Request from DPR - attention Andy Westlake

Started May 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
Forum ProPosts: 10,049
right, but :)
In reply to Macx, May 24, 2012

The fly in the ointment is the discussion of noise. What really seems to upset people is the statement that a photo shot with 25/2 on a 4:3 will have the same noise as a 50/4 on a 135 if both are shot with the same shutter time. And to be fair, that statement does hinge on a bit more uncertainty, because while lenses are fairly standardised, we all know how different noise performance sensors can have within one size and format, so comparing noise performance for differently sized sensors is asking for trouble. So, trouble we get.

True. But I suggest we don't talk about noise for the reasons you state. We should talk about total light, with the understanding that total light has a strong influence on noise. Of course their are many other factors. But if the technology is the same, light is what wins.

Also, remember that equivalence is only ever interesting if you insist in comparing things to other format and systems. That's fair enough for people thinking about switching systems, but for those of us happy with the general form factor and possibilities of the system, equivalence doesn't really matter. For those of us, a 12-35/2.8 isn't "really" a 24-70/5.6, it's a 12-35/2.8. We should just remember not to call it a 24-70/2.8 either.

I think the most irritating thing about equivalence is people not understanding that a cell phone size F2.8 lens is not equal to a FF F2.8 lens. Blame it on the evil F-stop. Which, as you point out, is not big deal if you stick to one system.

The arguments arise when someone proudly states that a small format F2.8 is so much smaller than a FF F2.8 lens, and hence superior in some way. Well, once you understand equivalent you know that smaller lens may only be F5.6 equivalent. Of course it's smaller! True, a great sensor, great image processing, and the skill of the photographer might make up part of the difference. But that's really a separate issue.

The really funny thing is that 1.6, 1.5, and 1.4 crop users don't seem to have any issues with FF equivalence and noise. Any Canon or Nikon crop user knows and accepts that their FF big brothers have lower noise. That's why you move up to FF. It's only the smaller interchangeable formats that have issues. I'm not sure why that is. Some type of a competitive thing.

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