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Thread started 16 Sep 2018 (Sunday) 09:31
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Crop vs. Full Frame - comment on-line

 
Jeff ­ USN ­ Photog ­ 72-76
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Sep 16, 2018 09:31 |  #1

I have been researching crop vs FF since I am lusting after a full frame camera. I was looking at a comparison with a bunch of images where you couldn't tell the difference as the crop was shot to mimic the FF.

One of the comments a person made was making a crop mimic a full frame is bunk, the images should be with the same lens and setting (aperature speed etc) to show the difference.
Well I wanted to say something to the poster. Of course a crop is going to be different than a FF that is why they have 18-135 lenses rather than 28-200's. a crop make an 18 virtually the same as a FF 28mm.

I would be like me trying to decide on the best car to drive 1/2 mile to the grocery store through a downtown city, a Ferrari or a family sedan and then complaining that you made the Ferrari drive 25 mph through the crowded streets when it can go much faster...

Maybe not a good analogy but if the crop sensor could only use the FF lenses then you may have an issue especially at wider shots but that is why they have lenses for the crop sensors. To me any shot you can get with a FF you can also do with a crop sensor. The difference as I see it is dynamic range and low light sensitivity.


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Bassat
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Sep 16, 2018 10:29 |  #2

I think you're 18mm crop vs 28mm FF logic is flawed. They are most certainly NOT the same. DOF will be different, if shot at the same aperture. The other crop/ff comparison is same lens (FL)/same aperture. That still leaves two ways to shoot the comparison. Same position, which will yield very different field of view, and/or same framing, which makes you move to a new position.

There is no possible comparison between ff and crop EXCEPT: print size and low light/noise. The full frame wins both. You have to go to extremes to see the difference. For print size, anything smaller than 20"x30" will be nearly indistinguishable. For ISO, (HUGELY taste variable), I have to get into the 12,800+ range before I care.

I can shoot my 80D all day long at 6400 and be quite pleased with the results from SOOC JPGs. At 12,800, I will shoot raw on both the 6D and 80D, with the 6D giving about 1 stop better results. I VERY rarely shoot at those levels.

The sole remaining advantage to FF is DOF control with fast lenses. I just sold off most of my primes (35 IS, 50 STM, 85 1.8, 135L, 200L II) because I've never cared for razor thin DOF. I think the effect is way overdone by way too many folks who have internet-convinced themselves that it looks good. Perhaps, but not to me. That said, I think full body/environmentals from the 85L II are to die for. Alas, I won't spend that kind of money.

I still have my 6D/24-105 STM/70-200 f/4L IS, but I can't do anything with them that I can't do with the 80D/18-135 USM. Oh, and I still have a Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art - which is still for sale. I'm a hobbyist/amateur/snaps​hooter and I can get by just fine with aps-c gear.




  
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Sep 16, 2018 10:49 |  #3

Yea.........this probably hasn't been argued enough. :rolleyes:


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Sep 16, 2018 10:54 |  #4

Jeff USN Photog 72-76 wrote in post #18709073 (external link)
The difference as I see it is dynamic range and low light sensitivity.

I think that depth of field is also a big difference between the two sensor sizes.


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Post edited 7 months ago by Wilt. (4 edits in all)
     
Sep 16, 2018 11:18 |  #5

Jeff, over the years there have been TONS of discussions on the 'which is better for...' question. Let me rehash some of them...

1. A lens delivers a certain number of line-pairs of detail resolution to the sensor. Period. Let us assume 120 line-pairs/mm (a really superb lens). If a subject is 10mm tall on the sensor (both FF and APS-C, the smaller sensor merely sees more area around the subject!) because we are not using format-size-appropriate FL (using same 200mm FL on both bodies rather than 320mm FL on FF and 200mm on APS-C) ...our subject is covered by 1200 line-pairs of detail for both bodies (10mm * 1200 l-p/mm = 1200 ln-pairs-on-subject)

1a. If both FF and APS-C have identical total pixel count (e.g. 20MPixel) the APS-C wins the 'pixels on millimeter of sensor' comparison by 1.6x
1b. If the pixel density is identical (e.g. hypotethical 250 pixels/mm) neither camera wins the on-sensor 'reach' advantange that we hear so much about for APS-C... 250 pixels/mm give no better detail for that APS-C body!

