Medium format film photography

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by vvkozmenko, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. vvkozmenko

    vvkozmenko TPF Noob!

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    Hi, guys,

    I would like to share some of my thoughts, and I would like to have your opinions.

    I've been in film photography since 1978 when I was a kid, and I moved to digital back in 2004.

    Several weeks ago, I had my old B&W 35 mm films professionally scanned, and I felt missing that distinctive film-like look of the pictures.

    So, I started thinking about reviving my old B&W photography. One of the crazy ideas that I've got is buying a medium format camera to shoot some portraits, close ups, landscapes etc.

    Since I do not have my darkroom any more, I will probably have the films scanned, do cropping, enlarging etc to make the final version, and then have it professionally printed.

    Does it make any sense, or I will loose all the benefit of the film with having it scanned?

    I will appreciate any advice or input.

    Val
     
  2. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Except for the occasional 4x5 I have not shot film in years. That being said; I say shoot med format chromes and do not even bother scanning them. The quality is second to none and it will sharpen your skills to say the least.

    Love & Bass
     
  3. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You do not lose that "film look" by scanning, if that's what you mean. I shoot a lot of medium and large format film and scan it myself with an epson v700 scanner.

    One issue with medium format film is that it's expensive to get developed. My advice would be to develop the negatives yourself (no need for a darkroom), and scan the negatives.

    Do you have any idea of what type of medium format camera you're interested in? A inexpensive foray into the format would be a yashica 124 mat 6x6.

    You'd likely get more help on this matter in the film form or a film website like apug
     
  4. mighe79

    mighe79 TPF Noob!

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    I think that, aparto from the "film look" and the quality of film, the differnce with digital is within the process. Mentally and emotionally it gives a totally different apprioach. It is true that you rely on your brain more than anything else. It's a matter of how close you want to get involved... closer to craftamnship. There are different stages. From making your own chemicals to buy an alreay printed and framed photograph to hang on the wall.
    I use film. I use also digital... for things I don't really care about, or just to mess around.
    I then process them myself (for B&W) and scan them with Epson v750. I print myself b&W and leave the digitalized coloured image to a professional lab.
    Film slows down the pace, makes you use the brain, makes you have control. It doesn't spoil you and make your eye lazy.
    And there's no price for the ecxitment you feel when looking at the image forming on the paper in a darkroom. Photography is most of anything fun. I started photography for the pleasure of doing it and to comunicate what I have to say.
    I bet this applies to many photographers out there who still believe in the difference between a pixle and a grain. Who still believe in an organic proces of the whole thing.
    There! I've siad it.

    :)
    Mic
     
  5. iheartbw

    iheartbw TPF Noob!

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    Hi
    At the moment, I only use film and especially black an white, what I find is that it is really useful to scan in the pictures once you got them developed because then you can still work on them in photoshop etc.
    It really depends on your scanner, meaning you would have to invest in a quality one such as from canon directly, I have an hp one which also does the job. Some photoshops will also offer to give you a CD with the scanned pictures on it when you get them developed.
    I don't think that scanning the pictures will harm their quality at least that is what it always has been like for me but like I said, a good scanner is the most important part
    and good programs.
    So I would say no worries at all, I have been scanning them and editing them and then printing them again and they have not lost in quality at all even if I scan the actual photo.
    :)
     
  6. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    You can get into a MF system fairly inexpensivly right now (ebay - keh). Film is not cheap. 120 is going between $4.50 to $9 a roll (12 exp in 6x6) to $7.5 to $12 for 220 (24 exp in 6x6). I will buy a box of 20-120 every now and then to play. I shoot slide and develope myself with a Jobo processor. I have been thinking of getting back into black and white though. I have a fairly set of Bronica SQ gear including 3 bodies (SQ, SQa, and SQAi).

    There is lots of inexpensive Bronica gear on ebay. I just picked up a couple more backs this last week. I am sure there is plenty of Mamiya as well. I have not checked Hasselblads but I bet they are keeping their prices quite a bit more than the others.
     
  7. aprillove20

    aprillove20 TPF Noob!

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    It's better develop the negatives yourself (no need for a darkroom), and scan the negatives.
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I still do... mostly with 645. I lost my darkroom when the kid was born so I now do exactly that.... scan. I used to develop my B&W negatives but the lack of time has forced me to send my negatives out for processing. It works and is very satisfying.

    As for the quality of scan, it is highly dependent on the quality of scanner used. I don't know what it is but people tend to think that scanners as a less than DSLR purchase. It is not... You will spend as much (if not more) on a good quality scanner, especially those capable of medium/large format, as a DSLR with lenses.

    I use the Epson V700 and I am very happy with the results. Samples here:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/digital-discussion-q/62119-epson-v700-experiences.html
     
  9. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    I think it all depends on how you want to use the images in the end. If you are not going to print them on real photo paper, you obviously have to scan the negs.

    If, however, you want to print them on photo paper, there is no reason to scan them. I bought a 500CM ($600 btw with the 80mmT* and a couple 120 backs) not too long ago to get back into MF B&W film work but I want to also get back in the darkroom because that is a big part of my enjoyment of photography. Not to mention that a print from a digital printer is nothing like a real photo print.

    Just before packing for my move to Europe, I got lucky and found an almost complete darkroom with a Beseler 45, very good quality lenses for both 35mm and 4x5 and most other needed accessories for $0. I actually gave the guy $100 because he seemed so depressed that nobody cared about film photo anymore :(

    But that is me and I certainly don't want to tell anyone how to think. To each his/her own. I only want people to think of the different possibilities and make their choice once they have thought it through.

    As was said by a nut case in the movie "Apocalypse Now," there is nothing like the smell of developer in the morning... :lol:
     

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