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Thread: The Choice between full frame or not

  1. #1

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    The Choice between full frame or not

    Hi, Really a question for the more serious photogrpher but!!!
    Anyways, I am thinking of upgrading from my 40D and also a new lens or two,
    I have the 10-22mm and the 17-40mm + couple others but wondering is it worth going to full frame 5Dll and a prime lens for landscapes/seascapes. If yes what lens? If no what alternatives?
    Thanks
    Russ

  2. #2
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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Hi Russ

    If you UG to FF you will not be able anymore to use the 10-22mm lens as this is an EF-S mount.
    It seems that it fits but the mirror will hit the back part of the lens and cause damage.
    The 17-40 mm is a very nice lens with good reputation which will give you lot of Wideangle.
    One thing to keep in mind. Be sure you have the correct hood for the 17-40mm. If you have the hood for cropped bodies the hood will cause vignette.

  3. #3

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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Hello Russ (?)
    I know this is going to be frustrating but we need you to give some details – so that we can help. So:-
    What are you seeking to achieve by going to a FF ?
    What size prints are you wanting to make ?
    Do you want to do low light, hand held work ?
    What is it about your current kit that you find frustrating or inadequate ?
    You mention two specific lenses – and “some others” - are these long lenses and is telephoto work important ?
    etc …...

    Sorry to bang on a bit but we are all desperate to help – and need info to do so. BTW I have a 5D + a very nice kit, and my manager (she who is obeyed) has a 400D. So I have thoughts to offer but am desperate to make sure that I say things that are truly helpful.

    Regards,

    Nick.

  4. #4
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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Well, if you do jump to full frame, your 17-40L is mostly going to take the place of your 10-22, so I don't think losing the 10-22 is too much of an issue.

    But in terms of a prime lens--why do you feel the need for one? A prime might be smaller, but if you normally work at f/8 or smaller apertures, you've likely equalized any difference between zooms and primes right there, while not taking advantage of the main advantage of primes, which is a larger max. aperture. Just my opinion.

  5. #5

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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Hi, Firstly thank you for the replies. I am only a amateur and really only take photographs for my own enjoyment or to place on the forum/s. I have had a 40D for about two years and the other lenses are the one I use for walkaround 28-135mm and a 70-200L 4.0 .
    What I find a bit frustrating is the fact that I love the 17-40 but with the crop sensor I am loosing a lot within the frame at the time of capture so my thinking was with a full frame I would not loose, maybe I am going down the wrong road on this and a 60D or 7D would be a better option to upgrade the camera and just stick with the lenses. As for the prime lens I am trying to learn how to do the hyperfocal distance and thought with a prime lens it would be easier to learn as always at the same focal length, probably wrong
    My biggest problem is where I live there are no camera clubs to join to learn and makes life a little frustrating infact no camera shops as such either but thats another story.
    Again thanks for the replies.
    Russ.

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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Hi Russ,

    Just to chip in with a few thoughts before I go to bed ...

    First up, don't assume that wider is always better when it come to landscape. At the end of the day you need a lens with a field of view that's wide enough to capture the background that you want to capture; yes, sometimes that can be 14mm on a FF - other times it can be 400mm on a crop. Keep in mind though that generally, pointing a wide angle lens at the horizon and taking the shot generally results in a pretty boring photo, devoid of any detail because the background detail is so small once you get a few feet away from the lens. Wide angle lenses also mean you need to deal with other issues like light fall off, and detractors. Generally, the best types of shots with wide angle lenses as far as landscapes are concerned are the ones where you get agressively close to a foreground object, but still capture the background detail that you want. I'm still selling landscapes that I shot with a crop-factor camera and a 24mm lens many years ago. These days I shoot with a FF camera, but it's not often I use my 14mm lens, or my 16-35 at the 16mm end (too much vignetting when multiple filters are used).

    In terms of hyperfocal distance - zoom or prime really doesn't matter. Just look up whatever length you're using at the time in tables or with an app if you have an iPhone. In reality though, it's not such a big deal with wide angle lenses as the DoF is HUGE. So if you're shooting typical landscape apertures (F11 to F22), if you focus on anything a meter of two into the scene, you're pretty much assured that everything behind that point will be in focus. You may not be able to see the detail without pixel peeping at 100%, but it will be in focus (ignoring diffraction, which isn't a big issue in the big scheme of things).

    PS: No need for a camera club - you're with us now!

