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  1. #11

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    I don't wet print any medium format at the moment as for reasons of space I only have a little suitcase 35mm enlarger. However, when I did print both, the difference was apparent to me at pretty much all print sizes. Even when I scan 35mm and 120 negatives for web use I find I much prefer the shots from 120 [6x6 and 6x4.5 in my case].

    It's about the tonality, and also the different look, including the transitions between in and out of focus that a longer lens combined with a larger format seems to bring. I've shot a little 5x4 and the step up between MF and 5x4 was (as per the obvious of the difference mentioned in the previous post) not enough for me to justify using 5x4 over 120.

    I consider it a hallmark of the very best 35mm kit that I've used/owned that it approaches (but doesn't really completely match) something like the look I get from MF cameras. There are other reasons to shoot 35mm, and I use both formats, but the difference between 35mm and 120 is dramatic (for me, anyway).

  2. #12

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    'obviousness of the difference', I meant.

  3. #13
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    I've done 16x20s from 35mm and 8x10s from 8x10, and everything in between. You know the old street drag saying...

    "Nothing beats cubic* inches."

    Ken

    * or in our cases, square...
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  4. #14

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    I agree with the conventional wisdom on this issue. For some "looks" and modes of shooting 35mm is perfect. For smoothness/tonality and detail, MF is far superior. I could tell a "big" difference even at 5x7. 4x6 prints from 35mm look as smooth as MF to my eyes. At 16x20 and 20x24 (the biggest I can print in my darkroom) MF is definitely better in this respect (smoothness/tonality).

  5. #15

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    Another point, I never really appreciated just how good a job 35mm can do until I had accumulated a good deal of experience using 4x5 and 8x10. For a negative of 1 1/2 square inches, it does a stellar job.

  6. #16

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    It's impossible to get the shallow DOF on 35mm that I can get with the Contax 645 at f/2 and still retain a really sharp image.

  7. #17
    piu58's Avatar
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    I am striving for very sharp images, und use MF a lot. If I make a small print (18cm x 24cm) for a 100 ASA film, I don't see any difference in most cases. Things start to change in 24cm x 30cm images. It is then hard to get a very sharp image form 35 mm. I don't print 30x40 images form 35 mm, because has to less sharpness and definition. Even document films (Copex) don't give my the quality I want.
    I know, sharpness and absence of grain are not the basic ingredients for a good image. And I enjoy others's images even if thy ar not as sharp or grainier in comparision to mine. But for my nature ant architectural images I want the most sharpness I can get with reasonable effort. And that is MF.
    ---
    Uwe Pilz

  8. #18
    piu58's Avatar
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    double post.
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    Uwe Pilz

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by F/1.4 View Post
    It's impossible to get the shallow DOF on 35mm that I can get with the Contax 645 at f/2 and still retain a really sharp image.
    Try a good f:1.4 lens wide open and a tripod.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    Another point, I never really appreciated just how good a job 35mm can do until I had accumulated a good deal of experience using 4x5 and 8x10. For a negative of 1 1/2 square inches, it does a stellar job.
    I have to agree, I have some fantastic 12"x16" prints on my kitchen wall made from 35mm Velvia 50 transparencies. They really are extraordinary considering the degree of enlargement. If they were there on their own, I would be delighted with the quality. The problem is they're next to 12"x16" prints made from 6x7 velvia transparencies. If you're about eight feet away, the difference is marginal, at four feet the difference is obvious and at two feet you start to wonder how a little rectangle of film can hold that much information. Don't get me started on 4x5 guys, I can't afford it!

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