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Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?

  
 
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


I have seen several posts in which people argue you can get shallower depth of field (DOF) on Full Frame 35mm (FF35) than on 44 X 33 mm sensors. There is some truth to this if you compare native lenses on each type of system. For example Canon makes a 50mm f/1.2L lens for their FF35 sensors, and Nikon makes a 58 f/1.4 for their system. Fuji does have a 110 f/2 and Hasselblad has a 80 f/1.9 lens for their mirrorless camera, but even take equivalence into account they do not have as shallow DOF as FF35 (well the new Hassy actually matched the Nikon in 4 X 3 or squarer crops). Still for my type of shooting in which I shoot manual focus with lenses that are often adapted, the 44 X 33 sensor offer substantially shallower depth of field mainly because I can use FF35 lens on the larger 44 X 33 sensor. As with many things in comparing FF35 to 44 X 33 a lot depends on the aspect ratio you shoot. For portraits I shot mostly in 4 X 5 aspect ratio and in that aspect ratio the 44 X 33 sensor is a big help. Let me give a couple of examples, even though my Canon FD 55 f/1.2 Asph really only has a good image circle to 50mm when shot on 44 X 33 it is the equivalent of a 42mm lens with an f/0.9 aperture on FF35, and even with the 51mp sensor it still allows me to have an image with 43mp, which is larger than a 4 X 5 aspect ratio on any FF35 camera. Now if I want a focal length closer to 55mm, then I can shoot my Leica R 80 f/1.4 on a 44 X 33 sensor which cover the whole image circle (i.e., 55mm) and I get a lens that is the equivalent of a 58mm f/1.0 on FF 35mm. Below I have included a table in which I have looked at how much DOF you gain by switch to the 44 X 33 sensor from FF35 depending on both the image circle and the aspect ratio you pick. You can see in the table that even if the image circle is just 45mm (which every FF lens I have tested has been able to cover, which isn't to surprising given the FF35 image circle is 43.25) you gain 3/4 of a stop in equivalent depth of field if your crop to square and use the 44 X 33 sensor. By the way the DOF column reports stops of improved DOF rounded to the nearest half, third, quarter, or full stop.







Oct 21, 2018 at 11:00 PM
strohscw
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


In my understanding the dof depends on the magnification factor and the f-stop.
The magnification factor is "size on the sensor / size in reality". That makes it clear, that the bigger the sensor the easier it would be to get a thinner dof. "Would be" because the bigger the sensor the more difficult is it to have lenses with small f-stops because of the size they would have.



Oct 22, 2018 at 01:24 AM
alundeb
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


Thanks for doing this. There is a lot of thought and manual calculations going into it. Once getting familiar with the table, I can see certain things at a glance. Like how much more significant the gain is with square compared to even 5/4.


Oct 22, 2018 at 02:00 AM
Sauseschritt
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


You cant, at least not if the 44x33mm sensor is in the Fujifilm GFX.

Thats because you can adapt pretty much any small format lens to the GFX, and most of them will fill the whole frame, and many will even still show good performance in the corners.

That plus the 0.80x crop factor means you can get more shallow depth of field on the GFX than will small format.

The Hasselblad XnD of course can only do electronic shutter will all its shortcomings (no flash, rolling shutter, increased noise). The Pentax 645 cant adapt small format lenses.

Also of course the first non-Fujinon lenses for GFX start popping up. Theres already a 65mm f1.4 from Mitakon coming, cant remember right now if that was only a rumor or already an official announcement.



Oct 22, 2018 at 02:38 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


strohscw wrote:
In my understanding the dof depends on the magnification factor and the f-stop.
The magnification factor is "size on the sensor / size in reality". That makes it clear, that the bigger the sensor the easier it would be to get a thinner dof. "Would be" because the bigger the sensor the more difficult is it to have lenses with small f-stops because of the size they would have.


