6x6 vs 35mm (again)

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Jan Cornelius, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. Jan Cornelius

    Jan Cornelius Member

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    I read a number af threads over the different photography fori's over the past period oftime on the difference between 120 and 35mm cameras. I use both, and obviously my 6x6 turns out the brighter, crispier and nicer negatives and prints... but is this a reason to increase 6x6 shooting as opposed to 35mm ... I have asked myself that and come up with the conlusion that for my type of shooting a 35mm is top, I love the tri-x / D-76 grain, I love the responsiveness of my "little" nikon, I actually like the "blur" of larger enlargments, it is certainly more atmospheric than the clean cut 6x6 es I shoot, it's so easy to shoot a sharp picture with the right equipement but although the end result is technicallly very good it lacks the personality of a 35mm shot, if sharpness is required shoot digital and photoshop the blasted thing and subsequently turn your image into a hairsharp, unnaturally coloured disney-land sort of picture of which 1000's are shot every day ... for images with character I use my beloved 35mm ....

    having been a real fan of MF cameras over the past 3 years, I am coming back on that .... any others that went through similar experiences ?
     
  2. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I won't say I've gone back to 35mm...more that I've never left it. I love MF and LF gear, but sometimes 35mm is the right tool for the job. Sometimes I want rough, grainy images. (For me, early morning fog is the perfect example of where I like the grain to intrude a bit into the image. Not that MF and LF won't give spectacular results on foggy mornings...just that sometimes I'm in the mood for an image with a rough edge and 35mm Tri-X is a great way to get what I want.)

    The other thing is that, of course, some situations are just easier to shoot with 35mm. Nobody notices my Contax G1 in a crowd, but you can bet that even my smallest MF camera (a Fuji GA645) attracts attention. And pulling out a Crown Graphic is an open invitation for people to make me the center of attention. So some shots are almost impossible with anything other than 35mm.

    I love every format that I shoot, but all for different reasons. I'm fortunate enough to have a collection of equipment that allows me to match the equipment with both the situation I'll be in and the mood I want the picture to create.

    An interesting topic...thanks for bringing it up.
     
  3. brent8927

    brent8927 Subscriber

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    I've actually only used my 35mm once since I bought a medium format camera, and the only reason was because my 6x6 (then a Bronica S2A) was getting repaired. When I want something grainy I use 3200 speed film, which actually doesn't look too grainy (I only print approx 7x7) but is does have an atmospheric look to it.

    Honesty though, the main reason I prefer 6x6 is it just feels better. I love composing with the waist lever finder, the size of the camera, the shutter speed and aperature controls on the lens. I have also found that the square works wonders with my imagry.

    6x6 just works best for me, but you'll find so many people out there who say 35mm works best for them, or 4x5 or 8x10 (or the really crazy ULF shooters!) and even <gasp> digital cameras. I'm happy to hear that you've found a format that you really enjoy that also supports the imagry you're looking for.
     
  4. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I think it is purely personal choice based on your style of shooting, I have shot, 35, MF and LF for many years now, and there are certain shots that just work on certain formats...

    Looking through a ground glass, is an exciting experiance, as is looking through a viewfinder at a charging Bison on 35mm, and the waist level shooting of 6x6 has it thrilling moments as well,

    I would hate to think, I would have to limit myself to any one format...not in my make up.

    Dave
     
  5. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Hmmm. For closeup with flash, my Nikons set up much more quickly and are generally easier to use than my Graphics. Similarly for anything that requires quick framing and focusing, i.e., moving subjects.
     
  6. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Just the opposite for me. Cameras are tools and I'm a right tool for the job type person. The bigger cameras replaced 35mm for me some time back but i always kept my Nikon system for magazine requirements etc. When the Olympus digital got to be as good as 35 for those jobs I dumped the Nikon on Ebay. For a big loss I might add as everyone else is doing the same thing right now. The only MF that's getting used much is the Minolta Autocord simply because it's awesome on the grandbabies. But the fun cameras are the 8X10++ ones with the big brass antique lenses. That's what makes the world go round.
     
  7. cao

    cao Member

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    Same here. I can run around all day with a Spotmatic and a small lens, and no one notices me at all. I was taking some dog snaps at a marina a couple of day ago with my RB to finish off a roll, and some boaters nearby ask each other "who hired the photog?" MF and bigger cameras don't lend themselves to invisibility.
     
  8. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Get one of each :smile:
     
  9. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    I tend to agree with the right tool for the job philosophy... but not really the comparison of MF to photoshopped digital images. I love my 35mm cameras, for reasons that have all been mentioned already as well as others: for very little, I have normal, telephoto and wide angle at my disposal witha 35mm slr, much less than a good MF outfit would cost me. And yes, I know that you get what you pay for - but its better to have something than nothing, and there are some great lenses available for most 35mm SLRs. But... there is something about that big, beautiful negative at the end of a MF shot. Makes me fear the day I can afford to get into larger formats... for now I am safe due to finances. I also find that I take more time, and my mind tends to compse better on a square format.

    One thing, perhaps a bit off topic - I find that when I shoot 35mm most of the shots are done with the camera on its side (vertical)... Has anyone else had this phenomenon? See, the 6x6 eliminates that problem :smile: I am ok with that, but I notice that my wife has trouble handling an SLR in that position, one of the reasons why she is joined at the hip with a QL17 ever since the two met...

