September 21, 2014, 12:21:03 AM

Author Topic: Does FF make your photos pop?  (Read 13747 times)

dr croubie

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1400
  • Too many photos, too little time.
    • View Profile
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2012, 06:57:47 PM »
I think i'll echo what others have said here a bit, but there's more than sensor.

- Use a polariser. Blue skies get bluer, greens get livelier, water reflections get less, unless there's cloud or i'm inside (sometimes even if i am), the polariser is glued to the lens. Check out my two examples at the bottom, shot about 3 seconds apart, 7D and 15-85, one with polariser, one without, camera jpg with no PP (handheld, ignore the sloping horizon). Take your shots of the church and beach, and think about how much a cpl will do to them.

- Shoot RAW, and learn to PP. This one took me a while to get used to (i use linux and it took me a while to get DPP working, now I use it and haven't looked back). It takes some time to master, i'm still learning, going back over old shots and making them twice as good just from the new techniques i've learnt since i DPPed them the first time. Just a simple contrast or saturation boost, or even dragging the black-point slider up a bit to deepen all your blacks can make all the difference. Another 2 shots down the bottom for examples, the first is the batch-processed-raw (practically the same as a camera-jpg). The second had less than half an hour of PP and a bit of cropping.

- Looking at your examples you liked, the first two stood out to me for their colours, the yellow in the background of the boy, or the colours of the uniforms. The light on both of their faces is also very nice. The examples of yours don't have the colour range, but the portraits have nice face-lighting, a bit of PP could clean them up nicely, especially the one of the girl. PPing portraits to 'pop' is a definite artform, i'm struggling with my latest shots of a mate's engagement party, it's too easy to over-saturate the faces to look like cartoons. But with practice, i'll get there...

- The only differences between FF and crop, is the 'apparent depth of field' you get. Shooting a 50mm f/1.2L wide open from a certain distance on a crop-body, you'll get the exact-same look from a FF sensor in the exact same spot using an 80mm f/1.8. Or shooting with 85mm f/1.2 on a crop, you need a (roughly) 135mm f/1.9 on a 5D for the same shot.
In the first example, the 5D can get shallower DOF because it can go wider to f/1.2 (ok, but at 85mm, not 80).
In the second example, you'll get (practically) exactly the same results using a 7D+85/1.2 as you would with a 5D+135/2.0.

But going the other way, if you mount an EF 85 f/1.2L on a FF sensor, you'd need a 53mm f/0.7 lens on a 7D to get the same shot. Such a lens does not exist (although a 50mm f/0.75 does, but sell your house first). If you 'need' to get your DOF this shallow to make the photo 'pop', you 'need' a FF sensor, it can't be done on a crop. (alternatively, buy a Medium Format body and a 135 f/1.9 lens, don't think they're common and definitely not cheap either).
Same with the 50mm f/1.2L on a 5D. If the photo looks good only at f/1.2, then trying to get the same photo using a 7D you'd need a 31mm f/0.7, again, that lens doesn't exist so you can't get that shot on a 7D.
Once you stop-down past f/4 for more DOF though, it doesn't matter what lens/body you're using, because an equivalent length/aperture exists for a different sensor.
Too much gear, too little space.
Gear Photos

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2012, 06:57:47 PM »

Kernuak

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1108
    • View Profile
    • Avalon Light Photoart
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2012, 07:17:33 PM »
The short answer, as others have said, is no, you don't need full frame to make an image pop. That said, there is definitely a difference in tonality between my 5D MkII and 7D, although I can't put my finger on exactly what it is. Essentially, they're just different. I don't use the 5D MkII much for wildlife shots, but here are a couple for comparison of the same sort of subject on the same day (although they aren't technically wildlife). They are also taken with different lenses, but they do demonstrate that crop sensors can "po" too.

5D MkII:


Reindeer Lying Down by Kernuak, on Flickr

7D:


Reindeer Grazing Closeup by Kernuak, on Flickr
Canon 5D MkIII, 7D, 300mm L IS f/2.8 and a few other L's

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14440
    • View Profile
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2012, 07:18:24 PM »
Some of the advice miss my problem.
I am really concerned about that "sticking out of the frame" and not so much about the composition etc.

Apologies if this sounds harsh, but on the contrary, I'd suggest your problem is not listening to/understanding the advice.

Yes, a FF camera can deliver shallower DoF for the same framing and perspective, but that's only a limiting factor at the extreme - anything narrower than f/1.9 on FF can be achieved on APS-C. 

What you describe as 'pop' is a combination of composition, light, and aperture, and photos like the ones you posted could certainly be made on an APS-C sensor.  Careful composition guides the viewer's eyes to the subject and provides subject separation, helped in some cases by a wide aperture, and directional lighting adds dimensionality to the image.

FF isn't a magic bullet - you can get yourself a 5DII, shoot with a shallow DoF like f/1.6, but if you've got distracting elements in the frame and the sun behind you, you'll still get a flat image with no 'pop'.

