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Thread: four-thirds vs. full frame

  1. #26
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    Default Re: four-thirds vs. full frame

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim the Grey
    4/3 is 'Full Frame', for 4/3. ...
    I'm sorry, but that is not true. It is a misuse of the phrase. Olympus does not claim that their 4/3rds image sensors are "full frame". What they say is that their sensors are "full frame transfer CCDs" and this is talking about something entirely different. Please read my first post to this thread and follow the link at the end to Olympus' webpage on this subject. "Full frame" in the context of a small-format camera refers only to the size of a 35mm film frame.

    What you probably mean is that a 4/3rds lens is not cropped by a 4/3rds sensor because the image circle of the lens is properly matched to the sensor format. This has nothing to do with "full frame".


    Quote Originally Posted by finemom
    ...What exactly is the crop factor and how does that relate to our four thirds?
    You can safely ignore the "crop factor". Whether or not a crop factor exists depends on the lens image circle in relation to the sensor size and that would take us away from your topic. As long as you use a 4/3rds lens on your 4/3rds camera and your Canon friend uses a full-frame lens on his full-frame camera, neither of you will have a crop factor.
    Best regards, FL

    Pursuing excellence...

  2. #27
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    Default Re: four-thirds vs. full frame

    thanks all for your help, when I get confused again I'll reread this thread and remind myself of everything.

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    Default Re: four-thirds vs. full frame

    Quote Originally Posted by finemom
    I disagree with comparing the same lenses if you aren't getting the same image at the same distance. I'm going to be standing in the same spot and would have to spend more for the Canon lens to get the same shot, assuming I understand all this. But that's only with a FF camera, right? What about their other cameras as compared to Oly? They probably come out better as a comparison of the same lens.
    Let me answer in two parts.

    First, yes, the non FF cameras are closer in FOV.... the Canon XT, and 10/20/30D are all a 1.6x "crop factor" to the Oly's 2x. Nikons current digital bodies give 1.5x.

    Back to cost. Unless someone else can explain why, not, it seems to me that two lenses of equal focal length (or range), build quality, sharpness, etc. from different manufacturers should cost about the same.

    I don't see where the cost to manufacture a hunk of glass has any relation to the size of the sensor used to record an image from it. An F2.8, 200mm lens is an F2.8 200mm lens, whether it's on a FF body or one with a 1.5x, 1.6x, or 2x crop.

    Yes, FF bodies will require you to buy more expensive lenses to achieve the same FOV, and that's a trade off to consider, but the argument should be that (for zoom/reach fans) 4/3 allows you to use shorter, and thus less expensive lenses. But that's not the same as justifying the cost of a 200mm Oly lens by comparing it to a 400mm Canon one.

  4. #29
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    Default Re: four-thirds vs. full frame

    Quote Originally Posted by InigMntoya
    Back to cost. Unless someone else can explain why, not, it seems to me that two lenses of equal focal length (or range), build quality, sharpness, etc. from different manufacturers should cost about the same.
    There are a few things to consider:

    - Quality. The Olympus lenses are overall of a very high quality, weather sealed (most) and well made (mostly in Japan). You only find this level of build generally on the high-end Nikons/Canons and often not even then, so this will account for some of the higher cost.

    - Lenses. Now this is where things get interesting. I've said before that, while Nikon/Canon et al have many more lenses available compared to Olympus, when you look closely, they are all somewhat of a 'fractured' system. In this case I'm mainly speaking of zooms, as that really is the way of the world nowadays, except for specialised lenses. There is simply not the smooth overlap of zoom ranges in other systems, compared to what you have in the Olympus system. Nor do you find zooms that are as fast across the board; most are at least one, if not more stops slower. That's why I decided to stay with Olympus, it might not be a la carte, but it's not a dog's breakfast either. The focal lengths and speed of the lenses are likely another reason for the higher cost in some cases.

    - Return on Investment. Olympus started from scratch and had no existing tooling, designs, templates etc on which to amortise some of the setup costs, so this would add to the overall price. Nikon/Canon et al have relied significantly on their legacy lenses and have begrudgingly designed a few new ones to better fit the smaller sensors. Note that many of the Olympus lenses have fallen in price from when originally issued. This is the price one pays for being an early adopter.

    Even with the points I've made, often it's futile to compare the price of one brand to another. The prices are what the prices are; if one is not happy, then there's always that green grass over the fence. This applies to any product, be it a car, sound system, guitar etc. I'm happy to pay the price, for Olympus gear because I know I'll be getting something of high quality and fully compatible with the rest of the system. ;-)

    Cheers

    Ray

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    Default Re: four-thirds vs. full frame

    I'm confused all over again. If I am at a high school football game and sit at the top of the stands and use my 50-200, am I correct in assuming that if I had a FF Canon I could sit in the middle of the stands and get the same fov? And the Oly images would be smaller? Would that also mean with a Canon XT I would be sitting 3/4 of the way back to get the same fov?

  6. #31
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    Default Re: four-thirds vs. full frame

    Dear Finemom:

    Go to the game, sit where you want, and snap away. Shoot the pictures you want with the equipment you brought to the game. Do not let all the technical and marketing drivel bog you down.

    Carl

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    Default Re: four-thirds vs. full frame

    Hi Finemom,
    You are right. The 5D shooter will be in the middle, the 350xt shooter will be about 3/4 of the way and the E500 shooter way back. They will have roughly similar FOV if they all use lens of the same focal lenght.
    Regards,
    Alfred

  8. #33
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    Default Re: four-thirds vs. full frame

    NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4/3 IS FULL FRAME 4/3.
    It is not a cropped 35mm ANYTHING.
    Only Canon refer to 'crop factors' because they have 35mm film size sensors in 2 bodies. All their other DSLR are 'cropped'.

