“Full Frame Equivalence” and Why It Doesn’t Matter

Started Feb 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
Macx
Senior MemberPosts: 1,396Gear list
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Re: kind of the opposite
In reply to tko, Feb 6, 2013

tko wrote:

There is no equivalence crowd. There is no FF crowd.

You know, there is, though. And there is a 4:3 crowd. And that's the whole problem with how "equivalence" is often used, because it's often used to either oversell the system "Woo, a f/2 fixed focal ratio-zoom, go suck on that Canikon", or the opposite "How can you be excited about a 75/1.8. It's just a pedestrian 150/3.5". That's tiresome and it gets on people's nerves.

People overlook that for the most part "equivalence" shows you how little difference there is between formats. I've written extensively about that already in this thread, and the differences there is between the formats are just common knowledge for most people and thus they don't feel the need to break out the slide-rules for that.

Myself and a few others by the look of it, like to know what makes things work and equivalence is one way to learn about it, but for most people it's not especially intuitive and it doesn't tell them anything they didn't know before.

I think one way out of this swamp of misery is to give up on the idea of "equivalent focal length" when doing these comparisons. It was a bad idea from the get go and way too easy to get confused about. The basic facts of the matter is that a 75/1.8 is a 75/1.8 no matter what camera you place it on. Talk about it being equivalent to a 150/3.5 (or even a 75/1.8) and people start thinking it must be physically the same lens as a 150/3.5 (or a 150/1.8) which it of course isn't.

No, the two things we should concentrate on when categorising a lens is what field of view it is giving us and the physical size of the aperture. THEN we can meaningfully compare the size, price and IQ of lenses, and there is no need to get confused about virtual focal lengths and imaginary f-numbers.

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