September 21, 2014, 04:18:35 PM

Author Topic: Canon's Medium Format  (Read 21994 times)

CarlTN

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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #75 on: March 21, 2014, 04:00:56 AM »
Regarding leaf shutters, sorry if this is an idiotic question...but why can't leaf shutters be designed into the 135 system?  Does the physics work against it because of the smaller format and image circle?

Not at all, many smaller formats have had leaf shutters. The fact that the slrs have focal plane shutters isn't a problem either: the Pentax 6x7 was a '35mm' slr on steroids with a normal focal plane shutter, but you could get a standard focal length lens for it with a leaf shutter for high speed flash. The focal plane shutter was just locked open.

Perhaps the biggest issue might be the 'light leak'; is the mating surfaces of the interchangeable lenses good enough to keep light out, though with digital if the sensor isnt charged all the time I guess it would be OK.

Very interesting.  I've sold some of my Mom's 67 lenses, never noticed a leaf shutter.  But then she didn't use flash anyway, I guess it was an option or something.  I'm trying to sell the last working 67 body now on ebay, wanna buy it?  Also have one remaining 300mm f/4...it might sell soon, haven't checked in the past couple of hours.  Started bidding at only $105 for this last auction.

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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #75 on: March 21, 2014, 04:00:56 AM »

CarlTN

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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #76 on: March 21, 2014, 04:03:13 AM »
An alternative from Canon, where they made a body with a 36x36 size sensor, would be interesting.

That would give a number of advantages:
- 50% area increase
- 27MP with the same pixle size as the 1DX sensor (or 54MP with the same pixle size as the a7r/800)
- All EF lenses would work

If I could get a 40MP-ish sensor, with proper high ISO performance, a fair fps and Canon user interface in a reasonably sized body ... It would put a abrupt stop to my Phase One ambitions ...

I know some will oppose a square image format, but that would be OK with me. Thoughts?

I don't see why that would be any better than just going up a centimeter in each dimension, and making a whole new line of lenses.  It's not as if many couldn't afford to buy new lenses.  And like I said, 10 years from now, it's quite possible they would be making super telephoto lenses to go along with the new mount and larger image circle.  Weight need not be an issue, the physical size of everything would not be much bigger.

Don Haines

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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #77 on: March 21, 2014, 09:50:50 AM »
An alternative from Canon, where they made a body with a 36x36 size sensor, would be interesting.

That would give a number of advantages:
- 50% area increase
- 27MP with the same pixle size as the 1DX sensor (or 54MP with the same pixle size as the a7r/800)
- All EF lenses would work

If I could get a 40MP-ish sensor, with proper high ISO performance, a fair fps and Canon user interface in a reasonably sized body ... It would put a abrupt stop to my Phase One ambitions ...

I know some will oppose a square image format, but that would be OK with me. Thoughts?

I don't see why that would be any better than just going up a centimeter in each dimension, and making a whole new line of lenses.  It's not as if many couldn't afford to buy new lenses.  And like I said, 10 years from now, it's quite possible they would be making super telephoto lenses to go along with the new mount and larger image circle.  Weight need not be an issue, the physical size of everything would not be much bigger.
Double the sensor and you cube the weight of the lens to get the same field of view.... That's twice as long, twice as high, twice as wide.... Eight times the weight...

These two lenses have the same field of view and F-stop. The small one is from an Olympus 4/3 system and the big one fits Canon FF....a lot of the width of the small one are the focus motors, just look at the lens caps to get an idea of the difference in the weight of the glass....

I, for one, will not be paying for a lens that dwarfs the Canon "big whites"
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privatebydesign

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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #78 on: March 21, 2014, 10:51:38 PM »
There would be absolutely zero point to a 36x36 sensor, you get a 50% increase but have to have new lenses and bodies to do it. EF lenses will not cover a 36mm square sensor, EF lenses don't have the flange distance to cover a 36mm sensor on the vertical side if you use a reflex design.

The idea is a non starter.
I must admit I don´t understand that. Can you please explain why vertical is more of a problem than horizontal, considering that the optical opening of a lens is perfectly round?

