26th September 2004, 06:50 AM
With regards to simply being able to crop a 300mm on a full frame sensor to get a 600mm instead of having a built in 2x crop factor, I agree. But then you also lose the benefit of your added sensitivity and/or resolution. Put another way, yes you can crop it, but then you end up with either lower resolution, or if you end up with equivalent resolution, then you throw away your bigger photosite, and all the accompanying better noise/DR/etc arguments in favour of full frame sensors in the first place.
Going less than 18mm on a 1.5x sensor. At the moment, barring fisheyes and stitching and other tricks, this isn't possible I agree. But to be perfectly truthful, I'm not sure why anyone wants to go wider. I will acknowledge that the potential to be able to do so is always greater than no potential, but, say 14mm lenses are horribly difficult to use full frame. Anything beyond 1m from the camera looks horribly small, and you get so much in the frame you need to be very good with your framing. I had a 14mm for film use for several months in 1999, and turned down the chance to purchase it. Personally I think a 17mm is difficult enough to use well, compared to say a 20mm. I say again, the potential to go below 18mm would be welcome, but not something I'd say is a major factor at all (and Canon have got it down to 16mm in the meantime).
Medium format digital users have been handicapped by 35mm dimensioned chips for a long time (wide angle what wide angle?), compounded by the fact that lenses for medium format just aren't very wide (compared with 35mm). 24mm equivalency is about as wide as you can commonly go, and very occasionally 20mm. Yet I don't see many people making this an argument against shooting medium format.
I'm a Nikon user, I had a Kodak 14n full frame, and I'm not happy that Kodak failed, nor has it in any way affected my perception of my 1.5x sensors used side by side with the Kodak. As above, I've found DOF control to be a pain as much as it was a boon with the bigger sensor. And without the microlenses, the 14n is the worst noise-performer in the modern DSLR era; although that clearly is a design and manufacturing issue. I have a 14mm and seldom used it on the 1.5x sensors, and hardly used it on the Kodak either. On the other hand, it was great shooting landscapes (didn't have the 12-24 then), but a royal pain trying to take telephoto pictures because I'd have to crop my massive 14mp sensor into a measily 6mp image before I got to the same magnification as my 1.5x, 6mp camera.
I cannot, as has already been addressed, see how price cannot be an issue here. Price is always a benefit or disadvantage when considering the overall picture. The 1Ds line has always been priced above the others, as have the Kodaks. Looking at the price points between the 1DsII and the D2x, I would gladly take a D2x anyday, *on paper*.
Smaller and lighter lenses have never been an issue before. Well if you think this, then with the greatest respect, you have not used your equipment on an intensive enough level yet. There comes a stage where you simply do not want to pick up your gear and use it. If we talk about intangibles, heavier gear tires you out faster, sapping your ability to be creative the longer the shoot goes on. But that is intangible.
Also there are plenty of other kinds of photographers around. Some who will not touch an 80-200/2.8 because it is way too big and heavy. The fact is many are driven by toys, and an 80-200/2.8 is a far more flashy toy than an 80-200/4-5.6. Or a DX 80-200/2.8. There is also a showing off mentality, and a longer is better mentality. I'm not accusing you of this, just that it does exist and explains probably as many fast lens purchases as does a real need for the speed.
Change in perspective between the different sensor sizes. Specifically, that for instance a 14mm cropped to 20mm field of view does not yield the perspective of a 20mm lens. Indeed. But by cropping out the external portions of the frame, you lose the majority of the effect, and you end up with very similar images - certainly not as different as you might imagine.
Secondly, so what if the perspective is slightly different? Again I see this as a resistance to change effect. There's nothing that suggests that 35mm perspectives are best.
Amfibius, the main thrust of your arugment was that there's no sense using a smaller sensor than the image circle otherwise Hassleblad would have stuck an APS sensor into their digital backs. As I said, actually your argument is completely flawed because for a long time all medium format digital backs involved a sensor smaller than the image circle... specifically 35mm sized sensors in a medium format camera. So they did stick a smaller sensor in their backs; it was fine for them.
Next, cropping a 1DsII to a 2x crop gives you 8mp. Wrong, as already corrected and acknowledged, it gives you 4mp. And as I have pointed out above, you end up throwing away the advantage of your full frame chip the moment you crop.
Condemning the full frame Nikon. I say again, I am not against full frame in any way. I am just refuting the opinion that DX is seriously handicapped compared to full frame and therefore that we should be jumping to full frame at the earliest opportunity.
And I walk the walk as well, given what I do, both for work and in my spare time, I'm sure you'll concede that I really do have the least of interest in a full frame body. But I shoot enough other subjects to be bothered about the issue, and frankly I'm not in any way fussed by full frame.
In 3, 5 or 8 years time, we may be *back* to full frame. Why? Again, I propose inertia. If bigger photosites are so crucial, why not consider a larger sensor than 36x24mm? Not necessarily all the way to 645, and it may not work out, but certainly propose and consider it? The very same arguments you are using to say that full frame is better than 1.5x sensors would apply. No one seems to even consider this; why? Staying in the comfort zone; and 35mm is the current comfort zone.
I'm ignoring all Amfibius/Zerstorer interposts; nothing personal, I just don't want to get entangled.
sticking stubbornly to the 1.5X crop is like a car manufacturer saying that they like 1.5L engines and will produce nothing but cars with 1.5L engines.
Actually, I submit that you might have this the wrong way round. Sticking stubbornly and wanting to return to full frame is like a car manufacturer saying that they are only able to produce 1.3L engines at the moment, but as soon as possible they would like to stop producing that and return to 1.5L engines. You have a nirvana - your full frame sensor. I say again, I'm not condemning full frame sensors, I just think DX sensors are perfectly serviceable as well, just like a 1.3L engine.
The rest of the thread seems to be again preoccupied with dynamic range. I concede the point although I see where Watcher and company are coming from. But that doesn't make the full frame sensor better for all the reasons mentioned above. I've been reading this far and have read too much to try to plumb the depths of the camera comparisons in the majority of page 4 and 5, suffice to say, full frame sensors do have the potential of more dynamic range. But if that's the be all and end all (it's NOT!) then we should go with a bigger sensor than 36x24!