Comparing Olympus 4/3lenses to FX "Full Frame" offerings

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dave gaines
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Comparing Olympus 4/3lenses to FX "Full Frame" offerings
6 months ago

I have been trying to replace the excellent Olympus lenses I've used with similar "full frame" Nikon FX lenses. It isn't easy.

Sure, the "Nikon Trilogy", the 3 best Nikon f/2.8 G AF Zoom lenses are really good but they are bigger than anything similar I've had with Olympus. The 14-24 mm f/2.8 ($1997) is slightly bigger than the 7-14 mm f/4, but Nikon shooters complain about having to lug the big heavy beast around. The standard Nikon 24-70 mm f/2.8 ($1887) is bigger than the 14-54 by a long shot yet about the same size as the 14-35 mm f/2. The Nikon 70-200 m f/2.8G VRII ($2397) is the same size as the Olympus 35-100 mm f/2. If it were an f/2 it would be huge

Don't bother looking for anything like a 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 in FX for close to the same price. You'll need the 200-400 mm f/4 for US$6750.

It's amazing what a bargain all the fine Olympus 4/3 lenses are.

After the 3 best Nikon zooms the comparisons get much harder. Nikon and Canon FF shooters complain that all of the fast 50 mm lenses are soft - as if by design, I think. In Olympus we've always been fortunate to have a super sharp 50 mm f/2 and the unrivaled Panasonic/Leica D Summilux 25mm f/1.4 lens for 4/3 format. It originally sold for $800 IIRC, and then soon went up to $900 as the scarcity of these became evident. You had to get on a waiting list to buy one.

http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/509-leica25f14

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1010/cat/68

For a Fisheye lens all that Nikon has to offer is an old-design, 16 mm f/2.8D AF for US$900. Most of the D lenses focus by a drive motor in the camera body, not an internal focus motor. There's also the Sigma 15 mm f/2.8 that focuses 10 cm (4") closer than the Nikon (with less DOF) for US$610. The Nikon's closest focus is 250 mm. The Nikon is a bit sharper than the Sigma. I just paid $680 + tax and shipping for a like-new, used Nikon 16 mm f/2.8D.

Look at the Olympus 8 mm f/3.5 Fisheye lens. It's super sharp corner to corner and focuses as close as 135 mm from the sensor with more DOF than either FF at the same f-stop. It originally sold for $100 less than the Nikon and it's much newer, better design.

http://www.lenstip.com//?obiektyw=140&producent=39&typ=0

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Olympus/Olympus-ZUIKO-DIGITAL-ED-8mm-F35-Fish-Eye

http://www.four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/single.html#i_008mm_f035_olympus

I can't find an equuivalent for the Olympus High Grade 11-22 mm f/2.8-3.5 wide angle lens. The best offerings from Nikon are the 17-35 mm f/2.8 for US$1769 or the 16-35 mm f/4 G VR for US$1257. These both suffer from distortion at the wide end, vignette and CA. None of these poor attributes exist with the Olympus 11-22 mm, which sells for half the average/mean price.

http://www.lenstip.com//?obiektyw=61&producent=39&typ=0

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Olympus/Olympus-ZUIKO-DIGITAL-11-22mm-F28-35

The Olympus EX-25 Macro Extension Tube is a magic hollow tube that makes the 50 mm f/2 macro lens shoot at 1:1 and turns any lens with a focal length over 50 mm into a macro lens. I've personally seen it work on an EM-5 on top of the MMF-3 adapter with the 50 mm f/2. What's not to like?

All of these lenses would be equally fine on micro 4/3 cameras. They'll exceed the IQ of any similar m4/3 lens, especially the zooms. These 4/3 lenses have focus scales and are optically corrected, excellent instruments.

So whatever you do, don't try to replace your 4/3 lenses with full frame equivalents for anywhere near the price or IQ. Keep your E-series and OM-D E-Mx and use these lenses. Make me an offer on my few remaining lenses. It's too late to save me, but you can still benefit from my system switch.

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Dave

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Great Bustard
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Oh dear.
In reply to dave gaines, 6 months ago

dave gaines wrote:

I have been trying to replace the excellent Olympus lenses I've used with similar "full frame" Nikon FX lenses. It isn't easy.