Hi Eldar, as has been pointed out, and you have acknowledged, the EF image circle won't cover a 36mm square sensor. That is the first picture, the orange circle is a 43mm circle, the same as EF lenses projection circle, the purple rectangle 36mm x 24mm, the green square is 36mm x 36mm.

But I made two points, and you asked why vertical is more problematic. Again it is to do with geometry, I have put some figures on a diagram I took from the net. The Flange Focal Distance (the distance from the outer face of the lens mount to the sensor) for EF lenses is 44mm, for a 24mm height image you need a mirror 34mm high at 45º and there is clearly room for it to swing out of the way. If you needed 36mm coverage on the vertical side the mirror would have to be 51mm tall at 45º, obviously that can't fit if it is to swing out of the way. In theory you'd have 8mm to put your shutter, sensor and lens mount if it was a fixed pelical mirror, but that still couldn't deal with the image circle.

Hope this helps.
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privatebydesign

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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #79 on: March 22, 2014, 12:54:56 AM »
P.S. If my shaky maths is correct the biggest square you can get out of a 43mm diameter circle is just over 30mm, for a total area of 924mm², which is a bigger area than the current 36x24 at 864mm², but I doubt if it would be popular. Though even that would require a 42mm mirror!
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Eldar

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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #80 on: March 22, 2014, 01:17:07 AM »
P.S. If my shaky maths is correct the biggest square you can get out of a 43mm diameter circle is just over 30mm, for a total area of 924mm², which is a bigger area than the current 36x24 at 864mm², but I doubt if it would be popular. Though even that would require a 42mm mirror!
Thanks Ptrivate. I got the lens area issue sorted, as soon as I turned on my brain ::) The other explanation was less obvious. Thanks for that. I also agree regarding the max square format you could get. That would not fly.
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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #81 on: March 22, 2014, 01:21:28 AM »
An alternative from Canon, where they made a body with a 36x36 size sensor, would be interesting.

That would give a number of advantages:
- 50% area increase
- 27MP with the same pixle size as the 1DX sensor (or 54MP with the same pixle size as the a7r/800)
- All EF lenses would work

If I could get a 40MP-ish sensor, with proper high ISO performance, a fair fps and Canon user interface in a reasonably sized body ... It would put a abrupt stop to my Phase One ambitions ...

I know some will oppose a square image format, but that would be OK with me. Thoughts?

I don't see why that would be any better than just going up a centimeter in each dimension, and making a whole new line of lenses.  It's not as if many couldn't afford to buy new lenses.  And like I said, 10 years from now, it's quite possible they would be making super telephoto lenses to go along with the new mount and larger image circle.  Weight need not be an issue, the physical size of everything would not be much bigger.
Double the sensor and you cube the weight of the lens to get the same field of view.... That's twice as long, twice as high, twice as wide.... Eight times the weight...

These two lenses have the same field of view and F-stop. The small one is from an Olympus 4/3 system and the big one fits Canon FF....a lot of the width of the small one are the focus motors, just look at the lens caps to get an idea of the difference in the weight of the glass....

I, for one, will not be paying for a lens that dwarfs the Canon "big whites"

I agree, I wouldn't want to be using lenses that much larger than the Canon great whites. That said, if Canon ever did enter the medium format market, I suspect they would be serving the same customers as the current offerings in that market: Studio photographers, and possibly landscape and the rare wedding photographer. That's really what medium format services.

Those cameras usually don't even have frame rates much above 3fps, and nothing anywhere close to 10-12fps. Achieving that kind of readout rate would be rather difficult as well. Canon achieved it once with the 120mp APS-H, but as far as I know that was with a special test bench, not an actual camera with existing data storage devices.

If we figured on 4µm pixels, a 44x33mm sensor (the "crop" sensor of the medium format world) would be 90mp. If we figured on a 54x40mm sensor (the size of an IQ180), that would be 135mp. If we also assume 16 bit data, rather than 14 bit, were talking a LOT of data to move around for each frame, 180 to 270 megabytes per raw image. You could get 0.9fps with a single DIGIC5+ (which has 250mbps throughput), and less than 2fps with dual DIGIC5+. You would need something like a DIGIC7+ with some 7x the performance of a single DIGIC5+ to get 5fps at those image sizes, and there is no question you would need MUCH faster memory cards to handle that kind of throughput for a useful continuous buffer depth. Even then, I still don't see such a camera being used for action photography...it would just be too big and unwieldy. Even if it was mirrorless, it's the body and lens size that really kills you at longer focal lengths.
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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #81 on: March 22, 2014, 01:21:28 AM »

Don Haines

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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #82 on: March 22, 2014, 01:42:54 AM »
An alternative from Canon, where they made a body with a 36x36 size sensor, would be interesting.