    Otherwise, if you are right, then what is the crop factor for a 6x6 film camera?

    Yes, I do know what I am talking about, thank you...
    My ears are grey, my knees are knackered, my eyes are old and bent...

    Oly E1 x2 now, both with SHLD-2, 11-22, 14-54, 50-200, EC-14, FL-50, FP-1, various cables, cards etc in a Billingham 335 or Lowe Mini Trekker.

    Oly OM-1 x2, OM fit 24/28/35/50/85/135 plus others.

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  9. #34
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    Default Re: four-thirds vs. full frame

    Quote Originally Posted by InigMntoya
    Back to cost. Unless someone else can explain why, not, it seems to me that two lenses of equal focal length (or range), build quality, sharpness, etc. from different manufacturers should cost about the same.

    I don't see where the cost to manufacture a hunk of glass has any relation to the size of the sensor used to record an image from it. An F2.8, 200mm lens is an F2.8 200mm lens, whether it's on a FF body or one with a 1.5x, 1.6x, or 2x crop.
    Well, there may be one technical argument to justify higher costs for lenses of the same focal length that are made for smaller format cameras; the smaller the sensor format the higher the lens and sensor resolution must be to produce an equivalent quality print of the same size as that produced from a larger sensor format camera. This is true because the smaller the sensor the greater the print enlargement is needed. So the smaller the sensor format, the higher the lens resolution must be just to maintain parity. That, of course, is why large and medium format cameras can get by with relatively shabby lenses. Think of the relatively high technical quality of some of the Civil War photos or other images of that era, or even the more recent Ansel Adams photos.
    Good shooting,
    English Bob

  10. #35
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    Default Re: four-thirds vs. full frame

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim the Grey
    ...4/3 IS FULL FRAME 4/3.
    It is not a cropped 35mm ANYTHING.
    Only Canon refer to 'crop factors' because they have 35mm film size sensors in 2 bodies. All their other DSLR are 'cropped'. ...
    Tim the Grey,

    You are still using the phrase "full frame" incorrectly. It has nothing to do with crop factors. Please carefully re-read my first post to this thread and follow the link I provided to Olympus' explanation of their "full frame transfer CCD".

    If, after you have carefully read both my post and Olympus' webpage on this subject, you still do not agree then you need to logically explain your reasoning point by point. Otherwise you need to let the matter lie.
    Best regards, FL

    Pursuing excellence...

  11. #36
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    Default Re: four-thirds vs. full frame

    well, the 4/3 sensor in the olympus camera is as "full-frame" as a 24x36 frame in a Leica, a 6x6 frame in a Hasselblad, a 6x7 in a Mamiya, etc.

    and yes there is also the "full frame transfer CCD" Olympus talks about and yes that is something completly different. but that doesn't mean that the 4/3 sensor can't be considered as a "full frame" sensor. the whole notion of the word "full frame" as far as i consider is completly meaningless.

  12. #37
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    Default Full Frame -- lens design and image size together

    Full frame involves both the image size produced by the lens and the size of the image being recorded by either film or CCD. Full frame means that the image circle that the lens delivers -- matches the size of the image being recorded (whether that is film or a CCD).

    ZD lens have an image circe designed for the 4/3rd's CCD and thus are full frame lenses in a 4/3rds system camera body.

    Canon's "legacy" lenses are full frame lenses for 35mm size film or 35mm sized CCD's. Canon produces three different CCD sizes and Canon has chosen to define full-frame to be the 35mm size CCD even though they produce digital lenses with image circel size to match the smaller CCD's.

    Nikon only produces one size CCD and the Nikon digital lenses are full-frame for their digital SLRs and their legacy lenses are full-frame for 35mm sized recorders (which in Nikon's case is only their film cameras).

    Now that Leica (lenses) and Panasonic (camera) are actively involved in the 4/3rd system there is a stronger case to use the term full-frame for the 4/3rd system.

    As previous posters have noted: Photography has "gone" from 8x10 inch full-frame to 4x5 inch full frame (which at first was considered a press camera mini-size) to 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 inch size (now referred to as "mid-size") to 18x36MM, or 35mm size which was once considered minature size introduced by Leica in the 1920's!

    Each time a new, smaller film and lens combination was introduced, photographers bemoned the lower quality and extolled the advantages of the "normal" or larger size.

    Here we go, all over again!

    PS: there is a lot of merit to this original question, as photography involves previsualization of what the photograph will look like when printed or viewd on the screen. And previsualiztion requires an understanding/feeling for the right lens (or focal length) to use with ones camera and that brings us right back to the original question!

  13. #38
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    Default Re: four-thirds vs. full frame

    Quote Originally Posted by E B
    Well, there may be one technical argument to justify higher costs for lenses of the same focal length that are made for smaller format cameras; the smaller the sensor format the higher the lens and sensor resolution must be to produce an equivalent quality print of the same size as that produced from a larger sensor format camera.
    I'll buy that, though I think we'll need to see the results of some of these lenses on the next higher MP count sensor (12MP?) to see if the lens resolution is there.

  14. #39
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    Default Re: four-thirds vs. full frame

    Quote Originally Posted by InigMntoya
    I'll buy that, though I think we'll need to see the results of some of these lenses on the next higher MP count sensor (12MP?) to see if the lens resolution is there.
    Olympus claims the lens resolution is there and the MTF charts, incomplete as they are, seem to support Olympus' claims against approximately equivalent lenses from other manufacturers. Still, only an actual demonstration with a production line camera will validate Olympus' approach, as you point out.
    Good shooting,
    English Bob

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