Is your photography better with FF?

Started Jan 3, 2014 | Discussions
RicAllan Contributing Member • Posts: 795
Re: Is your photography better with FF?
1

kelvin2345 wrote:

I am not a big fan of Thom Hogan, but I think his recent post is very interesting.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/is-your-photography-better.html

Thom is challenging whether the new photo gear that we purchased last Christmas has made us any better photographer.

I have been seeing a lot of "Should I move to FF?", "difference between f4 and f2.8 lens", "New DF coming" kind of posts in the past month. I really wonder whether the photos taken by those people have improved after spending all those money in new gears and gadgets.

I myself is a D600 user. The D600 was beaten to death with its dust issue and sub-standard AF module. But guess what, I just started to go pro with my D600 and all my clients like my results. I found it a fantastic camera and I can't get the most out of it yet.

To those who has bought new gears last Christmas - is your photography better?

Newer equipment does NOT make a photographer better. If properly chosen (and capable in areas where limits were being imposed on the photographer), it removes (or lessens the impact of the) limitations on the photographer. If improperly chosen (meaning the new capabilities were in areas not being pushed), it has NO impact (other than possibly bringing on frustrations when no 'improvement' is seen.

It is rare that a single factor (especially sensor FORMAT as opposed to pixel density or sensitivity) has significant impact.

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Ric

 RicAllan's gear list:RicAllan's gear list
Nikon D4S Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D +2 more
PictureTakerPhotoMaker Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Is your photography better with FF?

Yes. Got a sunsniper strap for Christmas. This allows me to take my D800 and my fun ol D1x with me where I would not have bothered in the past. The strap makes a huge difference, with it I don't feel the weight of either camera during a full day of sight seeing or hiking.

So yes, my X-mas present does make a huge difference since the camera is with me at more occasions.

larrywilson
larrywilson Veteran Member • Posts: 6,365
Re: Is your photography better with FF?

Yes my photography is better with an FF camera.  The viewfinder on my d4 is large and bright and is easier to use the three manual focus lens I have than a tunnel view on a dx camera so I hit the sharp focus more often with the d4.  The high iso performance is much better than with my d7100 so I find myself using the d4 a lot more often than the d7100.  The d4 is large, but I am use to a professional gripped camera.  Large and a little heavier camera fits my hands better and I can hold it steadier for sharper images.  The d4 with a long lens on a tripod is better balanced than my d7100.  The dof is narrower so images look better when using a lens at wide aperture blurring out the background better.

Larry

 larrywilson's gear list:larrywilson's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +7 more
ranalli
ranalli Senior Member • Posts: 1,020
Re: Is your photography better with FF?
1

PictureTakerPhotoMaker wrote:

Yes. Got a sunsniper strap for Christmas. This allows me to take my D800 and my fun ol D1x with me where I would not have bothered in the past. The strap makes a huge difference, with it I don't feel the weight of either camera during a full day of sight seeing or hiking.

So yes, my X-mas present does make a huge difference since the camera is with me at more occasions.

That wasn't quite in the context of article or initial post though.  Someone coming from crummy gear to a moderate DSLR setup can certainly justify that purchase in the end goal of taking better and more captivating photos.

The guy who is buying a D800 to upgrade from his D7100....well that's doubtful.  Both those cameras are capable of taking sick pictures considering very compelling photos were taken with much worse gear in the last 20 years.

 ranalli's gear list:ranalli's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR
moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,228
One is a consumer advocate, the other is a validation-seeker
3

primeshooter wrote:

My point...people will buy and use what they want. Who cares...why does it bother you or Thom?

I think it bothers Thom because he has a lot of people emailing him for advice, and he can tell from the type and level of questions he gets that a lot of these folks would be much better off learning the basics of photography first.

So in that sense, one of the hats he has to wear is one of consumer advocate. Thus, we see articles like that. (it also helps that it touches on a contentious subject - good for site hits )

As to why people who visit forums like this care so much - I suspect it's because they want validation for their own equipment choices.

They need to be told what they bought (aps-c, m43, whatever) is 'good enough', they need to argue about it, to prove it somehow.... when really, that's silly, because what's 'good enough' by the definition of the term needs no external validation.

