6x4.5 - a format too far.

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by tom_cheshire, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. It is that time of the year when I rant against the absurd 645 format. 6x6 - fine. That makes sense. But 6x4.5 is impractical. The reason being camera mfg. produce these in the horizontal orientation trying to appeal to 35mm users.
    But, medium format being a professional format, it is used for more professional type photos like portraits or weddings. Have you ever seen a horizontal portrait? People are vertical. They stand up/down - not sideways. So, you have to flip the camera over on its side to use it and it "hangs" from your hand like a pendulum and that is the problem. Vibration. The purpose of medium format is higher quality images but, with a heavier camera hanging like a pendulum from your hand and your wrist becoming fatigued as shooting goes on, the element of vibration creeps in. Image degradation. Put it on a tripod? Then it is no longer portable. I might as well shoot with a view camera and get ultimate quality. Shoot holding it horizontally? Sure, then you have to crop the sides off to get back to a vertical orientation and, cropping that much off, you get nearly a 35mm sized usable image/negative anyway.
    So, how ridiculous is the 645 format anyway? In the old days of folding cameras there were lots of 6x4.5 format cameras but they were all oriented in the vertical. Bronica, then Mamiya, came up with the 6x4.5 SLR. At least, with a 6x6 SLR you can hold the camera normally and never have to flip it over. Cropping is easy into any orientation. At least, in the 6x7 format, there is the Mamiya RB67 which can flip its back into any orientation. But, 6x4.5? The most impractical of the medium formats. You would have thought mfg. would have built these things in the proper orientation to begin with but that would have made them as big as a standard 6x6 camera anyway and "strange" to 35mm users who were going over to their first medium format system.
    Ok, all that being said, my first serious medium format SLR was a Mamiya 1000s, next was the Pentax 645n and now it is the little Bronica. If I hate them so much why do I stick with the format? Well, uhm, I keep finding them at very attractive prices.
  2. Troll.
    If you don't like 645, then I suggest that you don't buy one.
  3. Ditto. Kind of wasteful to add anything more to Robert's remark.
  4. Well, it's a nice, long and well-written troll.
  5. I take more landscapes than portraits, so the 645 is built for me.
    The RB67 also has a 645 film back, which as you stated, rotates 90 degrees. I can use it for landscapes and portraits equally well.
    Different strokes for different folks.
  6. No; not a troll. I think it's well written as well. And I agree. Not to throw much more precious gasoline on the fire, but I've always felt 645 was for those looking to squeeze a few more shots from their 120 rolls. I used to think 120 was kind of a weenie film in the first place, preferring 4x5 and 8x10, but then something about my age crept in and suddenly 6x6 is the new 4x5, and 4x5 is the new 8x10. Plus it's a little slow this Sunday.
  7. You have a time of year for this?
    Oh, and let me check here; nope! No "Permission from You" button on my camera. Sorry. Try the DSLR people. Maybe you'll have better luck with them. Thanks. J.
  8. 645 lens circle is a tad smaller than 6x6, so it allows for a more compact design. Shorter focal lengths mean better DOF performance for near-far compositions, less diffraction from not having to stop down quite as far. Since most square images are going to get cropped into a near 645 for printing, getting 16 images out of a roll of 120 instead of 12 seems that much more efficient (less film loading and swap-out) not to mention cost effective. Huge improvement to 35mm for traditional optical enlargements and scanning resolution for 645 and negligible further improvement from 2-1/4. No, unless one is committed to shooting with a waist level finder or loves square compositions, it's hard to articulate many other advantages intrinsic to the 2-1/4 square format. Little wonder nobody save Rollei has brought a new one out in a couple of decades. (uh... I guess it didn't save Rollei, after all. They're in receivership).
    My Pentax 645N is one of the nicest designed cameras I've ever used, with a superb viewfinder, intuitive controls. How are you holding a 645 for verticals that it's a problem? I find it extremely ergonomic, even moreso than my Nikon F5, very transparent to the image-making process. Rugged with terrific integration of a slew of features you'd otherwise pay a great deal more to add these to a basic 2-1/4 body.
    The P645N sells now for about ten cents to the dollar versus the original retail price. A tremendous bargain for anyone committed to shooting MF film, most of the lenses are rather inexpensive as well. Probably getting cheaper by the minute, with Pentax putting off the 645D until next year (which in this economy likely means never).
  9. I'll take a stab. I would assume most portrait pros would use a larger camera, probably 6x7 (the RB was known as the workhorse for portrait photographers) because if they are pros they have studios and they will have a camera on a tripod. I thought hasselblads, Mamiya rangefinders, and 6x4.5 rangefinders, which are in portrait orientation, were most popular with wedding pros. So if that is true, that leaves landscape pros. They hike a lot so need something lightweight but good quality. The format lends itself to that type of work, as well.
  10. But 6x4.5 is impractical. The reason being camera mfg. produce these in the horizontal orientation trying to appeal to 35mm users.​
    Camera makers made rectangular horizontal 6x9 roll film box and folding cameras decades before Leica launched horizontal 35mm. The reason being that the human visual field is basically horizontal, and portraits are such a rare subset of photography that turning a camera for that subset is quite reasonable.
