Is your photography better with FF?

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
kelvin2345
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Is your photography better with FF?
7 months ago

I am not a big fan of Thom Hogan, but I think his recent post is very interesting.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/is-your-photography-better.html

Thom is challenging whether the new photo gear that we purchased last Christmas has made us any better photographer.

I have been seeing a lot of "Should I move to FF?", "difference between f4 and f2.8 lens", "New DF coming" kind of posts in the past month. I really wonder whether the photos taken by those people have improved after spending all those money in new gears and gadgets.

I myself is a D600 user. The D600 was beaten to death with its dust issue and sub-standard AF module. But guess what, I just started to go pro with my D600 and all my clients like my results. I found it a fantastic camera and I can't get the most out of it yet.

To those who has bought new gears last Christmas - is your photography better?

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maljo@inreach.com
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Composition, light and technique don't change...
In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

...with new gear, but:

new gear can increase resolution and dynamic range

new lenses give new framing or close up opportunities

new lenses and cameras may improve the low light experience

new equipment can inspire and motivate to take more photos

... so yes, new gear improves my photography.

maljo

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Johnny Liu
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Re: Is your photography better with FF?
In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

The results are visibly better. The skills, not so much

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MPA1
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Re: Is your photography better with FF?
In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

Do people really buy new gear at Christmas like some sort of metronomic acquisition? A kind of 'Winter Solstice Camera Worship"?

I buy it when I actually have a need for it. A good many photographers (but not camera shops or camera companies!) would be better off if more people did that, rather than just bought it because it was new or because it was Xmas.

JMO of course!

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Mr Lurch
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Re: Is your photography better with FF?
In reply to MPA1, 7 months ago

Is my photography better with FF?

No.

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VBLondon
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Re: Composition, light and technique don't change...
In reply to maljo@inreach.com, 7 months ago

I don't know why I find Thom's writing less and less engaging. He seems a very knowledgeable and decent sort of person, and he comes across as a good teacher.

But more recently no-one could accuse him of being over-humble.

Nikon are lectured to in just about every article on what morons they are for all the wrong decisions they make, from the big ones down to nuances of wording in advertising copy.

This recent article is addressed to us, the typical photographer/Thom reader. At its core, it obviously makes some good points and the "prove it" thing is a good thought-provoker. But it's wrapped in a patronising style of prose that puts me off somewhat. It's as if he judges his audience by the lowest, loudest denominator of web forum poster and writes to that.

But to answer the question, it's a resounding yes for me, the new gear made a provable difference. I replaced my D3S with a Df and (despite the (horror!) single card slot, 39pt AF module, locking dials) I find a take it with me more often because it's lighter, quieter and more discrete and the images are every bit as good. So I take pictures I wouldn't have taken, because I wouldn't have taken my D3S with me.

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lickity split
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Re: Is your photography better with FF?
In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

I never owned a DX body my first camera was the D600, after lurking here a few months and seeing the "should I move to full frame" discussed every other day, I figured why not right from the start.

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Joerg V
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Photography: a bit, postprocessing: a lot, results: so much better
In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

To those who has bought new gears last Christmas - is your photography better?

I got a D800 one year ago (not exactly a christmas gift but well) and my *results* are sooo much better. Before I have been using a Sigma DP1 for years and was cleary camera limited (the DP1 is a great camera and converted me from a spray-and-pray snapshooter into an ambitious amateur. No other camera (and that includes the D800) taught me so much about photography!).

The combination of a camera that is able to capture a mind-boggling dynamic range and the switch from Sigma Photo Pro to Lightroom changed a lot. (Oh yes and it captures insane amounts of detail... has a great auto focus and a pony! I am probably only using 20% of its functionality. Gee!)

Coming from a 1.7 crop camera with a (great!) 28mm prime I am still struggling with the narrower depth of field of the D800 + 50mm. Getting the focus right is a challenge with 36MP.

Is my photography better? The last year added some experience, so yes probably a bit (as it would have increased with any gear that has a trigger and outputs an image).

Are my postprocessing skills better? Yes, a lot! Sigma Photo Pro is a rudimentary raw developer, it does its job but no more about it. With Lightroom almost every picture receives local optimizations, gradient filters and so on...

Are the results better? Yes yes and again yes.

This image (taken two days ago) would not be possible with my previous gear. It would have looked somewhat similar but never ever that rich and silky.

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D200_4me
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In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

There's a few reasons why I own a full frame camera (D700 and now D600).  But other than inspiring me to try new things, the gear itself didn't really do it.  It was mostly a mental thing and learning new skills.  I'm actually preferring my E-M1 more now for various reasons.  Bottom line is, there are a few reasons why someone would NEED to PREFER to use full frame or any other sensor size, but it would be silly to suggest that you MUST use this or that to be any good.

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caspianm
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Re: Is your photography better with FF?
In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

Is my photography any better? Yes. Some improvements due renewed enthusiasm

Is my photographs any better? Yes indeed. D800 takes better pictures than D7000 given the same photographer with same  knowledge of both systems.

While agree it is the one behind the camera one cannot dispute the importance of the tools used.

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Eric88Nikon
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Re: Is your photography better with FF?
In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

Yes.... Because the D800 allows me to show at a much higher ISO than my previous cameras and thus gives me a higher keeper rate.

