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The cost of full frame

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by DynaSport, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    Ok, nothing new here and nothing I'm sure you all don't already know, but I thought I'd see what the cheapest way to go full frame would be. Specifically, full frame with a 50mm prime or something close. I picked that configuration, because I have learned that the PL25 is by far my favorite lens on my G5 and would like to have the FF equivalent. And while I am not poor, I am limited in my budget for camera gear because photography is not my only hobby and I have other obligations.

    So, I started looking at prices to see how much I'd have to set aside for such a purchase. I used the current prices from B&H for my comparison. Perhaps I could do better buying used gear and I'll probably look at that next, but I thought I'd start with new equipment and I am comfortable doing business with B&H. However, you may be able to find the same gear a bit cheaper. If any of you know of a reputable place to buy something I've listed here substantially cheaper, please share that with me.

    Anyway, I started with point and shoot cameras. The only game in town are the Sony RX1 and RX1R, both which go for $2798. They have 35mm lenses, which is not my first choice, but I understand they are fantastic cameras.

    Next, I looked into mirrorless, which means Sony as well. Currently, their least expensive mirrorless camera is the a7, which goes for $1498. The FE 55 1.8 goes for $998, so we are at $2496 for the pair.

    Finally, we come to DSLRs, where there are many more choices. Currently, the cheapest full frame body is the Nikon D610, because it is $400 off. So the current price is $1597. Now for the lenses. This is where things get more complicated for me. I started this wanting to find the cheapest way to get a full frame kit, but I'm not sure I want the cheapest 50mm lens available. For the Nikon, the cheapest lens is the 50mm f1.8D, which goes for $115 for the US version. I would rather have the 1.8G version which sells for $217. If I wanted to step up to the 1.4 category, there is the Sigma and Nikon, both of which cost $400.

    So, for the Nikon, I am looking at either $1712, $1814, or $1997, depending on the lens.

    The Canon 6D has a $300 rebate, which brings its price down to $1599. For the lenses, the 50 1.8 currently has a $20 rebate, bringing the price down to $105. The Canon and Sigma 1.4 are both $399.

    So, for the Canon I am looking at either $1704 or $1998.

    Certainly the Canon and Nikon are close enough in price that even the cost conscious shopper could choose based on preference of camera and not on price. Having owned the Canon 50 1.8, I know that while it is an ok lens, I would definitely prefer either the 1.4 Canon or Sigma. So, if I went Canon I would be basically looking at $2000. I might be ok with the 1,8G on the Nikon, I'm not sure. If I was, I'd be saving almost $200 with the current rebate.

    Now, here's the deal. While I know my G5 isn't the current state of the art m43 camera, I only paid $240 new for it when they went on big clearance sales when the G6 came out. I paid full price for the PL25 and spent about $600 on it. So, my kit cost $840. Or less than half the cheapest FF kit I can put together. And even if I bought a FF kit, I'd keep the G5 and PL25 because it will be so much smaller and lighter to carry around. So, will I buy a FF kit? Maybe one day, but probably not today. I do want one though.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Talanis

    Talanis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    Oct 15, 2012
    Sherbrooke, Canada
    Eric Cote
    You can also check for used Canon 5D Mark II which is still a very good camera but even used, they sell at 1000$ and up (in my area at least).

    With the launch of the a7 mark II, there might be some very nice deals on current A7. The price of the FE55 is prohibitive though but I'm sure you could find an adapted 50mm for a good price. I'm sure we will see used A7 way below 1000$ in the spring.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Careful what you ask for :)

    Those nifty fifty's are no match for the PL25 wide open, though:

    PL25 at f1.4.JPG



    EF50-1.8 at f1.8.JPG



    EF50-1.4 at f1.4.JPG

    Once you get down to f/5.6 they are very nice though.... :happy-084:
     
    • Like Like x 3
  4. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    943
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
    • Like Like x 1
  5. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    137
    Jun 9, 2011
    I sometimes get caught up in this fullframe lust too. If you are after a fast 50 equivalent you could also consider apsc, which is both smaller and cheaper. A used sigma 30mm 1.4 and Dale body could be had pretty cheap I bet.

    Like you though, even when cost isn't the major turn off, I remember why I chose m43, size.

