Potential dead horse: how bad is FF's deep DoF disadvantage?

Started Mar 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
crashpc Veteran Member • Posts: 6,700
Re: Potential dead horse: how bad is FF's deep DoF disadvantage?

sportyaccordy wrote:

DoF is entirely a product of the aperture diameter. So a 24mm F4 will have the same DoF as 48mm F8, 12mm F2 etc etc.

generally yes.

As someone explained to me in another thread, for equivalent photos this phenomenon cancels out larger formats' high ISO advantage for completely equivalent pictures. For example to maintain shutter speeds, that 24mm F4 on an FF camera will need to be shot at 2 ISO stops higher than 12mm F2 on an MFT camera. At which point the noise on the FF is at best the same but in some cases worse if we are talking very high ISOs.

Yes, but if you know what are you doing, you realize that you don´t need that deep DoF so often. With shorter focal range/longer focusing (scene) distance, you can shoot wide open. So you get many shots with nice background blur and you loose no light by NOT stopping down your lens aperture. This does not happen everytime, but it still gives occasional advantage. There is no good reason to compare this with small sensor camera unless you really need it for some critical work. That work won´t be done with small sensor compact cam anyway. There are more reasons, not only DoF...

So my question is, for folks who have used an array of different formats extensively, how much does this affect real world shooting? Did you ever find yourself frustrated with the inability to get deep DoF from larger formats, or is it not that big of a deal?

Yes, I had some issues with DoF, but not one sided "too much" or "not enaugh" DoF in the image. I usually fight both problems at once in one image. You need to blur background, but you need huge things in focus. Hard to deal with this. No compact cam and no pro cam is going to solve it instantly for each shot.

I had some situations which made me want smaller sensor, so it could acquire more light with deep DoF, but I still could handle that situation with bigger sensor camera with some penalty. (nothing is perfect right?). Maybe compact cam with fast lens can keep up. It happens these days. But this does not happen everytime. I had problems which CAN NOT be solved with small sensor cam. Usually landscape photography. Try to shoot grass going from where you stand to the horizon so it touches the sky. Not a chance to get nice grass with small sensor cam, no matter how much you stop the lens down. You hit diffraction wall so early!. Only thing you get is smudged green stuff in major part of the image. With APS-C/FF you clearly win in resolution here.

It seems to me more and more like no format is superior to another... they all have advantages and disadvantages that make them better for different kinds of photography, with no clear all around winner

If you do your comparison based on PRICE, then yes. Those are precious devices which need to be chosen carefully, based on what you do and what you need. If you look at it in a way of "show me the best of class", bigger sensor technically wins over smaller sensor no matter what. But who will lug with that crazy weapon and who will pay for it?

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