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Thread: Full Frame in simple language

  1. #1
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    Default Full Frame in simple language

    Can someone explain in super layman's terms what Full Frame / non-FF means?

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    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    I think it could be thought of as equivalent to different sizes of film.
    Full frame is the same size as 35mm film.
    Non-FF is not the same (usually smaller).
    It is the camera, not the photographer.
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    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    Full-frame means the same size as 35mm film. It's taken as the standard for comparison among digital cameras simply because it is so widely used in photography.

    Non-FF simply means other sizes of sensors smaller than that of a single 35mm frame (actually 24x36 mm). Digital sensors usually come in smaller sizes because of the added complexity and cost of manufacturing in making bigger sizes.

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    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    Quote Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
    Can someone explain in super layman's terms what Full Frame / non-FF means?
    as mentioned here already, the sensors for DSLR are normally smaller than a full sized film format as it was and still is difficult to fabricate a large piece without faults.

    Nikon's crop factor is 1.5x
    Canon's crop factor is 1.6x
    Four thirds is 2.0x (if I'm not wrong)

    A full frame is 1.0x

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    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    as mentioned here already, the sensors for DSLR are normally smaller than a full sized film format as it was and still is difficult to fabricate a large piece without faults.

    Nikon's crop factor is 1.5x
    Canon's crop factor is 1.6x
    Four thirds is 2.0x (if I'm not wrong)

    A full frame is 1.0x

    yup 4/3 is 2.0x

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    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    Before the TS gets confused, the crop-factor refers to the size of objects in these smaller sensors as compared to the size in full frame. For example, an object taken with a 1.6x crop-factor camera means it will look 1.6x bigger than if taken with a full-frame camera.

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    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    Full frame should be called 35mm frame since any lens developed specifically for a certain camera system and film system/sensor size is full frame.

    If a 6x4.5 camera uses a lens designed for it, it's full frame, but it's not 35mm frame.

    Four-thirds fits into this category since the lenses were all developed specifically for that sensor, not for 35mm film, so the whole system is full frame.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    Quote Originally Posted by bousozoku View Post
    Full frame should be called 35mm frame since any lens developed specifically for a certain camera system and film system/sensor size is full frame.

    If a 6x4.5 camera uses a lens designed for it, it's full frame, but it's not 35mm frame.

    Four-thirds fits into this category since the lenses were all developed specifically for that sensor, not for 35mm film, so the whole system is full frame.
    So EF-S lenses are full-frame for the 1.6x crop cameras
    It is the camera, not the photographer.
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    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    Hmm... super layman's terms?

    Did you ever use film for shooting? I mean regular film, not those "APS" type of small film camera?

    OK, if you did, and measured the length & height of each frame of your negatives, it will be 36 X 24 mm. This is known as "Full Frame" or FF.

    If a digital camera follows this size, it is also called FF. One advantage of using camera like these are that your wide angle lenses (eg. anything under 50mm) will give you nice wide views.

    Anything less than 36 X 24 mm is non-FF. One advantage of this smaller size is that digital cameras are cheaper to manufacture and thus less expensive.

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    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    thanks all! all very layman and easy to digest! I tried to google the term and all I got was more confused.

    another question, is full frame a feature in a camera or a permanent infrastructure of a camera? becuase I hear people say that with FF cameras, e.g the D3, some lenses are not compatible. That, I don't really understand.

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    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    it is permanent. u can't swap between them in the same body.
    5D | 24-70L | 28mm f/1.8 | 580EX

  12. #12

    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    The size of the sensor will be fixed.
    However, I believe that there is a cropped-mode on the D3 which will allow the use of DX lenses.? Someone please correct me if this is inaccurate
    It is the camera, not the photographer.
    my flickr - adamloh.com

  13. #13

    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    When people refer to a "full frame" DSLR, it means the physical sensor size of the camera is the same as a 35mm film frame. This technically means the physical size of the sensor will not change. Nikon D3 and Canon EOS 1Ds series / 5D fall into this category of cameras.

