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Thread: Full Frame Camera on a budget

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Addict Geoff79's Avatar
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    Full Frame Camera on a budget

    A thread I've been meaning to get to for a while, but I was just wondering if you guys, with your vast knowledge on the subject, have any tips on how to enter the world of full frame photography... most specifically, on a budget? I wish it wasn't, but as circumstances have it, that is sadly the biggest factor for me. I don't have the money I wish I had to spend on it, and I'm not even sure if it's something I can even seriously look into anytime soon, but I'd like to test the waters.

    The little bit of research I've done suggests I probably want to be looking at a timely and well priced second hand offer?

    At the moment I have a Canon 70D, with a Sigma 10-22mm lens, Canon 18-200mm lens and a Tamron 18-250mm lens. It is my understanding that if I buy a full frame camera, all three of these lenses immediately become useless? Is that correct, that I can't use any of these on a full frame camera?

    If this is correct and I'm basically starting from scratch, ideally I'd still like to stick with Canon because it's what I know, am familiar with and to be honest, what I like. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 40D and 70D. But all this said, if the price was right, I guess if I'm starting from scratch, I wouldn't object to switching to Nikon. But it would have to be a significant price difference, because like I said, I do like Canon and like the familiarity.

    Anyway, how would people suggest going about finding a good deal for a quality full frame camera with a couple of lenses? Is it just plain and simply something I should not even consider until I win Lotto? Or can it be done for a decent price, probably in the second hand world? And when I say decent price, I'm hoping somewhere around the $1000 mark. Just un-do-able, isn't it?

    ... Yet I may as well finish what I started.

    I guess ideally I'd be looking for the camera body (in research, is a 6D about the only possibility in my price range?) and two lenses - a wide angle (starting at no more than 16mm which I believe is equivalent to my 10mm with the crop sensor... but ideally around 14mm) and a general purpose one (70-200mm or something... 70-300 ideally).

    Anyway, I know it's a bit of a shambolic thread, but if anyone has any great tips I will hungrily read.

    I think I can guess the biggest tip, though - Save some money, punk.

    And for the record, the main thing that's tipped me over the edge with this crop sensor business is having to edit photos for stuff that I'd like to think I shouldn't need to edit. For my peace of mind, would the use of a full frame camera significantly reduce these two horrible effects I continually get with the 70D and my lenses:

    I have basically given up trying to shoot any built structure of any kind because of the awful and photo-ruining distortion I keep getting with the Sigma 10-22mm. I know I can avoid distortion by choosing other framing options, but that just robs me of the frames I want to shoot.
    IMG_8897.jpg

    And although I don't shoot land and seascapes with my 18-200mm or 18-250mm lenses, on the off-chance when it's all I have, I always get this horizon. Although I've only very recently learnt how to do so in Camera RAW, it seems this effect can be minimised, but it's just something I would rather not have to deal with.
    IMG_9345.jpg

    Is it correct to believe that a full frame camera will reduce these two effects significantly?

  2. #2
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    G'day Geoff,

    Yes, all three of those lenses are APS-C only and would need to be replaced if you went full frame.

    So far as I can see, both images are suffering from the same effect, or rather the same two effects:

    (1) Perspective distortion. (Esp #1.)
    (2) Barrel distortion. (Esp #2.)

    Neither has anything at all to do with your camera. Perspective distortion is caused by the laws of physics, barrel distortion is a property of the lens.

    Perspective distortion is present in all photographs. It comes about because the scene we see is three dimensional but a photograph is two dimensional. There is no accurate way to transfer that three-dimensional scene into two dimensions. (Take an orange. Slice it in half and throw one half away. Scoop the flesh out of the remaining half, keeping just the skin. Now paste that skin into your scrapbook. We need it to lie flat between the pages. How can we do that without distorting it somehow, such as by stretching it or cutting it into slices? Ans: we can't. It doesn't matter what we do, we have to distort that three-dimensional orange to get a two-dimensional pressing in our scrapbook.)

    There are many ways to bend a three-dimensional scene so that it fits onto a two dimensional plane (look up mapping projections if you want to see dozens of different ones - fitting the three-dimensional globe onto a two-dimensional map is the same problem) but only two of these ways are commonly used in photography. We can use a rectilinear lens which (at least in theory) keeps straight lines straight but distorts the size of objects near the edges and especially the corners such that they are too small, or we can use a fisheye lens which keeps everything the correct size but at the cost of bending straight lines near the edges and corners.

