Lens and Sensor Resolution

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
Craig268
Craig268 Senior Member • Posts: 1,728
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

John Carson wrote:

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.

Well then, I believe Ansel would cast his vote with you.

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OP John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,285
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution
  • Craig268 wrote:

John Carson wrote:

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.

Well then, I believe Ansel would cast his vote with you.

Another aspiring life coach.

When I buy a camera or lens, there is only one vote, mine.

My first digital camera was a Fuji point and shoot. Then I got an APS-C sensor camera and my photos immediately looked better and I enjoyed photography more. I am looking to repeat the experience.

Like I said, mine is the only vote that counts when I buy a camera or lens. Feel free to buy a camera/lens with low resolution when you buy one for yourself.

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john carson

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

Tom Schum wrote:

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?

just go to any test site like lenstip or opticallimis ... those lenses were tested

robert1955 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,643
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

TukTuk wrote:

Tom Schum wrote:

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?

just go to any test site like lenstip or opticallimis ... those lenses were tested

So you cannot back up your claim as the chart tests never compare between sensor resolutions

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lexvo Regular Member • Posts: 455
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

Tom Schum wrote:

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?

This was also discussed in another thread. Short answer: you will always see some improvement with more megapixels. How much improvement depends on a lot of factors. See this post:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65745460

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OP John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,285
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution
  • lexvo wrote:

Tom Schum wrote:

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?

This was also discussed in another thread. Short answer: you will always see some improvement with more megapixels. How much improvement depends on a lot of factors. See this post:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65745460

I don't fully understand everything that you wrote in that thread, but things are clearer now, so thank you.

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john carson

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Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Forum Pro • Posts: 13,658
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?

I did a quick back of the envelope calculation.  Making the assumption that these lenses can fully resolve the 26 MP sensor they will resolve at least an equivalent of 32 MP on the 40 MP sensor.  If there is some design margin in these lenses which I expect there is quite a bit you are looking at up to 36 MP equivalent for the camera system.

Secondly the 40 MP sensor will cause a diffraction limit on lenses at f6.2.  All lenses lose resolution at less than f4 as most aberrations result from the light from the outer portion of a wide aperture.  So I expect 40 MP is more related to 8 K video than IQ for photography.  Bottom line - existing lenses on this sensor will produce more resolution than on the 26 MP sensor.  However, all lenses will have a diffraction limit at f6.2 because of the higher pixel density.

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

robert1955 wrote:

TukTuk wrote:

Tom Schum wrote:

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?

just go to any test site like lenstip or opticallimis ... those lenses were tested

So you cannot back up your claim as the chart tests never compare between sensor resolutions

dude - I will help you to comprehend the evident

for example max resolution achieved by XF27/2.8 on X-E cameral model ( https://www.opticallimits.com/fuji_x/855-fuji27f28?start=1 ) in Optical Limits tests there was = ~3179 line widths per picture height (LW/PH) @ f5.6 only in the center of the sensor... so to claim the lens resolve the sensor is to get >= 3179 line widths per picture height (LW/PH) across all sensor @ any aperture... or at least try to claim that in the center (which is "resolving the tiny middle spot of the sensor" actually.. not resolving the sensor) and only at one aperture setting ... so now do yourself a favor and visit the test of 18-55 on the same camera (so we can compare, same camera model, same sensor) = https://www.opticallimits.com/fuji_x/783-fuji1855f284?start=1

it is not a bad zoom lens but it is not coming close to the best XF27/2.8 results (which is of course only achieved @ one aperture and in tiny center spot of the sensor)... so no 18-55 does not resolve 16 mp sensor by any definition - not at any aperture and not at any spot...

now next lens 55-200... tested on X-T1 ... here is XF35/2 tested on that same camera model X-T1 ( https://www.opticallimits.com/fuji_x/985-fuji35f2?start=1 )

best result is 3078 @ F4 and only in the center of the sensor

see 55-200 = https://www.opticallimits.com/fuji_x/879-fuji55200f3548?start=1
same thing, good lens, but not coming close to XF35/2 max results = not resolving 16mp sensor, never ever and nowhere

The Ghost of Caravaggio Contributing Member • Posts: 926
The Lens Is One Of Many Factors
1

I suspect any MTF90 deficit in lens performance compared to sensor capability is much smaller than other factors that determine perceived image sharpness.

Perceived image sharpness is complicated.

Imatest offers a useful document that serves as an introduction to the modulation transfer function, MTF as well as other methods to evaluate perceived image sharpness..

This blog post discusses the issues. The author provides evidence that MTF 90 rather than the commonly used MTF 50 is more relevant for human perception.

The MTF 90 (or 50) for a given image depends on every stage during the image creation process. Lens resolution is only one of these.

Pixel peeping is not real life.

