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  1. #1

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    120 vs 35mm film

    I've been looking for a MF RF for a little bit now. While there ARE some affordable ones, I can't help but think if I should just go for a 35mm RF.

    I've realised that I won't ever need (maybe even want) to blow the negs up to more than the size of a piece of A4 paper (8.27in × 11.69in).

    What I am looking for is sharpness, sharpness, sharpness...
    How noticeable will the difference be between an MF RF and a 35mm RF?

    If it's hardly (or maybe even not at all), a 35mm is definitely the way to go. In that case, what can I get for around $200?


    Thank you so much in advance!

  2. #2
    Athiril's Avatar
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    I think an MF SLR is better, MF rangefinders tend to be large and heavy, you can get a nice light small 645 SLR for MF.

    Quality difference between something with 3x the area is going to be massive of course (35mm vs 645).

    Scanning is where you'll be let down with 35mm (well MF too), without even talking about the (lack of) resolution of a flatbed, the colour and image smoothness is dismal, noise is absolutely massive to the point my 6x7cm frames become much worse than whats actually on a 35mm neg.


    You need to find a good workflow option to preserve the quality of your neg rather than absolutely trash it, otherwise there's no point in looking for sharpness.



    To better answer your question with something suitable, what subject/kind of photography do you intend to do and what do you intend the output usage of your images to be? Flickr/Online galleries? Mainly physical prints under A4 and under?

  3. #3
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    The difference between medium format and 35mm at that print size is obvious. But 35mm can make very nice prints at that size if you use good processing every step of the way. And as you pointed out, it's somewhat cheaper.
    f/22 and be there.

  4. #4

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    Good Morning, Pbryld,

    Lenses for smaller formats such as 35mm tend to have superior sharpness (lines per inch) compared to lenses for larger formats. 8 x 10 or 11 x 14 prints form 35mm can be very sharp. Sharpness itself, however, is not the only factor. Prints from MF and LF tend to have a kind of "smoothness" or "richness" which is hard to match in 35mm. For me, going from 35mm to MF represents a significant jump in overall print quality, other things being equal. One of the other things, of course, is film choice. An 8 x 10 from, say T-100, can be very, very good, but a similar print from the same film in 120 will usually look a lot better. Another factor is the negative size you will get from MF. Jumping from 35mm to 6 x 7 makes a hugh difference; going from 35mm to 4.5 x 6 is still big, but slightly less so. Lens quality and film flatness are other factors. Basically, whatever leads to a final print goes back to the idea of everything involved being part of a system. You should be able to get a high-quality TLR for the price you mention. After you make a few prints from the 6 x 6 negatives, you should know whether you want to pursue MF or not. If not, you can probably still sell the TLR without much loss.

    Konical

  5. #5

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    Both work well. My personal preference is MF SLR. I mostly use B&W (Delta 400) and do my own printing in the darkroom. I also scan my negatives with an (old) Epson 4780 and get extremely sharp scans without noise. The MF negative is up to 4x larger than the 35mm so the amount of enlargement is less especially if you do any cropping. Good equipment and good technique will influence your sharpness with either format. You should try to borrow both and take a test roll to see which best fits your needs and budget.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com

  6. #6
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    For that money I'd get an older Zeiss, Voigtlander, or Weltur folding MF RF. I made a similar decision about 7 years ago and never looked back. I also find 120 strangely easier to work with than 35mm because of it's size.
    K.S. Klain

  7. #7
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    For sharpness stay with 35mm lenses. They'll blow your sox off when shooting Air Force Test charts. For a lot of other reasons that might matter consider MF.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  8. #8

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    The older RF's mentioned by Klainmeister would be an excellent way to try MF.

    Many feel that the difference between 35 & MF is negligible at 8 or 11X but the difference is dramatic above that. Mainly in tonality and size of grain. Also though, the film you use will make a big difference too.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  9. #9
    ROL
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    If it's only sharpness you're after, the 35mm images will become so sharp the larger you blow them up that you will actually be able to see the grain at normal viewing distance! And you can forget all those nasty smooth tones that larger negs. will give you .

  10. #10
    agfarapid's Avatar
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    I've used 35mm for many years but have been shooting mainly MF in 645 and 6x6 formats for the past 2 years. I've switched primarily because I like the larger viewing space--it aids my composition. If your enlargements are 8x10 or smaller, the difference between the two formats, when properly processed, are not that great; however MF does provide greater tonality that 35mm can't match. I originally purchased a Mamiya 645 slr and I also use a Fuji GS645 folder. I use the latter precisely because it is small and compact and gives great quality. Here are 2 examples, both taken with the Fuji. The next two are from a Leica IIIc 3ith 35 Summaron.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cloisters Walkway.jpg   Cloisters Window RGB.jpg   street scene.jpg   street scene 3.jpg  

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