Sure, the "Nikon Trilogy", the 3 best Nikon f/2.8 G AF Zoom lenses are really good but they are bigger than anything similar I've had with Olympus. The 14-24 mm f/2.8 ($1997) is slightly bigger than the 7-14 mm f/4, but Nikon shooters complain about having to lug the big heavy beast around. The standard Nikon 24-70 mm f/2.8 ($1887) is bigger than the 14-54 by a long shot yet about the same size as the 14-35 mm f/2. The Nikon 70-200 m f/2.8G VRII ($2397) is the same size as the Olympus 35-100 mm f/2. If it were an f/2 it would be huge

Don't bother looking for anything like a 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 in FX for close to the same price. You'll need the 200-400 mm f/4 for US$6750.

It's amazing what a bargain all the fine Olympus 4/3 lenses are.

After the 3 best Nikon zooms the comparisons get much harder. Nikon and Canon FF shooters complain that all of the fast 50 mm lenses are soft - as if by design, I think. In Olympus we've always been fortunate to have a super sharp 50 mm f/2 and the unrivaled Panasonic/Leica D Summilux 25mm f/1.4 lens for 4/3 format. It originally sold for $800 IIRC, and then soon went up to $900 as the scarcity of these became evident. You had to get on a waiting list to buy one.

http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/509-leica25f14

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1010/cat/68

For a Fisheye lens all that Nikon has to offer is an old-design, 16 mm f/2.8D AF for US$900. Most of the D lenses focus by a drive motor in the camera body, not an internal focus motor. There's also the Sigma 15 mm f/2.8 that focuses 10 cm (4") closer than the Nikon (with less DOF) for US$610. The Nikon's closest focus is 250 mm. The Nikon is a bit sharper than the Sigma. I just paid $680 + tax and shipping for a like-new, used Nikon 16 mm f/2.8D.

Look at the Olympus 8 mm f/3.5 Fisheye lens. It's super sharp corner to corner and focuses as close as 135 mm from the sensor with more DOF than either FF at the same f-stop. It originally sold for $100 less than the Nikon and it's much newer, better design.

http://www.lenstip.com//?obiektyw=140&producent=39&typ=0

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Olympus/Olympus-ZUIKO-DIGITAL-ED-8mm-F35-Fish-Eye

http://www.four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/single.html#i_008mm_f035_olympus

I can't find an equuivalent for the Olympus High Grade 11-22 mm f/2.8-3.5 wide angle lens. The best offerings from Nikon are the 17-35 mm f/2.8 for US$1769 or the 16-35 mm f/4 G VR for US$1257. These both suffer from distortion at the wide end, vignette and CA. None of these poor attributes exist with the Olympus 11-22 mm, which sells for half the average/mean price.

http://www.lenstip.com//?obiektyw=61&producent=39&typ=0

http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Olympus/Olympus-ZUIKO-DIGITAL-11-22mm-F28-35

The Olympus EX-25 Macro Extension Tube is a magic hollow tube that makes the 50 mm f/2 macro lens shoot at 1:1 and turns any lens with a focal length over 50 mm into a macro lens. I've personally seen it work on an EM-5 on top of the MMF-3 adapter with the 50 mm f/2. What's not to like?

All of these lenses would be equally fine on micro 4/3 cameras. They'll exceed the IQ of any similar m4/3 lens, especially the zooms. These 4/3 lenses have focus scales and are optically corrected, excellent instruments.

So whatever you do, don't try to replace your 4/3 lenses with full frame equivalents for anywhere near the price or IQ. Keep your E-series and OM-D E-Mx and use these lenses. Make me an offer on my few remaining lenses. It's too late to save me, but you can still benefit from my system switch.

Well, Dave, as you know, f/2 on 4/3 is equivalent to f/4 on FF, where by "equivalent to", I mean the same aperture diameter for the same diagonal AOV, which will result in the same DOF, the same diffraction softening, and the same total amount of light on the sensor for a given shutter speed (thus resulting in the same noise for equally efficient sensors).

With this in mind, you'll find plenty of excellent lenses for FF to suit your needs. Unless, of course, your "need" is to have a lens with marked with an arbitrary number taken out of context. That is, it makes as much sense to say "f/2 on 4/3 is 'faster than' f/4 on FF" as "12mm on 4/3 is 'wider than' 24mm on FF".