That would give a number of advantages:
- 50% area increase
- 27MP with the same pixle size as the 1DX sensor (or 54MP with the same pixle size as the a7r/800)
- All EF lenses would work

If I could get a 40MP-ish sensor, with proper high ISO performance, a fair fps and Canon user interface in a reasonably sized body ... It would put a abrupt stop to my Phase One ambitions ...

I know some will oppose a square image format, but that would be OK with me. Thoughts?

I don't see why that would be any better than just going up a centimeter in each dimension, and making a whole new line of lenses.  It's not as if many couldn't afford to buy new lenses.  And like I said, 10 years from now, it's quite possible they would be making super telephoto lenses to go along with the new mount and larger image circle.  Weight need not be an issue, the physical size of everything would not be much bigger.
Double the sensor and you cube the weight of the lens to get the same field of view.... That's twice as long, twice as high, twice as wide.... Eight times the weight...

These two lenses have the same field of view and F-stop. The small one is from an Olympus 4/3 system and the big one fits Canon FF....a lot of the width of the small one are the focus motors, just look at the lens caps to get an idea of the difference in the weight of the glass....

I, for one, will not be paying for a lens that dwarfs the Canon "big whites"

I agree, I wouldn't want to be using lenses that much larger than the Canon great whites. That said, if Canon ever did enter the medium format market, I suspect they would be serving the same customers as the current offerings in that market: Studio photographers, and possibly landscape and the rare wedding photographer. That's really what medium format services.

Those cameras usually don't even have frame rates much above 3fps, and nothing anywhere close to 10-12fps. Achieving that kind of readout rate would be rather difficult as well. Canon achieved it once with the 120mp APS-H, but as far as I know that was with a special test bench, not an actual camera with existing data storage devices.

If we figured on 4µm pixels, a 44x33mm sensor (the "crop" sensor of the medium format world) would be 90mp. If we figured on a 54x40mm sensor (the size of an IQ180), that would be 135mp. If we also assume 16 bit data, rather than 14 bit, were talking a LOT of data to move around for each frame, 180 to 270 megabytes per raw image. You could get 0.9fps with a single DIGIC5+ (which has 250mbps throughput), and less than 2fps with dual DIGIC5+. You would need something like a DIGIC7+ with some 7x the performance of a single DIGIC5+ to get 5fps at those image sizes, and there is no question you would need MUCH faster memory cards to handle that kind of throughput for a useful continuous buffer depth. Even then, I still don't see such a camera being used for action photography...it would just be too big and unwieldy. Even if it was mirrorless, it's the body and lens size that really kills you at longer focal lengths.
As someone who has hauled around a 4x5 and sherpa'd a 8x10 and even used the kodak disc camera (the iPhone of the film world), I have always thought that 35mm was the sweet spot for ergonomics... Big enough for quality but small enough for portability. In the studio, portability isn't much of a concern so medium format was the hot technology.... And when doing landscapes or architectural nothing touched large format, particularly when you could tilt and angle both the film plane and lens plane to straighten out buildings or warp the focus plane... Sort of like a tilt/shift lens on steroids.....

There is definitely a place for everything, but going to a larger format really makes the size and cost of everything skyrocket... It isn't as simple (or inexpensive) as slapping in a bigger sensor. Your point about file sizes and read speeds hammers in the point.... EVERYTHING is affected.
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jrista

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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #83 on: March 22, 2014, 03:24:25 PM »
I agree, I wouldn't want to be using lenses that much larger than the Canon great whites. That said, if Canon ever did enter the medium format market, I suspect they would be serving the same customers as the current offerings in that market: Studio photographers, and possibly landscape and the rare wedding photographer. That's really what medium format services.

