digital body cropping factor: impact on choice of lens
hello all. i am researching in consideraton of acquiring the d70. in general,among many other things,i am unclear on how the multiplier effect has an impact on the focal length characteristics of the chosen lens at the moment.
just like everybody else, i have a preference to use a specific focal length over another for a particular shot..... i.e. candid people pictures in a room using a 20/24 mm lens versus 28/35/50 mm lens regardless whether they be taken with primes or zooms. another is the flattening or the opposite effect when say three different levels of depth is in the landscape shot and you use 105mm instead of 28mm.
so the question is, (at 1.5x) since the 28mm becomes 42mm must i now think that i am shooting more at 50mm and so adjust all my habits and logic accordingly or does it stay the same (28mm) except the image just got closer. in photoshop when i crop an image the perspective does not change or at least, i dont think so.
it gets more confusing for me because i am accustomed to using 28mm and have never used any wider. but if i have to use an 18mm lens will i be in unchartered territory as far as my experience and expectations are concerned?
and then there is the question where a full frame body might be in the near/far future such that my old lenses can be used and maybe avoid duplications.
if this is confusing, it's because i am confused.
#1. "RE: digital body cropping factor: impact on choice of" | In response to Reply # 0
Sun 01-Feb-04 03:40 AM
The focal length stays the same, but the functional aspect of the lens (angle of view) is just like working with a 1.5X converter without the light loss.
An 18mm lens on a DX sensor is the same as your 28mm lens if you used the two cameras with the respective lenses shooting from the same spot. You'll get a little more depth of field with the 18mm on the DX body compared to the 28mm full frame.
Your 28mm lens won't be wide at all on the DX body. You can think of it as the the image getting closer if that helps, or as the image you're used to being cropped.
If you want a moderate wide angle coverage equal to your 28mm, you'll need an 18mm lens. I like superwide lenses, but until Nikon offered a 12-24mm DX zoom there wasn't an equivalent for my old favorite 18-35mm zoom.
#2. "RE: digital body cropping factor: impact on choice of" | In response to Reply # 0
Nikon Bob Registered since 16th Jul 2003Sun 01-Feb-04 10:42 AM
This is reason number two for me to pass on going digital besides the metering issue with older ai/ais lenses. The small sensor size does great things for the tele end but just ruins your wide to ultra wides. The only reasonable solution to me would be to get the Nikon 12-24 DX but that and a body is not cheap to do in one shot. At present full frame bodies to take Nikkor lenses are few and are even a more expensive option than a DSLR and 12-24 DX. Things are changing very quickly in digital regarding sensors so who knows the when and if of future sensor sizes.
#3. "RE: digital body cropping factor: impact on choice of" | In response to Reply # 0
Sun 01-Feb-04 04:07 PM
thanks for responding bj. i had a feeling it would be so. here are my reactions.
if i understand correctly then, a 28mm on a d70/d100 (1.5x) would present an image on the viewfinder similar to as if a 50mm lens were attached BUT the image would still have all the characteristics/attributes that go with the 28mm focal length (i.e. depth of field).
interesting....so to acquire the width of a 28mm an 18mm would be needed and in turn would have all the good/bad attributes that go with an 18mm focal length, for example fishbowling, greater depth of field and so on.
i have an nikkor af 28-105mm which i could couple with the zoom that bj mentions, the 18-35, that would then give me back the 'width' of a 28mm but with characteristics of an 18mm at that focal length? right? other than 'fishbowling', i am not aware of anything else negative about that and would welcome the added dof of the 18mm. of course i have never used a lens below 28mm. i suppose that would be something new to learn and experience. i also would have a longer end (150mm)
nikonbob there might still be a happy ending since our mf lenses would still be usable with all their niceties/qualtites but we would just have to step back a little. so long as we dont fall off a cliff or get run over by a car.
and i suppose for candid indoor shots, just set the aperture/shutter speed and let the flash do it's job. since a flash would be there most of the time for me. city/street shooting will be a problem but that would be because of lack of metering.
in the future, if and when nikon comes up with a 35mm sensor size at the average consumer price level then the lenses would align themselves back to their true focal length and inherent characteristics and the universe would go back into harmony. and then again maybe not.
i have thought this out as i write. anyone,please feel free to make coorections and additions that you wish to.
