Completely rad idea: New Super FX Format.

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by mike_halliwell, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Sorry for the double post, but no-one bit last time...;-)
    Completely rad idea, but sometimes I'd like a square format FX size chip, 36mm square I suppose. There would be no lens change format issues of DX>FX 'equivalents' etc, 50% more pixels and an end to the problems I always seem to have with landscape images on A4 portrait format publications. Editors do love to mess around after-the-fact. Yes, you can crop FX to square, but you loose a lot.
    It still keeps within the old Nikon F criteria...so doesn't even have to use G lenses...,

    I loved using a Bronica SQ back in the 80's and wouldn't mind a Square format dslr without going to the massive (size and cost) medium format digital cameras and/or scanning backs.
    There's no real need to make the cameras any bigger. Selectable, good focussing screen markings or black-outs for the suitable framing styles would make it all so much easier.
    Anyone predicting DX (well OK...APS-C) for digital as being a kinda trimmed 35mm film frame that we'll all (mostly) be using for DSLRs in 2010, would have been laughed out of this forum.....
     
  2. I have a c.1959 Kodak Brownie that is square format (6x6,) but I really don't see square format catching on. People just aren't used to it and it is a bit difficult to compose with. Especially if you are used to just taking the flashcard out of the camera and printing straight off that. Note the 4/3 idea never really went anywhere.
    Kent in SD
     
  3. There would be no lens change format issues of DX>FX 'equivalents' etc, 50% more pixels and an end to the problems I always seem to have with landscape images on A4 portrait format publications.​
    There certainly would be. First off, 36mm square is a 50.9mm diagonal. The 24x36mm format is a 43.3mm diagonal, and that's what all Nikon lenses are designed for. They can't light that 7.6mm larger image circle, so all your square pictures would have dark corners.
    Except that you can't even really shoot square images with dark corners, to allow editors to choose horizontal or vertical later. A lot of existing Nikon lenses have built in rectangular baffles in order to reduce veiling flare and ghosting. My expensive 70-200mm f2.8 VR has such baffles. My inexpensive, and ancient 55mm f2.8 and 55mm f3.5 micro Nikkors both do, too. So does, if memory serves, my $5,000 300mm f2.8. My $1,800 14-24mm f2.8, arguably the best ultrawide zoom currently on the market from any manufacturer, has a permanent non-removable "petal" lens hood that also causes it to project a basically rectangular 24-36mm image.
    It still keeps within the old Nikon F criteria...​
    No, it doesn't. Aside from the obvious image circle problems, the Nikon F "criteria" requires a 39mm "back focus", the distance from the film or sensor plane to the rear element of the lens. This is based on a 24mm high image needing a 33.9mm long mirror (24mm * sqrt(2)) and another 4mm for the shutter mechanism.
    so doesn't even have to use G lenses...​
    Of course it does. All further Nikon lenses will be G, as will pretty much all other lenses from all other brands. As far back as 1985, camera makers were able to identify aperture rings on lenses as pretty much a criminally negligent level of irresponsible engineering, injurious to the user. Canon and Minolta dropped them immediately, and Nikon and Pentax began a two decade process of phasing them out. Even Uber-conservative Leica launched their new S system without an aperture ring.
    There's no real need to make the cameras any bigger.​
    Well, yes, there is. The new lens mount for the larger image circle, the new mirror mechanism for the longer back focus, the bigger shutter and the bigger motors to drive it.
    I loved using a Bronica SQ back in the 80's​
    And here we get to the heart of the matter.
    • Bronica is out of business.
    • Rollei is out of business.
    • The first thing that CINven did after taking over Hassleblad is canceling all further development effort on 6x6 cameras and having Fuji build them a Blad labeled version of their 645.
    • Nikon tried making a "more square" 35mm camera, in what they called "Nikon format" 24x31mm instead of 24x36, and it failed.
    • Zeiss had a line of 24x24mm square SLRs and rangefinders. That failed.
    • Kodak had the "Instamatic" square format for consumers. As soon as low cost P&S cameras taking 35mm film came out, Instamatic failed (my little sister had a God awful red plastic fixed focus Canon that took 35mm roll film).
    The square format is a recipe for economic failure, from stratospheric Bladular medium format right down to plasticulized consumer cameras.
    Sorry, but it will never happen again.
     
  4. Oh Kent, I thought the Luddites has left the Mill.....??......;-)
    Difficult to compose with??... Oh, I see what you mean about the MUGGLES, printing off SD cards...!
    4/3 rds didn't go far enough... square makes it EASIER to frame, just try using a Blad for a few days....!
     
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    sometimes I'd like a square format FX size chip, 36mm square I suppose. There would be no lens change format issues of DX>FX 'equivalents' etc,​
    Hi Mike Halliwell, I have updated your subject with your words "Completely rad idea" so that people won't get confused and mistakenly think this might be some official announcement of a new digital format.
    As Joseph points out, your assumption that lenses designed for the 24x36mm FX format would work with a 36x36mm square format is incorrect. A 36x36mm sensor would actually require a totally new set of larger lenses that have a larger image circle; that issue along is going to make this whole idea difficult to realize.
    Finally, I am moving this thread to Casual Photo Conversations since it is mainly about some creative ideas not actually available on Nikon Cameras.
     
