can find lenses to match).

I am satisfied the photos I posted show enough similarity to prove my point and just to satisfy myself I DID test with my Sony Zeiss 55 1.8 VS the RX100 iv Sony Zeiss lens  and it is as i suspected a closer match still.....now since it is not an EXACT match and was also just a quick and dirty comparison, there is zero point posting because you would just say it is different.

Feel free to set things up to match theoretically lenses of two (or more) different formats but include a couple of lenses for each format used....If you do that, I am sure the photos would be the same, if you are not, then maybe you should disprove it...

Lastly regards Dr Caldwell,

"Do the experiment properly and you'll find that the perspective is the same.  Surely you must have heard countless times before that perspective depends only on the subject distance.  This is a truth that you shouldn't ignore.  More precisely, perspective depends on the distance from the subject to the entrance pupil of the lens.  For this reason, the entrance pupil is sometimes called the center of perspective. "

I disagreed with you in that thread and I disagree with you in this one hence why this is pointless now.

Enjoy what you use and use what you want!

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21 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

Having to have the FF at f4 because the APS-C had to be at f2.8 and the MFT with the SB could be f2  is not doing the FF any favours.

It's probably best to first set the desired DOF on the smaller format, then match that DOF range on the larger format by eye with a large monitor and/or digital zoom. 

 

In addition, it is important to start out with a set-up that gives all of the information on what is happening with the DOF/focus, visible continually from front to back, both inside and outside of the DOF range.  An ideal arrangement might be next to a receding fence, like this:

b7b0e286345bf8d7538f6a068e031d7e.jpg

Note how the vertical rungs in the fence give a good idea of how/where the rear limit of the DOF range is delineated.  It probably would show a more precise DOF limit delineation if the horizontal rung behind the subject's head was visible.  Also, this set-up could be improved by panning the camera right and/or pulling the camera back to reveal how the front limit of the DOF is delineated on the fence.  Additionally, if there were closer trees or other landscaping visible through the fence, that could add extra information on how background objects are rendered/resolved.

 

 

22 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

Matching the focal lengths also make it a challenge without using a zoom as well of course as at least they maintain the same contrast and colour for each camera.

A small bit of cropping on one of the images probably wouldn't ruin such a test, but using a zoom would.

 

 

22 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

I'm trying to think about which set of cameras and primes that could be used for be a totally accurate test if someone wanted to do it properly and its a tricky ask to get exact matches.

Using two cameras of dramatically differing formats might exhibit a more conspicuous difference in look/DOF that might help overcome some of the minor inaccuracies afflicting tests with camera formats that are close in size.

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14 hours ago, noone said:

if someone really went to the trouble of trying for an EXACT match they would need to take into account everything including each individual lenses characteristics, and that would be almost as difficult to do with two M43 lenses of the same focal length as it would with a Pentax Q and a Mamiya 7 with a digital back (assuming you can find lenses to match).

So, if there is no way to get a close enough match in focal length for an equivalency test, how can any of the equivalency tests made so far be accepted as valid?

 

Actually, there are a lot of 16 and Super 16 prime lenses.  Start with that format as the smaller camera.  There are also plenty of 8"x10" lenses.  It shouldn't be too difficult to use the formula behind the equivalency principle to calculate a close enough match with lenses for those two formats.  A little cropping of one of the images is okay, but a zoom lens is not okay.

 

 

14 hours ago, noone said:

I am satisfied the photos I posted show enough similarity to prove my point and just to satisfy myself I DID test with my Sony Zeiss 55 1.8 VS the RX100 iv Sony Zeiss lens  and it is as i suspected a closer match still.....now since it is not an EXACT match and was also just a quick and dirty comparison, there is zero point posting because you would just say it is different.

Well, everyone has a right to their view.  You evidently don't see the stark differences that I can see with just a glance at the full frame and 1-inch images.

 

Perhaps another comparison method of the two images would make the differences more apparent.  Here is a gif of the two equivalent images alternately flashed at one-second intervals:

dof_comparison2.gif.005abd986051526fff7b95e3417e89ae.gif

Do you not see in the area outlined in red how the distant white building exhibits sharp edges in the 1-inch image, while it is much softer in the full frame image?

 

Likewise, inside the green outline, do you not see how the distant trees are significantly blurry in the FF image, yet we can see their individual branches in the 1-inch image?

 

Closer to the camera, within the blue outline do you not notice how the vertical supports on the fence are softer in the FF image and sharper in the 1-inch image?

 

From your description, I wasn't completely sure which image came from which camera, so please correct me if I got the format labels wrong.  Regardless, there is a substantial difference in the look and DOF of the two images.

 

 

14 hours ago, noone said:

Feel free to set things up to match theoretically lenses of two (or more) different formats but include a couple of lenses for each format used....If you do that, I am sure the photos would be the same, if you are not, then maybe you should disprove it...

I actually offered to collaborate on an equivalency comparison with an EOSHD poster who is a staunch proponent of the equivalency principle and who happens to reside in my town.  The equivalency poster refused my offer.

