Why do we still have a multiplier?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Aidan, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. Aidan

    Aidan Guest

    This may be a stupid question, and I'm fully prepared to admit my ignorance
    on the subject of optics and sensors and the in depth workings of
    each....but what is keeping us stuck with a 1.5x (or 1.4 or 1.6, whatever)
    multiplier in digital SLRs? Whatever happened to the refractive optics
    system that Nikon integrated with their E3/E3s digital SLR bodies? Was
    there something inherently wrong with that system? Seems like a solution to
    the problems of focal length multipliers..... Again, I'm no expert and
    please correct me if I'm wrong on this front. Why can't manufacturers today
    implement something similar in the newer bodies? Or is it just an excuse
    for a second line of digital only lenses? Thanks much.

    Aidan
    Aidan, Sep 30, 2003
    #1
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  2. Aidan

    Robertwgross Guest

    Aidan wrote:
    >This may be a stupid question, and I'm fully prepared to admit my ignorance
    >on the subject of optics and sensors and the in depth workings of
    >each....but what is keeping us stuck with a 1.5x (or 1.4 or 1.6, whatever)
    >multiplier in digital SLRs? Whatever happened to the refractive optics
    >system that Nikon integrated with their E3/E3s digital SLR bodies? Was
    >there something inherently wrong with that system? Seems like a solution to
    >the problems of focal length multipliers..... Again, I'm no expert and
    >please correct me if I'm wrong on this front. Why can't manufacturers today
    >implement something similar in the newer bodies? Or is it just an excuse
    >for a second line of digital only lenses? Thanks much.


    So far, nobody has been able to invent a *practical* way to repeal the laws of
    optics.

    In the meanwhile, the digital sensor size remains a stumbling block in the
    design of better digital cameras. The sensor can be kept at its 1.5 or 1.6
    factor smaller than a 35mm frame, and those can be fabricated in normal
    semiconductor fabs using normal lithography methods for normal costs. If you
    want the sensor to be full 35mm frame size, then you have to go to unusual
    lithography methods, and the costs go up tremendously. Canon or Nikon might do
    that for a few professional model cameras that they can charge many thousands
    of dollars for. However, if they want to mass-market cameras, the sensor cost
    must go down, and that means keeping the sensor smaller than the 35mm frame
    size.

    ---Bob Gross---
    Robertwgross, Sep 30, 2003
    #2
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  3. Aidan

    jean Guest

    "Robertwgross" <> a écrit dans le message de
    news:...
    > Aidan wrote:
    > >This may be a stupid question, and I'm fully prepared to admit my

    ignorance
    > >on the subject of optics and sensors and the in depth workings of
    > >each....but what is keeping us stuck with a 1.5x (or 1.4 or 1.6,

    whatever)
    > >multiplier in digital SLRs? Whatever happened to the refractive optics
    > >system that Nikon integrated with their E3/E3s digital SLR bodies? Was
    > >there something inherently wrong with that system? Seems like a solution

    to
    > >the problems of focal length multipliers..... Again, I'm no expert and
    > >please correct me if I'm wrong on this front. Why can't manufacturers

    today
    > >implement something similar in the newer bodies? Or is it just an excuse
    > >for a second line of digital only lenses? Thanks much.

    >
    > So far, nobody has been able to invent a *practical* way to repeal the

    laws of
    > optics.
    >
    > In the meanwhile, the digital sensor size remains a stumbling block in the
    > design of better digital cameras. The sensor can be kept at its 1.5 or 1.6
    > factor smaller than a 35mm frame, and those can be fabricated in normal
    > semiconductor fabs using normal lithography methods for normal costs. If

    you
    > want the sensor to be full 35mm frame size, then you have to go to unusual
    > lithography methods, and the costs go up tremendously. Canon or Nikon

    might do
    > that for a few professional model cameras that they can charge many

    thousands
    > of dollars for. However, if they want to mass-market cameras, the sensor

    cost
    > must go down, and that means keeping the sensor smaller than the 35mm

    frame
    > size.
    >
    > ---Bob Gross---


    I always tought making things smaller was a lot more difficult than making
    them bigger, why is it so with image sensors?

