Three Quick Questions vs The Enjoyment of Photography

Started Jan 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
CharlesB58
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Re: Three Quick Questions vs The Enjoyment of Photography
In reply to Great Bustard, Jan 2, 2013

Great Bustard wrote:


A 12-35 / 2.8 is equivalent to (not "equal to") a 24-70 / 5.6 on FF. That means that it has the same DOF and projects the same total amount of light on the sensor. However, as you note, "equivalent" does not mean "equal", and there's more to a lens than the DOF range it offers and the amount of light it projects on the sensor (although, you have to admit, those are two pretty important features of a lens).

We can debate the merits of the Panasonic 12-35 / 2.8 on an EM5 vs the Tamron 24-70 / 2.8 VC on a D600, of course, and Equivalence certainly makes no claim about which is "superior" to the other -- each system has advantages over the other.

This of course makes complete sense. Unfortunately, people set aside sense in order to justify completely visceral reasons for choosing a format. (not even getting into the issue regarding understanding definitions. We have an entire segment of society that doesn't know the difference between "your" and "you're" much less the difference between "equal" and "equivalent".) The equivalency debates ensue not because the principles are open for debate, but because people take the statement that a 12-35 f2.8 for m4/3 is equivalent to a 24-70 f5.6 on FF to mean that the m4/3 lens is somehow inferior.

GB, I know you have never said that m4/3 is inferior to FF in overall photographic terms, but that is how some people take the statement nonetheless. (Because for some people, if you say "FF has less noise at any given ISO, all other things being equal"  since they already think that less noise means inherent superiority the conclude you are saying that FF is inherently superior. This mind set that IQ alone determines the superiority of a camera is nothing new: 30 years ago I had someone tell me that 35mm was a waste of time and film because it could never equal the quality of 4X5. The man who told me this still carried a a 4X5 Speed Graphic when he went on vacation!

That's why I suggested that you consider that not everyone takes this aspect of photography as seriously as you do. There really are times when the best advice to give someone is "don't worry as much about this equivalency business as about whether the gear you have takes photos you like. If not, then explore other options."

Because some people ask such questions with the intent of proving one system's superiority over  another, offering the facts will simply exacerbate the issue with those people, not resolve it.

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