  6. And, since I followed Shun's suggestion and just gave a very thorough, on topic reply to the original OP in the "DX Format" thread, I'm going to drift just far enough in this here thread to comment...
    I have updated your subject with your words "Completely rad idea" so that people won't get confused​
    Dude, that's still too confusing. Gnarly. I think you should have made the subject "totally tubular" or "wicked sick". That "completely rad" thing is just groty to the max!
     
  7. I think you should crave 24x24mm format rather than 36x36? The present full and cropped sensor lenses should work on this format.
     
  8. Using the same lens designed for the 35mm camera you can maximized the sensor area by going 30mm x 30mm. 36mm x36mm is too big.
     
  9. 30.59x30.59 to be exact.
     
  10. In principle I agree with Mike, but I don't really think it's totally necessary. In any case, what is very clear is that 3:2 is too tall for verticals and not wide enough for horizontals. I prefer something along 1:1.85. Keeping that in mind, I think that minor cropping (and considerate composition) will solve both of those problems. Mind you I don't really crop my horizontals (too lazy) and I never take verticals (i.e. I prefer to shoot in a cinematic style). I guess that says a lot! ;-)
     
  11. I have no particular interest in square formats, but thing that any thread that includes words such as "Bladiular" and "plasticulized" must be worth reading.
     
  12. I like the 4/3 aspect ratio for most of my pictures. Very wide or square ocasionally if the subject matter calls for it. Generally I don't like the wide cinematic format for still images. Squares are nice.
     
  13. Doesn't cropping solve this?
     
  14. As electronic viewfinders continue to improve and gain wider acceptance, I think square becomes more doable. Getting rid of the mirror would really help with the mechanics. Why square? Because "squares are nice" and because square is the most flexible format for composition there is. When the moment is truly decisive, square gives the most options for later output. Square means you only have to orient the camera one way...i.e., the best way. The ergonomics in turning a camera sideways really suck. Square also makes 45-degree and 90-degree viewfinders much more workable, and those are options I'd like to have. Finally, I personally dislike the 2:3 aspect ratio, even though most of my paid work was shot that way. 3:4 is better, but I'm not crazy about the available sensor sizes.
     
  15. A 24x24 square would work with present equipment. The camera could give the user the ability to choose either vertical or horizontal APS-C images without having to rotate the camera, along with the option of square (and maybe other formats, such as 4:3). It would be easier to implement, I suppose, in electronic viewfinder cameras, though maybe an LCD mask could be used in optical viewfinders.
    I could see it happening, with the main selling point being the ability to choose vertical or horizontal image orientation "at the touch of a button".
     
  16. BeBu Lamar - Using the same lens designed for the 35mm camera you can maximized the sensor area by going 30mm x 30mm. 36mm x36mm is too big.​
    Unfortunately, the two points I mentioned still hold at 30x30.
    • The tallest format you can have on an SLR is 24mm. That height determines the longest mirror you can have without whacking the rear element of the lens.
    • Many existing lenses (usually the most expensive) have either integrated 24x36mm rectangular baffles or integrated "petal" hoods that restrict the image to 24x36mm.
    So, if a camera manufacturer wanted to launch a 30x30 EVIL system, they could use maybe 70% of existing lenses, but part of the lens line would have to be relaunched with baffles and hoods for the 30mm square format.
    Matthew Currie - I have no particular interest in square formats, but thing that any thread that includes words such as "Bladiular" and "plasticulized" must be worth reading.​
    Thanks. I have a little sci-fi novel project going right now on the side, and I'm constantly creating slang for it. It's a different "voice" for me; I'm usually very technical. ;)
     
  17. Since we have a casual photo conversation, I feel permitted to stir slightly...
    When the moment is truly decisive, square gives the most options for later output. Square means you only have to orient the camera one way...i.e., the best way.​
    If you want the maximum sensor area dedicated to an image that's going to be a very wide format, you'd be better off turning the square format through 45 degrees to fit a larger image across the diagonal. Just saying. :)

    Square is a good format for future editing. However, people tend to like final prints that are rectangular (golden ratio, and all that). I've never felt that rotating the camera - especially with a vertical grip - is such a high price to pay for being able to visualise something close to the common final crop. But then I only have limited experience with 6x6. I can't ever see it taking off as a consumer format - a lot of digital photo frames (and televisions, of course) are even wider than 3:2. My $.02.
     
