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marknorton

Full Frame Convert

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You've seen this before, but take a look at the M8 sensor carrier. It's easy to see how a FF sensor could be mounted in its place using the same mounting points.

 

 

I think the shutter is already FF but is not mounted as close to the sensor as it would be to film, so this would need to be fixed or a slightly over-sized shutter used.

 

Look inside an M8 now and you can see top and bottom of the shutter extremities but not left and right. The problem is that on one side, space is taken up by the metering circuitry and on the other side by the battery housing. What you might think of as the lens throat surround is actually the same piece of plastic as half of the battery housing, black flocked to make it non-reflective on the visible side.

 

If you compare the lens throat of a film camera with the M8, that shows the sort of extra space required.

 

So, it really comes down to where to put the battery. I'd favour a clip on base, adding maybe 1cm to the height of the camera.

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Battery technology is evolving - these things get smaller all the time.

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Mark I think you have that backwards. If the shutter is closer to the lens mount it can be smaller then the size of the sensor/film. If it is moved back closer to the film/sensor plain then it would need to be bigger.

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Battery technology is evolving - these things get smaller all the time.

 

Technology is already able to make the battery less than half the current size. The issue has more to do with EPA and other environmental agencies since the composition isn’t very green. I have seen these batteries in use with military systems, which are exempt from governmental restraints.

Regards,

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For me the best news about the D3 is that it most likely signals FF for a smaller "D400" of the future. I'd never tote a tank like the D3 around but a FF SLR the size of a D200 might get me interested.

 

It's of course important to remember that in print all these so called advancements are mostly invisible unless printed at 16x20 or larger. Even the D200 can create stunning 11x14 prints with ease.

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It's of course important to remember that in print all these so called advancements are mostly invisible unless printed at 16x20 or larger. Even the D200 can create stunning 11x14 prints with ease.

 

Dan, what interests me is not so much the larger pixels or potential for more of them in moving to FF but instead the ability to use the full angle of view the lenses are designed for and, with that, obtain the depth of field control from say, a 35mm Summilux, which film users take for granted. To get the same angle of view on an M8, you have to use a shorter focal length or move back from your subject, both of which will increase the depth of field. To compensate for that, you have to shoot with a wider aperture.

 

Problem is, if you're already shooting at 35mm f1.4, what you'd really like is a 28mm f1 which is two stops more than you can have. The look of the 35mm Summilux wide open and focussed closely is impossible to replicate.

 

Even with the 28mm Elmarit and WATE, Leica is short of wide-angle solutions for the M8. A number of us have said "28mm Summilux, please!", "24mm Summicron would be nice!" but the view is that these lenses would be big and expensive and would intrude into the viewfinder. I've been playing with my Nikon 28mm f1.4 mounted on an M8 and I like what I see but there's no rangefinder coupling and focussing is hit and miss. Put the same lens on a D3 and I instantly get that wide-angle shallow DoF look I'm missing in Leica M8-land.

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Mark I think you have that backwards. If the shutter is closer to the lens mount it can be smaller then the size of the sensor/film. If it is moved back closer to the film/sensor plain then it would need to be bigger.

 

Ed, I wondered about that! I guess you have to be able to draw a line from the exit pupil of any lens you want to use to the edge of the sensor frame without the shutter getting in the way. The further forward the exit pupil is, the larger the shutter you need.

 

I guess Leica will know what the limits are. It might even be the current mounting arrangements and shutter used are OK.

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Ed, I wondered about that! I guess you have to be able to draw a line from the exit pupil of any lens you want to use to the edge of the sensor frame without the shutter getting in the way. The further forward the exit pupil is, the larger the shutter you need.

 

I guess Leica will know what the limits are. It might even be the current mounting arrangements and shutter used are OK.

The light/image coming in from the lens is a cone with it's pointed end at or near the rear element of the lens.

The shutter only need to open wide enough to allow the light to hit all parts/edges of the sensor.

Actually now that I think about it the green stripe banding seen with the M8 with a bright light at the edge of the frame could be caused by the shutter being to big and allowing excess light onto the sensor plate and bouncing around.

But hey what do I know.

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Actually I think its easier to live with the M8 not being full frame compared to some other brands not having offered full frame (incl. Nikon).

Why? Because there are so many good nice primes available for the M8.

