Why the full frame works for me? There have been a lot of debate whether to go full frame or not. In the Nikon jargon it is whether to use DX or FX format. I was one of the early adaptors for the FX format when I first picked up the Nikon D3 – it was the first FX DSLR camera from Nikon. From since then, I never looked back. I still use my D3 until now, it is still my workhorse camera.
Aside from being a larger (full-sized 35mm) sensor which can give superior image quality, dynamic range and better noise handling – there are some small things that make the difference. If I were say a bird photographer – I might have used a DX camera for that extra 1.5x crop factor. But for my kind of work, the full frame just works for me. My 85mm stays to be a true 85mm without multiplying 1.5x crop factor. Not to mention the handling of the DOF is better with the full frame.
Back on the DX days, I used a lot the Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8 VR1, but it’s actually a 105-300mm equivalent – it didn’t really give me the confidence to roam around with this lens alone especially during weddings. I had to have a mid-range camera on another body to make sure that when there was a shot that needed to go wider, I can resort to another lens quickly. But with the FX format, the 70-200mm stays as a true 70-200mm – and for me it’s heaven sent to be able to go down to 70mm. At the expense of the telephoto advantage of the DX at 300mm, I’m willing to trade it off with the ability to go to 70mm. With 70mm, I am confident enough to use it alone even without a mid-range nearby. Not saying that I don’t need a mid-range anymore, it just means that the 70-200mm becomes so versatile and the zoom range is just perfect for me, it just works. These are the little things that makes the difference and probably answers why the full frame works for me.
Here’s an example on where the 70-200mm works – and really shines at 70mm as a very important focal length to start with. If i had a DX body mounted, I would have scrambled to make sure how to fit in this group photo at 105mm, it would have been possible but I was blessed to have a full frame body on tight spaces especially when you are in an event like the Pintados festival – the 70mm focal length made the difference.
Photographer’s note: F/5.6, 1/640, ISO 400, Nikon D3, Nikkor AFS 70-200mm 2.8 VR1
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