Question to the Professional Photographers here.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Vinny, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Back in the 70's when I was just starting to learn photography it seemed that 35mm was the low end of professional equipment and medium format and large format were the professional's choice.

    Although at this point I don't think I will ever achieve "greatness" at photography back then I couldn't wait to be good enough to graduate to the 2 1/4 format and ultimately the 4x5 or 8x10 format if only to say I shot in that format.

    Do professionals still use these larger formats?
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    MF (2 1/4, 645) is still in use for studio and fashion work, but LF has ben pretty much relegated to a few die-hard super-serious amateurs. You can get digital scanning backs for LF systems, but they're slow and pricey.
     
  3. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Back in the early 70's when I got started I didn't see the 35 as the low end, just the right tool for certain jobs. How many, Broncia's, Hassey's, Mamiya's, Rollies, or Pentax 67's did you see at the 1976 Olympics? If you needed portability you used 35's. The newspapers had all switched to 35's in the city I lived it. It was the right tool for certain jobs back then and a better tool than most of the MF or LF cameras.

    I also worked for a fashion photographer at the time. In the studio we mostly used Pentax 67's. For some shots he would pull out the 8X10, but the bulk of what we did was all on the 67's. He had a couple of Hassey's and a Bronica or two lying around as well. I still have a 67 system that his family gave to me after he passed away. That system is the center piece on a set of display shelves in our house.
     
  4. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    I agree that portability gives the 35mm an edge over larger format cameras (which is why the instamatic became popular with the masses). Newspaper photographers IMO were not looking for absolute quality in a paper's photo. I'm not saying that they aren't (weren't) talented but there weren't high quality black and white photos being printed in the newspaper. I guess magazines had adopted 35mm, in your example on the '76 Olympics I would imagine Sports Illustrated had a bunch of photographers toting 35mm cameras for the field. A question that I would raise is if the same 35mm cameras were used to take portraits (if any were taken).

    I remember Arizona Highways magazine requiring large format images for their magazine submissions. I had 2 wedding photographers 1 in the field with a medium format camera and another in the studio using a large format camera and I kind of remember most weddings I went to the photographers used medium format cameras.

    When I see discussions on crop sensor vs full frame sensor DSLR it reminds me of the 35mm vs medium format discussions I saw in magazines back then.
     
  5. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Medium and large format can now be done in digital and if you don't need it on a regular basis, it is easy to rent a system. Red One will do both with the appropriate modules.

    skieur
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  6. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for that info but at this point I'm not good enough to waste my money on a medium format or large format rental. Since I've been out of photography for a while my skills (if I even developed skills back then) are back to newbie stage. I guess it's good to know that there may be a place to rent IF I ever got good enough ... I wonder if they'll be around in 15 or so years! :lmao:

     
  7. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yep, it is he basic right tool for the job concept. You can drive a nail with a sledge hammer, but if your going to do it all day a framing hammer is going to be a lot more convenient and will get the job done. On the other hand, if you are breaking large rocks, I'm taking the sledge hammer. :mrgreen:

    The 35 was capable of taking excellent portraits and used quite a lot for portrait work. They were very capable cameras with great glass available. But the portrait work the were generally used for was of the nature suited for the 35. School portraits, general studio family portraits and the like. Same as today.

    In the wedding market there was a big reason why the MF was used over the 35's. Pick up an old F or F2 body and trip the shutter in a very quiet room. Church like quiet room. Sounds like a bolder hitting the ground. Now pick up most MF twin relex bodies of the same era and do the same test. Very quiet in comparison. Ministers of the day were very particular about noise during the wedding ceremony just as they are today about strobe use. It is also the reason the Pentax 67's were not used for wedding photography. It's shutter sounded like an F2's on steroids. :lol:
     
  8. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Yes, there are still a few pro photographers shooting their commercial work on large format film. We still use LF film. It probably helps that we are in New York, where we can still get LF E-6 processed in 3 hours or so at a pro lab.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  9. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Oh sure, rub it in for us old hicks in the sticks. :lol: I have a nice old [FONT=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]K.B. Canham[/FONT] 8 X 10 in good condition I picked up a few years ago that looks real nice in the corner of my den. It also gathers dust nicely. :D
     
  10. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Back in those days here it just wasn't allowed in church at all till after the "do", you were then allowed a setup of the register signing but no alter shots, pretty much the same with some of the vicars now anyway. H
     
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Medium format in digital is not nearly as expensive as you might think. Those old film cameras are going for a song these days and a that along with a good flatbed scanner means that you can shoot medium or large format digital (ie. digitally scanning the film) for not much money.

    The thing that a digital camera has over this setup is that it is very much faster in the workflow area and over the long haul is a bit cheaper if you shoot a lot (read that 300-600 shots at a time) for each gig.

    $.02
     
  12. David Dvir

    David Dvir TPF Noob!

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    MF is still widely in use. LF seems to be nearly gone in the pro world.
     

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