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Medium Format vs 40+ MP fullframe cameras

dirk

LMF-Founder
Administrator
Hi,

in my desperate search for a 28mm FFL for L-Mount and the crazy prices for the Leica Q3, I got the crazy idea whether I should rather buy a cheap second Medium For at body with 50MP and put a 28mm equivilant lens on it. I.e. a Fuji GFX 50R with a 35-70 zoom or a 35 FFL

But what I have seen so far did not convince me regarding image quality. In all the youtube reviews I have seen, it seems that todays fullframe sensors with 45+ MP are so close to MF, that it is not worth it the extra bulk and weight.

Has anybody experience with both? If I look at the images of @pdk42 with its S1R, I doubt that more than a S1R is needed regarding image quality - and the S1R is already too big/heavy for my taste for street/ travel/ family.
 
I have no personal experience with Fuji GFX, but as far as I know the sensor of the 50R was dated even at the release. The same for the AF. And even if it's quite small for a medium format camera, it's still heavy if you searching something for street/ travel/ family.

For lenses you will run in similar problems like in L-Mount. There is no prime with AF and 35mm in the system. You can only cover the focal range with zooms or maybe third party MF lenses.

I would rather buy a used Q2, maybe a little more expensive but smaller, lighter and probably similar image quality. Or buy a MF 28mm for L-Mount.
 
I remember seeing a test some years back that compared a 20Mp m43 camera with a high Mp FF camera and a Fuji MF. On an A3 print, all three were indistinguishable. At A2, the m43 camera showed loss of detail and some noise, but FF and MF were indistinguishable. Pixel peeking at 100%+ showed some marginal improvement for MF, but in my view nothing that would justify the additional cost and size/weight of the Fuji.

FF is really an excellent compromise format for most uses.
 
I don’t have experience with both, but when Fujifilm recently dropped the prices of the GFX range I thought they might be worth a look: the GFX 50S II now costs around £2,600 here in the UK, significantly less than the Nikon Z7ii at £2,950, and the GFX 100S at around £3,800 is comparable to the Sony A7R V at £3,700.

Size-wise they’re big: similar to the S1R but 10% or so lighter:
CameraSize

In terms of dynamic range the GFX 50S II doesn’t really have much advantage, but the GFX 100S does:
PhotonsToPhotos
DPReview Studio Shot

The problem for me was the lenses. The range is comparatively restricted, they’re big, fairly heavy and (even with the recent price reductions) very expensive.
 
in my desperate search for a 28mm FFL for L-Mount and the crazy prices for the Leica Q3,
I got the crazy idea whether I should rather buy a cheap second Medium For at body with 50MP and put a 28mm equivalent lens on it.

Going into medium format only for that reason, seems to be a strange step. As noted by other members.
I don't know which L-mount camera you have now - 24 Mpx Panasonic S1/S5 (Mk II) ??

But having 47 Mpx Panasonic S1R myself. For many kind of pictures (for street/ travel/ family),
this can be far "over needed" pixel data for many circumstances. So you have some spare in cropping images.

E.g. using a 24mm wide angle lens (Lumix - Sigma), still you can have plenty enough pixel data covering the more small 28mm wide angel crop.

In my shooting experience, for several imaging conditions, I make use of a "fixed" 1.4x crop mode setting. (About APS-C sensor area).
Giving a ~24 Mpx image. (Cropped already in JPG, not in RAW mode).
In combination by a menu "tele" setting option, to see this cropped area at the full dimensions of the EV viewfinder / or rear screen.
For helping the best framing / composition. But still in crop-mode.

So using a 35mm wide angle lens, have an equivalent of about ~50mm focal length usage, by this 1.4x crop mode.
Focal length 50mm ----> 70mm
Focal length 20mm ----> 28mm (Sigma and Lumix do offer a 20mm focal length).

To avoid difficult menu options for changing, I have personalised an Fn button to change full frame into cropmode.
Just a two times "click" action, to this button, to get 1.4x cropmode (in my situation the button above the lens mount unlock button).
It give me more quick options framing subjects, without the need of changing lenses.
Ofcourse not an ideal condition, but it can be an option when not the highest pixel amount is needed.
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Going into medium format only for that reason, seems to be a strange step. As noted by other members.
I don't know which L-mount camera you have now - 24 Mpx Panasonic S1/S5 (Mk II) ??