    Jean
    jean, Sep 30, 2003
    #3
  4. Aidan

    Aidan Guest

    But where is the stumbling block barring the way for something in the way of
    the Nikon refractive optics design (or something similar) used in the
    E3/E3s. The sensor size was smaller than a 35mm frame, yet through the use
    of additional optics built into the body the image was reduced to fit into
    the smaller frame size, thus enabling the normal use of wide angle lenses.
    Once again, I'm no physics expert so please do find fault in my reasoning.
    I ask only to find the answer.


    "Robertwgross" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Aidan wrote:
    > >This may be a stupid question, and I'm fully prepared to admit my

    ignorance
    > >on the subject of optics and sensors and the in depth workings of
    > >each....but what is keeping us stuck with a 1.5x (or 1.4 or 1.6,

    whatever)
    > >multiplier in digital SLRs? Whatever happened to the refractive optics
    > >system that Nikon integrated with their E3/E3s digital SLR bodies? Was
    > >there something inherently wrong with that system? Seems like a solution

    to
    > >the problems of focal length multipliers..... Again, I'm no expert and
    > >please correct me if I'm wrong on this front. Why can't manufacturers

    today
    > >implement something similar in the newer bodies? Or is it just an excuse
    > >for a second line of digital only lenses? Thanks much.

    >
    > So far, nobody has been able to invent a *practical* way to repeal the

    laws of
    > optics.
    >
    > In the meanwhile, the digital sensor size remains a stumbling block in the
    > design of better digital cameras. The sensor can be kept at its 1.5 or 1.6
    > factor smaller than a 35mm frame, and those can be fabricated in normal
    > semiconductor fabs using normal lithography methods for normal costs. If

    you
    > want the sensor to be full 35mm frame size, then you have to go to unusual
    > lithography methods, and the costs go up tremendously. Canon or Nikon

    might do
    > that for a few professional model cameras that they can charge many

    thousands
    > of dollars for. However, if they want to mass-market cameras, the sensor

    cost
    > must go down, and that means keeping the sensor smaller than the 35mm

    frame
    > size.
    >
    > ---Bob Gross---
    Aidan, Sep 30, 2003
    #4
  5. Aidan

    Mark B. Guest

    "Aidan" <David_J_Griffiths at yahoo dot com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > This may be a stupid question, and I'm fully prepared to admit my

    ignorance
    > on the subject of optics and sensors and the in depth workings of
    > each....but what is keeping us stuck with a 1.5x (or 1.4 or 1.6, whatever)
    > multiplier in digital SLRs?


    The $8,000 price tag on the Canon 1Ds is keeping me from full frame. Don't
    know anything about the Nikon system you mentioned.


    Mark
    Mark B., Sep 30, 2003
    #5
  6. Aidan

    Aidan Guest

    My apologies, the optical system implemented in the E3/E3s was called Nikon
    Reduction Optical System (ROS). Don't know where diffractive came into my
    head.....must be time for bed.



    "Aidan" <David_J_Griffiths at yahoo dot com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > This may be a stupid question, and I'm fully prepared to admit my

    ignorance
    > on the subject of optics and sensors and the in depth workings of
    > each....but what is keeping us stuck with a 1.5x (or 1.4 or 1.6, whatever)
    > multiplier in digital SLRs? Whatever happened to the refractive optics
    > system that Nikon integrated with their E3/E3s digital SLR bodies? Was
    > there something inherently wrong with that system? Seems like a solution

    to
    > the problems of focal length multipliers..... Again, I'm no expert and
    > please correct me if I'm wrong on this front. Why can't manufacturers

    today
    > implement something similar in the newer bodies? Or is it just an excuse
    > for a second line of digital only lenses? Thanks much.
    >
    > Aidan
    >
    >
    Aidan, Sep 30, 2003
    #6
  7. Aidan

