duane

27 Feb 2008 12,920 views
 
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photoblog image Sala Capitular

Sala Capitular

Spain and my Full Frame experience - Part 2

This is the domed ceiling of the Sala Capitular, an oval-shaped chapel in the Catedral de Santa María de la Sede. It was designed by Hernan Ruiz II and constructed between 1558-1592. Like the choir stalls pictured in my previous post, this is another ultra wide angle scene which benfitted well from the Canon EOS 5D's full frame sensor.

One criticism about full frame cameras is that lenses vignette and exhibit softness at the corners - particularly with ultra wide angles. In the nearly 2000 shots I took with the 5D, I can confirm this is indeed true. Even a lens like the 17-40L, which was used in the photo above, does show some light fall-off and loss of corner detail. It's not severe, but there is a definate loss of image quality when you scrutinise the edges. You can get around this by cropping the image to the center 95% portion, but this doesn't deliver the full advantage of the full frame sensor.

Though a more important question should be whether these issues distract from the quality and composition of the scene. Many photographers deliberate vignette their photos to focus the viewer's attention towards the center of the scene (also as an artistic effect). Why don't you be the judge - examine my shot of the Sala Capitular (or the choir stalls in the previous post) and tell me if you're distrubed by vignetting or softness at the corners.

Sala Capitular

Spain and my Full Frame experience - Part 2

This is the domed ceiling of the Sala Capitular, an oval-shaped chapel in the Catedral de Santa María de la Sede. It was designed by Hernan Ruiz II and constructed between 1558-1592. Like the choir stalls pictured in my previous post, this is another ultra wide angle scene which benfitted well from the Canon EOS 5D's full frame sensor.

One criticism about full frame cameras is that lenses vignette and exhibit softness at the corners - particularly with ultra wide angles. In the nearly 2000 shots I took with the 5D, I can confirm this is indeed true. Even a lens like the 17-40L, which was used in the photo above, does show some light fall-off and loss of corner detail. It's not severe, but there is a definate loss of image quality when you scrutinise the edges. You can get around this by cropping the image to the center 95% portion, but this doesn't deliver the full advantage of the full frame sensor.

Though a more important question should be whether these issues distract from the quality and composition of the scene. Many photographers deliberate vignette their photos to focus the viewer's attention towards the center of the scene (also as an artistic effect). Why don't you be the judge - examine my shot of the Sala Capitular (or the choir stalls in the previous post) and tell me if you're distrubed by vignetting or softness at the corners.

comments (5)

Ah! I see you decided to get the 5D instead of the 40D. I think it's a good choice for what you usually shoot. smile Anyway, great pics right off the bat. I especially love the first one you posted. Cya soon!
The Maven: Hehe... it was a very hard decision to make. The speed of the 40D AF, the sensor cleaner and the highlight priority mode were really tempting. But in the end, the urge to get a full frame camera and "unlock" the potential of all my lenses was too strong to ignore. Also, the lenses make so much more sense now. I went for the kit including the 24-105L - it's a really versatile lens, and I had it mounted almost all of the time (17-40L only came in handy inside the cathedrals and palaces).
  • Ellie
  • in my chair
  • 27 Feb 2008, 22:35
I haven't got a full frame camera, but I have read 'somewhere' that it's sometimes a good idea to take an over-large scene so you can crop out any corner anomalies/imperfections.

The detail here though is magnificent, truly magnificent. I wouldn't have noticed any fall off if you hadn't mentioned it, mainly because the detail in the centre of the picture is so bright and perfect.

What's the height of this dome? Do you think there would have been any greater detail in the lower part if you'd used, say, f10?
The Maven: Sure, taking an overly large scene and then cropping will get around the problem - but this does reduce the advantage of having the full frame sensor. The problem really is that full frame lenses are not good enough around the edges.

The dome was about 5 floors high, sure doesn't look like it in the photo. In taking the photo, everything now looks rather flat. Detail would certainly have improved with more stopping down (also a depth of field issue). From the shots I've taken, I'd say that the optimium on full frame is indeed about f/10. On 1.6x cropped sensors it's about f/8, so there's a difference linked to sensor size.
  • chunter
  • Salisbury, Wiltshire. UK
  • 26 Apr 2009, 16:10
I too use a 5D and I concur about the vignetting at the wide end of a wide angle zoom, in my case a 24-105 f/4.

Unlike deliberate, subtle and gentle vignetting introduce in processing to concentrate attention in the centre of an image, lens vignetting is harsh and abrupt, showing as noticeably dark and (mostly) unattractive triangles in the corners.

That aside, most lenses are a little softer at the edges than they are in the centre, but this doesn't usually cause real problems unless you scrutinise the image with a loupe.

As for this shot, it's a stunner and the slight darkening at the edges could easily be consistent with the fall off of light further away from the light source(s). It looks natural here.
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  • Germany
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for this photo I'm in a any and all comments icon ShMood©
camera Canon EOS 5D
exposure mode shutter priority
shutterspeed 1/15s
aperture f/5.6
sensitivity ISO800
focal length 17.0mm
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