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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 05 May 2009 (Tuesday) 11:53
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Conflicting info on "crop factor", zoom, etc.

 
RDKirk
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May 08, 2009 10:09 as a reply to  @ post 7881887 |  #121

What I am saying is that one should be aware that an 18-55mm EF-S lens and (lets use a real lens here) a 17-40L EF lens have different capacities in practice. You have the option of mounting the L on a full-frame cam to take advantage of an ultrawide FOV while you don't have that option with the 18-55mm EF-S. That's all I'm trying to say here!

What you're seaching for is "projected image diameter of the lens" or "image circle."

Canon designs EF lenses to cover a minimum image diameter of 43mm--approximately the diagonal of the 24x36mm ("full frame") format. The EF-S specification allows it to cover a minimum image diameter of 28mm.

I don't know if any current EF-S lenses have actually been designed to cover only 28mm, but if so, those particular lenses would not cover the full 24x36mm format if they could be mounted on a 24x36mm format camera.

If they were so mounted, the lens would project a 28mm circular image into the 24x36mm format. However that circle of image would have exactly the same appearance as that area would have had if an EF lens of the same focal length been mounted.




  
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RDKirk
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May 08, 2009 10:14 as a reply to  @ post 7877391 |  #122

A pixel is a square of a certain colour and tone. That's it, no extra IQ, no College Degree, no anything.

There appears to be a term missing in this discussion. When you're talking about sensors, you are not talking about "pixels," you're actually talking about "sensor elements" (sometimes called "sensels"). A single sensor element will produce data that will be processed into a single "pixel."

However, that sensor element itself is a complicated device that contains several filtered photon collectors under a microlens and a bit of integrated circuitry. In the overall array of sensor elements, the distance from the center of one sensor element to the center of the adjacent sensor element will be about the same size as the resulting pixel of sensor data.




  
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Wilt
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May 08, 2009 11:35 |  #123

Jman13 wrote in post #7881773 (external link)
Right now, the 1Ds II, 1Ds III, and 5D II all produce images with comparable detail to medium format film, so you won't gain much there. The advantages come with large format, like 4x5 and 8x10, which just blow 35mm digital out of the water. (though some of the high end medium format digital backs are coming somewhat close to 4x5....they'll be there soon enough).

There is a real problem with that conclusion...based upon tests such as those published by DXoMark in Feb 2009, which listed rankings for four of the medium format cameras and backs, the Hasselblad H3DII, Leaf Aptus 75s, Mamiya ZD, and Phase One P45+. Per that report, all of these newly tested medium format backs scored lower than the Canon 5D MKII or Sony Alpha 900...

Michael Reichmann criticized DXoMark tests for the fact that they state that the tests are based upon three underlying metrics, Color Depth, Dynamic Range and Low-Light ISO, but do not factor in the image detail resolution! And his critique was that the tests were inconsistent with the reality that pro photographers are getting the digital medium format gear because of superiority to what they can achieve with even a top dSLR, that they can see the medfmt superiority with their eyes... that "the numbers themselves simply do not correlate with the reality that I and many other knowledgeable photographers see, and which literally thousands of professionals around the world experience in their work on a daily basis".

He also mentions the fact that "MF backs do not have anti-aliasing filters and therefore are capable of resolving greater detail than cameras (almost all DSLRs) that smear resolution by using an AA filter over the sensor. " He goes on to state that medium format RAW files do not come out of the camera with any correction of fixed pattern noise, yet dSLRs remove these noise sources before storing their raw data. Medium format cameras do not do this in camera, but rely upon their software such as done in Capture One...so the DXoMark comparisons are not apples to apples.

The technology is evolving fast enough for both dSLR and medium format backs that even tests published a couple years ago may lead to the wrong conclusion of the value of the different formats relative to one another.


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RDKirk
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May 08, 2009 11:53 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #124

The technology is evolving fast enough for both dSLR and medium format backs that even tests published a couple years ago may lead to the wrong conclusion of the value of the different formats relative to one another.