    When DSLRs were first introduced, they used sensors smaller than FF, e.g. APS-C size. To take advantage of that, lens makers made lenses that have an imaging circle that fit just enough over the smaller sensor so that such lenses are smaller and lighter (Nikon: "DX" lenses, Canon: "EF-S" lenses). Traditional or FF lenses have an imaging circle that covers the whole 35mm frame - which is quite a waste since the larger imaging circle won't get used to its full potential in a smaller sensor.

    Although FF lenses can be used in a smaller sensor camera, the opposite is not true. If a DX/EF-S lens is used in a FF camera, there will be vignetting since the imaging circle of the lens is not large enough to cover the whole sensor. That is why "some lenses" are not compatible with FF cameras.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    Quote Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
    Can someone explain in super layman's terms what Full Frame / non-FF means?
    hmmm you lasttime never shoot film before?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    super simplified.. but only applies to non DX/EF-S lenses..

    FF see more, non-FF see less..

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    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    Quote Originally Posted by Ah Pao View Post
    When people refer to a "full frame" DSLR, it means the physical sensor size of the camera is the same as a 35mm film frame. This technically means the physical size of the sensor will not change. Nikon D3 and Canon EOS 1Ds series / 5D fall into this category of cameras.

    When DSLRs were first introduced, they used sensors smaller than FF, e.g. APS-C size. To take advantage of that, lens makers made lenses that have an imaging circle that fit just enough over the smaller sensor so that such lenses are smaller and lighter (Nikon: "DX" lenses, Canon: "EF-S" lenses). Traditional or FF lenses have an imaging circle that covers the whole 35mm frame - which is quite a waste since the larger imaging circle won't get used to its full potential in a smaller sensor.

    Although FF lenses can be used in a smaller sensor camera, the opposite is not true. If a DX/EF-S lens is used in a FF camera, there will be vignetting since the imaging circle of the lens is not large enough to cover the whole sensor. That is why "some lenses" are not compatible with FF cameras.
    THANKS! totally get it now

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    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    long long time ago...during film days, lens were made to project an image of 36mm x 24mm inside the camera to be recorded on the film ( which is 36 x 24)

    then come digital, due to cost of making large sensors, many comapny opt for a smaller sensor. for nikons case, though the lens can produce a picture of 36 x 24 in the camera, only about 66% of it can be used, cos the rest of the image falls outside the sensor, still there but cannot be recorded.

    but then hor, came DX, that projects a smaller image, enough to cover the aps sensor (becos its smaller, it seens to have zoomed in by 33%.) then wouldnt DX be full frame already since the DX sensors can record everything that the DX lens can project?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    Quote Originally Posted by bousozoku View Post
    Full frame should be called 35mm frame since any lens developed specifically for a certain camera system and film system/sensor size is full frame.

    If a 6x4.5 camera uses a lens designed for it, it's full frame, but it's not 35mm frame.

    Four-thirds fits into this category since the lenses were all developed specifically for that sensor, not for 35mm film, so the whole system is full frame.
    FF should be called full 135 format. 35mm is just the type of film which was adapted from cinematography.

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    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    Quote Originally Posted by adamadam View Post
    So EF-S lenses are full-frame for the 1.6x crop cameras
    I don't even want to get into that. Sigma's DC lenses are made for APS-C sized sensors, hence their warning of vignetting.

    Quote Originally Posted by ykia View Post
    ...
    Did you ever use film for shooting? I mean regular film, not those "APS" type of small film camera?
    ...
    Regular film? That's as bad as saying full frame.

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon View Post
    FF should be called full 135 format. 35mm is just the type of film which was adapted from cinematography.
    Of course, you're right. Most people (even some photographers and salespeople) don't know about 110, 120, 126, 135, 220, or 620 formats/films.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Full Frame in simple language

    Quote Originally Posted by bousozoku View Post
    Of course, you're right. Most people (even some photographers and salespeople) don't know about 110, 120, 126, 135, 220, or 620 formats/films.
    Hmm... maybe I'm not that correct also because 120/220 has 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7 and 6x9 and there's half-frame 135.. Sigh.. think I should just adopt FX and DX formats coined by Nikon.
    Last edited by lsisaxon; 17th October 2007 at 03:20 PM.

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