December 20, 2014, 07:01:43 PM

Author Topic: A myth of growing from APS-C to Fullframe or Dealing with anachronisms  (Read 9875 times)

ELK

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When I was buying my 40D in 2008, I was thinking well, I'll first get into Canon system and then will grow into fullframe.
And because I am a pure hobbyist, I actually never had neither the money nor the excuse to pay big $ for FF camera and lenses.

In the end I've stuck with Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 (non-VC), Canon 85mm f1.8, Canon 10-22mm, Rokinon fisheye and Canon 55-250mm.

From these lenses only Canon 85mm f1.8 is designed for FF, all others are for APS-C only.
And still these lenses are quite large compared micro43 lenses altough the sensor size difference is not that large.
Indeed, Canon APS-C sensor diagonal is 26.7mm, while m43 is 21.6mm, so the difference is just 5.1mm!
Obviously, size optimisation wasn't a priority task for designers of the lenses I own, as again opposed to m43 system.

With the high quality mirrorless cameras like Olympus E-M5, the rumored Panasonic GH3 and more and more good lenses supporting that system, it seems to me that APS-C system is becoming an anachronism.
Really, for half the weight and close price, one can build similar or better system with m43.

I really see not much point in APS-C cameras anymore. First, they're not a good helpers for you to grow to FF. Second, there is no strong commitment to this format even by manufacturers themselves. They just have produced the most necessary line  of lenses, mostly mediocre quality, which is understandably to attract
amateurs by price. In all those years no single really high quality APS-C lens, which would approach to L-glass (apart from maybe the 17-50mm f2.8 by Nikon).

Most importantly I don't see any SYSTEM in APS-C especially by Canon! If it's a system, then where is the EF-S 50-150mm f2.8, which should correspond to 70-200mm in FF?
Sigma is the only helper here :)), where are the primes, like EF-S 15mm, EF-S 22mm, EF-S 35mm 1.8, EF-S 50mm 1.8 etc?

The idea of APS-C was nice - to make amateurs enter into interchangeable lenses world. Now, this role is better fullfilled by m43.
APS-C format was a good dollar-machine, but I believe not anymore.

Will we see slow die-out of APS-C in near future? Or Canikon will be smart enough to trasnform in into more compact format, with less pain to EF-S and DX lens owners?


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Random Orbits

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The APS-C format allows the development of smaller and less expensive lenses at the wide range of the focal length scale.  That is why you see so many good APS-C ultrawide angle zoom options that would be unpractical or extremely expensive for FF.  The ultrawide 10-22 is much less expensive than the 16-35 yet is a match for it in IQ.

For longer focal lengths, the effective aperture dominates lens size and weight.  In the case of a 200mm f/2.8, you need an effective aperture of 71mm, which is much larger than the APC-S or FF sensor.  It's not a coincidence that all the long EF-S zooms have small f-stops to keep the effective aperture as small as possible, thereby minimizing weight and cost. 

Canon's EF-S 60, 17-55 and 10-22 are all excellent lenses, so I'm not sure why you'd call them mediocre... unless you want L-grade build quality, but then you also want them small and light, so which way is it?

I'm actually glad that Canon does not make many EF-S specific primes, especially at the longer focal lengths.  If you get the EF primes, then by default you have EF/EF-S compatibility.  Isn't that what you are looking for?  Where an EF-S prime would make sense would be at the ultrawide end, i.e. 8 to 16mm.

Earlier this year, I switched from APC-S to FF.  I had the EF-S 10-22, EF-S 17-55, 35L and 70-200L.  How many lenses did I have to "change" to FF?  Two:  I sold the 17-55 and 10-22 and got a ultrawide zoom and a 50mm prime.  I netted more than 75% of my EF-S lens cost in the exchange.

The problem that I see with m43 systems is that many manufactures have different sensor sizes.  I'd also give it a few more years to see if the m43 systems stick around.

ELK

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I overall agree with you. My main point is just that current situation with mirrorless cameras, especially m43 is that this system is overall much smaller and is better equipped with dedicated lenses than APS-C of both Canon and Nikon. Of course we can use any EF lens on APS-C, but the EF lenses were designed for FF and hence bulky, costy plus the crop factor considerations. Agree, the m43 needs some time to get mature, but Canon surely needs to consider  making APS-C cameras and EF-S lenses smaller. And if they introduce their mirrorless with sensor size of G1X, it will certainly cannibalize APS-C sales. Will it then mean that Canon may slowly phase out the Rebel series at all? Or their mirrorless will have some artificial compromises, like Nikon 1 has? So, I'm just curious what will be the future of APS-C?

Marsu42

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So, I'm just curious what will be the future of APS-C?

I think historically it's just a workaround for not being able to produce 35mm-like sensors at a reasonable price. Of course "ff" is just a random size based on a historic precedent, but the ef mount is made for it. And Canon never gave much love to ef-s lenses & was dumb (or clever?) enough to prevent using ef-s on full frame bodies unlike Nikon with dx and fx.

