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rramesh

Full Frame T?

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What you call full frame is an arbitrary size chosen originally for pragmatic reasons. There’s nothing magic about it and it’s only by convention that it’s the 35mm format that we call full frame. Sensors and their associated electronics are getting better all the time.

 

I understand this argument but I don't agree with the direction it's usually taken in. Unless the physical laws associated with optics are changed, a longer focal length for a given field of view will always look better than a shorter focal length for the same field of view. Sensor and film size do matter. It's why a large format portrait or landscape usually looks better than a small format one with the equivalent field of view. This "look" advantage is independent of the other benefits of a bigger format such as smoother tonality and (other things remaining equal) greater resolution.

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Unless the physical laws associated with optics are changed, a longer focal length for a given field of view will always look better than a shorter focal length for the same field of view.

Which physical laws relating focal length and better looking images are you referring to specifically? If the angle of view and the entry pupil stay the same, the focal length doesn’t even make a difference with regard to depth of field.

 

The critical parameter is the entry pupil – it all comes down to how much light gets in. Greater image/sensor sizes require longer focal lengths for the same angle of view, which in turn allow for wider entry pupils. But there is nothing intrinsically desirable about long focal lengths.

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The critical parameter is the entry pupil – it all comes down to how much light gets in. Greater image/sensor sizes require longer focal lengths for the same angle of view, which in turn allow for wider entry pupils. But there is nothing intrinsically desirable about long focal lengths.

 

I think there is. Which is why I made the point.

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I think there is.

Without explanation that’s a rather feeble argument. Again, which physical laws were you referring to?

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It might, but for sure it won't be now as it would destroy the sales of current T and in the future I suspect that even at double the price of APS-C T, the FF T might severely affect the sales of the flagship M.

I think that there's rather room for a FF compact camera, say an X3 with a Summicron 35, similarly to the Sony RX1.

 

Cheers,

Bruno

 

I think a full frame X3 would have been a brilliant idea, just like the Sony RX1, although I can see some mileage now in the X3 being a unibody with a fixed prime. They obviously have the manufacturing facility to produce the housings, so put a "Pancake" lens on it and it will sell. Price is not a major consideration for a lot of potential purchasers based on comments on this forum and demand for this type of camera based on Fuji X100 (s) sales is clearly good as it launched the whole new Fuji X series, which I've read had taken a significant number of sales from Leica in recent years.

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Without explanation that’s a rather feeble argument. Again, which physical laws were you referring to?

 

I've no idea, I'm not an optical expert and my reference to "physical laws" wasn't meant to taken too literally. I think we inhabit entirely different worlds but I'll try and explain again.

 

Unless I'm mistaken (which is possible), to obtain a given field of view, you need an increasingly longer focal length as you increase sensor/film size. From my own observations with different formats, the longer lens generally provides a more pleasing "look" than the shorter lens for a given field of view. This may or may not be entirely down to depth of field (I don't think it is but you'll no doubt have a definitive answer) but I think the spatial qualities of subject(s) in relation to background, etc. just look better to me with the longer lens. For example, an environmental(ish) portrait using a 110mm lens at F5.6 on 6x7 format will probably look better to my eyes than a similar photograph taken with a 50 at F2 or whatever on 35mm format. A 210mm on LF will probably look "better" again, even stopped down to F32.

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I don't care that it isn't full frame. For what purpose this camera fills I don't feel it's that necessary.

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Image circles of lenses would make a square format the logical format for maximum image quality. The best presentation quality would be 16:9 as this is the format of the majority of screens. Traditional aspect 3:2 has no benefit in logic or marketing. So a few years from now the standard format will be a 4K chip unless the majority of screens are 32:9 curved wrap around.

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I would say much depends on what other aps-c brands will be doing in the next couple of years. Sony is already making the step towards full frame mirrorless. A lot of talk is about Fuji also wanting/needing to make that step.

 

Leica might be left as the only one fishing in the aps-c pond. On the one side there would be m4/3 with Olympus making amazingly fast AF mirrorless camera's which are small and responsive, with enough sensor real estate to not be a worry for most uses. On the other side there would be Sony and Fuji battling it out for full frame mirrorless. Both going for high iso and amazing image quality (with ridiculous amount of megapixels) in a small, but still not really that small when you count the lenses, system.

 

Both Sony and Fuji will obviously keep some of its camera's fishing in the APS-C pond, but they will not be the flagship camera's. Leica will have a hard time trying to get people to pay it's usual premium price once aps-c will be seen as the not-quite-full-frame sensor size. OR it could actually help to make the T system in aps-c a healthy niche system.

 

Positioned as "better than m3/4, and not really comparable to full frame" would be the ideal market. As opposed to "not as small and quick as m3/4, and never quite as good as the 'real' full frame systems"

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I think Ian and Michael are arguing two different points. I believe what Ian is saying is that for example a portrait taken with a 150mm lens on 4x5 looks completely different than a portrait taken with a 40mm on full-frame 35mm. I'm not talking about tonality and resolution here. The perspective is completely different between the two, the 4x5 version doesn't look like the 35mm version but it looks like a portrait you would take if you stitched together multiple full-frame exposures taken with a 150mm lens. There will be less wide angle distortion etc.