I haven't yet seen any actual prints that didn't continue to support the basic truth that larger format trumps smaller format, unless some other factor is extremely unequal.




  
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May 08, 2009 12:10 |  #125

RDKirk wrote in post #7882865 (external link)
I haven't yet seen any actual prints that didn't continue to support the basic truth that larger format trumps smaller format, unless some other factor is extremely unequal.

...and the root to that is what has been true in the history of photography...that the lens resolution delivered by the larger formats is not taxed so heavily by the magnification required in order to achieve final print size. For example, 16x mag to make 16x20 from 135/FF format vs. 7.34x from medium format vs. 4x mag to make same size print from 4x5...and the larger format's lens resolution does not decline at the same rate as the format size increases.


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Jman13
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May 08, 2009 12:40 |  #126

Wilt, I'm not talking about 35mm digital vs. medium format digital backs. I'm talking about 35mm digital against medium format FILM. Luminous-Landscape did a report when the original 1Ds came out and it was showing the 1Ds to yield more actual image detail than medium format (645) film...and of course we know that at higher ISOs, it crushes medium format film. The newer DSLRs are all of equal or higher resolution to almost any medium format film (Velvia 50 MAY be a little better). So, my point is that you need to jump to 4x5 to get any real advantage in resolution now in the film v. digital debate.


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rdenney
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May 08, 2009 12:52 |  #127

RDKirk wrote in post #7882286 (external link)
There appears to be a term missing in this discussion. When you're talking about sensors, you are not talking about "pixels," you're actually talking about "sensor elements" (sometimes called "sensels"). A single sensor element will produce data that will be processed into a single "pixel."

However, that sensor element itself is a complicated device that contains several filtered photon collectors under a microlens and a bit of integrated circuitry. In the overall array of sensor elements, the distance from the center of one sensor element to the center of the adjacent sensor element will be about the same size as the resulting pixel of sensor data.

That was the semantics part. I have seen and even participated in discussions about the distinction between "sensels" and pixels, but at the end of the day, it's unrelated to the point I'm making. My point relates directly to pixels, using even your definition. The more sensor area over which data is collected, by whatever means, the more accurate that data will be. If I call that area a pixel, I don't care whether it is a one-to-one matchup with a sensor element or just a sum produced by the camera's processor, or whether it's carved into silicone by the hammering of microscopic Oompaloompas.

In practical terms, we can assume similar technology with current products (there are a few exceptions) and divide the length of the frame by the number of pixels to get an idea of how much area on the sensor feeds each pixel. When that number is bigger, there are more photons being sampled and therefore the resulting number integrates more information. It will thus be more accurate.

This is just as true if we are talking about grains of silver salts versus electronic sensor elements. And the resulting practical advice remains the same.

1. We choose the medium on the basis of how big a print we want to make. Kodak developed Panatomic-X (ISO32) as a very thin emulsion film for the sole purpose of trying to make 35mm look like medium format looks when one used Plus-X (ISO125). We developed Panatomic-X in Rodinal, a high-acutance developer, to wring as much resolution out of it as we possibly could. We did this so we could make 11x14 prints that really looked good. We chose a film that when enlarged 12 times (to make an 11x14 print), the grain would be acceptable. 6x4.5 only has to be enlarged five times to make an 11x14 print, and the bigger grain on Plus-X was still within the range of acceptability. And the faster film allowed us to match the depth of field by using a smaller aperture. Even with that, the prints from 6x4.5 looked better because of more subtle tonality reflecting more information.

Large-format photographers use fast film for convenience. I only have to enlarge a 4x5 negative a little more than 2-1/2 times to make an 11x14. ISO400 Tri-X is fine. And they'll develop that Tri-X in an acutance developer to maximize sharpness, knowing the grain won't be an issue. When we used Tri-X in a 35mm camera, we developed it in a solvent developer like Microdol to break the grain down so it wouldn't be so obtrusive. even though it cost us some sharpness.