Those cameras usually don't even have frame rates much above 3fps, and nothing anywhere close to 10-12fps. Achieving that kind of readout rate would be rather difficult as well. Canon achieved it once with the 120mp APS-H, but as far as I know that was with a special test bench, not an actual camera with existing data storage devices.

If we figured on 4µm pixels, a 44x33mm sensor (the "crop" sensor of the medium format world) would be 90mp. If we figured on a 54x40mm sensor (the size of an IQ180), that would be 135mp. If we also assume 16 bit data, rather than 14 bit, were talking a LOT of data to move around for each frame, 180 to 270 megabytes per raw image. You could get 0.9fps with a single DIGIC5+ (which has 250mbps throughput), and less than 2fps with dual DIGIC5+. You would need something like a DIGIC7+ with some 7x the performance of a single DIGIC5+ to get 5fps at those image sizes, and there is no question you would need MUCH faster memory cards to handle that kind of throughput for a useful continuous buffer depth. Even then, I still don't see such a camera being used for action photography...it would just be too big and unwieldy. Even if it was mirrorless, it's the body and lens size that really kills you at longer focal lengths.
As someone who has hauled around a 4x5 and sherpa'd a 8x10 and even used the kodak disc camera (the iPhone of the film world), I have always thought that 35mm was the sweet spot for ergonomics... Big enough for quality but small enough for portability. In the studio, portability isn't much of a concern so medium format was the hot technology.... And when doing landscapes or architectural nothing touched large format, particularly when you could tilt and angle both the film plane and lens plane to straighten out buildings or warp the focus plane... Sort of like a tilt/shift lens on steroids.....

There is definitely a place for everything, but going to a larger format really makes the size and cost of everything skyrocket... It isn't as simple (or inexpensive) as slapping in a bigger sensor. Your point about file sizes and read speeds hammers in the point.... EVERYTHING is affected.

Aye, it's a global scale factor. ;)

I agree that fully functional lenses with all movements (bellows, tilt, shift, rotation, focus) are awesome for landscape and architecture. I think those kinds of features are also useful for macro. It's too bad that such lenses aren't more common. Without them, it feels like you just don't have the full functionality of a "proper" camera. ;P

The cost of existing modern medium format and large format film cameras should be an indication of the fact that it isn't just the sensor that gets larger. Linhof, Takahashi, Ebony, Graflex, Wista, Cambo, etc. all sell for anywhere from $2500 to $8000 just for the LF camera itself (and some of the higher quality wood cameras that have gold plated knobs and the like sell for over $10,000 new). The lenses all sell for anywhere from $4000 to $25,000.  For new stuff manufactured today. And the longest lenses available for these cameras are around 900-1200mm, which when you figure 4x5 or 8x10, is not even as narrow a field of view as a 600mm lens on 35mm! The smallest lenses are around 160mm, and those are ULTRA WIDE field of view for such a large image plane.

So I totally agree. Going larger than 35mm scales everything up, and just takes it out of the realm of practicality for most forms of photography. I think it is indeed useful for certain things, like landscapes, architecture, studio. I think FILM large format actually still has the edge over digital options in many respects. A high resolution drum scan of a single 4x5 slide results in a file that is about 500mb in size, and which gets close to 200 megapixels. I think there are even interpolation algorithms in modern drum scanners that can push that number higher, making 4x5 film LF cameras the best way to pack in the pixels...way more pixels than even MFD cameras do (with the possible exception of the Hasselblad 200mp sensor shifting mosaic feature).
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CarlTN

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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #84 on: March 23, 2014, 06:28:54 PM »
An alternative from Canon, where they made a body with a 36x36 size sensor, would be interesting.

That would give a number of advantages:
- 50% area increase
- 27MP with the same pixle size as the 1DX sensor (or 54MP with the same pixle size as the a7r/800)
- All EF lenses would work

If I could get a 40MP-ish sensor, with proper high ISO performance, a fair fps and Canon user interface in a reasonably sized body ... It would put a abrupt stop to my Phase One ambitions ...

I know some will oppose a square image format, but that would be OK with me. Thoughts?

I don't see why that would be any better than just going up a centimeter in each dimension, and making a whole new line of lenses.  It's not as if many couldn't afford to buy new lenses.  And like I said, 10 years from now, it's quite possible they would be making super telephoto lenses to go along with the new mount and larger image circle.  Weight need not be an issue, the physical size of everything would not be much bigger.
Double the sensor and you cube the weight of the lens to get the same field of view.... That's twice as long, twice as high, twice as wide.... Eight times the weight...

