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Author Topic: The Full Frame Myth  (Read 12097 times)
Rob C
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« Reply #100 on: December 25, 2013, 02:32:25 AM »
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Bottom line is this.

I can absolutely build a set of circumstances where every format film or digital that has been mentioned here I could shoot (within a specific scenario) and prove technically that that format was superior.

We all say it 1000 times a minutes but all the matters is the photo.  On this top of this forum is a banner ad, for some metallic silver paper.  Has an interseting image of a woman in white holding some silver thing.

With the right post work I can shoot from 6 to 80 mpx and even the most trained, pixel peeping, chart making tech loving cat will never tell the difference.

So the real bottom line is if it works for you, your images are beautiful (to you and if you work for commerce the people that pay you) if you love photography, then go with what you like, produce great work and live a happy life.

If ol' Ansel built a 10 lightbulb contact printer then good for him, that's thinking outside of the box, or in this case inside the box and if he did it he did it to present the best image possible, from selection to final.

Isn't that the goal?  

Me, right now I dig those olympus 43 omds.  I can build a film, shoot them like I use to shoot 35mm cameras before they got the size of a mini cooper and  .. . ok hold it . . . I gotta confess.  I love those cameras but since I'm such a contrarian I also love the fact that not a lot of professional photographers use them.

I firmly believe that the reason I stuck with the Contax/Phase so long was because everybody else gave up.   I like different stuff, but what I like really has nothing to do with anyone else's work.

IMO

BC




On which reasonable, and optimistic, note - Merry Christams BC!

Rob C
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Petrus
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« Reply #101 on: December 25, 2013, 03:35:31 PM »
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If ol' Ansel built a 10 lightbulb contact printer then good for him, that's thinking outside of the box, or in this case inside the box and if he did it he did it to present the best image possible, from selection to final.

It was more like a 25 bulb box. I had a zone system handbook which had a picture of it, but I can not locate the book anymore. Can not find any info about it in the net, which really does NOT have everything in it, especially about certain obscure things of the past. It is of course possible to dodge and burn a large contact print with the traditional methods when using a small light source like a single bulb or an enlarger.
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aduke
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« Reply #102 on: December 25, 2013, 04:26:55 PM »
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AA's book, "The Print" mentions that he had used an "Air Force printer" which contained 12 lamps, each with its own switch. I could not find any reference to such a thing on the net.

Alan
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #103 on: December 25, 2013, 05:48:29 PM »
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I always like Michael's take on things. He's got the best combination of practical and technical on the web.

My take on his take on FF vs. smaller sensor cameras is that we need to own at least one of each, like him.  Smiley

Yes.  This is really the common sense approach.  A different tool for a different job.  A photographer needs as many different tools as their applications demand.
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Petrus
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« Reply #104 on: December 26, 2013, 01:17:45 AM »
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AA's book, "The Print" mentions that he had used an "Air Force printer" which contained 12 lamps, each with its own switch. I could not find any reference to such a thing on the net.

Alan

That must be the one. Funny that the net does not have anything about this.

Addendum: the full text of "Print" by Ansel Adams is available at http://archive.org/stream/The_Print/The_Print_djvu.txt

Here is the relevant section from the book:

"Contact-printing light boxes have few advantages and one major
disadvantage in that the negative cannot be seen while printing.
However, for printing large quantities I have used an early "Air
Force" printer, which contained twelve frosted lamps, each with its
own off-on switch. It is thus possible to control the distribution of
light during the printing exposure, to broadly compensate for uneven
negative densities; turning off the central lights, for example, will
increase the relative exposure of the borders and edges of the image.
Actual dodging and burning, however, are quite difficult to accom-
plish with such a printer, since they require the use of translucent
masks, cut to the appropriate shape, inserted below the negative.
The printing-frame principle remains, for me, simpler and more
efficient."
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 01:24:02 AM by Petrus » Logged
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #105 on: December 26, 2013, 01:54:04 AM »
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Hi,

I just made a 70x100 cm. I took it with my Sony Alpha 99, it is nice but could be sharper. Did it depend on camera or the photographer? I don't know! The same week I took another image with my P45+ on Hasselblad that I printed at 60x80 cm (because I could not crop to 70x100), that P45+ image is really sharp.

