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Thread: MF crop factor or no crop factor

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    MF crop factor or no crop factor

    Well up early and was lying in bed thinking about what else my GAS.

    No not that GAS, but being the gear sluts that we are. What came to mind was crop factor MF systems. Let's face it they are all crop factors even the P65 but obviously some are considered real crop factor backs. What I find very interesting coming in recent years from the DMR, M8 , ZD, P25+ and now the P30 + and now wanting to go P40+, well guess what they are all crop factor cams or backs. I know in 35mm it really is a big issue for a lot of people and looking back on it, seriously not sure why. Maybe my view on it is I stick a lens on there and look through the finder and automatically adjust to the lens coverage. There is NO crop factor it is what it is and you frame , compose and execute the shot.

    What I really like and it started with the DMR was the crop lines in the finder and the ability to see outside those lines. I guess as a kid I never paid to much attention to the common phrase DRAW WITHIN THE LINES. Maybe I just did not pay to much attention at all and always ignored those comments and did what I thought was natural in my brain.

    Maybe what got me thinking about this is both Bob and Jack are getting their P65+ backs today, congrats guys but going from the P45+ with a nice little outside the lines area to see what is out there for composing and such will soon fade away for them. The P65 is the closest to FF 645 format as you can get. Now I know folks avoid the P30 and P40 because of the crop factor but i actually enjoy that space in the finder albeit it could be visually stronger lines to separate between capture area and non capture area. Also a little secret I do avoid some corner sharpness on the 28mm where the extreme corners on the P65 will really make that lens a 31mm in reality if you want to avoid some issues. Personally I love my 28mm and frankly the last lens to be sold if I had to get in that situation . For me any wider get a tech camera and the new 24mm and be done with it like a Alpa TC or something. But that's my preference.

    Let's face it folks anything over 31mpx is just freaking awesome anyway so why does this crop factor still exist in some folks mind?


    Maybe I am beating a but I still hear people talk about this as a issue and myself i actually like it.

    Well back to bed and maybe I can dream of more pleasant thoughts.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    I think because many people are used to shooting on film, and became accustomed to how their lenses worked using it, and by using a new frame that is smaller, they always find themselves wishing they could have that extra bit of coverage or return to the angle of view they are used to. Also, since most of the lenses were designed for the full 645 or 6x6 frame, they are not always as appropriate for use on the smaller frame digital...normals become slight telephotos, super-wide angles become regular wide angles and so on. And with a larger sensor, it allows you to use longer lenses for equivalent fields of view -- this generally leads to better lens performance. Being able to use a 50mm instead of a 40mm generally gives you higher sharpness, better edge to edge sharpness and less distortion...and a smaller and less-expensive lens! Of course, digital is a totally new world, but until the lenses are 100% made for a given format, a lot of people will still prefer to be as close to full-frame as possible. I think this is one of the biggest rationales behind the S2 -- the idea that they are going to find an appropriate sensor size and then really optimize the lenses' focal lengths, coverage and performance for just that size -- no wasted coverage.
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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    Well you could have crop circles instead

    -bob

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    I think one of the issues is the number they put on lenses instead of the number of field of view. Like I have a 21mm instead I am putting on the 100 degrees angle of view lens. Imagine if they went by degrees. Do you think it would have changed things or be the same. Now I only get 80 degrees. Hmmm
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    I think Stuart's got the right answer. No doubt there are advantages to the crop factor kits. One of the things that bugs me a bit is when you're paying a hefty premium (both in weight and cost) for a wide angle lens and you're not able to take advantage of it, e.g. using the 15/2.8 Super-Elmarit on the DMR. Of course, that's a 1.37 crop factor camera so there is a fairly substantial loss in coverage.

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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    On the surface David I agree. Maybe it is because of the expectations of being a 15mm and that is in our heads but when you look through the finder than is it not the only thing that matters at that point is what you see and can work with. I guess what I am saying is I put much less emphasis on the number and more on what is in there. Now I admit this is 3 or 4 years of always having a crop factor and i have grown into it more. It's a change but seems like a very long process
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I think one of the issues is the number they put on lenses instead of the number of field of view. Like I have a 21mm instead I am putting on the 100 degrees angle of view lens. Imagine if they went by degrees. Do you think it would have changed things or be the same. Now I only get 80 degrees. Hmmm
    They mark them in focal length because that stays the same no matter what size sensor.
    The angular coverage is what changes.

    You just are accustomed for a particular focal length producing a given FOV, but that is pertinent only for a given sensor size.

    -bob

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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    Of course the other feature of the crop factor is it's using the sweetest part of the lens to make its image...

    I do enjoy seeing outside the frame when I compose, and one of the negatives on my choice to go with the P65+. However, at least on the Mamiya body, I get 100% full frame viewing or maybe just a tad over 100%. So while not as ideal as that few mm border of the P45+, at least it's better than something less than 100% view...