I'll echo the poster above who suggested getting a couple of books on photography - Michael Freeman and Bryan Peterson are good starting points. Don't just read the books - practice the techniques and critically evaluate your results.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

Z

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 188
    • View Profile
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2012, 07:31:18 PM »
FF isn't a magic bullet - you can get yourself a 5DII, shoot with a shallow DoF like f/1.6, but if you've got distracting elements in the frame ... you'll still get a flat image with no 'pop'.
This reminds me of my favourite cork photographer. Man, could he take a photo of a cork.

JT13

  • SX50 HS
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2012, 07:37:50 PM »
Thanks for the info!
There are so many steps I can improve on - especially PP.

I take photos mostly while traveling.
When I am back home I am too busy with work to do PP.
So, I've just shot in jpg but I want to change that.

Regarding the "poping"  ;D I don't think it is so much about aperture and DOF.
In the portrait galary there is a great pic by JR:
5D mkII, 70-200mm f2.8L IS II, taken at 200mm, f4.5, ISO 320


The sharp face contour gives the image a great three-dimensionality.
It is almost like looking through a window.

To the last comments:
I don't claim that I mastered APS-C and now need a FF to push the technical boundaries.
I have just noticed that some photos have a great three-dimensional impression and they were all taken by 5Ds.
The reason is not clear to me. It might be PP that most 5D owners use.
Many of the pictures I admire don't look like they took hours of waiting for the right light and it is also not about the largest aperture.
You also don't need a complex composition, as you can see in the picture above.

Kernuak

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1108
    • View Profile
    • Avalon Light Photoart
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2012, 07:47:33 PM »

I take photos mostly while traveling.
When I am back home I am too busy with work to do PP.
So, I've just shot in jpg but I want to change that.


Learning to get as many things as possible right in camera will help there, as it will save time on PP. You can then concentrate on enhancing what you have already, instead of correcting errors. The two examples I posted above had nothing more than a curves adjustment (actually, that's not quite true for the first one, as I applied  a gradient to the sky in Lightroom), they aren't even cropped, as I don't often have the patience (or time) to spend hours on playing around with a photo. I know of people who spend days cloning out background elements from a single photo, but that isn't for me, I'd rather just try to position the subject (or rather me) against an uncluttered background to start with. Sometimes you don't have a choice of course, then you can decide to shoot anyway and either live with the results or find the time to doctor the end result (my conscience, not to mention the time factor, usually leads me to the first option in those cases.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 07:50:41 PM by Kernuak »
Canon 5D MkIII, 7D, 300mm L IS f/2.8 and a few other L's

elflord

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 705
    • View Profile
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2012, 07:50:52 PM »
I really appreciate the feedback.

Some of the advice miss my problem.
I am really concerned about that "sticking out of the frame" and not so much about the composition etc.
I didn't spend too much time in the selection of the pics because I was hoping that it would be a known issue.
It's probably best to get my hands on a 5D from somewhere and do some comparisons myself.

Full frame has the effect of making your lenses faster -- which creates options for shallow dof and low light photography. It won't solve lighting or composition problems. The intangible "sticking out of the frame" issue is very much related to composition (but also to lighting). A good book on composition will go much further than a 5D.

There is nothing about the "good" pictures you've selected that screams "full frame".

The "popping" in the most recent example is a result of shallow depth of field (200mm at f/4.5 will give you shallow dof, but nothing you couldn't do with a crop though you will need a fast lens -- you need 135mm at f/2.8 to get the same effect on APS-C), but also careful composition. There is a reason that the subject "pops" -- it's because the background is far enough back to be out of focus. There are no distracting elements in the foreground. The "looking through a window" effect is a combination of using a long lens, and again, lining up the background carefully so that it doesn't interfere (and making sure there is nothing in front of the subject).

It's true that you don't always need complex composition. Perhaps a point you've missed is that good composition isn't always complex. In fact on the contrary, for portrait shots like the one you just posted, it's desirable to eliminate distracting elements.
Again, completely attainable on APS-C but requires careful attention to composition.

(edit)
re this:
"I have just noticed that some photos have a great three-dimensional impression and they were all taken by 5Ds."

Portrait and landscape photographers like the 5D (high mpx, shallow dof). The high end APS-C cameras (e.g. 7D) is popular among those who need long lenses and/or fast AF. So I think it's more that the photographers who inspire you tend to like the 5D.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 08:08:27 PM by elflord »

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2012, 07:50:52 PM »

pwp

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1544
    • View Profile
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2012, 08:01:18 PM »
You can make a photo pop just as effectively with an iPhone, a compact, an APS-C or FF.

It's all about the so called "decisive moment", that perfect confluence of composition, light and particularly with people, that magic moment.

A bit of feedback I often give when people ask me how to take better people pictures is to "look for the glow, and shoot that!"
Simple and effective. Remember, content is king.

You can definitely enhance a well shot image further in post-pro, but generally no amount of post-pro will retrieve and elevate a poorly shot file to brilliance.