In addition, when it comes to resolution, I hope you're aware that the meaningful measure for an MTF-50 test is lw/ph (line widths per picture height). If you happen to read an MTF-50 test that uses lp/mm (line pairs per millimeter on the sensor), then double that value and multiply by the sensor height (13mm for 4/3, 24mm for FF) to get lw/ph, which will normalize the resolution for a FF photo cropped to 4:3.

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goblin
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Re: Comparing Olympus 4/3lenses to FX "Full Frame" offerings
In reply to dave gaines, 6 months ago

You're making it more difficult than it should be. You are now lucky to have access to an amazing new line of Sigma lenses (the Art series seem to be very, very serious contenders), not to mention old proven values from the brand. Not to mention that you are now using a mount everybody and their brother rents lenses for, with which you can complete your assignments.

This is not even counting the exotics such as the CZ, not counting the joys of several minutes long exposures without having to wait for a dark frame to be taken, the joys of an AF which opens new worlds of opportunity...

Be fair - similar gear pricing has never been, and can not be, part of the equation when switching to FF. Whether you need the switch or not is your decision, but once you decide for it - price comparison simply is not fair.

You made a worthy switch. Enjoy your new gear, and be happy. Don't sell it short before you start loving it. You'll have plenty of occasions to criticize it down the line, as nothing is perfect.

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Tired of hearing this fallacy about fstop equivalence.
In reply to Great Bustard, 6 months ago

From http://admiringlight.com/blog/full-frame-equivalence-and-why-it-doesnt-matter/2/

"While crop factor has a use simply to compare focal lengths between formats and such, the constant comparison of a smaller format lens to its full frame ‘equivalent’ aperture is largely unevenly applied and misunderstood. It’s often used to show that a smaller format is inferior or not capable of the same things as a larger format. In some cases, this usage is correct, but it is also nearly never used the other way.

I’ve heard many times “Yeah, your 75mm f/1.8 is crap – it’s like a 150mm f/3.6.” No, it’s not, it’s a 75mm lens with an f/1.8 aperture and a field of view that is the same as a 150mm lens on full frame.

What IS true is that the 75mm f/1.8 is not capable of the same ultra shallow depth of field as, say, something like the Sony Zeiss 135mm f/1.8 on full frame. However, this is essentially the ONLY way that it is inferior. It passes the same amount of light, and it exposes as an f/1.8 lens because it IS an f/1.8 lens"

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jimbeaux
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Re: Comparing Olympus 4/3lenses to FX "Full Frame" offerings
In reply to dave gaines, 6 months ago

Keep those outstanding Olympus lens David. You'll need them when you come back.

We'll keep the light on for you

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Messier Object
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Re: Comparing Olympus 4/3lenses to FX "Full Frame" offerings
In reply to dave gaines, 6 months ago

Dave,

I think that if you step down a notch from the top-line fast lenses you'll find optical, size and price equivalence in the Nikon range. However if you're attracted to the super-fast stuff then it's gonna be big and expensive.

My advice is to not try to match what you had. Start afresh with the new FX system.

Peter

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Great Bustard
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Then understand what Equivalence says.
In reply to Doctor Lecter, 6 months ago

Doctor Lecter wrote:

From http://admiringlight.com/blog/full-frame-equivalence-and-why-it-doesnt-matter/2/

"While crop factor has a use simply to compare focal lengths between formats and such, the constant comparison of a smaller format lens to its full frame ‘equivalent’ aperture is largely unevenly applied and misunderstood. It’s often used to show that a smaller format is inferior or not capable of the same things as a larger format. In some cases, this usage is correct, but it is also nearly never used the other way.

From http://www.josephjamesphotography.com/equivalence/index.htm#Q&A

Q: Are bigger formats better than smaller formats?

A: For some specific purposes, yes; for others, no. The more specific the purpose the of photography, the easier it becomes to say that System A is "better than" System B for a particular photographer; the more broad the photography, the less easy it is for one system to be superior to the other.

Q: When are larger formats better than smaller formats?