2. Let us assume 120 line-pairs/mm and we are using format-size-appropriate FL (using 320mm FL on FF and 200mm on APS-C) ...our subject is covered by 1200 line-pairs of detail for FF bodies (10mm * 1200 l-p/mm = 1200 line-pairs-on-subject), but fewer line-pairs on APS-C because it is 1.6x smaller on APS-C with the shorter FL lens ((10mm/1.6)*120) = 750 line-pairs-on-subject

2a. If both FF and APS-C have identical total pixel count (e.g. 20MPixel) the APS-C wins the 'pixels on millimeter of sensor' comparison by 1.6x, but those pixels get fewer line-pairs of detail from the lens!
2b. If the pixel density is identical (e.g. hypotethical 250 pixels/mm) neither camera wins the on-sensor 'reach' advantange that we hear so much about for APS-C... 250 pixels/mm give no better detail for that APS-C body! But the APS-C body using the 1.6x shorter FL so those pixels are is getting fewer line-pairs of detail from the lens!


3. IF we assume absolutely identical results for number of line-pairs of lens resolution on subject while we use FL appropriate to the format (so same amount of subject area is framed....not tighter framing with the smaller sensor), and we enlarge both frames to fill an 8" x 12" print, the FF image has 1.6x more line-pairs of detail per millimeter ON PRINT because the APS-C image has to be enlarged by 1.6x greater magnfication to make the 8" x 12" print.

All of the above is nice in theory, but in practice YOUR EYE may simply be UNABLE to SEE the difference... in a 4" x 6" print, your eyes are simply NOT good enough!!! In a 40" x 60" print, you WILL see the difference clearly -- when you do NOT STAND BACK the appropriate amount (viewing distance 10x farther for the 10x larger print), but you stand 'too close' so your eye can resolve the better detail in the FF print.

IOW, for the average father shooting photos of his son playing soccer and looking at the photos on your 27" monitor, you may not see a benefit to having spent more money to buy the FF body and the longer FL lens, compared to shooting with APS-C body and a 1.6x shorter (and less expensive to buy) FL


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Post edited 7 months ago by Jeff USN Photog 72-76.
     
Sep 16, 2018 13:22 |  #6

The biggest print I have made in the last 30 years was 11x14 and that was about 15 years ago. I make about 5 prints a year of any size and they are usually 5x7, virtually everything I do and share is on a monitor.

What I am getting is "horses for courses" that there is room to have both cameras to round out your photo experience.

I was thinking of the 80D for my surfing shots, for the extra reach on my 100-400 L mk ii and for videos, and going to rent to 6D mk ii to see how I like it, and then the same for the 5D mk iv
For what I do the FF may be overkill but you always want to hope you will get a shot that says "print me big and hang me on the wall"


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Post edited 7 months ago by TeamSpeed.
     
Sep 16, 2018 15:25 |  #7

Jeff USN Photog 72-76 wrote in post #18709073 (external link)
I have been researching crop vs FF since I am lusting after a full frame camera. I was looking at a comparison with a bunch of images where you couldn't tell the difference as the crop was shot to mimic the FF.

One of the comments a person made was making a crop mimic a full frame is bunk, the images should be with the same lens and setting (aperature speed etc) to show the difference.
Well I wanted to say something to the poster. Of course a crop is going to be different than a FF that is why they have 18-135 lenses rather than 28-200's. a crop make an 18 virtually the same as a FF 28mm.

I would be like me trying to decide on the best car to drive 1/2 mile to the grocery store through a downtown city, a Ferrari or a family sedan and then complaining that you made the Ferrari drive 25 mph through the crowded streets when it can go much faster...

Maybe not a good analogy but if the crop sensor could only use the FF lenses then you may have an issue especially at wider shots but that is why they have lenses for the crop sensors. To me any shot you can get with a FF you can also do with a crop sensor. The difference as I see it is dynamic range and low light sensitivity.

Per the other thread, it really depends on specifically what you are looking to get that you aren't now. Are you trying to get this kind of FF subject isolation or something else?


