Lens and Sensor Resolution

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John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,287
Lens and Sensor Resolution

There is talk that the new Fuji sensor could be around 40 megapixels. I have the 18-55 mm and the 55-200 mm zooms. Does anyone know if they can resolve 40 megapixels, or would I need new lenses with greater resolving power?

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john carson

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GreatOceanSoftware
GreatOceanSoftware Contributing Member • Posts: 833
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution
2

John Carson wrote:

There is talk that the new Fuji sensor could be around 40 megapixels. I have the 18-55 mm and the 55-200 mm zooms. Does anyone know if they can resolve 40 megapixels, or would I need new lenses with greater resolving power?

Hi John. It's not a matter of whether the lenses can resolve sufficiently, it's more about capturing the characteristics of your lenses. If you're happy with them now, you should be happy with them on the new higher resolution sensor.

I think of it this way... If I take a 35mm film photo with a favorite lens that happens to be less sharp in the corners (the "character" that I like), it doesn't matter if I scan the film at 1000 dpi or 2000 dpi. The same percentage of "less sharp" pixels in the corners is the same in both scans. It's the same image produced by the lens on the focal plane, only a higher pixel count.

Only if you hope to crop into the image more than you already do (and it would have to be an aggressive crop), could I see being disappointed with an older lens that may have been designed when such high-resolution sensors weren't envisioned. But I don't really think that's the case with the two you mention.

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Randy

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Rightsaidfred
Rightsaidfred Senior Member • Posts: 1,760
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution
9

Hi John

There are multiple recent threads on this topic. Just do a search with the keywords you used in your title and similar ones.

My opinion is that you will never lose with a sensor that offers a greater resolution. No lens will become worse. No image will become worse. Noone will 'need' new lenses.

The question is how much you gain on top of today's resolution with a specific lens, resolution wise. There are certainly differences.

File size will of course increase.

Regards,

Martin

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OP John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,287
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

Thanks for the reply.

My issue is that I want more resolution, particularly with foliage. I currently have an X-E2 and was considering going to a full frame Sony. I then had second thoughts and wondered if I should get the X-H2 or X-T5 or whatever it turns out to be.

There are a lot of issues in this decision (stacked vs non-stacked sensor, noise levels etc.), but my initial thought was that the X-H2, say, would be a lot cheaper because I already have two lenses. However, if these lenses don't allow me to reap the full benefit of the higher megapixel sensor and I end up buying new lenses, then much of the cost saving will vanish.

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john carson

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OP John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,287
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

Rightsaidfred wrote:

Hi John

There are multiple recent threads on this topic. Just do a search with the keywords you used in your title and similar ones.

My opinion is that you will never lose with a sensor that offers a greater resolution. No lens will become worse. No image will become worse. Noone will 'need' new lenses.

The question is how much you gain on top of today's resolution with a specific lens, resolution wise. There are certainly differences.

File size will of course increase.

Regards,

Martin

Thanks for that. I did a search (important to do it on a computer rather than a phone or you can't do a forum-specific search).

I want more resolution, whether I "need" it or not. I can't find any ready answer on whether the 18-55mm or the 55-200mm is capable of delivering all or most of the benefits of the higher resolution sensor. Maybe someone with more technical knowledge that mine could calculate an answer, or maybe we'll just have to wait for the new camera to come out.

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john carson

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Rightsaidfred
Rightsaidfred Senior Member • Posts: 1,760
Foliage
3

John Carson wrote:

Thanks for the reply.

My issue is that I want more resolution, particularly with foliage.

Hi John

Well, foliage is an often discussed topic here in the forum.

It may well be that this is more about raw processing than about additional resolution.

Of course, more resolution will not do any harm.

I am not a foliage specialist but I've read a lot here in the forum.

My recommendation is to do a forum search with keywords like foliage, leaves, water color effect and raw.

Regards,

Martin

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KariP
KariP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,198
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution
1

John Carson wrote:

Thanks for the reply.

My issue is that I want more resolution, particularly with foliage. I currently have an X-E2 and was considering going to a full frame Sony. I then had second thoughts and wondered if I should get the X-H2 or X-T5 or whatever it turns out to be.

There are a lot of issues in this decision (stacked vs non-stacked sensor, noise levels etc.), but my initial thought was that the X-H2, say, would be a lot cheaper because I already have two lenses. However, if these lenses don't allow me to reap the full benefit of the higher megapixel sensor and I end up buying new lenses, then much of the cost saving will vanish.

I do not quite understand your needs with foliage ... Very likely zoom lenses do not have quite as much resolution as some  best prime lenses have. Buying new zoom lenses will not  help if you of some reason need  really extreme  (best possible) resolution ( that you are unable to see without serious pixel peeping)

You can check  some good lens tests - like  in Optical Limits site.  https://www.opticallimits.com  - they test resolution so that it is easy to understand

If you want to take a photo that shows all possible leaves in a forest  you must buy a FF Canon R5  and some of the best RF primes.  And Why not a Sony or a Nikon 

I have used my own older FF Canon D5MkIV  with EF 35 f2 IS  to take some forest landscape photos - interesting to see single pine needles sharply when i look at images in 400% view. Somehow i do not suffer if my H2 with 18-55 does not show the pine needles quite as well - Fujinon 23f2  almost does so - difficult to see resolution  difference.

