I'm into 35 mm and sometimes I use MF, I did shoots with a Mamiya C 220 on slide film and that stuff really woes compared to 35 mm slides. Sold that C 220 and got Hassy 500 C with 80 mm not to bad, but in b/w printing 12*16 '', results were not that much better than my Leica M with new glass. Ok, tonality is relatve if one spends half the night doing lith prints.
My problem with MF compared to the Leicas are low light levels, in a studio with flash MF is fine but in hotel rooms, ruins etc. MF is too slow, compare a 150/4 Hassy with a 75/1.4 Leica, it is a 3 stop difference plus 1 stop in speed 1/60 versus 1/125.
And I'm not into tripods, so go figure. (And now turn around as I will get a 6008 Rolleiflex in about 10 days, s/h the camera is dirt cheap, as no one wants them, I will trade in the 150/4 Hassy plus some cash) So I guess for me it is MF on/off.
Colour? We can always use an airbrush later...
When I shoot 35mm, I use slower speed films, like Efke KB25 and KB50. I sometims shoot a medium speed film, but that's it.
I much prefer 120. I shoot a Rollei 2.8E, Hasselblad 501c, and Kiev 60 when I'm feeling adventurous. I have been using a large format Crown Graphic more lately.
The square 120 format is quickest of all formats to shoot;
always the camera is upright. Also always upright are the
negatives when in the enlarger.
The square format is less expensive, more compact,
and lighter weight than other 120 formats. A waist level
finder is all that is needed. Dan
Actually, of all the 120 cameras I own, the setup I like best is a 6x9 masked to 6x4.5 -- sixteen exposures on a roll and the 105 mm lens is just on the wide end of portrait length with that format, plus I get a camera that's smaller (when folded) and much lighter than either my Seagull or Reflex II. Since I usually want a longer lens than what I have, this works very well, and I should probably be looking for a better camera than my Wirgin Auta to support this format -- perhaps get a spare back for my Moskva-5, drill another framing hole, extend the framing shutter, modify the film mask for 6x4.5 and mask down the finder (which will get me a much nicer lens, better shutter, and rangefinder at the cost of a bulkier, heavier camera than the Wirgin).
Originally Posted by dancqu
Even better might be to find an Ikonta C with the 6x4.5 mask -- smaller and lighter than the rangefinder versions, but still with the Tessar and a decent shutter (Compur-S or Compur-Rapid).
Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.
Thanks for your very interesting comments. I was actually prompted to post this question by two things:
1.) I was looking through Mary Ellen Mark's book 'American Odyssey' and was struck by the superior image quality of her medium format prints compared with 35mm (at least what appeared to be 120 versus 135).
2.) I picked up a Rollei 6008AF for a great price and am struck by how quick and easy it is to use off a tripod - excellent for fast-moving spontaneous handheld photography. It's the nicest camera I've ever seen.
Once again, thanks for your thoughts.
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"... quick and easy it is to use off a tripod ..." And on a tripod as well.
I've a 6 x 4.5 which need be flipped to the side. I added a rotary finder
and a gear head to the tripod. My 6 x 4.5 format is now in working order.
I'm about to start shooting with a RZ67 which has a rotary back. Heavier
but no need to throw my center of gravity left or right. May be able to use
it with my ballhead. Could be I'll be back to 2 1/4 square someday. Dan
I just ran a roll of FP4 through my SRT201 with many various situations of lighting - people - landscape - backlit - badlit - and developed it in XTOL with the idea of making some great 8x10 prints (as a test). One or two are about acceptable as 8x10 but even with that, the comparative lack of richness and smoothness in tone and lack of razor sharp details - lead me back to the same old thing. For an amazing 8x10 B&W print, MF or larger is indicated. A 6x9 negative pushed 2 stops (1600) makes a better quality 8x10 print than a slow film in 35mm. Some of the shots I took, I will go back and do in 8x10 format as I can see the potential in the image. I know that the 8x10s I made from 35mm would be "fine art" for most folks but at this point in my adventure, they are just lacking a little - not extrordinary in richness and clarity. For the time and effort to make extrordinary artful prints - I will focus my attention on MF and LF. I also know that the negatives I made with 35mm will almost all make stunning 5x7 prints. But even with that - not so stunning as a 5x7 contact print on AZO or even a good Kalitype. I will keep my 35mm camera and will shoot it on trips and make shots for the small albums but for anything that hangs on a wall, I will grab the Rollei SL66 or the 4x5 or the 8x10. And I don't at this time think that any "magic Bullet" combination of film and developer will overcome the economies of scale when larger prints are required. I submitted 3 photos to the local art gallery for a juried exhibit - they accepted 2 of my 3. The one they did not accept was a 35mm enlargement. The others were 4x5 enlargements. Anyone can see the difference. Although the 35mm image was very fine - the quality of the enlargement is just a little less - all other things being equal. Opening night is tonight.
My photos are always without all that distracting color ...