# Thread: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

1. ## Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

I am brand new to the website and I am pretty doggone new to photography too. I am reading as much as possible before I go burn through a few grand buying camera equipment. Its only a hobby at this point... but an expensive one at that....

Now for my question....

If you go to the tutorial section under sensor sizes there is a sub section called 'crop factor and focal length multiplier'...

https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tu...ensor-size.htm

Now if you go to the section "Understanding Lenses" there is a sub section called 'influence of lens focal length'...

https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tu...era-lenses.htm

In the first reference above it says "On the other hand, this also means that one is carrying a much larger lens than is necessary — a factor particularly relevant to those carrying their camera for extended periods of time..."

However if you go to the second reference and go to the focal length calculator....if you put in 1.6 crop factor vs a 35mm sensor with all other factors being equal the opposite seems to be true.

The second reference (calculator) seems to contradict the first reference...

I have been reading and learning for about 2 hours now and for some reason its not clicking. Maybe I need to ask or sleep on it... but either way its not making sense as to why this information seems contradictory...

Let me give you an example....using the calculator under the lenses section...

if you put in 10 meters as the distance and 2 meters as the subject....if you put in 35mm it gives you 176.8mm.

Now if you change to 1.6 crop factor and do the same calculation it gives you 111.2mm.

That is exactly opposite to what was quoted from the 'sensor size' section...

Thanks!!!

2. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

Now for those of you wondering what the heck I am doing....and why I am asking this...

I have yet to invest in a DSLR...and before forking out the credit card I am doing my homework, or trying to.

I am comparing a Canon MarkII to a Canon 7D.

From what I understand a MarkII is a full sensor and a 7D a 1.6 crop factor...

As I research this stuff out there is a lot of material I need to nerdify myself on...

I am torn between the two cameras...one has some stuff I like and the other other stuff I like but my wallet is only SO BIG.

I have not looked at Nikon or any other brands really. I am trying to learn the principle behind the game first.

I would not be opposed to a Nikon but I had someone (a pro) show me around the Canon section and I liked it. Thus far no one has shown me the virtues of Nikon... by the way the camera shop/guru people are about 1.5 hours from my home so I am hopefully going to make use of this forum to help me make an educated purchase...

Right now I am debating full frame sensor vs 1.6 crop factor...

What I want to shoot... (in no order).... scenery...wildlife such as birds, deer, and other animals...definitely sports (both indoors and out) IE hockey (indoor arena) or baseball or waterskiing (probably a lot of sports stuff to be honest)...and I also like macro too. Bugs and flowers and all that seems pretty interesting.

Also I would like to take night scenery too... stars and all that jive.

All I know is someone can blow 10 grand in no time on lenses and cameras and all the side items. I will need to build into that over time.

3. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

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Here is a sample of a photo I took with my \$179 point and shoot.

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5. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

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6. Hello,

Just a quick question -- what are you meaning when you say a "Mark II"?

Are you meaning a 5D Mark II or a 1D Mark II or a 1Ds Mark II?

7. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

They apparently have too many Marks.

The one I was looking at was the EOS 5D Mark II, but I am not opposed to any other Marks.

I like the EOS 1D X but alas I have no children to sell...and I don't think they will let me sell any organs to buy the thing.

I didn't even see those other models you mentioned on their current line up on their website. I didn't know they even had those.

8. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

I think the answer to your question about lens size lies in the first tutorial under the heading "Lens SIze and Weight Considerations". I quote - "Smaller sensors require lighter lenses (for equivalent angle of view, zoom range, build quality and aperture range)". This is because with a 1.6 crop factor you can get away with a shorter focal length for a given field of view. So if for example you are using a 18-55mm lens on a 1.6 crop camera, you would need a 28-90mm lens to get the same field of view or zoom range on a full frame camera.

Canon use the EF-S lenses as standard kit lenses on some of their 1.6 crop factor cameras. These are a bit smaller again because they extend further into the body of the camera. (But they cant be used on full frame cameras).

Incidentally you can load more than one image in one post.

Dave

9. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

If you are shooting with the same lens, the focal length will be exactly the same whether you are using a full frame camera such as one of the 5D family of cameras or using a 1.6x crop like a Rebel, 60D or 7D. You will simply cover a greater area using the full frame camera. The size of any subjects within the coverage of the two formats will be exactly the same.

The difference will be the camera to subject distance needed to frame an image when using the two different sensor sizes if you are using the same focal length. In order to achieve the same framing, you need to be closer when using a full frame camera that if you are shooting with a cropper.

