Crop Factor. Something to consider when buying a lens when you are shooting other than FF.

Started Jun 6, 2014 | Discussions thread
Ray Sachs
Ray Sachs Forum Pro • Posts: 10,580
Pretty well understood by most who've been around here a while...

Most experienced photographers get this, many beginners don't.

All you have to remember is this:

  1. For light gathering and low light capability, f2 is f2 is f2, regardless of crop factor.
  2. For narrow depth of field, however, a 28mm lens at any given aperture is a 28mm lens (not 28mm equivalent field of view, but an actual 28mm), whether its on a full frame, APS, m43, or 1" sensor.

So, if you're after the narrowest possible depth of field, you need to be aware of the difference but for light gathering and low light, you don't - you just have to know how good your sensor is at a given ISO and a given aperture.

But even for narrow DOF, unless you're really a junkie for narrow DOF, you don't need to hurt your head too much on this. I've gotten plenty of good narrow DOF shots with full frame, APS, and m43 systems using lenses faster or at around f2. It does start getting a lot tougher at 1" and smaller unless you're shooting macro, though, so it's good to understand the basics.

We judge photographers by the photographs we see. We judge cameras by the photographs we miss - Haim Zamir

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