Is FF sensors going to slowly phase out?

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
oklaphotog Senior Member • Posts: 1,093
Re: Is FF sensors going to slowly phase out?

Erik Magnuson wrote:

Sony/Minolta made the 135mm STF, Nikon makes the 105 and 135mm defocus control lenses, and both Canon and Nikon make 200mm f/2 lenses.  Obviously, there is some demand for extreme DOF.

I would argue that on a couple points. First the 135mm STF and regards to the proper term for bokeh. Bokeh is derived from the word Boke which comes from Japanese art photography and is a term used for using an out of focus but recognizable object as part of the composition, often in how it relates to the surroundings. The 135mm STF was not made as an uber shallow DOF lens. STF stands for smooth transfer focus. The whole point of the STF is to make the focus transition smoother and has nothing to do with the far background. Back in the day when places like the Minolta list put the bokeh term on the internet map, bokeh was defined by the transfer, not the background, as defined by Japanese art photography. This type of work is not often shot wide open. It is shot with shallow enough dof to blur the element, but with enough to make out what the element is. The smoothness of focus transfer is the key to these types of shots coming out smooth without a harsh and abrupt distinction between the in focus and our of focus elements. Here are some examples from a famous Japanese photographer that helped define this genre: One of the great things about most Minolta glass is that it has a smoother focus transfer than other glass. The STF just happens to be the best thing that ever existed. Creaminess of the background is actually not part of the true meaning of Bokeh and the term has been molested into a new meaning over the years by folks who don't fully understand the origins of the term. You can have the smoothest background in the world, but if the transition is rough it still looks off kilter and often worse than a shot with a smoother transition but rougher background.

As far as the 200/2 lenses. When these lenses were designed, the intention of that extra stop was not for achieving even less DOF. It was for getting a faster shutter speed in low lighting situations. These lenses were designed for sports shooters and photojournalists. Sometimes that extra stop of shutter speed is the difference between getting the shot and not getting it when shooting in a demanding situation.

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