Fuji APS-C vs FF for portrait DOF

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razorfish Contributing Member • Posts: 602
Fuji APS-C vs FF for portrait DOF

The 56mm is currently the fastest Fujifilm lens, and the one which gives the most shallow DOF at portrait FOV. I keep reading how Sony with its larger sensor is better for shallow DOF, but Sony's fastest lens at 85mm is only f1.4 vs Fuji's f1.2 which calculates to a 61mm physical aperture opening for Sony and 47mm for Fuji. I usually don't care much about shallow DOF except for portraits, so I'm not interested in comparing other equivalent lenses between these systems. What I'm interested in, is how big is the actual DOF difference at FF 85mm f1.4 vs APS-C 56mm f1.2 because these are the best options on offer for mirrorless (not interested in third party options either).

Furthermore, is the difference purely theoretical, or can it be observed in actual results? Searching Flickr, there are a number of great images shot with both systems at 85mm equiv. (56mm f1.2 and 85mm f1.4) with creamy bokeh for both, but I do seem to find a select few Sony 85mm full-body portraits where the background is more blown out than what I can observe for Fuji. Now obviously, conditions would not be the same for these examples, and photographer skill varies, so I'm unsure how much is actually in it. But I do know I want that ultra shallow look in full portraits (as opposed to headshots only where it's pretty easy to obtain).

Needless to say, I do prefer APS-C for all other lenses (due to portability) and I prefer Fuji ergonomics too, but for this particular portrait focal length I'm unsure whether f1.2 on APS-C is big enough for what I want to do. I guess an f1.0 would pretty much equal f1.4 with FF, but currently f1.2 is the fastest available.

Any insight appreciated.

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