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Author Topic: MP, lenses and printing  (Read 911 times)

Jonathan Cross

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MP, lenses and printing
« on: September 24, 2022, 12:43:22 pm »

I print up to a3+ (13' x 19") so 26MP is enough.  I will often use zoom lenses to get the framing right; I am aware of the saying, 'Get it right in the camera'.  I also think that prime lenses may still have the edge on zooms, but perhaps I am wrong.  My kit is Fuji X and I am happy owning 3 zooms  and a selection of primes from 14mm to 90 mm. Weight is an issue with me, so I do not take out zooms and primes together. I am happiest with a body and 2 lenses.  My go to software is LR.

These days 40-60MP sensors are readily available and it is widely rumoured that Fuji will issue a X-T5 with 40MP to go alongside the recently announced X-H2. I only have a passing interest in video.

My query is whether there is a consensus that using primes with 40MP and then cropping to get the framing right is better than staying with 26MP and using zooms, particularly where it is not possible to get in the right position to use a prime?  Obviously money comes into the equation, but if there is a clear advantage to using 40MP than I could afford the upgrade.

Thanks in advance,

Jonathan


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mcbroomf

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Re: MP, lenses and printing
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2022, 02:33:14 pm »

I prefer to frame to the edges and get it right.  In fact I used to think I did that all the time and, a bit of horizon adjustment aside, I'd print the full neg or digital file.  Then one day I attended a print workshop by Michael Reichmann and took some prints for critique.  He "converted" one of my "best" horizontal seascapes to a vertical.   "nothing interesting on the left ..." and of course he was right (and took just a few seconds to see it).

Since then I still frame to the edges of the screen, but now when I start my post processing I'm re-evaluating my image all over again.  Sometime I get it right but sometimes I see the folly of how much was truly uninteresting on one or more sides and I crop accordingly and without regret.

My point?  I want all the MP's I can get!!!

Mike
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Chris Kern

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Re: MP, lenses and printing
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2022, 06:52:31 pm »

These days 40-60MP sensors are readily available and it is widely rumoured that Fuji will issue a X-T5 with 40MP to go alongside the recently announced X-H2. . . .  My query is whether there is a consensus that using primes with 40MP and then cropping to get the framing right is better than staying with 26MP and using zooms . . .

Depends on the particular lens, the particular sensor, the particular subject, the particular vantage point, and the particular photographer's approach to visualizing the image in the viewfinder.

I also shoot Fuji and I plan to pop for either an X-H2 or a X-T5ójust to have the additional flexibility of the higher resolution.  (That's the reason I still am hanging on to my Nikon D800E.)  Although we don't know all the details of the X-T5 yet, I suspect its technical specs will closely track those of the X-H2.  I'm very familiar with the X-T* series, but I want to try out the ergonomics of the X-H2 with a rental before I commit to one of the 40 Mpx alternatives.

But to get back to your main point, I don't think it's possible to generalize between primes versus zooms and cropping versus in-camera framing: there are too many variables.  If you compose well, get your exposure right, and nail the focus, you will probably get an image you are satisfied with regardless of the camera and lens configuration.

BobShaw

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Re: MP, lenses and printing
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2022, 07:26:09 pm »

To me the whole idea of filling the frame is from the film days.
I look at picture in post and may see lots of different pictures in it depending on how I crop it.
Or I may (read always will) decide to print it in a different aspect ratio.
What do you do if you shoot something tight in landscape and the customer wants it in portrait? You have no where to go.
With modern large MP cameras you can afford to give some space.
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TheNinth

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Re: MP, lenses and printing
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2022, 12:30:57 am »

I do not think that the primes give you that much of an edge to allow for significant cropping and stay as sharp as zooms without cropping, especially for stopped-down landscape work. Also having 40 MP in the camera does not necessarily give you that resolution power. For satisfying such high resolution sensors you have to take a lot into consideration, any kind of camera shake from your hands or a mechanical shutter will have more of an impact and also diffraction will come into play earlier. Again, if you do your landscapes from a tripod that is less of an issue, but for example for dynamic portrait situations with limited light you may not be able to make full use of the 40 MP.
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BobShaw

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Re: MP, lenses and printing
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2022, 06:12:58 pm »

.... Also having 40 MP in the camera does not necessarily give you that resolution power. For satisfying such high resolution sensors you have to take a lot into consideration, any kind of camera shake from your hands or a mechanical shutter will have more of an impact and also diffraction will come into play earlier. Again, if you do your landscapes from a tripod that is less of an issue, but for example for dynamic portrait situations with limited light you may not be able to make full use of the 40 MP.
That is true with 35mm cameras and focal plane shutters but with the new mirrorless medium format cameras and especially if you have leaf shutter there is no shake from mirrors or vibration from shutters right at the film plane. If I am flying somewhere I don't take a tripod any more unless I am planning on night shooting.
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Jonathan Cross

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Re: MP, lenses and printing
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2022, 05:56:40 am »

Thanks for the comments.  In practice with images I am doing for myself, I will leave them for a while and come back to them with fresh eyes.  More MP will give me greater flexibility at that time and even change orientation.  For those I am doing for someone else, I am usually working to a deadline and try to get the composition right at the time of shooting and forego the later critical review; post processing is usually just the LR main sliders, some selective masking, and a bit of sharpening plus soft-proofing if printing.

I will look at the X-T5 if/when it is issued and only if it is about the same size/weight as an X-T4.  I am slightly concerned about pixel size as APSC at 40MP is the same density as 80MP on full frame. My normal carry everywhere cameras are my iPhone 12 Pro or an X-E4 with the 27mm lens and maybe the 35mm and 50mm f2 lenses.  The X-E4 package for stills is light and small and I have customised it with the front dial for iso and changes to the Q menu and additions to the My menu page.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

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larkis

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Re: MP, lenses and printing
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2022, 11:19:19 am »

Another factor to consider is that cropping effects is the depth of field characteristics of your image. For example leaving the foreground intentionally out of focus, then cropping in, will effect the look you were perhaps reacting to when looking through the viewfinder. This can get even worse when you crop in a way where one corner stays out of focus but everything else is sharp due to the new crop.

John Nollendorfs

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Re: MP, lenses and printing
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2022, 05:52:01 pm »

Capturing excessive Mega Pixels isn't necessarily required for monster prints. Consider GigaPpixel AI Or Photoshops Enlarging option for printing smaller files huge. I've seen pretty  impressive results!!  Just saying.
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