Just yesterday I read a long-standing complaint among ultra-large-format photographers that the film producers only seem to provide their slowest films in ultra-large sheets (12x20" being a common example). These photographers are making contact prints--they are not enlarging at all and have no need for fine grain. But they do need speed--their lenses are rarely faster than f/9 or f/11 even at maximum aperture.

In the digital world, if our goal is to make nominal 13x19 prints (the largest print most folks can make), we need, at a minimum, 3000x4500 accurate pixels.

If we want to make 30x45" prints, then we'll need 7200x10,800 pixels (33MP), unless we put a rope in front of the print keeping viewers from getting too close. And we'll need a camera system that can feed each of those pixels accurately, and that, my friends, is the crux of the matter. It leads directly to...

2. We choose the format based on desired image quality (in part). Ansel Adams was asked how big a camera did he use, and his response was "the biggest one I can carry." The camera system must feed each of those picture elements (digital or chemical) with accurate information about the scene. And the bigger the image frame, the more information it will describe.

What makes an accurate pixel? Two things: 1.) How good a sample of the scene's illumination and color we are making available to the elements that comprise (or feed) the pixel, and 2.) how accurately we measure that illumination and color. Sensors are continually being improved in the second of these categories. But there is more to be gained by improving the first category, and that's the basis for all my comments in this thread including what follows. We buy better lenses for the sole reason of improving the first of these requirements. But increasing the format size has a bigger effect still.

And we know this without having to be told. Assuming ideal optical quality, and assuming that both choice provide a surplus of pixels for our intended print size, which would you prefer of the following two choices:

Choice 1: Making an image with a 400mm lens, or

Choice 2: Making an image with a 200mm lens, and then cropping it to show the same field of view as the first choice.

We know without having to be told that the first option will be better. The second option has a name, digital zoom, that is something we all recommend against. See? We know that format is fundamentally critical. And that's what the second option is: turning our sensor into a smaller sensor. Again, we assumed that we will in both cases have more pixels than we need to make the desired print. So, that print will integrate more information with the first choice than with the second, irrespective of technology. It's just as true for film as for digital.

The 13x enlargement needed to make a 13x19 print from a full-frame sensor also enlarges lens faults by 13 times. If a viewer can see 5 lines/mm on the print (which is where we got our 240 pixel/inch requirement for the Epson output), then a 13x enlargement requires 65 lines/mm to be available in the image. That, in turn, requires 130 pixels/mm. That's very demanding, and beyond capabilities of most of the lenses we will use, even when used optimally. So, we are not only stressing the digital resolution of a 5D sensor when we make a 13x19 print, we are stressing the optical resolution of the lens by an even greater amount. The good news is that we don't really have to achieve that 5 lines/mm standard to make a really good looking print.

But with larger formats, it's easy to do so. For example, the 6x9 format, which has the same aspect as a full-frame sensor, makes an image of about 56x84mm (this varies by equipment a little, but it all uses 120 roll film and puts 8 exposures on a roll). We only have to enlarge that 5.6 times to make our nominal 13x19 print. To achieve 5 lines/mm on the print, we only need 28 lines/mm on the film, which can be represented by 56 pixels/mm. I may scan that film at 4000 "sensels" per inch using my Nikon scanner, but for a 13x19 print I don't need to. I only need to scan it at 53 pixels/mm, or 1360 pixels/inch.

Now, here's where Lowner's point comes into play. Scanning that 6x9 negative at 1360 ppi might not actually gather as much information as scanning it at 4000 ppi, because instead of integrating the light across the bigger area to feed one pixel, the scanner might just be skipping a few pixels and getting a smaller sampling of that light. A larger sensor area devoted to feeding one pixel doesn't necessarily mean it integrates more light into that sensor. But that's why we assume equivalent technology, and I think it's reasonable to assume that the microlens integrates that light pretty consistently in practical terms. So, I would probably still scan my 6x9 negative at 4000 pixels/inch and then downsample it to perform that integration. That would make it a bit more comparable to a camera sensor, rather than a second-generation scan of film.