 

Either way, this is a completely different argument since APS-C and full-frame are not that drastically different.

 

Again though, why would Leica turn this system into a full-frame camera? I believe that what we are much more likely to see is some of the features of the T system being integrated into future versions of the M and S system. I know many here are hoping for a future replacement of the R system, but I'm afraid to say that for now and the near future, this will probably be the S. I can't say it often enough: if you are already designing new lenses, try to develop a system that is bigger than full-frame. If they could do this and competitively price it, they would have a winner. This is however almost impossible when someone else produces your sensor. This is where Sony, Canon, and Fuji have the upper hand.

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I believe what Ian is saying is that for example a portrait taken with a 150mm lens on 4x5 looks completely different than a portrait taken with a 40mm on full-frame 35mm. I'm not talking about tonality and resolution here. The perspective is completely different between the two, the 4x5 version doesn't look like the 35mm version but it looks like a portrait you would take if you stitched together multiple full-frame exposures taken with a 150mm lens.

But perspective is defined by the distance, not the focal length or any other lens-specific parameters. Perspective is a much older topic than photography …

 

There will be less wide angle distortion etc.

That would entirely depend on the specific lenses you compare. It is not like short focal lengths were intrinsically more prone to distortions than longer focal lengths. Within a camera system with a fixed image size you will find that, as a rule, a wide-angle lens distorts more than a telephoto lens, but that has to do with the angle of view, not with the absolute focal length. 20 mm would be a tele lens for a small sensor compact and show very little distortion; a 20 mm wide-angle lens for a 35 mm camera might very well be different.

 

If they could do this and competitively price it, they would have a winner. This is however almost impossible when someone else produces your sensor. This is where Sony, Canon, and Fuji have the upper hand.

Fuji’s X-Trans sensor is just another customised variant of the same CMOS chip that the sensor of the Leica T is based on.

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This has been put forward many, many times … And medium format allows for even longer focal lengths and even less depth of field. We know. As it happens, Leica has both a 35 mm and a medium format system so these demands are covered. But now they have a new system catering for a different set of photographers and this is an APS-C system, not because Leica couldn’t design another 35 mm system but because they wanted this system to be APS-C-based. T is APS-C, period.

 

I meant 'here' as 'in this thread'. Sorry if it doesn't come across that way. I am leaning towards ignoring the T because it's not full frame so I represent my own views and thoughts.

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Just to clarify, "wide angle distortion" is not the same as rectilinear distortion, which is an optical fault. What some call wide angle distortion is simply how things look when you are close to a subject and have a wide view. It may be an unusual angle, but your eyes see it the same way from that perspective.

 

A big appeal of the A7 is that it is a small ff camera that let's one use a wide range of lenses on it. That includes Aps lenses in cropped and uncropped mode, full frame 35mm lens from almost every brand, and many MF and LF lenses in cropped mode including tilt/shift adapters. No other camera in the history of photography has had these qualities. Surely other manufacturers will follow. Since Leica seems to have much of what it needs to make a fullframe version using much of the development work from the T, I think they must be taking a hard look at that option.

Edited by AlanG

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Isn't it easier to make longer focal length lens with better MTF (compared to wide angle lenses)?

It means large format lenses (which use longer focal length for same FOV) will be better. There is also the fact that large format is less demanding on lens resolution since it need to be enlarged less (for same print size).

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Isn't it easier to make longer focal length lens with better MTF (compared to wide angle lenses)?

‘Wide-angle’ has no meaning if you don’t also specify the image size. 20 mm is a wide-angle for a 35 mm camera but a tele lens for a camera with a 1/2.3" sensor.

 

It means large format lenses (which use longer focal length for same FOV) will be better.

As the premise isn’t true, neither is the conclusion.

 

There is also the fact that large format is less demanding on lens resolution since it need to be enlarged less (for same print size).

Yes, large format lenses don’t need to resolve fine detail that a 35 mm lens needs to resolve – and don’t expect that they do. But they need to resolve detail in a much larger image circle. So in one sense this lessens the demands – the lens designer doesn’t need to care about contrast at 40 Lp/mm, say –, but in another sense the demands are even stricter: while the designer of a 35 mm lens doesn’t need to care about contrast 30 mm from the optical axis, the designer of a large-format lens has to.

Edited by mjh

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I bet a crate of beer that you are wrong in this prediction.

It’s not so much a prediction as an explanation of what Leica has in mind with the T.

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Well, I agree with Michael - I'm sure that there is no plan for a full frame T . . .

 

However, consider,

The Sony A7 E mount is 46.1mm

The Leica T mount is 50mm

 

So, they have at least had the good sense to keep their options firmly open.

 

They could, for instance, produce a Full Frame AF 'M' camera which could also use M lenses (with an adapter).

 

I don't think this is on the cards in any way. But it warms my heart to know that they haven't burned any boats.

 

all the best

Jono

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I bet a crate of beer that you are wrong in this prediction.

 

You're on.

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