    My uncle has a significant investment in canon Dslr gear, and guess what he takes on holiday? Point and shoot. I wanted only one system, and it needed to be small enough to travel on holidays and to take pictures of my family that lives overseas.
     
  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    if you are interested in dabbling, go grab a plain 5D and a few EF lenses used at KEH, play for a while and if you like what you see then you can trade up.

    of course I realise that's just logical thinking of me and not the voice of GAS and "I have too much spare cash"
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    I've heard about significant focus issues on the 5D Mk II. When they were first out I went to a friend's wedding. She had two shooters there, both using 5D MK IIs. I talked to her after she got her photos and she was very unhappy. She told me that most of her photos were slightly out of focus. I later heard this was a fairly common problem with this camera. Do you know if the problem got corrected or possibly wasn't really a common problem? My G5 is more accurate focusing than my previous xxD Canon. I was never fortunate enough to own a 1-series. My G5 is pretty unsatisfactory for C-AF, but the xxD's weren't that great either.
     
  8. Talanis

    Talanis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    Oct 15, 2012
    Sherbrooke, Canada
    Eric Cote
    I never had problems with mines besides the fact that the AF really suck on the 5DII. Sometimes, you might get a lens with a front or back focusing problem but you can micro adjust it in the camera menus. With a full frame, if you shoot wide open, you can't focus and recompose. That might have been your friend's problem. You can do that with APS-C or micro 4/3, even wide open if you are careful but shooting at f/1.4 with a FF, once you lock focus, you can't move or your focal plane will change and photos will be slightly (or more) out of focus.

    I don't miss my 5DII :p
     
  9. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    The fifties for the full frame lenses should be stopped down to 2.8 (or 2.0 on an APS-C) to provide a reasonable comparison. In that setting, it looks like the PL25 wins out over the Nikon 50mm 1.8G, but not by a dramatic amount. It looks like there's some weird decentering or field uniformity stuff going on with the Nikon? Not sure.

    Technically speaking the high end FF bodies are delivering about 1 2/3 stops over the best m4/3 cams, less on the Canon side. Of course the Panasonic G5/G6 perform significantly worse than the Olympus or high end Panasonic cams. So the calculations get mixed up a bit depending on your exact choice of camera.

    The bigger point, though, is that your imaging is camera, plus lens - plus light, subject, technique, and processing. Obsessing over one particular piece and neglecting the rest will not magically improve your imaging work.
     
  10. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    with which lenses? Personally I'd stick with single shot AF (and well for the few weddings I've done I always use manual focus) Its one of the things I loved about going to m43 ... I can zoom and see in the VF just what I'm actually focused on.

    Also (fwiw) what I've been shown and told was poor focus seemed upon closer examination to also be a candidate for camera shake. If its a weeny itty bitty bit shakey it also looks soft.
     
  11. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Don't make me laugh with your DOF-policing, thanks. I'll raise it myself if the OP says his specific goal in going FF is to get the same DOF with FF as he was getting with MFT. That would be a pretty stupid reason to go FF. He didn't, so don't.

    (We should be over this equivalence crap by now. There is no such thing as true equivalence across different sensor sizes: you can only equate one parameter at a time.)
     
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  12. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan

    With any lens I have. It just doesn't track that well. I'm talking about trying to take pictures of my dogs running in the back yard and even my granddaughter moving around. And I'm not confusing it with camera shake. And zooming in on the VF to see what I'm actually focused on doesn't work too well with moving subjects, at least for me. I've shot some sports, such as basketball and volleyball, with my old Canon gear and it was OK, not great, and I just don't think my G5 would be even as good as my old Canon. I'm not knocking the camera, that's just my take on it's capabilities. But we are off topic as I'm not looking to do sports with a FF. Besides, focus is even more critical on FF, as DOF can be thinner.
     
  13. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    I have heard some of the panasonic lenses track better than others (and all better than the Oly lenses on the Pana bodies)


    always had better success on that with one-shot and having the camera set to not shutter release till AF. I have ONLY ever been satisfied with C-AF on Canon EOS lenses with ring type USM motors and knowing that I've got good contrast on my focus point.

