How important is "medium format" for portraiture?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Bokeh, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. Bokeh

    Bokeh TPF Noob!

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    I've been reading that medium format is pretty common for portraiture and weddings. How feasible is it to use 35mm though? Is it looked down upon, even if you have a really good 35mm DSLR? Thanks
     
  2. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    35mm is ok and is used quite a bit. But there is just something about the way that medium format looks. It's got a more "finished" feel to it. Plus, if you're shooting for hire, some customers just feel more comfortable with a more "professional" format. Just my opinion. :p
     
  3. Bokeh

    Bokeh TPF Noob!

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    So, it's not feasible to get into portraiture and weddings using a camera like a 20d with a good set of L series lenses?
     
  4. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    Oh yeah - absolutely. Having medium format digital is cost prohibitive for all but either the rich or the established professional. Personally, I would consider that set up to be close to or equivalent to medium format.
     
  5. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    BTW... L glass :drool:
     
  6. Bokeh

    Bokeh TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Photogodess.

    I don't plan on being able to do portraiture or weddings for maybe a year or so, just thinking ahead.

    As for the cost of l-glass, yeah, it's not cheap. Fortunately I'm still in IT and my job hasn't been outsourced (yet) :) so I have some funds to do stuff like this
     
  7. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    I'd start small... maybe as an unofficial photographer at a wedding just to get the practice before the big paying gigs. :p

    As for the L-glass - get the goodies while the gettin is good! ;) And get some extra for me while you're at it. I'll take mine with IS please. :LOL:
     
  8. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    You could easily get a decent medium format set-up for less than a single L lens. A lot of people do use digital or 35mm, though. My approach is to use MF for the formals and 35mm/digital for everything else (candids, receptions, etc)
     
  9. Jamie R

    Jamie R TPF Noob!

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    Mark,

    Medium format isn't that expensive. Most couples are not discerning enough to go for a format based work - they select a photographer based on his portfolio and recommendations mostly.

    Since the digital boom, the market for film based wedding photographers has clawed back: couples can get their spotty nephew to shoot "documentary wedding photos" with his latest digicam. Producing work which can withstand decent enlargement to 20x20" and not get pulled apart by insufficient megapixels helps. Having a touch of originality helps: with the digital hordes, that is becoming harder.

    The advantage of digital is that it has brought the costs of wedding photography down for the pro' as well the couple. There will always be couples who want the Walmart approach to their images and the digital capture medium with its erase-re-record facilities is suited for that. It is also faster to get cheap snapshots and jpegs on the web for the couple to view. The spotty teenager can do all of that pretty fine too: so none of this is an argument for quality of the imaging.

    The advantage of film based medium format is not just the quality; the tonality of the images overwhelms 35mm and small digicams of 12 megapixels. It also enables specific 'looks with specific film i.e. Astia; Kodak 400VC and Fuji NPS/NPC. There is much less post-imaging manipulation involved.

    You might want to look up the Annabel Williams series of books on weddings. That L glass may well be redundant in 5 years; look at how many wedding photographers continue to use their 30 year old 6x6cm formats...


    Good luck.
     
  10. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    See my long, rambling and brain-numbing response to the 'Help Me Decide on Medium/35 Format' posting to get my answer to this. But if you insist I will post it here :twisted:
     
  11. Bokeh

    Bokeh TPF Noob!

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    LOL!! Me too! Unfortunately though I'm "still" in IT, I'm not like a CEO or anything so IS is out ;)
     
  12. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest


    man id kill to have your setup!!! start shootin man!!


    md
     

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