Conversely, if you are shooting from the same camera to subject distance and want to frame your shot identically between a full frame camera and a crop camera, you will need to use a longer focal length lens on a full frame camera than on a crop camera.

This is where the confusing "equivalent focal length" comes into play. If I am shooting with a 50mm lens on a 1.6x crop camera and want to frame my image in the exact same way using a full frame camera but, want to shoot from the same camera to subject distance, I would need to use an 80mm lens.

So... there are really two ways to look at the situation.

First: using the same focal length lens on both sensors you will need to vary the camera to subject distance to achieve equivalent framing.
Second: if you are shooting from the same camera to subject distance; you will need to vary the focal length (by a factor of 1.6 for Canon crop cameras) to achieve the same framing.

We have always had this situation of different size sensors needing either different focal length lenses or needing to be shot from different distances to achieve the same framing. The standard lenses for 16mm motion picture format, 35mm still format and 6x6cm medium format were approximately 25mm, 50mm and 75mm. If I wanted to achieve the same framing with these three formats while shooting from the same distance, I would need to use those focal length lenses. However, no one ever assigned a "crop-factor" to these formats and therefore no one was ever confused that the focal lengths on these formats were different when using them on the cameras with those three formats.

10. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

Did you consider going Sony as well?
They build wonderful cameras too (like every other brand today does) but they offer one significant advantage: You can use the old but still amazingly good Minolta lenses you'll get for very little money with them.

11. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

Hello Alamo5000.

Also consider Pentax cameras. Have a look at reviews of the Pentax K5.

They are similar in respect of old lenses to the Sony cameras already mentioned. Any Pentax K mount lens made from about 1975 onwards will fit Pentax DSLRs. You will lose some or all of the auto functions, but that is the same with any lens dating from the purely manual era. Depending on the subject that may not be important (eg landscapes), but could easily be important for sports. Image stabilisation is within the camera body so any lens, even old ones, are stabilised lenses.

Once you have decided to buy something I know how much the money just seems to be itching to get out of your wallet, but you appear to be on the right track of research before spending. However, I appreciate how difficult it can be - there are hundreds of cameras out there with a bewildering array of letters and numbers.

Dave

12. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

Hi Alomo5000
I'm a very new member of this website and I completely understand your position as to what to buy and what all the technobabble is all about.
You are new to photography you say. Why do you want to spend megabucks on equipment if you haven't used that kind before?
I understand your ideas but, I feel you may have missed the point to equipment in general.
Todays cameras are superb, irrespective of your choice. You will not go far wrong with either Canon or Nikon, they're the top of the hill when it comes to TECH!
With regard to lenses and what you get from them, it's all based on what you would've got from the 'original' picture or print from a 35mm film camera of the past.
Digital cameras today use one of a few sensor sizes. I believe that both Canon and Nikon use 'full frame' sensors i.e. the same size as a 35mm negative equivalent, called FX, and most other sizes are 1.5 crop, 1.6, 1.7 and the 4/3rds system adopted by the likes of Olympus and Panasonic.
Sorry if this seems a long answer but, this will determine what you get from a particular sensor/lens combination.
Personally I use a Sigma camera. My preference was a Sigma SD10 when I went fully digital.
It was RAW file only, no option for Jpeg or whatever. I've since upgraded to Sigma's SD15 and its amazing!
It can take some work on the recorded RAW files if I get things wrong but, I like the final results!
I mentioned crop factors earlier, these are what you would 'see' if you were using a 35mm/ FX Sensor camera today.
Very simply, multiply the lens's focal length by the crop factor and you'll find the 'actual' telephoto length of the lens in question.
An example: My 17mm to 70mm zoom lens on my camera is equivalent to a 29mm to 120mm lens on a full frame/FX sensor camera.
Sigma use a 1.7 crop sensor, Canon use a 1.6 crop sensor on some models, Nikon use 1.5 crop sensors on some models.
I hope I've helped rather than confused you.
Happy snapping once you've chosen you're camera :-)

13. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

My apologies Alamo5000, I misspelled your name :-(
Feel free to contact me direct if you want any further info on camera specs and lenses

14. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

Originally Posted by Paulrs
I'm a very new member of this website
Hi Paul,

Welcome to CiC - it's great to have you with us.

At the risk of being called the "punctuation police" (again, *sigh*), is there any chance you could throw in the occasional paragraph break in your posts? It looks like you have a lot of wisdom to share, but having it all as one single/solid block makes it VERY hard to read (for me anyway).