.

-- hide signature --

Here are a few of my favorite things...
---> http://www.flickr.com/photos/95095968@N00/sets/72157626171532197/

 moving_comfort's gear list:moving_comfort's gear list
Pentax K20D Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D +10 more
moving_comfort
moving_comfort Veteran Member • Posts: 8,228
The perfect analogy! (car related of course)
2

Red G8R wrote:  Do you expect to be a better driver with every new car you buy? As a hobby, everything is just for fun.

Didn't get a new car for Christmas, but you know what I did buy myself over the holiday?

Blizzak studless snow tires.

Did they make me a better driver?  Of course not.  Did they help my driving?  Incredibly so.

.

-- hide signature --

Here are a few of my favorite things...
---> http://www.flickr.com/photos/95095968@N00/sets/72157626171532197/

 moving_comfort's gear list:moving_comfort's gear list
Pentax K20D Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D +10 more
ultimitsu
ultimitsu Veteran Member • Posts: 6,650
Re: Is your photography better with FF?
1

kelvin2345 wrote:

whether the new photo gear that we purchased last Christmas has made us any better photographer.

That is the wrong question. New gear does not magically give use the experience or expertise that make us better photographers and no one is under such illusion.

The real question is whether the new photo gear that we purchased last Christmas has helped us make better photographs.

The answer will be an unanimous YES. By virtue of FF has better image quality AND more creative control.

The D600 was beaten to death with its dust issue and sub-standard AF module.

What sub-standard AF module?

nunatak Senior Member • Posts: 2,739
Re: Is your rhetoric any better with FF?

the question Thom posed was rhetorical, and designed to spark debate. more data doesn't necessarily translate into better photos — but it can. use the metrics common to your workflow to evaluate for yourself.

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design guy

wasserball Veteran Member • Posts: 4,134
Re: Maxpreps

David314 wrote:

wasserball wrote:

Of course. Photography is not about gear, it is about photography. Your clients couldn't care less about what camera you are using or how it is battered on this forum or if it has oil spot issues or not as long as they are happy with the images you are taking.

That's not true. If you are going to shoot for some sports photo host, like MaxPreps, they expect a certain level of equipment. Of course if you are going to shoot sports, you would not be using a 70-300 f4.5-5.6, or even a 300mm f4.

Don't get me started on maxpreps

i was taking better pictures of girls soccer with my nikon d300 and 70-300 then the local maxpreps guy who was shooting a d3 and 70-200mm

apparently I needed a 600mm lens because I didn't have enough reach, or so I was told

I doubt anyone told you you needed a 600mm lens. I have never seen a 600mm lens at any HS games, nor have I seen Maxpreps shooter using a 70-200mm as his main lens. I don't shoot for maxpreps anymore because I don't shoot for money, I don't like to crop all my photos to 2166x1600, I don't like to crop as tight as they wanted me to crop. My clients are HS athletes and their parents, friends, and relatives, and recruiters, TX Longhorn Illustrated. They get my photos for free. Here is my maxpreps gallery.  It's still there! 

http://admin.maxpreps.com/Admin.aspx/Photographer/ListImages?SessionID=5b7b2e62-cf22-4cd5-ad06-1f238a878005&GroupID=0&PhotoGalleryID=0d349160-f48d-4d8e-910c-62599f97ad2a

 wasserball's gear list:wasserball's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR Nikon D3S Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR II +4 more
seahawk
seahawk Senior Member • Posts: 2,874
No

FF just adds new options to my camera bag for cases in which my old DX cameras show technological problems. (high ISO wide angles shallow DoF)

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hobby aviation photographer

Trin56 Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: New gear can

user_name wrote:

I realized that after clinically shooting with my D800 for almost 2 years, then picking up a used Leica M8.

The D800 has superior image quality, no doubt, but the Leica is like stepping into Mr. Peabody's and Sherman's Wayback Machine, which forces you to rethink what you are doing from a whole new perspective.

It's the difference between taking pictures and making photographs.

I wonder if the original poster was really asking if full frame allows you to technically take better pictures or has it improved your photography?

A very subjective question, in my mind.

