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  1. #11
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Even 645 format is better than 35mm. 6x7 is better yet. A modest Epson flatbed scanner with transparency adaptor does a decent job on MF negatives.

  2. #12

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    Hmm. I think what you're really asking is whether you should go up in format. Not a bad question, deserves to be answered by another question.

    What about the images you capture on 35 mm doesn't satisfy you? Would shooting a larger format produce results that satisfied you better?

    FWIW, I went from 35 mm to 2x3 after I realized that there was no way I could shoot a flower in its environment AND get good enough detail in the flower's image.

  3. #13

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    Think of a picture of a tree. In 35mm a small branch might be rendered with a clump of 3 or 4 grains of silver. With each larger size of film capturing the image the clumps of silver defining the detail gets larger so there is more detail in the rendering. The definition of the shape becomes deeper.

    Always go for the largest negative possible.
    Ron
    Memphis

  4. #14
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    As you might guess from my avatar, I endorse the idea of using different formats for the things at which each is best. I agree with the previous comments that film area can make a significant difference in both detail and tonality, even with moderate enlargements. Of course, there's nothing like an 8x10 contact print.

    In your situation, however, I think your decision involves several "practicalities". As you aren't developing your own film, you need to consider whether your lab can even handle 120 film. Many "local" labs no longer do so. Thus, you may be forced to mail your exposed film to a lab in a larger city. If so, the question then becomes which larger format will give you what you want. If you're mailing anyway, you might even consider 4x5. (As noted earlier, moderately-priced flatbed scanners with film adapters that will handle 4x5 or even 8x10 do a nice job for moderate-sized prints.)

    Then, there's the convenience factor. In most cases, you'll want to carry both 35mm and the MF camera. (My Leica and my 8x10 are great pals and go everywhere together.) And, there's also the physics factor. Longer lenses to cover the larger format have correspondingly less DOF. For landscapes, that's less of an issue than for macro work. So, it depends on what you want to shoot with the MF or larger format. If you make the jump to 4x5, you'll also have the benefit of being able to control the focus plane via camera movements.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  5. #15
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    1. If you are not using Silverfast to run your scanner, you are losing at least half the data the negatives have due to poor focussing.

    2. If you are stopping your lenses down to f/16, you are losing most of the data you could be getting due to diffraction. F/64 on an 8x10 is like f/8 in 35. DON'T stop down more than necessary, it KILLS the image.

    3. If you aren't using a tripod, you are losing at least half of the data you could be getting.

    4. If you are not locking the mirror up ( a problem on all SLRs, 35 or 120 ) you are losing data

    5. If you are not using chromagenic films, you are running into anti-aliasing issues. You can't image traditional B&W grain, even TriX & Rodinal, on a scanner that costs less than.. well, a whole lot ! Shoot C-41, it scans better, and easier.

    6. Are you scanning TIF files or JPG ? JPG, you throw out all the shadow information. Scan 16 bit TIF files.

    Fix these things and your results will be as good or better than scanning 120 in a scanner that costs less than $ 10,000.

    Comparisons between formats are predicated on 'all things being equal'. They aren't.

    Upgrade your scanner software, tighten up your technique and see what happens. When you are getting all you scan from 35, then you'll have your answer.

    BTW, if you shoot a slow color neg like Kodak Portra NC or Fuji Pro 160, you get a ton of information, and can filter as you feel like to make your B&W images.

    Do these things, and if you are happy, fine. If not, the Pentax is a great way to go.

    don
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  6. #16

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    Strange Tri-X 120 factoid

    I recently bought a bunch of 28 year old Tri-X 35mm and 120 film and I was surprised to see that on the box of the 120 Tri-X it says 8, 12, or 16 exposures- completely ignoring the 6x7 format of which there are 10 exposures! Even 28 years ago the Pentax 6x7 and the RB-67 were fairly popular cameras. and there may have been a few other brands of 6x7 format cameras I'm not aware of. 6x7 does deservingly enjoy the distinction of being "The Ideal Format".


