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The allure of full frame...



Does a full frame DSLR need to be on every photographers bucket list?

I've been shooting since 2006 and at one point owned a Canon 40D, 10-22, 17-55 2.8 IS, 70-200 f4 L, 430ex flash etc! But sold it all for what I paid as prices rocketed and my usage declined.
Been using a Panasonic GF3 and 20mm 1.7 prime since. Very happily, capable little thing with a fast prime.

Then I found myself on ukaskews smug mug account looking at lovely shallow DoF car show images that could have only come from a FF sensor. The EXIF revealed a 5D. Since then I've discovered Canon now make the 6D. Paired with a Sigma 35 f1.4 it could be quite the monster, a giant version of my CSC setup.

Who else has tried to downsize and ended up coming back?
 
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  182 FF
I have been around the block with cameras, a 400D, 550D before deciding I didn't need an SLR and buying a Sony NEX-3 and a Sigma 30mm f/2.8.

I gave in and bought a cheap 650D and 17-55 before getting the usual full frame urge - it just so happened I could afford a 6d with 24-105 at the time.

It wasn't as game changing as I thought it might be, but I've never regretted it!
 

Niall

ClioSport Club Member
I made the jump to FF last year and has been the best thing I’ve done. The quality of the images straight from the camera is much better, along with the actual look to the images. I use a 7D quite often (not mine) and the files from that (using the same lens) are quite flat compared to my 5D Mark II.

Full frame isn’t the be all and end all, just it’s great if it suits you and your style of shooting, which for me it does.
 
  Cayman S Edition 1
I went from a 600D to a 5D mkIII, but mainly as I was shooting glamour. Yes it's better quality etc, but it fits a purpose. If I was shooting more action stuff, I'd have bought a 7D.
 
  Citigo
I downsized (Micro 4/3 and Fuji X) when I was very poorly and could barely lift a camera, they certainly have their place and I absolutely loved carrying the small but super high quality Fuji around the USA on our honeymoon. If travelling extensively you need to be quite devoted to go with full frame.

Having said that, my 5D2 and Sigma 35mm 1.4 is an utter dream, for the first time I couldn't imagine using anything else, I'm a prime shooter at heart and I feel I've found my perfect focal length (a decent, true 35mm is tough to get on APS-C). Many people end up with a 24-105 or slowish zoom, but FF only really becomes game changing when you bolt on fast primes in my opinion.

The main thing is making sure you can afford it, it gets very, very expensive very quickly, there are no shortcuts with FF. It's also a pain the ass if you need lots of reach, hence why I now have a crop DSLR for motorsport as well now.

Definitely a balance between usability and quality, and that's a personal choice to make. I shot a lot more when I had my Fuji, but I prefer the quality of the fewer pics I'm taking now.
 
Thanks all, I find my style is fast primes, been shooting 40mm equivalent for a while now but even with f1/.7 it doesn't quite satisfy.

Chris that's great to hear. Interesting to find out you use the Sigma 35 as that's my prime candidate. Luckily I don't need any reach these days.
Do you have any albums with this setup?

I would like to try and keep the M43 setup, have just added the Samyang 7.5 fisheye and its great for travel.
 
Full frame is about depth of field and for my pictures I always want max dof so I have to say for me full frame isn't necessary but Nial does rightly say about the look which was clearly evident in a pic he posted of a Porsche 911 a week or so back.

I am slightly dubious about better low light abilities as it's all linked to depth of field anyway. Yes a full frame will give you better low light images but at a reduced depth of field. For example

canon 5d mk3 ( which I used today!) had to be stopped down to f16 to get the required depth of field.
aps-c camera only needed f10 to get same depth of field, low light advantage of full frame instantly gone.

another
canon mk3 and 85 1.2 had to be used at 2.8 to get both eyes in focus.
apsc and same 85 1.2 could be used at f1.8 to get both eyes in focus. Bang full frame advantage instantly gone in low light.

i will buy a sony full frame either mirror less or dslt next year. Anyone seen the new sony 12 megapixel full framer???
 

Niall

ClioSport Club Member
Full frame is about depth of field and for my pictures I always want max dof so I have to say for me full frame isn't necessary but Nial does rightly say about the look which was clearly evident in a pic he posted of a Porsche 911 a week or so back.