    As photographers we are mostly unaware of these issues because although one or other kind of distortion is always present, the effect is invisibly small at the narrow and moderate angles of view we mostly use. At any angle of view less than about 60 degrees (that's about 30mm on a full frame camera or about 19mm on APS-C), we don't notice it. It becomes moderately apparent around 75 degrees (24mm on full frame, 15mm on crop), and very obvious at really wide angles around 90 degrees (17mm on full frame or 11-12mm on a 70D).

    What difference would switching from 10mm on a 70D with a Sigma 10-20 to 16mm on a 6D make to perspective distortion? None whatsoever.

    All you can do with perspective distortion is compose around it. There is no other answer. (One of my favourite techniques is to use a fisheye lens (which keeps the size of objects correct) and ensure that any important lines in the composition (typically the horizon) are centred in the frame. People with ROTOCD* can't do this. But you will already have your own favourite methods.)



    Barrel distortion is very different. In theory it is a lens design fault, though "fault" is an overly harsh word to use: "trade-off" might be better. Many types of lens are prone to it, particularly retrofocus designs. (I.e., most general-purpose zooms and pretty much any wide angle lens.) Essentially, all retrofocus lenses start with strong barrel distortion which is overcome, to a greater or lesser degree, by additional compensating elements. It is very difficult to get the compensation exactly right, and for all practical purposes impossible in the case of zoom lenses, and the wider the angle of view and the larger the zoom ratio, the more difficult the task becomes.

    Rule of thumb: expect barrel distortion in a lens that is any of (i) cheap; (ii) wide; (iii) a zoom; (iv) has a large zoom ratio. Superzooms (like an 18-200) generally match all four red flag factors and tend to be particularly bad, though the Canon one is said to be better than most. (We can see this distortion at work in your second shot: the Tamron 18-250 must be spectacularly bad!) Expensive lenses, primes in particular, tend to be the best. Most zoom lenses have barrel distortion at the wide end, grading to the opposite (pincushion distortion) at the long end.

    A good article on distortion: https://photographylife.com/what-is-distortion
    The Development of Wide-Angle Lenses: https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/201...-angle-lenses/
    Lens Genealogy – Part 2: https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/201...ealogy-part-2/
    The Seven Deadly Aberrations: https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/201...y-aberrations/

    So where does this get us in practical terms?

    • There is no cure for your perspective distortion problem.
    • Your barrel distortion problem is caused by your lenses, not your camera. The cheapest way to fix it is to replace the lenses with better ones. You can certainly do much better than the unlovely superzoom with a decent general-purpose zoom lens. The Canon 15-85 is excellent in most respects: very well made, very sharp, good IS, not all that expensive. It does have quite a large zoom range and no doubt still barrel distorts a bit at 15mm, but it is a mile better than the 17-85 it replaced, or any superzoom. (Superzooms basically do everything badly.) There are no doubt other zooms with smaller zoom ranges that do better again. (Without checking the distortion specs, the 17-55 is said to be a beauty.)
    • A better way, subject to your budget, might be to add a wide-angle prime. Unfortunately, there aren't many to choose from.
    • You might swap the Sigma 10-20 (which is apparently not too good from a distortion point of view) with a better UWA zoom. (Canon 10-22? A newer Sigma?) Probably the all-round best UWA zoom on the market at present is the Canon 16-35/4 IS - but of course you'd need a 5D II or a 6D to use it on.
    • If you do decide to go full frame, the two obvious choices on a budget are 6D and 5D II. I don't know too much about 6Ds, but the 5D II is excellent in almost all respects, with superb image quality, let down only by a rather primitive autofocus system. (The 6D isn't any better, I understand.) For your sort of work, I don't think that would worry you at all - it's essentially the same AF system as your 40D. 5D IIs should be readily available second-hand. (I may be selling mine shortly. I have a 16-35/4 on the way and I'll use the two together for a little while to decide whether I want to replace it with a 5D III or not.) 5D IIs go for about $800 I believe; 6D probably about the same. (Newer model but down-spec from the 5D series.) You'd also need at least two lenses - say a 16-35 or a 17-40, plus a 24-70 or 24-105 .... that adds up to a lot more than $1000.
    • For built structures, you ideally want a tilt-shift lens. Even a second-hand one will be $800ish or more. Alternatively, where possible, simply stand further away and use a longer lens. THE best way to deal with perspective distortion and lens distortion is to use something like a 70-200 or even a 50mm prime. Actually, there is another idea now that I think of it: the Canon 60mm macro is a wonderful little lens, sharp as a tack, distortion-free, and excellent choice for much more than just macro. Decent price as macro lenses go too.


    Sorry for rambling. I hope this helps a bit.

