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Old 4th of March 2012 (Sun)   #1
RandyS
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Default Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

I'm going on a trip soon, and I was thinking it'd be nice to leave the big, heavy, and oh so white 70-200/2.8 zoom at home if I could make sense of it.

As I was trying to sort out how the bag would be packed, I had both my FF body, and a crop backup in the bag. Then the light went on. On the crop body, the 135mm lens should frame quite a bit like the 200mm end of the big white thing. And since I was bringing a 24-105/4 zoom along I don't think I'd miss having the long zoom. So I decided to run a couple tests.

I tried to sort out how I could make this as unscientific as is humanly possible, and I'm fairly sure I've succeeded. I paid special attention to not framing things identically as I switched bodies/lenses as I didn't really want it to be that much easier to sort it out.

I did, however, fail by leaving the aperture @ 5.6 for every shot. Missed a perfect opportunity to help confuse the issue a bit more.

In all of these, the FF is on top.

First - the completely unnecessary comparison. The 17-40 @ 17 on the crop, and the same lens @ 29 on the FF. I selected 29 because it was what I got when I set the lens to about 27 on the scale. Works for me.

FF + 29 vs Crop + 17


Then, probably the most important of the 'tests' - the 70-200 @ 200 on the FF, the 135 on the crop. Here, the DOF differences are starting to show up.

FF+200 vs Crop+135


Lastly, and again a not very needed test as I wouldn't have been bringing my 300 along, I just wanted to throw it on the FF to compare against the crop with the 135 & 1.4x TC. This shot clearly shows how the DOF is going to be different (due to longer focal lengths) on the FF.

FF+300 vs Crop+135+1.4TC


So, my end conclusion is that I'm planning on bringing the 135 along instead of the big white thing. At least today that's what I'm planning. Saves me about 1/2 the weight of the zoom and some room in the bag.
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Old 4th of March 2012 (Sun)   #2
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

dof range and bokeh, even in your basic samples are not in the same league
And if you choose some other situations... color range and saturation would be another story too.
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Last edited by newworld666 : 4th of March 2012 (Sun) at 13:51.
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Old 4th of March 2012 (Sun)   #3
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

In all ways I believe the 135 is the better of the two lenses. It's one of the reasons I wanted an excuse to bring it along. The only purpose for this "test" was to see if I would be happy with the ability to frame the image the way I wanted to using the 'better'/shorter/lighter/less conspicuous lens with the crop body. Certainly for color and contrast there's no comparison between the two. The zoom does an admirable job for a zoom, but the 135 has long been one of my very favorite lenses.

DOF is a non-starter - at least as far as this comparison is concerned. In the real world, the only reason it's different between a FF & crop body because of the difference in focal length needed to achieve the same framing in a photo taken from the same location. And that can be modified/controlled by the aperture. In the examples everything was taken at f/5.6. At 200 the zoom only goes to 2.8 where I can always shoot the 135 @ f/2.0. At 300 my lens is an f/4.0 (both the prime, and the 70-200+ 1.4TC). But with the 135 & TC on the crop body I can get f/2.8 for the same framing.

One of the things I like more about having the 135 with is that I like the quality of the out of focus areas more than with the zoom. That holds up for me even in the examples above. To be fair in using the examples for that comparison, you need to look at the 135 with the TC against the 200mm lens.

But this was never mean to cover any of that. I know all the reasons I like the 135. I just wanted to double check framing. And that works for me.
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Old 4th of March 2012 (Sun)   #4
rick_reno
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

Randy,

leaving home with your "big, heavy, and oh so white 70-200/2.8 zoom" is not a good idea. It's not going to happy and it could get out at night and chew your sofa up.
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Old 4th of March 2012 (Sun)   #5
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

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Originally Posted by rick_reno View Post
Randy,

leaving home with your "big, heavy, and oh so white 70-200/2.8 zoom" is not a good idea. It's not going to happy and it could get out at night and chew your sofa up.
Hah!

I actually thought of that Rick. I'm thinking of offering it to a friend to use while I'm away. It may still be pissed off for being left behind but at least it will be at his house.

Last edited by RandyS : 4th of March 2012 (Sun) at 17:04.
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Old 4th of March 2012 (Sun)   #6
stsva
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

This is definitely the best "unscientific" comparison I've seen. You've convinced me (of something, I'm not sure what).
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Old 4th of March 2012 (Sun)   #7
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

All of these images were shot with the 5DmkII. Also for each set they report the same FF focal length and never the crop one that you say you used. What is up with this? I thought you were shooting one with a crop camera?
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Old 4th of March 2012 (Sun)   #8
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

Those are single, flat file images created to post as single files. It's just the crop image pasted onto the bottom of the FF image. I posted the important information, like aperture & focal lengths used.

What were you looking for in the Exif?
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Old 4th of March 2012 (Sun)   #9
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by stsva View Post
This is definitely the best "unscientific" comparison I've seen. You've convinced me (of something, I'm not sure what).
My work here is done then.

I like to believe that I've proven with little doubt, that in some ways, at some times, some things can be used instead of some other things. Well ... mostly.
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Old 5th of March 2012 (Mon)   #10
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

RandyS, an off-topic question, but I'm curious, why do you have a horse's arse for an avatar
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Old 5th of March 2012 (Mon)   #11
RandyS
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

Hmmm. Nobody's ever asked me that before.

I guess I'm not positive now. More the mood I was in when digging through my archives for something I suppose.
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Old 5th of March 2012 (Mon)   #12
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

...

Last edited by mrbtd : 5th of March 2012 (Mon) at 06:25. Reason: misread
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Old 5th of March 2012 (Mon)   #13
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

I admit, it's a silly question but couldn't help asking it..
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Old 5th of March 2012 (Mon)   #14
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyS View Post
At 200 the zoom only goes to 2.8 where I can always shoot the 135 @ f/2.0. At 300 my lens is an f/4.0 (both the prime, and the 70-200+ 1.4TC). But with the 135 & TC on the crop body I can get f/2.8 for the same framing.
If you use a 1.4TC on your 135 Prime, don't you lose a stop in aperture? f/3.2 or f/4
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Old 5th of March 2012 (Mon)   #15
RandyS
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Default Re: Crop vs Full Frame - quick (and dirty) comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbtd View Post
...
You don't say.


Quote:
Originally Posted by qbfx View Post
I admit, it's a silly question but couldn't help asking it..
Not silly really. It's just simply that nobody has ever asked that before, and I didn't have a proper answer. Reality is ... I still don't.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gweebs View Post
If you use a 1.4TC on your 135 Prime, don't you lose a stop in aperture? f/3.2 or f/4
Yes ... you do lose a stop. f/2.0 + a stop = f/2.8.

f/4.0 would be two stops.
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