These two lenses have the same field of view and F-stop. The small one is from an Olympus 4/3 system and the big one fits Canon FF....a lot of the width of the small one are the focus motors, just look at the lens caps to get an idea of the difference in the weight of the glass....

I, for one, will not be paying for a lens that dwarfs the Canon "big whites"

I agree, I wouldn't want to be using lenses that much larger than the Canon great whites. That said, if Canon ever did enter the medium format market, I suspect they would be serving the same customers as the current offerings in that market: Studio photographers, and possibly landscape and the rare wedding photographer. That's really what medium format services.

Those cameras usually don't even have frame rates much above 3fps, and nothing anywhere close to 10-12fps. Achieving that kind of readout rate would be rather difficult as well. Canon achieved it once with the 120mp APS-H, but as far as I know that was with a special test bench, not an actual camera with existing data storage devices.

If we figured on 4µm pixels, a 44x33mm sensor (the "crop" sensor of the medium format world) would be 90mp. If we figured on a 54x40mm sensor (the size of an IQ180), that would be 135mp. If we also assume 16 bit data, rather than 14 bit, were talking a LOT of data to move around for each frame, 180 to 270 megabytes per raw image. You could get 0.9fps with a single DIGIC5+ (which has 250mbps throughput), and less than 2fps with dual DIGIC5+. You would need something like a DIGIC7+ with some 7x the performance of a single DIGIC5+ to get 5fps at those image sizes, and there is no question you would need MUCH faster memory cards to handle that kind of throughput for a useful continuous buffer depth. Even then, I still don't see such a camera being used for action photography...it would just be too big and unwieldy. Even if it was mirrorless, it's the body and lens size that really kills you at longer focal lengths.

I was saying that the same focal length lenses are really not that much larger or heavier.  My mom's 300mm f/4 lens for the 67 format, is 3.4 pounds, and its made of heavy brass.  Yet its image circle allows an almost square sensor dimension that is 70mm wide!  That's hardly cubing the weight of Canon's lighter and more modern designed 300mm f/4 EF lens.  I really don't see this math adding up, to be honest, because you're forgetting that you wouldn't need to match the FOV... 

If a medium format sensor say 40 to 45mm wide, has 100 megapixels, then you really wouldn't need to be cubing the weight of a 600mm lens, to get similar magnification at the pixel level, to what you get with the 5D3 with a 600mm lens.  If you don't need the full 100 MP, they could simply adopt Nikon's approach and allow you to shoot in crop mode.  (That would be the common sense approach).  Who cares if the actual focal length is shorter if the pixel size is similar to begin with?

My point of view is sound, here, I believe.  Nobody expects a 3000mm f/4 supertelephoto lens to be used on a future medium format camera whose sensor is 100 MP, and have it be portable.  That was not what I was saying at all.  To argue that is rather silly.

As for lugging 4x5 film cameras around...that's also missing the point entirely.  I'm calling anything from around 40mm wide and larger, as "medium format"...4x5  inches is a sensor 127mm wide.  In my assertion about what pros might be using in 10 years, I was not speculating at all that a sensor would be anywhere near that large.  Frankly that's just stupid...nobody thinks that would ever be in widespread use.  Even 10 years from now with lowered manufacturing costs and improved processes, a digital sensor that size would still cost $1 million, if not several.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 06:34:33 PM by CarlTN »

jrista

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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #85 on: March 23, 2014, 07:44:47 PM »
I was saying that the same focal length lenses are really not that much larger or heavier.  My mom's 300mm f/4 lens for the 67 format, is 3.4 pounds, and its made of heavy brass.  Yet its image circle allows an almost square sensor dimension that is 70mm wide!  That's hardly cubing the weight of Canon's lighter and more modern designed 300mm f/4 EF lens.  I really don't see this math adding up, to be honest, because you're forgetting that you wouldn't need to match the FOV... 