But even with the situation now, aps-c has many advantages (longer reach, affordable good ultrawides) so that it'll stick around for some time to come simply because smaller sensors will keep being cheaper as larger ones. The Rebels will loose market share to mirrorless, but many people like me won't want to use an evf even if it's a good one.

Last not least, marketing-wise aps-c is the drug that sets you on your way to buying expensive lenses and ff bodies with a hilarious price tag, so one more reason for Canon to keep it around.

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What dedicated lenses do you need?

The 17-55 and 10-22 outperform the FF counterparts on crop and apart from weather sealing are the same even the same focal lengths. 17-55mm is pretty much 24-70 and the 10-22mm is pretty much a 16-35.

A lot of FF lenses are great on crop cameras take the 100mm L macro its a 160mm marco, 70-200 is a 110-320mm 2.8, 100-400 is 160-640mm! if you want primes just go wider 35mm is around 50mm, 50mm is around 85mm. Just need to change the way you shoot slightly. In fact I think most L lenses work great on crop apart from the wide and standard zooms and canon has filled this. The 17-55mm, 15-85mm and 10-22mm are the only lenses worth having on a crop body and fill that whole niche the only thing missing is a tilt shift and a fish eye.

Like said previously The only lenses you would have to get rid of is the 17-55mm and the 10-22mm but tbh they are so good I would keep them when going FF, also keep the 40D because that is a great camera too.

Im in exactly the same position and thats what im doing.

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Marsu42

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The 17-55 and 10-22 outperform the FF counterparts on crop and apart from weather sealing are the same even the same focal lengths.

Yes, *apart* from weather-sealing. And since there is even a better sealed aps-c body, Canon not putting any L or sealed ef-s on the market tells something about how they value aps-c. For outdoor use, I recently decided only to get sealed lenses because too many broke down. But that's just me and maybe I was unlucky.

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There is also the benefit that the APS-C sensor shoots the "sweet spot" of the lens. So you can use old lenses like the 35mm f/2.0 and get a super sharp image across the frame! On a FF, it may get a bit ugly in the corners.
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preppyak

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But even with the situation now, aps-c has many advantages (longer reach, affordable good ultrawides) so that it'll stick around for some time to come simply because smaller sensors will keep being cheaper as larger ones. The Rebels will loose market share to mirrorless, but many people like me won't want to use an evf even if it's a good one
To take that a step further, the people that use APS-C at the upper levels (think 7D) are people like birders, sports guys, and nature photographers. Few if any of them would adapt to a M4/3rd camera because the EVF and AF limit them in all of those situations. Can't shoot sunrise or sunset shots of animals, because your EVF is dark and hard to see. Can't shoot birds or sports effectively because the AF is too slow.

That's not to say 4/3rds cameras won't solve some of their issues, they will, but there are some pretty major hurdles to climb to cover those use cases. And until they solve them, you won't see APS-C go away.

Also why make EF-S specific primes when Canon can make EF ones, which work for a MUCH broader audience, and when those lenses are pretty small anyway (if the 50mm f/1.8 and 35mm f/2 are too big, get a P+S). They only make EF-S lenses to solve a specific APS-C problem, like UWA (10-22), a  high quality lower light zoom (17-55), and light-weight zooms (55-250).
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 10:34:52 AM by preppyak »

BillyBean

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When I was buying my 40D in 2008, I was thinking well, I'll first get into Canon system and then will grow into fullframe.
And because I am a pure hobbyist, I actually never had neither the money nor the excuse to pay big $ for FF camera and lenses.

I got into Canon around the same time, again with a plan to 'evolve' to full frame. But unlike you, I bought only the best L glass I could afford, sticking it on a 450D in the interim, and also an EOS3, which you could I guess describe as full frame (135 film!). Just last week, I upgraded my 450D to a 5D3, so plan is complete !

So it can be done.

But I agree with your premise. It's not easy or cheap.

I think Canon should take a leaf out of Nikon's book and allow EF-S lenses to fit full frame cameras, using a discrete part of the sensor - the APS-C part. With 23 MP to play with, this isn't such a bad deal, and at least it gives you an option as you shovel more cash into the Canon machine and upgrade your glass over time.

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I like the idea of a smaller, cheaper, just as good camera system, but m43 isn't it (at least yet).   Yes, in some respects it is "as good" as aps-c, but in my opinion it is WAY too expensive to get something with apsc-like performance.  Where is the fast glass for m43 that is smaller and cheaper?  One day there may be a $120 50mm 1.8 for m43 and other cheap quality fast lenses (they will need to be 2/3 of a stop faster to compensate for the smaller sensor vs. aps-c), but for now the early adopters are getting fleeced.  Sure, small size and weight are a factor for some people, but focusing and shallow depth of field and ergonomics are more important for other people.  m43 is an alternative, not a replacement for larger sensored cameras. 