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    * ROTOCD: Rule of thirds obsessive compulsive disorder. Although this is quite a common condition, there is no known cure for it. You either have it or you don't. It is probably genetic in origin. Many photographers achieve some temporary symptomatic relief by a liberal topical application of Red Medicine, though whether this should be of the Barossa Valley type or the Margarat River variety is controversial.
    Tony

    It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.

  3. #3
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    +1 on Tannin's reply(helps to keep my answer short )

    As for Camera .. dunno anything about Canon gear/pricing .. but you can still easily use the Sigma 10-20 as long as it fits on the FF Canon body.
    I did this myself on my D800E for about a year until I could work out if I spent a small fortune on a Nikon 14-24 or I just got the much cheaper Sigma 12-24.
    In the end I just went with the Sigma lens as I mainly do landscapes and it's problems weren't really going to be problems I was going to concern with.

    So I'd suggest looking at it from a long term point of view, and checking to see if a Sigma 10-20 and the Tamron 18-250 lenses will physically fit onto the FF body(my understanding is that the Canon EF-S lenses won't physically fit)
    on the proviso that the two lenses will fit a FF camera:
    You get a 6D and a 50mm f/1.8 (just to help maintain some variety). Use the Siggy 10-20 as your wide/landscape lens as normal. Of course you will have to crop to where the vignetting is, but it's not a problem unless you really want to print massive 40+ inch prints at all times!
    The crop will actually be a little wider(FOV) than the 10mm focal length the lens natively does too .. maybe 9mm FOV wide, and if you can accept a little vignetting, you could push that crop to about 8.5mm wide.
    The other option is a square crop(1:1 ratio) which gives interesting images.
    Did that for about a year on my D800E .. not as bad or tedious as it sounds .. having to crop every image.
    Nikon Fx cameras all have an 'auto crop to Dx mode' so that if you mount a Dx only lens, the camera automatically crops itself to the Dx format. I turned it off.

    I guess(don't know this, but just guessing) .. you could use the Tamron lens the same way.. so you'd still have a temporary telephoto lens, other than the point that images need to be cropped.

    the point of the 50mm is that it gives you a nice lens option to chase the kids around with! it remains FF, so no cropping needed, and it'll give you nice overall images.

    Then as you offload the EF-S lenses one by one(start with the Canon 18-200 first), as you amass more $s you then look for usable lenses for the 6D(but you keep the 70D for as long as possible to the last moment).
    But as you offload the APS-C/EF-S gear, hopefully this gives you enough in return to purchase FF gear.

    Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 is a nice landscape lens. Has a lot of sharpenss loss right at the very edges of the frame unless stopped down to about f/16-ish. Central sharpness is above excellent tho! For what it is too, it's is a small light lens by comparison to the Nikon/Canon/Tamron UWA lenses too. They generally sell for about high 800's-900 new .. so a second hand one surely wouldn't sell for more than about $450 in excellent condition.

    For the long end, the Tammy 70-300USD is OK. Not the best lens you can get, but value for money it's probably a good one. I don't know if Canon have a reasonable 70-300mm lens for their FF bodies that is a lot better at not much price premium.
    I know Nikon's version of the 70-300 a small amount better in the centre, but at a price premium .. ie. I wouldn't bother. Not enough betterness to make it a real option.
    Sigma used to make a nice 70-300 with OS, but I think they've ceased that one. They have a couple of really cheap models(for FF) of a 70-300 but I'm sure neither have the OS .. could be an option @ something like $200-300 or whatever, but without OS I'd be weary.
    Image stabilisation at those focal lengths can be important.

    So, I'd be looking to do it all in stages, using the stuff you currently have as you can manage to use it. Then offload some old stuff to help fund the new stuff.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon}; -> 50/1.2 : 500/8 : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8 ais : 105mm f/1.8 ais : 24mm/2 ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC

    {Yongnuo}; -> YN35/2N : YN50/1.8N


  4. #4
    Ausphotography Addict
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    Thanks, Tony, that is a large bundle of really useful info. I can google all I want, but specific info like that, for my specific cause, is invaluable. Very much appreciated.

    I still want to enter the FF world, for the general benefits, but knowing that it won't directly impact my issues above definitely allows me not to rush anything.

    I have queried these distortion issues in the past and I believe Am has suggested similar explanations, and I think it's finally sinking in, lol.

    Thanks so much for the equipment hints too... will legitimately look into it all.

    And thanks too, Arthur. I was thinking I could sell my current gear to get new gear. Possibly easier said than done as I get attached to stuff that's brought me much joy, lol, but if I harden up I should do it this way.

    I'm very curious about your suggestion I might be able to use my Sigma and Tamron lenses with a FF camera. I was under the impression, as per Tony's post, that it was a no go?