Paul Wright
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 12:36:10 AM by pwp »

ghosh9691

  • Guest
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2012, 08:17:37 PM »
To the OP: There is a lot of good advice on this thread that, if I were you, I would try to follow to the letter. IMHO, what makes a photograph pop is composition & lighting. What camera you use is secondary in the modern world - an APS-C camera today has excellent performance. Probably what matters more is lens used. One suggestion I have: try with just one lens, preferrably a fast prime, and do not use any other lens till you master the composition aspect of photography and light. That may help - I know it helped me significantly while using a 50mm lens exclusively!

I have taken one of your samples and cropped it to make the photo more pleasing (no other changes):

JT13

  • SX50 HS
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2012, 08:32:21 PM »
Could someone post a picture taken with an APS-C similar to the portrait in my last post?
The reindeers look good but don't have that "pop out of the frame" feel.
For me the cropped girl's head doesn't come close to it.

I am affraid I might have become too pedantic about the three-dimensional feel.
I will sleep on it for a night.

elflord

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 705
    • View Profile
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2012, 09:06:14 PM »
Could someone post a picture taken with an APS-C similar to the portrait in my last post?
The reindeers look good but don't have that "pop out of the frame" feel.
For me the cropped girl's head doesn't come close to it.

I am affraid I might have become too pedantic about the three-dimensional feel.
I will sleep on it for a night.

PM sent with some of my humble efforts...

dr croubie

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1400
  • Too many photos, too little time.
    • View Profile
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2012, 09:07:00 PM »
Could someone post a picture taken with an APS-C similar to the portrait in my last post?
The reindeers look good but don't have that "pop out of the frame" feel.
For me the cropped girl's head doesn't come close to it.

I am affraid I might have become too pedantic about the three-dimensional feel.
I will sleep on it for a night.

Not sure quite what you mean by the '3-dimensional-feel', but i'll have a crack. Normally I crop this shot a bit, but this is the entire frame as taken.
7D, <edit: it was the Samyang 35mm f/1.4 actually> at f/2.0 probably, 430EX flash on HSS and a $10 softbox from china via ebay. ISO100, Av, 1/1000s (so the flash probably wasn't doing much anyway).
DPP-processed from raw in Faithful, -1/8 EV, +3 contrast, -2 highlight, -1 shadow, +2 saturation, 3 sharpness, 1/1 NR. (i've found Faithful and Neutral do better for skin tones, you can add more saturation than using 'Portrait' and 'Standard' without the skin looking weird).

(i'm sure others do better at portraits, it's not really my thing)
Too much gear, too little space.
Gear Photos

arioch82

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
    • flickr account
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2012, 09:07:18 PM »
Could someone post a picture taken with an APS-C similar to the portrait in my last post?
The reindeers look good but don't have that "pop out of the frame" feel.
For me the cropped girl's head doesn't come close to it.

I am affraid I might have become too pedantic about the three-dimensional feel.
I will sleep on it for a night.

my tries with a 500D and a "crappy" EF-S 55-250


_MG_0518.jpg di ocangelo, su Flickr


_MG_1975.jpg di ocangelo, su Flickr
Canon 5D MkII | Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM | Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro | Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC | Canont 50mm f/1.4 USM | Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC USD XLD

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2012, 09:07:18 PM »

ghosh9691

  • Guest
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2012, 09:08:05 PM »
Could someone post a picture taken with an APS-C similar to the portrait in my last post?
The reindeers look good but don't have that "pop out of the frame" feel.
For me the cropped girl's head doesn't come close to it.

I am affraid I might have become too pedantic about the three-dimensional feel.
I will sleep on it for a night.

I think your needs might be best served by a full-frame camera - maybe the 1DX, D800, D4, or if time permits and you can wait, the 5DIII whenever it gets released...

Alternately, the Leica M9 coupled with the 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux will give you fabulous photos as well...

Drizzt321

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1670
    • View Profile
    • Aaron Baff Photography
Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2012, 10:44:06 PM »
Could someone post a picture taken with an APS-C similar to the portrait in my last post?
The reindeers look good but don't have that "pop out of the frame" feel.
For me the cropped girl's head doesn't come close to it.

I am affraid I might have become too pedantic about the three-dimensional feel.
I will sleep on it for a night.

I think your needs might be best served by a full-frame camera - maybe the 1DX, D800, D4, or if time permits and you can wait, the 5DIII whenever it gets released...

Alternately, the Leica M9 coupled with the 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux will give you fabulous photos as well...

Actually, I don't know why he would bother with those cheap bodies. He needs to go right for Medium Format! There's no substitute for a truly giant sensor!
5D mark 2, 5D mark 3, EF 17-40mm f/4L,  EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L, EF 85mm f/1.8
Film Cameras: Mamiya RB67, RB-50, RB-180-C, RB-90-C, RB-50, Perkeo I folder, Mamiya Six Folder (Pre-WWII model)
http://www.aaronbaff.com

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Does FF make your photos pop?
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2012, 10:44:06 PM »