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Thread: New Member. Nikon feedback requested for lenses & camera

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    New Member. Nikon feedback requested for lenses & camera

    Before digital, I had a pretty good understanding of lenses and camera bodies but now Iím always confused so I am putting together a cheat sheet. This is what I understand based on the Nikon line. Please correct me if Iím wrong on any of these points.

    • On conventional (non-digital) cameras the viewfinder shows you about 95% of what you actually would get in an image and conventional lenses would cover the entire 35 mm sensor.
    • Conventional lenses (pre digital) can be used on DX cameras with no problem. However, DX lenses cannot be used on conventional cameras due to vignetting and light falloff.
    • FX lenses can be used on DX cameras but DX lenses cannot be used on FX cameras due to vignetting and light falloff.
    • The view you get from a DX camera in the viewfinder is about 95% of what you actually see in the photograph.
    • The view you get from an FX camera in the viewfinder is 100% of what you actually see in the photograph.
    • Whatever lens you use on a DX camera, conventional, DX, or FX, you have to multiply by 1.5 to get the conventional 35mm equivalent.
    • Whatever lens you use on an FX camera, conventional, DX, or FX it is the same thing, multiply by 1.5, except if you use an FX lens with an FX camera because the camera is full frame.
    • There is a plus in using conventional lenses in a DX camera because by virtue of the smaller sensor you are using the sweet spot of the lens.
    • There is a plus in using an FX lens on a DX camera because by virtue of the smaller sensor you are using the sweet spot of the lens.


    If there is something else I should know, please feel free to add.

    Thank you very much.

    Luciano

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    Re: New Member. Nikon feedback requested for lenses & camera

    Hi Luciano,

    Welcome to the forums.

    I'm a Canon shooter, but most of the same rules (crop -v- full frame) apply exactly the same. So with that in mind ...

    "On conventional (non-digital) cameras the viewfinder shows you about 95% of what you actually would get in an image and conventional lenses would cover the entire 35 mm sensor. "

    In the Canon world it depends on the camera - the professional models typically give 100% coverage whereas models further down the food chain typically give 90 to 95%.

    "Conventional lenses (pre digital) can be used on DX cameras with no problem. However, DX lenses cannot be used on conventional cameras due to vignetting and light falloff. "

    Sounds right. In the Canon world lenses for 1.6x crop factor cameras are called EF-S lenses (the "S" for "Short back focus") - they won't mount onto a full frame camera which is a good thing because if they did the mirror would hit the back of the lens! Not sure what protections Nikon put in place.

    "The view you get from a DX camera in the viewfinder is about 95% of what you actually see in the photograph. "

    Sounds about right.

    "The view you get from an FX camera in the viewfinder is 100% of what you actually see in the photograph. "

    I don't know Nikon's lineup well, but if it's the same as Canon then it depends on the camera (I think it's probably more of a marketing / positioning statement more than anything technical).

    "Whatever lens you use on a DX camera, conventional, DX, or FX, you have to multiply by 1.5 to get the conventional 35mm equivalent. "

    Short answer, yes. Long answer is that the actual focal length doesn't change (only the field of view), but traditionally, crop factor cameras have higher pixel densities than full frame cameras thus you could enlarge an image to compensate - thus giveing a psudo "focal length multiplier" - but with modern FF cameras having 21MP or more, their pixel densities are probably similar to older crop factor cameras - so you could probably just crop a high MP count image from one of these cameras and get a similar result ("focal length" wise) as you would have got from using a crop factor camera - in which case when comparing two cameras where the FF unit has a vastly higher MP count over the cropfactor camera then the "focal length multiplier" rule really doesn't apply - it really is just a field of view crop.

    "Whatever lens you use on an FX camera, conventional, DX, or FX it is the same thing, multiply by 1.5, except if you use an FX lens with an FX camera because the camera is full frame. "

    No - all lenses are rated in terms of 35mm equivalency - so on a full frame camera there's no conversion factor regardless of lens type (well that's how it is for Canon and I'd be very surprised if Nikon was any different).

    "
    There is a plus in using conventional lenses in a DX camera because by virtue of the smaller sensor you are using the sweet spot of the lens.
    There is a plus in using an FX lens on a DX camera because by virtue of the smaller sensor you are using the sweet spot of the lens. "

    The two are essentially the same. The answer is - in theory yes, but in practice, if you're using professional grade lenses you probably wouldn't see much edge distortion using it on a FF camera anyway.

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers,

    Colin - pbase.com/cjsouthern
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 14th January 2009 at 09:57 AM.

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    Re: New Member. Nikon feedback requested for lenses & camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Luciano,

    Welcome to the forums.

    I'm a Canon shooter, but most of the same rules (crop -v- full frame) apply exactly the same. So with that in mind ...

    "On conventional (non-digital) cameras the viewfinder shows you about 95% of what you actually would get in an image and conventional lenses would cover the entire 35 mm sensor. "

    In the Canon world it depends on the camera - the professional models typically give 100% coverage whereas models further down the food chain typically give 90 to 95%.