That is generally true, but what this thread is about is that you can adapt lenses for smaller format to larger formats. In particular the Fuji GFX camera can adapt almost all lenses that were made for FF35 DSLRs and SLRs. What happens when these lenses are used with the larger sensor? The answer depends on the aspect ratio you choose, and the image circle of the lens, but in general doing so allows shallower depth of field with the larger sensor. Sometimes this gain is small, but it can be basically a stop gained in shallow depth of field.



Oct 22, 2018 at 05:46 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


alundeb wrote:
Thanks for doing this. There is a lot of thought and manual calculations going into it. Once getting familiar with the table, I can see certain things at a glance. Like how much more significant the gain is with square compared to even 5/4.


I agree that the gains are biggest and would be most obvious with a square crop (if you crop to square really any lens will have the equivalent of a noticeably wider aperture), but there is a sweet spot of a 50mm image circle, which in my experience the majority of lenses can obtain, in which you get a quite noticeable increase in shallow depth of field for both 4 X 3 and 5 X 4 as well. You do, however, really need the full 55mm image circle to get much benefit from a 3 X 2 aspect ratio.



Oct 22, 2018 at 05:51 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


Sauseschritt wrote:
You cant, at least not if the 44x33mm sensor is in the Fujifilm GFX.

Thats because you can adapt pretty much any small format lens to the GFX, and most of them will fill the whole frame, and many will even still show good performance in the corners.

That plus the 0.80x crop factor means you can get more shallow depth of field on the GFX than will small format.

The Hasselblad XnD of course can only do electronic shutter will all its shortcomings (no flash, rolling shutter, increased noise). The Pentax 645 cant adapt small format lenses.

Also of course the first non-Fujinon
...Show more

My experience is that most FF35 lenses will give at least a 50mm image circle, but not necessarily have the 55mm image circle to cover the whole frame. It seems the image circle is at least roughly related to focal length. Wider lenses and especially Distagon designs in my experience almost never cover the whole frame. Some wonderful lenses, for example the Otus 28 f/1.4 APO, only have about a 45mm image circle. These lenses get a noticeable improvement in equivalent aperture with a square aspect ratio, but not much else. At the 50ish mm focal length, these lenses mostly seem to have about a 50mm image circle. That is enough, in my view, to make these lenses very useful at 4 X 3 and 4 X 5 aspect ratios with a nice improvement in shallow depth of field capabilities and about a 40ish mm equivalent focal length. Finally, most lenses that are 85mm or longer seem to cover the entire sensor and show noticeable improvement in the equivalent aperture with all aspect ratios and get the full improvement possible with even 4 X 3 and 4 X 5 aspect ratios. There are exceptions to these rough rules of thumb (e.g., the Zeiss ZM 35mm f/2 seems to cover pretty much the whole frame), but I think it is a useful guide to think about FF35 lenses on a camera like the Fuji GFX series.



Oct 22, 2018 at 06:01 AM
alundeb
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


One of the tradeoffs when adapting smaller format lenses with the intention of getting shallow DOF, is that the vignetting will continue to increase rapidly when you move out the image circle. Usually the vignetting is already high with very fast lenses, so the approach will work best if vignetting is a desired effect in your image.



Oct 22, 2018 at 06:05 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


alundeb wrote:
One of the tradeoffs when adapting smaller format lenses with the intention of getting shallow DOF, is that the vignetting will continue to increase rapidly when you move out the image circle. Usually the vignetting is already high with very fast lenses, so the approach will work best if vignetting is a desired effect in your image.


Absolutely, I like vignetting in most portraits, but I like to control it. Fortunately, this is fairly easy these days in post processing.



Oct 22, 2018 at 07:07 AM
alundeb
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


An interesting twist to this topic, is that we need to know the true and not only nominal image circle of lenses to determine the shallow DOF potential. It will be difficult to find a universal value, as long as the image cicrle can be stretched quite a bit with lower demand on the corner quality, and that is not something that can easily be agreed upon. Still a database of image circles with say -6 Ev ligth falloff would be interesting.


