Advantages of 35mm over MF/LF

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by cliveh, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,537
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I was wondering how many advantages 35mm has over MF/LF, such as depth of field, rapid change of position for composition and perspective, quick recognition and exposure, unobtrusive action, to name but a few. Perhaps others could add to this list?
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

    Messages:
    2,441
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    High speed motor drives. Wider range of lens, superwides to super teles.
     
  3. ezwriter

    ezwriter Member

    Messages:
    129
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Since i hike in, first off is the weight. My RZ67 is HEAVY, compared to my Nikon 35mms. Plus u have to set up the tripod, take exp
    reading, its a whole diff ballgame.
    Also u get 36 exp instead of 10. More lenses and assc. Way cheaper. Film more available. I just bought roll of 35 TriX at CVS drugs. They
    prob last carrried 120 in 1965 , if at all!
     
  4. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

    Messages:
    1,096
    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Location:
    ch
    Shooter:
    Sub 35mm
    35mm film is available in bulk rolls (B&W, at least.) That's always been a deal maker for me.
     
  5. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,493
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Beautiful grain. Sorry, but I like grain. I just printed a 11x14 of a scene from a few months ago on Ilford Fiber last night and the grain was subtle and beautiful. God did it come out well. Really makes you appreciate proper tool use.
     
  6. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

    Messages:
    756
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Location:
    NY
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Getting the shot or not getting the shot..but you already knew that, Clive :smile: Seriously, that relates mostly to LF though, as most MF cameras are pretty nimble (ok, not a Mamiya RB/RZ67 maybe). Oh, and yes, GRAIN! Grain is beautiful.
     
  7. Dave in Kansas

    Dave in Kansas Member

    Messages:
    304
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Location:
    Eastern Kans
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I did a double-take on this thread title thinking it was the recent one circulating about the advantages of medium format over 35mm.

    I took a nice vacation trip a few months ago and must have had 4-35mm cameras and 3 medium format cameras and a big box of film for each format. Interestingly, I only shot a few frames of 6x6 at one event and the rest were made on 35mm (either slide film in my OM-2 or B&W in my ME Super). Now I'm trying to figure out why I didn't shoot more medium format. Was it because my 35mm cameras are faster, lighter and easier to use? Or was it because I figured most shots didn't warrant the larger negative size? A combination of both reasons? I don't know, but given the choice of the two formats, I chose 35mm so there must be some advantage to that format for was I was doing.

    Dave
     
  8. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

    Messages:
    6,932
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dispite the bulk and limitness of 120 film, I really like MF. I wouldn't give up my RB67 or Rolleiflex for anything.

    Jeff
     
  9. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,952
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    fairfield co
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    for the life of me can never make a decent print w 35mm...but mf no problem !!!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,493
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I share the opposite problem.... :tongue:
     
  11. batwister

    batwister Member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    That you can make more pictures, cheaper. If you're starting out, going straight to medium format or indeed LF, means your development (creative) is somewhat slower - you're simply making less pictures. Slowing down is an important part of maturing as a photographer, but a preliminary period of unabashed experimentation is really important first. Some people skip this stage and expect bigger frames = better results. When these pictures don't satisfy them, they turn to the zen system thinking it's a shortcut. We now see each format as having their own creative pros and cons, whereas in the pre-digital age, photographers progressed through formats as their results started to justify a need for a 'bigger canvas'. Ansel Adams started with 35mm, so did Paul Strand. As did many of today's big names, like Kenna. I think there's still a lot to be learned from this restraint of "I'm not ready for LF yet". But also, if you're making great pictures from the get-go with a 35mm, like Bresson or any number of people, changing format could inhibit what makes your work great - namely, a certain spontaneity. You have to understand your sensibility before choosing a format, not just shoot the biggest you can afford.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2012
  12. Wade D

    Wade D Member

    Messages:
    900
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Jamul, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Portability and less film cost are the big factors for me. A few weeks ago I went to Balboa Park in San Diego and had 2 cameras, an SRT101 & XD11, plus a Gossen meter around my neck. One with color and the other B&W. There were a few positive comments to my liking.
    If I had taken my Crown Graphic, dark cloth and tripod it would have drawn a huge crowd, as has happened in the past. Of course it's hard to focus and compose while being asked tons of questions.
    So I guess discreet is another reason. Blending in more with the crowd.
     