In my opinion m43 and aps-c are just points on the continuum from a cheap point and shoot to medium format, and it is ridiculous to suggest that aps-c will go away because it is in the middle - if m43 is "good enough" then why can't the interchangeable lens cameras with even smaller sensors be "good enough" and make m43 obsolete?  m43 is not at some magic sweet spot size - if such a thing existed I might say it is whatever size sensor you can build a decent system around and still fit it in your pocket. 

In the end as technology progresses and all the manufacturers get closer and closer to each other, sensor size is going to be the only real differentiator - a camera with 50% more sensor area is always going to be 50% better in some respects due to the laws of physics.  As things are now people bicker about which camera is the best due to slightly better ISO performance or dynamic range or number of pixels - so the 50% difference in sensor area between m43 and aps-c will be very significant going forward.

Marsu42

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There is also the benefit that the APS-C sensor shoots the "sweet spot" of the lens. So you can use old lenses like the 35mm f/2.0 and get a super sharp image across the frame! On a FF, it may get a bit ugly in the corners.

That's true, but it's really a strange argument if you think about it. You probably could built an older ef lens cheaper as ef-s without the non-used non-"sweet spot" glass around the center. It might not make such a difference and it depends on the zoom range, but with ef lenses on aps-c you're carrying dead weight.

I think Canon should take a leaf out of Nikon's book and allow EF-S lenses to fit full frame cameras, using a discrete part of the sensor - the APS-C part.

However, it seems Nikon users don't really use that option much, they seem to use fx glass on a fx sensor. For this and marketing reasons, I guess there's no way Canon will follow this path, though it would be handy if engineered with no additional cost.

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The relative advantages of each format (full frame, APS-C and even APS-H) have been hashed and rehashed over so many times on so many different threads that there really isn't anything more to say. Each format has its advocates and each is convinced that the advantages of their preferred format make it superior. This is nothing new to photography. When I was young, there were the same debates over view cameras, 120 medium format cameras and 35mm. Within 35mm there was the debate over rangefinder vs. SLR.

Even then, there were folks who considered "their" format to be the only serious one and acted as though photographers who used other formats were less capable. In the meantime, truly talented photographers produced amazing work with the tools they had and didn't make excuses. Nothing has changed.

Honestly, only a fool would look at "The Americans" and complain because some of Frank's images were grainy or less than razor sharp.

Will small mirrorless cameras replace DSLRs? There is nothing that currently meets my criteria, so I am content to lug around by 7D with a battery grip and a bag full of lenses because that's the tool I prefer.  Mirrorless cameras won't catch my interest until someone comes up with an effective viewfinder that can match the quality of a reflex mirror.

Changes in camera formats tend to be evolutionary not revolutionary. If and when any format disappears, there will be a transition period and lenses and bodies that you already own won't suddenly stop working.
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The 17-55 and 10-22 outperform the FF counterparts on crop and apart from weather sealing are the same even the same focal lengths. 17-55mm is pretty much 24-70 and the 10-22mm is pretty much a 16-35.
I think that 17-55 on aps-c is worse than 24-105 on ff.
I don't have an opinion about 10-22 vs 16-35 or 17-40...
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I agree with preppyak. We have 5d2, 7d, t2i and e-pm1 with about 8 lenses. The e-pm1 can take lovely stills but is not responsive enough to even replace the Rebel. I tried that one year with the E-P1 and lived to regret it. At this time, I consider m43 to be a compact supplement but not a replacement for even an entry level dslr.

pdirestajr

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There is also the benefit that the APS-C sensor shoots the "sweet spot" of the lens. So you can use old lenses like the 35mm f/2.0 and get a super sharp image across the frame! On a FF, it may get a bit ugly in the corners.

That's true, but it's really a strange argument if you think about it. You probably could built an older ef lens cheaper as ef-s without the non-used non-"sweet spot" glass around the center. It might not make such a difference and it depends on the zoom range, but with ef lenses on aps-c you're carrying dead weight.

I think Canon should take a leaf out of Nikon's book and allow EF-S lenses to fit full frame cameras, using a discrete part of the sensor - the APS-C part.

However, it seems Nikon users don't really use that option much, they seem to use fx glass on a fx sensor. For this and marketing reasons, I guess there's no way Canon will follow this path, though it would be handy if engineered with no additional cost.

I agree. Wasn't using it as an argument. I shoot crop & FF and they both have their advantages. I just like being able to use my EF lenses on my EOS-3, 5Dii & 7D with different benefits on all.

IF I shot my 35mm f/2 on my 5D, I'd probably want to crop it more often to eliminate issues- losing tons of pixies. On my 7D, it's cropped without the loss. Benefit.

I don't buy APS-C lenses cause I use more FF cameras- & I like the flexibility of bringing out 2 bodies, and interchanging lenses.
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