#8. "RE: digital body cropping factor: impact on choice of" | In response to Reply # 3
Rally Registered since 31st Jan 2004Wed 04-Feb-04 08:18 PM
Can someone clarify how this effects perspective?
Does it mean if I take a 28mm lens and take a shot on a 35mm format camera and take the same lens and take a shot on a D70, the perspective of the shot will be the same but the angle of view will be narrower i.e I will get less in the picture?
So a 28mm lens close up to an object will still give a distorted perspective with less in the frame and not a shot with the perspective of a 42mm lens on a 35mm format camera?
I hope this makes sense
#17. "Perspective is the same" | In response to Reply # 8
Wed 16-Jan-08 01:13 PM
Perspective is the same for all lenses, believe it or not. A tele lens just takes a small angle from the visible scene and magnifies it. If you shot the same image from the same distance with a superwide lens, then enlarge the same area to match the tele magnification you would get identical images. Here are examples taken with a small sensor Minolta A1 and a DX sensor Fuji S2. Note the focal lengths and the perspective, both shots were taken from the same location. The difference is the A1 uses a shorter focal length to get the same field of view and thus delivers more depth of field.
Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
#5. "RE: digital body cropping factor: impact on choice of" | In response to Reply # 4
TheCrazyFinn Registered since 17th Aug 2002Wed 04-Feb-04 05:52 PM
DX lenses are designed specifically for the DX format sensor on Nikon Digital bodies. They are Wide-mid length zooms, as the 1.5x multiplication factor turns normal wides into mid-length lenses (A 35mm lens on a D70 is effectively 52.5mm, a 24mm is effectively 36mm, with the multiplication factor). You won't be seeing any telephoto's, as the multiplication factor is a bonus there (your 80-200 just became a 120-300).
The DX lenses would replace your 28-80 and 18-35, giving you access to the wide angles you can't get on a Nikon DSLR with 35mm lenses.
F3HP, FA, F801, EM
#6. "RE: digital body cropping factor: impact on choice of" | In response to Reply # 4
Bartman01 Registered since 02nd Feb 2004Wed 04-Feb-04 06:22 PM
One advatage is that because the optics are smaller they may cost less to mfg and to buy. Plus for the zoom lenses, the range was designed with the digital sensor in mind.
The disadvantage is that the optics are designed for the 1.5x sensor currently in use. If you use the lens on a normal 35mm camera or a larger sensor format comes out the lens may not be able to fully cover the frame. I saw a good explanation here: http://www.nikonpro.ca/dx/index.esp?tid=56157c57375a88ef1d0bea46b235f932 . Basically the cost you save now may come back to bite you later if a larger sensor comes out or you want to buy a film body.
If you are buying a new camera and need both camera and lens the D70 package deal looks like a great bargin. You have to weigh the immediate cost savings of the smaller lens vs. future compatibility concerns. For future lens purchases, I would be wary of buying a high dollar DX lens if a similar full frame lens is available.
#7. "RE: digital body cropping factor: impact on choice of" | In response to Reply # 0
i just read an article by someone thru the dpreview website. be forewarned that i am not a 'techie' type of hobbyist. i just want to take the best pictures that i possibly can. so that said here i go. from what i get out of the article 'dx' lenses are more 'friendly' with 'dx' bodies, although the cropping factor is still there.
in order to perform optimally, it seems digital sensors like to receive light that are perpendicular to them or at most not more than 15 degrees off perpendicular, whereas film will/can take in light coming from all angles. this i take to mean that dx lenses are thus designed differently (flat maybe) to accomodate this peculiarity of 'dx' sensors.
if that is so, older lenses (mf ai/ais) and even including maybe 'af' d/g lenses are 'less user friendly' made for dx sensors. i suppose that could be the end of my even trying to save my old lenses if they wont be able to produce the image quality/reputation that they enjoyed in the film world. although the article mentions that some older lenses do fit the design requirements but however did not identify which ones they were.
