APSC vs FF

Started 10 months ago | Questions
Astrophotographer 10
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Re: APSC vs FF
In reply to osv, 10 months ago

I think that first statement is incorrect hence your confusion. The shorter flange distance may or may not be an issue for the lens designers. But size and weight most definitely are. What would be the point in having the worlds smallest full frame camera with enormous lenses?

The small flange distance can easily be overcome by making the lens the same distance as in DSLRs and the lens a bit longer. Exactly as a legacy lens with an adapter. The lens is the same distance from the sensor on A7 as it would be on the intended original camera the lens was made for.

Greg.

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viking79
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Re: APSC vs FF
In reply to RonFrank, 10 months ago

If you think full frame is overkill, why do you use APS-C?  That is also far more than most people need... You could buy a Pentax Q7, interchangeable lens and much smaller.  1/1.7" sensor is plenty for most, fine for ISO 3200 web sized images.

You see my point?  Every sensor bigger than the one you use is overkill and everyone smaller too small.

Full frame has other advantages, better selection of wide angle lenses, more flexibility, more resolution, etc.

Obviously lenses are important, and the A7 has only a couple AF lenses, but more coming quickly and if you like manual focus the A7/r works better with any of the old SLR cameras than any other current camera.

Eric

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nostatic
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Re: APSC vs FF
In reply to chr68, 10 months ago

The correct answer is, "it depends." That actually is the right answer for a lot of questions in life - at least according to my attorney ex-wife.

If you get paid to take pictures, you pick the tool that gets you paid. If you're asking this question, you're probably not in that demographic. So while people can obsess about various technical details, the reality is that the best camera is one that:

a) you'll have with you

b) you enjoy using while taking pictures

c) produces files that you like

Beyond that, the details really aren't important. Ergonomics and usability are hard to quantify, but play into the equation. I used to primarily shoot u43, with EM5 and GH3 (and others - still have the GH3 for video). The EM1 came out and everyone raved about it. I tried it for a day and just didn't like it. I didn't like the feel, hated the shutter button response, and was unimpressed by the files. Evidently I'm in the minority as most everyone gave that the "best camera of the year" but what they think doesn't matter as in the end I have to use it.

By contrast, I saw photographers I respect getting great shots from the A7(r). I finally couldn't take it any more and went to try one at a local shop. It is quirky and has minor issues, but in the end I found that I liked shooting it, and I loved the files I got. And the combination of A7 (don't like the shutter on the A7r - which is a pity) and the 55/1.8 is good enough that I really don't care about a lack of lenses at the moment. ymmv.

If I pixel peep I see the advantages in the FF files. I can shoot 12800 and get usable images (note - what is usable for me might not be usable for others). I can't do that with any u43 I've owned, though 6400 worked in a pinch. On the downside, I have to pay attention to my shooting and end up shooting shutter priority with the A7 as I don't like it defaulting to 1/60 in low light - need faster to avoid some blur with the primes. With the Oly the IBIS makes up for a multitude of sins.

The quality of current cameras is so good for most users the IQ is largely a wash. Pick a camera that has features that are important to you (e.g. IBIS with Oly, manual controls with Fuji, small FF with Sony), and one that you find fun to use. Beyond that, the rest is just inter webs argument fodder.

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SQLGuy
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Re: APSC vs FF
In reply to Jabez02, 10 months ago

Jabez02 wrote:

If you are only wanting to use T / S functions for every so often for special projects then you could use software such as DxO ViewPoint 2.

It;s a lot cheaper than a Canon 17 or 24mm. Like with all software manipulation you will loose some pixels doing so, but if you start with a well exposed and sharply focused 24MP or 36MP then you won't notice a lot of difference.

Mostly true. Especially for shift. For some tilt applications, you have to use hardware. An example would be something like this shot:

Canon FD 55/1.2 Aspherical @1.2

If I'd wanted to to turn the subject so it was not perpendicular to the camera, but I still wanted to keep it in focus across its face, and still use the same large aperture, I would need to tilt the lens to match the focal plane to the alignment of the subject.

With software, and a bit of work, I could achieve the same effect only if I were able to shoot at a much smaller aperture, and then selectively blur areas not in the simulated plane of focus.

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: APSC vs FF
In reply to Chad Hardy, 10 months ago

Same here Chad. I read various complaints about A7/r. I have A7r and really I love it. I have yet to find it let me down. Only minor criticism is it seems a bit noisier than my D800e was. But you just need to shoot with more aperture or slower Shutter to get the ISO down.
Or correct it in pp which it does quite well.

Greg.

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Euell
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Re: APSC vs FF
In reply to chr68, 10 months ago

One more consideration on moise.  It is not just high ISO that makes noise a problem. A lot of photographers like to enhance local contrast in post, for example, with a PS plugin such as NIK Viveza. Enhancing contrast also enhances noise and this can be a problem with APSC sensors, even at ISO 100, depending on how much enhancement.  Cleaning up noise typically reduces detail, so there is really no great solution. Printing is a balancing act.  It's just a bit easier with a full frame file.

