Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
socode
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Re: Crop sensors are certainly obsolete
In reply to Scott Larson, 9 months ago

Scott Larson wrote:

TheMeister wrote:

Dave Luttmann wrote:

You FF is a crop sensor. Guess you missed that.

My Full Frame Sensor is a crop sensor? Can you explain?

The lens projects a circular image. Your "full frame" sensor crops an arbitrarily shaped rectangle out of that circular image. Therefore if your photos aren't circular you're not using your lenses to their full potential.

"Crop" sensors simply crop a slightly smaller rectangle out of the circular image in exactly the same way.

That's simply vacuous.

a) some lenses have baffling to restrict the projected image

b) the manufacturer would have designed for performance within the 35mm area only

c) notable absence of "non-cropped" cameras with circular sensors

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Keith Z Leonard
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Re: Crop sensors are certainly obsolete
In reply to TheMeister, 9 months ago

TheMeister wrote:

In the world of photography we refere to a sensor that is smaller than the standard 36x26mm as a crop sensor. Using the circular image directly from the lense is and never has been a standard. Lensmakers dont think of people using the circular image when they design a lens.

In the world of 35mm digital photography you are correct, but those are smaller sensors than the phase 1 cameras, for example, it's all relative.

Apc-s is not "slightly" smaller then a FF sensor. Its significantly smaller.
Tiny sensors weirdly turn wider angled lenses into portrait lenses.
The smaller the sensor - the more the image distortion and loss of light.

It is significantly smaller, but it is far from the "tiny" sensors of point and shoot cameras.  There's nothing "weird" about the change in field of view, it's just a crop, but it doesn't change perspective, so wider angle lenses will still not be ideal for portraits.

In terms of distortion, it doesn't increase it, it decreases lens distortion from the same lens if shooting equivalent images, because you are getting only the center portion of the projected image and distortion tends to be worse towards the image.  You are gathering less total photons though.

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TheMeister
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Re: Crop sensors are certainly obsolete
In reply to Keith Z Leonard, 9 months ago

Keith Z Leonard wrote:

TheMeister wrote:

In the world of photography we refere to a sensor that is smaller than the standard 36x26mm as a crop sensor. Using the circular image directly from the lense is and never has been a standard. Lensmakers dont think of people using the circular image when they design a lens.

In the world of 35mm digital photography you are correct, but those are smaller sensors than the phase 1 cameras, for example, it's all relative.

Apc-s is not "slightly" smaller then a FF sensor. Its significantly smaller.
Tiny sensors weirdly turn wider angled lenses into portrait lenses.
The smaller the sensor - the more the image distortion and loss of light.

It is significantly smaller, but it is far from the "tiny" sensors of point and shoot cameras. There's nothing "weird" about the change in field of view, it's just a crop, but it doesn't change perspective, so wider angle lenses will still not be ideal for portraits.

In terms of distortion, it doesn't increase it, it decreases lens distortion from the same lens if shooting equivalent images, because you are getting only the center portion of the projected image and distortion tends to be worse towards the image. You are gathering less total photons though.

Obviously sensors on compacts are really really tiny but theys till make decent pix. My compact from 2006 stills blows away any cellphone camera for some odd reason.

I didnt get across by what i meant in regards to distortion caused by crop sensors, so let me try again:

The distortion on the edges of the frame that you mean is part of the lens-character. Especially with protraits this is very important to compress the background and make the subject look more flattering. Wide angles do the opposite and they are supposed to.
Like you wrote: the little sensors only display the center of the lense. This alters perspective and thats what i meant.

Sure people try to compensate for example by using a 35mm as a 50mm and so on. Nevertheless this is just an attempt to duplicate the character of the real FF.
So again: there is just no reason whatsoever to prefer a crop other then budget. And we all understand that and thats why they tried so hard to make excellent aps-c cameras.

But with FF becoming available they will become obsolete quite fast.

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TheMeister
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Re: Crop sensors are certainly obsolete
In reply to socode, 9 months ago

socode wrote:

Scott Larson wrote:

TheMeister wrote:

Dave Luttmann wrote:

You FF is a crop sensor. Guess you missed that.

My Full Frame Sensor is a crop sensor? Can you explain?

The lens projects a circular image. Your "full frame" sensor crops an arbitrarily shaped rectangle out of that circular image. Therefore if your photos aren't circular you're not using your lenses to their full potential.

"Crop" sensors simply crop a slightly smaller rectangle out of the circular image in exactly the same way.