It is nice to be able to print large, that suggests megapixels and sharp lenses are good stuff. The way I see it:

The Hasselblad/P45+ makes great images, but is a bit limited compared with my full frame DSLR. The DSLR makes great images, too. For short walks I simply carry both. Long walks? The DSLR comes along.

I also have a smaller APS-C DSLR, it has 24 MP. I use that camera for telephoto shots and as a walk around camera. The full frame DSLR with it's large lenses is simply to monstrous and heavy.

I also have a Sony RX100, it doesn't get much love, but makes some nice images.

It is nice to have high MP count, but it needs lenses to match.

Best regards
Erik


Yes.  This is really the common sense approach.  A different tool for a different job.  A photographer needs as many different tools as their applications demand.
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BJL
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« Reply #106 on: December 26, 2013, 12:06:52 PM »
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I also like the essay overall, and it is fascinating to compare the attitudes to sub-35mm formats now to what was being said at this site five or ten years ago. But some words about lenses, as suggested by bjnicholls
It's not the weight of the camera body that got me into a Micro Four Thirds system to complement my full frame system. The real difference is the lenses.
You can combine a reasonably large sensor (say "35mm" format) with a small overall kit (body and one or more lenses) when it is enough to cover a FOV range from wide to just a bit longer than normal; more so when one or two prime lenses are enough. So it is no surprise that the various "big sensor, small kit" offerings are typically based on wide to normal or sort telephoto primes, or zoom lenses with a limited and slowish long end, like the Sony EF 28-70 f/4. That lens sets a record amongst modern standard zoom lenses for its combination of limited wide coverage [28mm vs 24mm], limited zoom range [2.5x] and limited aperture range [f/4 vs f2.8 for most 28-70 or 24-70 zooms].

But for the great majority of system camera buyers, at least ones willing to pay several thousand dollars for the body alone, telephoto reach is also an important factor, and it is here that systems like Micro Four Thirds offer a huge advantage in lens and kit size over 35mm format. To rework Ray's example but using actual cameras, trying to do telephoto (or macro) photography with a 36MP, 36x24mm sensor using the same focal length as used in MFT involves cropping to 9MP (or 6MP from a 24MP sensor) And as Ray says, resolution matters: there are often significant visible IQ advantages to 16MP over 9MP or 6MP. More so when even the MFT image must be cropped: I have got some very useful images with a 2x crop to 4MP from my E-M5; but would be less satisfied with the 2.25MP given by the same focal length from the D800 or A7R or the 1.5MP or less from any other 35mm format DSLR.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 12:54:50 PM by BJL » Logged
hsteeves
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« Reply #107 on: December 26, 2013, 09:11:42 PM »
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I was Ansel's darkroom in Carmel in 86 - the year after he died.  One of his enlargers was on horizontal rails that were room length.  The easel was vertical. The light source was the multiple light bank with individual switches for each bulb.  It was the neatest thing.
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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #108 on: December 29, 2013, 08:07:40 AM »
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I'm quite happy to be part of the other 5%. I've never been one to follow the mob.  Wink

Every photographic image that has existed is a crop. It's not possible to produce an image which is not a crop of the scene being photographed. Cropping is always an essential part of good technique whether such cropping is done through choice of lens and camera format at the time the shot is taken, which usually results in higher resolution, or later in post-processing, which usually results in lower resolution.


Composition is selective, so is every aspect of photography including exposure/choice of settings lens used etc etc.
Cropping in camera via composition? That's a new one even for mp die hard fans!

I only usually crop for print (regardless of sensor arguments you will likely have to do this depending on the print aspect ratio) I try to avoid much cropping in post because I think it's not a good sign you on the "ball" behind the camera, bar wildlife/sports shooters who have different needs. As this is primarily a landscape shooters site that's one area where you shouldn't be cropping much at all.

Anyway back on topics, full frame is nice (not essential) it's like anything else on the market, once it's more affordable the adoption rates will increase, simple as that really.
Same reason Android overtook IOS some time ago, Apple don't compete in the low price tablet market..thus cannot sustain market share longer term.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 08:10:01 AM by barryfitzgerald » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #109 on: December 29, 2013, 06:12:17 PM »
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I only usually crop for print (regardless of sensor arguments you will likely have to do this depending on the print aspect ratio)..