Yes, my statement requires the assumption that when a pixel is informed by a larger portion of the sensor, it integrates proportionately more of the light reaching that element area when compared to a pixel fed by a smaller area. Practical photographers who, for the most part, keep up with their technology and view their images critically can, I think, make that assumption reasonably. In fact, medium-format sensors actually integrate light into their sensor elements more accurately than do small-format sensors, because they don't use an anti-aliasing filter.

When comparing camera sensors, we are talking relatively small effects. When comparing formats, we are talking large effects that improve every aspect of the system from optics to printing.

Rick "figuring only Wilt and Lowner made it this far" Denney


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rdenney
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May 08, 2009 13:11 |  #128

Jman13 wrote in post #7883136 (external link)
Wilt, I'm not talking about 35mm digital vs. medium format digital backs. I'm talking about 35mm digital against medium format FILM. Luminous-Landscape did a report when the original 1Ds came out and it was showing the 1Ds to yield more actual image detail than medium format (645) film...and of course we know that at higher ISOs, it crushes medium format film. The newer DSLRs are all of equal or higher resolution to almost any medium format film (Velvia 50 MAY be a little better). So, my point is that you need to jump to 4x5 to get any real advantage in resolution now in the film v. digital debate.

Don't assume that medium-format = 6x4.5. I routinely do work at 6x7, and am now preparing to do much more a 6x9 and 6x12. 6x12 is probably considered large format even though it uses roll film, but not 6x9. 6x7 has 1.5 times the light-gathering ability as does 6x4.5, and 6x9 has twice as much. Matching the effects of 6x4.5 isn't the same as matching 6x7 or 6x9.

But I also don't necessarily agree with LL's conclusions fully. The results are different, and they tended to draw their conclusions using a magnifying glass. I think a well-scanned piece of roll film may not resolve more than the best of the DSLR's, but it will still have a tonality lacking in the smaller format image. It might be subtle, and it might be hard to assert which is better. But this is easier to assert: The larger format is MUCH less demanding of the rest of the system, particularly including the lenses. I bought lenses ranging from ultra-wide to moderate telephoto for large format work, and spent less than one high-end L lens, with everything bought used. There are some exceptional image-making possibilities out there in larger formats, but they demand much more from the photographer than just the willingness to empty his wallet.

For example: I just bought a SINAR F view camera with bellows, bag bellows, compendium lens shade, 6x9 back (Wista), 6x12 back (Shen-Hao), lens boards, and two lenses (an old but still outstanding 65/5.6 Schneider Super Angulon and an even older but still excellent 180/5.6--or 315/11--Schneider Symmer Convertible), Arca-Swiss mounting plate, for under $1600. Over the last several years, I have paid $1500 for a Pentax 6x7 in excellent condition with 45, 55, and 105mm lenses. Both of these represent high-end equipment intended for professional use. How much will a used 24mm TS-E lens Mark II lens cost when it's been around long enough to be available used? I see the Mark I's selling for $900 in excellent condition. Add an L-series prime to that, like, say, a used 85/1.2, and those two lenses will cost as much and do about the same things as my SINAR kit. But I don't think the SINAR kit will have anything to worry about in terms of the quality of the results compared to those two Canon lenses mounted on even a 1DsIII. We pay a LOT for portability and ability, and not all of what we are spending is dollars.