That's simply vacuous.

a) some lenses have baffling to restrict the projected image

b) the manufacturer would have designed for performance within the 35mm area only

c) notable absence of "non-cropped" cameras with circular sensors

I think Dave made a bizare remark about FF actually being crop and the whole talk about circular images is just plain weird...

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Scott Larson
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Re: Crop sensors are certainly obsolete
In reply to socode, 9 months ago

socode wrote:

That's simply vacuous.

And completely true.

a) some lenses have baffling to restrict the projected image

Yes SOME lenses have been crippled to assist cropping the traditional 35mm area. Note that this only assists the image cropping and is a completely arbitrary size and shape, just like the traditional 35mm area. Do I need to say "crop" a few more times to make my point clear?

b) the manufacturer would have designed for performance within the 35mm area only

There are many "full frame" lenses that have significantly inferior performance in the corners of the 35mm area. By this logic, if these lenses were truly designed for "full frame" they would have good performance throughout the 35mm area. Since they don't, they must have been designed for cameras which crop a smaller area of the image.

c) notable absence of "non-cropped" cameras with circular sensors

That's because using the entire circular image projected by the lens (which was very popular during the Kodak Brownie era) has fallen out of favor over square and rectangular images. Since film comes on rolls, circular images wasted film area. This resulted in the image cropping system that all cameras use today.

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Scott Larson
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Re: Crop sensors are certainly obsolete
In reply to TheMeister, 9 months ago

TheMeister wrote:

I think Dave made a bizare remark about FF actually being crop and the whole talk about circular images is just plain weird...

Dave made a completely correct comment about the cropping nature of "full frame" cameras and, yes, lenses do project a circular image whether or not you find it "just plain weird".

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Messier Object
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Colin Smith1, 9 months ago

Colin Smith1 wrote:

I know I still value the low light, high ISO of my Canon full frames and the high quality of the lenses, not to mention the obvious advantages of an optical viewfinder in low light or fast movement.. As a wildlife photographer nothing offered to date can match the tracking AF of my 5D III, certainly not the OM E1 or the Sony.

As a long-time Olympus shooter and owner of their final DSLR (the E-5) and IMO their best lens (Zuiko 300mm f/2.8)  I have to say that the big advantage of the 2X crop 4/3 format is the reach. And the E-5 was about as rugged and weather sealed as a DSLR could get, and just the right size to match the 3.2Kg lens, but its low light performance was so-so, and continuous-AF poor.
Like many I was anxiously waiting for the next Oly DSLR - one with the 16Mp sensor - but alas they have gone 100% mirrorless now with the E-M1 now the Olympus flagship. Yes, Its new 16Mp Sony sensor is a marvel and its noise and High ISO performance rivals my 5D3,  but the tiny size, electronic view-finder and 'almost good enough' AF with the 4/3 lenses would be a backward step for me. Had Olympus put that new sensor and 5-axis in-body stabilisation system into a new DSLR it would have been (IMO) the best wildlife platform out there.  I guess that increasing business losses and DSLR market dominance by Canon and Nikon forced their direction
I still shoot my E-5 and Zuiko 300mm/2.8, especially in good light and where I need the 600mm reach,  but I  won't be buying the new Mirrorless marvel.  Instead I got an EF300/2.8II with 2X for my 5D and my next purchase will probably be the 7D replacement (if/when) it comes.
As you say, the 5D3 AI Servo AF is hard to match, especially for BIF.

Peter

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Flying Fish
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So much for that fantasy
In reply to JackM, 9 months ago

Thanks for the clarifications.

FF

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Just another Canon shooter
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Messier Object, 9 months ago

Messier Object wrote:
Yes, Its new 16Mp Sony sensor is a marvel and its noise and High ISO performance rivals my 5D3, [...]

The "high ISO performance" is irrelevant, what is important is the low light performance. Oly has different ISO rating and exposure algorithms. If you compare the same exposure, not the same ISO, you will see that the Oly is about 2 stops behind, as it should be, and as measured by DXO.

I would love to see 100% crops of images you got with your 300mm m43 lens. What I have seen so far looks not so great.

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socode
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Re: Crop sensors are certainly obsolete
In reply to Scott Larson, 9 months ago

Note that this only assists the image cropping and is a completely arbitrary size and shape, just like the traditional 35mm area.

