How are reach and sensor size related and what are the merits of different options?

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  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited January 2014
    Coastalcon, if I read your EXIF data correctly and make the assumption that it was a Nikon lens, that was shot on the 500mm F4 I assume?
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,428Member
    edited January 2014
    I, and many other bird photographers, seem "get by" with FX. ;)
    image
    D800 + 300mm F4 + TC14E
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,428Member
    Coastalcon, if I read your EXIF data correctly and make the assumption that it was a Nikon lens, that was shot on the 500mm F4 I assume?
    Look at the Flickr data, looks like it was the Sigma 150-500mm (Bigma).
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Coastalcon, if I read your EXIF data correctly and make the assumption that it was a Nikon lens, that was shot on the 500mm F4 I assume?
    Look at the Flickr data, looks like it was the Sigma 150-500mm (Bigma).
    Right, did not read far enough down.
  • tc88tc88 Posts: 537Member
    edited January 2014
    donaldejose, I have D7100 and 300 f/4. I don't have scientific equipment to measure how fine it can resolve. All I can say is that pictures looks shaper and has more detail compared to the previous generation 16MP DX with the same lens. So I'm not going back to 16MP DX, and I also want the corresponding 54MP FX. Sorry no inputs on 500 f/4.
    Post edited by tc88 on
  • CoastalconnCoastalconn Posts: 527Member
    @jshickele Thanks for the compliment! Wish I could afford a 500 F4... As others as said this is the Sigma 150-500, My normal lens is athe Sigma 120-300 OS with Teleconverters.. Although I should have a Tamron 150-600 Arriving next week hopefully.

    @PB_PM Of course many people are "getting by" with D800 :) But since I'm 99.9% bird photographer I would rather shoot a crop camera as it is more optimized for how and what I shoot. And if Nikon put the D7100 sensor in a D300 body there would be nothing more optimized... just saying :)
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2014
    . My point being that a D7100 offers the advantage of putting more pixels on your subject that allows for more resolution. Which could make a big difference in prints. ">
    Indeed it could, but there seems to be other factors to consider
    If there are more pixels, then the pixels have to be smaller. As far as I can make out, there are some disadvantage with smaller pixels; noise level, dynamic range and things to with the airy disk, Not to mention the make and construction of the sensor and the processor

    But if at the end of the day, if we are happy with the results we are getting, does it matter ?

    I cannot afford a D4 and the 800mm f/5.6E FL FX AF-S ED VR NIKKOR. So I will have to make do with my old D800 and the amazing 80 -400





    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,003Member

    Why even think about this? For birders if you have a D600 and a 300mm f4 lens and want to get more pixels on birds so you are lusting after a 500mm f4 lens for more "reach" but don't have the $8,000 it would cost why not consider getting a D7100 body for $1,200 to put your existing 300mm f4 lens on that body to obtain a similar 450mm "reach"?

    My point is rather simple. When we want higher quality images of small distant subjects we tend to think we need expensive super telephotos. Maybe a very high quality DX sensor on a high quality moderately priced FX prime will work just as well
    I could not agree more!!

    The only advantage I could see to shooting FX is the opposite, where the pixels are purposely larger and used to capture more light and fill in dynamic range not possible on a tiny-pixeled DX sensor. IMHO using the D800 to shoot tele makes no sense, as the DX cameras like the 7100 are cheaper, faster, lighter and have greater pixel density for further cropping.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,428Member
    edited January 2014