I am slightly dubious about better low light abilities as it's all linked to depth of field anyway. Yes a full frame will give you better low light images but at a reduced depth of field. For example

canon 5d mk3 ( which I used today!) had to be stopped down to f16 to get the required depth of field.
aps-c camera only needed f10 to get same depth of field, low light advantage of full frame instantly gone.

another
canon mk3 and 85 1.2 had to be used at 2.8 to get both eyes in focus.
apsc and same 85 1.2 could be used at f1.8 to get both eyes in focus. Bang full frame advantage instantly gone in low light.

i will buy a sony full frame either mirror less or dslt next year. Anyone seen the new sony 12 megapixel full framer???
I’m assuming that the DoF in the model shot is only less because to achieve the same framing you need to be closer?
 
  Citigo
I’m assuming that the DoF in the model shot is only less because to achieve the same framing you need to be closer?
Your right yes but I was considering the deeper depth if field you get with a smaller sensor. 5dmk3 and 85 1.2 is an awesome combo! Such a huge bit of glass!
 
I went from a G3 to D7000 to D600 and probably will never go back.

The DOF is just immense, and took some getting used to, but this and the high ISO performance has never made me regret my decision.

I only have 3 lenses which are 50mm f1.8, 28-75mm Tamron f2.8 and 70-300 VR.

The latter is not a quick lens, but its performing so well on the D600 and have truely been blown away with what a 'consumer' lens can produce.

The Tamron is best bang for the buck out there and is nearly always attached!

I have always been an equestrian photographer, but have now started with portrait work and recently done a Christening and doing a Wedding next month. All low key stuff, but its helping people out, I get a bit of money and it adds to my portfolio.
 

Aaron..

ClioSport Club Member
I've looked a few times at making the jump to full frame from my 550d and I just can't justify the spend at the moment . I could afford a second hand 5d mk2 body but then I'll be stuck with my 50mm 1.8 and my sigma 17-35 2.8 and I'd want a zoom.
I'll have to have a think next year, see how my finances are doing then.
Full frame shots do look a lot better, especially night images.
 

Niall

ClioSport Club Member
Your right yes but I was considering the deeper depth if field you get with a smaller sensor. 5dmk3 and 85 1.2 is an awesome combo! Such a huge bit of glass!
Yeah your first point is something I haven’t considered, a good point :)

Yeah it is, I’ve promised myself that I will own one some time in the future.
 
  Citigo
Yeah your first point is something I haven’t considered, a good point :)

Yeah it is, I’ve promised myself that I will own one some time in the future.
An 85mm 1.2 Mk1 popped up on Talk Photography for about £600 recently, I had a mega internal battle over that one, massive risk as they can't be serviced any more, but just the thought that it may have been a peach and given me many years of service. Probably safer to buy a Mk2...but my car is worth less than one of those!
 

Niall

ClioSport Club Member
An 85mm 1.2 Mk1 popped up on Talk Photography for about £600 recently, I had a mega internal battle over that one, massive risk as they can't be serviced any more, but just the thought that it may have been a peach and given me many years of service. Probably safer to buy a Mk2...but my car is worth less than one of those!
yeah I saw that, I was in the same frame of mind, I’d prefer a mk2 if I was to get one, they can be had for 1000-1100 second hand nowadays, so still a fair price. I could have one if I sold some of my current lenses, but it’d be stupid just for one lens really.
 
Let me give a more extreme example and perhaps I should of added the below assumes hand held.

if f2 and 1/100 secs gives the desired exposure.

That required exposure is the same on a compact camera or a full frame both need f2 and 1/100 secs to give 18% grey.

Now if you shoot both cameras at f2 and 1/100 secs the full framer will give a far better low light image. But the dof on the full framer at f2 is going to be very shallow. F2 on a compact however will give a very deep depth of field. By the time you have stopped the full framer down to f16 to match the dof of the compact, you also need to raise the ISO to get 1/100 shutter speed.

Thus your left with roughly the same noise on both cameras. i.e ISO 3200 on a full framer is 'as good' as ISO 200 on a compact. (In this example)
 
An interesting thought, there are so many variables and you would could throw focal length into the mixer.

In a few years time there are going to be some amazing small cameras, I've just discovered the Sony RX1 full frame 'point and shoot', all that power in a tiny package but it is out of my budget @ £2.2k.

I guess a Leica M9 and 50mm f0.95 would be the dream but that's laughable amounts of money.. for now I'm set on saving for the 6D Sigma 35 1.4 combo.
 
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