    Thanks also for all your suggestions... it is all duly noted!

    I'll do more research now with all this great info. Thanks again, chaps.


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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Hi Geoff,

    I've just done this exercise. http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...r-why-I-ve-jus

    I stated in that thread that I wanted the FF D600 purely for it's pixel size, but that is only half the reason, the other being for the extra real estate that the full frame sensor offers. I use a Samyang 14mm f2.8 for my UWA shots, as sharp as the legendary Nikon 14-24mm, and yes, it does have distortion, as do all UWA lens. As Tony explained so well above, distortion is a fact of life with UWA lens, but as also mentioned it can be controlled to some extent by framing a bit more loosely, ie stepping back a bit, if possible.

    Where a 14mm lens on a FF camera wins over something like your 10-22mm siggy on your crop camera is that the wider the lens is, the more distortion it will have. To get the same FOV (field of view) as the 14mm on a FF camera, you would have to use something like a 9mm lens on your crop camera, and you are getting into fish-eye territory there.

    My main uses for the D600 will be for nightscapes and landscapes, as per the shots you posted above. Google 'Canon 6D vs 5D Mk II' and it seems like the 6D has a better ISO range and is generally preferred.

    I'm waiting for the postman to deliver my D600 which I picked up for $680.00 with less trhan 9k clicks on it, and only 3k clicks since having the shutter assembly replaced. I'm doing a nightscape shoot tomorrow night so that the clear skies hang around.
    Cheers
    Kev

    Nikon D810: D600 (Astro Modded): D7200 and 'stuff', lots of 'stuff'

  6. #6
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    While noting AK and Cage's points, I reckon replacing your body first would be going about things entirely the wrong way, Geoff. You'd be starting with the same lenses that are giving you grief already, only adding the issue of horrible vignetting and/or seriously restricting your available zoom range. Where is the benefit? Better low-light performance, yes (the 6D is slightly better than the 5D II, but either one is so far in front of a crop camera that the difference is a bit academic), nothing else that comes immediately to mind.

    There is potential for more detailed high-res images, but that won't become a reality until you buy lenses, so no gain there either. And remember that lenses last pretty much forever while cameras tend to have shorter working lives. If you go lenses first, by the time you get around to buying a camera, you could be stepping up to a 5D III for the price you'd pay for a 5D II or 6D now.

    On the other hand, you could buy a better lens first, something full-frame compatible but also useful on a crop camera. I imagine that you'd start with a normal zoom, something like a 24-70 or a 24-105. There is about a dozen different models available new, many of them quite reasonably priced, and off the top of my head I can't think of a bad one. At 24mm you will get barrel distortion, but that usually disappears from around 28mm on.

    Or you could start with a wide-angle lens: the pick of them is the Canon 16-35/4 IS at around $1200. (It had better be! I'm sitting here at home messing around on AP while I wait for the courier to arrive with my new one, ordered to replace my much-loved veteran Canon 10-22 - essentially I'm replacing 50D and 10-22 with 5D II and 16-35.) A cheaper alternative is the elderly but well-respected 17-40 at around $800 new.

    And, of course, there are 70-200s and 70-300s. Huge range with a wide variety of prices and quality.

    Finally, there are many nice prime lenses. In some ways, a well-chosen prime is the best dual-format (APS-C and FF) lens of all. 50mm is a nice portrait length on crop, a handy normal length on FF. 35mm is an all-purpose normal on crop, a useful wide-normal on FF. 24mm is wide-normal on crop, wide on FF. 85mm is a moderate telephoto on crop, short portrait on FF. Most zooms have ranges which make rather awkward fits when used on the "wrong" format: a 24-something is rather long on crop and takes some getting used to; a 16-35 is a bit neither here nor there, and a very expensive way to cover a range that any cheap made-for-crop kit lens comes close to at a fraction of the size and weight. The 17-40 probably straddles the gap better than most. (That said, I used a 24-105 on crop for many happy years, but I soon became so jack of swapping lenses in the dry and dusty outback that I borrowed and then bought an extra body. That was where the rot set in. )

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    Ausphotography Addict
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    Thanks for the additional input, gents. Looks like plenty more info to digest.

    So just to clarify, the Sigma and Tamron lenses will actually function with a 6D or 5D mark II? The results will just be quite poor.

    One obvious thing to come from this is that any future lens I ever contemplate buying will need to be FF compatible.

    Thanks again for the info, gents. I will sit down on the laptop and go through it all and check out some prices.


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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff79 View Post
    Thanks for the additional input, gents. Looks like plenty more info to digest.

    So just to clarify, the Sigma and Tamron lenses will actually function with a 6D or 5D mark II? The results will just be quite poor.