A: To answer this question, we need to invoke the "all else equal" clause, because there are so many variables that may make one system better than another for any particular photographer. In short, the advantage of a larger sensor system over a smaller sensor system is that the larger sensor system will generally have lenses that have wider aperture (entrance pupil) diameters for a AOV (diagonal angle of view) than smaller sensor systems, which allows for more shallow DOFs (as an option, not a requirement) and will put more light on the sensor for a given exposure, resulting in less noise. In addition, larger sensors typically have more pixels which, when combined with a lesser enlargement factor from the recorded photo to the displayed photo, results in more detailed photos (at least for a given DOF). Whether or not these advantages are more important than the disadvantages (size, weight, cost, etc.) is another matter all together.

Q: Isn't Equivalence a vehicle for promoting the "superiority" of larger sensor systems?

A: Not by a long shot. If there is an agenda to Equivalence, it is to change the photographic paradigm based on the relative aperture (f-ratio) and exposure with a new paradigm based on the virtual aperture (entrance pupil) and total amount of light falling on the sensor, at least for cross-format comparisons.

Q: So Equivalence is about the lens as opposed to the sensor?

A: That's a good way to put it -- it's the virtual aperture (entrance pupil) for a given AOV that is of central importance. However, sensor size still plays a role, as larger sensors typically have more pixels and typically can absorb more light for a given exposure.

Q: Isn't Equivalence all about DOF?

A: No, Equivalence is not "all about DOF", but it is very much about understanding that both DOF and noise are intimately connected to the aperture. That said, DOF, by itself, is still a critical consideration to the captured detail in the photo, since portions of the scene outside the DOF, by definition, will not be sharp, and all systems suffer diffraction softening equally at the same DOF.

Q: Doesn't Equivalence say that we should shoot different formats at the same DOF?

A: Not at all, and, in fact, quite the opposite. That is, one does not choose one format over another to get photos Equivalent to what one would get on another format. Rather, one chooses one format over another to get photos they could not get on another format, or get better photos than they could get on another format, assuming, of course, that differences in operation, size, weight, and cost are not significant enough to be the primary consideration.

Q: Overall, then, isn't FF best the choice?

A: Again, which is best is completely subjective. While for me, personally, I prefer FF, it is my opinion that the vast majority are better served with smaller formats. As all systems continue to improve, the number of situations where FF has a significant advantage over smaller formats narrows. Of course, if size, weight, and price were not considerations, then larger is almost always better. However, since size, weight, and price not only matter, but are often (usually) the primary considerations, then it is my opinion that the advantages of FF over smaller formats are not enough to offset the disadvantages for most people in most situations.

I’ve heard many times “Yeah, your 75mm f/1.8 is crap – it’s like a 150mm f/3.6.” No, it’s not, it’s a 75mm lens with an f/1.8 aperture and a field of view that is the same as a 150mm lens on full frame.

Well whoever said that your 75 / 1.8 is crap does not understand Equivalence. However, a 75 / 1.8 on mFT is equivalent to a 150 / 3.5 on FF, as they both have the same diagonal AOV and aperture diameter.

What IS true is that the 75mm f/1.8 is not capable of the same ultra shallow depth of field as, say, something like the Sony Zeiss 135mm f/1.8 on full frame. However, this is essentially the ONLY way that it is inferior. It passes the same amount of light, and it exposes as an f/1.8 lens because it IS an f/1.8 lens"

It absolutely does not pass the same amount of light onto the sensor. You may wish to educate yourself on this matter:

http://www.josephjamesphotography.com/equivalence/index.htm#exposure

This section will answer the following four questions:

  • For a given scene, what is the difference in exposure, if any, between f/2.8 1/200 ISO 400 and f/5.6 1/200 ISO 1600?
  • What role does the ISO setting play?
  • What role does the sensor size play?
  • What does any of this have to do with the visual properties of the photo?

As mentioned in the introduction of this essay, the concept of Equivalence is controversial because it replaces the paradigm of exposure, and its agent, f-ratio, with a new paradigm of total light, and its agent, aperture. The first step in explaining this paradigm shift is to define exposure, brightness, and total light.