Anyway , a new and bigger sensor will shoe some more resolution - something like 25% more

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Kari
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OP John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,287
Re: Foliage

Rightsaidfred wrote:

John Carson wrote:

Thanks for the reply.

My issue is that I want more resolution, particularly with foliage.

Hi John

My recommendation is to do a forum search with keywords like foliage, leaves, water color effect and raw.

Regards,

Martin

Hi Martin,

I have an X-E2, so I have read countless discussions on the subject going back many years. Choosing the right raw processor helps, but I still want more resolution.

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john carson

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OP John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,287
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

KariP wrote:

John Carson wrote:

Thanks for the reply.

My issue is that I want more resolution, particularly with foliage. I currently have an X-E2 and was considering going to a full frame Sony. I then had second thoughts and wondered if I should get the X-H2 or X-T5 or whatever it turns out to be

I do not quite understand your needs with foliage ... Very likely zoom lenses do not have quite as much resolution as some best prime lenses have. Buying new zoom lenses will not help if you of some reason need really extreme (best possible) resolution ( that you are unable to see without serious pixel peeping)

You can check some good lens tests - like in Optical Limits site. https://www.opticallimits.com - they test resolution so that it is easy to understand

If you want to take a photo that shows all possible leaves in a forest you must buy a FF Canon R5 and some of the best RF primes. And Why not a Sony or a Nikon

I don't want really extreme resolution. I want better than I currently get with a 16 MP camera.

Plan A was a Sony full frame camera, specifically the recently released Sony A7 iv. But the noise reduction abilities of DXO Photolab (specifically its DeepPRIME process) and the fact that the new Fuji sensor will be stacked made me consider the upcoming Fuji as an alternative. The attractiveness of this alternative depends in part on whether the lenses I already have can make effective use of the extra megapixels.

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john carson

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Doug Pardee
Doug Pardee Veteran Member • Posts: 9,913
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution
2

John Carson wrote:

I can't find any ready answer on whether the 18-55mm or the 55-200mm is capable of delivering all or most of the benefits of the higher resolution sensor.

A higher-resolution sensor will always give a higher-resolution result. Every part of the imaging chain adds a bit of blur. Reducing the blur from the sensor will reduce the blur in the final image. If you're using a terrible lens (like the plastic Holga lens I've got), the improvement might be a drop in the ocean. But with any decent lens, you should see better resolution.

The question is whether a better lens or a better sensor will give you more value, if you can afford only one.

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KariP
KariP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,198
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

John Carson wrote:

KariP wrote:

John Carson wrote:

Thanks for the reply.

My issue is that I want more resolution, particularly with foliage. I currently have an X-E2 and was considering going to a full frame Sony. I then had second thoughts and wondered if I should get the X-H2 or X-T5 or whatever it turns out to be

I do not quite understand your needs with foliage ... Very likely zoom lenses do not have quite as much resolution as some best prime lenses have. Buying new zoom lenses will not help if you of some reason need really extreme (best possible) resolution ( that you are unable to see without serious pixel peeping)

You can check some good lens tests - like in Optical Limits site. https://www.opticallimits.com - they test resolution so that it is easy to understand

If you want to take a photo that shows all possible leaves in a forest you must buy a FF Canon R5 and some of the best RF primes. And Why not a Sony or a Nikon

I don't want really extreme resolution. I want better than I currently get with a 16 MP camera.

Plan A was a Sony full frame camera, specifically the recently released Sony A7 iv. But the noise reduction abilities of DXO Photolab (specifically its DeepPRIME process) and the fact that the new Fuji sensor will be stacked made me consider the upcoming Fuji as an alternative. The attractiveness of this alternative depends in part on whether the lenses I already have can make effective use of the extra megapixels.

IMO - i can not scientifically prove this here  - better sensor  always gives clearly more resolution compared to the older/smaller  and it is not at all harmful if the sensor "outperforms" the lens.

The thing gets quite complicated if we count all aspects in the same "package". High mp sensor is more sensitive to vibrations and camera shake ( enlarges in a way also microscopic movement)  - of course IBIS  and OIS helps.  Also the amount and quality of noise  is different in sensors  with high mp count ... and so on.

I personally try to forget thinking of the sensor size and megapixels. APS C  cameras are usually good enough for almost anything and FF cameras are not so stellar.  Now FF cameras are getting better and more portable with new fantastic gadgets. I have always liked Canon gear and now i in a way went back - i bought a R6.  Did not sell my Fuji gear !!! It is very usable and portable.

IMO  FF camera gives me more and better resolution with a good lens - even if it is just 20mp sensor.  I'm still quite surprised after making some big prints from R6 files - very nice quality. H2 is a very good camera, but ...  i'm not sure why i should buy a H2.  R6 has everything i need and H1 (also X- E3)  has some special things i really like.

It is  much cheaper to buy a very good Fujifilm lens than some stellar Canon RF lens  - FF camera bodies are not so expensive anymore, but the lenses are getting more expensive.