    Aidan Guest

    For anyone interested I finally found an illustration of the system I've
    been discussing. I've posted it online for anyone who would like to have a
    gander. All you experts out there let me know the fatal flaw that is
    keeping this out of modern digital SLRs.

    http://aidan81.tripod.com/e3image1.jpg


    "Aidan" <David_J_Griffiths at yahoo dot com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > This may be a stupid question, and I'm fully prepared to admit my

    ignorance
    > on the subject of optics and sensors and the in depth workings of
    > each....but what is keeping us stuck with a 1.5x (or 1.4 or 1.6, whatever)
    > multiplier in digital SLRs? Whatever happened to the refractive optics
    > system that Nikon integrated with their E3/E3s digital SLR bodies? Was
    > there something inherently wrong with that system? Seems like a solution

    to
    > the problems of focal length multipliers..... Again, I'm no expert and
    > please correct me if I'm wrong on this front. Why can't manufacturers

    today
    > implement something similar in the newer bodies? Or is it just an excuse
    > for a second line of digital only lenses? Thanks much.
    >
    > Aidan
    >
    >
    Aidan, Sep 30, 2003
    #7
  8. Aidan

    chibitul Guest

    In article <GM5eb.2454$>,
    "jean" <look_for@my_email.org> wrote:

    > I always tought making things smaller was a lot more difficult than making
    > them bigger, why is it so with image sensors?


    well, there are so many things that are difficult to make bigger :)
    buildings, bridges, LCD screens, airplanes, space stations, and yes,
    among other things, penises (or what's the plural of penis?). anyway, as
    you can propably tell, there is no single day that I don't get a spam ad
    for some sort of penis enlargment drug or device. but this is really OT
    now...
    chibitul, Sep 30, 2003
    #8
  9. Hi Aidan

    Thanks for bringing this info on Nikon's
    "Reduction Optical System" as used in the E3
    cameras. I was unaware of that early solution.

    > All you experts out there let me know the fatal flaw that is
    > keeping this out of modern digital SLRs.


    I'm guessing that cost is one possible factor.

    Another might be optical issues that didn't show up in
    a 1 megapixel camera but would show up in a 6+ megapixel
    camera.

    Anyways ... thanks for bringing this up .... too bad Nikon
    engineers aren't encouraged to post in such venues as this ...

    Stan
    Stanley Krute, Sep 30, 2003
    #9
  10. Aidan

    Jim Townsend Guest

    "Aidan" <David_J_Griffiths at yahoo dot com> wrote:

    > This may be a stupid question, and I'm fully prepared to admit my ignorance
    > on the subject of optics and sensors and the in depth workings of
    > each....but what is keeping us stuck with a 1.5x (or 1.4 or 1.6, whatever)
    > multiplier in digital SLRs? Whatever happened to the refractive optics
    > system that Nikon integrated with their E3/E3s digital SLR bodies? Was
    > there something inherently wrong with that system? Seems like a solution to
    > the problems of focal length multipliers..... Again, I'm no expert and
    > please correct me if I'm wrong on this front. Why can't manufacturers today
    > implement something similar in the newer bodies? Or is it just an excuse
    > for a second line of digital only lenses? Thanks much.


    DSLR's have only been marketed for a few years.. Nikon, and Canon haven't had
    a chance to completely redesign their whole lens linup :) Even if they did
    have time, the market is still VERY small.. Not yet worth the effort.

    It may happen.. Both Canon and Nikon have produced lenses specifically for
    DSLR use.. (The EF-S 18-55 kit lens for the Digital Rebel and the 12-24 IF-ED
    from Nikon).

    If DSLR popularity continues, I'm sure we'll see more specific 'no crop' lenses
    to fit the sensor size.

    But consider.. What if the cost of making larger sensors drops through mass
    production and new innoviations in manufacturing.. The specific small sensor
    lenses will mean that if manufacturers produce a larger sensor (close to or at
    full frame size), all their lenses made specifically for smaller sensors will
    be useless.. Developing an extensive line of such lenses might doom us to APS
    sized sensors for a long time to come..