    But, medium format being a professional format, it is used for more professional type photos like portraits or weddings. Have you ever seen a horizontal portrait?​
    Actually, I have. Weddings tend to be group oriented events. Group portraits are horizontal.
    Now, regarding your comment about "a professional format", the very most demanding task for a professional camera is editorial: the two page spread. Except for the centerfolds in certain magazines, the double page spread is always horizontal.
    So, you have to flip the camera over on its side to use it and it "hangs" from your hand like a pendulum and that is the problem. Vibration. The purpose of medium format is higher quality images but, with a heavier camera hanging like a pendulum from your hand​
    The Nikon F4 had a nice optional grip with a second release and shutter dial for painless, no "pendulum" vertical shots. The F5 and F6 built the vertical grip into the camera and added duplicate shutter and aperture wheels, metering and AF mode buttons to the vertical grip, as did the D1, D2, and D3 series digitals. Those controls also appear on the optional grips for F100, D100, D200, D300, and D700. Canon is similar across the line, and Sony vertical grips duplicate even more of the camera's fundamental controls. The fact that most of the medium format camera makers deliberately chose to ignore the needs of photographers and not adopt such features helps explain why MF sales were fropping at a rate of 40% per year from 1990 tp 2000, before digital SLRs based on 35mm bodies became a factor in the decline of medium format.
    In the old days of folding cameras there were lots of 6x4.5 format cameras but they were all oriented in the vertical.​
    A folder puts the film spools on the 6cm edge of the frame. The 6x9 was horizontal, the 645 vertical. Physics (what had to be) overruled both ergonomics (what should be) and user preference.
    Bronica, then Mamiya, came up with the 6x4.5 SLR.​
    A large SLR works best with a horizontal orientation, long side of the mirror horizontal. The vertical orientation quadruples vibration (moment of inertia increases with a high power of the length of the mirror arc) and lens back focus (decreasing optical quality). Keep these points in mind, because I'll be returning to them...
    That's why only the tiny 35mm half-frame SLRs like Oly Pen F had vertical orientation.
    "strange" to 35mm users who were going over to their first medium format system.​
    Now, on the subject of 35mm orientation: back in the "golden days" of the format, companies launched all sorts of variations.. Zeiss had a 24mm square IKON., Nikon tried to launch the 24x30mm horizontal "Nikon format". Rollei had both horizontal and vertical 24x36mm. My Realist is a vertical format. They gave the users unlimited choices, the users took out their wallets and voted for horizontal.
    You talk of "35mm users who were going over to their first medium format system." The problem was that this was a market MF manufacturers believed was there, created advertising campaigns to attract, etc. but it turned out that the reality was MF users going over to 35mm at a considerably higher rate. Film format was one aspect of a camera. Ease of use and features were others. Lack of these caused the MF user base to erode at a dramatic rate.
    Same thing happened in medium format: different manufacturers gave their users differnt formats. There was a 630, 645, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, 6x12, and 6x17. The users voted with their wallets, and long before digital, Hasselblad collapsed and got bought by CINven, Rollei actually went bankrupt and some assets were bought by Samsung.
    Now, remember what I said about the lenght of the mirror affecting both vibration and lens design? Because of the reduced mirror length, a horizontal 645 is dramatically quieter than a 6x6 or avertical 645. The mirror blackout is shorter. The shorter back focus increases the quality of wides and normals, while simultaneously decreasing the size, weight, and cost.
  11. I have 35mm, 645, 6x6, 6x7, 6x9 and 4x5 cameras.
    I quite like the 645 format.
    Each to their own I guess.
  12. Have the RB67 Pro-s, the c220 and the Universal. Bought the 645 Pro to be used as a more portable and more shots, camera. (I only used 35 for a mounted on a telescope, format.) It would have been great if the Pro had a revolving back. For tripod shots, use the 220 and the RB, also for closeups. Besides, general use. The 645 is a bigger "brother" to the 35. It is easier to handhold, weight wise, a 645 than a 6x7.
    Maybe, Tom you also stick with 645 because it does the job, well.
  13. I happen to like 645 format, it's more detail inclusive than 35mm, the cameras are smaller and easier to handle than 6x7, and, very importantly, are currently produced. I do understand the advantages of shooting 6x6, but how many 6x6 cameras are still being made? Current 645 cameras have the advantage of being able to use digital backs, parts are still made for many of them (excluding Bronica and Contax). I tend to think of a 645 camera as a larger 35mm with much more detail. Even though I own a 6x7 Bronica GS-1, I tend to think of that camera as a want-to-be large format camera with much less features. Although I love my Bronica, the only advantage it has over large format is AE metering.
  14. 645 has one important advantage, especially for wedding photographers: you get more frames on a roll.
  15. I didn't like the thought of 645 format so I went with a 6x6 TLR. So what's the point of this conversation?
  16. People are vertical. They stand up/down - not sideways. So, you have to flip the camera over on its side to use it and it "hangs" from your hand like a pendulum and that is the problem.​
    The Fuji 645 has a vertical (portrait) orientation when the camera is held horizontal. I had a great time using a 645Zi handheld at a family get-together with a Nikon SB-30 as a wireless slave for bounce flash. I got better quality than a 35mm in a reasonably-sized package.
