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Friday, 28 August 2020


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We blew the terminology? You mean, "full frame" is really the "miniature format?"

[Full frame is really digital's medium format, isn't it? --Mike]

Digital sensors COULD have been any shape or size, and Digital cameras could have been also, there was no "Film size" or aspect ratio that had to be adhered to.
That Ship has sailed.......
But there were practical considerations like many decades of experience with what shape & size cameras were expected to be as well as a huge installed base and lens collections that no one wanted to make obsolete 'overnight'
So we got mostly cameras that looked like film cameras and could use existing lenses. Except actual sensors couldn't be made cost effective in the 24x36 format that so many people liked, so we got the same aspect ratio in a smaller, more economical size for the first several generations from the major manufacturers. -....and had Crop factors thrust upon is.
I know everyone knows this, but I recount it here only to say that the only reason we talk about 'Full Frame" is because after several digital generations of APS-c , 24x36mm sensors became feasible and we had to call them SOMETHING. They were the Full 24x36mm Frame. And then got rid of the initially annoying and often misunderstood 'Crop Factor'. That seems quaint now, but I certainly remember being annoyed by it.
While I understand your point about FF being the new MF, I don't really think it 'helps' . FF gets us back to the size most of us learned on and learned to visualize what different focal lengths looked like.
Its sort of a 'home base'. It is the one sensor size that's the same as the most popular film size in history. I guess we're stuck with the unnecessary 'Full Frame' appellation, we're not going back to calling it 35mm.
It even makes sense for young folks who learned on Digital because FF still means it is the same size as the newly popular Film that they all also know.
But then , for me MF was a 54mm Square nee' 6x6 , I never liked 6x4.5 or 6x7 (or Fujifilm's 6x8) Though I did have a "6x 12" black for my 4x5.

So I vote no on calling 24x36 the new MF. --Even though no one called for a vote.......; -))

Maybe we should just use candy industry terms.

Fun Size = Phones
Travel Size = 4/3 & APS-C
Regular = Full Frame
King Size = Medium Format

I may enrage many with this post. I believe that aps-c is the digital form of the Leica 35mm camera.

Is there a healthy ratio of reading vs writing for you? If you write too much in one day, does that mean that you didn't read as much that day, and that throws you off your game?

You have no obligation to anybody regarding frequency or amount of writing. I do enjoy your writing, but you are not responsible for my enjoyment.

"[Full frame is really digital's medium format, isn't it? --Mike]"

I totally agree! And results speak for themselves.

When I was young, "miniature" meant full-frame 35mm.

I'm in awe of Belgian writer George Simenon, best known for his series featuring the detective Maigret. According to Wikipedia, he wrote almost 500 novels of various genres using numerous pen names. He was also known for his affairs with the ladies. I've read that he ended his affair with dancer Josephine Baker because he said she distracted him from writing. In the year they were together he said he "only" completed one novel a month.

Well, I understand. She was quite a distraction.

I am enamored with bigger formats, be it film or digital. Can‘t wait for your essay - please, go to the fullest!
2nd please: Do not waste words for weight and volume - it can be done! ;-)

I think what Kodachromeguy is referring to is that I’m sure I never heard or read the term ‘full frame’ in my youth, for most people 620/120 film was the norm and I remember 35mm was written about as the “miniature format” and hence sub-miniature for those 16mm Minoxes. I remember reading a column somewhere (Amateur Photographer mag?) headed “Miniature Format” so this “full frame” terminology is quite funny and strictly speaking doesn’t make sense. The only thing that might be “full frame” is “half frame”, related to its origins as a movie format :).

Mike replies:


I bet you’ve heard “ Skeuomorph” before because “Skeuomorphism” was widely praised & condemned in Apples UI, particularly I remember the Calendar which looked like a paper diary, which I always liked. Apparently “neomorphism” is the new thing which is said to embody the virtues of skeuomorphism and ‘flattism’ (or whatever the current look is called :) ).

(Thanks for the ‘meta-comment’, yes, I remember that excellent post now.)

+1 for Jim Arthur’s candy formats!

Skeuomorph is indeed useful. Here's a great example --

I agree with Brad. Fully.

Write when you like about what you like Mike - we'll still come back. I thought Peter was being not quite serious too by the way, if that matters at all.

There is a story (apocryphal, I assume) that the late Prof. Harold Bloom, the famously prolific literary critic, was to meet with a post-doctoral student who duly arrived at his apartment. His wife answered the door and apologised that the professor could not make the meeting because he was caught up with writing his latest book and would not be interrupted during his writing process. The student replied, 'No problem. I'll wait.'

"[Full frame is really digital's medium format, isn't it? --Mike]". Oh, no. Full frame is all that any "pro" will ever need for any photo project. Med. format digital is totally unnecessary, is for poseurs and rich ameteurs, has the wrong equivalence, is "outrageously" priced, requires lenses that are outrageous size, does not create better 8-bit jpegs as viewed on a phone, etc., etc.

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