But having 47 Mpx Panasonic S1R myself. For many kind of pictures (for street/ travel/ family),
this can be far "over needed" pixel data for many circumstances. So you have some spare in cropping images.

E.g. using a 24mm wide angle lens (Lumix - Sigma), still you can have plenty enough pixel data covering the more small 28mm wide angel crop.

In my shooting experience, for several imaging conditions, I make use of a "fixed" 1.4x crop mode setting. (About APS-C sensor area).
Giving a ~24 Mpx image. (Cropped already in JPG, not in RAW mode).
In combination by a menu "tele" setting option, to see this cropped area at the full dimensions of the EV viewfinder / or rear screen.
For helping the best framing / composition. But still in crop-mode.

So using a 35mm wide angle lens, have an equivalent of about ~50mm focal length usage, by this 1.4x crop mode.
Focal length 50mm ----> 70mm
Focal length 20mm ----> 28mm (Sigma and Lumix do offer a 20mm focal length).

To avoid difficult menu options for changing, I have personalised an Fn button to change full frame into cropmode.
Just a two times "click" action, to this button, to get 1.4x cropmode (in my situation the button above the lens mount unlock button).
It give me more quick options framing subjects, without the need of changing lenses.
Ofcourse not an ideal condition, but it can be an option when not the highest pixel amount is needed.
-
That is a good idea. Unfortunately, I have only the S5ii. With a 24MP the crop would end up in around 10MP.

Plus the DOF of 20mm would be significant bigger than with a 28mm @F2

But I agree, the idea of Medium Format does not make sense. Especially if I find the S1R already too big and heavy for me.

Well, I need to be more patient. Although 6+ years is a long time for the LMount alliance to release a small and affordable 28mm lens. Z04 Menno
 
Well, I need to be more patient. Although 6+ years is a long time for the LMount alliance to release a small and affordable 28mm lens. Z04 Menno

Maybe in a later time period (guessing) Cosina / Voigtländer shall be starting delivering lenses in L-mount to??
More early I found “rumours” for that. (Already two years ago at “Leica rumors” ).

Considering also since a short time (end 2023 - January 2024) Voigtländer is starting to produce lenses for the Canon mirrorless RF mount.
Their list of lenses with specific lens mounts for mirrorless cameras keeps growing.
With the advantage of electronic contacts - for transferring EXIF information. So I wouldn't be surprised if the L-mount is added to that.
(Of course it also depends on what other L-mount partners think about issuing a license to use the L-mount).

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"Fresh - one week ago news": (not listed yet at Cosina / Voigtländer web pages):

Voigtlander NOKTON 75mm F/1.5 Aspherical now available in mirrorless mounts:
There is currently no indication about pricing or availability.

But when Cosina/Voigländer shall start lenses for L-mount, and "if" an 28mm shall be available "in future" remains unsure.
Did you use an 28mm lens in past when using a Nikon camera, or APS-C equivalent (Fuji)?

Having an 28mm myself in the old film era, about ~50 years ago, as my first "wide angle" lens expansion into the Nikon system,
besides my 50mm standard, (used on a Nikon "Nikkormat FTn"). But personally I never liked that focal length, "neither fish nor fowl".
In general:
  • "To wide" using it for "people" photography (too stretched / distorted at the edges).
  • "Not wide enough" for real wide angle subjects.
Also a general "recommended" portrait focal length of 135mm in those times, was a bad choice for me personally.
Replaced the 28mm for 24mm and 35mm lenses later, the 135mm for 85mm.
Still over the years these focal lengths are not changed by later new lenses. (Only more "refined" extra lenses).
Never bought a 28mm prime again.

E.g. also the choice of zoom lenses, I don't make choices where 28mm is the border "at one end".
Always overlapping to step over to the wide or smaller angle within the range.
So e.g. made a choice for Lumix 24-105mm/f4 as my first "general" lens.
And later, a Lumix 16-35mm/f4 over e.g. Sigma 16-28mm/f2.8

But of-course always a personal matter. So many different people, so many different preferences. ;)
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