crop factor for dummies

Started Jul 6, 2008 | Discussions thread
joe mama Forum Pro • Posts: 12,623
A straight and simple answer.

Is the real problem with crop factor surprises when someone uses a
"film" lens on a digital camera? Then, they will not get what they
think they will. Otherwise, if you use a "digital" lens on a digital
camera you will get what you see through the lens. No? Yes?

You always get the FOV you see in the viewfinder plus a tiny bit more as most viewfinders are not 100%. For example, if you put an 30 / 1.4 (a lens specifically designed for cropped sensors) on a 1.6x DSLR, and put any other lens at 30mm on the camera, be it for FF or crop, the FOV will be the same.

What will be different is that 30mm on 1.6x will not look the same as 30mm on FF, either in the viewfinder or in the capture -- 30mm on 1.6x will appear the same as 50mm (30mm x 1.6 = 50mm) on FF would, again, both in the viewfinder and in the capture. Nor will f/1.4 look the same on 1.6x as it does on FF -- f/1.4 on 1.6x will look like f/2.2 (f/1.4 x 1.6 = f/2.2) on FF.

For a way more thorough, but not as simple, explanation about the differences between formats, here ya go:

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