'bummer'....it still does not answer what will happenas far as usability of older lenses when and if the sensors become full format.
#9. "RE: digital body cropping factor: impact on choice of" | In response to Reply # 7
Wed 04-Feb-04 11:11 PM
Film is flat. Digital sensors though are a bit more complicated. Each individual photosite (pixel) is essentially at the bottom of a "well" and can only receive light if it is striking it relatively straight on. If light hits it at an angle, you end up with color fringing. Unless and until someone invents a different sensor technology this will continue to be an issue regardless of sensor size. The Nikon DX format is an excellent means of working around this problem.
Sooner or later, sensor resolution (megapixels) will increase to a point where larger sensors are needed to fit that many photosites without shrinking them so small that digital noise becomes more of an issue. Somewhere between where technology is today and where it will be at that time, Nikon will indeed start making DSLR's with larger sensors. Simply because of the economics of the marketplace though there will be an ever increasing demand for affordable DSLR's, and these will invariably remain as DX format for quite some while into the future. Anybody that buys DX lenses today will be well served by the quality they offer on today's sensors, and should be overly concerned about the prospects of potentially needing to sell them down the road. The number of potential buyers for such lenses will only increase, not decrease as folks convert from film without spending a fortune on "full frame" digital bodies.
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond
#10. "RE: digital body cropping factor: impact on choice of" | In response to Reply # 9
Thu 05-Feb-04 05:57 PM
from what i have read, the need for more megapixels to get increased resolution will be the driving force towards bigger sensors since noise among other things becomes a problem when more pixels are added to the same sensor area. this seems to be the case with the problems that sony has encountered with their f828 at 8 megapixels.
so full format might not be too far in the distant future. should i then wait or jump in now? at this point,i am still undecided. one thing though, 'dx' reminds me of the nikon em/fg camera bodies and the series 'e' lenses that were developed for them. a lot of nice lenses (like the 75-150mm) came about from that effort.
#11. "RE: digital body cropping factor: impact on choice of" | In response to Reply # 10
Thu 05-Feb-04 07:10 PM
Right now, full frame means big bucks. Sooner or later this will not be the case, but DX format will always be cheaper. Right now, the other problem with more megapixels is biffer size and write speed. No good answers on this one yet.
Decide accordingly. None of us have a crystal ball, but in the mean time I'm getting some great shots with the D100
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond
#12. "RE: digital body cropping factor: impact on choice of" | In response to Reply # 10
mgsylvestre Registered since 28th Jan 2003Thu 05-Feb-04 07:17 PM
One possible solution for somebody getting nervous about DX lenses is to buy only one, the 12-24 and stick with "normal" lenses for everything else. Even if you assume that you won't be able to get anyting for it when you want to sell it in the future (which is not going to happen in any event) it provides a present day solution to the cropping factor issue which is a lot cheaper than spending a fortune to buy a full frame camera for around USD$8,000. You would probably loose a lot more money on the future resale value of such a camera than on the resale value of the 12-24 in my view.
Michel G. Sylvestre
Nikonian from Montréal, Canada
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#13. "That's what I'm doing..." | In response to Reply # 12
Fri 06-Feb-04 12:40 AM
The 12-24mm gives me the superwide range I've been missing. I sold my 16mm Nikkor back when I shot film so I don't need the 10.5. The other DX Nikkors just are attractive enough to get me further into the format. That might change with a killer 80-400 DX VR zoom with a compact size and weight, but I'm not holding my breath .
#14. "RE: That's what I'm doing..." | In response to Reply # 13
Fri 06-Feb-04 06:00 AM
Ditto for me unless Nikon comes up with some other DX lens that is *really* tempting. The 12-24 DX to me is a necessity, the others, at best, are luxury items.
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond
#16. "RE: That's what I'm doing..." | In response to Reply # 14
walkerr Nikonian since 05th May 2002Fri 06-Feb-04 11:15 AM
Same here. I just picked up a 12-24mm earlier this week and can't wait to try it out. My 17-35 is my most used lens on 35mm bodies, so it will be great to have those equivalent focal lengths on the D100.