Full frame lenses + APS-C sensors = What kind of issues?

Started Jun 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: Full frame lenses + APS-C sensors = What kind of issues?
In reply to whyamihere, Jun 3, 2012

My problem with most APS-C lenses are the quality. There are some good ones, no doubt, but the Pro-grade Full Frame/FX glass available is better, by and large. Good FX glass isn't always larger either. If you look at the 17-55 f/2.8 DX Nikon or equivalent EF-S lens from Canon, they are huge and heavy.

I think it's the quality of build these days that has more to do with it. Granted the smaller format should result in smaller, lighter weight lenses, but often do not. The kit type lenses like the 18-55, 55-250 and so forth do tend to be smaller but they are of a much lesser build and lesser optical performance as well. There just are not many real pro-level lenses optically in the crop lens category.

Secondly, I believe FX or Full Frame may be the future finally. For a couple of years I've been suggesting that enthusiast level full frames are on the horizon. Now we hear of Nikon rumored to have a D600 FX body coming out for around $1500 range. Sony will likely release a Full Frame NEX and SLT this year too in the $1000 - $2000 range. The Sony fabrication of the 24 mp FX sized sensor is down to the success rates of APS-C crop as far a wafer production goes which means similar prices to the market. With the price getting cheap there is no reason we won't see this move more and more. Nikon's JFET-LBCAST derived 12mp and 16mp sensors are seeing equal drops in cost to manufacture.

Next notice the glass being released by the manufacturers, especially the big two. I know Nikon better than Canon but the only DX (aps-C) lenses of late have been a kit type tele-zoom in the 55-300. We're also likely to see an 18-300 super ratio of dubious output quality. That's about it except maybe the 40 f/2.8 Micro. There maybe others coming here and there, but no killer builds.

On the other hand look at the FX releases over the past couple of years. Nikon is seriously filling in the low to medium price full frame glass. They've released two of three in the F/4 trinity with only a 70-200 left to go. They have released three new f/1.8 primes are very low prices in the 50 f/1.8 G, 85 f/1.8 G and the new 28 f/1.8 G. There's even rumoured a new 24-70 variable aperture FX zoom at a very low kit lens price. Now, what does that look like to you? Does that look like a company who plans to only offer $3000 or higher FX bodies? Not to me either.

I think you'll see that $1500 FX Nikon this year and an even more entry level FX later. I think the DX market will be entry level only eventually. I think the same will hold true over time for Canon, and maybe Pentax too. I hope so for Pentax. I really do. Pentax has still maintained full frame glass in their catalog so they can do it. Sony has also.

Olympus will have a tough time with their DSLR market and I think we're seeing the end of it. If so, this will be the second time they've killed off a mount. They have zero larger format glass at all and I'm not sure if they have the money for R&D after all their financial failures in the past year or so. Besides, Ricoh is a small camera company.

Sorry for the big post, but I think the OP should consider this when making a fairly large investment in DSLR gear. I could be totally wrong, but take a look at the big picture on what's happening in the market right now. Think about what they are releasing and where they are moving. Think about those huge numbers of APS-C owners that are ripe for upgrading to FX and new gear to go with them. I'd be interested to hear what a Canon person who's knowledgeable on what they are doing has to say. What have and are they releasing in the past couple years?

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