full frame cameras mean big lenses?

Started Nov 18, 2011 | Discussions thread
Tinu_ch Contributing Member • Posts: 660
Re: full frame cameras mean big lenses?

nemist wrote:

I was reading something recently regarding CCD sensor and CMOS sensor differing with how they gather light when the sensor is hit by photons at a perpendicular angle. As I understand it (very foggy), CMOS sensors can't render the light well if not hit at a certain angle, but CCD can?

I can't really comment on this, but I would be suprised if CCD vs CMOS would perform different with regard to the angle the light is coming in. The narrower the angle the less light will hit the sensitive area of the sensor (just plain geometry, but maybe reflection comes into it too).

I read this under the context of large lenses don't necessarily mean large bodies; i.e. Leica M9 has small lenses (relatively), but also sports a CCD.

The Leica M9 is a mirrorless camera. The rear of the lens can reach into the camera and some of the M lenses get really close to the sensor. This makes it easier to design small but sharp wideangle lenses (one strenght of the Leica M system). The bad news: towards the corners of the sensor the light does come in in a very narrow angle causing additional vignetting (not so much of a problem with film emulsions, more so with image sensors). The good news: with modern digital cameras the light is not going straight from the lens to the sensor but is caught and guided by microlenses in front of the sensor. To deal with this specific problem the M8 and M9 have a special microlens layout: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/leicam8/

The reason I ask is because I would very much like to see an affordable full frame mirror less camera with relatively compact lenses, and Canon hasn't thrown a punch in the mirror less ring yet.

Leica has an established lens line-up on the market since decades and has a following that accepts mind-numbing prices. Canon would have to develop and produce all the lenses. A big investment with a high risk. To widen the market they had to sell camera and lenses at fraction of the Leica prices while being instantly compared to them ...

I doubt it will happen, but would making a relatively compact mirror less option require a different kind of sensor?

I do not think a different kind of sensor would solve the major issues.

Or, why is their the association, or myth, that larger cameras require larger lenses?

Larger sensors require larger lenses to offer similar characteristics. With a mirror box all wideangle lenses have to be retrofocus designs, adding quite a bit to the bulk. As Olympus has shown well back in OM times it is possible to build quite small wideangle lenses for FF SLRs (google for ZUIKO lenses). A similar system with FF sensor would meet with quite some interest I guess ...


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