Counterargument for Overused Argument of "Full Frame" Equivalence (If you are crazy enough and compe

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Reflector, Feb 14, 2014.

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  1. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    So there's the stupid over usage of the pointless argument in this form: "FF = Master Sensor of all Sensors, due to our infallible argument named Equivalence."
    Great. Typical stuff like DoF equivalence, FoV equivalence. It kind of gets tiring to hear it brought up by other real life photographers that don't comprehend it.

    I have a great, real life counterargument for this, which I will demonstrate with my E-M5 with a Sigma 18-35 1.8A Speedboosted. You could call this part 1* of my "essay" on showering praise that combination:

    The 18-35 gives me a FL range of 13-25, which would be "wide" to "normal" in 135 format FoV (26-50mm).
    If I were to shoot the Sigma 18-35 at 35mm wide open, I would have a 25mm f/1.2. Say I were to shoot the E-M5 at ISO 200 on a static scene and get a 1/2s exposure
    To achieve similiar DoF at a similiar FL that on a D800E or A7R, I would need a 50mmmm lens at f/2.4 to equal out the DoF. That's great, but I would need the shutter speed near 1/50s if I were to shoot that casually yet achieve a blur free shot; but if I was clever, brave and still as a surgeon, I can go lower than that for the shutter speed, perhaps by a little less than a single stop were I to lean on a wall or something like that.
    But wait, how many stops is that? 1/2s -> 1/4 -> 1/8 -> 1/16 -> 1/32 -> 1/64... Looks like it'll be over 4. So I'd have to raise my ISO from 200 to 3200 to get the exposure down using a 50mm f/1.2 on a D800 or A7R.
    To equalize out DoF? f/1.2 -> f/1.7 -> f/2.4. That means I'm going to ISO12800

    Not so good already. Last time I checked, ISO3200 on those 36MP Sony sensors does not look squeaky clean no matter how much postprocessing you put them through unless you want to vaporize all the details.

    But wait, how much do those weigh?
    The E-M5 weighs around 430 grams.
    The HLD-6 weighs (And we don't even have a vertical grip on the D800E or A7R) something like 220 grams.
    The 18-35 weighs a hefty 811 grams.
    Oh and the Speedbooster weighs something less than 180 grams and above 150 grams.
    So that's about 1.6kg of camera.

    Unfortunately for the A7R, it does not have a very large selection of lenses. Oh but it weighs 407 grams empty! (...I hope you brought more batteries than I would for the E-M5 however. And a tripod so the shutter shock won't bite you. Oh and if your name is DigiLloyd, better bolt some weights on there too!)
    The D800E is no featherweight at 900 grams. That's more than the 18-35 in weight.
    The Nikon 50mm f/1.2 is 380 grams.

    With the D800E, you'd have either a 1.5kg or 1.28kg, without a vertical grip. But we don't have a tripod to equal out those shutterspeeds do we? You're looking at 1kg+ of a tripod and something around 300g for a nice ball head to stick on there.

    I'd put on a simple adapter on the A7R, but you might as well just subtract 400 grams from the D800E comparison right? Then add 500 grams back on if you're Digilloyd and the weighted A7R, or you're going to have to bring that tripod along and shoot at 1/2FL or faster instead of just merely 1/FL. That isn't helping a lot is it?

    ...And we still don't have clean, ISO 200 files that can be ETTRed for creamy smooth shots to post process later and push them to have amazing sharpness, not without the tripod. Oh, we can blow up the E-M5's shots by 150-200% to make them 24 to 36MP, especially if the RAWs are clean and sharp to start with in the first place with little NR needed. Those are handheld shots, without the hassle of setting up the tripod, but you have the burden of manual focus. Not much of a price to pay if you're going to take a minute to take the tripod out.

    ...Also last time I checked, not every shot occurs in a studio environment or near-afternoon lighting environment. Switch my f/1.2 to a much larger value like f/4 on the 18-35 and then think about what happens to the D800E/A7R f-stops for DoF. Either way, they're going to have issues when the shutter speeds start dipping down...

    And yes, you can argue against everything I've said here, I even did that before I posted this so realize that I am not drinking my own special mix of Koolaid and mysterious chemicals.

    This is just one case against larger sensors to make a point that parroting out "equivalence" is sign of "I don't know photography, but I'll say the same things over and over again."

