large and medium formate

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whats the benifits of medium and large formate over stander 35mm or digital

also whats the diffrence between large and medium formate cheers
 

ThomThomsk

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Size, which does matter after all...

Medium format negatives start at 6x4.5 centimetres (actually it's a bit less than that), which gives you 2.5 times as much area as 35mm. Using 120 roll film, which is 6 centimetres wide, there are a lot of 6x6 and 6x7 format cameras out there, and you can get 6x8 and 6x9. That is a LOT of negative, and usually a lot more detail than 35mm.

Large format is even bigger. The negative sizes here tend to be given in inches, so 4x5 is at the smaller end, with other common sizes being 5x7 and 8x10. If you thought medium format gave you a lot of detail on your negative, that's nothing compared to LF, which I've only read about but which I'm told can be absolutely stunning.

Then there is ultra large format. Ilford made a batch of special order sheet film earlier this year in sizes up to 20x24 inches. I can only imagine the size of camera, but think of the information you could get in such a huge negative.

Thomsk
 

Hertz van Rental

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It's not just a matter of the quality of the neg/tranny produced.
Larger format cameras have much larger viewfinders which means that the image you see is also much bigger. You can see far more of what is going on.
With large format (5x4 and above) you can actually go over the ground glass viewing screen with a magnifier to check spot focus.
Large format (and some medium format within limits) give you camera movements to which allow you to control the plane of focus, correct converging verticals, shoot into mirrors without getting a reflection (I love that one) and to distort shapes a little.
 

ThomThomsk

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Hertz van Rental said:
It's not just a matter of the quality of the neg/tranny produced.
Larger format cameras have much larger viewfinders which means that the image you see is also much bigger. You can see far more of what is going on.

After 20+ years of shooting 35mm, I got my first medium format camera a week ago. It's only a 645, but you are quite right - the viewfinder is amazing.

Even so, I can see the day coming when I'll need to go to 6x7 and then to LF. There is a guy over on APUG whose signature line is "Did I mention that 5x4 looks small today?". Which it probably does.

Thomsk
 
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so what are the diffrences between a tipical digital camera lets say for explinationporposes a canno 350d @ 8 million pixles and standard (nothing top of the rage) medium format camera

Thanks for your help
 

DestinDave

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The way it's been explained to me is with a digital camera let's say you have 8 megapixels. That's 8 million "pieces" of information for that picture. With a medium format negative (or transparency) if you were able to count all the grains of silver on the emulsion you would probably be in the tens of billions! So, in effect the difference is 8 megalixels -vs- 10 gigapixels...
 
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ok then so whats the diffrence between a medium format camera with a digital back on it and a 8 million pixle digital camera??

this is starting to to get complicated sorry
 
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so would it be worth getting a medium format camera?



thats probably a realy stupid question

cheers
 

DestinDave

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Even then, I don't think you'd get the quality enlargements from a MF digital as you would from a MF slow ISO film. I may be wrong (certainly not a pro at this) but even with MF digital pixel size limits clear enlargements to 16x20 or 20x24 before you start seeing "grain" or "noise". And, the last time I heard I think a digital back for a Mamiya 645 was something $10K - a Hassie back in the $15K range.
Like I said - I may be wrong so please correct me if this is bad info...
 

Hertz van Rental

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stingray said:
Care to explain Hertz?
How to shoot into mirrors without seeing the camera.
You need a technical camera.
Set it up in front of the mirror but below the eye line.
Use rising front.
The image you get will look almost like you are shooting straight into the mirror - but as the camera is just below eye line you can't see it.
 

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35mm is the size of a postage stamp. You can not believe how psyched you will be when you see your 4x5 or 2 1/4 piece of film. The beauty is you can get into these cameras for a relatively small price.

Larger cameras can also provide lens and film movements. Hertz pointed to a good example of how liberating that can be. Long story short; working in the larger formats will improve your photography.
 

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DestinDave said:
The way it's been explained to me is with a digital camera let's say you have 8 megapixels. That's 8 million "pieces" of information for that picture. With a medium format negative (or transparency) if you were able to count all the grains of silver on the emulsion you would probably be in the tens of billions! So, in effect the difference is 8 megalixels -vs- 10 gigapixels...

Digital backs for medium format cameras necessarily have more megapixels for the same quality. It's sort of like you need a much bigger lens on a larger format camera to get the same zoom that you would with a shorter length lens on a smaller camera. Consider that you might have 8 megapixels on a camera body that's about the equivalent of a 35mm camera body. When you step up to something like a 6x7 or, dare I say, a 4x5, you're talking at least 22-24 megapixels just to keep the ratio of the resolution to actual image size (or canvas size in PS terms). But to address the original question of how digital compares to film, when you start talking 6x7 and larger, digital doesn't even come close. The native resolution of negative film is approximately 3000dpi. So take a 6x7 low ISO negative film for example, maybe something like PanF. The negative itself (more or less grainless) is 18,600 square pixels; no enlargement. When you start talking about films like Provia (probably the most "grainless" film on the planet), especially with the aid of something like a drum scanner, I'd argue that the native resolution is closer to 5000dpi. That means the original image, non-enlarged, would be about 31,000 square pixels. Now just imagine what the numbers are like when you start talking 4x5 or 8x10.

Just because I'm bored, I decided to do the math:

4x5 low ISO negative: 60,000 Square Pixels
4x5 low ISO color positive: 100,000 Square Pixels

8x10 low ISO negative: 240,000 Square Pixels
8x10 low ISO color positive: 400,000 Square Pixels

sweet jesus. eat it, digital.
 

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