    "Conventional lenses (pre digital) can be used on DX cameras with no problem. However, DX lenses cannot be used on conventional cameras due to vignetting and light falloff. "

    Sounds right. In the Canon world lenses for 1.6x crop factor cameras are called EF-S lenses (the "S" for "Short back focus") - they won't mount onto a full frame camera which is a good thing because if they did the mirror would hit the back of the lens! Not sure what protections Nikon put in place.

    "The view you get from a DX camera in the viewfinder is about 95% of what you actually see in the photograph. "

    Sounds about right.

    "The view you get from an FX camera in the viewfinder is 100% of what you actually see in the photograph. "

    I don't know Nikon's lineup well, but if it's the same as Canon then it depends on the camera (I think it's probably more of a marketing / positioning statement more than anything technical).

    "Whatever lens you use on a DX camera, conventional, DX, or FX, you have to multiply by 1.5 to get the conventional 35mm equivalent. "

    Short answer, yes. Long answer is that the actual focal length doesn't change (only the field of view), but traditionally, crop factor cameras have higher pixel densities than full frame cameras thus you could enlarge an image to compensate - thus giveing a psudo "focal length multiplier" - but with modern FF cameras having 21MP or more, their pixel densities are probably similar to older crop factor cameras - so you could probably just crop a high MP count image from one of these cameras and get a similar result ("focal length" wise) as you would have got from using a crop factor camera - in which case when comparing two cameras where the FF unit has a vastly higher MP count over the cropfactor camera then the "focal length multiplier" rule really doesn't apply - it really is just a field of view crop.

    "Whatever lens you use on an FX camera, conventional, DX, or FX it is the same thing, multiply by 1.5, except if you use an FX lens with an FX camera because the camera is full frame. "

    No - all lenses are rated in terms of 35mm equivalency - so on a full frame camera there's no conversion factor regardless of lens type (well that's how it is for Canon and I'd be very surprised if Nikon was any different).

    "
    There is a plus in using conventional lenses in a DX camera because by virtue of the smaller sensor you are using the sweet spot of the lens.
    There is a plus in using an FX lens on a DX camera because by virtue of the smaller sensor you are using the sweet spot of the lens. "

    The two are essentially the same. The answer is - in theory yes, but in practice, if you're using professional grade lenses you probably wouldn't see much edge distortion using it on a FF camera anyway.

    Hope this helps,

    Cheers,

    Colin - photo.net/photos/colinsouthern
    Thank you Colin for the feedback. You cleared up a few things for me.

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    Re: New Member. Nikon feedback requested for lenses & camera

    You're very welcome. So - when are we going to see some of these images?
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 10th December 2009 at 01:04 AM.

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    Re: New Member. Nikon feedback requested for lenses & camera

    Hi, and Welcome Luciano,

    As a Nikon user I would point out that:

    "FX lenses can be used on DX cameras but DX lenses cannot be used on FX cameras due to vignetting and light falloff".

    Is not entirely true as far as the Nikon range is concened.

    All the Nikon FF cameras (D700/D3/D3x) all have the built in ability to detect a DX lens and crop the image area down as a crop frame camera would. So in short, yes you can use DX lenses on FX cameras as well as FX lenses. I certainly continue to use my 17-55DX lens on my D3, even though it only produces a DX size equivalent image, as it is a great lens, and fills a gap in my lens arsenal.

    I would say however that the Nikon 70-200 is really a DX lens (even though it is not classified as such) as it does suffer vignetting when used in FF mode; no doubt its design predated the move of Nikon to FF, as it gives stellar performance on the D200.

    Luckily the FF Nikon cameras do allow you to make a manual decision as well as an automatic one, as to which format you wish to use (DX/FF/5:4)

    The older Nikon film lenses will fit, but may suffer some functionality disadvantages when it comes to AF etc. (There are some specialist Nikon lenses that don't have the compatibility but these are hardly likely to concern most of us here).

    Have a look on the Nikon site for advice on compatibility of lenses you may have.

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    Re: New Member. Nikon feedback requested for lenses & camera

    @ Shreds ...

    "All the Nikon FF cameras (D700/D3/D3x) all have the built in ability to detect a DX lens and crop the image area down as a crop frame camera would."

    Interesting to know. At times it would be nice to have that ability on Canon cameras.

    @ Luciano

    Thanks for the PM - I had a look through your gallery last night - you have quite a diverse range of images there! It never ceases to amaze me how - when essentially armed with the same technology - people consistently capture such completely different types of images!
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 10th December 2009 at 01:04 AM.

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    Re: New Member. Nikon feedback requested for lenses & camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    @ Shreds ...

    "All the Nikon FF cameras (D700/D3/D3x) all have the built in ability to detect a DX lens and crop the image area down as a crop frame camera would."

    Interesting to know. At times it would be nice to have that ability on Canon cameras.
    Colin,

    It is quite good as you can still see the full frame in the viewfinder, but the area beyond the crop is greyed out, allowing better composition. Luckily the 17-55mm is my last DX lens and will be replaced when funds allow.

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    Re: New Member. Nikon feedback requested for lenses & camera

    "Btw, Colin, I know very few people from NZ, but that's on the top of my 'to-go' list for the next ... decades. Just had to say that "

    Darn - guess I'll just have to keep buying those expensive L-Series lenses for my FF camera in the meantime!
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 10th December 2009 at 01:05 AM.

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