Going Full Frame?

The morning newspapers contained a very expensive 2 ft. by 3 ft. ad promoting full-frame Nikon cameras.

So will going full frame make you a better photographer?

Of course not but it will make you a poorer one :)

Let’s put it this way: If I had an extra $12,000 I’d go full frame within the hour.

I’d buy a D800 (at $3000 a body) or at least a D600 ($2500 per body) plus a 12-24mm, 24-70mm and a 70-200mm (all are fast f/2.8 lenses and run roughly $2K each). Plus I’d buy a 35mm f/1.4 (at around $1500). nikon-d90-1

But I don’t have that kind of cash so my D90 (available on the used market at around $300) and my D300 ($800 used) DX format (full frame is called FX format) will have to do. (And BTW they both take really excellent images.)

So why would anyone want to go full frame? These cameras are much heavier and expensive and cumbersome when it comes to handling the huge files they can produce (A D-800 outputs a 36-megapixel file for every image. Most other DSLRs are really happy to cough up a 16 meg file. With a 36-meg file you could make a flawless print the size of highway sign.)

Well….if you’re a wedding photographer full-frame with a series of lenses that open up to the same f-stop help manage the workflow and the large images they are capable of producing images just pop and sizzle.

Full frame also uses FX lenses that produce views that us older film photographers remember fondly. In other words a 35mm lens on a full frame camera produces a view which closely matches how we see. The view is a little wider that what used to the standard 50mm lens produces. On a DX camera a 35mm lens produces a cropped image that more closely looks like the FX 50mm image.

If you’re shooting full frame it says to your clients you’re a pro. And as a pro you’re going to have to stop shooting weddings for $1200 and enter into the big leagues just to pay for the equipment.

 

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