    It's a fast moving and still uncertain markket.. I don't really blame the big
    guns for dragging their heels a bit..
    Jim Townsend, Sep 30, 2003
    #10
  11. Aidan wrote:

    > For anyone interested I finally found an illustration of the system I've
    > been discussing. I've posted it online for anyone who would like to have a
    > gander. All you experts out there let me know the fatal flaw that is
    > keeping this out of modern digital SLRs.
    >
    > http://aidan81.tripod.com/e3image1.jpg
    >
    > "Aidan" <David_J_Griffiths at yahoo dot com> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > This may be a stupid question, and I'm fully prepared to admit my

    > ignorance
    > > on the subject of optics and sensors and the in depth workings of
    > > each....but what is keeping us stuck with a 1.5x (or 1.4 or 1.6, whatever)
    > > multiplier in digital SLRs? Whatever happened to the refractive optics
    > > system that Nikon integrated with their E3/E3s digital SLR bodies? Was
    > > there something inherently wrong with that system? Seems like a solution

    > to
    > > the problems of focal length multipliers..... Again, I'm no expert and
    > > please correct me if I'm wrong on this front. Why can't manufacturers

    > today
    > > implement something similar in the newer bodies? Or is it just an excuse
    > > for a second line of digital only lenses? Thanks much.
    > >
    > > Aidan
    > >
    > >


    Actually, that seems like a very clever solution to the problem. I never heard
    of that concept before, but it is logical as hell.
    It would enable one to use Standard SLR lenses on DSLR Cameras without the
    multiplication factor. Hmmmm!
    The technique does introduce a fair amount of extra glass into the optical path.
    As Stanley suggested, this may create "issues" with a 6 MP sensor. If it really
    works in practice as well as it looks on paper, we may see it soon.
    Thanks for the heads up on the concept.
    Bob Williams
    Robert E. Williams, Sep 30, 2003
    #11
  12. Aidan

    Mark B. Guest

    "jean" <look_for@my_email.org> wrote in message
    news:GM5eb.2454$...
    >
    >
    > I always tought making things smaller was a lot more difficult than making
    > them bigger, why is it so with image sensors?
    >
    > Jean
    >
    >


    It's a lot more expensive to make bigger image sensors. That's why they're
    so small on portable digicams.

    Mark
    Mark B., Sep 30, 2003
    #12
  13. Aidan

    Mark B. Guest

    "Aidan" <David_J_Griffiths at yahoo dot com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > For anyone interested I finally found an illustration of the system I've
    > been discussing. I've posted it online for anyone who would like to have

    a
    > gander. All you experts out there let me know the fatal flaw that is
    > keeping this out of modern digital SLRs.
    >
    > http://aidan81.tripod.com/e3image1.jpg
    >
    >



    Your original question was regarding why digital SLRs still have a
    multiplier, but it looks to me like this system is optimized for smaller
    sensors. As long as we're using lenses designed for a full 35mm film frame,
    there will be a multiplier. Sensor costs will come down and sizes will
    increase over time, so eventually there won't be a multiplier.

    Mark
    Mark B., Sep 30, 2003
    #13
  14. Aidan

    Mark B. Guest

    "Aidan" <David_J_Griffiths at yahoo dot com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > For anyone interested I finally found an illustration of the system I've
    > been discussing. I've posted it online for anyone who would like to have

    a
    > gander. All you experts out there let me know the fatal flaw that is
    > keeping this out of modern digital SLRs.
    >
    > http://aidan81.tripod.com/e3image1.jpg
    >
    >


    Ignore my comments about the optic system, I was looking at it wrong.

