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Megapixel "Penis Envy"


User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
3 Nov 2012 10:56AM
Ever since downgrading to a Nikon D800 back in March, I have come across many (and I do mean many) photographers who ask "Why do you need 36 Mp?". Usually I simply respond that I don't need them but I like having them. If I am in a mood to be more tolerant of their photographic penis envy, I might explain that, particularly in wildlife photography, it can be an advantage to heavily crop an image rather than use a humongous lens or get too close to the animal. A high resolution sensor allows for much greater cropping than a lower resolution one.

The truth of this was brought home to me very graphically last night.

I had just bought a very cheap secondhand old Nikkor 600mm f/4 manual focus AI-S lens on eBay and took it out to Loch Leven to try for some photos of the rising moon. While I was out, I noticed a bright star/planet in the east and took its picture. Even with the 600mm lens, the object was just a speck in the viewfinder.

Only when I got home and really zoomed-in to the image at 100% did I realise that it was a planet, probably Jupiter, and that my photograph included two of its moons. The planet itself was grossly over-exposed and there was a bit of tripod-shake evident at high magnification. If I had known that I had captured the moons at the time, I would have spent much more time getting the exposure right and using a mirror-up mode and a stabiliser on the tripod, etc., etc., etc. Next clear night, I'll be looking for Jupiter again and will try to get a decent image of those moons.

But, just to show what a 36Mp sensor can capture with a normal telephoto lens (as opposed to an astronomical telescope), here is the image of the moons, cropped to exclude most of the overexposed planet:

jupmoons.jpg



To see what it came from, here is the whole frame - and bear in mind that those moons were not even visible to the naked eye.

jup.jpg



.

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Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
3 Nov 2012 11:07AM
That pic could be anything, LF. Lol! Wink

I agree about croppability though. However it does depend on more than just the number of megapixels.
3 Nov 2012 11:54AM
I would be more interested in seeing how this lens performs on your D800 for wildlife not bothered about cropping more full frame un-cropped images, lots of feather details etc. Im on the fence of going fx or waiting on the dx d300 replacement and getting the same lens or the old 500mm f4-p.

Gareth
Coleslaw e2
9 13.4k 28 Wales
3 Nov 2012 11:59AM
What I would like to know is:
With long lenses, you can blur the bg nicely.
But if you use shorter lenses and then just crop the photo, surely the bg blur would be different?
3 Nov 2012 12:09PM
Cole you would be correct reference the blur.
I hate having to crop images, to me pixels are there to be used not binned.
User_Removed 2 155 2 South Africa
3 Nov 2012 12:14PM
AH .. now I know why I was drooling over 36 MP's SIGH ... next year .....

but I agree with the whole idea that with wildlife you have to crop. Sometimes its a choice between shot that needs to be cropped or no shot at all.

I also use cropping to tighten up composition you don't always have time to get absolutely spot on 100% right when aforementioned wildlife usually only gives you a few seconds to even get any kind of shot. Focus is first priority... fiddling with composition can be done later.
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
3 Nov 2012 12:18PM
So long as the cropped photo still has enough pixels to produce an acceptable end-result, I don't see a problem with cropping at all.
Coleslaw e2
9 13.4k 28 Wales
3 Nov 2012 12:23PM
I have no issue with cropping either.
But when people say in wildlife photography, you can just crop rather than using long lenses, surely that is not entirely true?
User_Removed 2 155 2 South Africa
3 Nov 2012 12:23PM
So long as the original was crisply in focus you can get away with quite a severe crop.
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
3 Nov 2012 12:29PM

Quote:you can just crop rather than using long lenses, surely that is not entirely true?


The effect may be slightly different, but with subjects far away, I'm not sure the difference is as much as it would be for nearer subjects.

I have a horrid feeling we are into 'circles of confusion' territory! Wink
3 Nov 2012 12:33PM
How to confuse an irishman put him in a round room and tell him to piss in the corner.Tongue
Thats your circles of confusion.
yeah im irish
User_Removed 2 155 2 South Africa
3 Nov 2012 12:37PM
a long lens has its own issues and overzooming has its own problems too. And I don't think that is what any one is saying - at least not as I understand the OP's point.

When you are out photographing animals that are not terribly cooperative, understanding that you can crop a photo if it's still sharp enough (ie the need for MP's comes in) regardless of what lens you were using, widens your opportunities for a good shot.

There is often a huge gap between what you could get if bird/buck/bug sat perfectly still and let you fiddle with tripod and lens and set up and focus and lighting ad nauseum and the reality of what you can get in the moment before bird/buck/bug buggers off to somewhere you are not.
Snapster e2
2 133 England
3 Nov 2012 5:48PM
On a geeky note, yes the bright star adjacent to the moon was Jupiter.
There's a great app for the Ipad where you point the ipad at the sky and it tells you the constellations and planets viewed.
widtink 2 406 2 Scotland
3 Nov 2012 6:21PM
really !! cool , shameavnogotwan Wink

Rod
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
3 Nov 2012 7:37PM

Quote:Ever since downgrading to a Nikon D800 back in March, I have come across many (and I do mean many) photographers who ask "Why do you need 36 Mp?"


Down grading ? just seems like a waste to me.

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