The exposure is the density of light (total light per area -- photons / mm²) that falls on the sensor during the exposure, which is usually expressed as the product of the illuminance of the sensor and the time the shutter is open (lux · seconds, where 1 lux · second = 4.1 billion photons / mm² for green light -- 555 nm). The only factors in the exposure are the scene luminance, t-stop (where the f-ratio is often a good approximation for the t-stop), and the shutter speed (note that neither sensor size nor ISO are factors in exposure).

For example, two pics of the same scene, one at f/2.8 1/200 ISO 100 and another at f/2.8 1/200 ISO 400 (on any system, regardless of format) will both have the same exposure, since the same number of photons per unit area will fall on the sensor, but the ISO 400 photo will appear 4x (2 stops) brighter than the ISO 100 photo since the signal is amplified by a factor of four due to the higher ISO setting.

The brightness, then, is the brightness of the final image after an amplification is applied to the exposure either by adjusting the ISO and/or a push/pull in the RAW conversion, and is often what people mean when they say "exposure". For example, pics of the same scene at f/2.8 1/200 ISO 100 and f/5.6 1/200 ISO 400 will be processed to have the same brightness, even though the f/2.8 photo has 4x (two stops greater) exposure than the f/5.6 photo.

The role of the ISO setting in exposure is in how the setting indirectly results in the camera choosing a different f-ratio, shutter speed, and/or flash power, any and all of which will change the exposure. For example, changing the ISO from 100 to 400 may result in the camera choosing f/5.6 instead of f/2.8, 1/200 instead of 1/50, f/4 1/100 instead of f/2.8 1/50, etc. Aside from that, the ISO control on the camera will apply an analog gain (which results in less read noise for higher ISOs with cameras that use non-ISOless sensors) and/or a digital push/pull (usually for intermediate ISO settings).

The total light is the total amount of light that falls on the portion of the sensor used to for the photo during the exposure: Total Light = Exposure · Effective Sensor Area. The same total amount of light will fall on the sensor for equivalent photos but, for different formats, this will necessarily result in a different exposure on each format, since the same total light distributed over sensors with different areas will result in a lower density of light on the larger sensor. Using the same example above, pics of the same scene at f/2.8 1/200 on mFT (4/3) and f/5.6 1/200 on FF will result in the same total light falling on each sensor, but the exposure will be 4x (2 stops) greater for the mFT photo, and thus the FF photographer would usually use a 4x (2 stops) higher ISO setting to get the same brightness for the LCD playback and/or OOC (out-of-the-camera) jpg.

Lastly, the Total Light Collected (signal) is the amount of light that is converted to electrons by the sensor, which is the product of the Total Light that falls on the sensor during the exposure and the QE (Quantum Efficiency of the sensor -- the proportion of light falling on the sensor that is recorded). For example, if QE = 1, then all the light falling on the sensor is recorded. For reference, the Olympus EM5, Canon 5D3, and Nikon D800 all have a QE of approximately 0.5 (50%).

In terms of IQ, the total light collected is the relevant measure, because both the noise and DR (dynamic range) of a photo are a function of the total amount of light that falls on the sensor (along with the sensor efficiency, all discussed, in detail, in the next section). That is, noise is determined by the total amount of light falling on the sensor and the sensor efficiency, not the ISO setting on the camera, as is commonly believed (the ISO setting is simply a matter of processing the signal, discussed in more detail here). In other words, the less light that falls on the sensor, the more noisy and darker the photo will be. Increasing the ISO setting simply brightens the captured photo making the noise more visible.

For a given scene, perspective, and framing, the total light depends only on the aperture diameter and shutter speed (as opposed to the f-ratio and shutter speed for exposure). Fully equivalent images on different formats will have the same brightness and be created with the same total amount of light. Thus, the same total amount of light on sensors with different areas will necessarily result in different exposures on different formats, and it is for this reason that exposure is a meaningless measure in cross-format comparisons.

Mathematically, we can express these four quantities rather simply:

  • Exposure (photons / mm²) = Sensor Illuminance (photons / mm² / s) · Time (s)
  • Brightness (photons / mm²) = Exposure (photons / mm²) · Amplification (unitless)
  • Total Light (photons) = Exposure (photons / mm²) · Effective Sensor Area (mm²)
  • Total Light Collected (electrons) = Total Light (photons) · QE (electrons / photon)

So, we can now answer the questions posed at the beginning of the section:

The exposure (light per area on the sensor) at f/2.8 1/100 ISO 100 is 4x as great as f/5.6 1/100 ISO 400 for a given scene luminance, regardless of the focal length or the sensor size. However, the brightness for the two photos will be the same since the 4x lower exposure is brightened 4x as much by the higher ISO setting. If the sensor that the f/5.6 photo was recorded on has 4x the area as the sensor as the f/2.8 photo (e.g. FF vs mFT), then the same total amount of light will fall on both sensors, which will result in the same noise for equally efficient sensors (discussed in the next section).