-Like a 35 FOV in ff -> just use the 28/2.0asph

-Want a smooth portrait lens: 75*1,3 is still not too too long (compared to Nikon: 85*1,5)

-want a portrait with a somewhat shorter lens-take a 50lux, or 50 nokton, or 50 Sonnar,.....

-want high quality wide, take a cv 15, a zeiss 15 or a wate.

What I kind of miss is a fast wide angle with 28-35 equivalent FOV. (like a 26/1.4)

But besides this I feel I can have all the lenses for a M8 I need.

 

Different story with Nikon dx...I allways felt the 85/1.4 to be a wonderfull lens but on a dx camera somewhat too long. The 50s available not to be that great for portraits, a 60 macro too harsh. SO what to do? a Nokt for $2000?

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Ed, I wondered about that! I guess you have to be able to draw a line from the exit pupil of any lens you want to use to the edge of the sensor frame without the shutter getting in the way. The further forward the exit pupil is, the larger the shutter you need.

 

I guess Leica will know what the limits are. It might even be the current mounting arrangements and shutter used are OK.

 

Within the limited confines of a camera body interior, I wouldn't think there would be significant differences to the shutter size due to its distance from the sensor plane.

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For me the best news about the D3 is that it most likely signals FF for a smaller "D400" of the future. I'd never tote a tank like the D3 around but a FF SLR the size of a D200 might get me interested.

 

It's of course important to remember that in print all these so called advancements are mostly invisible unless printed at 16x20 or larger. Even the D200 can create stunning 11x14 prints with ease.

 

Dan, as Mark said in his original post, its not about resolution. For me FF means getting back to a narrow DOF with steeper transition from sharp to unsharp. To whit, attached pic is same FOV, same camera position, same aperture, 1 with film the other with a D2X:

the difference is exaggerated here as the lenses are teles (300 and 200), but I see the same thing at my 'usual' focal lengths as well, using digital gives a looong transition to unsharp.. and areas of the picture which are neither pleasingly sharp Or pleasingly unsharp! YMMV of course!

Only reason I havnt ordered a D3 is that I have lived with the look this far, and its a big bill to pay

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A re-hashed cropped camera is hardly likely to make us upgrade unless there is a big improvement in high-ISO performance.

 

High ISO and perhaps a dramatic improvement in dynamic range. I think those are the two next hurdles for Leica. I'm not convinced they can overcome the technical obstacles to get to FF in the M8 body.

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I also have a D3 and have been working with it for a couple of weeks now. I will say that the image quality is good and that the high-ISO behavior is almost unbelievable -- the high ISO response is literally better than the eye, or at least, my eyes.

 

However, the FF aspect hasn't meant that much to me, even compared to my D2x. My training was in PJ work and I always like the look of street and PJ stuff, and I've always wanted more depth of field, rather than less -- that is, I wasn't so much interested in manipulating depth of field as an artist might be. Since I also have a PJ tendency to stay back a bit, I also like the "reach" of a cropped sensor, with lenses that were lighter and faster for the perceived reach.

 

The D3 is a load, but I've been carrying Nikons at least since the F3, and gradually have gotten used to the weight through the F4, F5, and the D series. However, it is a load, and now, for any given reach, the lenses are bigger. But the results are worth it. Part of the load is the battery -- you guys who have just gotten your cameras won't believe how long the thing lasts.

 

Going back to the M8 is always a relief. You can manipulate it in your fingers, rather than having to lift with your arms. I really don't need a FF Leica, given the WATE -- but I would like one that would do what the D3 does in terms of ISO. I would also like one that provides focus confirmation for my aging eyes.

 

There are strong rumors of an upcoming D3x, a 24mp version, with much higher res, of course, but also poorer high- ISO response. This would essentially be Nikon's answer to the Canon 1DsIII. I've seen some reviews of the 1DsIII, and they have been ambiguous -- more res, yes, but the ISO response and DR are not improving, possibly because of the increasingly small sensor sites. This really does make me wonder if the R10 might have some different-sized sensor, in an effort to avoid these problems. In any case, I doubt that Nikon will do any better than Canon in terms of ISO and DR on the high-res D, and the perceived difference in print quality, according to a lot of current Canon reviews, tends only to come at the very large end, and some of these reports suggest that up-rezzing can pretty much make up the difference (that is, that the lower-density sensors up-rez better.)

