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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Full Format and Cropped...Just wondering if some1 can explain the difference between the cropped sensor in my D50 and the full format (35mm?) ...
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Old 25-01-2009, 07:26   #1 (permalink)
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Full Format and Cropped

Just wondering if some1 can explain the difference between the cropped sensor in my D50 and the full format (35mm?) sensor in full frame cameras like the D2? Preferably in laymans terms. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 25-01-2009, 08:59   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Full Format and Cropped

Basically what u see throu the view finder is what u get on a FF on a cropped u get the same pic with the top bottom and sides cut off to a degree.
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Old 25-01-2009, 10:26   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Full Format and Cropped

FF sensor is the same size as a 35mm negative/slide.

Cameras that do not have FF sensors have physically smaller sensors and this has the effect of increasing the effective focal lengths of the lenses that you use by a factor of 1.6. (Some Canon cameras have a crop factor of 1.3).

This means that normal human eye view is obtained with a 50mm lens on a FF/35mm film camera, but with your D50, a 30mm lens will give the same view (as near as makes no difference)

So a 70-200 lens when strapped onto your D50 will give you a 98-280mm view.

Top quality lenses are needed to give best results with FF sensors, but with a crop factor sensor cheaper lenses can give good results because it is the edge of the lens that is where the cheaper lenses tend to fall behind top glass, and the edges of the lens are not captured by the smaller sensors.
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Old 25-01-2009, 12:06   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Full Format and Cropped

Thanks for the speedy responses! It also explains why the lenses advertised with full frame bodys are considerably more expensive. Do full frame sensors have any advantage in image quality over cropped sensors? I would like to upgrade but funds have limited me to a pre-owned equipment. A D200 comfortably or stretch out to a D2xs. Is it worth the extra time saving for the full frame and replacing all my glass? Or stick to the D200?
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Old 25-01-2009, 12:32   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Full Format and Cropped

FF cameras are at the top of the tree for portraits and landscape work, but might not do quite so well for sport or action. As always, it really depends what you want to do most.

I'd say that for most amateurs FF is not necessary and both the D200 and D2X will give great results. The D2X is a pro body that is built like a tank, but any used one you buy is more likely to have been used by a pro, so is likely to have had a harder working life and a higher shutter count than the D200 which is a serious amateur camera and more likely to have had an easier life/lower shutter count. Generally speaking, of course.

You really need to evaluate what you are doing/where you are going with your photography and then look at the cameras that will support your needs.
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Old 25-01-2009, 12:45   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Full Format and Cropped

Remember that there is nothing sacrosanct about the 35mm format - it was chosen for convenience so they could use movie film in 'compact' still cameras. The larger the sensor/film the better the quality can be, but it depends on whether you'd actually notice the difference at normal viewing sizes.

There's nothing wrong with the 1.6x crop factor format (APS-C), and I'd stick with it unless you are willing to spend on larger and heavier lenses. Full-frame makes use of the lens to the edges, whereas APS-C uses the centre portion where quality is usually better.
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Old 25-01-2009, 17:25   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Full Format and Cropped

Thanks again!! I've spent a couple of months trying to understand all this... I wish I found this site sooner! It can be daunting speaking to the shop pros. I took some ok photos of the harbour tonight, so when I work out how to upload them it'd be great to receive some input!!
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Old 25-01-2009, 17:43   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Full Format and Cropped

Here is a guide for re sizing (forgive me if you already know)

http://www.pixalo.com/community/tuto...html#post95055

Once you have an image in the gallery, click on it to get the full size picture and below it you will see two lines of code. Copy the top line and paste it into your post/thread and job done.

You might find it easier to have two windows open - one for the forum and the other for the gallery.
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Old 26-01-2009, 23:58   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Full Format and Cropped

By the way the Nikon crop factor is 1.5 so is easier to work out 50mm becomes 75mm
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Old 27-01-2009, 12:23   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Full Format and Cropped

Do remember that, given the same pixel count, smaller sensors mean smaller receptor sites. This has consequences for noise and contrast levels in the final image. Put simply, bigger sensors give you more information in the capture, with less noise.

In every day use, this isn't a big deal but if you want to do things like night photography or you're taking wedding pictures with a wide contrast range between the bride's white lace dress and the groom's dark suit, then you'll see a difference, provided everything else is equal.

Your problem is that everything else isn't equal, as the technology improves rapidly. So a 2 year old full frame sensor may not be any better than a newly released 'C-format' sensor, that's only 75% of the size.

But, hey, who said life should be easy?
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