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Full frame vs 1.6 crop yet again

Tom Cairns , Jul 29, 2007; 02:57 p.m.

I don't inderstand the talk about the extra reach of 1.6 crop cameras versus full frame. It seems to me that whatever reach means, a 100 mm lens has the same reach on both cameras.

The issue is whether you want to crop on the camera or later in Photoshop. At a more technical level the issue is what the sensors give you back. The sensor density per square centimeter of the 8.2 megapixels in the 30D is somewhat higher than the 12.8 megapixels in the 5D and that would imply higher resolution in highly enlarged pics, but I don't know how that plays out in practice. Maybe someone else knows.

What I do know is that the 5D I now have produces a lot less noise than the 10D I previously had and that is a really useful feature. With most subjects, I have no hesitancy to shoot at ISO 1600 when necessary. And the wider full frame angle gives more freedom in framing the subject. My wife shoots with the 10D and does well with it, but I would never go back.


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Ronald Moravec , Jul 29, 2007; 03:21 p.m.

Reach means nothing. Image is simply cropped in camera so image looks like a 75mm lens instead of a 50.

Big sensors are better no mater what the MP count is. Large numbers of smaller receptors generate more noise and are less sensitive than the larger receptors that are on a larger sensor. 8 on a small sensor is equal to perhaps 12 on a large,but as you enlarge, the 12 will remain sharp longer.

Eric Kop , Jul 29, 2007; 03:30 p.m.

When someone mentions the "crop factor" or "magnification factor" what it really means is the viewing angle of that lens and not the reach. A 100mm lens is a 100mm lens. But on 35mm, a 100mm lens has a horizontal field of view of something like 20 degrees whereas the field of view on a cropped sensor is 12 degrees for 100mm. This makes the image appear as if it was shot with a 160mm lens (because a 160mm lens with a 35mm frame has a field of view of 12 degrees).

Puppy Face , Jul 29, 2007; 03:35 p.m.

Ah no care 'bout da croppin' stuff 'o noise. Ah juz likes da jumbo viewfinder o' FF. Kin see wat da fcuk ahs shootin'

Stephen Jones , Jul 29, 2007; 03:44 p.m.

lol puppy face, that cracked me up :) i especially liked "Ah juz likes da jumbo viewfinder o' FF" :D

Michael Mays , Jul 29, 2007; 03:57 p.m.

Don't think of it a reach its field of view and beside what you see is what you get. oh wait its an slr you dont see what you get.


Mykhailo Malyshko , Jul 29, 2007; 04:08 p.m.

With FF you get not only less noise level, but also - less chromatic aberration, and more vignetting (with the same lens).

Mykhailo Malyshko , Jul 29, 2007; 04:11 p.m.

P.S. and smaller DOF, better bokeh...

Antonio Flores , Jul 29, 2007; 04:22 p.m.

Supposing you have the same number of Megapixels, the 1,6x cameras get more information of the center of the image, more pixels dedicated to the point you want to aim to. So you get a magnification similar as if you had a 1,6 more powerful telelens. If you use a 300, you get 480. If you have a 500, you get 800 mm reach. Sometimes it is cheaper to invest in crop factor than in telelens. It is worth it to have a crop camera just for that.

For wide angle, you would need a FF better.

Dan Mitchell , Jul 29, 2007; 04:58 p.m.

A 100mm lens is a 100mm lens no matter what camera you use it on. What varies is the "field of view" of the image captured on the film/sensor in different formats. The smaller the film/sensor, the smaller the angle of view.

The term "reach" is actually a useful proxy for "field of view." Although lots of people resent it use, it does communicate something significant to photographers. In essence, when someone says that the 50mm lens on their 1.6x crop sensor body has the "same reach" as an 80mm lens on full-frame, they are recognizing that both lens/camera combinations capture the same angle of view.

Pixel density is significant if you considering cropping a full frame image to compensate for not having a telephote with sufficient "reach" - e.g. narrow angle of view.

With lenses that provide the same angle of view on the respective formats, full frame bodies of equal or greater megapixel dimensions have some image quality advantages.


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