Full Frame vs APS-C -- For MACRO

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by HeldInTheMoment, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. HeldInTheMoment

    HeldInTheMoment No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey All,

    As the subject states, what are your thoughts on Full Frame vs APS-C for Macro? I feel with my D500 I get the extra reach with the 90mm Macro Lens, BUT I get a cleaner image with my D750.

    Thoughts?


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I've shot macro with APS-C cameras from Fuji,Canon,and Nikon, and have shot macro with FF cameras from Canon and Nikon. To me, using the camera's viewfinder, I like the full-frame cameras for their larger, better,crisper viewfinder image, compared with low-end cameras that were APS-C and which had rather poor viewfinder image quality, due to pentamirror design, or just that small, tunnel-like APS-C viewfinder that is a hallmark of APS-C amateur cameras. Lenses were "real" macro models, among them 55mm/3.5 manual focus,60mm/2.8 AF-D,90mm/2.8 AF-SP,100mm USM-IF/2.8,and 180mm/3.5 APO-HSM ED-IF from Sigma. Also used the Nikkor 300/4 AF-S with extension tube and/or a 1.4x converter. That said...many people find that Live View and the large,crisp, bright image it provides levels the playing field between APS-C and FX as far as being able to compose well, see well,and focus well.

    A good example of what I mean is like say, the Fuji S2 Pro d-slr, or the Nikon D3200...low-end bodies, with a pentamirror viewfinder, and a somewhat 'economy' viewfinder system in total, as opposed to say the BEST APS-C viewfinder Nikon made, in the $5,000 D2x body, or the D500 body's extremely contrasty,bright, and crisp viewfinder: being able to literally SEE everything, super-clearly, is a major plus to me. The pentamirror bodies just do not HELP me, but rather, get in my way, when it comes to looking at and adjusting the image/composition/focus. And this is where Live View might be a big help.

    I dunno...D500,D750...both are modern, similar MP counts...if you'd move to a 36-MP FX or a 45-MP FX, then it's be a different kettle of fish. I think one ought to use whatever one prefers to use.
     
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  3. HeldInTheMoment

    HeldInTheMoment No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    @Derrel,

    I am not that well rounded, only been doing Photography on a more serious level in the last 4 years or so. Though, from my experience and available gear I find with my D500 I get the 1.5x Crop Factor for more reach with the 90mm Tamron without extension tubes and with ISO under 1000 I see very little difference in overall quality between the D500 and D750. Plus, the D500 has a very large and bright viewfinder...very comparable, if not bigger, than the D750. Then again, maybe it's just my eyes and mind with the circle (D500) vs rectangle (D750) viewfinder.

    As just got the D750 used about a week ago, I wanted to explore during the recent storm here in Vermont. D500 with Tamron 90mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro and LED Ring Light example below, edited in LR CC Classic

    20180308_JDH_1164_3WM.jpg
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yeah...the round-eyepiece in a Nikon means "top-rade viewfinder", and has for a long, long time. The rectangular finder eyepiece Nikons are not as good through the viewfinder as are the round eyepiece cameras (as on the D600 series and the D750) Nikons are not as crisp as the.

    One can check the factory specification lists for viewfinder magnification, as well as eye relief, and get an idea of how large the viewfinder image is; the D2x or D500 are going to be probably the very-best APS-C viewfinders Nikon has ever made...I find the D610 I own not that good of a viewfinder, and same with the D750...it's just NOT that high-end of a camera when it comes to the total viewfinder system.

    The differences between cameras can be subtle, yet discernable. Like, for example, the D700 had a round eyepiece,and had a good viewfinder, 96% coverage as I recall, but the D3x had a simple spectacular viewfinder,with 100% coverage, and the best of the best in the viewfinder system components and build.

    I some APS-C cameras I've had, the viewfinders used BATTERY power (yes!) to artificially boost the brightness of the viewfinder image; remove the battery,and the viewfinder goes immediately very dim, dingy, awful...that says something right there.

    Viewfinder brightness is not as important as is contrast, and clarity of the image as seen on the viewfinder screen. To me, the viewfinder of my camera has been a huge issue, since the 1980's...to me, that is perhaps _the_critical thing I look for in the camera I shoot. The D500 has a high-grade viewfinder...the D70 had a rubbish finder...the D40 was okay...
     
  5. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Viewfinders aside, if you are on a tripod and manual focus the live view setup is great. Obviously bigger viewfinders help if using them. Image quality also depends, I mean if shooting still life on a tripod probably no difference detected. If you need to up iso etc to shoot something moving that's a different story and fx probably/ definitely better.

    Personally my crop and fx are 24mp. I think for most photos that's about 3 times what I need, but better to be looking at something than for something. In macro I can get more pixies on my little fairies with a crop sensor and fill the frame easier. Generally my macro (90mm tamron) is on portrait duty if on my fx
     
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  6. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Another consideration not yet mentioned is DOF. I don't do too much that falls into the macro range but living much of my retired life in the garden now I do a lot of closeups. Between FX and DX the difference isn't huge but it's there. You'll get a little more DOF in the shot from the DX camera all else being equal. In the closeup to macro range I'm generally inclined toward more DOF rather than less, but that can certainly go both ways.

    Joe
     
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  7. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    I've thought the same thing from my D500 and D750 when I was doing numismatic coin photo inventorying.

    Although I had to get closer with the D750, I preferred being a little further away with the D500. I was shooting at a distance to obtain the coins in the entire frame, although the D750 still had me closer than what I wanted but I really liked the images from it a bit more.

    FYI, the round eyepiece is just the eyepiece. If you look inside I believe viewing format is still rectangular (i've since sold my D500 so I cannot double check). I have a round 3rd party eyepiece for my D750 too.
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are articles and people out there who can explain this better or in more detail than I can, however a few things I've picked up over the years with regard to format size and macro specifically.

    1) There's nothing that happens in macro that doesn't happen in other areas of photography with regard to the difference in format size (format size being the sensor/film size for the rest of this post). Macro, however, often shows up these differences far more so in the real world than other types of photography can or do.

    2) A 35mm sensor compared to a 1.5 or 1.6 crop sensor (ergo those found in Canon and Nikon) will typically have
    a) Around 1 stop in aperture difference in depth of field. With the larger sensor having less depth of field than the crop sensor (and assuming focused at the closest focusing distance
    HOWEVER diffraction (the softening effect that reduces the clarity/sharpness of photos as you further reduce the aperture - ego increase the f number) takes place about one stop later in 35mm cameras compared to crop sensor. As a result you can claw the "lost" depth of field back with a 35mm camera if you so desire.
    Note that diffraction is a very iffy area and full of personal opinions on the limits. Some are happy to shoot at f22 or even f32, whilst many others might not be happy beyond f10. The "limits" are essentially you trying and seeing where you find the degradation too far for your own tastes.

    b) The 35mm will cover a much larger area than the cropped camera. This is one situation where you can very clearly see the "crop" effect taking place in the photography.

    The result is that a crop sensor camera can give a feeling of capturing a "closer" shot because it sees a smaller area, but will still blow that area up to fit its sensor size, which can be comparable to a fullframe (ergo have the same or similar number of megapixels).

    As such there is a VERY casual line with macro:
    If you want "closer" shots and more depth of field then a smaller sensor is of benefit to you over a larger sensor.

    If you want more content in the shot or less depth of field then a larger sensor is of benefit to you.




    Many other comparisons such as clarity, cleanness of ISO, viewfinder image etc.... are not so much macro specific but more going to come down to specific comparisons between specific camera bodies regardless of their format size.
     
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