I'm not sure why you say you wouldn't need to match FoV. A 300mm f/4 lens for medium format is not the same as a 300mm f/4 lens for 35mm. Those are two radically different lenses, by FoV. The entire point is to match FoV, that's why were constantly referring to APS-C crop factors and multiplying lens focal lengths by them...FoV is everything. Assuming a 55x44mm sensor, your crop factor is once again 1.63x compared to FF/35mm. So a 300mm lens for medium format is a 184mm lens in 35mm format.

Going in the inverse, if you are interested in an EQUIVALENT medium format lens to a 35mm 300mm f/4, then you actually need a 490mm f/4 lens for medium format. Now, assuming we use all the same technology that Canon has for their 35mm format lenses, were basically talking about the EF 500mm f/4, albeit with a larger back barrel to support the larger image circle. In this case, a 500mm f/4 lens for medium format is probably going to weigh 7.3-7.5 pounds, vs. the 2.6 pounds for a 300mm f/4. That, as it turns out, is a 2.85x weight difference.

But it doesn't stop there. You have to consider minimum focus distances. A 500mm f/4 lens on MFD is a SHORT telephoto lens, not a long telephoto lens. Minimum focus distance of a 300mm lens on 35mm format is around 55 inches. The minimum focus distance of Canon's 500mm f/4 II lens is 150 inches. You would need a greater optical power to allow a closer focusing distance to actually achieve total parity, which means a greater curvature in the lens elements, which is going to increase the material in each lens element. That will further increase weight.

It's doubtful that the weight of such a lens would literally reach 17.5 pounds (which would be the actual cube of 2.6lb), but it will certainly be much larger and heavier in order to achieve parity with the 300mm f/4 lens for 35mm format. You can't compare 300mm f/4 lenses in both formats...you have to account for the crop factor.


If a medium format sensor say 40 to 45mm wide, has 100 megapixels, then you really wouldn't need to be cubing the weight of a 600mm lens, to get similar magnification at the pixel level, to what you get with the 5D3 with a 600mm lens.  If you don't need the full 100 MP, they could simply adopt Nikon's approach and allow you to shoot in crop mode.  (That would be the common sense approach).  Who cares if the actual focal length is shorter if the pixel size is similar to begin with?

Take a look at the average size and shape of modern medium format digital bodies. They are not only larger in width and height, but they are also considerably thicker, two to three times thicker depending on which sensor back you have installed. The weight of the body itself would be considerably greater than a 35mm format DSLR body. Ergonomically they are not as easy to hold.

And, again, you cannot compare a 600mm lens for 35mm format to a 600mm lens for MFD. Your completely ignoring the crop factor of the 35mm relative to the medium format. You would need ~1000mm lens for MFD to compare to a 600mm.

Additionally, by "just doing what Nikon did", by digitally cropping, you then just have a 35mm frame, so what's the point of having medium format in the first place? The entire point of using MFD is to get the larger FULL frame, not a higher density cropped frame. You want both larger pixels AND more pixels AND a larger sensor diagonal.

These are the reasons that pros, who already use medium format (it isn't something they "will" be using 10 years from now...they HAVE been using it, for decades), use it for studio, portraiture, landscapes, and architecture. These cameras ARE big and relatively heavy compared to 35mm or APS-C format cameras. Comparable lenses ARE larger and heavier, especially those that achieve similar IQ...it's a lot harder, requiring even more precise optics and manufacturing tolerances, to produce bigger lenses that achieve the same level of IQ as smaller lenses. The larger the optical elements, the more difficult it is to eliminate optical aberrations. That's WHY Canon's big white lenses are so expensive...they require much higher grade optical glass, and much tighter manufacturing tolerances, to produce the level of IQ they do. Imagine ALL of your MFD lenses costing that much...
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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #86 on: March 23, 2014, 08:23:28 PM »
I was saying that the same focal length lenses are really not that much larger or heavier.  My mom's 300mm f/4 lens for the 67 format, is 3.4 pounds, and its made of heavy brass.  Yet its image circle allows an almost square sensor dimension that is 70mm wide!  That's hardly cubing the weight of Canon's lighter and more modern designed 300mm f/4 EF lens.  I really don't see this math adding up, to be honest, because you're forgetting that you wouldn't need to match the FOV... 

