Tuesday, 9 February 2010

out of my depth in digital

99% of digital cameras are APS-C or smaller sensors, this makes them quite a small format. While they often create excellent image quality in an outright sence there is often something lacking in there ...

This chart shows the sizes for those who aren't familiar with this
with the outside being the largest size of professional digital sensors such as in the Phase One or Mamiya or Hasselblad cameras (you don't normally read about these on supermarket digitcal camera sites like the big one owned by Amazon).

One of the things I'm finding about smaller format digital is that I'm often out of my preferred depth, as in depth of field. I happen to like controlling Depth of field and I understand that the inability to do this is exactly why I'm unhappy with most of my digital images.

For instance, I took this image of a Stone God around a temple (facing out) in Korea,


however its just that little uninteresting in some ways. Now if I'd have had my 35mm camera and my TS-E 45mm with me I'd have probably taken something like this (which I munged up quickly in photoshop to see)


personally I prefer this ability to control focus, and its the reason I like taking images with my LF camera (and my 35mm when I had the TS-E lenses). Images like the ones below make use of focus to control interest

Japanese LF

Japanese LF

and small format digital is just too deep a depth of field and I just can't do that.

So I feel better in the shallow areas.

Don't get me wrong, its not like all my photographs are this way, some are deliberately worked to get as full a depth of field as I can:

Australian LF

but its nice to have the choice :-)

Now of course I can get a full frame camera (and re-buy my TS-E lenses) but that might just be out of my budget right now ...


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