  18. Waldo Lee - Finally, I personally dislike the 2:3 aspect ratio,​
    Waldo, I moved that comment from "finally" to the beginning, because everything else you say appears to be a rationalization of your personal beliefs.
    As electronic viewfinders continue to improve and gain wider acceptance, I think square becomes more doable.​
    They cause square to become less desirable, as the horizontal/vertical issue becomes possible to settle with things like rotating sensors. An EVF frame rate is inversely proportional to the number of pixels displayed, so a rectangular EVF matched to the desired shooting area would display 30-40% faster, have less shutter lag and tearing, than a square EVF. Also, battery life of an EVF camera is mostly proportional to the area of EVF that you have to illuminate, so the square format causes you to have to illuminate area outside the desired picture area, so it reduces battery life. Square and EVF don't mix.
    Getting rid of the mirror would really help with the mechanics.​
    That is incorrect. It helps with the SLR back focus issues, and that's all.
    It does not help with the issue of needing a taller shutter, which will decrease your x-sync speed, and increase noise and vibration.
    It does not help all the other lens mechanics issues. Say you want a 20mm wide on FF (24x36mm). The lens designer creates a 20mm lens that can cover a 43.3mm image circle. Now, to make a lens that you can crop "any" format from, from the 24x36mm rectangle that I actually want to shoot, because I personally dislike the 2:3 aspect ratio, to your own static square, you need a lens that covers 36x36m, with a 50.9mm diagonal. Increasing the image circle 18% makes wides and normals larger, heavier, and (given the same $ budget) lower performing. Increasing the lens hood and interior baffles to the larger square format increases veiling flare (decreasing contrast) and increases the severity of ghosting and "blobby" flare.
    Why square? Because "squares are nice"​
    In your very small minority opinion. The majority of image producers and image consumers find the square to be static, boring, difficult to compose with. The human visual field is oval, our attention span fits a rectangle better than a square.
    and because square is the most flexible format for composition there is.​
    That is incorrect. The most flexible format for composition is the one that most closely matches the artist's vision.
    When the moment is truly decisive, square gives the most options for later output​
    You are defining "decisive" in terms of "things are happening so fast that the photographer does not have time for composition, and is therefore rolling dice". You are then dramatically decreasing the performance of the camera for all photographic situations, in order to protect for that one, rare, "moment is truly decisive" situation. And, you're wrong.
    You're not only wrong because you're doing something horrible to the majority to protect a miniscule "straw man" use case, but you're wrong in the nature of the "decisive moment". Humans, monkeys, hunting cats, deer, dang near everything that evolved/was created as a fairly sophisticated hunter, gatherer, or prey has binocular vision, horizontally arrayed (two eyes, right and left) because the "decisive moment" really does happen somewhere in a horizontal oval.
    Square means you only have to orient the camera one way...i.e., the best way. The ergonomics in turning a camera sideways really suck.​
    Not as bad as the ergonomics of the square camera, which means a heavier, louder, more vibration prone camera, with heavier, lower performance lenses. There's a reason that the square format failed in every market segment from consumer Instamatic to Zeiss square 35mm IKON, to Hasselblad and Bronica.
    Square also makes 45-degree and 90-degree viewfinders much more workable, and those are options I'd like to have.​
    Up near the beginning of your little rant, you mentioned EVF. That makes 45 and 90 degree viewfinders "much more workable" and, at the same time, does not work well with the square format.
    It's dead, Jim.
     
  19. This thread has me thinking: what if I wanted to take a break, and apply oil to canvas instead? Surely I would have my choice of canvas sizes . . .
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/intrinsic_painting_exhibit/discuss/72157605041879922/
     
  20. I could see it happening, with the main selling point being the ability to choose vertical or horizontal image orientation "at the touch of a button".
    A great selling point for those with wrist injuries which prevent them from turning the camera.
     
  21. Mike, AKAIK, there's only been one camera that could do that, the Fuji DX-2000, a medium format body with a powered rotating sensor in the digital back. ISO standard 1.41 aspect ratio, too, instead of the 4:3 that the other MF makers were using.
    It also had
    • the biggest sensor on the market at its time of launch, 37.0x52.0mm.
    • the only flip-out, tilt up LCD ever to appear on a MF digital.
    • excellent image quality even at ISO 400.
    I don't know if it had liveview, but the second generation Fuji SuperCCD design was certainly capable of it, unlike the Kodak and DALSA sensors in use by Blad, Jenoptik, Leaf, Mamiya, Megavision, etc. And the in-house sensor not only gave them an image quality advantage over their competition, but a price advantage, too.
    The Fuji DX-2000 stands as a shocking assessment of the state of the medium format digital industry today. It came out in 2003, and the remaining MF makers (Blad, Leica, P1/Mamiya, Pentax) have yet to come anywhere neat its feature set. You've got an entire industry that has essentially done nothing of note in the last eight years (although Pentax is making a valiant effort).
     
  22. A great selling point for those with wrist injuries which prevent them from turning the camera.​
    We have a variation on that happening, right now. There's actually a "don't turn the camera" school of event photography. As soon as the FF cameras hit 21 and 24mp, the idea seemed to catch on. When and where do you actually need the 24mp? Generally, that's a horizontal shot. So, 24x36mm 24mp horizontal, mixed with 24x19.2mm 13mp vertical. The 24-70mm lens that's doing so well on horizontals is a 35-100mm equivalent in the smaller vertical format, perfect for portraiture.
    All you need are two ruled lines on your focus screen. ;)
     

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