Canon 5DS-R as "Medium Format"

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by dcstep, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. I didn't post this in the MF Forum because I knew that they'd be all bent out of shape, I I'm posting here, for the benefit of my Canon buddies.<br><br>

    I bought my 5DS-R in August 2015 to take on a trip to Rome, followed by a Mediterranean cruise. I was exceedingly pleased with the resolution of the body. For instance, I hand held a shot from the pier in the town of Amalfi, looking back at the town. The light was great and the picture looked great on the preview. What blew me away was that I could see recognizable faces in the windows hundreds of feet away, when I looked at 100 and 200%.<br><br>

    While on the ship, I took a shot off the fantail, catching a bit of the railing, the ship's wake headed toward infinity, with some nice, puffy little clouds low to the horizon and some larger clouds filling the rest of the sky with interest. I thought little of this image and only did minimal processing to it when I first posted it to Flickr. Last week, I received an email from a German company asking if they could use it as the basis for wallpaper. They market internationally, including Amazon, with photo-wallpaper being one of their primary products.<br><br>

    They want high resolution and the 5DS-R delivers. I see these discussions about "is it, or is it not, medium format." I think the answer comes when a designer says, "Yes, I can use that to produce nice looking wallpaper."<br><br>

    Yes indeed, pixel-size can limit dynamic range relative to the competition with much larger sensor areas, but, when the light is good and the dynamic range is not too challenging, then I competes.<br><br>
  2. Simple answer: The Canon 5DSR is not medium format. It just isn't.
    That doesn't mean the images you can capture are not just as amazing. Also, consider all the different lenses you can use on that will change the look of the image.

    The 5DSR has great resolution and if the resolution is enough for a designer to use, there shouldn't be a problem? Are they requesting Mamiya or Hasselblad digital medium format photos? Do they need 80 or 200 MP?
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
    KenPapai likes this.
  3. Thanks Mark.

    Lot's of people just look at the size of the film/sensor and say, "Small, medium, large." I think we all agreed when it was film, because the area of the film defined how large we could print. OTOH, if we look at sensors, it's a combination of size and pixel-density that determines how large we can print. With my 5D MkII and MkIII, I felt like 50" on the long side was about it, for critical view. I bought my 5DS-R, partly with the idea that I hoped that I captured a subject so well that I would print it at 72" on the long side. I haven't done that yet, but I know I could.

    Five years ago, how large could you print a MF print before the pixels started showing. I think it was around 72" or 80". That's gone up as MF sensor technology has improved and pixel-density has stepped up, with 80mp sensor. (Maybe higher, since I'm not totally up to date).

    When we say MF today, I think we're only talking about the size of the sensor, not the resulting files' capacity to print large.
  4. david_henderson


    I don't think I'd print a 50" long print from my 5Diii, unless I was planning to view it from a long distance anyway. Its only about 5800 pixels. Neither would I have expected to make a print 72" or even 80" sq from a 6x6 original. I can recall being mightly impressed with the 36"sq I got from my Bronicas with the aid of a drum scanner, which don't depend on distance to seem sharp. I think you might look at those and think there's a bit more in there, but not in my view twice the length and height.

    Think though that you've got the right idea on the use of the medium format terminology which I think is reserved for sensors of notably bigger than full frame, no matter how many pixels are crammed on and what the print size potential is.
  5. David, I've got a 50" print from my old 5D2 hanging in my office. You can put your eye within 6" and just see more detail. Tony Eitzel does my printing of large prints, since I only go up to 19" with my printer at home.

    I'm not pulling your leg. The 50", 5D2 print stands up to very close scrutiny.
  6. Which lens was used? That has everything to do with the sharpness you see.
  7. The much maligned EF 24-105mm f/4L IS, for the 50" grand canyon shot, hanging on my office wall and the picture taken with the 5DS-R to be used as wallpaper. I used a sturdy tripod, mirror lock-up and remote release for the Grand Canyon shot. The wallpaper one was handheld on the fantail of a ship, so I shot at 1/200-sec. to avoid vibrations from the ship and my body. Also, RAW conversion included DxO's excellent version of digital lens optimization.

    When I shoot with my EXCELLENT EF 14mm f/2.8L II and my EF 500mm f/4L IS II, I do, indeed, notice that the RAW files are sharper than the 24-105mm, but after digital lens optimization, the 24-105mm looks darn good. Particularly with zooms, I think that anyone shooting in RAW should apply digital lens optimization during RAW conversion.
  8. "Yes indeed, pixel-size can limit dynamic range relative to the competition with much larger sensor areas, but, when the light is good and the dynamic range is not too challenging, then I competes".

    You have just posted major limitations you will accept and why the camera is not a medium format tool.
    dcstep likes this.
  9. Unless you want to print a wall, then it's MF. ;-)

    The resulting file determines suitability for various uses, not the measurement of the sensor in square-millimeters.
  10. I know where you are coming from. - For me a simple 18MP FF has retired the TLRs and seems to beat them (I used to shoot pushed TMX). Anyhow a huge file is just that and MF might sometimes have a different look. - I'm missing my chimney finder.
  11. LOL. My first camera, at age ten, was a Yashica 44. It produced nice 44x44mm slides and negatives. It had a magnifier in the "chimney" and you could push the front of the chimney down and look through the "sports" viewfinder. Cost all of $33, at Fields, in 1959, which was a lot of lawn mowing money.

    Last night:

    [​IMG]Moon With 5D MkIV by David Stephens, on Flickr

    vs. 50.6mp
    [​IMG]5DS-R Moon by David Stephens, on Flickr

    Both cropped to 2020x2020p before reduction for You can click on the images to link to Flickr and look at full-screen.
  12. Lens helps a lot (maybe half of the equation), but so does technique, aperture chosen, subject motion, shutter speed, ISO, etc etc.
  13. For the moon shots, I used the Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM and an EF 1.4x TC-III, hand held.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  14. <br>
    I guess what I meant was, if the lens isn't sharp, you can't even get to first base. Of course all the things you mention are important, but most important is a lens that's sharp enough to take advantage of all those details.<br>
    That's some good shootin', dcstep. I'm assuming you were using a lens that has IS built in? Cuz that 500/4 must be a pretty big puppy (I've never seen one in person).
    KenPapai and dcstep like this.
  15. Thanks. The latest Series II Canon supertelephotos have 4-stops of IS, so hand holding is very practical. I've also had lots of practice.
    KenPapai likes this.

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