Sorry I'm so late in commenting but here in New Zealand its 77°F and I've been at the beach for two weeks.

Your comment took me back to my early days in photography. I had a real flash Praktika SLR but a friend lent me his twin lens reflex Rolleiflex. Looking down onto that ground glass screen taught me more about composition than anything I've used since. It really did force me to make photographs.

 Trin56's gear list:Trin56's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G +2 more
dacrema Contributing Member • Posts: 689
Mixed bag for me.

I was able to do some interesting photos with my D300 once I got past the learning curve. That camera truly improved my photography as compared to the D70 and D70s cameras I used previously.

I have gotten a lot pictures I enjoy with the D600 I could not with my D300, but the results are not that consistent as I would like. I shoot in M most of my time with single point and setting my light and ISO. There is a learning curve. If there is a picture I just got to have I am not above using P with auto everything.

I read Thom's article and he has a point. I could have saved a bunch of money and stayed with the D300.  I am loving the low light shooting and rich depth of color  and detail the newer sensor brings with it.

John

 dacrema's gear list:dacrema's gear list
Nikon D600 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR +3 more
LMCasey Contributing Member • Posts: 851
Photography better=No, Photographs better= Perhaps Yes

Photography is about subject matter, composition, color, contrast etc.

Photographs, can involve more details such as noise level, DOF, color and color accuracy etc.

 LMCasey's gear list:LMCasey's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Nikon D800 Canon EF 35mm F1.4L USM Canon EF 135mm F2L USM Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM +11 more
ChapelThrill23 Senior Member • Posts: 1,039
Re: Is your photography better with FF?

I enjoy my photography a little more with full frame and am extremely impressed with the results I get but I still captured great images with an APS-C camera and still enjoyed the hobby tremendously. I also enjoyed it in the days of film with a camera that was much less capable than a new FF digital and enjoyed it with much lesser digitals. Some of the most breathtaking photographs that I've ever taken were with equipment that is primitive by todays standards.

For most situations that I shoot in there is an improvement versus APS-C but unless you are talking about  high-ISO situations or situations where depth of field over a wider area is paramount the differences are ones that you are more likely to see when pixel peeping than when printing at a normal size or viewing on a screen. Show the average person a print captured with a good APS-C camera and a good APS-C lens and a photo with a good FF camera and a good FF lens and most will have trouble making out a major difference.

Honestly the photographer makes a much bigger difference than the equipment in almost all cases (an exception would be something like sports photography or macro work).Todays FF cameras are all breathtakingly capable but even a cheap APS-C camera would have been a world beater just five years ago and is capable of making images worthy of the cover of any magazine. I participate in a photography group where people have a wide range of equipment. There are people who are gear heads with thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of gear and people who a D3000 type camera (or even a point and shoot) with one or two lenses and very often the best and most creative results at our meetings are from the people who have cameras that gear heads would sneer at. I think that sometimes people make the mistake of trying to judge how serious a photographer is and how committed they are to their craft based on how much they spend. They shouldn't but this is a hobby which tends, unfortunately, to have a massive snob factor.

Today is a photographic golden age in a lot of ways. Even a basic camera has a tremendous level of ability. You get more as you spend more but your returns for your investment when it comes to your results start to diminish in a hurry.  That said, I'm happy to have invested in higher-end equipment. I like the handling and feel of a good camera. I like the build of a good lens. I like having a big and bright viewfinder. I like having more external controls. If I'm being honest, I like the looks (a very small minority of) people give you when you have a nice and expensive camera on you. Those are things that are hard to quantify but are  real. But have the quality of my results been transformed in most situations? No.  People were making amazing images long before todays highly capable high-end cameras and will be making them long after todays cameras become technologically obsolete.

Horshack Veteran Member • Posts: 6,422
My photography is 2.25x better with FF (/NT)

No Text

JF69 Contributing Member • Posts: 859
You mean you get 2.25x more image area with FF? ;-)

Horshack wrote:

No Text

 JF69's gear list:JF69's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Nikon D610 Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/21 Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/25 +8 more
Ronan_M
Ronan_M Senior Member • Posts: 1,414
Re: You mean you get 2.25x more image area with FF? ;-)

Its impossible (or very difficult) to be unbiased when responding the question. Having "justified" the "upgrade" to FX, lots of people have strong emotional attachment to their new gear and therefore responses will not reflect reality.

