I own everything from half frame to 8x10. I try to use the best tool for the job. But, sometimes, I try to come up with the best job for the tool. I'll try to figure out what a specific format can do which others can not (at least as easily). As an example, multiple half frame images can be printed together in a 4x5 (or 5x7) negative carrier. I'll shoot consecutive frames I want printed as a single image. Here's an example (it's 4 consecutive half frame exposures, printed on watercolor paper and hand painted):
Lately, though, I've been using my two Fuji 6x9's the most, but they're the newest. I really like the 6x9 negative.
Over my lifetime, I have enjoyed using 35mm, 6x6cm, 6x7cm, 6x9cm, 4x5 inch, 8x10 inch, and 11x14 inch film cameras. Presently, I primarily use 35mm, 6x7, and 6x9. However, if I were forced to use only one camera format, I would choose medium format because it is a good compromise between small format film and large format film.
Originally Posted by EASmithV
Even though I have never used a 645 medium format camera, the 645 would be my choice because I think it would give me the features my small format cameras give me for action, macro, and close-up subjects. It would also give me something closer to the image quality my large format cameras give me but I can never get from small format film.
Originally Posted by Shootar401
My feelings, too, exactly. BUT, I do use 35mm for star trails as my big 6x7 is not a power-less bulb hulk. I'm working on a trick to use it (Pentax 67) for night skies photography without the battery, but until my Eureka! moment, I'll continue to be using 35mm for this purpose among other ad hoc jobs, just to keep my foundation memories of photography with that format chugging along.
.::Gary Rowan Higgins
One beautiful image is worth
a thousand hours of therapy.
"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government
to save the environment."
Use a leaf-shutter lens, focus, lock the mirror up, open the body shutter, take the battery out. Then just use the leaf shutter on a cable release.
Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour
(of course, that's me having never used a P67, does the shutter stay open when the battery's removed, or is it spring loaded?)
An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.
Well, I suppose one can ask where ANY format fits into one's own view of the craft, for that matter. If you do not use the range of medium formats, then you can answer that question more definitively than many of the rest of us can. In my own situation the conclusion is different. I have found that with a small darkroom and low ceiling height, a 6x4.5 negative strikes a good balance of quality and convenience/printability. I use Mamiya AFD-II and Pro TL cameras, and along with their respective lenses they meet my needs very well. I also use Pentax 6x7 (and own but rarely use Mamiya RZ + lenses), and that gives me a good sized negative for scanning colour images. I love using colour negative film, for some reason, with the Pentax. The smaller 6x4.5 is for me more strictly intended for darkroom printing and so I shoot only B/W with it nowadays. If I had the space and the money for LF enlargers and all that goes with using LF gear in the field, I would still think that the beauty of the 645 is the ability to take portraits and more spontaneous photographs while getting a neg that prints to 12"x16" with barely any grain visible. For 35mm to achieve that, it has to be really slow film and good, fast lenses that may cost quite a bit more. The practical side of using slower film is living with slow shutter speeds. So MF lives nicely in the bracket where better than 35 mm quality is desired coupled with better than LF handling. Every way in which film can be made or developed better for the sake of 35 mm applies equally to the larger formats. But the handling and ergonomics issues with LF are what they are, unfortunately. While you may have very exacting standards to which you work, mine may be looser, and so I haven't missed LF that much. Incidentally I own two 4x5s but I just haven't figured out how to practically put them to good use yet, and I need to also spend a bit of effort on their physical condition, accessories etc. Maybe I will get to that sooner than I think, and then maybe I may find myself where you are now, who knows.
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I think alot of us hobbyist & enthusiasts only need what satisfies the pleasure centers of our brains, and that craving will always change. If one can make a case for a certain camera or format because of this or that, it's generally a self willed desire. Pro's on the other hand obviously need the right tool that accomplishes the task with a minimum of effort/ability to satisfy a clients needs or their own production for sales.
95% of my stuff is on the computer. The rest sits in a drawer comprising negs or prints and there is only a handful of images on my wall. I email images to my friends and family that I have taken. What the hell do I need a 4x5 or 6x6 for? One day I"ll get a Jones for a different format, buy it, and nothing else will change except what neg pages I need. If it ain't useful sell it and buy oil stock.
I use various cameras, changing from one type to another almost as often as the wind changes direction. I may carry 35mm today, and use a 4x5 tonight. Tomorrow I might use a TLR, and carry a 4x5 or 35mm camera as a sidekick. The aesthetic of a print is in large part dependent upon the camera equipment I use. I enjoy that variety, and I also enjoy using different types of cameras and film.
Last edited by DannL; 05-02-2013 at 12:38 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Lo único de lo que el mundo no se cansará nunca es de exageración." Salvador Dalí
I mainly use 35mm, but have always wanted medium format (the Holga just wasn't doing it for me) and 4x5. Photos are my memories, and I find 35mm perfect for that purpose, especially on vacations. Most of my photography is snapshots.
Now that I have a good medium format camera (Bronica GS-1), it's place for me is portraits, and for photos that are very deliberate (or to enlarge for display purposes).
Either format can deliver what I want, but when I'm running around taking random pictures, the 35mm fits better. Medium format is for when I have more time. Although the quality of such a large negative is clearly an advantage, it's not large enough to supplant my 35mm for most of what I do.
The sad thing is, when I finally get a Super Graphic, there is a risk that most of my snapshots will be on 4x5 - I'm funny that way.
Because Medium Format is like Goldilocks... not too big, not too small.
I've been in and out of medium format, like many folks here. I've gotten back in love with it through my Rolleiflex, to the point I now have a pair of them. They have their limitations of course, but what keeps me in love with them is the just-rightness of them - the Rollei makes a perfect street photography camera because it's silent, unobtrusive in use, it's compact (for medium format), and the 12 exposures is just enough to finish an idea when photographing, instead of having several ideas to work out on a 36 exposure roll, and by the time you're done, you've forgotten the why of half the photos on the roll. The quality up to a certain size is really quite similar to what you get from large format, enough so that any print I want to make that I can make at home is more than good enough. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things medium format cameras can't do, or at least can't do as well or as much as large format cameras can (perspective control, depth-of-field control, etc). And no medium format camera in the world is going to hold a candle to a contact print from my 14x17, but I'm not going to use it in the same circumstances I'd use the Rollei either.