 

I would not do such a test without an equivalency supporter present to oversee and certify the matching of the DOF.  If I did the test alone, without such certification and if the results showed a dramatic difference in look/DOF, folks would just claim that I did something wrong or that I intentionally manipulated the images.   Several times in this forum I have pointed out prominent discrepancies in DOF/equivalency tests and those differences were dismissed as unimportant or ignored as unavoidable testing "inaccuracies."  I am not going to go through all the effort to do a proper comparison just to have the findings rejected outright.

 

 

14 hours ago, noone said:

Lastly regards Dr Caldwell,

"Do the experiment properly and you'll find that the perspective is the same.  Surely you must have heard countless times before that perspective depends only on the subject distance.  This is a truth that you shouldn't ignore.  More precisely, perspective depends on the distance from the subject to the entrance pupil of the lens.  For this reason, the entrance pupil is sometimes called the center of perspective. "

I disagreed with you in that thread and I disagree with you in this one hence why this is pointless now.

I never disagreed with Caldwell regarding perspective.  Certainly, perspective is determined by the distance of the camera/observer from the subject, but there are exceptions to that rule, depending on how one defines "perspective."

 

However, perspective has little to do with the question of whether different sized formats give contrasting looks or exhibit differing DOF.

 

By the way, Caldwell agreed that there is more to DOF than the the factors/variables found in the DOF formula (which is the basis for the equivalency principle).

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8 hours ago, tupp said:

So, if there is no way to get a close enough match in focal length for an equivalency test, how can any of the equivalency tests made so far be accepted as valid?

 

 

All I will say is if you want to prove an exact match would not give the same photos, do it yourself but again, when YOU do, make sure you have multiple lenses and cameras for each format otherwise I will just point out the differences why the equipment is not going to be an exact match and say it is invalid.

ALL the photos I have seen about this prove to my satisfaction the theory matches reality and even my crappy photos are close enough to prove that.

Beyond that I disagree.

Thanks for playing,.

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29 minutes ago, noone said:

make sure you have multiple lenses and cameras for each format otherwise I will just point out the differences why the equipment is not going to be an exact match and say it is invalid.

Uhm... okay.

 

 

29 minutes ago, noone said:

ALL the photos I have seen about this prove to my satisfaction the theory matches reality and even my crappy photos are close enough to prove that.

Right.  So, let's just dismiss outright the discrepancies shown within the colored outlines, without any consideration nor response.

 

 

29 minutes ago, noone said:

Beyond that I disagree.

Well, denial is not a river in Egypt...

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Just now, tupp said:

 

Right.  So, let's just dismiss outright the discrepancies shown within the colored outlines, without any consideration nor response.

 

The differences are quite minor to the point of it proves theory and practice match to me, even in my crappy comparison between a more than 35 year old FF prime and a much more modern 1 inch sensor zoom.   

That you can not seem to understand that tells me you have visited that river and drunk from it way too many times!

Unless you CAN post proof that to setups to match exactly will not give the "same" photo, there really IS no purpose in continuing and if you do want to post more, just imagine me posting a reply that says I disagree.

Thank you.

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On 9/12/2020 at 3:43 AM, tupp said:

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.

To test this you could use:

standard 16mm, Bolex (Kern Paillard 10mm at f/1.8

4/3rds, 17mm at f/3.2

APS-C (Nikon DX), 22mm at f/4

Full Frame, 34mm at f/6.3

8x10, 256mm at f/45

The 16mm would have to be wide open and the 8x10 would have to be completely stopped down (my 8x10 270mm is f/4.4 - 45)

This is according to this calculator:

https://www.pointsinfocus.com/tools/depth-of-field-and-equivalent-lens-calculator/#{"c":[{"f":13,"av":"8","fl":50,"d":3048,"cm":"0"}],"m":0}

Damn it you’ve got me doing it now!
Like Oliver Hardy and his taxi driver getting involved in Stan Laurel’s jigsaw puzzle,
and they miss his wedding ceremony…

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I think many people are after full frame not only because of 'techiniqalities' (i spelled that wrong) but also simply because of the term FULL frame. As that is the only format that sounds 'complete'. And the smaller formats are just 'crops' of that. It's even called a 'crop sensor'. 

Now which self respecting man with the funds doesnt want the FULL frame to work with it. The end station. And he definetly doesnt want use MICRO four thirds. What micro? 

For that same reason men want a large car with a big engine. And a FULL television, not a cropped version. Or a complete house, not one without a toilet. Or mancave. 

And now that full frame camera's are becoming mainstream, affordable and packed with features, many folks are 'upgrading' to what they always wanted but didnt because of financial reasons or because the features werent there yet. Finally, the full image to work with. 

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1 minute ago, Stab said:

 

Now which self respecting man with the funds doesnt want the FULL frame to work with it. The end station. And he definetly doesnt want use MICRO four thirds. What micro? 

 

Thats odd as S35 cinema cameras cost a lot more than many fullframe hybrids..   and I'd rather have the money to buy a C300, a Red Komodo or an URSA 12k over a fullframe A7C,  or any other fullframe hybrids for that matter... 😆😆

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