    Mark
    Mark B., Sep 30, 2003
    #14
  15. Aidan

    jean Guest

    "Mark B." <> a écrit dans le message de
    news:...
    > "jean" <look_for@my_email.org> wrote in message
    > news:GM5eb.2454$...
    > >
    > >
    > > I always tought making things smaller was a lot more difficult than

    making
    > > them bigger, why is it so with image sensors?
    > >
    > > Jean
    > >
    > >

    >
    > It's a lot more expensive to make bigger image sensors. That's why

    they're
    > so small on portable digicams.
    >


    Is that due to the cost of "real estate" of semiconductors or to the yield
    of bigger chips even if they have fewer components per surface area? The
    way I see it, in the space of one 35mm frame with (let's say) 10 million
    pixels, there could be quite a few chips like a Pentium 4 with close to 50
    million transistors each.

    Jean
    jean, Sep 30, 2003
    #15
  16. Aidan

    Eric Gisin Guest

    Nonsense. dSLR sensor sizes are NOT increasing. Get used to it.

    "Mark B." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    |
    | Your original question was regarding why digital SLRs still have a
    | multiplier, but it looks to me like this system is optimized for smaller
    | sensors. As long as we're using lenses designed for a full 35mm film frame,
    | there will be a multiplier. Sensor costs will come down and sizes will
    | increase over time, so eventually there won't be a multiplier.
    |
    | Mark
    |
    |
    Eric Gisin, Sep 30, 2003
    #16
  17. jean <> wrote:
    >> It's a lot more expensive to make bigger image sensors. That's why

    >Is that due to the cost of "real estate" of semiconductors or to the yield
    >of bigger chips even if they have fewer components per surface area? The
    >way I see it, in the space of one 35mm frame with (let's say) 10 million
    >pixels, there could be quite a few chips like a Pentium 4 with close to 50
    >million transistors each.


    The yield drops quickly as the die size increases. And even a good yield
    is only like 40%.

    Consider how upset people in this group get (rightfully) with only a
    single hot pixel on their camera. These sensors have to be flawless.

    --
    Jason O'Rourke www.jor.com
    Jason O'Rourke, Sep 30, 2003
    #17
  18. On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 08:04:07 -0700, Eric Gisin wrote:

    > Nonsense. dSLR sensor sizes are NOT increasing. Get used to it.


    Considering that a full frame sensor chip already exists in the 1Ds, it
    seems reasonable to assume that the cost of manufacture will reduce with
    time, as happens with pretty much all other electronic equipment. With
    lower costs, there will be no reason not to put larger sensors in DSLRs.

    Your statement appears to me to be an unwarranted assumption, with no
    factual backing whatsoever. It seems inevitable that production costs
    will reduce, the only question is the rate at which that happens. With the
    noise/sensitivity advantages of larger sensors, it would be foolish not to
    use them if cost was no longer an issue.

    Mike.
    Mike Brodbelt, Sep 30, 2003
    #18
  19. Aidan

    Todd Walker Guest

    Todd Walker, Sep 30, 2003
    #19
  20. Aidan

    Eric Gisin Guest

    The topic comes up EVERY week, and we have explained why the typical 2/3
    sensor is much less expensive than full format. The only reason for full
    format is a resolution like 3000x4500.

    "Mike Brodbelt" <m.brodbelt@__NO_SPAM_PLEASE__coruscant.demon.co.uk> wrote in
    message
    news:pan.2003.09.30.16.46.35.647790@__NO_SPAM_PLEASE__coruscant.demon.co.uk...
    | On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 08:04:07 -0700, Eric Gisin wrote:
    |
    | > Nonsense. dSLR sensor sizes are NOT increasing. Get used to it.
    |
    | Considering that a full frame sensor chip already exists in the 1Ds, it
    | seems reasonable to assume that the cost of manufacture will reduce with
    | time, as happens with pretty much all other electronic equipment. With
    | lower costs, there will be no reason not to put larger sensors in DSLRs.
    |
    | Your statement appears to me to be an unwarranted assumption, with no
    | factual backing whatsoever. It seems inevitable that production costs
    | will reduce, the only question is the rate at which that happens. With the
    | noise/sensitivity advantages of larger sensors, it would be foolish not to
    | use them if cost was no longer an issue.
    |
    | Mike.
    |
    Eric Gisin, Sep 30, 2003
    #20
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