It was arbitrarily chosen by the manufacturers of 35mm systems as their target format, which is why it does not make sense to call 35mm cropped within the context of a 35mm system. Which is what the conversation was about. Do keep up.

Do I need to say "crop" a few more times to make my point clear

Do whatever makes you happy, you're still dragging in an irrelevant separate context.

There are many "full frame" lenses that have significantly inferior performance in the corners of the 35mm area.

That's not relevant. The manufacturer will still have applied their tolerance/standards within the full area when they were producing a lens for 35mm. Anything outside the mind has tradeoffs.

c) notable absence of "non-cropped" cameras with circular sensors

That's because using the entire circular image projected by the lens (which was very popular during the Kodak Brownie era)

Do note no-one was talking about box brownies but specifically a 35mm system intrinsically being a crop format with respect to itself.

This resulted in the image cropping system that all cameras use today.

Which is not relevant to a discussion about 35mm, specifically.

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kewlguy
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No, but there is an alternative called APS-C
In reply to Colin Smith1, 9 months ago

I still have my Canon FF system, but when I needed lightweight setup, I'd take my X-E1 or X-E2 with those excellent Fuji lenses.

m4/3 sensor is getting better sure, but no reason to think the same improvement can't be applied to APS-C/FF sensors too.

For me, APS-C is about ideal in term of camera/lens size and IQ.

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mermaidkiller
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Re: No, but there is an alternative called APS-C
In reply to kewlguy, 9 months ago

kewlguy wrote:

I still have my Canon FF system, but when I needed lightweight setup, I'd take my X-E1 or X-E2 with those excellent Fuji lenses.

m4/3 sensor is getting better sure, but no reason to think the same improvement can't be applied to APS-C/FF sensors too.

For me, APS-C is about ideal in term of camera/lens size and IQ.

For me the same, I just upgraded from the 7d just for low light / astrophotography reasons. Yes, I know, my 70-300 'shrinks' to a 43-185mm mapped to APS-C, but, even then, cropping to APS-C provides less resolution (8MB vs 18MB) but the lower pixel density provides 2 stops low noise / fine grain gain at the same ISO value. And more dynamic range. And for people for which the kilo-heavy 70-300L is too heavy, there are alternatives which can be used on FF as well: the much cheaper and more compact Canon non-L or 3rd party 70-300 models. But then you have to offer IQ.

And, the 6d body is smaller and lighter than the 7d body, so for me the upgrade means lugging even less around. But, still If I don't want to lug I have that cute Powershot S100 which make great pics (and videos).

BTW, on that 'fullframe is not fullframe' discussion: why are square frames never implemented ? Only the 126 instamatic film has 26x26mm square frames and the large format 60x60mm on 120 film. So why not a 30x30mm sensor for the same lenses designed for full frame ? Then no rotate issues anymore, better use of the lens quality as there is no 'long side' with more lens errors.

Yes, I know, newer FF cameras have a square frame but that is just a crop to 24x24mm on the sensor.

Another thing: I expect even full frame (24x36) ILC / mirrorless cameras, at least from Sony and Canon. Fullframe does not need to be big and huge. In the past many little cute film compacts were released and the Leica M6 is also a rather small FF (but $$$) camera.

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Rock and Rollei
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Colin Smith1, 9 months ago

Can't be bothered to read the whole thread, so apologies if someone else has said it - but I think Ludicrous Landscape is the thing that's obsolete.

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Scott Larson
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Re: Crop sensors are certainly obsolete
In reply to socode, 9 months ago

socode wrote:

It was arbitrarily chosen by the manufacturers of 35mm systems as their target format, which is why it does not make sense to call 35mm cropped within the context of a 35mm system. Which is what the conversation was about. Do keep up.

So you're saying those lenses with baffles are 35mm lenses however those that don't have baffles (most of my lenses) aren't 35mm lenses?

Also if you take a look at the image projected by at least some of the lenses with baffles you'll find that there is a lot of image outside the "full frame" area. I just tested my 135mm f2 which has baffles. At the registration distance the image area is oval. It's surprising how much of the image is being thrown away. even with "full frame" sensors.


There are many "full frame" lenses that have significantly inferior performance in the corners of the 35mm area.

That's not relevant. The manufacturer will still have applied their tolerance/standards within the full area when they were producing a lens for 35mm. Anything outside the mind has tradeoffs.