    One obvious thing to come from this is that any future lens I ever contemplate buying will need to be FF compatible.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yes, and a good idea.. Any APS-C (Crop lens) on a full frame camera will have significant vignetting.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cage View Post
    Yes, and a good idea.. Any APS-C (Crop lens) on a full frame camera will have significant vignetting.
    Interesting. Thanks for that.


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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Anne View Post
    And Geoff when you win Lotto or sell your Son whatever come first, buy a Canon L prime lens, you will never be sorry and will never have to worry about lousy bokeh again
    Funny you should say that. This afternoon, I stole a few minutes with tripod and three lenses all capable of shooting at 35mm, with the aim of illustrating my first post above. Sloppy work but sufficient to illustrate the theory I think, and surprisingly effective in doing so. I didn't expect the results to be quite so obviously different, nor to see them follow the script so faithfully. To save wading through a pile of pictures trying to figure out which one was which, I just set the 5D II on a tripod and took one shot only with each lens.

    Note that the fence itself is not quite square: the posts are 20mm closer together at the top than at the bottom. (Yes, scratch an OCD photographer I just ducked out with a tape measure to check that!) In the context of a 1.8m high fence, 20mm is not much. You certainly can't see it with the naked eye. Note also that the palings are exactly vertical but the railings are not quite horizontal - they are parallel but slope down a little from right to left to match the landscape, which falls away more steeply out of shot to the left.)




    ^ This is the 24-105/4 at 35mm (as estimated from the markings on the barrel). Mild pincushion distortion is immediately apparent.




    ^ This is the 16-35/4 at a nominal 35mm (which is probably more like 33.5 or 34mm - zoom lenses almost never zoom quite as far as the label says). Pincushion distortion is more obvious, and should be no surprise to anyone. Nearly all zoom lenses have pincushion distortion at the long end, the only question is how much. Short and medium zoom lenses are pretty much always weakest at the long end and best at the short end. Here we are at the long end of the 16-35 and despite the extra distortion, I reckon it looks better than the 24-105 does.




    ^ This is the 35/1.4 prime, and where is the distortion? There isn't any, at least not to speak of. Note that this is a lens Canon decided wasn't good enough a few years back and replaced with the 35/1.4 II.

    Sure, we are looking at an expensive L Series prime. On the other hand the 24-105/4L is regarded as pretty much the equal of the other leading Canon-fit normal zooms (24-70/4, 24-70/2.8 III, 24-105/4 II, and possibly the Sigma 24-105/4) with very little between any of them. As part of my just-completed gear refurbishment (completed today, as a matter of fact!) I looked long and hard at alternatives to the 24-105 (which I have always respected and never loved) and really couldn't find justification for changing it over. Only the 24-70/2.8 III offers even a slight all-round optical superiority, but it is huge, heavy, doesn't take standard 77mm filters, does not have IS, and costs a fortune. Couldn't see the point in the end; I kept the one I had. And the 16-35/4L is regarded as a truly outstanding lens. My point here is that I'm not comparing a posh prime to a couple of cheap also-ran zooms; all three are L-series units and of the three only the prime has been substantially improved upon since my copy left the factory.

    Now this is the sloppiest possible test procedure - a single shot with each lens of a not-quite-square test target, and not using my best camera either - but the fact that the results sit so precisely on the dotted line of expectation seems like a pretty solid hint.

    How would a cheaper 35mm prime like thhe 35/2 IS stack up against the two expensive zooms? My guess is that it would go pretty well.

    Next up, 24mm.

  11. #11
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    ^ This is the 24-105/4 at 24mm. It is very soft. That's not representative of the lens, I must have missed focus. But ignore that. Look at the significant barrel distortion - just what you expect at the wide end of a wide-ish zoom. (24mm full frame is equivalent to 15mm on crop.) The top and bottom rails are slightly bowed, but it is very obvious when you look at the 4 x 4 posts - which in reality are pretty close to dead straight. Look also at the top of the palings. Although sloping slightly down the hill (to the left) this is a straight line (which I achieved at the cost of a little extra time and trouble last summer by clamping a straight 3 x 2 to the posts and sitting each paling in turn on it before nailing it on). The barrel distortion, however, bends it quite noticeably. I try to avoid using the 24-105 at 24mm when there is a straight line that will look odd - horizon usually - but I don't fuss too much about it. Life is too short!




    ^ Now the 16-35/4 at an indicated 24mm. Straight lines are straight. If anything, there might be a tiny bit of pincushion distortion. I should actually have set the tripod at the exact level of the middle rail; but these were all shot from slightly below it. You would expect some measure of barrel distortion at 16mm even with this lens, though I haven't tried that yet.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    APS-C lens on full frame.