Oct 22, 2018 at 07:35 AM
 


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Steve Spencer
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


alundeb wrote:
An interesting twist to this topic, is that we need to know the true and not only nominal image circle of lenses to determine the shallow DOF potential. It will be difficult to find a universal value, as long as the image cicrle can be stretched quite a bit with lower demand on the corner quality, and that is not something that can easily be agreed upon. Still a database of image circles with say -6 Ev ligth falloff would be interesting.


Yes, and it is even more complicated by the fact that the image circle for some lenses changes based on focus distance. I find in practice with my own lenses, however, I can just shoot and crop to what I want and then I can work backwards from there and know the basic resolution, image circle, crop factor, and equivalent DOF for that type of shooting. The rule of thumb described above based on focal length seems to work surprisingly well on the lenses I have tested so far.



Oct 22, 2018 at 08:02 AM
alundeb
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


Steve Spencer wrote:
Yes, and it is even more complicated by the fact that the image circle for some lenses changes based on focus distance. I find in practice with my own lenses, however, I can just shoot and crop to what I want and then I can work backwards from there and know the basic resolution, image circle, crop factor, and equivalent DOF for that type of shooting. The rule of thumb described above based on focal length seems to work surprisingly well on the lenses I have tested so far.


The change with focus distance is expected. Although it might seem backwards at first, data for infinity focus would be most valuable to me as a starting point. We rarely use infinity focus and foreground blur only, so true infinity focus is not that interesting. On the other hand, focus at medium long distances, where the image circle can be closely approximated at inifinity, gives the least amount of background blur and is exactly where a little bit more could come in handy.



Oct 22, 2018 at 08:49 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


I think that the answer could be kind of simple.

At the same aperture, lenses with similar angles of view will produce narrower apparent DOF on a larger format.

So, for example, if a f/1.2 lens is not producing shallow enough DOF for you and you can find an f/1.2 lens that works on your miniMF system and your photography lends itself to the way you'll work with that such a lens on the larger system (adapters, likely manual operation, vignetting issues the may or many not affect your use of the entire frame, etc.) you can reduce the apparent DOF a bit.

Additional questions to ask, of course.

1. Are you unable to get narrow enough DOF with the smaller system?

2. How visually different is photograph with the DOF of a (for example) f/1.2 lens on miniMF versus full frame?

3. Others, including such questions as, "Are you the sort of photographer who needs this small increment of narrower DOF and who loves it when lenses vignette?"

For some people the answer could be to adapt the f/1.2 (and other large aperture 35mm/full frame lenses) to the miniMF system.

Dan



Oct 22, 2018 at 09:20 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


gdanmitchell wrote:
I think that the answer could be kind of simple.

At the same aperture, lenses with similar angles of view will produce narrower apparent DOF on a larger format.

So, for example, if a f/1.2 lens is not producing shallow enough DOF for you and you can find an f/1.2 lens that works on your miniMF system and your photography lends itself to the way you'll work with that such a lens on the larger system (adapters, likely manual operation, vignetting issues the may or many not affect your use of the entire frame, etc.) you can reduce the apparent DOF
...Show more

Dan,

I think you are missing that at times you will reduce the depth of field a bit and at other times you will reduce the depth of field more than what anyone would call a bit. Some people spend a lot of money on the difference between say an f/2 lens and an f/1.4 lens. That difference in depth of field is more than what most people would call a bit and is in the order of the differences that can be seen at least some of the time with 44 X 33 systems compared to FF35 systems. Part of the reason to start this thread was to make it clear that there are important differences in the amount you gain from a 44 X 33 system when using FF35 lenses depending on the image circle and the aspect ratio you use. Sometimes the differences are big and sometimes they are small or even nonexistent.

