Venting re" Full Frame

Started Jan 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
Antal I Kozma Senior Member • Posts: 2,041
Re: Venting re" Full Frame

Gentlemen ( and Lades of course ),

May I, as one whose professional life started with Spotmatics, share my thoughts here?

Yes, APSC sensors are very capable these days. A good APSC camera with good lenses and good software can be all one needs. However, I must say that as much as I was happy with my Nikon D300 as much happier I became when I got my first Nikon D3. The game changed totally.

Now I shoot with a D4 and a D800. Life is easy. Boundaries opened up. WHat do I mean? You know, back in film days many of us were using different film formats as the job called for it. We used our 135-36 film for reportage and for other work that was not too demanding on quality. Then we opted for 120 or 4x5 transparencies for quality publications, double spreads, posters, covers, art books, etc.

I do not think that anything really changed in the digital world. Smaller sensors for lesser demanding work and larger sensors for more quality oriented work. Yes, I reiterate it here that digital has improved extremely in the past couple of years and that today's APSC might be jut superior to yesterday's 135-36 slide.

That said, the difference is still there, larger imaging surface equals to better end product if printed at large scale. Let's forget about web size images and 8x10 size pictures type arguments. I am strictly talking about large prints, high end publication, etc. Gallery size prints of 24" x 36" and larger. Images where clarity, depth of three dimensional feeling, gradations of colour are the essential components of the artwork.

I can tell you again that I was very happy with my Nikon D300. But, when I got my D3 I felt that I was set free. Now with the D4 and the D800 I am practically on the doorsteps of heaven.

I have a visual analogy to describe my thoughts regarding to larger sensor sizes. Let's take a small and agile  little fish and put it in a tiny aquarium. A cute and well designed little aquarium. The little fish will be living there relatively happy but confined. The walls are too close for it to swim at ease and freely, algae will interfere with its living environment much sooner, etc...... Now, put this fish into a much larger aquarium and it will get a different life. It will be able to swim unrestricted, relative to the previous environment, it will jump and laugh and will become a much greater attraction to watch.

That is what happened when I changed over to FF ( 35mm ) sensor. My fish tank suddenly had clear water in it and the distances to swim became much larger. It became much easier to produce quality prints at a much larger scale. So, I do not miss my small fish tank at all.

Of course, there are the lens availability arguments, weight arguments, etc.......... Indeed, those are to be taken into account. However, I have no doubt that Pentax ( with Ricoh behind it ) is capable of delivering a 35mm digital camera and lenses to suit it at the topmost level.

Who would buy a Pentax system like that? Hard to tell, depends on how good it would be at what price point. However, I do recall that in the "good old days" there were more than two companies supplying professional 35 mm systems for the professional and high end amateur crowd. Canon, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax were those. Asahi Pentax was there, from Spotmatic to LX.

These days it is only Canon and Nikon who cater to the whole spectrum from APSC to 35mm. Hence most professionals switched to those two. Not to say that there are no professionals with other systems, just that they are a small fraction of the whole crowd.

I am well invested into Nikon. However, if Pentax would reappear with a pro 35 mm system, lenses and all, then I would consider closing the circle and to come home to Pentax. I started with it, I could finish with it.

Best to all, AIK

 Antal I Kozma's gear list:Antal I Kozma's gear list
Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR Phase One Capture One Pro Nikon D810 Nikon D500 Olympus E-M1 II +19 more
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