It's extremely relevant when you want a photo that has corner to corner sharpness which many of these so-called "full frame" lenses cannot produce despite the manufacturers applying their obviously loose standards to that part of the image area. Fortunately these lenses perform much better with so-called "crop" sensors and that's one reason why I use them.

c) notable absence of "non-cropped" cameras with circular sensors

That's because using the entire circular image projected by the lens (which was very popular during the Kodak Brownie era)

Do note no-one was talking about box brownies but specifically a 35mm system intrinsically being a crop format with respect to itself.

No one was talking about it because someone claimed circular formats never existed until I pointed them out, which showed that statements were being made out of ignorance.

This resulted in the image cropping system that all cameras use today.

Which is not relevant to a discussion about 35mm, specifically.

The origins of the 35mm crop format is completely relevant when people are ignorantly claiming it's not a crop format. It is an arbitrary "crop" format just like so-called "crop" cameras. With so-called 35mm lenses it also causes completely relevant problems with vignetting which cameras have to digitally compensate for and corner sharpness which no camera can compensate for.

The solution: crop from a smaller image area. Vignetting is now mostly gone (not quite with my 85mm f1,2 unfortunately). Corner to corner sharpness is now much improved.

It's ridiculous to say that "full frame" is the "right" format when it's completely arbitrary and comes with unavoidable disadvantages.

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socode
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Re: Crop sensors are certainly obsolete
In reply to Scott Larson, 9 months ago

Scott Larson wrote:

socode wrote:

It was arbitrarily chosen by the manufacturers of 35mm systems as their target format, which is why it does not make sense to call 35mm cropped within the context of a 35mm system. Which is what the conversation was about. Do keep up.

So you're saying those lenses with baffles are 35mm lenses however those that don't have baffles (most of my lenses) aren't 35mm lenses?

No, you were, but now you appear to believe that 35mm lenses do indeed exist, and were designed as 35mm lenses even if they project a larger image. Is that correct? If so thank you, we seem to have advanced.

It's extremely relevant when you want a photo that has corner to corner sharpness which many of these so-called "full frame" lenses cannot produce despite the manufacturers applying their obviously loose standards to that part of the image area.

That's great, but that's not what I responded to, which is what makes it irrelevant. No-one is arguing that lenses may project larger images than the format they were designed to cover, and no-one is claiming that no other formats existed except 35mm. It still doesn't change that 35mm lenses were designed to cover 35mm sensors, and it doesn't make sense to describe a full-frame sensor as cropped within that context. Manufacturers standards are a separate discussion.

No one was talking about it because someone claimed circular formats never existed until I pointed them out, which showed that statements were being made out of ignorance.

I didn't make such a claim, so again it's irrelevant. We also don't have circular image digital ILCs so it would anyway be irrelevant. There is a pattern here.

This resulted in the image cropping system that all cameras use today.

Which is not relevant to a discussion about 35mm, specifically.

It is an arbitrary "crop" format just like so-called "crop" cameras.

It may have been chosen arbitrarily initially, but it isn't arbitrary any more with a number of systems and millions of lenses produced to cover it. And it isn't arbitrary within the context of discussing the 35mm format specifically.

It's ridiculous to say that "full frame" is the "right" format when it's completely arbitrary and comes with unavoidable disadvantages.

Just as well I didn't say that then. It's also irrelevant to whether or not out makes any sense to describe 35mm sensors as cropped within the context of a 35mm system.

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Just another Canon shooter
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Re: Crop sensors are certainly obsolete
In reply to Scott Larson, 9 months ago

Scott Larson wrote:

It's extremely relevant when you want a photo that has corner to corner sharpness which many of these so-called "full frame" lenses cannot produce despite the manufacturers applying their obviously loose standards to that part of the image area. Fortunately these lenses perform much better with so-called "crop" sensors and that's one reason why I use them.

Actually, they perform form worse to much worse on crop, corners included, with a very few exceptions, like some UWAs (but then you lose the UWA, so what's the point). The illusion of better performance is due to the fact that they are more uniform (in a mediocre way) across the frame, and to the lack of understanding how to compare formats.

They perform "better" than some EF-S lenses, with "better" meaning better corners,..., well at the expense of a worse center.

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Kabe Luna
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Re: Are Full Frame SLRs Obsolete?
In reply to Colin Smith1, 9 months ago

Colin Smith1 wrote:

Writers on the Luminous Landscape http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/full_frame_myth.shtml have stated their belief that the age of full frame DSLRs is coming to an end for basically two reasons. One, 16 meg micro 4/3s sensors have gotten very good in quality and noise reduction that they can now be printed to 16x20 (so why would anyone want the bulkier or heavier full frame DSLR ?) Second because the of the Sony mirror less full frame with excellent EVF.