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JamieTux
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you've got it a bit backwards :)
In reply to chr68, 10 months ago

chr68 wrote:

It looks like the apertures of the FE mount lenses that are available are ~1 stop lower that what we could get on a classic APSC camera.
The 24-70 does only open at 4. It is easy to find the equivalent on APSC opening at 2.8. ...

It's easy to find full frame f2.8 versions too which is probably part if the reason that Sony decided to launch the smaller f4 ones instead.  They seem to be pushing the A7r as a small camera system as opposed to their own a mount cameras, talking of which Sonys own Zeiss 24-70 f2.8 is a fantastic lens but it significantly heavier than my A7r.  by definition to change from f2.8 to f4 means doubling the area of the aperture so you will end up with a much bigger lens.

This limitation seems inherent to the low distance we have between the sensor and the lens that makes optical corrections much more complex to implement.

No, it's a design decision and that's about it.

I'm wondering then what the benefit would be to have a FF camera like the A7 compared to an other APSC.

Better dynamic range, resolution (for the same field of view) better high iso performance and more control of depth of field.

And of course there's the issue of tolerances a larger system gives more room for margins of error with manufacturing tolerances compared to miniaturising everything.

Of course I know that with adapters you can set lot of third party lenses.
Concerning the size, if you compares the A7 with an APSC camera, the benefit is less evident.

What are the optical and Image Quality advantage of the A7 full frame camera compared to APSC?

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wb2trf
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Shall we put on our thinking caps?
In reply to chr68, 10 months ago

chr68 wrote:

It looks like the apertures of the FE mount lenses that are available are ~1 stop lower that what we could get on a classic APSC camera.
The 24-70 does only open at 4. It is easy to find the equivalent on APSC opening at 2.8. ...

This limitation seems inherent to the low distance we have between the sensor and the lens that makes optical corrections much more complex to implement.

The fact that the last optical element can be close to the sensor on an emount camera does not imply that it cannot be further from it.  A lens designer can always choose to put the last optical element as far from the sensor as on a Nikon F mount, or a T mount for that matter, although typically that would only make their job more complex.  So long as an optical element does not protrude into the camera in a way that interferes with it, there is no standard for optical element placement relative to the flange.

The short flange to sensor distance of the emount merely provides options that do not exist with a long one.

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Michael Everett
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Re: APSC vs FF
In reply to Euell, 10 months ago

Let's be practical.  I agree FF is better.  Yet I have spent a lot of money on the NEX-7 and a bunch of E-mount lenses.  I also have Metabones Speed Reducer.  When I am in low light, the SB plus a Canon FDn 50 1.4, does an excellent job with only having to go over ISO 800 very seldom.

The bottom line in the real world is how much would I actually gain in picture taking by scraping (actually selling) all my APS-C equipment and starting over in FF.  While FF is theoretically better I'm not sure the cost is worth it.  I print up to 16x24 and would be hard pressed to imagine much improvement in the actual images.  And I am picky.

Michael

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SQLGuy
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Re: APSC vs FF
In reply to Michael Everett, 10 months ago

Michael Everett wrote:

Let's be practical. I agree FF is better. Yet I have spent a lot of money on the NEX-7 and a bunch of E-mount lenses. I also have Metabones Speed Reducer. When I am in low light, the SB plus a Canon FDn 50 1.4, does an excellent job with only having to go over ISO 800 very seldom.

The bottom line in the real world is how much would I actually gain in picture taking by scraping (actually selling) all my APS-C equipment and starting over in FF. While FF is theoretically better I'm not sure the cost is worth it. I print up to 16x24 and would be hard pressed to imagine much improvement in the actual images. And I am picky.

Michael

If you only have one legacy full frame lens, and you're happy enough with the IQ of the Speed Booster, then it sounds like you've found the right solution for you.

I didn't try a Speed Booster. Metabones took so long to get the FD one to market that I instead had to try one of the other brands. I was very disappointed in its IQ and I returned it. By that time, the A7 was announced. I shoot a number of different brands of full frame lenses, so A) the cost from Metabones for multiple adapters would be higher than the cost of the A7 and B) a number of them aren't supported (or even - Leica, Contax G, etc) supportable by focal reducers.

I have heard, though, that even the Speed Boosters work better with some focal length and speed lenses than others. A real full frame sensor works well for all of those SLR lenses.

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Ray Maines
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In reply to nostatic, 10 months ago
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cxsparc
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Re: APSC vs FF
In reply to SQLGuy, 10 months ago

Vicotr Lebowski (phototo) has numerous posts on his blog both ciritcally examining the A/s and also speedbooster. Some of his findings on the speedbooster:

performance is lens-dependent, center always good, edges start to vignette hard at f5.6, extreme edges stay blurred, focal length goes up e.g. 28mm lens becomes 30 mm lens.

I have been given direct comparison pictures of A7 with EF 28mm to Nex 7 with SB and same lens. I could directly see the reduced contrast in the SB pictures. Of course, if your appliance is low light photography for the SB, contrast is already reduced anyway, focal length changes are not that important either. But as a general solution to reuse legacy lenses, it is not an optimal solution.