Whereas I never crop for print. I make the paper's aspect ratio fit the composition, not the other way round, which would be like the tail wagging the dog.

Quote
I try to avoid much cropping in post because I think it's not a good sign you are on the "ball" behind the camera..

Whereas I am not at all concerned whether anyone thinks I am on the ball behind the camera. The reason I try to get the composition as I want it when I take the shot, by choosing an appropriate focal length in conjunction with position, is because I appreciate detail and fine resolution in an image.

However, I'm not as obsessed with resolution as some folks appear to be. I prefer to use zoom lenses because I know that the resolution lost, if the prime is too wide for the intended composition which then requires cropping during post-processing, largely defeats the purpose of using a sharp and high-quality prime lens, especially considering that aberrations and distortions like color fringing and barrel distortion can be successfully removed in software.

The reason I've raised this option of using a high-resolution camera with a relatively lightweight, high quality prime lens, is  for the benefit of those who claim they do not need or want more than 4 or 6 or 8mp for their final, processed image.

If those people really are not at all concerned with high resolution, then the ultra-high resolution camera offers a marvelous opportunity for them. Think outside of the box. With such a camera, and high quality fixed prime lens attached, you can really be 'on the ball'.

It takes time to change lenses, and no zoom lens has a maximum aperture of F1.2, or F1.4 across its range of focal lengths. And just think of that lovely bokeh, eh!  Grin
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Martin86
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« Reply #110 on: January 01, 2014, 11:13:19 AM »
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  Well, the author of the article forgot to mention one but crutial thing: The depth of field possibility. Yes, I can see that it is not a hot topic for a landscape shooter but for the experienced eye of the experienced street / portrait / people shooter the full frame abilitites in this respect are not a "myth" at all. With m4/3 or even APS/C, one cannot reach the same field of view with the same level of the shallow DoF. There are no equivalents for 21/1.4, 24/1.4, 35/1.4 or 50/0.95 or 85/1.4 lenses. No need to say in this forum that IT IS the lenses what greatly contributes to the final perception, atmosphere, "pop" and concept of the final images. While in the high-iso department I think we can live up with the offerings from APS-C or m4/3 sensors, the real benefit of the above mentioned facts shouldn´t be forgotten. The size still matters, I´m afraid.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #111 on: January 02, 2014, 06:27:54 AM »
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Homrich used to have enlargers with adjustable lighting. Based on one light source and small mirrors if I recall the technology correctly.

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bcooter
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« Reply #112 on: January 02, 2014, 08:16:23 AM »
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  Well, the author of the article forgot to mention one but crutial thing: The depth of field possibility. Yes, I can see that it is not a hot topic for a landscape shooter but for the experienced eye of the experienced street / portrait / people shooter the full frame abilitites in this respect are not a "myth" at all. With m4/3 or even APS/C, one cannot reach the same field of view with the same level of the shallow DoF. There are no equivalents for 21/1.4, 24/1.4, 35/1.4 or 50/0.95 or 85/1.4 lenses. No need to say in this forum that IT IS the lenses what greatly contributes to the final perception, atmosphere, "pop" and concept of the final images. While in the high-iso department I think we can live up with the offerings from APS-C or m4/3 sensors, the real benefit of the above mentioned facts shouldn´t be forgotten. The size still matters, I´m afraid.

Don't know what you shoot and I always buy the fastest lenses I can find, though rarely use them with great effect wide open, especially with dlsrs, because the optical viewfinder on a dslr shows a lot more focus pull than what you actually get.

I do think on the small cameras 2.8 is the minimum speed, but on the 43's there are so man options autofocus or not and there are even .95 lenses out there and the beauty of evf is you can actually see well enough to manually focus, even on moving subjects.

IMO

BC

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Rob C
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« Reply #113 on: January 02, 2014, 09:12:51 AM »
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Don't know what you shoot and I always buy the fastest lenses I can find, though rarely use them with great effect wide open, especially with dlsrs, because the optical viewfinder on a dslr shows a lot more focus pull than what you actually get.

I do think on the small cameras 2.8 is the minimum speed, but on the 43's there are so man options autofocus or not and there are even .95 lenses out there and the beauty of evf is you can actually see well enough to manually focus, even on moving subjects.

IMO

BC




Hi James,

I don't quite understand what you mean: can you amplify, please?