  7. #7

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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Hi, Now after looking through some of Colins photographs even more frustration sets in, look at his and you like at mine. I no I am just an amateur but got to be doing something wrong somewhere, I no that two situations/locations are differant, light, colours etc , so either it's me, my equipment? and If I was to be honest that is one of the reasons I was thinking FF camera although I realise it is the probably the glass in front of the camera that is more important!!
    Also I think I have fallen into the trap of advertising ie the 7D has nearly as many MP as the FF body cameras and most of the people (I Think) that are serious about the hobby seem to go for the FF cameras or am I wrong there?
    I no this started as a camera/lens post but if OK take it a bit furthure, after arriving in front of the computer how much PP do you tend to do on a correctly exposed image/s?

    stream-1.jpg


    stream-waterfall-2.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Donald; 9th February 2011 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Images posted inline

  8. #8

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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Hello Russ,
    Just to add a little to Colin's comments.
    Your in one of the very best camera clubs in the world here – so that's sorted!

    I'm assuming that the 10-22 lens you mentioned is the Canon EFS model? That being the case you have the crop sensor equivalent of the 17-40, when the 17-40 is on an FF camera (give or take a tiny bit). Now by all accounts I've read – and having seen printed results in competitions – the 10-22 EFS is a very good lens indeed. The 17-40 is also very good (I have one), and I know that a lot of landscapers use them on crop cameras, like your 40D. As Colin kinda said the ultra wide angle thing is not always the best approach – you may find that the angle of view range offered by the 17-40 on your 40D is actually just the job in many cases. Your 70-200L f4 is also a very good lens and offers a range of viewing angles that could help you pick out interesting details – give it a try. I have no experience or knowledge of the 28-135. So as far as lenses are concerned I think your covered – at least for the subject material you've told us about.

    About the hyper focal thing. I went through the same conundrum a few short years ago. Colin has suggested a very good working method – please give it a try. I now use something a little different.:-
    For normal to wide angle (on a 40D 30mm and less) landscape pics.
    Set the aperture to F11 (ish)
    Turn the auto focus off
    Manually focus on the most distant object you want sharp – very often this will be close to infinity – so try setting that anyway, and don't bother to focus.

    You will notice that none of what Colin or I have said involves spending money on kit! Happy to talk about the plus and minus of FF later – but for now I think I've said enough.

    Regards,

    Nick.

  9. #9
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Quote Originally Posted by russellsnr View Post
    I no this started as a camera/lens post but if OK take it a bit furthure, after arriving in front of the computer how much PP do you tend to do on a correctly exposed image/s?
    Russell

    Can I turn that question around and ask how much you do?

    The inference in your question is that if you think it is correctly exposed then you do little or nothing to the image. If that is the case, then that, I would suggest, is where a lot of your frustration is coming from.

    I know of no serious picture that hasn't been subject to post processing. It's a discussion that comes up on here frequently and regularly. Some people start off with DSLRs thinking that to 'do things' to the image in post-processing is somehow cheating. All that we are doing (and are able to do) on a computer is what the masters of the past spent hours and days in a darkroom doing (some people still do). When you post-process an image, you're not altering it. You're carrying out part 2 of the process. Part 1 was setting up and pressing the shutter. Post-processing is an integral part of making an image.

    Colin, along with a number of others on here, is very, very competent at post processing. As he has illustrated in his posts in the past, he doesn't necessarily do a lot of things in post-processing. But the knowledge and skill is in knowing what to do and in doing it well. And that's all about learning and practice.

    For example, take your first image above. I think the composition and exposure are good. But what I'd be looking to do now is a bit of work on sharpening, on the contrast using the curves tool and some local contrast enhancement which always helps the 'pop' in the detail.

    On some of my own stuff, I'll tweak away for quite a time, then leave it and go away for an hour or two, and then come back to see if what I did truly reflects the image I had in my head when I pressed the button. I'm a great fan of dodging and burning and find myself using this in situations where I might well get to a similar end point by quicker and simpler means ... but it wouldn't be so much fun!

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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Hi Russ,

    another point to consider:
    Colin is very good at post-processing: controlling white balance, contrast, black/white point, sharpening, etc., and he also uses a number of 'tricks' to get the best possible result at capture, like picking the time of day for the result he wants, using a tripod, using filters to control contrast and exposition, etc.

    So, his using top quality gear helps, but that isn't the main factor.

    I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty to play with the first of your images, and came up with:
    The Choice between full frame or not
    (white balance correction and a very small curve adjustment)
    Not saying my version is what it should be, just to show the importance of even small changes in post-processing.

