Do you miss larger sensors?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
CaliforniaDave Senior Member • Posts: 2,305
Re: Do you miss larger sensors?
1

Ab S wrote:

richarddd wrote:

[..]

It's easier to make sharper lenses for larger sensors, because smaller sensor images have to be enlarged more than larger sensor images to get the same resulting picture size. At the same lp/mm, lenses for larger formats will look better.

Why then are quality FF lenses so expensive?

The primary reason is because they must create a big enough image circle to cover a FF sensor, and perform well over that area. This involves a lot of glass, often of various indices or refraction and sometimes aspherical, powerful and fast focus motors in the best lens, zoom mechanism, a structure to hold it all together, various controls, etc.

The sensors in my recent RX100 and RX10 cameras have 2.4 micro-meter pixel pitch, while the sensor in my FF 61 Mp A7RIV has 3.73 micro-meter pixel pitch, so the FF camera has larger pixels. That would imply that you would not need a lens as sharp for the FF camera. The reality is if I take a photo of the same scene in good light at the same equivalent focal length with both camera, using an optimal aperture for sharpness, and then examine the images at 100% or larger, examining down to the pixel level, the A7RIV with an expensive lens produces sharpness down to the pixel level, while the RX100s and RX10s do not. The lenses in the RX100s and RX10s are great lenses, but they do not capture sharp detail all the way down to the pixel level. They are presumably limited by diffraction and by compromises due to their small size, cost to manufacture, and zoom range.

So, theoretically, a lens for a 1" sensor would need to be sharper than a lens for a FF sensor, because of the smaller pixel pitch on the 1" sensor. In reality, a high quality FF lens is sharper.

In actual practical use, the RX100s and RX10s produce great looking images. I have an RX10IV and an RX100VII, and love their versatility and acknowledge that for the vast majority of my needs, they perform great.

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