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Do these images NEED full frame?

Guest plesbit

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I am just curious. See the pictures in the link at the bottom.

Now my question is this - do images like that require a full frame camera to produce them? Is this why there is so much hype about full frame digital? Personally I have felt that FF is of little or no interest to me - simply, the cameras are large and heavy, they are expensive, most of my lenses would not work properly and I simply have no justification for expenditure of that magnitude. But when I opened this thread my jaw dropped open. Admittedly, not all the pics shown are off a full frame camera, but I think it is clear the ones which are not.

So now looking at those images how much is the photographer, how much is the equipment and how much is the post processing (it is clear the images have been thorough cooked but what a result!)? Of course, the right subject matter doesn't hurt either, but then this guy has shown that even when the scene is not obviously magnificent (like in the first couple) he can still find a way to make it work. Does our resident landscape expert think those images could even be achieved on an APS-C camera with average to good glass?

Pics here:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readf ... 156&page=1

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Does our resident landscape expert think those images could even be achieved on an APS-C camera with average to good glass?

While we're waiting for the expert to answer, I'll chip in ...


I expect you want the longer version of the answer ... At web size, whether it's full frame or not or high resolution or not doesn't make that much difference. What distinguishes those images - apart from the obvious superb locations - is good technique and a good eye. It's obvious that they are all shot with a tripod with careful technique, having pre-visualised the location and returned when the light is at its best for each location. They are not snapshots. The equipment obviously plays its part, and clearly the lenses are sharp, but they could all have been shot on all sorts of different cameras and lenses with equal success. This is, quite simply, the work of a good photographer with first rate technique and ability. The good equipment is obviously a bonus, and of course using the bottom of a beer bottle instead of a high quality lens would have a deleterious effect, but your equipment is perfectly capable of this type of work. The key is light. If you shoot in the golden hour, the sideways lighting makes everything look sharp, and at that time colours are richer. Composition is important, and luck (serendipity if you are of a more metaphysical bent) plays its part - such as the mist in one of the slot canyon images. But again, is that really luck, or the result of pre-planning when it is likely to happen? Landscape photography is hard work first, technique second, and equipment third (although it has to be said that I won't be trading in my gear for a Holga any time soon).

I wouldn't be too easily convinced that these images have been heavily cooked in software - look at the film work of people like Joe Cornish and Jack Dykinga to see what nature can do without digital assistance!


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Those are probably the best landscapes I've seen posted at DPR. Don't worry, I had no inclination to buy full frame before I saw that thread and that hasn't changed. It simply isn't relevant to my minds. But equally I do tire of all the gear heads who can't afford an A900 slurping over the possibility that the next generation of mid range enthusiast cameras will come with FF sensors. I suspect for the vast, vast majority of people, probably 99% of SLR owners, FF really isn't necessary hence why I find all the pleas for a cheap FF camera in a small body so unnecessary - even if it could be made there would be no market for such a design.

Having said that, even at web size, I cannot remember seeing images as rich and detailed as some of those (bear in mind some were shot on a smaller framed camera and I think you can tell which ones they were). When I opened that thread I found myself thinking "wow, so maybe this is what all the FF hype is about".

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