And the advantages can be more than just DOF, sometimes the 44 X 33 system will give you differences in size and price as well. For example, Nikon has announced a 58 f/0.95 lens for their new mirrorless system, but you can get a lens with very similar capabilities (i.e., the Leica R 80 f/1.4) for a Fuji GFX system and there is little doubt the Leica lens will be cheaper (imagine that and in this case we are probably talking $3,000 cheaper) and much smaller. Not to mention the Leica R 80 f/1.4 is pretty legendary for its bokeh and many very much like its rendering as well.

But keeping with the theme of thread other lenses will provide very little advantage on 44 X 33. The excellent Otus 28 f/1.4 APO, for example, really only provides much of an advantage if you shoot with a square aspect ratio.

So, the questions you pose are all dependent on the image circle of the lens and the aspect ratio you choose.

Are you able to get narrow enough DOF with the smaller system? Well even that question depends a lot on the aspect ratio. If you crop full frame to square it is 24cm X 24cm and is actually a quite large crop. If you magnify the square crop so that it has the same area as the native 3 X 2 format of the sensor you actually lose half a stop of DOF. That may not matter to some, but it may well matter to others. Using that expensive f/1.2 lens may not even produce the DOF of an f/1.4 lens. And if you used the right f/1.7 lens on a 44 X 33 sensor you could get the same DOF, and obviously that might save you some money and size.

How visually different is a photograph of a (for example) f/1.2 lens on 44 X 33 vs. FF35? Well the difference can be quite striking if you crop to 4 X 3 of 4 X 5 and that will be especially true at medium distances as alundeb hints at above. Have you seen the difference between a Leica M Noctilux vs. a Summilux? At mid distances the difference is striking and obvious even at relatively small print sizes. Such a difference should be obtainable with fast lenses on a 44 X 33 system. Of course, that won't always be the case as I hope is becoming clear a lot depends on the image circle of the lens and the desired aspect ratio.

You also pose the question, "Are you the sort of photographer who needs this small increment of narrower DOF and who loves it when lenses vignette?" I can't really respond to that question without noting that it includes two premises with which I can't fully agree. The question presupposes a small increment of narrower DOF, but as I hope I have made clear we are talking up to almost a stop in increased DOF. I wouldn't call that small. I don't think the difference in DOF between an f/2.8 and an f/2 lens should really be considered small for example. Of course the gain in DOF sometimes is genuinely small or even not existent at all, but sometimes it is fairly large. Second the question includes the premise that you have to love when lenses that vignette for the 44 X 33 system to gain an advantage. Again this premise is true sometimes as some FF35 lenses vignette a lot on 44X33 systems, but other lenses hardly vignette at all. Of course that is dependent on the image circle of the lens. In terms of the analysis I provide in the table above, one's concern with vignetting will expand or contract the image circle that one finds useful, but some lenses cover the full 55mm required for the 44 X 33 sensor without enough vignetting to concern almost anyone. So, a better rephrase of the question that does not include the premises with which I cannot agree would be:
Are you able to find lenses that increase the DOF enough to improve your sort of photography and do these lenses when used on the 44 X 33 have vignetting profiles with which you are happy?" I know for me I can answer yes to that question.



Oct 22, 2018 at 10:21 AM
highdesertmesa
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


I find myself wanting a wider aperture lens for 44x33 not for shallower DOF but for more light. A shallower DOF might be a nice added benefit, but even the GF 45/63 at f/2.8, the 110 at f/2, and the 250 at f/4 provide very (very!) shallow DOF (each at their own respective best distances).

One thing that is nice when shooting 44x33 wide open is the increased compression of space (and the resulting impact of that on bokeh) that comes from having to use a longer focal length to attain the same FOV from a smaller sensor.



Oct 22, 2018 at 10:56 AM
hauxon
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


gdanmitchell wrote:
....that works on your miniMF...


You're one stubborn man.



Oct 22, 2018 at 11:04 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


I'm not the only one. ;-)

Steve Spencer wrote:
I think you are missing that at times you will reduce the depth of field a bit and at other times you will reduce the depth of field more than what anyone would call a bit.