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Sep 16, 2018 15:46 |  #8

I think all of this gets inane. I've been a FF shooter, and am most used to it. I did have a 7D2 to be able to get more reach, but still preferred cropping in to FF. Yes, if you do want to start comparing a FF FOV and crop with same focal length and aperture, there will be a difference. However, if you're a photographer with a crop camera, you're not thinking (oh, how much shallower will DOF be with FF; how can I get the same shot as FF). You're just shooting for the best framing with your format. You still can have plenty of creamy DOF with APS: depending on shooting distance and aperture.


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Sep 16, 2018 15:54 |  #9

Neither format is intrinsically "better" in all respects. It depends on what you want to photograph.

- Full frame can give wider fields and shallower DOF, so it is favored by many landscape and portrait/event photographers.

- Full frame can tolerate smaller apertures (down to ~f/16-f/20) before diffraction starts to affect sharpness, versus crop, which starts to be affected around f/11 or so.

- The larger pixels in a full frame can theoretically give better color accuracy, dynamic range, and noise performance at high ISO. The camera manufacturers are closing that gap with in-body processing (not just on JPEG, raw too), but physics is physics.

- Crop packs more pixels into the small area, so it provides additional resolving power with long telephoto lenses (that's why I use it).

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Jeff ­ USN ­ Photog ­ 72-76
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Sep 16, 2018 18:47 |  #10

All very good points and food for thought.

I hadn't thought about limited depth of field until I started doing birds at the feeders. I do landscape, birds, surfers, trains very few portraits.

As an old film shooter it always got me that with my APS-C after f/11 you lost sharpness, I was used to f/16 to f/22 on the Nikon F and up to f/32 on the 4x5's

I am going to rent, 1st, a 6D and then when I return that get a 5D, each for a week and will run them against my 80D.

I think from what I am hearing is that the 80D is good for extra reach and video but for color, DOF (bokah), and low light FF rules and since I want a backup camera FF I think might be the way to go (of course if the 90D comes out... )

I finally found the shutter count on my 80D, 14,000 so ripping off 2,000-3,000 shots in a couple hours at the beach doing surfers it has anywhere from 30 to 60 days of shooting


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Sep 16, 2018 18:50 |  #11

I can get blurred backgrounds but it depends on the distance to the background

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Sep 16, 2018 19:15 as a reply to  @ Jeff USN Photog 72-76's post |  #12

Mine above was from a crop as well, but at f1.4. With different glass, being able to shoot at more open apertures should yield better results with less dof. I almost would consider faster glass, or more focal length, either of which will decrease dof, instead of a ff??


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Sep 16, 2018 19:57 |  #13

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18709364 (external link)
Mine above was from a crop as well, but at f1.4. With different glass, being able to shoot at more open apertures should yield better results with less dof. I almost would consider faster glass, or more focal length, either of which will decrease dof, instead of a ff??

Teamspeed you are the man! I value your opinion and as I mentioned in a different post I am first buying new faster glass, within my budget of course, the 70-200 F/2.8L IS mk II

Still doesn't stop me from lusting after potato chip, I mean FF (my diet is kicking here)


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Sep 16, 2018 20:04 |  #14

severe crop to get in as I didn't have my doubler

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Sep 16, 2018 23:16 |  #15

This is, indeed, an old argument and unfortunately many people are under many wrong impressions. For one, the difference in depth of field between a full frame and a crop sensor can not be compared equally without taking into consideration the crop factor in all aspects, not just focal length. We are talking about basic lens mechanics here based on the projected image circle of a given lens. A crop factor of 1.6 applied to a 100mm lens causes that lens to 'appear' as a 160mm lens because the image circle is being cropped smaller. Keep in mind that ALL image circles are cropped. Likewise, the effect of circle of confusion (created by the aperture) is equally being cropped so an aperture of f/4.5 would have an equivalence of f/7.2 (regardless of whether the camera has a f/7.2 setting). Again, people have to consider the projected image circle created by the lens in relation to the sensor size AND the circle of confusion in relation to that sensor size. For that reason, background blur can not be compared equally from one format to the other because the physics behind both focal length and aperture are recorded completely different, not just focal length.


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Crop vs. Full Frame - comment on-line
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