Fuji APS-C vs FF for portrait DOF

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
Jhuffphoto Junior Member • Posts: 35
Re: Fuji APS-C vs FF for portrait DOF

razorfish wrote:

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.

Without going into all the math, you will see roughly about a one stop difference. That is to say if you shoot a model with the 56 f1.2 On APSC wide open and you shoot the same screen with an 85 f1.8 on a FF camera wide open you will get similar results in total background blur. I would say that most of the time I end up stopping my 56 f1.2 down a bit to increase the depth of field. Sometimes I will shoot wide open but often I am at f2 or 2.8 especially if I am shooting couples or families. Tony Northrop posted a video awhile back that explains it in detail. I would say that the quality of the bokeh is probably more important than the total amount. If you are doing a headshot with the 56 f1.2 your DOF will indeed be very narow and you better have some excellent technique. In my opinion the overall rendering that I get with the XT2 and 56 f1.2 is borderline magical. For the price I think that the 56 f1.2 is a steal.

 Jhuffphoto's gear list:Jhuffphoto's gear list
Nikon D90 Fujifilm X-T2 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +1 more
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