I'm not sure why you say you wouldn't need to match FoV. A 300mm f/4 lens for medium format is not the same as a 300mm f/4 lens for 35mm. Those are two radically different lenses, by FoV. The entire point is to match FoV, that's why were constantly referring to APS-C crop factors and multiplying lens focal lengths by them...FoV is everything. Assuming a 55x44mm sensor, your crop factor is once again 1.63x compared to FF/35mm. So a 300mm lens for medium format is a 184mm lens in 35mm format.

Going in the inverse, if you are interested in an EQUIVALENT medium format lens to a 35mm 300mm f/4, then you actually need a 490mm f/4 lens for medium format. Now, assuming we use all the same technology that Canon has for their 35mm format lenses, were basically talking about the EF 500mm f/4, albeit with a larger back barrel to support the larger image circle. In this case, a 500mm f/4 lens for medium format is probably going to weigh 7.3-7.5 pounds, vs. the 2.6 pounds for a 300mm f/4. That, as it turns out, is a 2.85x weight difference.

But it doesn't stop there. You have to consider minimum focus distances. A 500mm f/4 lens on MFD is a SHORT telephoto lens, not a long telephoto lens. Minimum focus distance of a 300mm lens on 35mm format is around 55 inches. The minimum focus distance of Canon's 500mm f/4 II lens is 150 inches. You would need a greater optical power to allow a closer focusing distance to actually achieve total parity, which means a greater curvature in the lens elements, which is going to increase the material in each lens element. That will further increase weight.

It's doubtful that the weight of such a lens would literally reach 17.5 pounds (which would be the actual cube of 2.6lb), but it will certainly be much larger and heavier in order to achieve parity with the 300mm f/4 lens for 35mm format. You can't compare 300mm f/4 lenses in both formats...you have to account for the crop factor.


If a medium format sensor say 40 to 45mm wide, has 100 megapixels, then you really wouldn't need to be cubing the weight of a 600mm lens, to get similar magnification at the pixel level, to what you get with the 5D3 with a 600mm lens.  If you don't need the full 100 MP, they could simply adopt Nikon's approach and allow you to shoot in crop mode.  (That would be the common sense approach).  Who cares if the actual focal length is shorter if the pixel size is similar to begin with?

Take a look at the average size and shape of modern medium format digital bodies. They are not only larger in width and height, but they are also considerably thicker, two to three times thicker depending on which sensor back you have installed. The weight of the body itself would be considerably greater than a 35mm format DSLR body. Ergonomically they are not as easy to hold.

And, again, you cannot compare a 600mm lens for 35mm format to a 600mm lens for MFD. Your completely ignoring the crop factor of the 35mm relative to the medium format. You would need ~1000mm lens for MFD to compare to a 600mm.

Additionally, by "just doing what Nikon did", by digitally cropping, you then just have a 35mm frame, so what's the point of having medium format in the first place? The entire point of using MFD is to get the larger FULL frame, not a higher density cropped frame. You want both larger pixels AND more pixels AND a larger sensor diagonal.

These are the reasons that pros, who already use medium format (it isn't something they "will" be using 10 years from now...they HAVE been using it, for decades), use it for studio, portraiture, landscapes, and architecture. These cameras ARE big and relatively heavy compared to 35mm or APS-C format cameras. Comparable lenses ARE larger and heavier, especially those that achieve similar IQ...it's a lot harder, requiring even more precise optics and manufacturing tolerances, to produce bigger lenses that achieve the same level of IQ as smaller lenses. The larger the optical elements, the more difficult it is to eliminate optical aberrations. That's WHY Canon's big white lenses are so expensive...they require much higher grade optical glass, and much tighter manufacturing tolerances, to produce the level of IQ they do. Imagine ALL of your MFD lenses costing that much...
Also, there are scanning backs for 4x5 cameras... They range in price from $10,000 to over $40,000... depending on the resolution... an interesting way to do super high res studio work....
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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #87 on: March 23, 2014, 08:56:40 PM »
In my assertion about what pros might be using in 10 years, I was not speculating at all that a sensor would be anywhere near that large.  Frankly that's just stupid...nobody thinks that would ever be in widespread use.  Even 10 years from now with lowered manufacturing costs and improved processes, a digital sensor that size would still cost $1 million, if not several.