Todays cameras are superb, irrespective of your choice. You will not go far wrong with either Canon or Nikon, they're the top of the hill when it comes to TECH!
I couldn't agree more. Folks often seem to worry a lot about "making a mistake and buying the wrong camera" but in reality they're just a box at the end of the lens that lets the light fall onto a sensor. Yes - there are differences - but there is also a HUGE overlap between all models. As hugely successful cyclist Lance Armstrong said: "It's not about the bike".

I believe that both Canon and Nikon use 'full frame' sensors i.e. the same size as a 35mm negative equivalent, called FX, and most other sizes are 1.5 crop, 1.6, 1.7 and the 4/3rds system adopted by the likes of Olympus and Panasonic.
Yes / no / sorta-kinda.

Canon have models with a full-frame (35mm) sensor (1Dx, 1Ds3, 1Ds2, 5D3, 5D2, 5D) (that only take EF lenses), but they also manufacture a range of 1.6x crop-factor cameras (7D, 60D, 50D, 40D, 30D, 20D, 10D, 600D, 550D, 450D, 400D, 350D, 300D) (these can take EF or EF-S lenses). Nikon make full-frame and 1.5x crop-factor camera.

15. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

Hi Colin,

Thanks for the greeting

Yup, you're right, Just don't know how this website works yet!

I've seen some that seem to put all your text together and it makes for difficult reading and very hard going.

I'll try harder next time, I promise!

16. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

Originally Posted by alamo5000
... What I want to shoot... wildlife such as birds, deer, and other animals...definitely sports (both indoors and out) IE hockey (indoor arena) or baseball or waterskiing (probably a lot of sports stuff to be honest)...
Let me stop you right there.

7D. Get the 7D. The 5Dii is a wonderful camera (I have one), but a fast-action shooter with a killer autofocus system it is not. It only does 4fp, and the 9-pt autofocus sytem is seriously outdated. Hence the cheers for the 5DMkIII. The 5Dii is killer for studio work or landscapes, but fast action shooting is its weak spot. I kept my 50D for shooting birds-in-flight when I got the 5Dii.

You want the 7D, particularly for the sports, and especially the hockey. And you may have to rethink and downgrade to a 60D to afford the glass you're going to want. Because indoor sports is the singularly most demanding subject on lenses you can possibly shoot, since you're going to need reach and speed (both in terms of a wide max. aperture, AND in autofocus locking) in combination. Either one tends to cost. In combination, the cost can be astronomical. The lenses you're liable to be looking at are lenses like the EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II, which can cost a couple thousand all by itself.

Also with sports and wildlife, you want more reach. Crop factors are one way to feel like you're getting more of it.

17. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

Originally Posted by Paulrs
Hi Colin,

Thanks for the greeting

Yup, you're right, Just don't know how this website works yet!

I've seen some that seem to put all your text together and it makes for difficult reading and very hard going.

I'll try harder next time, I promise!
No worries Paul,

Just hit enter a couple of times to put them in (HTML strips them out, but that's not how it works here - thank goodness). If you put em in, we'll display them

18. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

Originally Posted by inkista
Let me stop you right there.

7D. Get the 7D. The 5Dii is a wonderful camera (I have one), but a fast-action shooter with a killer autofocus system it is not. It only does 4fp, and the 9-pt autofocus sytem is seriously outdated. Hence the cheers for the 5DMkIII. The 5Dii is killer for studio work or landscapes, but fast action shooting is its weak spot. I kept my 50D for shooting birds-in-flight when I got the 5Dii.

You want the 7D, particularly for the sports, and especially the hockey. And you may have to rethink and downgrade to a 60D to afford the glass you're going to want. Because indoor sports is the singularly most demanding subject on lenses you can possibly shoot, since you're going to need reach and speed (both in terms of a wide max. aperture, AND in autofocus locking) in combination. Either one tends to cost. In combination, the cost can be astronomical. The lenses you're liable to be looking at are lenses like the EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II, which can cost a couple thousand all by itself.
Sage words of advice indeed. I agree with every word.

19. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

Thanks for all the replies. I will have to go back through and read them more thoroughly when I am not worn out from my day job. I will be back.

First thing though I want to say thanks! Second though I want to explain a little bit more about what I want to do etc etc.

I am not really about the biggest baddest latest hottest gadgets out there. No no. Not my bag.

