Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

Started Mar 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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cptrios Senior Member • Posts: 1,352
Re: Ideal resolution for a full frame Foveon sensor?

DaSigmaGuy wrote:

The resolution of the SD1 sensor is 4800x3200, which works out to be exactly 200 photosites/per mm on both the x and y axis. 200 x 36mm = 7200. 200 x 24 = 4800. 7200x4800 = 34.56mp, or roughly 35mp rounded up. So the resolution of a full frame Foveon sensor with the same amount of photosite/mm as the SD1 sensor would be about 35mp.

Now, I know that a FF cut of the SD1 sensor would have its share of issues - noise, shadow banding, etc. And it would put more stress on lens corners than any sensor in history. But it would be ridiculously great for many things. Bear with me:

• Let's assume that the most common print size is 8x10. So, for the purposes of a 2:3 sensor, 8x12.

• Judging by my own playing with Foveon-produced files, I would say that with a good lens and good PP, it's more than possible to print an excellent 8x12 from a 1000x1500 (1.5MP) crop. Probably even smaller - but let's say that number's safe.

• Using DSG's calculations, one could therefore crop a good 8x12 from 4.3% of this theoretical FF sensor's total area. 20.8% of width and height.

Therefore, based on my rather clueless calculations of FoV (which I'm sure I'm doing incorrectly):

You could slap a Zeiss 21/2.8 Distagon on this camera, and, if you never planned on printing larger than 8x12, you effectively (ignoring DOF and perspective) would have a 21-120mm zoom. A Sigma 85/1.4 (provided you used the center, where sharpness is good enough) would give you an 85-410mm zoom. A good 200mm prime would get you as close as 850mm . A 28-300mm zoom (of which none are of course good enough for the purpose) would give you a whopping range of 28-1200m.

Like I said, I'm sure my calculations are off...but even so, the cropping power you'd have would be out of this world. You would, for example, get a nicely-detailed 8x8 of the Moon, where the Moon filled the entire frame, with a 300mm lens.

And, of course, uncropped with an excellent lens we'd be talking 7-foot prints that would hold up to close scrutiny, and probably 15-foot prints that'd be fine from a few feet away.

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