 

As to the current D3, I have to say that I'd have severe questions about Mark Norton's manhood if he didn't go right out and buy a range of Zeiss ZF lenses for his new machine, and report back on any differences between Zeiss and Nikon glass. There: it had to be said. 8-)

 

JC

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JC, I'm a wimp! No plans to buy any ZF lenses but I have bought the 14-24 and 24-70 which I hope to have by the end of this week.

 

Now that Nikon have taken advantage of the larger sensor size, there's a trade off between pixel pitch and pixel count. I do believe 12MP for me is plenty and the sensitivity and cleanliness of the images is very welcome.

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V. interested to see a review of ZF's on the 3D/300D

 

Just got a 300D and am hugely impressed (6,400 ASA B&W is beautiful)

 

The Zoom lenses (17-55/12-24) are outstanding (*almost* Leica quality), but the wide primes I have tried on the 300D are woeful (tried several 20mm 2.8's AFD's/AI's all of which were completely outclassed by both the above zooms).

 

A small ZF 25mm is so tempting...

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V. interested to see a review of ZF's on the 3D/300D

 

Just got a 300D and am hugely impressed (6,400 ASA B&W is beautiful)

 

The Zoom lenses (17-55/12-24) are outstanding (*almost* Leica quality), but the wide primes I have tried on the 300D are woeful (tried several 20mm 2.8's AFD's/AI's all of which were completely outclassed by both the above zooms).

 

A small ZF 25mm is so tempting...

 

I assume you mean D3 and D300, not 3D and 300D? Perhaps you are a reformed Canon user? Personally, I'm looking forward to the Leica 9M!

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I have the Zeiss 25/2.8 and have just started to use it again with the D3. On the D2x I used it a lot and it exhibits the same basic performance characteristics of the ZM lenses - i.e. high micro-contrast and beautifully rendered images. On the D3 it's a true 25mm lens again as opposed to just shooting it's sweet spot and effective 38mm.

 

One thing to note with the ZF 25/2.8 is that it can be slow to focus as the ring is quite low geared. The flip side is that it can be very accurately focused close up. It is beautifully constructed too, although the extra hood is a little loose. Zeiss lens cap is horrible - badly designed, just like the ZM versions.

 

As regards the 17-55/12-24 being almost Leica quality ... they're good but lack that special Leica 'sparkle' and phenomenal rendering. I'm a huge long time Nikon system user (heck, fan ...) but unless you look at the special glass like the 28/1,4, 85/1.4 or 200-400VR, there's a big difference in image rendering quality. The 17-35, 17-55, 70-200VR & 200VR are all superb lenses also but even these draw differently than Leica M glass IMHO.

 

The ZF glass is sweet though. I'm tempted by the 100 Makro myself.

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*Looks stupid*

 

Yes D300....

 

And I agree...the Nikons lack that last 10% of Leica zing

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The Zoom lenses (17-55/12-24) are outstanding (*almost* Leica quality), but the wide primes I have tried on the 300D are woeful (tried several 20mm 2.8's AFD's/AI's all of which were completely outclassed by both the above zooms).

 

12-24 is not bad, 17-55 is better. The primes are the best bet in Nikon glass, like the 85's (especially the 1.4) , 135/2.0 and the big tele's.

 

Where Leica outshines the Nikkors is in the color rendition and contrast. As gwelland stated, the Nikkors can be very good....but Leica has certain optics that go beyond.

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Dan, as Mark said in his original post, its not about resolution. For me FF means getting back to a narrow DOF with steeper transition from sharp to unsharp. To whit, attached pic is same FOV, same camera position, same aperture, 1 with film the other with a D2X:

[ATTACH]65924[/ATTACH]

the difference is exaggerated here as the lenses are teles (300 and 200), but I see the same thing at my 'usual' focal lengths as well, using digital gives a looong transition to unsharp.. and areas of the picture which are neither pleasingly sharp Or pleasingly unsharp! YMMV of course!

Only reason I havnt ordered a D3 is that I have lived with the look this far, and its a big bill to pay

 

which si which? 1st looks much more pleasing to me. My feeling is that digital has not as smooth transition from sharp to unsharp as film. My theory is that it is not so much about sensor size but more about the fact that film is thicker than a sensor surface. What do you think?

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