The MTF 90 of the printer and printer paper can be the limiting factor in perceived image sharpness. The same goes for digital viewing options. A significant factor is: how do you expect people to view your images. Strangers viewing them on-line may never be able to take advantage of a high resolution if the the MTF 90 for their viewing device is low. For prints, viewing distance is has a mofiir impact and is uncontrollable.

Some of us rely on cropping to affect composition. In this case the lens MTF and sensor resolution become more important. However there unavoidable factors that degrade MTF 90 such as atmospheric distortion (heat waves) and haze. Lens flare is another variable. In some scenarios not using a lens hood could be the limiting factor in perceived sharpness.

Image rendering has a significant impact on perceived sharpness. Sub-optimal rendering parameters used for either in-camera or ex-camera rendering can degrade perceived sharpness. There are three types of post-production sharpening to consider:

  • Capture sharpening - restores detail lost in capture
  • Creative sharpening - local adjustment of sharpness
  • Output sharpening - adjusting for the output, like compensating for ink spread.

Illl-chosen noise filtering (a.k.a noise reduction) parameters are another rending error that could unnecessarily degrade perceived image sharpness.

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

Truman Prevatt 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?

I did a quick back of the envelope calculation. Making the assumption that these lenses can fully resolve the 26 MP sensor

oh dear... they don't even 16mp sensor...

OP John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,285
Re: The Lens Is One Of Many Factors

Thanks. It will take me a while to wrap my head around the Imatest article, but it looks really informative.

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john carson

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OP John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,285
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

Truman Prevatt 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?

I did a quick back of the envelope calculation. Making the assumption that these lenses can fully resolve the 26 MP sensor they will resolve at least an equivalent of 32 MP on the 40 MP sensor. If there is some design margin in these lenses which I expect there is quite a bit you are looking at up to 36 MP equivalent for the camera system.

Secondly the 40 MP sensor will cause a diffraction limit on lenses at f6.2. All lenses lose resolution at less than f4 as most aberrations result from the light from the outer portion of a wide aperture. So I expect 40 MP is more related to 8 K video than IQ for photography. Bottom line - existing lenses on this sensor will produce more resolution than on the 26 MP sensor. However, all lenses will have a diffraction limit at f6.2 because of the higher pixel density.

Thanks.

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john carson

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robert1955 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,643
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

TukTuk wrote:

robert1955 wrote:

TukTuk wrote:

Tom Schum wrote:

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?

just go to any test site like lenstip or opticallimis ... those lenses were tested

So you cannot back up your claim as the chart tests never compare between sensor resolutions

dude - I will help you to comprehend the evident

there still is no comparison between tests with two resolutions.

even a dude-sayer might understand

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

robert1955 wrote:

TukTuk wrote:

robert1955 wrote:

TukTuk wrote:

Tom Schum wrote:

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?

just go to any test site like lenstip or opticallimis ... those lenses were tested

So you cannot back up your claim as the chart tests never compare between sensor resolutions

dude - I will help you to comprehend the evident

there still is no comparison between tests with two resolutions.

Grasping at straws you are for everybody to see
again - lenses were tested on the same camera so test results are perfectly comparable

Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Forum Pro • Posts: 13,658
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution
3

TukTuk wrote:

Truman Prevatt 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?

I did a quick back of the envelope calculation. Making the assumption that these lenses can fully resolve the 26 MP sensor

oh dear... they don't even 16mp sensor...

Not so.  I wrote a simple Matlab program to do the calculations.  It took into account the Kell factor of .7 for a sensor (as separation of the detectors on the diagonal are Sqrt(2) times the separation on the two linear dimensions).  It also takes into account that all color sensor arrays are subsampled so it estimates an addition factor of the Kell factor as they limit the resolution.

Rolling all that up - Fujifilm did a good job on their lenses. I'm not surprised here as Fuji has a lot of good optical engineers.   For a 16 MP CFA (XTrans or Bayer - take you pick there is little difference) the Nyquist Frequency of the sensor is 22 lp/mm.   If one looks at the FujfilmX website you will find the MTF of the original lenses coming in at 45 lp/mm.  The lenses well out resolve the 16.

Now for the 26 MP sensor with all the Kell factor and CFA factors rolled in the equivalent Nyquist frequency is 30 llmm.  Again from the Fujifilm supplied MTF data - the Fuji lens are fine at 45 lpmm. Yep, plenty of margin like I suspected.

At a 40 MP sensor the equivalent color Nyquist frequency for the CFA is 37 lpmm.  That is getting close to the MTF data on the Fuji site but still 45 lpmm lenses seem quite adequate.

In the real world you always want your film to have better resolution than your lenses.  The same is true when you replace film with a digital sensor.

My conclusions.  Unless I am doing video and am concerned about focus breathing - I'm not rushing out to drop a K on new lenses.  If I am a video buff where focus breathing is a big issue with the older Fuji lenses - then that is a different story.

