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doc85

West Lafayette, US
397 posts

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doc85 Registered since 17th Jul 2008
Sat 25-May-13 03:48 PM

I have followed some of the discussions comparing the various crop modes available in the D800, and debating dx vs fx etc.
Now, I would be interested in how some of you have used these various image sizes - for bird photography in particular. I do most of my work with the 300mm AF f4 and often adding a 1.4 teleconverter. Perhaps there is no advantage but I keep wondering, Nikon gave us these choices for some reason and I don't want to miss something helpful if it really is helpful.

mklass

Tacoma, US
7437 posts

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#1. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 0

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Sat 25-May-13 02:23 PM

If you are very good a tracking your bird target, and shoot bursts in Continuous, the crop modes will give you a faster burst rate and smaller file size. However it does nothing to improve you lens's ability to magnify the subject.

I use the crop modes when I know a smaller file or a different aspect ratio is my final result, so it eliminates a post processing step. (Think 8x10 portraits.)

I'm generally looking for a different aspect ratio than a smaller size of the same aspect ratio.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
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kodiak photo

Montréal, (Qc), CA
734 posts

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#2. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 0

kodiak photo Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Feb 2013
Sat 25-May-13 02:45 PM | edited Sat 25-May-13 02:47 PM by kodiak photo

*
Hello Richard,

Cool question! Let's go:

If I wanted to make it a spectacular answer:

With your D800 in DX mode,
with the 300mm plus your 1.4 TC
means that your would be shooting at "630 mm"!
Nice illusion!

If you are a bird shooter, not negligible!
So far for the show, now the math:

300mm X 1.4 Tc X 1.5 DX crop= 630mm! Wow!

This is the result of the DX crop.

The price to pay is that each shot would have less
pixels, around 15,4 MP in your case. Still not bad, is it?

Now, this has five side effects:
1. you keep D800 picture quality (with less pixels)
2. you increased your reach from 420 to 630mm
3. no change in your shooting setup!
4. the weight of your images drops by half in MB! It makes
no difference here RAW or jpeg, the proportions remain
5. make sure you got a good tripod! …and good weather! =)

>…Nikon gave us these choices for some reason…<
Now you got it: the choice and the reasons!

Birds specialists will, for sure, come up with some more
tips and additional information, but for a start, I hope
I cleared out some fog!

Have a very good day…

Kodiak
Groovy Shootings
Image Média
www.kodiakmedia.at

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In photography, light is free but catching it is not!
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doc85

West Lafayette, US
397 posts

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#3. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 2

doc85 Registered since 17th Jul 2008
Sat 25-May-13 03:04 PM

I knew I would get some great ideas from the wonderful Nikonians here. So 630 MM wow, and still a f5.6 lens not bad as you say. I have seen some marvelous images displayed here taken with less than 16 mp.
Sorry to be so dense. Aspect ratio always confuses me. I think I know what an aspect ration means but please elaborate, just how does that effect the image?

kodiak photo

Montréal, (Qc), CA
734 posts

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#4. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 3

kodiak photo Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Feb 2013
Sat 25-May-13 03:14 PM

*
Ok Richard,

Just have a look at this picture, everything clear?

Take care


Kodiak
Groovy Shootings
Image Média
www.kodiakmedia.at

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
In photography, light is free but catching it is not!
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Click on image to view larger version

Attachment#1 (jpg file)

doc85

West Lafayette, US
397 posts

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#5. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 4

doc85 Registered since 17th Jul 2008
Sat 25-May-13 03:23 PM

Thank you Dan, this helps I was thinking it had to be something more complicated.
Any how I am anxious to visit some of my favorite spots and try some shots using the DX mode. Now if we can just get the sun to cooperate!

mklass

Tacoma, US
7437 posts

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#6. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 3

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Sat 25-May-13 03:36 PM

As much as this has been discussed here, it still is a popular misconception: you do not get a 630mm lens. What you get is the field of view (or angle of view) that you would get with a 630mm lens. The magnification is still the same. You have simply cropped to the center of the image as the illustration in the other post shows.

The D800 has a great way to demonstrate this.

  • Spot meter on a subject that is stationary and some distance away, say 100 ft. (Spot metering will minimize any effect of matrix metering on the exposure)
  • Zoom out all the way if you have a zoom lens.
  • Take a shot in FX mode.
  • Do not change anything, but change to DX mode and take the exact same shot.
  • Open both images in your software.
  • Apply a crop to the FX image to the area of the frame as shown in the DX image.


Your images will look exactly the same at the same magnification, with only minor differences in file size once saved to a JPG.

All you have done by using one of the crop modes in the camera is "pre-crop" what you could do in the software. Your lens did not magically make the subject larger.

The same thing happens when you put on FX lens on a DX body, you just can't make the same comparison since you can't shoot FX mode on a DX body.

So think Field of View (or Angle of View, if you prefer). That's why it is called "Crop Factor' not Enlargement Factor or Magnification Factor at that focal length on DX.


Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
Visit my nikonians gallery

doc85

West Lafayette, US
397 posts

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#7. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 6

doc85 Registered since 17th Jul 2008
Sat 25-May-13 03:49 PM

Mick,
Thanks I think I understand now. I guess the main advantage to a crop mode is a smaller file and a bit faster continuous shooting. That about it?

mklass

Tacoma, US
7437 posts

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#8. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 7

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Sat 25-May-13 04:49 PM

Pretty much. Plus it might save you a step in post.

Mick
http://www.mickklassphoto.com
or
Visit my nikonians gallery

blw

Richmond, US
28704 posts

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#9. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 7

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Sat 25-May-13 07:37 PM

That's why it's called a crop mode. It crops for you. That's all it does. You get the same result by shooting the entire frame, then cropping in post. Or you you'll also get the same result by shooting the whole frame, then printing the cropped section at the size you want, even though it takes a bigger piece of paper - and then using a paper cutter to crop out the desired section. Confused by that last thing? Here's an example: shoot a picture; the bird is probably a little speck in the middle of the frame - maybe a quarter of the frame horizontally? If you want that bird 8x10, make a (say) 12x18" print of the whole frame. Then cut away all but the inside 8x10" - that's the same thing that you'd get by shooting a DX crop mode. The only differences are the size of the file written on CF or disk, the possibility of cropping it differently, and perhaps depending on which camera, how the matrix meter might have read the frame. But there's NO difference in resolution or magnification, since the focal length of the lens isn't changing.

When you may have read about "DX has greater reach" that's assuming some special conditions, for example that the FX and DX sensors being compared have the same number of pixels. An example of that occurred with the D3 and D300 - both were 12mp. But the DX D300 put those 12mp into the much smaller central DX area, so if the subject was only in the DX area (ie was at a given distance and focal length) you'd end up with more pixels on the subject with DX than with FX. But that's only when they're the same or similar pixel count. If for example you have a 24mp DX sensor (eg D3200), there are more pixels in the DX area than even a D800 provides - about 15mp. On the other hand, a D800's 15mp in that central DX area has more resolution and therefore "more reach" than a DX D300 - which has only 12mp there, and certainly more than a D2h which has only 4mp in that same area.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

jamesvoortman

Durban, ZA
1479 posts

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#10. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 3

jamesvoortman Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Sep 2004
Sun 26-May-13 05:04 AM | edited Sun 26-May-13 05:16 AM by jamesvoortman

Aspect ratio is the ratio of width to height of an image. It changes the shape of the image. To some extent, the aspect ratio changes the way you compose your images while shooting

Standard 35mm film (and now FX) aspect ratio is 3:2. The image is 36mm wide and 24mm high.
In DX mode, the image is 24mm x 16mm so the aspect ratio remains the same at 3:2

Almost all P&S cameras as well as some SLR formats like the Olympus DSLRS and many of the new mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras use the 4:3 format. This has a shape similar to old style TV screen and computer monitors before the wide screen styles became popular. D800 can crop to produce 4:3 images.

Modern HDMI format video has a 16 : 9 aspect ratio (this is wider than the standard 3:2 of FX).

Page 87 of your D800 manual shows the different aspect ratios that the D800 can provide for stills. These are 3:2 (DX and FX), 4:3 and 5:4

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jamesvoortman

Durban, ZA
1479 posts

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#11. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 7

jamesvoortman Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Sep 2004
Sun 26-May-13 05:13 AM

I find that the crop mode is only useful when shooting with a DX lens. Shooting full frame with FX lenses gives you much more latitude for cropping the image later, especially where the subject's position in the image may warrant an off-centre crop to improve the final composition.

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doc85

West Lafayette, US
397 posts

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#12. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 10

doc85 Registered since 17th Jul 2008
Sun 26-May-13 03:09 PM

Oh people, thank you so much for taking the time to expand my knowledge of this subject. Even though I know much of this has been discussed before it has helped me and perhaps some others as well.

danshep

Olympia, US
1629 posts

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#13. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 2

danshep Gold Member Charter Member
Sun 26-May-13 06:35 PM



Oh, you have a picture of FOG, Dan? Lets see! 8o}



"Today is the tomorrow that yesterday you spent money like there was no"

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kodiak photo

Montréal, (Qc), CA
734 posts

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#14. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 6

kodiak photo Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Feb 2013
Sun 26-May-13 06:43 PM


*
Hi Mick,

As I wrote:

" With your D800 in DX mode,
with the 300mm plus your 1.4 TC
means that your would be shooting at "630 mm"!
Nice illusion! "

Kodiak
Groovy Shootings
Image Média
www.kodiakmedia.at

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
In photography, light is free but catching it is not!
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

RWSTARRETT

Gardnerville, US
149 posts

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#15. "RE: Crop Modes" | In response to Reply # 9

RWSTARRETT Gold Member Nikonian since 03rd Feb 2009
Mon 27-May-13 01:17 PM

Now that was a really clear explanation, so even I understand! Thanks so much, Brian.

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G