    I always view that this technology is good, but its not magic

    I wasn't meaning you, but the shots from the wedding you mentioned with full frame. A 100mm lens on a full frame always seems to suffer from shake to me more than a 50 does on my 4/3

    :)
     
  14. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    I wonder how true this is. I posted recently about thinking about buying an EM-5 now that there price has dramatically dropped and someone told me they couldn't tell much difference in the output of their G5 with their EM-5. And I have seen some really great photos posted here taken with the G5 and I am generally pretty happy with mine with some limitations, such as higher ISO performance.

    But then I see posts like yours that say it performs significantly worse than the Olympus or high end Panasonic cams. In what way are you saying it is significantly worse? Resolution? High ISO performance? Color accuracy? Dynamic range? All of the above?
     
  15. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    I tend to agree ... even if you have 22.8bits vs 21bits how much of a poofteenth of an f-stop is that actually representing?

    A few years back I wrote this blog post after examining the data from my cameras raw output
    http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com.au/2010/03/raw-and-wmm.html

    [​IMG]
    I am sure that the number of people who actually transfer the linearity of bits to the photographic reality of logarithms are few.

    Essentially a few more bits in the top end won't really help so much with blow out and what you want to know is how many bits are you getting in the low end (and how far to bother going down before lens contrast issues essentially make that moot)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I didn't use the G5 or G6. I did use the GH2 heavily. The biggest thing was the extra dynamic range, and the lowered noise floor that comes along with it. That is very noticeable day to day, for me. The pattern of the noise also always seemed easier to work with; less purple color shifting. I am not basing this off test numbers; the EM-5 was giving me much, much nicer raw images than the GH2 at nearly every shooting situation and ISO.

    As far as equivalence, there are a couple ways to equate it. But f1.4 on an m4/3 chip is not comparable to f1.4 on an FF in any fashion, unless you ignore framing and perspective. The number value on its own has no meaning, nor does comparing lenses for the two formats at their respective wide open aperture. The OP did not, as far as I saw, mention any motivation for a larger sensor camera in the first place.
     
  17. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    The OP's intent was not to justify his desire for a FF camera. The OP has no need to justify his desire for a FF camera. The OP would like to have one, and that is enough. The OP was simply quantifying the minimum cost of entering into the FF world if the OP buys new gear today. The OP has decided that for today, that cost is more than he is willing to pay. The OP may change his mind tomorrow.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  18. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Going full frame is actually pretty cheap and the quality obtained even on a budget is really amazing. I have a bias towards the OM-2SP as it has spot metering and you don't have to deal with auto focus - however the newer canon and nikon bodies are all pretty damn good, you can generally pick up a used body for a fraction of what they originally sold for. Combined with a basic late model 50mm f1.8 and you should be able to get a full camera with standard lens for around $200. The choice of film is somewhat personal, buy a few different rolls to try before you settle on one brand. Developing your own or giving it to a lab are both good options, I prefer to develop and scan B+W myself although colour is a tad trickier to develop. Film scanners are pretty cheap these days however just getting the lab to scan it generally only adds a small amount.

    Lets be realistic here, nothing digital can touch the quality you can pull out of a well exposed shot using good film short of medium format(amazingly medium format also comes in film!). What digital really brings to the table is knowing you ****ed up when you took the shot rather than later after you've developed it. I actually find film far more fun as a hobby than digital, digital is good because there's no surprises - instant feedback when you don't get it right which is important if you're being paid to do it. With hobbies I prefer to be more hands on and film is a million times more fun in that regard to me - besides giving a framed darkroom print to someone as a present can really blow their mind.
     
  19. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    Full frame sensors are still more expensive to make than APS-C, m43 and 1" sensors so they will always be at that price range. The same with medium format -- around $40,000 or so for a basic 80mm kit. Having said that, you were not clear of what you wanted other than a standard lens in your configuration. You were not clear as to what you want to get out of FF. Are you looking for high ISO performance to complement m43? Are you looking for wide angle and tilt-shift applications? Are you looking for shallow depth of field? All you said above was the price. Both the Canon 6D and Nikon D610 are good, but each of these cameras have their strengths and weaknesses and both are good. Others have suggested buying used and a generation or two behind to start FF. This is a wise choice but perhaps won't apply to you. What are your needs for a FF?
     
  20. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Going by B&H new prices you have to spend $1000 to get the Fuji equivalent : X-E1 & 35mmF1.4 which I found surprisingly expensive.

    I guess it all goes to show there are some really cheap new m4/3rds bodies ...