1. "A bit" is a subjective thing. It is pretty easy to look at photographs done at apertures that are perhaps 2/3 stop different and wide open at, say, f/1.2 and make a judgment about the significance of the difference and the plus/minus value.

You get no argument from me there. In fact, that was one of my primary points — there could be some cases in which the approach you suggest to obtaining shallower DOF could be attractive and there are other cases in which it might not. I think that acknowledges that there can be differences in how photographers regard the magnitude of that "bit."

2. Aside from one's personal subjective evaluation of their implications — about which I made no claims in my post, other than my explicit acknowledgment that the evaluations will differ — I'm curious if you would agree that the facts in my post are accurate overall.

Take care,

Dan



Oct 22, 2018 at 11:43 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


gdanmitchell wrote:
I'm not the only one. ;-)

1. "A bit" is a subjective thing. It is pretty easy to look at photographs done at apertures that are perhaps 2/3 stop different and wide open at, say, f/1.2 and make a judgment about the significance of the difference and the plus/minus value.

You get no argument from me there. In fact, that was one of my primary points — there could be some cases in which the approach you suggest to obtaining shallower DOF could be attractive and there are other cases in which it might not. I think that acknowledges that there
...Show more

I'm not sure you presented any facts in your original post. What do you consider to be the facts in what you presented?



Oct 22, 2018 at 12:01 PM
Lee Saxon
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


strohscw wrote:
The magnification factor is "size on the sensor / size in reality". That makes it clear, that the bigger the sensor the easier it would be to get a thinner dof. "Would be" because the bigger the sensor the more difficult is it to have lenses with small f-stops because of the size they would have.


Yeah, that is what the Circle of Confusion factor that is used in the DoF calculation is based on. Although I think it might be more accurate to say it's a comparison of size on the film frame vs size when enlarged for a print. Degree of enlargement in other words.

Problem is, that comes from a time when we were talking about film. When, for a given type an ISO of film, a 24x16 APS frame and an 8x10 sheet were just different cutouts of the exact same material. In other words, CoC depended on the fact that an object photographed to take up 24x16mm of film and then blown up to [a given size] would look the same whether it came from an entire APS frame or a tiny chunk of an 8x10 sheet (presuming an equivalent lens, etc, of course).

That's *wildly* not true anymore. The 24x16 area of my D850 can produce *drastically* higher resolution prints of [a given size] than can my D1x. The "degree of enlargement" necessary to blow up to [a given size] is now far less dependent on physical size on the sensor than it is by the PPI of that sensor. Which makes CoC extremely problematic IMHO. I mean, you can argue CoC always had this weakness because an ISO25 film has way more resolution per inch than an ISO1600 film, but it's way worse with sensors.

But, until somebody dramatically better at math than I am comes up with a better idea, my calculator still uses CoC like everybody else's.



Oct 22, 2018 at 01:43 PM
highdesertmesa
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Can you get shallower Depth of Field on FF 35mm than 44 X 33 sensors?


"A bit" of difference between FF and 44x33 becomes more untrue the closer you get to MFD. To get bokeh even close to these examples on FF with a 50mm lens you need f1.4. You need f1.4 to mimic not only the DOF of f2.8 on 44x33, but you need it to compensate for the compression a 63mm lens has on the image.

Even though f1.8 on FF is the technical equivalent to f2.8 on 44x33, you have to go to f1.4 to achieve a similar look. Even then, it will not be the same because you cannot simulate a longer focal length with a wider aperture.




© highdesertmesa 2018

  GFX 50S    Fujinon GF63mm F2.8 R WR lens    63mm    f/2.8    1/1900s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  





© highdesertmesa 2018

  GFX 50S    Fujinon GF63mm F2.8 R WR lens    63mm    f/2.8    1/1800s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  




Oct 22, 2018 at 01:47 PM
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