Question for Great Bustard

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
jrtrent Veteran Member • Posts: 4,899
Re: Even-handed description

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

jrtrent wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

jrtrent wrote:

kiwi2 wrote:

. . . If someone has accepted that they will have a lower quality photo and are happy with that, then doesn't "equivalence" largely become irrelevant? They just want to use the camera for what they had intended and for what they are.

I think I missed the previous thread, so I don't know the context for this current one, but I think you've identified a major purpose of equivalence, that it is one tool that can be used for making comparisons across different sensor sizes while considering or shopping for photo equipment. If a person is not in the market for new equipment, then a major use of equivalence does not apply. Equivalence can also be useful when reading photography books with example pictures and exposure data for formats other than the one I might currently be using, letting me better know how to set my own camera to better emulate what I see in the books (or perhaps to realize that I can't emulate certain things I see in the books!).

I will admit that the whole total light/noise/image quality thing is lost on me, so when I shop I don't really think about that, but just depend on test reports or hands-on use of particular equipment I'm interested in. In any event, sensor differences other than size can make this aspect of comparison differ from model to model. I like this excerpt from DPR's review of the FZ1000:

"Just like 'equivalent focal length,' equivalent apertures allow you to compare lens behavior side-by-side across cameras with different sensor sizes, by taking sensor size into account. The equivalent aperture figure gives a clear idea of how two lenses compare in terms of depth-of-field. It also gives an idea of low-light performance,

But that is also implying you can't "take" a photo in lower light, and/or that the shutter-speed would be different for a specific ISO, and that is not true.

I don't see either of the implications you mention here. You interrupted the sentence written by Keller and Butler, which simply makes the claim that equivalent aperture "describes how much light is available across the sensor's area" and thus can give "an idea of low-light performance." This seems to me to be a reference to that total light concept that I earlier confessed to not really understanding or finding a use for.

For any specific ISO, the A/SS is exactly the same for any camera, just that if at highest ISO, there may be more visible noise. (and will be at highest ISO)

Or perhaps that at any given ISO setting, the smaller sensor, receiving less total light, is likely to produce the noisier image. Well, no surprise there; after testing, I found that if I want pleasing image quality, I keep my Ricoh compact at ISO 80, my Sigma 1.7X crop factor at or below ISO 200, and my 1.5X DSLR at ISO 400. Any of these cameras, though, can take pictures I like in low light conditions, it's just that some might need a tripod a little sooner than the others. The Ricoh is surprisingly competitive in low light as it's my only camera with image stabilization.

since it also describes how much light is available across the sensor's area. However, differences in sensor performance mean this can only be used as a guide, rather than an absolute measure."

This is not the "beginners" room so I suppose I should not care.

But these same statements are made in the beginners room and it will confuse them because any reference to "light" implies that a specific may not be able to take a specific photo, (even if just "noisier").

I have stated before that camera stores tell beginners that a lens is "faster" because they can indeed use a 'faster" shutter speed with it.

I don't know what's happened to their glossary, but DPReview used to tell readers the same thing. The entry for "aperture" used to included this very useful information:

"The 'maximum aperture' of a lens is also called its 'lens speed'. Aperture and shutterspeed are interrelated via exposure. A lens with a large maximum aperture (e.g. f/2) is called a 'fast' lens because the large aperture allows you to use high (fast) shutterspeeds and still receive sufficient exposure."

It certainly does not mean a "faster" lens allows light in "faster". ("more" light is not any "faster")

And most beginners don't even know what DOF is, (and indeed I think that should be the LAST thing they need to be concerned with and learn).

Perhaps it depends on the equipment you're using.  I consider depth of field to be one of the most important and fundamental aspects of photography, and getting adequate depth of field with medium format cameras and slow slide film was constantly in my thoughts as I chose exposure settings and focus points in my early days in the hobby.  On the other hand, with a digital compact or cellular phone, depth of field is so great at any aperture you can choose that getting adequate depth of field is virtually guaranteed.  Conversely, some hobbyists have a penchant for shallow depth of field, and if a beginner is drawn to the hobby by seeing images using shallow depth of field to isolate subjects within the frame, then knowing up front what equipment and techniques are needed to achieve that effect can prevent a lot of frustration and wasting money on inadequate gear.

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