    How could Kodak have made this omission on their film box?
    "A certain amount of contempt for the material employed to express an idea is indispensable to the purest realization of this idea." Man Ray

  7. #17

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    Is there any real difference in image quality for smaller prints sized 8 x 10 comparing 35mm to medium format?

    Some minor difference but an average person from a normal distance would never notice it if the 35mm system was sharp.

    Doesn't that make the whole idea of shooting larger formats a waste if your not going to enlarge?

    Probably. IMO over 8x to 10x enlargement is where you start to see the difference and its probably time to use a larger format.

    What about the costs of mats, paper, frames etc. when your dealing with larger prints?

    Expensive. Mounting also.

    When is the use of larger formats justified from an image quality point of view?

    IMO above 10x roughly, depending. That said, if you want golfball size grain, you might want to print large from 35mm fast film. Depends on what you want.

    E100G is the cleanest scanning film I have found. My max enlargements for clean sharp prints are 35mm-8x10, 645-16x20, 670/690-20x24 or maybe 24x30 on a good day or with a Mamiya 7, 4x5-40x50.

    With a 10x enlargement you can scan at 2000dpi and print at 204 dpi on a lightjet for 4lp/mm in print with a slight interpolation up. A 2000 dpi E100G drumscan is super clean.

    I know 35mm is the most versatile format. Should I even consider other formats if I never go for prints larger then 13" x 19"?

    Questionable. I have done some nice prints from 35mm film up to 12x18.

    It really depends on your system and what you are after. If your technique is good and you are using a sharp film with something like a Leica M you might even go bigger with 35mm like up to 16x.

    Its all in the rez. 4lp/mm is a decent print rez and is good for a 20" view distance. If you are using a super high rez B+W film with a Leica in a high contrast situation and capturing 80lp/mm on film and want to print at 4lp/mm, that would equal a 20x enlargement or 18x27 inches.

    Personally I just think everything is so much cleaner going to MF at that point.

    Here is a pretty neat link. Interesting reading anyway.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/es...-already.shtml

  8. #18
    Ole
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    I disagree.

    I rarely print larger than 9.5x12", but even at this size the difference between 35mm and 645 is glaringly obvious - all parameters being as equal as possible: Same film, same developer, same enlarger, same (type) lens (Anaret-S in 50 and 80mm), same paper, same processing...

    I do not deny that prints from 35mm in this size can be great, smooth and wonderful; but there is certainly a step up to 645!
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    1. If you are not using Silverfast to run your scanner, you are losing at least half the data the negatives have due to poor focussing.
    Would you mind expanding on that comment a little bit, please? What does Silverfast have to do with the mechanics of focussing the scanner?

    Thanks,
    --Eddy

  10. #20
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddym
    Would you mind expanding on that comment a little bit, please? What does Silverfast have to do with the mechanics of focussing the scanner?

    Thanks,
    --Eddy
    A scanner is like an automobile, it needs a driver.

    There are 3 choices, pretty much, for the software to drive the scanner.

    1. The manufacturer's software, which is always rudimentary, and is usually only good for casual use. It is like getting a free enlarger with your camera. It is OK for websites, and making small prints.

    2. VueScan, an independent bit of software, abvailable for nearly all scanners and Macintosh and PC. It is inexpensive and a trmendous improvement in simplicity, reliability and quality over Nikon, Minolta, whomever's software. It is like that good quality enlarger that works well, and is good enough for all normal purposes.

    3. Silverfast, which is a very high performance bit of software, with a somewhat steep learning curve, but which wrings every bit of performance out of every scanner for which it is made.

    In my experience, Vuescan has a much finer focus than a manufacturer's software. But Silverfast is far better than Vuescan. Silverfast has a preview function that allows me to compare 2 focus settings, within .01 mm. That makes a huge difference.

    I hope this answers your question.

    don
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

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