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Euell
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Re: APSC vs FF
In reply to Michael Everett, 10 months ago

Michael Everett wrote:

Let's be practical. I agree FF is better. Yet I have spent a lot of money on the NEX-7 and a bunch of E-mount lenses. I also have Metabones Speed Reducer. When I am in low light, the SB plus a Canon FDn 50 1.4, does an excellent job with only having to go over ISO 800 very seldom.

The bottom line in the real world is how much would I actually gain in picture taking by scraping (actually selling) all my APS-C equipment and starting over in FF. While FF is theoretically better I'm not sure the cost is worth it. I print up to 16x24 and would be hard pressed to imagine much improvement in the actual images. And I am picky.

Michael

I agree. APSC is quite adequate for prints in that size range. However, local contrast enhancement in post does bring up noise. And, the larger the sensor, the less the noise generally.

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In reply to Ray Maines, 10 months ago

Ray Maines wrote:

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Upper-right-hand corner of the post.

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Ray Maines
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APSC vs FF vs Medium Format
In reply to chr68, 10 months ago

I think APS/C is a wonderful, almost magical, compromise between cost, quality and size and I've never been even remotely interested in a FF camera system with their over sized and over priced lenses.

However...

I'm kind of fascinated by the medium format cameras on the horizon. I don't much about them but they sound like they would be different enough from APS/C to make it worth having two systems.

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chr68
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Merci
In reply to chr68, 10 months ago

Hello,

Thank-you all for your feedbacks.

Christophe.

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Mk82
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Re: APSC vs FF
In reply to Jabez02, 10 months ago

Jabez02 wrote:

If you are only wanting to use T / S functions for every so often for special projects then you could use software such as DxO ViewPoint 2.

It;s a lot cheaper than a Canon 17 or 24mm. Like with all software manipulation you will loose some pixels doing so, but if you start with a well exposed and sharply focused 24MP or 36MP then you won't notice a lot of difference.

You can never do with software in editing what tilt-shift lens does in camera.  It is simply impossible because physics. Not even lytro have managed to do it even when in theory it should be possible for lightfield cameras.

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Mk82
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Re: APSC vs FF vs Medium Format
In reply to Ray Maines, 10 months ago

Ray Maines wrote:

I think APS/C is a wonderful, almost magical, compromise between cost, quality and size and I've never been even remotely interested in a FF camera system with their over sized and over priced lenses.

However...

I'm kind of fascinated by the medium format cameras on the horizon. I don't much about them but they sound like they would be different enough from APS/C to make it worth having two systems.

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4/3 and FF are pretty similar in almost every situation (this I say as FF shooter) but you can't even compare medium format camera and FF as the difference is huge between them.

Sometimes it feels like FF users are just too poor to own a medium format camera and that's why keep so loud noise against AOSP and 4/3 cameras. Once you take a medium camera to portraits,  landscape and architecture or even Street photographing, it gives so amazing results that it is hard to go back to FF and more likely you want to get 4/3 already for next to it.

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blue_skies
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Re: APSC vs FF
In reply to Mk82, 10 months ago

Mk82 wrote:

Jabez02 wrote:

If you are only wanting to use T / S functions for every so often for special projects then you could use software such as DxO ViewPoint 2.

It;s a lot cheaper than a Canon 17 or 24mm. Like with all software manipulation you will loose some pixels doing so, but if you start with a well exposed and sharply focused 24MP or 36MP then you won't notice a lot of difference.

You can never do with software in editing what tilt-shift lens does in camera. It is simply impossible because physics. Not even lytro have managed to do it even when in theory it should be possible for lightfield cameras.

I have both a T/S adapter and DxO Viewpoint 2.

If you work at max resolution, the T/S adapter is definitely the way to go, but DxO VP2 does a very respectable job, within reason. You loose resolution, sure, but because you alter (straighten) perspective, it does not appear to worsen the image, especially if viewed at full image size.

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SQLGuy
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Re: APSC vs FF vs Medium Format
In reply to Mk82, 10 months ago

Mk82 wrote:

Ray Maines wrote:

I think APS/C is a wonderful, almost magical, compromise between cost, quality and size and I've never been even remotely interested in a FF camera system with their over sized and over priced lenses.

However...

I'm kind of fascinated by the medium format cameras on the horizon. I don't much about them but they sound like they would be different enough from APS/C to make it worth having two systems.

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4/3 and FF are pretty similar in almost every situation (this I say as FF shooter) but you can't even compare medium format camera and FF as the difference is huge between them.

Sometimes it feels like FF users are just too poor to own a medium format camera and that's why keep so loud noise against AOSP and 4/3 cameras. Once you take a medium camera to portraits, landscape and architecture or even Street photographing, it gives so amazing results that it is hard to go back to FF and more likely you want to get 4/3 already for next to it.

Why do you think this might be? After all, FF is 4X the size of m4/3, but 645 is only 2.7X the size of full frame.

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