    @PB_PM Of course many people are "getting by" with D800 :) But since I'm 99.9% bird photographer I would rather shoot a crop camera as it is more optimized for how and what I shoot. And if Nikon put the D7100 sensor in a D300 body there would be nothing more optimized... just saying :)
    I used to shoot exclusively with DX, so I understand your mindset, I just don't agree now that I've used both formats. I am 65% birds, 25% landscape, 10% portraits shooter, so birds make up a big chunk of my photo library as well. I do not see crop bodies as optimized for wildlife shooting, if anything it is much harder with a DX body. The D800 has many advantages. 1) In crop mode on the D800 I can see the bird before it enters the frame, which helps with birds in flight. 2) Flexibility: If the bird is close enough I shoot in FX, and get a higher resolution image as a result. 3) Better low light performance. When the DX bird shooters are packing up and going home, I'm still shooting.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,396Member
    I think everyone would agree that getting closer is better and having a 24mp FX sensor is better than a 24mp DX sensor; but neither of those propositions answer to the issue I presented: Can you now put a Nikkor 300mm f4 lens on a D7100 or D5300 or D3300 and achieve about the same results (as long as you are not making super prints or viewing excerpts 100% on your monitor - in other words "real world results the way we normally view pictures these days") as if you used a D610 with a Nikkor f4 500mm lens? Inquiring minds want to know. I think it would work quite well and provides a much cheaper avenue to shooting small objects at about a 500mm focal length.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,428Member
    edited January 2014
    You can get similar results, but as good? I'd say no. The 300mm F4 optics simply don't match the 500mm F4. You might achieve a similar field of view, but the depth of field would be different, as would overall quality of the shot, since we are speaking technically here.

    Lets not bring price into this debate. There are always cheaper options. A super-zoom point and shoot is cheaper, and by your measure gives more "reach" for less money. That does not inherently make the super-zoom point and shoot a better choice for bird photography, shots of the moon or other distant subjects. If you really want a cheap way to get distant subjects attach a $100 point and shoot to a field scope.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    edited January 2014
    I wonder how important lens sharpness is in this calcalus? The "24 megapixel superzoom point and shoot" is an obvious example.
    Post edited by WestEndBoy on
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    edited January 2014
    Lens sharpness is very important to achieve "reach". For the reason recall my analogy from the previous page: an unsharp lens is like someone with suboptimal vision.

    However when we are talking about "reach and sensor size" the assumption is "all else being equal"… i.e., the same lens for DX and FX. It's not going to be a fair fight comparing an FX body using the latest 70-200 vs. a DX body using a kit zoom.
    Post edited by Ade on
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2014
    ...Can you now put a Nikkor 300mm f4 lens on a D7100....and achieve about the same results .....r as if you used a D610 with a Nikkor f4 500mm lens? ...
    under perfect condition when you can use a low ISO and don't have to crop and don't need VR "similar" but as PB_PM says not the same
    FX comes in to its own in challenging conditions, when you have both crop and crank up the ISO
    If you are a competitive sort of chap you may want your pixs that little bit better than you competitor

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,003Member
    You can get similar results, but as good? I'd say no. The 300mm F4 optics simply don't match the 500mm F4. You might achieve a similar field of view, but the depth of field would be different, as would overall quality of the shot
    I agree with this 100% too. However, when you said...
    The D800 has many advantages. 1) In crop mode on the D800 I can see the bird before it enters the frame, which helps with birds in flight.
    Don't forget that the 7100 has the DX further crop mode that also allows a little play with framing, and the autofocus basically blankets everything inside the cropped frame when you are shooting at 7fps...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @Coastalconn

    Good summary. And, the D7100 seems to be the current choice for birding, no matter what lens is out front. Your shots always are spot on…..
    Msmoto, mod
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    edited January 2014
    ... the issue I presented: Can you now put a Nikkor 300mm f4 lens on a D7100 or D5300 or D3300 and achieve about the same results ... - in other words "real world results the way we normally view pictures these days") as if you used a D610 with a Nikkor f4 500mm lens?
    Leaving the lens out of the equation-
    Moving position to get closer to subject: I don't think you will see much of a difference at all.

    Cropping to "get closer":DX or smaller sensors have the clear advantage here.

    Caveat
    ISO: DX vs FX at ISO 400 and below I don't think you will see any real difference. I have seen digi-scope birds shot with compacts at very low ISOs that rival shots with DSLRs. It is when the ISO rises, and the larger sensors (with larger ability to capture light at each pixel) pulls more light to make a "cleaner" image, FX may still have a bit of an edge, but that gap is closing.