    In the end, gaining the full field from the lenses AND the ability to shoot a little looser and crop may balance it out for me. We'll see...
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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    I used to really worry about the crop factor while I shot with the P30+ and Phase 645 now that Iím shooting the Cambo WRS and P45+ I donít. Iíve either subconsciously trained myself on what/where to shoot or it just doesnít matter anymore. My bet is Iíve been trained.
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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    For me, preferring full-frame, whatever format, is not so much because of using the full viewfinder (I am with Jack and others here, I like having a little extra), nor to make full use of the lenses (I am happy getting the sweet spot), but because of the lens lineup layout. The normal lens, the slight wide, the slight tele, the super-wide, the super-tele, most of the lens spacings only make sense in the context of the full frame for that system. The M8 had a gap down low, fast lenses centered around the slight tele (too high), and a 50 with a weird effective length, MF has trouble enough getting wides without crops, and so on.
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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    My thoughts are the combination of Stuart's and Bob's. The crop forces us into something that is maybe a bit different than we may have been used to when shooting film. While we may be able to adjust the FOV part, we may not like the different DOF from the optics we maybe need to use. If one likes the "f22 all in focus everywhere" look, then the smaller sensor with the wider angle lens having more DOF is somewhat of a blessing, though there may be some change in perspective of how that depth looks. If one is more into the shallower DOF look, the smaller sensor is a boon and a bane. Longer focal lengths without having to use longer lenses seems less objectionable as the telephoto compression is less noticeable, except on the wider angle.

    If I may inject the 35mm "perspective" again, I have found that a bit of crop, say 1.3x or so is not so big a deal. The viewfinder view is a bit more restricted, but not all that much. The difference in performance of most lenses is not so dramatic. That changes once you get to the 1.5-1.6x crop. Then things start to have a different look, except if you are using very long telephoto lenses and shooting at greater distances. The shallower DOF is much harder to achieve on closer positioned subjects without starting to get into the problems of the change in perspective (which is the other part of the FOV argument) of a shorter focal length lens.

    Personally, most of us are probably just still carrying the film conventions in our heads, and the lenses that were made of more specific focal lengths for shooting things a certain way. I will venture that in another decade or less, the entire issue of specific focal lengths (which by the way is easier to talk about with other shooters) will be replaced more with FOV and DOF talk. The smaller the sensor, the more difficult it will be to convey things in our present vernacular. Example, how many of us really appreciate what a 7mm lens does on a tiny sensor digicam? As long as we have some standard "formats" and sizes, we are still comfortable in what we have learned about which focal length delivers what.

    Anyway, I am also with those folks that do like to see a bit of what is outside the lines to help compose things at times, so we can now get into the discussion of viewfinder views instead ;-)

    LJ

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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    I prefer as close to FF on anything I can get.

    Now the P45/45+ and Hassey 39/50 is splitting hairs with a 1.1X crop. But I didn't cotton to 1.3X all that well on the Hassey 31. Constantly backing up to get it all in, until there was no place to go on some of these industrial shoots even with the H/C 28 (which is already a Digital 1.1X crop lens).

    I'm sure it has to do with the way we came to think using film ... which I occasionally still use with a H2F.

    But you are right Guy, it is what you see ... so no big deal really.

    The only camera I'm tuned to for seeing outside the frame lines is the Leica M ... which I use differently. Wish someone would do a MF digital rangefinder ... a sensor like in the S2 in a Mamiya 7 type body ... only a little smaller. Yummy

    -Marc

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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    a sensor like in the S2 in a Mamiya 7 type body ... only a little smaller. Yummy
    Honestly Marc, this is where I think Leica should have spent their R&D dollars, not the S2. Or at least developed both simultaneously...
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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Honestly Marc, this is where I think Leica should have spent their R&D dollars, not the S2. Or at least developed both simultaneously...
    Agree with both of you on that score. Would be a tremendous product for Leica.

    Wonder if Mamiya are well placed to achieve this with their existing Mamiya 7 lens system?

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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    It sounds neat, but I don't think that an M9-MF would be any cheaper than the S2 to make, so would you be willing to pay that much for it? It would be just like the M, unique and existing in its own market without real competition, at a very high price, keeping things exclusive. The S2 can really go places if they fix it up and it starts selling (and if the lenses don't take forever to come out).
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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    Well, as long as we're giving Leica advice... here's mine. They need to have a trade-in program for the Leica R users that they left in a ditch. This would make them more competitive in the marketplace (from a financial standpoint) and generate a LOT of goodwill from long time Leica users. And no, I'm not holding my breath

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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    A vote for the crop sensor.
    No one has talked about the "Money"
    P40+ vs p65+, 65 has 50% more pixels at 200% cost!
    Lots of other tools (toys), (cube, tripod, lights, lens).
    Just moved from P30 to P40+, could not wait for Guy.

    Do like the Mamiya-7 / Digital idea.

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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Honestly Marc, this is where I think Leica should have spent their R&D dollars, not the S2. Or at least developed both simultaneously...
    I thought that as soon as I heard about the S2 Jack.

    Thinking about it now, imagine a scaled up M9 ... maybe not quite as big as the Mamiya 7 ... just enough to accommodate a larger sensor.

    -Marc

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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebe View Post
    A vote for the crop sensor.
    No one has talked about the "Money"
    P40+ vs p65+, 65 has 50% more pixels at 200% cost!
    Lots of other tools (toys), (cube, tripod, lights, lens).
    Just moved from P30 to P40+, could not wait for Guy.

    Do like the Mamiya-7 / Digital idea.
    Trying to follow you than. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    Full frame for me please. I would like a larger viewfinder image, wider angles, and shallower DOF.

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    Re: MF crop factor or no crop factor

    One of the ways I look "beyond the border" with a full frame sensor is simply to use a zoom lens a tad wider than what I want to shoot at. For example, if shooting at 80 mm, zoom out to 75 to see beyond the border.

    Of course, this only works with zooms at lengths longer than the minimum you want to shoot at.

    Otherwise, use the best zoom of all and take a few steps back....after checking what's behind you! (cliffs, lakes, freeways can all be quite hazardous using this method as can bears, and I speak from experience!)

    Bill

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