    If we are going to have barrel distortion, let's do it properly.

    (In fact, a fisheye doesn't distort; it simply converts three dimensions to two dimensions in a different way.)




    ^ Tokina 10-17mm fish at 17mm on a 5D II. Notice the lump on the upper left of the shadow at lower right. Technically, this is known as my ear. Most humans have at least one of them.




    ^ 16mm and it still works fine. The object at extreme lower left is my thumb, technically known as forgetting just how wide a fish can be 'coz I haven't used it for a while.




    ^ 15mm, still OK. (The EXIF on the 16mm shot says 15mm. I set these from the scale on the lens, so perhaps it was 15.49mm or something like that. Or maybe the scale is out a bit.)




    ^ 14mm and apart from the Return of the Thumb, we have vignetting.




    ^ 13mm. More vignetting. This lens has baffles (some felt-like material I guess) to cut down internal reflections and flare. I know that baffling is common, I don't know if all lenses do it or only some though. If the baffles were not there we would still have vignetting, but it wouldn't transition so suddenly from black to white.




    ^ 12mm.




    ^ 11mm.




    ^ 10mm. Sorry about all the thumbs.

    As you can see, an APS-C lens does indeed work on full frame, but the usable zoom range gets the thumbs down. (This is the only non-full frame lens I have now, so no more samples. Besides, you are probably getting as bit bored with the fence by now.)
    Last edited by Tannin; 11-09-2017 at 11:39pm.

  13. #13
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    While noting AK and Cage's points, I reckon replacing your body first would be going about things entirely the wrong way, Geoff. ....
    I kind'a agree, but I did make a point that if Geoff were to seek a cheapish 6D/5D type body, that it'd be best to also acquire a 50/1.8 too go with that(as opposed to the traditional fries! )

    Full frame and 50/1.8 works really well, and casting my mind back to posts already made, I remember Geoff has kids. 50/1.8, Kids, FF camera .. you'll get nice shots just with that cheap combo alone.
    All else will be probably more thought out, and planned(ie. landscapes and stuff like that).
    Kids just run around like lunatics, and moments come about without a moments notice, you'd have the 50/1.8 by default on the 6D/5D for those moments.

    Then(with camera in hand, ie. 6D/5D type camera), you head into photographic type stores as time allows, and try other lenses of the various types of interest.
    I'm pretty sure the jaw will drop if Geoff tries something cheap and cheery like the Sigma 12-24mm lens.

    But Tony is right .. just the FF body on it's own without at least one fully functional lens is close to a bit of a waste.
    I say 'close to a bit of a waste' with the explanation that: photography isn't only about the number of pixels you end up with, or how hi res the image is. Photography(or more specifically) photographs are about how they make you(and/or others) feel.
    A camera body, by extension, is similar in the way it can provide images(i.e those same images that make you feel one way or another).
    The operation of the camera body in itself can be a vital difference between getting a 'better shot' or a shot at all!

    So the achievement of capturing photographs that make you feel .. <insert feeling here> .. can be dependent on not only the skill level of the photographer, but also the ability of the camera body too.

    I've 'just gone back' to this situation the other week, when I acquired a (Nikon)D5500 + a kit lens.
    Kit lens is quite reasonable in quality. Body is an impressive upgrade in some capablility over the D300(semi pro APS-C Nikon from 2007!!) in terms of sensor quality and the other usual round of tech specs people normally associate a camera body upgrade to be .. BUT!

    But, the D5500 is not now, or ever will be the kind of camera I can shoot with. Features are 2x better than D300, simple stuff .. that no one mentions with respect to camera body upgrades .. the Auto ISO feature in the D5500. Nikon have the Auto shutter speed feature.
    To describe the difference in how much of an improvement in usability this gives the D5500 over the D300 wouldn't do it justice. But the D5500 is simply too small for my hands. I can't hold it comfy .. it forces me to cramp my hand up to fit the body.
    But I'd(almost) kill to have that simple Auto shutter speed feature in AutoISO on the D300. (as it stands, I prefer to use the D300 in manual mode, but with AutoISO enabled .. just to use the handy ability of AutoISO.
    (note that 99.9% of my shooting is done in Aperture Priority mode).

    For me, the sensor is probably wayyy down in about 20th place in terms of things to look for when upgrading a camera body.
    But! .. if that sensor is capable of greater dynamic range, makes landscapes a lot easier to capture. I say that tho as an opponent of HDR. So if HDR is your thing, dynamic range is of little interest and no consequence to you.

