Interesting read by Thom Hogan

Started Feb 14, 2014 | Discussions thread
tomtom50 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,244
Re: I also think Thom's analysis of APS-C is incorrect

Mike Fewster wrote:

Geedorama wrote:

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Ideally, the lens captures what the eye had in mind...but the damn thing won't listen.

There is much in Thom's analysis I agree with, however, I think he gets APS-C scene wrong.

APS-C in dslr is a format that has outlived its time. It was originally brought in as a way to lure serious film shooters to digital cameras. This was the period where serious photographers had collections of lenses designed for their 35mm film cameras. The cost of ff digital cameras however was prohibitive given the cost of ff sensors in the iniitial digital introduction period. The manufacturers answer was APS-C, ie an identical mount to the existing ff film cameras but with a much smaller sensor. Now the enthusiast was tempted to go dig. because all those precious lenses in their collection could be used on the iLC dslr cameras. The fact that a large section of the gathered image was now being thrown away was brilliantly marketed as "multiplication factor". APS-C (I am not talking about the sensor itself but about the ff lens mount/small sensor concept that loosely became referred to as APS-C ) was brilliant marketing but poor engineering (you paid for a quality glass that could collect an image of one size but in fact only a small part of the lens abilities was being used and lenses and bodies were bigger and heavier than they needed to be for the size of the sensor). In time, the manufacturers added lenses with optics that were designed just for the APS-C sensor (dx series). These lenses however still suffered from having to use ff mount.

It was the mirrorless cameras that showed up the flaw in APS-C engineering. The APS-C (and I include mft here) sensor could give the same IQ in a much smaller package when you had a lens mount designed for the sensor rather than cobbling an inappropriate ff mount to deliver to a small sensor.

Many of lenses Thom refers to are now moving into a sort of limbo land. FF mount with APS-C sized sensors will slowly be squeezed out between cameras that are designed with appropriate mounts and bodies for APS-C sensors and bodies much the same size but with ff image capability.

Mike Fewster
Adelaide Australia

My thoughts run along the same lines. His main criticism of Nikon is their failure to develop a full DX lens line, but if Nikon & Canon see DX as a stopgap that will fade it makes sense.

The a7r shows the future, in that it has high enough pixel density (16MP at APS-C crop) to make decent APS-C camera. It can take advantage of smaller APS telephoto lenses and less expensive APS lenses, while giving FF performance when the lens supports it.

The a7r isn't seen this way because it is too expensive for this use, but how may years before 36+MP FF can be had below $1000?

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