    And I (like most others here) always post-process my images (and shoot in RAW format of course), with at least sharpening and often contrast correction (a few highlights in an image can throw off the light metering, so then also an exposure correction )

    Remco

    P.S. A big thank you to all the people here, I learned most of my post-processing through the members of CiC

    Edit: I saw Donald's anwser after posting mine, so that's why the duplication ...

  11. #11
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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    My first thought when someone wants to switch from 1.6x crop equipment to full-frame is to advise them to get some better glass for their crop camera because, IMO the lens is very important in achieving top-notch imagery. However, you have three excellent lenses (10-22mm, 17-40mm and 70-200mm) and one lens that is not bad at all (I am speaking of the 28-135mm IS lens which can do a lot of things well but, but nothing exceptionally); so you have an excellent start.

    IMO, the 1.6x format is quite capable, paired with top grade glass, of achieving very acceptable images.

    The Choice between full frame or not

    The switch from a crop camera to full frame will not automatically transform a photographer's images into National Geographic quality photos. If a photographer using top-line glass is getting very satisfactory imagery with 1.6x equipment; that imagery "might" be improved by switching to full frame. I shoot with 1.6x gear because it suits me.

    The Choice between full frame or not

    I would suggest three things before you abandon your 40D for full frame:

    First: If you don't have one already, get a "good" tripod and use it. Even lower quality consumer lenses can shine when the camera is tripod mounted and better lenses really come to the front if you shoot with your camera on a tripod, especially around f/8 or f/11. All my shots of Yosemite National Park were done tripod mounted with either a 30D or a 40D camera and some good glass (12-24mm f/4 Tokina, 24-70mm f/2.8L and 70-200mm f/4L IS).

    The Choice between full frame or not

    Second: If you don't already have Photoshop or Photoshop elements, get a copy and most importantly, learn how to use it. Post processing is extremely important in Digital Photography since images right out of the camera are often not great. There are other post processing programs which may or may not do the job but, I am only familiar with the two I mentioned. I always shoot in RAW and PP in Photoshop CS5. However, Photoshop Elements has become a fully capable editing program at an amazing price (COSTCO discount stores were selling it with an instant rebate which made the bottom line price less than $50 (USD). That program has mind boggling capabilities at that price level.

    The Choice between full frame or not

    Third: IMO, (in agreement with Colin) very wide angle lenses are not the greatest for landscape photography in general. However, they can be used most effectively when you want to accentuate a nearby subject such as this lava flow.

    The Choice between full frame or not

    Using a very wide angle lens just to cover a large expanse of territory often results in a less than inspiring image because you end up with a narrow strip of interest across the image with a large expanse of dull sky and foreground. I use longer focal lengths quite often when shooting landscapes to both isolate portions of the scene and to compress distances...

    The Choice between full frame or not

    Regarding prime lenses. Today's top line zooms can provide excellent quality imagery and they allow me to "crop in the camera". I do very little post processing cropping. The old adage "crop with your feet" is not really practical in most landscape photography because the distances can be great and there are often obstacles like canyons and streams between you and the spot in which you would need to be standing if you cropped with your feet.

    However, if you are set on switching to full frame; I suggest that you might rent a 5D or 5Dii and try it for a week or so with your 17-40L and 70-200L lenses (and a tripod). Then if you decide that is the way to go, sell your 10-22mm (which is EFS and cannot be used on Full Frame) and your 28-135mm IS; then purchase an excellent mid-range glass such as the 24-70mm f/2.8L. You will then have a battery of lenses from 17-200mm which should be all you need for virtually any type of shooting (macro, long-range wildlife and very low available light shooting excepted).

    ONE CAVEAT: FOR LANDSCAPES, OF COURSE; IT HELPS TO SHOOT IN AN AREA OF SPECTACULAR BEAUTY LIKE YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK...

    My smugmug galleries are all shot with 1.6x equipment...
    http://rpcrowe.smugmug.com/
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 9th February 2011 at 05:36 PM.

  12. #12

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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    I don't think I've ever seen my name mentioned so many time in a single thread!

    I've got to leave for work, but thought I'd just chip in with a quick comment ...

    What you see in my images is "the sum total" of camera (relatively minor), lens (more significant, but not as big a deal as many would think), filters (quite important), right time & place (bloody important), knowledge of composition (pretty important), technical camera knowledge (pretty important), and post-processing knowledge (pretty important).

    Overall, the bigger factors are the "knowledge" ones ... and the good news is that we can pass those on to you - but - don't try to learn everything at once; just take it one step at a time and you'll find that it takes a few weeks, but you'll get results you never thought possible - probably with most of the gear you already have.