Let us now go into more detail on these points:

.

.

.

Alternatively, you can choose to remain ignorant about what Equivalence does, and does not, say, and choose to remain ignorant about the difference between the amount of light per area that falls on the sensor (exposure) and the total amount of light that falls on the sensor, and what this has to do with the visual properties of the recorded photo.

It's nice to have choices, no?

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remaining "ignorant"
In reply to Great Bustard, 6 months ago

I beg to differ. *You* can remain ignorant on the subject if you wish... DOF changes, but fstops/apertures are the same regardless of sensor size. It's simple physics — the amount of light passing through the lens.

It's been that way since 8x10 view cameras vs. 4x5 vs. 35mm... did anyone used to say, "yeah, but f5.6 is REALLY f8 if you move to medium format, dude..."

FF fanboys love to use this fstop equivalence BS. It probably takes away some of the sting of having spent $4,000 bucks on a lens.

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Dr. Lecter

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Tiger1
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In reply to Doctor Lecter, 6 months ago

Agree with the good doctor.

F1.8 = F1.8 on ANY format.

If you don't realise this you must go back to school and repeat first grade.

Depth of field changes with format because to get the equivalent view on a smaller format you must use a lesser focal length which automatically increases the depth of field.

Simple, really.

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Ian Stuart Forsyth
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Re: remaining "ignorant"
In reply to Doctor Lecter, 6 months ago

Doctor Lecter wrote:

I beg to differ. *You* can remain ignorant on the subject if you wish... DOF changes, but fstops/apertures are the same regardless of sensor size. It's simple physics — the amount of light passing through the lens.

Exactly physics, the 50mm F2.8 has a larger front element than the smaller 25mm F2.8 front element now are you going to try and convince me that the same amount of light will pass thru the smaller 25mm F2.8 as a 50mm F2.8. Has the 25mm F2.8 have some special power that allows it to suck more light thru its smaller opening.

It's been that way since 8x10 view cameras vs. 4x5 vs. 35mm... did anyone used to say, "yeah, but f5.6 is REALLY f8 if you move to medium format, dude..."

FF fanboys love to use this fstop equivalence BS. It probably takes away some of the sting of having spent $4,000 bucks on a lens.

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Dr. Lecter

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Ian Stuart Forsyth
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In reply to Tiger1, 6 months ago

Tiger1 wrote:

Agree with the good doctor.

F1.8 = F1.8 on ANY format.

If you don't realise this you must go back to school and repeat first grade.

Depth of field changes with format because to get the equivalent view on a smaller format you must use a lesser focal length which automatically increases the depth of field.

Simple, really.

Let’s look at light as if it was paint coming from a spray can. The lens AP controls the intensity of the paint being applied to the surface of the sensor and they both receive the same duration. At the end of that time which sensor has received the most amount of paint ?

Sure they have the same thickness of paint applied to their surface but one has more paint applied to its total surface any guess which one?

Now what would it take for that smaller surface to receive the same total amount of paint if the duration was held the same. One could try and amplify the paint but that won’t work as we cannot create matter. Then I guess all that we can do is increase the intensity of the paint hitting the surface of the sensor by opening up the lens equal to the size ratio of the 2 sensors.

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surfingmaltman
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Re: remaining "ignorant"
In reply to Ian Stuart Forsyth, 6 months ago

Ian Stuart Forsyth wrote:

Doctor Lecter wrote:

I beg to differ. *You* can remain ignorant on the subject if you wish... DOF changes, but fstops/apertures are the same regardless of sensor size. It's simple physics — the amount of light passing through the lens.

Exactly physics, the 50mm F2.8 has a larger front element than the smaller 25mm F2.8 front element now are you going to try and convince me that the same amount of light will pass thru the smaller 25mm F2.8 as a 50mm F2.8. Has the 25mm F2.8 have some special power that allows it to suck more light thru its smaller opening.

