That you can make more pictures, cheaper. If you're starting out, going straight to medium format or indeed LF, means your development (creative) is somewhat slower - you're simply making less pictures. Slowing down is an important part of maturing as a photographer, but a preliminary period of unabashed experimentation is really important first. Some people skip this stage and expect bigger frames = better results. When these pictures don't satisfy them, they turn to the zen system thinking it's a shortcut. We now see each format as having their own creative pros and cons, whereas in the pre-digital age, photographers progressed through formats as their results started to justify a need for a 'bigger canvas'. Ansel Adams started with 35mm, so did Paul Strand. As did many of today's big names, like Kenna. I think there's still a lot to be learned from this restraint of "I'm not ready for LF yet". But also, if you're making great pictures from the get-go with a 35mm, like Bresson or any number of people, changing format could inhibit what makes your work great - namely, a certain spontaneity. You have to understand your sensibility before choosing a format, not just shoot the biggest you can afford.
Last edited by batwister; 10-05-2012 at 06:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Portability and less film cost are the big factors for me. A few weeks ago I went to Balboa Park in San Diego and had 2 cameras, an SRT101 & XD11, plus a Gossen meter around my neck. One with color and the other B&W. There were a few positive comments to my liking.
If I had taken my Crown Graphic, dark cloth and tripod it would have drawn a huge crowd, as has happened in the past. Of course it's hard to focus and compose while being asked tons of questions.
So I guess discreet is another reason. Blending in more with the crowd.
I like the portability of 35mm although I think I am a better photographer with medium format. They're both great, I don't think I could use only one or the other.
Ease of macro work. You can accomplish the same thing with larger formats but the 135 format due to it's compactness makes it much easier.
It's not quite so true now, but lenses for 35 cost less than those for many MF systems, and there are many more choices.
Back when, I was frustrated at affording Hasselblad glass, and traded the camera, some backs and it's 80mm lens for a new F3 and 3 Nikkor lenses. Though more recently, I bought another Hasselblad, and since then have barely touched the F3.
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No need for backing paper, and each roll comes with its own handy storage container
Oh, and for most of my shooting life, Kodachrome
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Can't get a great print from a good 35mm negative? Got to learn how to print
This is a print I own, 16x20, shot and printed by Vivian in 1955. Tri-X, and 777. The print is staggeringly beautiful and a testimony that if you know what you're doing, 35mm is plenty fine. http://www.thelionheartgallery.com/A...694&NewID=3488
i love shooting 35mm
and the only real mf format i have
i always do something dumb and it is in the shop
maybe its a greater power telling me to just use larger or small ?
i have a graflex slr and a delmar box though, my favorite LF cameras
they are nimble ) except for instant reloading and rapid fire, although the "bag mag" is pretty fast...
i shoot like i am using 35mm no matter if it is 35mm or lf anyways. life is to short to worry about
the cost of film, so i shoot and don't worry about it. i think that is the main problem with people who use LF
it is more about them conserving 20¢ or 1$ and "zenning out" and taking their time.
if i had to take 1/2 hour to compose and wait for perfect / ecclesiastical lighting every time i made an exposure
i might as well take up crocheting ... i don't really see the point of spending 30 mins + / exposure.
it helps that i buy expired film &c and i realized there is no such thing as perfection a long time ago
otherwise i would be chasing magic bullets like a sheepdog chases cars ..
i like grain too, that is why i use coffee and print developer to process everything i do _
It's all about immediacy, which is the forte of 35mm. Sure, you have to be much more careful in the processing, but it is still capable of amazing results. Also, the format has been developed to the enth degree, both film and hardware, and the cameras and lenses are the best of any format. I love all formats and you simply cannot beat large format for creamy tonality, however 35mm still has a major place in my everyday shooting.
Well said! Sums it all up!