    ... off to work I go!

  13. #13

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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Hello Again,
    Well firstly I have to say that I visit a lot of forums on the net because as I stated on the island there is no camera club to go and pick the brains of members and beleive it or not I try to go out at least twice or three times a week (By the way I am retired and in my late 50's I no it's a late start but your never to old) anyway I wander of subject but would like to say in all honesty I have never had so many replies or so much advice from any other forum to date as I have had from just this one question.
    Now I do also have a tripod, infact two one for dry landscapes and one for the seashore (Velbon carbon fibre and a Benbo Trekker) also a canon shutter cable realease and just bought some Lee filters (2nd hand ones ND grads along of course with the holder) I am awaiting PSE from the USA(why USA!! present from my brother). I also found online a free 2 week pass to Lynda.com so watched some videos from there. Remco your version looks a lot better better than mine I seem to have like a blue colour so must have gone wrong somewhere in PP. Again thanks to all of you for your help time now to quit the other forums and just stick with the one.
    Russ.
    PS. anyone used the http://www.microglobe.co.uk/catalog/...c-glass-filter as the filter kit I purchased came with the 105mm holder at the front

  14. #14
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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Quote Originally Posted by russellsnr View Post
    ... time now to quit the other forums and just stick with the one.
    What an excellent plan!

    Russell, I am very glad that you feel the help, advice and comments made here on CiC have been helpful to you. This confirms that the site is fulfilling its purpose.

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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Quote Originally Posted by russellsnr View Post
    PS. anyone used the http://www.microglobe.co.uk/catalog/...c-glass-filter as the filter kit I purchased came with the 105mm holder at the front
    Others disagree with me on this, but I've just never found a use for CP filters when shooting landscape (and I seem to do OK without them).

  16. #16
    rob marshall

    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    There is absolutely nothing special at all about 35mm (full-frame). Like so many things in the modern world, it's built on the back of something else - in this case the early movie industry. It was first developed by Edison when he was developing movie cameras at the end of the 19C, and he got the size by cutting 70mm film stock into strips 35mm wide. Digital cameras only continued to use 35mm format size from the 1990s due to the need to facilitate using existing lenses for camera customers who had film gear.

    There is nothing special about the size in terms of landscape shots, apart from the fact that it's wider than a crop-factor sensor. It doesn't take better shots, it just takes wider (or taller) shots using the same lens. Although I have both full-frame and a crop-factor camera, I find stitching panoramas with CS5 is just as good, and in some cases better if I want something wide. What matters is the quality of the images produced by camera and lens combined, not the sensor size.

  17. #17
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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Russ...

    If you go to youtube.com and search for Photoshop Elements, yo will find tutorials, other than Lynda's, which are free of charge.

    Additionally, if you do a Google search using "photoshop elements tutorials free" as your search criteria, you will find a plethora of video tutorials.

    As far as books; I personally like Photoshop Elements 8: Top 100 Simplified Tips and Tricks (Top 100 Simplified Tips & Tricks) by Rob Shepherd. It is more of a handy reference book than a course in PSE.
    http://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-Elem...297437&sr=1-12

    My wife uses Elements while I am a Photoshop guy and will also soon be delving into Adobe Lightroom.

    BTW: I also have the Photoshop CS5 edition of this book and like it very much. Both books provide illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish the post production in these programs.

  18. #18
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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Quote Originally Posted by russellsnr View Post
    Hi, Really a question for the more serious photogrpher but Anyways, I am thinking of upgrading from my 40D and also a new lens or two, I have the 10-22mm and the 17-40mm + couple others but wondering is it worth going to full frame 5Dll and a prime lens for landscapes/seascapes. If yes what lens? If no what alternatives
    I suggest:
    1. buy a 5DMkII
    2. keep the 40D
    3. sell the 10 -22
    4. if you like zooms, buy an EF 70 to 200F/4 USM
    5. if you like primes buy an 85/1.8 and 135/2 and 200/2.8
    6. bone up on Post Production Skills

    Then you will you have a kit that will not only hold you in good stead for Landscape work but you have a powerful general F/4 zoom package or comprehensive Prime plus Zoom kit.

    WW

  19. #19
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    Re: The Choice between full frame or not

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    What an excellent plan!

    Russell, I am very glad that you feel the help, advice and comments made here on CiC have been helpful to you. This confirms that the site is fulfilling its purpose.
    "This confirms that the site is fulfilling its purpose" Very much so. every time I come here I learn somthing. this is the best of all fourms I have visited hands down!!

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