Question about MF cameras and lightmeters

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by Beach_art_photo, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Beach_art_photo

    Beach_art_photo TPF Noob!

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    This may be a really stupid question, I know, please don't blast me for it. I have been shooting 35mm for a while and I use a Sekonic L-358 lightmeter. I would like to move up to MF for portrature. I have been reading the forums, and understand that MF cameras need more light than 35mm. Can I still use my Sekonic, or do I need another meter for MF? By the way, I use the Sekonic in f-stop/shutter speed mode.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I've never heard that "MF cameras need more light than 35mm"...it sounds rather silly to me.

    1/125 @ F4 is the same whether you are using 35mm film, MF film or digital.
     
  3. Beach_art_photo

    Beach_art_photo TPF Noob!

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    Thanks,
    I thought it was a dumb question, but I wanted to be sure as I worked on a budget. I didn't want any nasty suprises.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's only a dumb question if you don't ask it :D
     
  5. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    MF cameras sometimes do require more light, though not as a general rule. This depends upon the format 645,6x6,6x7...and consequently the glass. With some notable exceptions, the larger format you go, the slower the glass gets. f2.8 is common in 645 for normal focal length to wide angle glass, but you'll rarely see anything faster. There is A LOT of f.4 glass.

    Also, though this isn't as much of an issue with MF as it is with LF, occasionally when the image area is large enough (say, with 6x9), or with very wide angle on the smaller formats, it is necessary to stop down a little further than you normally would, say to f.32 instead of f.22.

    Consequently, you may need more light in some situations. Like I said, this simply depends upon the lens.
     
  6. ilfordrapid

    ilfordrapid TPF Noob!

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    What I notice the most with medium format is that there is less depth of field at any given apature. But you can compensate for that by employing hyper focal distance
     
  7. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights TPF Noob!

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    Hi, can I chime in?

    Medium format camera's often DO need more light than 35mm's

    For example my 35mm's prime normal (50mm) is f1.8, and my TLR's prime normal (75mm)is f2.8:lol:

    Also, I disagree that you get less depth of field with differing formats.

    The depth of field with a 135 mm lens at f4 is the same regardless of whether it is a SLR, TLR or view camera.

    It's just that you expect a short DOF with a 135mm on a 35mm SLR, find that 135mm on a TLR is a good portrait lens, and a 135mm on a 4x5 view camera is slightly wide angle. So there is some suprise there.
     
  8. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The amount of light you need is based on how fast your film/lens and shutter speed/aperture is. If you have a fast MF lens you need less light a slow one more light just like 35mm.
     
  9. Beach_art_photo

    Beach_art_photo TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all of the advice. I;m gkad to know that there's no difference in f/stops. I'll be looking soon!
     

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