I'm one of those that feels 645 is kind of pointless. Actually medium format is kind of pointless. To me, there are two kinds of photography; handheld and tripod.
If you are hand-holding, you might as well use 35mm. My OM1 is smaller than any 645, has tons of lenses whose equivalents are just not available for any medium format system, super nice viewfinder, easy to focus, requires no batteries, shoots 36 shots without reloading, can shoot 5fps with a motor drive, and cheap/light enough you can just sling two of them easily enough. Modern films make very nice 11x14 prints from 35mm.
If you have to drag a tripod out, you might as well shoot 4x5. Why shoot those annoying, impossible-to-rewind-mid-roll medium format films when you can just expose as many slabs of 4x5 as you need? I guess the one place medium format cameras make sense is for fashion/location shooting or portraiture where you need to shoot many shots at high quality from a tripod. Since I don't do that kind of thing much, it's no surprise I don't really have much use for medium format.
If you're gonna put it that way, anything less than 5x7" is pointless. My format is bigger than yo-o-ours, haha...
Joking aside, there are medium format cameras with magazines. And we all have to find our own goals and the process needed to get there.
“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu
I shoot 35mm mostly for candids or lowlight without tripod shots or if an assignment calls for it. I use my Bronica ETRS when I hike mostly and if I am working in the studio, the weight isnt that bad (I am young) and I like the 1/500sec flash sync. I will use my Graflex for all my short hikes or if I need really crisp 16x20's.
Canon EOS Elan II/E, Elan 7, and 630. -- Bronica ETRS -- Pentax 6x7
I primarily use my 35mm cameras for daily carry and save the MF cameras for when I have specific photographic needs. I have 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7 and 6x9 with different lenses and they get used mostly for my fine art prints when I want to enlarge beyond what the 35mm can do even with modern films. Trying to do a comparison between MF and 35mm is rather redundant because every one is different and have different wants and needs.
Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy
Of the bawbles that it may.
I use both 35mm and 645. I have to agree, with fine grain film such as Tmax100 and even 400, an ability to withstand enlargement in terms of grain is not *that* much different. I prefer 35mm when fast focusing and fast operation is required but I prefer 645 for ease of viewing contact sheet. I also like the fact 645 fits better with 8x10 printing with less cropping than 35mm.
This is strictly a personal thing but I tend to shoot more carefully with 645 format. I have limited (15) exposures per roll and because of my style, subjects are usually slow-moving or not at all. I tend to have better composition and better "good one" ratio than when using 35mm.
To me, this is either-or choice. I'd love to go larger but for weight and size consideration, 645 is probably the largest I'll try.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
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If you think 645 is pointless print a 35mm frame from a 400 speed film to 11x14
While I agree that there is a time and place for all these tools, and modern 35mm films are excellent I stick to 35 when I know I won't be printing past 8x10 and I need the speed/versatility.
645 AF is an excellent compromise if you aren't shooting too much action.
If I'm going with a tripod I will haul out 6x7 or 4x5 if I can deal with the processing(ie not too many sheets).
For me, there is a big jump from 35mm to medium format. 645 vs 6x7...not so much. I think that there is a natural viewing distance for different print sizes and it is hard to get the grain to be unnoticeable at those distances with 35mm. I tend to think of 35mm as handheld and shoot subjects where grain enhances the image. Medium format is for images where smooth tonality is important and tripods are OK. I think the 645 ends up being a reasonable compromise if you really want to shoot handheld (perhaps with 400 speed film) and still maintain small grain. Larger formats just don't have the lens speed available in the 645 formats either.
Where I notice the difference is when using slower ISO's. With the 645 I feel I still get smooth texture at moderate enlargement. My 35mm low light work seems to be more grainy than I would like when printing 8x10's and 5x7's sometimes. Porta 800 and my Mamiya 645 Pro with a 80mm 2.8 lens is wonderful in churches/indoors without using flash. Medium format brings a smoothness to 800 and 1600 ISO that I can't get with 35mm. My 2 cents.
That's it. I'm getting rid of the 645, the tlr and the RB. I've been an idiot all these years.
Originally Posted by BetterSense
one frequently overlooked area is the film itself. 35mm is on a very thick base and there have been rumors that may be true that the emulsion on 120 & 4x5 is different than that of 35mm. so although there are usually pruported resolution increases of 35mm albeit with a smaller image (therefore more grain), there still is the difference of the base