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Nikon DSLR speculation - April 2008


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#21 John Bantin

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 10:35 AM

I'm still selling pictures made underwater with a Nikonos, before I moved up to a housed camera!
I don't know why everyone gets fussed by full-frame. Why didn't we all buy Hasselblads with 70mm backs (I did) and use them underwater? If you tell me it was because 35mm had an advantage over 6x6, I'll tell you that the same rule applies as you get smaller (DX).
Use your cameras. Wear them out (or flood them) and then get new ones. That's what I do. I want less weight to check in (my D2x sits in a cupboard unused) so if I can get a smaller camera to do the job, I will.

Edited by John Bantin, 30 April 2008 - 11:28 AM.

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#22 Walt Stearns

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 10:36 AM

I disagree with this. I think that FF will not be better for WA. And in particular I think that the 14-24mm is going to cause a lot of headaches getting it to perform well behind a dome.

Alex


I am on the same side of the fence as Alex on this one.

When I was shooting with the Canon 5D, I was not able to find a suitable work around for wide angle other using a full frame fish (with and without a 1.4 teleconverter), everything else (24mm, 20mm, 17-40mm) at or below F 8 gave corners softer than ....., well you know.

#23 echeng

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 10:39 AM

I agree with Alex. FF doesn't seem to be any better for wide-angle unless you're shooting in low light and need the cleaner picture. You have deal with shallow(er) depth of field for the same field of view, and funky edge and dome performance.

I put on a 20mm lens for some splits and can rarely have both my subject and the topside background in focus at the same time. A cropped sensor camera would be at around 13mm for the same shot, and everything would be in focus.

Actually, it doesn't seem to be better for macro, either. I have to put on a 2X teleconverter and all sorts of diopters while crop-sensor people get away with a straight 100mm macro lens and an optional diopter.

Uh. Why am I shooting full-frame again? ;)
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#24 MikeO

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 10:53 AM

Uh. Why am I shooting full-frame again? :)


I think the answer is the same as the one to the question about why a dog licks himself ;)

Oh, and the chicks dig it, right? :D

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#25 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 11:25 AM

I disagree with this. I think that FF will not be better for WA. And in particular I think that the 14-24mm is going to cause a lot of headaches getting it to perform well behind a dome.

Alex



Well, Jean has had a port for this lens for some time but I haven't seen any pictures yet so you may prove to be correct. The silence is suspicious. The reports I have seen topside have been very good for this lens however.

It will be interesting to see what the results are from the Tokina 11-16mm as its an F2.8 lens. None of the other DX WA zooms have been that fast.

The old 14mm F2.8 should be a great lens as well when housed on a full frame. The corners aren't as good as the 14-24mm but it should be simpler to house and will be wider than anything else rectalinear on DX.

Maybe everyone will end up shooting their D3X in DX mode ;)

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#26 loftus

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 11:49 AM

Uh. Why am I shooting full-frame again? ;)

OK; so why are you shooting full frame? For me this is a perplexing question, as I look ahead to the next year with thoughts of upgrading to a D3/D3X/D10. If I am really going to have a hard time with wide angle then I really need to reconsider. The thing that really impressed me when I looked at your 1DS on the Socorro trip Eric, was the size of the viewfinder. One thing that bothers me with DX cameras is the smaller viewfinder, I find my ability to compose wide angle and really 'see the whole picture' is compromised because of this, relative to 35mm full frame.
When one tries to make a list of advantages of full frame underwater it appears there are two: Higher resolution and quality, probably only discernible with large prints, and the larger viewfinder.
This has to be balanced with the greater wide angle flexibility inherent to DX. Am I correct, is there anything else that is inherently an advantage of full frame?
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#27 Phil Rudin

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 01:02 PM

I would agree with Alex and Stan as well regarding sensor size.

Olympus 4/3 sensor size is based on the same premise, smaller sensor and lenses designed for that sensor size alone.

In DPReview's tests of the Olympus 12 to 60 zoom the reviewer had this to say about the Olympus lenses.

"Olympus appear to have taken advantage of the Four Thirds sensor to deliver lenses which, for any given size, weight and cost, simply perform to a higher and more consistent standard than those optimized for larger formats indeed the Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 SWD is quite simply a superb lens"

The part about "those optimized for larger formats" is what seems to be at issue here and the wider the lens the worse the corner problems become as sensor sizes increase.

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#28 jeremypayne

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 01:36 PM

I found this little piece by Ken Rockwell helpful:

Full Frame Advantage by Ken Rockwell
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#29 loftus

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 01:44 PM

I found this little piece by Ken Rockwell helpful:

Full Frame Advantage by Ken Rockwell

Unfortunately this is of little help underwater
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#30 jeremypayne

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 01:49 PM

Unfortunately this is of little help underwater

Surely the sharpness and noise arguments hold, no?
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#31 John Bantin

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 01:55 PM

Surely the sharpness and noise arguments hold, no?


If you were to ask me what was the highest quality lens I ever owned, I would have to say it was the 120mm Planar for the Hasselblad. It surpassed anything from Zeiss or Schneider that I tried on a 10x8 Sinar. Alas, neither camera or lens has any application underwater!

Edited by John Bantin, 30 April 2008 - 01:56 PM.

I buy my own photographic kit. Diving equipment manufacturers and diving services suppliers get even-handed treatment from me whether they choose to advertise in the publications I write for or not. All the equipment I get on loan is returned as soon as it is finished with. Did you know you can now get Diver Mag as an iPad/Android app?

 

#32 loftus

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 01:58 PM

Quote: 'Surely the sharpness and noise arguments hold, no?'