My experience has always been that the faster the lens the more rapid it is to focus: fast ones display such a shallow dof that you are instantly in or out of focus. Yes, I know there is sometimes a shift in focus on stopping down, but if you are shooting wide open then this is not going to happen.

In the 'old' film days, it seemed to be a general rule that where, for example, you had an f2 and also an f2.8 option of, say, the 35mm focal length lens, the slower optic would give the better overall performance, both lenses working best at about two to two-and-a-half stops down from max. In fact, when I bought my Nikkor 2.8/35mm it was because the f2 version didn't perform as well as the slower one. I took the advice from tests run for the BJP by a chap called Geoffrey Crawley, who was a long-time, greatly respected contributor/tester there. Experience with the f2.8 one led me to consider it the sharpest Nikkor I ever owned. Having sold all of those things off years ago, and now restocking - up to a point - I have the f2 version because my interests have changed from the commercial imperativeness of max. sharpness to the personal one of 'interesting' shallow depth on wide-angle motifs, not a thing that I had much call for in my work.

In effect, the longer the focal length of lens the more shallow the depth of field but the more deep the depth of focus at the film plane.

I don't think the f2/35mm is as good as my old f2.8, though, just 'different' - in a positive manner for me now - because of its speed.

Ciao -

Rob C
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #114 on: January 02, 2014, 03:03:21 PM »
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Hi,

I guess there are different needs. Most decent lenses do pretty well if stopped down to f/8 (or so). Large aperture lenses may have issues with focus shift and not perform so well at maximum apertures. Most high performance lenses are also large aperture.

I would suggest that medium aperture lenses like f/2.8 lenses and 24-105/4 zooms may be a bright idea for many of us.

Best regards
Erik



Hi James,

I don't quite understand what you mean: can you amplify, please?

My experience has always been that the faster the lens the more rapid it is to focus: fast ones display such a shallow dof that you are instantly in or out of focus. Yes, I know there is sometimes a shift in focus on stopping down, but if you are shooting wide open then this is not going to happen.

In the 'old' film days, it seemed to be a general rule that where, for example, you had an f2 and also an f2.8 option of, say, the 35mm focal length lens, the slower optic would give the better overall performance, both lenses working best at about two to two-and-a-half stops down from max. In fact, when I bought my Nikkor 2.8/35mm it was because the f2 version didn't perform as well as the slower one. I took the advice from tests run for the BJP by a chap called Geoffrey Crawley, who was a long-time, greatly respected contributor/tester there. Experience with the f2.8 one led me to consider it the sharpest Nikkor I ever owned. Having sold all of those things off years ago, and now restocking - up to a point - I have the f2 version because my interests have changed from the commercial imperativeness of max. sharpness to the personal one of 'interesting' shallow depth on wide-angle motifs, not a thing that I had much call for in my work.

In effect, the longer the focal length of lens the more shallow the depth of field but the more deep the depth of focus at the film plane.

I don't think the f2/35mm is as good as my old f2.8, though, just 'different' - in a positive manner for me now - because of its speed.

Ciao -

Rob C
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Telecaster
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« Reply #115 on: January 02, 2014, 09:24:59 PM »
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I would suggest that medium aperture lenses like f/2.8 lenses and 24-105/4 zooms may be a bright idea for many of us.

Agreed. Whenever the format wars break out extreme examples always get cited in support or defense of one's favored format. The practical reality of actually taking photos is a different thing.

Rob, focus pull is a cinema term. Remember, BC is a multi-media guy. A typical D-SLR's optical viewfinder is limited to roughly f/2.8 in terms of showing accurate DOF. No focusing aids, mind you, not that they'd be of much use with video anyway. This is a problem if you're pulling focus manually with an f/1.4–2.0 lens used wide-open or close to it...the accuracy isn't good enough.

BTW, Geoffrey Crawley was The Man.   Smiley

-Dave-
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Ray
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« Reply #116 on: January 03, 2014, 02:25:46 AM »
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Of course, for those who are not concerned about resolution and are prepared to crop heavily to get an effectively longer focal length from a short prime, the DoF issue, which is also related to focusing accuracy, and the lower resolution of the lens at wide apertures, should not be an issue.