    A major priority for me is AF system. Is it an upgrade/update? is it better, faster, more sensitive .. etc.
    Then off course the viewfinder. No matter how good an APS-C camera can be .. the larger mirror of a FF camera is almost always better!
    Then all the hidden features(ie. as per the Auto shutter speed) that make something less annoying to use.
    Note that auto shutter speed is a simple calculation of focal length of the lens used, and if a zoom at what zoom level.
    In the old days, you were offered a set shutter speed(eg. 1/60s) and no matter if you mounted a 2000mm f/11 or a 20mm f/1.4 .. the shutter speed at which point ISO started to increase automagically was that set and annoyingly forget 1/60s. It didn't take into account if the lens has IS/VR/VC/OS/etc.
    Auto shutter speed does all that .. and more .. like your dishes, and laundry !!!

    Another caveat .. that took me a while to come to grips with. AF spread! I was so used to the APS-C viewfinder for so long, the AF point spread was large in the vf. When set to 3D auto tracking(works well on Nikons) the follow focus system was neat and seemed to last forever .. becasue the af point were spread across the frame so far(ie. to the edges) .. FF on the other hand, the af points may be about half the area of the APS-C format vf. It was a bit annoying when follow focusing(tracking) something and it barely get 1/2 way to the middle of the frame and the af points run out!.

    So if you view a body upgrade as simply a new sensor with x number of pixels and hence so much inherent cropping ability .. then as with Tony's comment I wouldn't bother.
    But if the body upgrade gives you a certain feature upgrade that allows you to capture better images of <insert favourite subject matter here> then I'd still consider it(plus the 50/1.8 lens).
    One last note: I've been reading good things about the Yongnuo 50/1.8 lens around other fora. Not brilliant, but for $50 new! .. why wouldn't you try it?
    In fact I just reminded myself of another thing I wanted to chase up on.

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    Thanks for all that, Tony. All very interesting - jeez you have some gear! Your last post, with the Tokina lens, was most telling. That is definitely not something I could or would deal with. If I took the plunge into the world of FF, I would obviously need at least one lens to get started... but preferably a couple. Having looked around a bit at the 6D and 5D Mark II tonight, I don't think I'll be getting one by the time my next holiday comes around, I'll say that. There is still a large desire... I just need to be able to afford it.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I kind'a agree, but I did make a point that if Geoff were to seek a cheapish 6D/5D type body, that it'd be best to also acquire a 50/1.8 too go with that(as opposed to the traditional fries! )

    Full frame and 50/1.8 works really well, and casting my mind back to posts already made, I remember Geoff has kids. 50/1.8, Kids, FF camera .. you'll get nice shots just with that cheap combo alone.
    All else will be probably more thought out, and planned(ie. landscapes and stuff like that).
    Kids just run around like lunatics, and moments come about without a moments notice, you'd have the 50/1.8 by default on the 6D/5D for those moments.

    Then(with camera in hand, ie. 6D/5D type camera), you head into photographic type stores as time allows, and try other lenses of the various types of interest.
    I'm pretty sure the jaw will drop if Geoff tries something cheap and cheery like the Sigma 12-24mm lens.

    So if you view a body upgrade as simply a new sensor with x number of pixels and hence so much inherent cropping ability .. then as with Tony's comment I wouldn't bother.
    But if the body upgrade gives you a certain feature upgrade that allows you to capture better images of <insert favourite subject matter here> then I'd still consider it(plus the 50/1.8 lens).
    One last note: I've been reading good things about the Yongnuo 50/1.8 lens around other fora. Not brilliant, but for $50 new! .. why wouldn't you try it?
    In fact I just reminded myself of another thing I wanted to chase up on.
    Jeez you got me with this last paragraph. I've never heard of this lens before, but $50??? I need to try it out. I have a quick look on ebay and I can see it going for $61. Have you got a link where it's being sold for $50? I think I'd try it out, just because I have never once, ever owned or even used a prime lens... ever... and this is surely an opportunity to at least try one out. I'm gathering by what I quickly read about it, it is for FF and crop sensors? So if I got this I'd be able to use it merrily on my 70D, and then one day should I rob a camera shop and steal a 5D Mark II, uh, I mean innocently buy a 5D Mark II, I'd be able to use it with that too?

    Don't get me wrong... I know when it comes to camera gear that cheap and nasty is not the way to prosper, but like I said, it'd be great to get a feel for a prime lens.
    Last edited by Geoff79; 12-09-2017 at 12:33am.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Ah! sorry may have been US$50 .. ie. about Au$60.

    ps. sometimes cheap and nasty isn't what it's supposed to be!

