FF vs. crop - quality difference in landscape photography

Started Jul 14, 2011 | Discussions thread
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 53,148
Re: Your point is taken...with reservation

gdanmitchell wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

I think the forecust that MF will become cheaper is very iffy.

Digital MF has already gotten a lot cheaper, and this trend continues.

That is actually true. The 'slightly MF' systems (Leica S2, Fuji 645, Pentax 645) have been driven to a price point slightly above the high res 35mm FF price point. The question is, are the manufacturers making any money at that price point? My suggestion would be 'no'. Take for instance one of their biggest competors, the Nikon D3X. The D3X costs Nikon the same per unit as the D3S, the extra $2500 is just nice, big fat profitable margin. On top of that, it cost them 2/3 of b*gger all to develop, take an existing Sony sensor, put it in an existing Nikon body and develop a bit of firmware. The D3X is a pure cash cow for Nikon. If it felt any competitive pressure from the MF systems, Nikon could drop its price any time they liked, but they don't. The conclusion must be that the MF systems really don't figure in Nikon's business plan at all. In contrast, the D3X places a ceiling on what Leica, Fuji and Pentax can charge if they are to get sufficient volume to recoup their development costs. these are less for pentax, because they piggyback on their APS-C products, but for Fuji and Leica their whole costs have to be borne by this one product. My bet is that won't last.

More capable (in terms of software, hardware, and resolution) backs and cameras are available at the high end, and the new "mini MF" 33mm x 44mm systems are becoming available at prices that are competitive with high end DSLR systems. For those who like the 4:3 format, these systems provide close to twice the sensor surface area, compared to full frame DSLRs, thus making 30" x 40" prints (traditionally the domain of MF film) a high quality option.

(And, yes, I recognize that it will be a small percentage of photographers who need that level of image resolution, but as costs continue to drop and capabilities increase, a small by viable market for these systems will continue to develop.)

On another subject, the notion of "pixel peeping" is generally regarded as a bit more than just looking very closely at images at 100% magnification. Pretty much everyone doing quality work and/or preparing prints looks at images this way while optimizing them for print.

That I don't argue with. I do most of my PP work at 100%. the argument is assessing te quality of the final output by that criterion.

So, looking closely is almost never regarded as the defining characteristic of this thing called pixel peeping. The more significant implication of the term is to refer to some combination of the following:

  • obsessing over small and inconsequential differences that will have no visible effect on photographs, and/or

  • seeming to perhaps be more interested in this activity than in making photographs.

I'll go with that.

Also, since it was brought up in reference to me ("...you fell into Dan's trademark troll of insinuation that takes you off on a tangent."), trolling is not equivalent to disagreeing. Trolling means adding something to a discussion with the sole purpose of angering people - e.g. just trying to get a rise out of them. I understand that some people will disagree with me - which is ultimately of little importance in the real non-forum world - but, if anything, labeling another forum participant who tries to engage in a legitimate dialog about an issue relevant to the topic as a troll probably comes closer to troll-like forum behavior.

I have never accused you of trolling and wouldn't do so on the basis of the way you've deported yourself in this or previous discussions. I agree 100%, disagreement is not trolling.

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