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Old Dec 12, 2010, 7:23 AM   #21
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I wouldn't buy lenses designed for an APS-C sensors for a full frame camera. But, for someone upgrading from a camera like my Sony A700 (12MP) to a camera like the 24MP Sony A900 (or from a camera like a Nikon D300 to a D3x), those types of features do allow someone to use the same "crop" lenses with close to the same angle of view they had on their older camera, with almost as much resolution in the final image, until they could buy more lenses. They just wouldn't be taking advantage of the sensor's 24MP resolution that way.

I've been tempted to buy something like a Sony/CZ 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 as a walk around lens to use with my A700 from time to time, because it would give pretty good focal range (same angle of view you'd get using a 24-120mm lens on a 35mm camera), in a smaller and lighter package. But, because of the full frame cameras (including Minolta Maxxum film cameras), I've resisted and stuck with lenses that can be used on either camera type. So, the only lens I own that is specific to APS-C size sensors is the 18-70mm kit lens that came with a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D that I still own.

I can remember struggling over some lens decisions because of that. For example, buying lenses like the Tamron SP 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5 (one of the sharpest wide zooms ever tested by photodo.com if you look at the old MTF charts there) for use on my KM and Sony cameras with APS-C Size sensors, even though it doesn't start out as wide as most similar lenses designed for APS-C size sensors. BTW, it works much better on a full frame camera like the Sony A850 or A900, as I've used mine with a Sony A850. I've noticed the same thing with some of my other lenses (better on full frame).
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 8:28 AM   #22
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BTW, I can remember a non-dSLR model using the same approach (cropping the image in camera) to keep from redesigning lenses.

For example, Sony released the DSC-F505v as a 2.6 Megapixel camera. Basically, they put a 3.3 Megapixel sensor (with a larger physical area for the active pixels) in the DSC-F505 body (and I had one of those at one time about 10 years ago), because the image circle being projected by the original lens design apparently couldn't cover the entire 3.3 megapixels. You can see how that worked in this old review:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydscf505v/
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