To a point, but the sharpness is probably not noticeable except at high magnification, and most of our shooting is at lower ISO's. My interest would predominantly be increased dynamic range, and I'm not sure this would be inherently better in full frame.
Don't get me wrong, I would like to upgrade to full frame, I am only hesitant if wide angle is likely to be a headache underwater, as this is the majority of what I like to shoot.

Edited by loftus, 30 April 2008 - 02:00 PM.

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#33 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 02:16 PM

I am only hesitant if wide angle is likely to be a headache underwater


I don't think that wide angle is the specific problem. I think with these very high res DSLRs (16MP and more) are really going to require really excellent technique to realise the image quality advantages. Any deficiencies in technique (macro or wide angle) - focus, exposure, poor optics etc will be ruthlessly exposed. Very much like shooting on medium format.

But get it all right and the 16MP + FF DSLRs will produce image quality/resolution that DX cannot match. Of course 10-12MP DX is already great for a magazine DPS - so how much more image quality is needed is another debate.

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#34 jeremypayne

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 02:17 PM

Quote: 'Surely the sharpness and noise arguments hold, no?'

To a point, but the sharpness is probably not noticeable except at high magnification, and most of our shooting is at lower ISO's. My interest would predominantly be increased dynamic range, and I'm not sure this would be inherently better in full frame.
Don't get me wrong, I would like to upgrade to full frame, I am only hesitant if wide angle is likely to be a headache underwater, as this is the majority of what I like to shoot.

Understood.

I have also always heard that one of the advantages of the DX format was the ability to shoot full-frame wide-angle lenses and produce extremely sharp images because you stick to the center of the glass and avoid the edges.
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#35 loftus

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 02:25 PM

Alex,
If I am able to get great results with my 17-35 at the moment on my D200, can I expect similar performance with a full-frame Nikon, or is there anything about full frame that might make me change dioptre or port setup. Would you expect that with present lenses (not knowing how well the 14-24 will perform underwater) the 16mm and the 17-35 will be the full frame wide angle workhorses underwater.
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#36 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 02:35 PM

I think that the 16mm (or Sigma 15mm) and 17-35mm would be my choices - they were on film. The 17-35mm was excellent on film and the fisheyes are always reliable performers.

I hope someone gets the 14-24mm working well, as it is awesome on land, but I am not convinced yet. I am also concerned that many people will have the lens and report it is great because it cost them a lot! The good news is that once people get the 14-24mm working well UW then we'll see it first here on Wetpixel!

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#37 craig

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 02:45 PM

I don't think that wide angle is the specific problem. I think with these very high res DSLRs (16MP and more) are really going to require really excellent technique to realise the image quality advantages. Any deficiencies in technique (macro or wide angle) - focus, exposure, poor optics etc will be ruthlessly exposed. Very much like shooting on medium format.

But get it all right and the 16MP + FF DSLRs will produce image quality/resolution that DX cannot match. Of course 10-12MP DX is already great for a magazine DPS - so how much more image quality is needed is another debate.

Alex

Exactly. The wide angle "problems" with full frame are largely related to their extra resolving power. We need better wide angle optics in order to make further advances in IQ. It's not a FX versus DX issue.

When shooting a 20mm frame width (2:1) a D3 will produce better DOF than a D300. It will be harder to achieve that magnification but full frame does offer that advantage. Of course, most people aren't wanting full frame in order to shoot 12MP images and comparing unlike resolutions clouds the issue. Macro is harder with full frame but it is better from an IQ standpoint (unless you're always resorting to teleconverters).

I don't think anyone should pursue full frame because they think that wide angle will be better or that macro will be better. I think they should pursue it if they feel the extra work and burden of shooting it is worthwhile in order to achieve the extra resolving power that full frame is capable of, and then only if they are committed to doing what is necessary to actually realize the benefits.
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#38 MikeVeitch

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 03:19 PM

I am on the same side of the fence as Alex on this one.

When I was shooting with the Canon 5D, I was not able to find a suitable work around for wide angle other using a full frame fish (with and without a 1.4 teleconverter), everything else (24mm, 20mm, 17-40mm) at or below F 8 gave corners softer than ....., well you know.


I was surprised to see you sell the 5D Walt..curious, what did you move on to?

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#39 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 12:16 AM

Maybe we should split this thread as it contains a interesting discussion on the merits of FF vs DX?
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#40 paquito

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 03:45 AM

Exactly. The wide angle "problems" with full frame are largely related to their extra resolving power. We need better wide angle optics in order to make further advances in IQ. It's not a FX versus DX issue.

When shooting a 20mm frame width (2:1) a D3 will produce better DOF than a D300. It will be harder to achieve that magnification but full frame does offer that advantage. Of course, most people aren't wanting full frame in order to shoot 12MP images and comparing unlike resolutions clouds the issue. Macro is harder with full frame but it is better from an IQ standpoint (unless you're always resorting to teleconverters).

I don't think anyone should pursue full frame because they think that wide angle will be better or that macro will be better. I think they should pursue it if they feel the extra work and burden of shooting it is worthwhile in order to achieve the extra resolving power that full frame is capable of, and then only if they are committed to doing what is necessary to actually realize the benefits.


Personally, I think that's why the D3 in particular is so appealing. You can use either the FX or DX (1.5 FOV) option for many different lens applications and enhance your workflow. You can pick the lens you want. If the lens you desire is not yet available but does get developed, whether its DX or FX, you will already have the tool in the D3 that can use that new lens. Is there a big downside to this (except expense over a DX camera (or the unsure envy of FF))?

Unlike you who are ready, I'm in no rush, my technique needs time before a beef up to the resolving power of a "24MP FF D3x" ;)