Micro four thirds - does the crop factor apply to MFT lenses as well?

Started Dec 29, 2012 | Questions thread
CharlesB58 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,310
Re: Let's answer this correctly and simply.

Correctly, but not necessarily "simply".

It can be a matter of perceived semantics.

GB, you are using the term "exposure", I think, as in "I made an exposure of the sun shining through the trees". In that usage, including factors such as depth of field, blur et al is relevant.

However, I think when most people bring up the word "exposure" they are thinking of the "correct" settings according to the meter or to get optimal tonal range in the image. The thing is, experienced photographers usually know it's not that simple. However, we have seen on this and all the other forums how people think because a sophisticated camera can do so much, the matter of making a proper exposure is simple.

It can be argued that "proper exposure" must always include the question "proper for what?" That's what the zone system was based on: what do I want the tonal range of the final photograph to be, so how do I expose and process the negative?

Now GB: you can correctly inform people about the ratio of focal length to diameter determining f stop (and beware trying to get into explaining Tstops to people LOL) or exposure and noise relate to the amount of photons falling on a sensor, but methinks the average beginner asking questions about focal length and exposure may not be ready for the technical side of things. Personally, I think it's a problem that most people may not be ready to practically incorporate the technical aspects into their photography, but that's a whole different thread. LOL

Also, wouldn't you have to admit that the idea of FF having an inherent 2 stop advantage in noise levels needs to be qualified a bit? At a physics level this may be the case. At the point of final observable image things are changing due to improvements in sensor technology and in camera processing capability. Most people are going to rely on a visual comparison between formats.If, to their own eye they don't see a difference that DxO mark says exists, or the difference isn't objectionable, (as in low noise with smeared pixels vs higher noise but sharper pixels) then the lab data simply serves to confuse them.

Since photography is a visual medium and much of what we see is based on perception, then our assessment of IQ is also relative to what we perceive. IE: "Sharpening" a photo isn't really increasing the absolute resolution. It's altering the contrast at a pixel level to give the perception of increased sharpness. Noise reduction applications don't actually reduce noise: they overlay noise pixels with clones of existing image pixels to reduce the ´╗┐visual  ´╗┐impact of the noise. But explaining all this outside of a class on photo editors is cumbersome and something most people don't care about.

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Some people operate cameras. Others use them to create images. There is a difference.

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