shooting 2x3 on a 4x5 graflex slr is much easier than shooting 4x5 ..
4x5 i have to lug around 2-3 bag magazines ( like grafmatics ) or a handful
of film holders ... shooting 120 film is much easier, its just a few rolls.
i never use roll film with any other 4x5 ...
a) cost of colour sheet-film
b) bulk of loaded holders
c) access to movements
The ability not to compromise. I'm with you – don't be swayed by the gearheads. For me, those roll backs are an unnecessary luxury to carry with you, in terms of weight (I'll not regale you with Drew-ish tales), function and price. Movements are much less of an issue with the increased DOF of MF systems, with the possible exception of shooting architecture, so using roll film in LF may not get you very far in that regard. Better to take advantage of the finer lenses available with some MF. Yes, color films may be an issue of cost, but if working primarily in B/W, I've never seen much point to the extra hassle of roll film backs, and the inexact complexity of applying the Zone System to multiple frame development. And it is in the fine tuning one's negatives that sheet films coherently shine. Crop, I say – damn it! (IMO, :laugh:).
Originally Posted by fran
Its not a direct comparison, but I find it useful to be able to use the 6x4.5 backs on my Mamiya RB67 when:
1) I am shooting E6 that I want to be able to project using my 6x6 projector;
2) I want more shots on a roll; or
3) I want a result that is similar to using a longer lens on 6x7.
When in high school I took a photography course. 75% of the film used was 120 and the standard camera was the Yashica A. Being a big kid they stuck me with the Graflex 4x5, 150mm lens, 502 Metz, and a Graphic 6x9 film back. I was responsible for supplying the school paper with football pictures. This turned out to be a good combo, having a telephoto lens for medium format and being able to check out a camera that nobody else wanted to carry, Steven.
I sometimes carry a 6x9 back for a couple of reasons. Firstly when backpacking I only carry a limited number of darkslides, a roll film back gives me the abilty to shoot more images if needed. Second reason is some images work better 6x9 format, I always work to the format and don't crop later.
d) far fewer dust problems with 120
Originally Posted by polyglot
e) much easier and less time consuming to load film, film can be loaded anywhere without a changing bag or the dust problems that go with loading holders in one
f) film selection - want to shoot Portra 800 or Delta 3200 or Pan F+ or many other films not available in sheets in your view camera? You can do it with a rf back.
Rollfilm backs open up a variety of options. Don't have a long enough lens, but you want to make a lot of exposures?--Rollfilm can be a good option. Or say you're shooting handheld press camera style with a 4x5" rangefinder camera but don't really need 4x5" and you want to have more exposures available without having to deal with filmholders. A rollfilm back and rangefinder can also be a good option for portrait sessions. Or maybe you're traveling and don't always need 4x5", but you don't want to carry two different camera systems.
There are also good reasons just to shoot 4x5" all the time and crop. Sheet film can have better flatness than rollfilm. There's something to be said for having only one size negative to file.
It all depends on what you're shooting, and what your work habits are.
Tanks for 120 B&W processing are cheaper than most 4x5 daylight processing equipment.
Tanks for 120 B&W processing are cheaper than most 4x5 daylight processing equipment. Dust can still collect on the 120 film when you take out the darkslide, but the dust on the film is usually more of a problem associated with sheet film.