    And yes, even a little TLR seems to draw attention, if not because of size, then because of its unusual (to the average person) appearance. My Lubitel is tiny, inconspicous... but people still flock to see what that "cute little old fashioned thing" is!
     
  10. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I could tell you a few tips that would help you get into LF inexpensively...I'm the ultimate bottom-feeder when it comes to LF. :D

    The vast majority of my photographs are taken vertically, in every format from 35mm to 8x10. In fact, the reason I'm working on a 6x14 panoramic camera is primarily to shoot vertical panoramics. (I think "vertical panoramic" is probably a non-sequitor.)

    If I crop a 6x6 print to standard paper size, I find that I almost always crop it vertically.

    I have nothing against horizontal composition, and in fact most of the artwork on my walls is horizontal...but for some reason I'm drawn to vertical compositions. Probably brain damage from my mis-spent youth.
     
  11. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    When did that happen? I have a fairly top of the range Olympus digital, but my OM series 35mm results blow it so far out of the water that I have pretty much stopped using it except for a few pictures where I really do need instant results. For anything else, it's just embarrasing. I was allowed a go on a Canon EOS 1Ds MkII a while ago and that was as good as the OM pictures, but I could buy a car for the price of one body and a few lenses.

    David.
     
  12. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    I love shooting with both my 35mm and 6x6. No preference one over the other. Other cameras I'd consider at this stage is a Rollei and a Leica. I love trying new equipment all the time. But in the end the subject and conditions determine the tools.
     
  13. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Subscriber

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    I have had a different experience, I have been using more MF and LF and less 35mm all the time. I have actually gotten rid of my Nikon N90s and replaced it with a Yashica rangefinder because I couldn't justfy keeping it. I would have preferred to keep it and I am sure that I will be back in the SLR game soon enough, but the money was better spent, for me, on LF amd MF gear.
     
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  15. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I am shooting more and more 35mm now that I have kids, surprise surprise. I also enjoy the look of grain. I also am in love with my new (used ) bronny rf645 which is rapidly becoming my favourite camera of all time. Way smaller than my Eos 3 with lens albeit a very differnet beast. They all have their place, but teh RF645 has really staked out the ground between 35mm and LF for me. I have had a 6x6slr, TLR (loved my 'Cord actually - now sold) but none truly felt 100 % right to me. The RF645 is the only thing other than a 35mm I would entertain the idea of stalking my kids with....an absolute steal used too.
     
  16. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    The "brain damage from a mis-spent" youth would certainly explain a few things in my case...:wink:

    And I think we should celebrate the birth of "vertical panoramics" as a term and a concept, and if we all use it enough, you are ensured place in all future photography texts! Proud to be a part of this number!

    And I would love to find out how to join the bottom feeder ranks of LF users! Whenever youhave the time to spare, I would be very grateful for any pointers! (I stop here before I breach the context of this sub-forum).

    And by the way, are there any 35mm cameras that operate in the vertical? I know of one I saw that used non-perf film and was a beautiful wooden thing with brass fittings, lovingly restored by a local photographer - but I was thinking of something more practical for every day use. Maybe I should make one...stop it, crazy thoughts...shhh, they can hear us...What? Me? I didn't say anything...

    OK, no more non MF related stuff out of me!
     
  17. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    Er, all of them: you just turn them on their sides, or have I misunderstood?

    David.
     
  18. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    No, I expressed myself with insufficient clarity:

    I meant to say is: are there any 35 mm cameras, other than the afore mentioned antique, for which the vertical orientation is the standard, rather than the somewhat awkward alternative.

    Its all lost in my earlier ramblings... I am having a scattered brain-day...:wink:
     
  19. micek

    micek Member

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  20. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    Likewise, I only know for sure of half frame cameras. Not that long ago, though, Rollei used to make a medium format look alike 35mm SLR with interchangeable backs. Did that run the film vertically? I never used one.

    David.
     
  21. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    In MF, the Fuji GA645 series of cameras are vertical shooters. That's one of the things that drew me to the GA645Pro.
     
  22. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    MF is so new to me - labout 2 years now - that it's still a 'new flavour of candy' for me. I haven't really touched my 35mm camera in comparison to my Hassey. Even though it's bigger and the lenses are heavier, I carry my Hassey everywhere.

    I'm just thrilled with the square format. I think it challenges me and so far it hasn't bored me.

    Art.
     
  23. gchpaco

    gchpaco Member

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    I see my 6x6 as my primary camera. It's easier to carry and work with than my 4x5 and is overkill for the print sizes I usually do (topping out at 11x14). I came to it from Nikons in 35mm, and I still have quite a few of those. 35mm cameras have superb handling and are very fast to use, so I use them when speed is of the essence. But it still seems too small to me.
     
  24. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    The MF TLRs that take 35mm I think. Is the RB67 the camera with the rotating back? A rotating back is the ultimate. I think the RB67 might even have a 35mm back. OTOH the RB67 weighs more then some 4x5 cameras-)
     
  25. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    With its smaller format, 35mm film, requires special attention to handling and processing. Better negatives will result from avoiding over-development with its associated increase in granularity. The best 35mm negative is the thinnest one that still exhibits good shadow detail. Camera shake also becomes more of a problem with the enlargement factors associated with this format.
     
  26. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Thanks for humouring me, guys. I love MF - now I am limited to a Lubitel, so I am not using it as much as my 35's due to obvious flexibility issues (fixed lenses, etc.), but an RB67 is probably tops on my wish list - a friend has one and I fall more and more in love with it every time he lets meplay around with it.