    APS-C, m43, and all of the sensor formats are still relevant and have their uses. There is no one magical sensor size. If there was, we'd be walking around with large format scannerbacks shooting still stuff at ISO 12.5 on tripods by the argument of "equivalence."

    Nobody seems to notice this large text at the end. I guess they would rather perceive me as their enemy than to actually understand this is a bidirectional case.

    *I am sure I am going to stomp my boots on more people's toes when I bring up that the 18-35+Speedbooster effectively replaces most of the m43 prime options for me due to a combination of optical performance and pricing concerns
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    You should post pics, because I'm terrible at math. :wink:
    • Like Like x 3
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I long ago stopped even thinking about this and just take photos knowing what my lenses will achieve. No need to justify my choice of camera system.
    • Like Like x 9
  4. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Equivalence is bunk, agreed. The E-M1 provides the better hand held, static subject, low light experience. The A7R in good light (ie shutter speed over 1/2xfocal length, base ISO, I personally have no trouble shooting hand held not have I seen shutter shock) kicks it's ass, and it's my creamy bokeh and tripod use landscape cam. Perfect pairing.

    Low light and people? iBIS is more valuable to me than cleaner ISO 6400. But both will do in a pinch.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    While I get what you are saying, this opening post is one of the most cryptic and hard to understand I saw here! Lot's of number and actually contradicting the title of the post. It's full of equivalence about this and FF in all the dimensions, weight, purple fringing and star alignment...
    • Like Like x 2
  6. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    this is like the difference between art and art history: one school creates and the other school tries to explain and/or define and/or bring 'rules' to this essentially creative process. i personally find art history wholly unsatisfactory in having anything whatsoever to do with art. if one cant 'see' a difference between achievable results with FF and m4/3, good for you. or bad for you. whatever. but please, do not try to 'prove' your point of view with math, as math has no relevence regarding what the rest of us 'see'. and you are correct in that this debate is in fact quite boring, as is any attempt to impose rules of structure on how people see art.
  7. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    Tech what?

    I've been taking pictures since somewhere around 1960, and discussions such as the opt gives, is great, in the lens development lab. But, does nothing for me, in choosing what to buy or use. And, I usually don't even bothering to read them, although I did this one. Curiosity, I guess? They are so pointless to the actual activity of making the pictures I like.

    I have pictures that I took, in the early 1960s, with the Kodak Brownie box camera, with it's "hairpin" shutter, and tiny lens, of who cares what focal length. Because. it only had one! And I do buy the best that I can afford. Good tools make any job easier, faster and can produce a better product. I buy a lens, with the focal length that works for me. If for any reason, I don't like the quality of the pictures from it, I replace it with something else. The math, the technical parts inside have no real input, in my choices, only the results. And, yes, I do understand the technical part, when explained, if I care to follow it. Yes, I sort of read the OP. And I don't take issue with it, in content or reasons for the post. Just my personal take on the whole technical approach to the art of making good/great photographs.
    Case in point. My daughter bought the Olympus 45mm, and I used it for about a month, on a couple of different cameras, including the E-p3. If, I were into mostly people photography, it would be a great choice. But, I'm not. I do mostly nature and close-up static type stuff, and I just wasn't really pleased with the slightly soft look. So I gave it back. She loves it for what she does.

    It's a beautiful day here, and I think that I will go out and see if I can find something worth capturing. After I have have breakfast first. First things first! Have a great day, :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  8. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    The only "equivalence" I find useful is the approximate FL equivalent for FOV in 35 mm terms. Everything else I just figure out from using the lens. If you have tried mu43 and the DoF was too much for you, you've probably moved on. As has been pointed out, many streetshooters like the extra DoF.

    BTW, nothing in this post is aimed at the OP. I feel your pain.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Don't agree. Until we start classifying lenses in terms of FOV, we need a reference point when comparing FLs across all the various sensor sizes and the de facto format is 135. I've no idea what a 10mm lens does on Nikon J1, but if we say it's a 33mm equiv (or whatever), then I'm immediately comfortable.

    You might not like the 135 kick back, but that's life!
    • Like Like x 3
  10. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    Hmmm... 1.6kg you say...
  11. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    sorry reflector

    read your post several times and I still have no idea what point you are trying to make

    Once again your poor ability to actually explain something clearly, gets in the way of any point you are trying to make...

