When I shoot film, I have definite format preferences.
Originally Posted by ToddB
Close-ups usually small format or medium format; rarely large format
Macro small format is my only choice because I do not have macro equipment in any other format
Portraits medium format is my first choice; small format is my second; never used large format because equipment and film cost was prohibitive for me
Black & White Images medium format or large format because I have never been satisfied with small format B&W images
Sports/Action usually small format; for night or indoor events I prefer medium format if I need to sync a flash at shutter speeds faster than my small format camera will sync
Architecture large format if I need image detail, perspective control, and depth-of-field control; medium format if I only need image detail; small format if only need an image
Travel small format first choice due to size and weight constraints; medium format second choice if landscapes and scenic shots are the primary subjects
Candid small format rangefinder first choice due to small size and quiet operation; small format SLR second choice; second choice is medium format TLR for its quiet operation and waist-level viewfinder
Hand-Held Available Light small format camera with fast lens is my only choice
Just buy a 16x20 camera and say the hell with everything else!
Seriously, just shoot whatever you want. It's all fun!
Originally Posted by ToddB
I cannot recall the number of times when I shot a decent photo simply because I HAD a camera with me. My MF kits are simply too bulky to take everywhere, and I have a constant process of negotiation to take the extra kit along on family trips etc. So, if you haven't got other 35 mm gear then having a simple set will be very useful indeed.
If you are concerned about quality, then be frank about what quality you expect. There are horses for courses, but I have seen rather beautiful prints from "ordinary" 35 mm, 16" x 20" and sometimes even larger. I print only up to 12" x 16", as my darkroom setup is not conducive to larger prints, but I have no fear of enlarging a 35 mm negative to that size. Using Acros, I still see very little grain on that size print. TriX prints show grain, but the sharpness and texture compensates for it. I know that Michael Crouser makes prints beyond 40" in size from 35mm TriX; AFAIK he uses an F4. If you never need autofocus or long telephoto lenses, and have barn-sized storage available when travelling, then you probably won't see the need for 35 mm gear. I think many if not most of us (here in MF forum) though can be described as multi-format shooters where multi usually means 35 mm and 120/220. There are some who use MF as their "small" kit , and some who use rangefinders like the Fuji or Mamiya 6/7 for travelling light. But the cost of those options is in a different league to a used 35 mm with a few old lenses, and they still do not overcome the focus and tele issues. I think Narsuitus's list covers most, and I concur. But we all differ in how we operate, what we like most, and whether we do something as easily as possible, or rather for the hell of it.
My advice in a nutshell: Stick with the F4 for a while and see whether you like it or not. It may give you options you didn't think you'd need, and at it will take nothing away from what you can do with MF gear. There are also lenses for 35 mm systems, the equivalents of which sometimes do not exist for the larger formats (the converse also being true!). Try to print a few negatives, if you do darkroom. From my experience, jumping between systems is not a problem, as long as you know each of them well. You have to have confidence in your gear, no matter what gear it is.
First thing I recommend you do: Get the MB-20 four AA battery grip, if you don't have it already. The reason being is that it slims the camera down quite a bit and makes it lighter. Load it up with four Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries. You will have decent AF speed when you need it, and a decent frame rate, if you decide to shoot it in Continuous mode. Personally, I only use single shot mode on all of my motor driven cameras (F4, F2AS, F, and FM2n). Every single camera's motor drive contains the lithium batteries.
Secondly, get some rolls of Velvia, Ektar 100, etc.
Thirdly, go out and shoot. Maybe shoot it alongside the Rollei kit and figure out which kit is best for the situations you find yourself in. You may find yourself spending more time in the 35mm section of APUG, as well. If I remember correctly, I think I've done a lot of photos with my F4 bodies, as evidenced by the number of images I've uploaded to flickr. The most analog photos on my flickr have been done with an F4. Second, F2 series. Third, FE/FM series. Then comes the F. After that, it's Nikomat, F5, F3, and, finally, non-Nikon film cameras.
Last edited by John_Nikon_F; 02-19-2013 at 02:52 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: I was wrong about my flickr film camera stats.
APUG: F5, F3HP, F2AS, F FTn, Nikomat FT2, FTn, Nikkormat EL, FT
Nikkors: 18-55/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX (f/D2x), 20/3.5 UD, 24/2.8 AI, 50/2 AI, 50/2 H, 50/1.4 S, 55/2.8 Micro AIS, 85/1.8 K
- My flickr stream