I want to be able to shoot pictures and get more into photography sheerly out of the 'fun aspect' of it. I have no real intention to try and sell pictures or anything like that. But I do want to have a hobby and this one seems just as good as any.

Plus on top of that I travel quite a bit. I went to South America recently and before that I went to about 15 countries. Took me a couple years because I spent 2 or 3 months in each place generally. All together I maybe have been to 30 countries or more. I don't really know, especially if I count the stuff as a kid. Right now though the economy sucks still but I am able to manage to get away from time to time. Photography and my travel bug go hand in hand.

Instead of buying paint brushes and canvases--- photography can be my medium of expression for my artistic side. I can draw a mean stick figure...but thats about it.

I want to be a 'technical shooter' meaning I want to have knowlege of what I am doing. Learning all that stuff is part of the fun for me. it keeps my mind stimulated with something interesting. I already bought several books and read most of them so I am gaining a pretty good foundation so far.

I have several friends that are pros (and pretty famous)...many of you probably heard of them but I won't say who. In some circles they are top tier shooting photos for the likes of National Geographic and other types of things. One of these guys told me "it would be like going to someone's house and eating a great meal and saying this is great--you really must have great pots and pans'..." in reference to the camera equipment.

In other words it takes skill. I want the skill. I want the stuff to be in my brain.

But, as I responded to the above mentioned guy, 'with what I have now I simply do not have creative control. I have very limited ISO aperture and so forth. A \$179 point and shoot is fine, but that is all I have now...but it doesn't give me the access to that 'artist's palet' that I want to be able to express myself.'

I am not a real artsy type person in some ways but this is one way to expand my horizons. I can go to a gallery and appreciate a lot of stuff....so I am not clueless...I don't sing, dance, and certainly can't play the guitar...

I have always been interested in photography to be honest. If I just point and shoot at random stuff without even thinking about it my point and shoot works fine. But if I want to have creative control (ie paint with more than one color) I need an upgrade.

I don't really have any brand loyalty...one friend only shoots leica... the other only canon....for me, so I have heard that canon has a lot of widely available lenses. My thinking was that if I get the wild hair to start collecting lenses I will have better luck there because they have a big selection. Another thing is I have a nikon point and shoot and for some reason I just don't really like it (so I bought a different one). Nikon hasn't grown on me. Then I picked up the canon in the store and played with it with a pro by my side and to be honest the camera felt pretty good.

Admittedly I have not picked up and played with any of the Nikon DSLR's.

I am learning quickly that ISO range and other things like that are very vital. But as someone else put it to me... 'put your money into lenses'

Its a never ending thing which is good and bad...bad merely because I am not a billionaire or even a millionaire.

In all honesty I have been leaning heavily towards the 7D because of the frames per second and the cost factor. it seems to match more with what I am doing especially the sports and wildlife stuff. That being said the 1DX shoots even faster than the 7D but it is also about 5 times as expensive.

It is about the camera, but it is also not about the camera. Yes I need one where I have access to the artist's pallet IE various controls....but more importantly I want to have this stuff in my brain. Nothing is more impressive than someone who really knows what in the heck they are talking about. I don't want to be the nutbar with 10 grand hanging around my neck and still not know what the heck I am doing.

Right now I am on a budget and I have to make wise choices. I might pick up a used 7D frame and then get me a couple decent lenses to start with... you gotta start somewhere....but I am not even in the game yet. If so, barely.

I don't even have the ability to do a decent depth of field shot with what I got now. There is not one camera that is the jack of all trades... but its like other things. different tools do different jobs. Hammers are hammers. some are big some are small. but they are not all good for the same things.

Later on if I start raking in the big bucks it won't matter so much---but even if I did have money to burn I would STILL want the education....

Thanks for reading my babbling...but that's kind of where I am right now. Champaign taste, beer budget. I have money but I am being frugal because it doesn't come so easily these days. I don't want to get caught up in the hype. When I look at cameras I don't read their ads. I read the spec sheet. I have eliminated a lot of cameras using this method.

I wouldn't mind having 2 or 3 cameras to be honest....but for right now I have to be selective unless one of my more wealthy friends starts to be generous with me.

20. ## Re: Questions about the tutorial section (Lenses and Sensor size questions)

With all these 'features' I am still up in the air on if a full size sensor is better or a crop factor one is better. I am going back and forth over it.

The more I learn, the more I learn there is more to learn.

Dang it! A pixel is more than just a \$^#^%&^ing pixel! GRRRR!!! Info overload.

I wish they would let me design my own camera.

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