    Especially this paragraph, which seems to be core to your argument

    "If I were to shoot it at 35mm wide open, I would have a 25mm f/1.2. Say I were to shoot the E-M5 at ISO 200 on a static scene and get a 1/2s exposure.
    To equal that on a D800E or A7R, I would need a 25mm lens at f/2.4 to equal out the DoF. That's great, but I would need the shutter speed near 1/25s if I were to shoot that casually but if I was clever and I could brave well well, we can lower that a little.
    But wait, how many stops is that? 1/2s -> 1/4 -> 1/8 -> 1/16... Looks like its a little over 4. So I'd have to raise my ISO from 200 to 1600 to get the same exposure using a 25mm f/1.2 on a D800 or A7R. But to equal out DoF, I would need to raise my f number to f/2.4. f/1.2 -> f/1.7 -> f/2.4. 3 stops, so my ISO goes up to 6400."

    I have now read that para ten times.... and it still makes no logical sense to me...

    1) I don't know what the first 35mm refers to... ? Focal Length, equivalent FOV?...Sensor size?

    2) dont undertand why the D800 would need such a higher shutter speed

    3) I have no idea which camera you are talking about at any particular point

    You may have a point in there that is fighting to get out... but to me it is lost in your poor explanation

    • Like Like x 4
  12. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    I don't own a D3s yet. It's also the only camera that I could actually use against myself in this argument as it doesn't suffer at ISO6400 and up.
    Otherwise, feel free to stare at Speedbooster example photos at my topic.

    I only think of this as it lets me know what my personal limitations are on the E-M5. With the D200 I was very much limited in "when and where" I could take photos. Anything short of nice, brilliant lighting would push me into "put the camera back into the bag, you're done here today." I do this as a personal exercise and this topic is my post to give people a free piece of information, the only real "cost" they pay is in reading it.

    That and the E-M5 came from my personal careful research into buying an interim camera before a D3s. I write this partially out of personal experience from what the camera can achieve and partially an (indirect) counterargument to the people who told me to buy a D600 and nothing else due to the sensor. The amount of ignorance I experienced in real life with "...why would you buy anything *but* full frame" type arguments made it feel as if I was in some kind of Twilight Zone episode everytime I entered a local shop.

    I think I explained the stop advantage pretty clearly. Here, let me give you a summary: When I shoot the E-M5 with that lens in those conditions presented, I have a 5-7 shutter stop advantage over a D800E in noise from a combination of how large my lens aperture is on the E-M5 and how the IBIS lets me shoot below the 1/FL shutter speeds.

    ...Meaning the typical argument of "equivalence as an argument to claim full frame superiority" was and still is poiintless.

    I have nothing against 135 format. I have everything against the people that try to justify any other format's "inferiority" to it. This post is a free piece of information for you to use to utilize in why those arguments are wrong.

    Yes, a full 1.6kg. I usually carry the E-M5 in a "daily" configuration with my 50mm f/1.2, but if I feel like I need the 13-25mm f/1.2 range, then I bring it along. If I feel like I need my entire lens collection, then my slingbag comes along for "serious" photography with all of the many kilos or pounds of lenses.

    That should be right above that

    The D800 would need a higher shutter speed unless you carry a tripod as you would need to push to the 1/FL point to get a shake free as neither the 24 1.4G nor 25 1.2AI-S have VR. Otherwise you would end up carrying another 1kg+ of weight and need to set the tripod up for shots.

    This was written at night just as I was about go to sleep, so I will go over my post with an edit to make this more readable
  13. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium

    I have had coffee and breakfast let me see if I can decrypt what you are trying to say.

    You have the 18-35 with a speedbooster, which on the OMD gives you an effective FOV equivalent of a native 13-25 lens for 4/3 and 26-50mm in 135 format

    You are shooting at the longer end of the lens (35mm) which has an equivalent FOV to a 25mm lens on a 4/3 sensor and a 50mm on 135 or ‘full frame’ sensor

    Because of IBIS in a particular situation, with the OMD you can shoot 1/[email protected] ISO hand held, with an aperture of f/1.2.

    So far I am clear…. its the next bit in your example that baffles me

    To get the same FOV on a D800 you would surely need a 50mm lens (not a 25 as you wrote), and to get the same DOF you would have to set it to f/2.4

    Using i get

    [email protected] on 4/3 gives a DOF focussed at 35m of 17.m to infinity, which, with a [email protected] on the Nikon, will be the same

    f/1.2 to f/2.4 is a 2 stop difference, so to get an equivalent exposure on the Nikon you would either have to raise the ISO to 800 or increase the exposure to 2 seconds.