I know I still value the low light, high ISO of my Canon full frames and the high quality of the lenses, not to mention the obvious advantages of an optical viewfinder in low light or fast movement.. As a wildlife photographer nothing offered to date can match the tracking AF of my 5D III, certainly not the OM E1 or the Sony.

On the other hand I wonder if I will always feel that way? At the age of 67 traveling around the world as I do with heavy gear is becoming more of a burden. If I ever do switch to a mirror less camera system, someone is going to have to make some good fixed focal length telephotos. As for now, I assume the excellent quality of my photos would be hard to give up.

Anyone think that the day is coming when even pros and advanced amateurs will be satisfied with a smaller, lighter mirror less system.

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Colin Smith

I can only speak for myself, but I prefer optical viewfinders, the image characteristics that accompany the pairing of larger formats and longer lenses, greater energy efficiency, flexibility and ergonomics suited to larger hands wrapped around larger camera bodies. I also know what, while one can squeeze a 20" print from 16 MP, detail rendering will always be better with a larger original. So, for me, full frame DSLRs are still the only real game in town.

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Scott Larson
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Re: Crop sensors are certainly obsolete
In reply to Just another Canon shooter, 9 months ago

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

Scott Larson wrote:

It's extremely relevant when you want a photo that has corner to corner sharpness which many of these so-called "full frame" lenses cannot produce despite the manufacturers applying their obviously loose standards to that part of the image area. Fortunately these lenses perform much better with so-called "crop" sensors and that's one reason why I use them.

Actually, they perform form worse to much worse on crop, corners included, with a very few exceptions, like some UWAs (but then you lose the UWA, so what's the point).

Gosh, I must only be using "the exceptions". For example My old 24-70mm f2.8 (Mark I) had much better corner sharpness on my 1D cameras than my 5D cameras since they didn't include the blurry parts. This was very obvious with group shots.

The Mark II version of that lens has much improved corner sharpness (and overall sharpness). It costs a lot more than the Mark I version but that's because very difficult to get an image circle good enough to crop a 24x36mm rectangle out of it with decent quality.

The illusion of better performance is due to the fact that they are more uniform (in a mediocre way) across the frame, and to the lack of understanding how to compare formats.

Oh yes, my thousands of dollars of Canon lenses have produced nothing but mediocre images on all of my "crop" 1D cameras I've owned for the past 13 years!

Thanks for making me laugh!

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Just another Canon shooter
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Re: Crop sensors are certainly obsolete
In reply to Scott Larson, 9 months ago

Scott Larson wrote:

Just another Canon shooter wrote:

Scott Larson wrote:

It's extremely relevant when you want a photo that has corner to corner sharpness which many of these so-called "full frame" lenses cannot produce despite the manufacturers applying their obviously loose standards to that part of the image area. Fortunately these lenses perform much better with so-called "crop" sensors and that's one reason why I use them.

Actually, they perform form worse to much worse on crop, corners included, with a very few exceptions, like some UWAs (but then you lose the UWA, so what's the point).

Gosh, I must only be using "the exceptions". For example My old 24-70mm f2.8 (Mark I) had much better corner sharpness on my 1D cameras than my 5D cameras since they didn't include the blurry parts. This was very obvious with group shots.

The Mark II version of that lens has much improved corner sharpness (and overall sharpness). It costs a lot more than the Mark I version but that's because very difficult to get an image circle good enough to crop a 24x36mm rectangle out of it with decent quality.

The illusion of better performance is due to the fact that they are more uniform (in a mediocre way) across the frame, and to the lack of understanding how to compare formats.

Oh yes, my thousands of dollars of Canon lenses have produced nothing but mediocre images on all of my "crop" 1D cameras I've owned for the past 13 years!

You are putting words in my mouth. You paid too much attention to the part in the parentheses and failed to read the part outside them.

I am curious to see one of your group shots with blurry parts. How often do you have people's faces in the corners?

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Jackphotog
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Re: Crop sensors are certainly obsolete
In reply to TheMeister, 9 months ago

TheMeister wrote:

I personally never even bothered with the whole crop sensor thing.

I went straight from 35mm film to a FF.

It not bother with this or not it's picking the best tool for what you do.  I did bother to go FF from MF.

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