The code is available upon request.

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

Truman Prevatt wrote:

If one looks at the FujfilmX website you will find the MTF of the original lenses coming in at 45 lp/mm.

for a start those are ___theoretical__ MTF (calculated wide open and only for 1 or 2 focal lengths), not measured and as such - useless ...

The lenses well out resolve the 16.

they don't - actual tests show that very clear, like it or not... optical scheme might , physical lenses - don't ... otherwise on 16mn sensors (for example) you will have flat graphs of resolutions from those tests

rsn Contributing Member • Posts: 784
Which problem

In the past, cameras were catching up with lenses, now lenses are catching up with cameras.  It is either the first problem or the second, its just a matter of the current technology evolution.

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Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 8,050
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution
1

Hi John,

I'm with you. I  started a very recent thread on the same subject for reasons very similar to your own - landscape resolution.  Here....

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65695434

What you will discover in the responses are a broad consensus of views that

  • all the lenses will work on the tipped new 40mpx sensor
  • no lens will perform worse on the new sensor

That's about where the consensus ends.  After that it's conjecture.  My own  personal views are that

  • despite many theories, no-one can actually tell you whether specific lenses will perform up to the resolution capability of the tipped new 40mpx sensor because no-one here including me actually knows
  • I predict that some existing Fuji lenses  that offer higher resolution will deliver better outcomes on the 40mpx sensor than they do on the 26mpx sensor.  Some existing lenses offer very high resolution and Fuji have specifically also said that the three new f1.4 lenses were designed to meet the needs of future sensors
  • some lenses may actually deliver the full 40mpx resolution capabilities of the tipped sensor
  • I predict that other lenses that don't deliver high cross frame sharpness on the 16mpx and 26mpx sensors will give you nothing more at 40mpx
  • a 40mpx APSC sensor is equivalent to a 94mpx FF sensor.  There has never before been such a pixel density
  • I don't want to invest in a 40mpx APSC sensor camera unless my lenses can achieve the resolution of the sensor at landscape apertures.  I don't want them to simply work.  I want them to work at the resolution of the sensor otherwise the investment in the sensor is pointless.  (The camera may of course have other attributes that make it worthwhile for other buyers eg AF, eye detect, expresso coffee making, etc).

I too have been thinking about the alternative of a Sony A7R4 purely as a specialised camera for my landscape interests - I have no interest in 60mpx to take portraits, street, social photos or the kids at Christmas (etc).  The A7R4 offers the same pixel pitch as the XT4, which amounts to a linear increase of just over 52% by moving from APSC to FF.  An APSC crop from that camera should give the same resolution as the XT4 provided that a FF lens of similar FL and resolving power is used to take the image.  If there is such a FF lens, and its resolution extends to the full FF image, then it will offer the capacity to print to the same detail or acutance as the XT4 in a print size 52% bigger.  I think it's very likely that the finest grade Sony lenses would be on par with the finest Fuji lenses.  Lenses like their G master series or the new Voigtlander Apo Lanthars are truly excellent lenses.  My guess is that the 60mpx FF sensor will do the job more easily than a 40mpx APSC sensor because it alleviates the pressure on lens performance that would be faced by a 94mpx FF equivalent sensor.  I own an XT4.  I suspect that the only way for me to ranswer the question is to try an A7R4.  A rental exercise or a used one....

The other great alternative is the GFX series cameras.  I've little doubt that a GFX 100 is the doyen of detail.  And the possibility and greater relevance of movements on a larger sensor makes it more attractive.  However, the simple fact is that I can't afford a GFX 100.  My budget just puts an end to exploring that pathway.

Regards, Rod

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OP John Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,285
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

Hi Rod,

Yes, I have waded through most of the thread you started (though I was unaware of it when I started this one).

Price is an issue for most of us. My chief concern is landscape resolution, but I am also tempted by the prospect of fabulous video. Noise is also an issue.

One possible option is the predicted Tamron lenses, which currently exist for the Sony APS-C mount and are rumored to be coming for the Fuji mount. The Sony versions are well regarded and with a constant 2.8 aperture they level the field somewhat relative to full frame in terms of light gathering, given that price considerations would lead me to choose 4.0 aperture full frame lenses. However, as you point out, the lower pixel pitch of full frame relative to the predicted Fuji sensor demands less of lenses.

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john carson

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Tom Schum
Tom Schum Forum Pro • Posts: 12,885
Re: Lens and Sensor Resolution

Truman Prevatt wrote:

In the real world you always want your film to have better resolution than your lenses. The same is true when you replace film with a digital sensor.

Why do I want my sensor to have better resolution than my lenses?

PS:  The X-E1 had 16mp resolution and the lenses had far more resolution.  It seemed to work very well.

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Tom Schum
"Beware of taking advice from anonymous wise men." Quote from Anon.

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