It's been that way since 8x10 view cameras vs. 4x5 vs. 35mm... did anyone used to say, "yeah, but f5.6 is REALLY f8 if you move to medium format, dude..."

FF fanboys love to use this fstop equivalence BS. It probably takes away some of the sting of having spent $4,000 bucks on a lens.

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Dr. Lecter

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The hardest part about capturing wildlife is not the photographing portion; it’s getting them to sign a model release

Yes but that light would need to spread over a larger surface area. So more light is needed to achieve exposure across the whole frame.

Are people confusing the brightness of the light and the amount of light here?

10 Ev worth of light passing through a 2mm diameter hole will be 10 EV on the other side at 2mm size image circle. (keeping things telecentric for simplicity)

10Ev worht of light passing through a 8 mm diameter hole will be 10 EV on the other side at 8 mm but it will be more light by sheer size but not brightness.

But hey maybe I am wrong.

Ric

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JiminDenver
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That's what I would think
In reply to surfingmaltman, 6 months ago

Set two systems up with f 2 lenses, 100 ISO and shooting the same scene, do they not end up with the same shutter speed to get the same result?  I believe so because my OM 50mm f 1.8 set to f 2 doesn't result in shutter speeds twice as fast as my 50mm f2 even though the OM is a full frame lens.

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mosseero
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Re: That's what I would think
In reply to JiminDenver, 6 months ago

You are absolutely right. This is precisely where there statement "f/2 is f/2 in all systems" comes from.

Here is where equivalence fanatics join the party with arguments regarding noise and DOF to muddle the waters.

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Re: That's what I would think
In reply to JiminDenver, 6 months ago

JiminDenver wrote:

Set two systems up with f 2 lenses, 100 ISO and shooting the same scene, do they not end up with the same shutter speed to get the same result? I believe so because my OM 50mm f 1.8 set to f 2 doesn't result in shutter speeds twice as fast as my 50mm f2 even though the OM is a full frame lens.

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...and light meter manufacturers are very happy about this 

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Forgottenbutnotgone
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Re: remaining "ignorant"
In reply to Doctor Lecter, 6 months ago

Doctor Lecter wrote:

I beg to differ. *You* can remain ignorant on the subject if you wish... DOF changes, but fstops/apertures are the same regardless of sensor size. It's simple physics — the amount of light passing through the lens.

It's been that way since 8x10 view cameras vs. 4x5 vs. 35mm... did anyone used to say, "yeah, but f5.6 is REALLY f8 if you move to medium format, dude..."

FF fanboys love to use this fstop equivalence BS. It probably takes away some of the sting of having spent $4,000 bucks on a lens.

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Dr. Lecter

What's funny is how you try to project your own fanboy attitude onto those who are stating facts. Whether you recognize it or not, it's you who are in the fanboy camp, as evidenced by your $4,000 buck lens statement. That's exactly what you would spend on certain SHG lenses...before the botton dropped out of the 4/3's market.

My dad used to tell me that a person cannot be stupid today about something that he found out about today, only ignorant. If you choose to remain ignorant over time, you then become STUPID. For you to make such a statement about F-stops at this point is exactly what needlessly perpetuates the equivalence arguments.

You are blatantly choosing to ignore the difference between comparing something with itself and comparing it with something else. If you are half of my height, and we are built proportionately the same, have proportionately the same strength and ability, we would hypothetically be able to do things as long as everything stays PROPORTIONAL. However if we play basketball on a regulation goal, with you 3.5 feet tall, and me 7 feet tall, I'll have a definite advantage.

If what I understand about equvalence is correct, with all factors being the same, FF has a noise advantage over FT because the TOTAL light used to record the image is greater, and apparently that makes a difference in the quality of the resulting photo where noise is concerned. If that is the case, and in a given scenario, f5.6 represents a certain pupil size in one format, and f8, equals that same size in another format, then in the sense that pupil size plays a part in the resulting photo's properties, f5.6 IS f8, in the same way that in the basketball analogy, if we raise our heights to 8 feet and 4 feet respectively, at a proportional distance from the basket of 1.5 feet for you and three feet for me, your lay up shot is a standing dunk for me.