For example, whilst  the Nikon AF-S 50/1.4 G is sharpest at F4, at F1.4 it's still reasonably sharp, certainly sharper than the Nikkor 24-120/F4 zoom used between 85mm and 120mm at F4.

If one were to use the Nikon 50/1.4 G as an effective 150/F1.4 by applying a 3x crop factor on a D800, one would get a 4mp (or 12mb) file with a DoF similar to that gained from an actual 150mm lens used at F4 on the D800.

If the 36mp of the D800 were downsampled to 4mp, I would expect to see slightly better resolution than the 4mp crop, as a pixel-peeper. However, in many circumstances I would also expect to see significantly less noise in the crop of the 50/1.4 shot, assuming both lenses do not have VR. A difference of 3 stops is the difference between ISO 100 and 800.

If the alternative F4 zoom lens, which would considerably add to the weight of the system, had image stabilization equivalent to 3 stops, then for stationary subjects there would be no advantage in the wider aperture of the 50/1.4 without VR. However, if the subject is moving, then that F1.4 aperture could produce either a cleaner image or a sharper image, due to the faster shutter speed that a wider aperture allows..

It's such a pity I'm so obsessed with resolution.  Grin
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Rob C
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« Reply #117 on: January 03, 2014, 03:09:40 AM »
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Agreed. Whenever the format wars break out extreme examples always get cited in support or defense of one's favored format. The practical reality of actually taking photos is a different thing.

Rob, focus pull is a cinema term. Remember, BC is a multi-media guy. A typical D-SLR's optical viewfinder is limited to roughly f/2.8 in terms of showing accurate DOF. No focusing aids, mind you, not that they'd be of much use with video anyway. This is a problem if you're pulling focus manually with an f/1.4–2.0 lens used wide-open or close to it...the accuracy isn't good enough.

BTW, Geoffrey Crawley was The Man.   Smiley

-Dave-


Thanks, Dave; I hadn't realised the 'focus pull' reference was to motion photography!

Yes, Crawley was one of those people you felt instinctively that you could trust - glad that he lived when he did. (He also had a thing in favour of Leitz M glass - so I think it was a deserved distinction - at least at the time!)

Thanks again for the clarification -

Rob C
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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #118 on: January 09, 2014, 07:25:52 PM »
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Erik, I have been doing a few test prints with my Zeiss Otus 55 on my D800e and also Sony A7R.  Today I printed a 22X32 inch test print of shrubbery with lovely leaves that has wonderful texture tones veins etc.  .  The Otus, shot at f2.8 on the A7r is stunning...I cannot do anywhere near this with a smaller sensor. I'm in the quality range that my Phase/Hassy medium format gives me.  This just amazes me.  Eleanor

Hi,

I just made a 70x100 cm. I took it with my Sony Alpha 99, it is nice but could be sharper. Did it depend on camera or the photographer? I don't know! The same week I took another image with my P45+ on Hasselblad that I printed at 60x80 cm (because I could not crop to 70x100), that P45+ image is really sharp.

It is nice to be able to print large, that suggests megapixels and sharp lenses are good stuff. The way I see it:

The Hasselblad/P45+ makes great images, but is a bit limited compared with my full frame DSLR. The DSLR makes great images, too. For short walks I simply carry both. Long walks? The DSLR comes along.

I also have a smaller APS-C DSLR, it has 24 MP. I use that camera for telephoto shots and as a walk around camera. The full frame DSLR with it's large lenses is simply to monstrous and heavy.

I also have a Sony RX100, it doesn't get much love, but makes some nice images.

It is nice to have high MP count, but it needs lenses to match.

Best regards
Erik


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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #119 on: January 10, 2014, 12:10:16 AM »
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Eleanor,

Great to hear! Thanks for sharing!

I have some interest in the A7r, but I guess I want to see where Sony goes in with both A-mount and EF-mount. Also I am in a money saving mode after buying my P45+. It is very interesting to see what other users find.

Best regards
Erik


Erik, I have been doing a few test prints with my Zeiss Otus 55 on my D800e and also Sony A7R.  Today I printed a 22X32 inch test print of shrubbery with lovely leaves that has wonderful texture tones veins etc.  .  The Otus, shot at f2.8 on the A7r is stunning...I cannot do anywhere near this with a smaller sensor. I'm in the quality range that my Phase/Hassy medium format gives me.  This just amazes me.  Eleanor

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