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JF69
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love the light in this one Joerg V
In reply to Joerg V, 7 months ago

Joerg V wrote:

The light is simply amazingly evocative Joerg, your pot work in LR really captured & enhanced the mood of the place.

Belated regards to you & your loved ones,
JF69

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user_name
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New gear can
In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

help take better pictures.

But, it doesn't necessarily make better photography.

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Robertomendo
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Re: Is your photography better with FF?
In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

Much better, I sold my D7000 and bought a D600 when it came out and my photography improved largely because I no longer have the autofocus problems I had with the D7000 and I have learned a lot more through experience, I am still very much  a newbie to dslr and lightroom.

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John Gellings
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Re: Composition, light and technique don't change...
In reply to maljo@inreach.com, 7 months ago

maljo@inreach.com wrote:

...with new gear, but:

new gear can increase resolution and dynamic range

new lenses give new framing or close up opportunities

new lenses and cameras may improve the low light experience

new equipment can inspire and motivate to take more photos

... so yes, new gear improves my photography.

maljo

Yawn... another one of these types of stories?

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Truman Prevatt
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Re: Is your photography better with FF?
In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

The skill of a photographer has little to do with the camera.  What a camera can do is limit the expression of the skill of the photographer and inhibit the photographer from developing the skill.  Did the D800 impart in me any additional photographic skill or vision - not at all.  Did it allow me to explore new approaches and give me more tools to work with?  Absolutely.

The historical development of photography (and physics) teaches us that a larger sensor (negative or digital) have advantages over smaller formats.  Will moving from DX to 135 format make you a better photographer - no.  Will it give you a better tool to grow your skill and expression - absolutely.

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Rservello
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Re: Is your photography better with FF?
In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

I am not a big fan of Thom Hogan, but I think his recent post is very interesting.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/is-your-photography-better.html

Thom is challenging whether the new photo gear that we purchased last Christmas has made us any better photographer.

I have been seeing a lot of "Should I move to FF?", "difference between f4 and f2.8 lens", "New DF coming" kind of posts in the past month. I really wonder whether the photos taken by those people have improved after spending all those money in new gears and gadgets.

I myself is a D600 user. The D600 was beaten to death with its dust issue and sub-standard AF module. But guess what, I just started to go pro with my D600 and all my clients like my results. I found it a fantastic camera and I can't get the most out of it yet.

To those who has bought new gears last Christmas - is your photography better?

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kleungphoto.blogspot.com

I would say yes. But not for reason of anything other than, I can now compose and use my primes as I would a film camera, and my dynamic range and low light abilities have improved. Otherwise, I'm still the same person. So I got great shots with my dx and get great shots with my fx. I can just stand a little closer with my shorter primes. Lol.

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yray
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Re: Photography: a bit, postprocessing: a lot, results: so much better
In reply to Joerg V, 7 months ago

I like this shot, the composition is nice, and it captures the mood very well. However, the question of what it would look like taken with a different camera is a moot one. We only see one version of it, taken with the D800, and it is very nice in my opinion, -- but would it look just as nice, albeit a bit different, taken with the D700 or D600 or D7000 or D7100, or even the good old D300, or Fuji S5 for that matter, -- we don't know that for a fact.

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ranalli
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Re: Is your photography better with FF?
In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

kelvin2345 wrote:

I am not a big fan of Thom Hogan, but I think his recent post is very interesting.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/is-your-photography-better.html

Thom is challenging whether the new photo gear that we purchased last Christmas has made us any better photographer.

I have been seeing a lot of "Should I move to FF?", "difference between f4 and f2.8 lens", "New DF coming" kind of posts in the past month. I really wonder whether the photos taken by those people have improved after spending all those money in new gears and gadgets.

I myself is a D600 user. The D600 was beaten to death with its dust issue and sub-standard AF module. But guess what, I just started to go pro with my D600 and all my clients like my results. I found it a fantastic camera and I can't get the most out of it yet.

To those who has bought new gears last Christmas - is your photography better?

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kleungphoto.blogspot.com

I think the question is addressed differently for different groups of folks.  To the guy coming from an iPhone or P&S to any kind of proper DSLR with lenses along with a good editing program(LR for example) the improvement will be significant and the equipment purchase warranted.

But to be honest, I think Thom is referring more to the folks that agonize over D600 vs D800 or should I buy a used D700 vs a D600 or is the 58 1.4 really worth the money, etc.

This latter group is wasting their time agonizing and debating such small increments in equipment quality.  Some of these folks are quite talented and these new pieces of equipment will inspire them to do even greater things.

However, there are a lot of folks that I've seen boasting about dynamic range this or megapixel that have no idea how to make a compelling photo and really do themselves a disservice by not elevating their photos with proper post work.  Why buy a D800 and a 1.4 lens only to take a picture of your poorly kept backyard?  You could be doing that with a P&S.

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Charles Currey
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Re: Is your photography better with FF?
In reply to kelvin2345, 7 months ago

Yes, no question about it. Way too often I find myself shooting at ISO 10000 or even 12800. At these levels my FF D3s is cleaner  than any crop frame camera. I have obviously not tried them all, but I regularly use the high ISO comparison tool on this site and the result is always the same. As each new crop frame camera is tested it is found to be not as clean at these high ISO levels as my FF camera which is now a generation old.

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