    The problem is you then throw in a variable that has nothing to do with equivalence, and everything to do with image stabilsation, namely the fact you can hand hold for half a second with the OMD.

    Yes the rule of thumb with 135 was 1/focal length for recommended minimum handheld shutter speed… it can be argued that the rule of thumb for 4/3 is 1/(2 times focal length) - indeed on the Olympus if shooting aperture priority and auto ISO, 1/50 is the minimum shutter speed it will allow before boosting ISO if shooting with a 25mm lens.

    so even after decoding your maths, and correcting some wrong assumptions, I am still not sure of what point you are trying to make, as it all seems to revolve around the ability to hand hold longer with the Olympus.

  14. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2010
    You are definitely right that every format has its uses, it's pros and cons. I think that's your main point.

    But I don't think the term 'full frame equivalence' is generally used as an argument for full frame. Rather, it's just to give us a common frame of reference so we understand what field of view we are getting with a particular lens and camera. If you're an experienced M43 shooter then you don't need this crutch anymore, we all know what 25mm gives us.

    It does really help though when comparing across formats, and especially with small sensor cameras where we don't always know the sensor size. I'd rather just read '28-105mm' on the lens rather than '6.5-24.4mm' or whatever.
  15. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    Pick up camera, attach lens and shoot.... I no longer care about comparing sensor sizes any more. If hollywood can make do with super 16mm sensors for the better part of a millennium its good enough for me too (stills or motion).
  16. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Counterargument for Overused Argument of "Full Frame" Equivalence (If you are...

    I'm with Kevin on this. I'm not really sure what your point is, even after clarification.

    After reading this post and several other recent ones I'm pretty sure you like really fast lenses and image stabilization. And that the EM5 with a speed booster is working out well for you.

    I'm glad you like it, but I still don't know what free bit of information you're trying to communicate.

    • Like Like x 2
  17. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Sorry. Your math is wrong or confusing, or both. 135 format needs only two stops movement from 4/3. You also make the following incorrect assumptions...

    That the IBIS in the EM5 gives extra benifit in all cases. IBIS does not account for subject movement. You may need to get that shutter speed up. Secondly there are 135 format cameras with IBIS (Sony a99).

    You also nicely sidestep the issue of the additional tolerances brought in with your adaptor, the poor to non existant AF. You mention the poor battery life of the A7r (which with the wifi off is lose to the EM5 anyway) when every other 135 format camera smashes the EM5 for battery life by several times.

    These arguments don't serve a useful purpose except to inflame or defend someone's personal choice. Argue that having greater DOF at a given exposure has real world advantages, sometimes, and you've got me. This stuff, definately not.

    • Like Like x 3
  18. Dewi

    Dewi Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 11, 2014
    Lancashire, England
    Photography is like most other things: analyse it too deeply and it ceases to be fun. I started shooting pics at 10 years old, by my maths that's 53 years ago - and I still enjoy doing it immensely. I guess I just don't analyse it too much then? I also never use mountains of gear, one camera and whatever lens the situation requires is all that ever goes out with me, if I haven't got / own the right lens then I make do. I photograph by the philosophy that the only thing of importance is the final image, pick your subject, pick your camera and lens and shoot. Simple!

    I'm sorry Reflector but I just couldn't be bothered wading through all that so I can't comment on the subject matter, apart from the above - and the fact that it looked simply way over my head....but I take great photos - only my opinion of course :smile:
    • Like Like x 3
  19. zlatko-photo

    zlatko-photo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2014
    I frankly don't understand either the argument or the counterargument against it, or why there are any arguments about this. Every format has its strengths. I look at that E-M5 with the Sigma 18-35 and speed booster and wonder what it is like to shoot it, and how well it autofocuses, and how good the image quality is, etc. I'd be more curious to see some photos from that combination than to try to make sense of these arguments.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    If you’re struggling with the system and you're finding it limiting, and this is more of an emotional dump, then fair enough. But then I think you’re approaching it from the wrong angle, comparing it to other systems is not going to help; you need to talk about your limitations.

    There are professional photographers who have challenged themselves by finding out what they can do with an iPhone, simply because camera phones have virtually overtaken P&S cameras. When you convince yourself that the camera is the limiting factor, then you’ve accepted the old statement of: ‘Those are great photos, you must have a great camera.’
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