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Ah! sorry may have been US$50 .. ie. about Au$60.

    ps. sometimes cheap and nasty isn't what it's supposed to be!
    No worries mate, still a cracking bargain. I need to retire for the night but unless something ghastly comes up tomorrow, I might try it out. Thanks for the heads up.


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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Good suggestion from AK, but don't buy a 50/1.8, not even for $50. For $145 brand new you could get a 50/1.8 STM, or for $165 a 40/2.8.

    (These are both relatively new products which Arthur, being from Nikonland, probably hasn't seen yet.)

    The two newer lenses offer massive advantages for very little extra - what's $100? It's one cup of coffee a day for a month. in the scheme of things, nothing.

    • 50/1.8 II
    • Build quality: very cheap and flimsy.
    • Lens mount: plastic.
    • Focus motor: micro-motor (slow, loud, buzzy)
    • Optics: good provided you don't go below f/2.8. Cruddy wide-open, but at the price who cares?
    • Bokeh: spectacularly bad.
    • Filters: unusable - the front element rotates, meaning you cannot emply a CPL
    • Manual focus: really, really bad. In practice, unusable.
    • Full-time manual focus: no
    • Max aperture: f/16.
    • MFD: 450mm


    • 50/1.8 STM
    • Build quality: much improved. Still cheap and plasticy, but clearly better
    • Lens mount: metal
    • Focus motor: STM (quiet, smooth, still not quick)
    • Optics: exactly the same as the 50/1.8. (It's the same glass carried over unchanged, except for improved coatings.)
    • Bokeh: vastly better. Uses a 7-blade aperture instead of the weird 5-blade one in the 50/1.8 which makes the famous ugly highlights
    • Filters: 49mm is a really weird size and you'll need to buy something larger in a common size and use a step-down ring. But at least the front element does not rotate
    • Manual focus: no problem. It's not an 85/1.2L but it is fine. (Manual focus with any STM lens is a bit weird, but you'll get used to that.)
    • Full-time manual focus: yes
    • Max aperture: f/22.
    • MFD: 350mm


    • 40/2.8 STM
    • Build quality: good
    • Lens mount: metal
    • Focus motor: STM, same as the 50/1.8 STM - compare to ring USM which is the best type, but quite expensive
    • Optics: good (marginally better than the two 50/1.8s - not enough to worry about either way)
    • Bokeh: good.
    • Filters: no problem
    • Manual focus: no problem. Similar to the 50/1.8 STM
    • Full-time manual focus: yes
    • Max aperture: f/22.
    • MFD: 300mm
    • Cute factor: 11 out of 10.


    For $100 extra, you get a lens that you would be happy to use on any camera, not just a stop gap. I would lean towards the 40/2.8 myself, partly because of the cute factor (it's the same size as a 12mm close-up ring!) and partly because I like that little-bit-wider field of view, but that's a matter of taste. The 40 is probably a bit more robust too. I picked one up second-hand the other week for $100. Haven't had a chance to use it much yet. I had a quick play with Kel's 50/1.8 STM a month or two back: I was amazed how much it improves on the old 50/1.8 I owned for several years a while back but mostly avoided using because the 60/2.8 macro was superior in every way and only a little bit longer. I'd be happy to own either one of the STM lenses

    The 50/1.8 is famous not because it's an especially good lens (it isn't - it's quite sharp stopped down but otherwise poor and in some respects dreadful) but simply because it isn't the optical horrorshow you'd expect at that price point. If it was human it would would come top of the class at the special school.

    The catch with the 75-300 is that it is probably the worst lens Canon make. Even a good superzoom (for example, your 18-200) puts it to shame at 200mm, never mind 300. This is like coming bottom of the class at the special school.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for the info, Tony. You make good points.

    I guess the main thing I need to weigh up is what a 50mm lens means to me. I'm just trying to think of a photo I might have ever even taken at 50mm.

    $100 isn't massive in the scheme of things, but I like the idea of $50 for something I might not get truly extensive use out of. Like I said above, more so just to have a play with... see what the whole prime lens scene is all about.


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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Cheers Geoff. Think also about what pictures you would take at 35mm, because a 50mm lens on a full frame camera will act the way a 35mm lens does on your 70D. (Or, in the case of the little 40, think 25mm.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tannin View Post
    Cheers Geoff. Think also about what pictures you would take at 35mm, because a 50mm lens on a full frame camera will act the way a 35mm lens does on your 70D. (Or, in the case of the little 40, think 25mm.)
    Indeed, another thing to consider. I can see it would be a good lens for getting nice candid shots of my babies, both furry and furless. I wonder how long it'd take to get used to not being able to zoom in and out...


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