Rick "moving back into larger formats" Denney


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Wilt
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May 08, 2009 13:39 |  #129

Jman13 wrote in post #7883136 (external link)
Wilt, I'm not talking about 35mm digital vs. medium format digital backs. I'm talking about 35mm digital against medium format FILM. Luminous-Landscape did a report when the original 1Ds came out and it was showing the 1Ds to yield more actual image detail than medium format (645) film...and of course we know that at higher ISOs, it crushes medium format film. The newer DSLRs are all of equal or higher resolution to almost any medium format film (Velvia 50 MAY be a little better). So, my point is that you need to jump to 4x5 to get any real advantage in resolution now in the film v. digital debate.

Yes, when resolution is the only criteria, the dSLR has been tested against medium format film in past testing and found to be the equal.

However, dSLR still cannot achieve the same size images on print, since they have to be blown up proportionately more... the 2.2x difference between 16x vs. 7.4x...if you enlarge both by 16x, you end up with 20" wide print in one case and a 31" wide print in the second case.


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Jman13
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May 08, 2009 13:42 |  #130

Wilt wrote in post #7883542 (external link)
Yes, when resolution is the only criteria, the dSLR has been tested against medium format film in past testing and found to be the equal.

However, dSLR still cannot achieve the same size images on print, since they have to be blown up proportionately more... the 2.2x difference between 16x vs. 7.4x...if you enlarge both by 16x, you end up with 20" wide print in one case and a 31" wide print in the second case.

Not sure what you're getting at here, Wilt. Sure, the DSLR image will be magnified more. This will cause any shake or such to be magnified, but if the smaller format resolves significantly more detail, the resulting enlargement, regardless of original size, will hold more detail. You're not saying that an original 1D can create better large prints than a 50D, are you? Because if you are, you'd be flat out wrong.


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rdenney
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May 08, 2009 13:50 |  #131

Jman13 wrote in post #7883559 (external link)
Not sure what you're getting at here, Wilt. Sure, the DSLR image will be magnified more. This will cause any shake or such to be magnified, but if the smaller format resolves significantly more detail, the resulting enlargement, regardless of original size, will hold more detail. You're not saying that an original 1D can create better large prints than a 50D, are you? Because if you are, you'd be flat out wrong.

Don't change the subject. We aren't comparing an old sensor with a slightly smaller new sensor. The comparison was a small digital sensor against much larger film.

But I have a question: Did they (or you) evaluate the prints from some distance away?

I recently bought a 20x40" print from a gallery. That print, made on 6x12 format, has resolution good enough to withstand my strongest trifocal lenses up close. But what impressed me about the image was how it looked from 10 feet away. From that distance, it had depth, and even though I could not resolve the detail with my eyes, I could, well, feel it. That print also had clarity. I have made some much smaller prints from my 5D with L glass and when it comes to technique I'm no beginner. But there was no way anything I was doing with my 5D could touch that print, even from a distance.

There's more to a good print than resolution. Just look at prints made from large format, where the difference is big enough to glow in the dark. Even from viewing distances that should render the resolution issue moot, the difference is profound.

Rick "whose visit to a real gallery devoid of computer monitors caused a self-reckoning" Denney


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May 08, 2009 13:54 |  #132

rdenney wrote in post #7883215 (external link)
Rick "figuring only Wilt and Lowner made it this far" Denney

I made it that far too. ;)

Interesting discussion - sure kicks in the juices to shoot MF film.

Thanks


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May 08, 2009 14:13 |  #133

rdenney wrote in post #7883215 (external link)
We did this so we could make 11x14 prints that really looked good. We chose a film that when enlarged 12 times (to make an 11x14 print), the grain would be acceptable. 6x4.5 only has to be enlarged five times to make an 11x14 print, and the bigger grain on Plus-X was still within the range of acceptability. And the faster film allowed us to match the depth of field by using a smaller aperture. Even with that, the prints from 6x4.5 looked better because of more subtle tonality reflecting more information...