  13. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

    Messages:
    653
    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    Brewer, Main
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I like the portability of 35mm although I think I am a better photographer with medium format. They're both great, I don't think I could use only one or the other.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. John E Earley

    John E Earley Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ease of macro work. You can accomplish the same thing with larger formats but the 135 format due to it's compactness makes it much easier.
     
  16. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,122
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    Live Free or
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's not quite so true now, but lenses for 35 cost less than those for many MF systems, and there are many more choices.

    Back when, I was frustrated at affording Hasselblad glass, and traded the camera, some backs and it's 80mm lens for a new F3 and 3 Nikkor lenses. Though more recently, I bought another Hasselblad, and since then have barely touched the F3.
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,183
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No need for backing paper, and each roll comes with its own handy storage container :smile:

    Oh, and for most of my shooting life, Kodachrome :sad:
     
  18. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

    Messages:
    756
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Location:
    NY
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,310
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    hi clive

    i love shooting 35mm
    and the only real mf format i have
    i always do something dumb and it is in the shop
    maybe its a greater power telling me to just use larger or small ?

    i have a graflex slr and a delmar box though, my favorite LF cameras

    they are nimble ) except for instant reloading and rapid fire, although the "bag mag" is pretty fast...
    i shoot like i am using 35mm no matter if it is 35mm or lf anyways. life is to short to worry about
    the cost of film, so i shoot and don't worry about it. i think that is the main problem with people who use LF
    it is more about them conserving 20¢ or 1$ and "zenning out" and taking their time.
    if i had to take 1/2 hour to compose and wait for perfect / ecclesiastical lighting every time i made an exposure
    i might as well take up crocheting ... i don't really see the point of spending 30 mins + / exposure.
    it helps that i buy expired film &c and i realized there is no such thing as perfection a long time ago
    otherwise i would be chasing magic bullets like a sheepdog chases cars ..

    i like grain too, that is why i use coffee and print developer to process everything i do :smile:_
     
  20. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,358
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bega N.S.W.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's all about immediacy, which is the forte of 35mm. Sure, you have to be much more careful in the processing, but it is still capable of amazing results. Also, the format has been developed to the enth degree, both film and hardware, and the cameras and lenses are the best of any format. I love all formats and you simply cannot beat large format for creamy tonality, however 35mm still has a major place in my everyday shooting.
     
  21. 2bits

    2bits Subscriber

    Messages:
    826
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    jnanian,
    Well said! Sums it all up!
     
  22. agw

    agw Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germ
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The only thing 35mm isn't good at is producing large negatives. Apart from that, there's something for every occasion, given the wide variety of 35mm gear available. Fast AF and motor drive for action, light&compact for travel, whatever; you name it - it's there.
     
  23. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,009
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Higher shutter speeds, built in (spot) meter, AF. Of course, some MF cameras have these features too (Contax 645, Rollei 6008AF), but they are rare and expensive. Most 35mm are smaller and lighter, though there are some really compact MF cameras too. For most 35mm systems, there are also fast lenses available that can´t be had in MF/LF.
     
  24. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,802
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Central flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    the hasselblad system is like a black hole that eventually sucks very photographer in at least once, and never let's them go again. i love mine. it's also the one my kids are interested in as far as inheritance goes. go figure. i brought them up right anyway. who knew?
     
  25. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

    Messages:
    797
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    IN
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I like 35mmm because I can send a roll off and get beautiful 4x6 back.
     
  26. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Member

    Messages:
    1,844
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Location:
    Rome, Italy
    Shooter:
    35mm
    A serious scanner for 135 is affordable while a serious scanner for 120 is difficult to find and very expensive to buy.

    You can walk with two or three 135 bodies without trailing a cart.

    You can always have a compact 135 camera with you. There is no Minox, Rollei 35 or Yashica T3 in MF.

    You can take 38 pictures without changing roll (the light or the occasion changes just while you are changing the roll, but that nuisance happens much more often with MF).

    You can take pictures without appearing "professional" when you need not to draw attention.