Why insist on FF format?

Started Sep 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Anders W
Forum ProPosts: 21,460Gear list
Re: OMD Vs D800
In reply to kelly15, Sep 24, 2012

kelly15 wrote:

Back in film days the main reason to have 1.4 lenses was not because of DOF but because of low sensitivity of films and dark view in the finder: do you remenber?

Shot at 1,4 or 2,0 was to be avoided because of low quality of images and insufficient DOF. Only in rare cases (almost by night) we worked so open.

I own several copies of the Nikon contest catalog of 70ies and 80ies where data are indicated and no or very few prized pictures were taken more open than f. 3.5.

The best summary of the "spirit of the time" back in the film days that I can think of is an ad for the Vivitar 35/1.9 announced in 1974 (and purchased by me shortly afterwards).


I include the text of the ad below since it's a bit tricky to read it in the picture:

"Here is one of the fastest wide angle lenses available.

Why are so many photographers leaving their 50-55 mm lenses at home and using 35 mm as a normal lens? Because of the incredible depth of field possible with a medium wide angle lens. Look at the example on the next page taken with the new Vivitar 35 mm f1.9 lens. In sunlight, stopped down to f11, everything is in focus from 4 feet 8 inches to 14 ft 9 inches. (With a 55 mm lens, the depth of field would only extend from 5 feet 9 inches to 9 feet). You simply prefocus at 7 feet and practically anything interesting that happens on the street can be shot, in focus, without wasting valuable seconds refocusing. When you get the picture, you can then crop to suit. Or shooting indoors with tungsten light and color, the extra depth of field can make the difference between a partially or totally sharp picture. Of course the depth of field is reduced when you shoot wide open with a wide angle lens but it is still greater than that of a normal 50-55 mm lens.

Why is the f1.9 speed so important. Because it is practically as fast as the standard 50-55 lens and opens up that whole wonderful area of "available light" photography. Until recently, there were very few wide angle lenses this fast and they were usually very expensive. Computer design efficiencies have made it possible for Vivitar to offer this lens with top resolution, high contrast and a rational price."

Says it all, doesn't it?

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