If that IS the case, being a FF fanboy has nothing to do with it.

Robert

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Forgottenbutnotgone
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Re: That's what I would think
In reply to JiminDenver, 6 months ago

JiminDenver wrote:

Set two systems up with f 2 lenses, 100 ISO and shooting the same scene, do they not end up with the same shutter speed to get the same result? I believe so because my OM 50mm f 1.8 set to f 2 doesn't result in shutter speeds twice as fast as my 50mm f2 even though the OM is a full frame lens.

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They don't get the same result. They get the same exposure, or the equivalent amount of light that is necessary to produce the same brightness on each individual format. If they get the SAME result, how come it's widely acknowledged that the depth of will be different? If the depth of field is different, you don't get the SAME result, so apparently you already realize that f/2 is NOT f/2 with regard to depth of field between FT and FF. Why is it so hard to grasp that it might be the same with regard to noise?

If that makes no sense to you, why bother with even micro four thirds when a nice compact superzoom should theoretically do the exact same thing?

Robert

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mapgraphs
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Maximum Aperture
In reply to Ian Stuart Forsyth, 6 months ago

Ian Stuart Forsyth wrote:

Doctor Lecter wrote:

I beg to differ. *You* can remain ignorant on the subject if you wish... DOF changes, but fstops/apertures are the same regardless of sensor size. It's simple physics — the amount of light passing through the lens.

Exactly physics, the 50mm F2.8 has a larger front element than the smaller 25mm F2.8 front element now are you going to try and convince me that the same amount of light will pass thru the smaller 25mm F2.8 as a 50mm F2.8. Has the 25mm F2.8 have some special power that allows it to suck more light thru its smaller opening.

Um,

Yes, to get a f/2.8 maximum aperture on a 50mm focal length lens, the front element is going to be larger than that of a 25mm focal length lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. The size of the element is about the maximum aperture per THE FOCAL LENGTH.

It's not about how many more photons go through crystal as compared to graphite or coal.

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veroman
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Re: Tired of hearing this fallacy about fstop equivalence.
In reply to Doctor Lecter, 6 months ago

Doctor Lecter wrote:

From http://admiringlight.com/blog/full-frame-equivalence-and-why-it-doesnt-matter/2/

"While crop factor has a use simply to compare focal lengths between formats and such, the constant comparison of a smaller format lens to its full frame ‘equivalent’ aperture is largely unevenly applied and misunderstood. It’s often used to show that a smaller format is inferior or not capable of the same things as a larger format. In some cases, this usage is correct, but it is also nearly never used the other way.

I’ve heard many times “Yeah, your 75mm f/1.8 is crap – it’s like a 150mm f/3.6.” No, it’s not, it’s a 75mm lens with an f/1.8 aperture and a field of view that is the same as a 150mm lens on full frame.

What IS true is that the 75mm f/1.8 is not capable of the same ultra shallow depth of field as, say, something like the Sony Zeiss 135mm f/1.8 on full frame. However, this is essentially the ONLY way that it is inferior. It passes the same amount of light, and it exposes as an f/1.8 lens because it IS an f/1.8 lens"

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Dr. Lecter

I'm tired of hearing it, too. He tried it with me a few posts ago. I simply stopped arguing the issue. As I said in my post, f/2.8 is f/2.8 whether applied to 4:3, full frame, APS-C, a point and shoot, medium format or an 11 X 17 view camera. Other things come into play, for sure. But aperture is a constant.

My Canon 85mm f/1.8 is f/1.8 on my crop 40D and is f/1.8 on my full frame 5D. If this weren't so, none of us would ever know exactly what we're purchasing or what settings we're shooting at!

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JiminDenver
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I thoiught we were talking light
In reply to Forgottenbutnotgone, 6 months ago

I was speaking to the effect of aperture in relation to ISO and shutter speed, not DOF or noise.

You are right that DOF is a relationship between aperture and sensor size but noise is as much about sensor size as it is about tech and processing. Otherwise 10 years ago Kodak full frames would have been ISO leaders and we know that wasn't the case.

Full frame can produce slimmer DOF for a given aperture and that's great when you need it but as a macro shooter, the benefits are not there for me.

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