In 2010 Mitchell Feinberg had two 8 by 10 inch digital back made (maxback), the cost were in "the low six figures". http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2011/08/23/mitchell-feinbergs-8x10-digital-capture-back/
So it can be done for a lot less than a million.

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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #87 on: March 23, 2014, 08:56:40 PM »

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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #88 on: March 23, 2014, 09:40:15 PM »
In my assertion about what pros might be using in 10 years, I was not speculating at all that a sensor would be anywhere near that large.  Frankly that's just stupid...nobody thinks that would ever be in widespread use.  Even 10 years from now with lowered manufacturing costs and improved processes, a digital sensor that size would still cost $1 million, if not several.

In 2010 Mitchell Feinberg had two 8 by 10 inch digital back made (maxback), the cost were in "the low six figures". http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2011/08/23/mitchell-feinbergs-8x10-digital-capture-back/
So it can be done for a lot less than a million.

Wow, that guy must be makin BANK off his photography work to take out a mortgage to build a couple 8x10 digital backs. Crazy!

What blows my mind is it is NOT a scanning back...it creates photos in 30 seconds, which I assume means that the readout rate for the entire sensor (which must have gigapixels) is generally 30 seconds, allowing for shorter exposure times. I wonder how he uses it...tethered directly to a PC? I guess USB 2.0 speed, which isn't all that fast.

EDIT:

Actually, it probably has really huge pixels. There are Kodak astro CCDs that have 9µm and 24µm square pixels. If we figure that the pixel sizes for this 8x10 sensor are somewhere around there, the guy has ~640mp @ 9µm, and ~90mp @ 24µm. I figure, just from a space and processing standpoint, the pixels would have to be garganguan. I think 24µm pixels sounds more reasonable, and I guess it's possible they were larger than that. So this guy is taking maybe 70-90 megapixel photos with a giant 8x10 sensor with pixels that probably have about 12 times the sensitivity as the 1D X sensor. That would make full well capacity per pixel around 1.1me- to  1.5me-...WOW. Dynamic range on that sucker must be like, 150dB! :P
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 09:46:11 PM by jrista »
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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #89 on: March 23, 2014, 10:22:10 PM »
In my assertion about what pros might be using in 10 years, I was not speculating at all that a sensor would be anywhere near that large.  Frankly that's just stupid...nobody thinks that would ever be in widespread use.  Even 10 years from now with lowered manufacturing costs and improved processes, a digital sensor that size would still cost $1 million, if not several.

In 2010 Mitchell Feinberg had two 8 by 10 inch digital back made (maxback), the cost were in "the low six figures". http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2011/08/23/mitchell-feinbergs-8x10-digital-capture-back/
So it can be done for a lot less than a million.

Wow, that guy must be makin BANK off his photography work to take out a mortgage to build a couple 8x10 digital backs. Crazy!

What blows my mind is it is NOT a scanning back...it creates photos in 30 seconds, which I assume means that the readout rate for the entire sensor (which must have gigapixels) is generally 30 seconds, allowing for shorter exposure times. I wonder how he uses it...tethered directly to a PC? I guess USB 2.0 speed, which isn't all that fast.

EDIT:

Actually, it probably has really huge pixels. There are Kodak astro CCDs that have 9µm and 24µm square pixels. If we figure that the pixel sizes for this 8x10 sensor are somewhere around there, the guy has ~640mp @ 9µm, and ~90mp @ 24µm. I figure, just from a space and processing standpoint, the pixels would have to be garganguan. I think 24µm pixels sounds more reasonable, and I guess it's possible they were larger than that. So this guy is taking maybe 70-90 megapixel photos with a giant 8x10 sensor with pixels that probably have about 12 times the sensitivity as the 1D X sensor. That would make full well capacity per pixel around 1.1me- to  1.5me-...WOW. Dynamic range on that sucker must be like, 150dB! :P
I wonder if anyone is ever going to come out with a 4x5 back with a non-scanning sensor? When you compare the flexibility of a 4x5... with the adjustable film and lens planes and bellows, you get versatility and manipulation that makes a Hasselblad seem like a kid's toy. If they did, that would be the end of any medium format battle for supremacy...
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Re: Canon's Medium Format
« Reply #89 on: March 23, 2014, 10:22:10 PM »