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Kari
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AstroVagabond
AstroVagabond Senior Member • Posts: 1,091
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

John Carson wrote:

Rightsaidfred wrote:

Hi John

There are multiple recent threads on this topic. Just do a search with the keywords you used in your title and similar ones.

My opinion is that you will never lose with a sensor that offers a greater resolution. No lens will become worse. No image will become worse. Noone will 'need' new lenses.

The question is how much you gain on top of today's resolution with a specific lens, resolution wise. There are certainly differences.

File size will of course increase.

Regards,

Martin

Thanks for that. I did a search (important to do it on a computer rather than a phone or you can't do a forum-specific search).

I want more resolution, whether I "need" it or not. I can't find any ready answer on whether the 18-55mm or the 55-200mm is capable of delivering all or most of the benefits of the higher resolution sensor. Maybe someone with more technical knowledge that mine could calculate an answer, or maybe we'll just have to wait for the new camera to come out.

Can you quantify more?

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OP John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,287
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

Doug Pardee wrote:

John Carson wrote:

I can't find any ready answer on whether the 18-55mm or the 55-200mm is capable of delivering all or most of the benefits of the higher resolution sensor.

The question is whether a better lens or a better sensor will give you more value, if you can afford only one.

For me the question is how much better a new sensor and a new lens (Sony full frame) will be than a new sensor only (Fuji).

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john carson

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pseudobreccia
pseudobreccia Contributing Member • Posts: 939
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

John Carson wrote:

There is talk that the new Fuji sensor could be around 40 megapixels. I have the 18-55 mm and the 55-200 mm zooms. Does anyone know if they can resolve 40 megapixels, or would I need new lenses with greater resolving power?

Don't be a pixel peeper!

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Steve A. Kleinheider

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OP John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,287
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution
3

pseudobreccia wrote:

John Carson wrote:

There is talk that the new Fuji sensor could be around 40 megapixels. I have the 18-55 mm and the 55-200 mm zooms. Does anyone know if they can resolve 40 megapixels, or would I need new lenses with greater resolving power?

Don't be a pixel peeper!

I'm after technical information, not a life coach.

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john carson

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Tom Schum
Tom Schum Forum Pro • Posts: 12,976
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution
2

Here's a DPR article from 2017 that might be useful:

Opinion: Thinking about buying medium format? Read this first: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

From this article, "...we’ve been told that some of the newer full-frame lens designs were designed with 80 to 100MP in mind, on full-frame sensors. And with the eye-popping performance of some of the newest full-frame lenses we’ve seen, from varied manufacturers, we’re not inclined to disagree. We’ve seen some 50MP files from the 5DS R paired with truly stellar lenses where we simply can’t imagine anything better, resolution-wise. In fact, at ~F5.6-6.2 equivalent, I'm not seeing a major resolution advantage of the medium format cameras over the full-frame cameras in our studio scene comparison tool..."

If new full frame designs support 100mp, that means 42mp within the dimensions of the APS-C frame. I assume Fuji X lenses would be designed to the same standards as their full frame competition, of course. Maybe that is assuming too much.

And there is this article from 2015:

CP+ 2015: Fujifilm interview - 'our lenses are waiting for higher-resolution sensors': Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

From this article, "We’ve designed lenses which are capable of coping with higher resolution sensors, so our lenses are currently waiting for higher resolution sensors and processors."

Now that sensors are at 25mp, I believe Fuji is still saying that the lenses are designed with higher native resolution than this, maybe 40-50mp, but I haven't yet found the DPR news item that mentioned this. Maybe I was dreaming.

Bottom line: I've found nothing definite!

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Tom Schum
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TukTuk
TukTuk Contributing Member • Posts: 528
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

John Carson wrote:

There is talk that the new Fuji sensor could be around 40 megapixels. I have the 18-55 mm and the 55-200 mm zooms. Does anyone know if they can resolve 40 megapixels, or would I need new lenses with greater resolving power?

they can't "resolve" even 16mp sensor... but more mp will never result in less details even behind the worst lens in the universe !

Tom Schum
Tom Schum Forum Pro • Posts: 12,976
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

TukTuk wrote:

John Carson wrote:

There is talk that the new Fuji sensor could be around 40 megapixels. I have the 18-55 mm and the 55-200 mm zooms. Does anyone know if they can resolve 40 megapixels, or would I need new lenses with greater resolving power?

they can't "resolve" even 16mp sensor... but more mp will never result in less details even behind the worst lens in the universe !

Do you have a link to test data that shows this?

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Tom Schum
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OP John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,287
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

TukTuk wrote:

John Carson wrote:

There is talk that the new Fuji sensor could be around 40 megapixels. I have the 18-55 mm and the 55-200 mm zooms. Does anyone know if they can resolve 40 megapixels, or would I need new lenses with greater resolving power?

they can't "resolve" even 16mp sensor... but more mp will never result in less details even behind the worst lens in the universe !

I don't want to spend $2,000 on a new camera merely to get no less details. That would be insane.

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john carson

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OP John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,287
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

Thanks Tom.

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john carson

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