2. We choose the format based on desired image quality (in part). Ansel Adams was asked how big a camera did he use, and his response was "the biggest one I can carry." The camera system must feed each of those picture elements (digital or chemical) with accurate information about the scene. And the bigger the image frame, the more information it will describe.
...The 13x enlargement needed to make a 13x19 print from a full-frame sensor also enlarges lens faults by 13 times. If a viewer can see 5 lines/mm on the print (which is where we got our 240 pixel/inch requirement for the Epson output), then a 13x enlargement requires 65 lines/mm to be available in the image. That, in turn, requires 130 pixels/mm. That's very demanding, and beyond capabilities of most of the lenses we will use, even when used optimally. So, we are not only stressing the digital resolution of a 5D sensor when we make a 13x19 print, we are stressing the optical resolution of the lens by an even greater amount. The good news is that we don't really have to achieve that 5 lines/mm standard to make a really good looking print.

But with larger formats, it's easy to do so. For example, the 6x9 format, which has the same aspect as a full-frame sensor, makes an image of about 56x84mm (this varies by equipment a little, but it all uses 120 roll film and puts 8 exposures on a roll). We only have to enlarge that 5.6 times to make our nominal 13x19 print. To achieve 5 lines/mm on the print, we only need 28 lines/mm on the film, which can be represented by 56 pixels/mm. I may scan that film at 4000 "sensels" per inch using my Nikon scanner, but for a 13x19 print I don't need to. I only need to scan it at 53 pixels/mm, or 1360 pixels/inch.

Rick "figuring only Wilt and Lowner made it this far" Denney

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rdenney
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May 08, 2009 14:41 |  #134

Wilt wrote in post #7883755 (external link)
Glory, Lord! I am not the only one who is carrying forth Your message!

I knew it to be true, and I've worn out my "format is king" catch-phrase. But standing in front of that 20x40 gallery print was like walking to the front at a revival and shouting, I have SEEEN the LIGHT!

It's just been too long since I made big prints from large formats. I'd been lulled to sleep by the convenience of it all, and by the sheer fun of playing with the stuff.

And I bloody well need to pull out those old 4x5 black-and-white negatives and scan those suckers. This is the only one I have on the net:

IMAGE: http://www.rickdenney.com/castle_rock_capitol_reef_0792_lores.jpg

Every mistake in the book is revealed in that scan. For one thing, anyone who's been to Capitol Reef knows the image is backwards. Compare this 1992 image with this newer 2003 image scanned from 6x6:

IMAGE: http://www.rickdenney.com/images/last_sun_on_castle_rock_lores.jpg

And then I made the scan on a $100 Acer 1240UT flatbed scanner, capable of no better than 800 pixels per inch (1200 nominal "optical"). I think I used Photoshop version 4, which I barely knew how to use. It was low-grade stuff even 8 years ago when I made the scan.

But when I print it on 13x19, even using my Epson 1270 which is no great shakes on black and white, the print draws me in. And that's even though it is really a mediocre composition, shot from the wrong place at the wrong time of day.

So, I always had the religion. But I had lapsed. Time for a revival!

Now, if I could just find a convenient lab, heh, heh.

Rick "who'd like another shot at that color scan, too" Denney

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May 08, 2009 14:50 |  #135

Jman13 wrote in post #7883559 (external link)
Not sure what you're getting at here, Wilt. Sure, the DSLR image will be magnified more. This will cause any shake or such to be magnified, but if the smaller format resolves significantly more detail, the resulting enlargement, regardless of original size, will hold more detail. You're not saying that an original 1D can create better large prints than a 50D, are you? Because if you are, you'd be flat out wrong.

My point was that absolute resolution might be equal, but that is not the only reason to buy the larger format. Rick mentioned one of them, tonality. I mentioned one, max size at same enlargment magnification. Rick mentioned another...less taxing on the optical part of the system.

Just as max horsepower is not the only criteria for selection of a vehicle, other factors must be taken into consideration, too, in the selection of a format!

Assuming both formats had equivalent lenses, resulting in the same fineness of detail in my original subject, the larger format would carry the same detail but the print is 2.2x larger (or even more, in the case of 4x5 or larger formats)


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