I have both, DX and FX. This combination gives me a wide spectrum of possibilities which either system on its own would not (including having the illusion of different focal lengths using the same lens on different cameras) However, if pushed, my "main" system would be DX. For amateur photography (read: you dont make a living out of it) I find DX is cheaper to "run" (e.i. I can afford a wider variety of lenses than splurging just on bodies).

The indisputable truth about FX is:

- High ISO is better by -say- 2 stops. Great. What are you going to do with your images? Print them out? or pixel peep? When printing pics out, high ISO noise is NOT such a big deal.

- You have a shallower DOF. Great for "creative" usage but to be honest, shallow DOF is not something you want in every pic. Stick a 1.4 / 1.8 lens on it and you have to be really really careful otherwise the only thing in focus will be the tip of the right eyelash. If that's what you want, great. I find that I want a good balance of DOF, and generally I want MORE DOF rather than shallow DOF. But that's just me

- Nikon and the photo industry have the marketing machine working overtime to send the message out that "FX is the ultimate in image quality" and that if you want to be a "serious" photographer you NEED FX. Otherwise, you will join the ranks of the "soccer mums" with their flimsy D3200s. You dont want that do you? Here...I have a D600 going cheap.

We all know the real answer to the question. NO. FX does not make your photography better. FX gives you some level of technical advantage over the DX format but your pictures will be as cr@ppy as they were before, only now you will be shooting a lot of High-ISO, shallow DOF, cr@ppy pics and posting a "D800E does Timbuktu" thread in this forum with a horrible snap that could have been taken with a P&S.

Learn your stuff...that's the biggest difference your could do to improve your photography

clarnibass Senior Member • Posts: 2,044
Re: Is your photography better with FF?

Yes, significantly better. Thoguh I didn't buy one for Christmas, or any holiday. I bought it (about a year ago) because I felt I needed and wanted the improvements it could (and did) give me.

Most of my photos are at ISO 1600-6400. The FX camera gives me significantly better photos (less noise and more details at same ISO).

The viewfinder is much better and bigger, an important improvement that, among other things, makes it more fun to take photos, especially at low light.

The FL I get from certain lenses now means the I get "better" (i.e. more like what I prefer) lenses with the FL I want in comparison with what I could use before. I mostly (at least 80% of the time) use 28mm, 50mm and 85mm f/1.8 lenses and with DX I needed significantly worse compromises in FL/aperture or sometimes didn't have any equivalent.

The AF on the FX camera I have is better than the AF on my previous camera, so that contributes to improvement in photos and in making it easier to take some photos.

MattiD80 Contributing Member • Posts: 606
Re: Is your photography better with FF?

@ 2nd post above.

Well D800 made my photography a hell of a lot better believe it or not. Then again, if i USE THAT knowledge i have now, back on a D80 or similar my pics would also be a lot better then before. I guess there's a lot of minor annoyances that suddenly all dissappeared (for me) on D800, making me focus more on the picture, composition, then on getting the picture sharp.

It's not only the D800 wich is responsible for my improvement however. I do a lot more research now then I did before. Basically i'd call it 'we teach each other' (D800 and myself). The combination of that yields much better results. Call it biased or overmarketed all you want

Fullframer Contributing Member • Posts: 735
Re: Photography: a bit, postprocessing: a lot, results: so much better

yray wrote:

I like this shot, the composition is nice, and it captures the mood very well. However, the question of what it would look like taken with a different camera is a moot one. We only see one version of it, taken with the D800, and it is very nice in my opinion, -- but would it look just as nice, albeit a bit different, taken with the D700 or D600 or D7000 or D7100, or even the good old D300, or Fuji S5 for that matter, -- we don't know that for a fact.

Agreed. Could have most likely gotten that same result with a D700. The only diff less pixels, up to 8x12 - 11x14 inch print you would be hard pressed to see the diff between a 12mp or 36mp full frame camera. Only once you exceed that print size would you start seeing benefits of 36mp.

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