    Post edited by TaoTeJared on
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,396Member
    edited January 2014
    I also am thinking the gap is closing at lower ISOs. I have the 300mm f4 but not one of the new 24mm DX sensors. If I get one of those bodies (been waiting for the D400) and have some time I will try it with birds at my bird feeder. I would want to shoot at 200 ISO, f4-f5.6, 1/500sec or faster off a tripod. It also seems to get good reviews for being able to be handheld.

    http://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-300mm-f4d

    http://www.bythom.com/300lens.htm

    http://www.bythom.com/300AFSlens.htm

    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • CoastalconnCoastalconn Posts: 527Member
    @Msmoto Thank you kindly :)

    @PB_PM I have shot with a D600 and it did have a nice sensor and I found it way more forgiving than the D7100. But for me I don't see the value in buying a camera that I would constantly be using a small portion of the sensor. My money was better spent on the Sigma 120-300 OS so when light is low I can still shoot at F2.8 and 3200 and get pretty good results. The last photo I posted in PAD was at ISO 2800 (with a 2x) and it is acceptable by my standards and it prints quite nicely at 11x14 which is pretty much the biggest I sell. Bigger stuff I've been selling more gallery wrap canvases which hides the noise pretty well (just got an order for a 36x24 gallery wrap). Yes I do pixel peep, but my customers don't...
    I shoot tons of OIF (Osprey in flight) and I have never felt the need to see the bird entering the frame as you say. I've spent so much time I can track them pretty easily in their 80 MPH dives :)

    And I'm not a DX shooter that goes home early :)

    Don't get me wrong, I know the D800 is a fantastic camera. Yes I know it has better high ISO performance.

    But at the end of the day if we are all happy with what we are shooting, who really cares?
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,450Moderator
    @Coastalconn: Now listen man, if you're going to bring stone-cold logic and real world experience with examples to back it up to this thread, then you're going to kill it stone dead. Perhaps you'd better not add any more comments... ;) :))
    Always learning.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,428Member
    edited January 2014
    It's not logical at all, it's an emotional reaction based on economics. Costal is putting his/her financial means into the forefront of the debate, when that is not the subject at hand. I am not talking from economics but from an optical and technical standpoint. Thus I will continue to point out there is nothing inherently superior about the DX format for shooting distant subjects.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • CoastalconnCoastalconn Posts: 527Member
    @spraynpray good idea :)

    @PB_PM Your right there is nothing superior in having more resolution in your final image...
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,428Member
    edited January 2014
    Last time I checked 36 was a higher number than 24. If you need to crop so much that you need the pixel pitch of DX, the problem isn't the camera body. Not saying you are the problem either btw. It just means you picked a lens without enough focal length. You can argue about cost, but in my mind that isn't the matter at hand in this thread.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    Not in DX crop mode. From another thread:

    Numbers are the amount of megapixels you get in DX mode (which also corresponds to pixel density):

    D700 (5.14)
    D3S (5.14)
    DF (6.81)
    D4 (6.81) --------
    D610 (10.33)
    D600 (10.33)
    D3X (10.48)
    D90 (12.21)
    D300S (12.21)
    D3100 (14.16)
    D800 (15.36) --------
    D7000 (16.08)
    Coolpix A (16.08)
    D7100 (24.00) --------
    D5300 (24.00)
    D5200 (24.00)
    D3200 (24.06)

    So a D4 yields 6.8mp in DX, a D800 gives 15.3mp, while the D7100 gives 24mp.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2014
    Last time I checked 36 was a higher number than 24. If you need to crop so much that you need the pixel pitch of DX, the problem isn't the camera body..
    exactly The D800 with the appropriate super telephoto lens wins, hands down

    but as has been said many times, when come to bangs for you bucks, the D7100 is very hard to beat

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
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