Longer Lens or Crop Sensor

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by photoflyer, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. photoflyer

    photoflyer No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I need longer reach. So in the coming year I will either get a longer lens or a crop senor body to go with the glass I have. I am curious what all of you think about the trade-offs for each strategy.

    A little background. I have a 6D mark II and the 70-200 2.8 L USM II with the 2x teleconverter. I shoot sports inside and out and would like to have longer reach for wildlife photography.

    My perception is that the crop sensor would be the less expensive option but a longer lens on a full frame is technically better. I am concerned about noise at high ISO on the likes of the 7D m II or the 80D (assuming those are the best Canon crop sensor options).

    Thoughts?


     
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  2. Peeb

    Peeb Semi-automatic Mediocrity Generator Supporting Member

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    I'd go crop body so that you have more reach AND a backup.
     
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  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Just to clarify: A crop sensor does NOT give you 'more reach'. The crop factor simply refers to the field of view, and NOT any extra magnification. In other words, on a crops sensor, a 100mm lens is considered to a 150mm lens, however what this means is that when you mount a 100mm lens on a crop-sensor body, it gives you a field of view similar to that of a 150mm lens on a full-frame body. It does not magnify it.
     
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  4. qmr55

    qmr55 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's good info...I never knew that to be honest. Good to know.
     
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  5. Alexr25

    Alexr25 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's also very misleading info!
    The sensor size combined with the focal lens determine the image angle of view and angle of view is the thing that gives a tele lens its tele properties. While it is true that sensor size does not in any way affect the lens focal length it does affect the image angle of view and hence the apparent magnification of the subject. A 200mm lens on a crop body will give you the same angle of view as a 300mm lens on a full frame body.
     
  6. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The focal length was standardized off a 35mm sensor, so in theory if you use that standard a crop sensor doesn't give extra reach but magnifies it.

    In real use it's kind of bs. I think it would be simpler if a standard is used to just give it's equivalent on different type cameras but my opinion on this is rather insignificant :)

    If I was in your position I'd likely buy the 7d2 second hand and probably try get something like the sigma 150-600. As long as your wildlife shots are in reasonable light you should be good.

    You'd have a backup, and if light was a little lower you could use it on the 6d, just compromising a bit of reach for image quality
     
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  7. khakoo

    khakoo TPF Noob!

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    I'm sorry, but it's your post that's misleading. There's a lot more to the topic but what tirediron posted was correct in clearing up a misconception about "crop factor". The crop "reach" advantage is a myth because the effect is only the same as you would get by cutting off part of a full frame sensor, i.e. recording a smaller portion of the scene captured by the lens. A longer focal length both magnifies the scene and narrows the field of view proportionally, but decreasing sensor area only reduces field of view. Sensor design can influence the size of recorded details by virtue of its pixel count. A 24MP crop sensor produces a larger image than a 20MP full frame, for example, so if "reach" is a key requirement then that's one way to increase it. However, as we know, more pixels means smaller photosites, trading off light sensitivity and therefore increasing noise compared to a larger sensor of the same generation.
     
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  8. petrochemist

    petrochemist No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If he crop body you're considering has the same pixel density as your existing camera then the only gain is having a backup camera, as the images would be just like you cropping your existing images. However APSC bodies often have a higher pixel density so there may be a real gain with the right one.

    Getting a good lens that longer than your existing combo (140-400mm f/5.6 with TC fitted) will be expensive & heavy especially if you want that impressive speed. There are a few 150-600 zooms available now (I gather the Tamron is well regarded) which might suit, but I don't think they'll like the TC. Perhaps renting one for a weekend will give you a feel for how it performs.
     
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  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My view is glass first (lenses) unless you want to change your format (sensor/film) size; then you change the camera first and then the lens.

    However it seems that the only real feature you want is greater reach and magnification of the subject. Whilst a crop sensor "sort of" gives you that (and whilst you can crop your fullframe shots I appreciate that getting it closer to right in-camera is more fun and rewarding for most photographers); I would think that it might be better to save your money and save up for that far more expensive longer lens.

    However that hinges on how long it would take you to save up. I think you want to sit down and work out what lens would fit your needs best and then calculate roughly how long it would take to actually save for it. If you start talking years and years to save up then a new camera body makes sense now; if you're talking a year or months then mayhap save. Don't forget that the 7DMII is getting older and there are rumours of a new version coming out or at least being announced this year (granted these are very rough rumours, but that camera is gettnig old now and as it is canons crop sensor flagship it makes sense that an update should be coming)
     
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  10. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    If I was into birding / wildlife seriously, I would be looking at things like prime lenses, 400, 500 and use a TC on those as opposed to a TC on a zoom. Additionally, in the camera body, I would look at things that have fast auto focus tracking and acquisition. If I had the OP's current setup, and the money, I'd be looking for a 400 or 500 L prime and a TC. If not into it seriously or limited budget, than the Tamron 150-600 g2.
     
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  11. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    he didn't say extra magnification or focal length, he said extra reach.

    what if we defined "reach" as a narrower FOV (as it always is) and not focal length or magnification (not that anyone actually does). now what?

    I'm going to quote you

    "The crop factor simply refers to the field of view"

    now:

    "The reach factor simply refers to the field of view"

    :shock:
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
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  12. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The advantage is a myth?! the advantage is real.

    what complete disingenuous drivel.

    I'm sorry, but cropping a 24MP FF image to fill the frame with a bird and ending up with a 10MP image is not the same as an uncropped 24MP aps-c image that required no cropping to fill the frame with a bird.


    How about we go about this a different way:

    You have two cameras; one crop and one ff. Both with the same lens.

    there's a bird on a post in front of you, you look through each viewfinder and decide to shoot with the crop sensor because the bird fills the frame -- even though we are using the same lens.

    what do you call this effect?

    we know it's not reach, cause reach is a myth. so what should ever photographer in the world start calling it?






    It's an illusion, Michael.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018

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