    Ditto to the comments about the Pentax 645 and landscape photography. I use the Pentax 645 on a tripod, and the dual mounting holes allow dual quick-release plates and effortless switching from horizontal to vertical orientation.
    Bill De Jager
  17. Its the Brownie Bullet format! with 127 film too:); The Bullet shoot horizontal; F11 lens!
  18. Tom, you seem to ignore the fact that Bronica had two 645 systems - the ETR-series SLRs, which have been addressed, and the RF645 - a vertically-oriented rangefinder.
    As many people have said, the medium format market always was and even more so now is a vote-with-your-wallet area.
    I love the ETRSi and landscape 645 because it matches my shooting. I use it in the street, and for applications where I have the time for a higher-quality set-up (though with the Speed Grip and AE-II it's not at all far from a 135 SLR now). It offers me the best compromise between the compactness of a 35mm system and the quality of a larger medium- or large-format system.
    In fact, 645 isn't wide enough for me. I'm still searching for an affordable 135W back.
    If you don't find that the above two are applicable to your shooting than there were and are hundreds of other choices. Why spend all that effort hating 645 when you could be loving 6x6 or 6x9 or whatever in a camera that transports film the way you want it to (maybe a Mamiya with rotating back would suit)?
  19. I've noticed some of you stating that when shooting vertical, the camera "hangs from your hand". N O T.
    I have a number of cameras including a lovely 645N. By the way, I'm right-handed. When I switch from horizontal to vertical, I slide my thumb over to the shutter and move the camera to a vertical position so that it is resting in my SHUTTER RELEASE HAND. In this way, I can rest my elbow squarely and comfortably on my chest to take the shot.
    I appreciate that you use your finger to press the shutter release in a horizontal position but the thumb does a marvellous job for a vertical orientation.
  20. Basic math behind why 35mm began to make such inroads on MF for events and portraiture was that by the late 90's medium and high speed print films were vastly improved and it was now acceptable and cheaper to shoot 35mm. Concurrently, better 35mm cameras were now sporting 1/250s and faster sync speeds for daylight fill-flash at noon, so leaf shutters weren't quite as mandatory as before. The high ISO and DR improvements of to digital sensors pretty much sealed the deal for the wedding pros. Result is there's a glut of 645 film gear flooding the market the past few years. Which certainly ought to be cause for rejoicing as it lowers the MF bar to entry for anyone shooting landscapes and scenics. What pro level gear once cost $3-5K now costs $3-500.
    I find it natural to steadily cradle most all the weight of the camera in the left hand and softly release with the right, so I'm not finding vertical release a problem because the bottom and the left side of the P645N are close to equidistant from the centerline of the lens. But I tend to do this even with 35mm cameras that have a V release like my f5, unless it's mounted on tripod with a telephoto having a rotating tripod collar.
    About the only time the weight of the camera hangs in my right hand is when I am climbing or scrambling on top of something to get the shot, then I appreciate the sturdy hand sized grip of the P645N SLR. This sort of work tends to be high shutter speed PJ work and there's not much of an issue with vibration, then.
    Raymond, I'm curious about that thumb release solution-- are you rotating the camera 90˚ clockwise to orient the shutter button down?
  21. 6×9, 6×7 etc. must also be pointless formats. Oh, and don't forget the pointless 24×36mm format -- 24×24mm rules!
    But, medium format being a professional format, it is used for more professional type photos like portraits or weddings.​
    This is probably the best part -- "professional photos are always in portrait format"!
  22. What Tom said about 645 being a horizontal format, "People are vertical. They stand up/down - not sideways. So, you have to flip the camera over on its side to use it and it "hangs" from your hand like a pendulum and that is the problem. "
    Can also apply to most 6x7 Pro grade cameras. The Pentax67, etc. So, tom what you are saying is not so much against the 645, but, most non 6x6 MF Pro grade cameras. The only exception is the RB/RZ.
    The reason why most pros went digital, was because they couldn't afford the digital backs for their Hasselblads, RB's ,etc. Even though at the time, the digitals didn't compare with 35.
  23. Hi Ivan ...
    That's correct, I rotate the camera 90 degrees clockwise. As I mentioned before, I'm right-handed and so the camera's grip is in my right hand in a vertical position with my thumb - most naturally I might add - on the shutter release.
    I most likely came to this manner of shooting vertical shots with my 645N because I use a Stroboframe grip to mount my flash. And so the camera MUST be oriented in the way I explained in order to properly flip the flash over the lens when shooting vertically.
    I have a battery grip on my digital camera and this does simplify vertical shooting.
    I would think that this "technique" I described should work on most cameras.
  24. Sorry, but it's 6x6cm that makes no sense. Printing paper, periodicals and computer screens all come in a rectangular shape - and I hate waste. Why take a bit of film that you're only going to have to crop away at some later date? Can't you make your mind up at the taking stage whether you need to shoot portrait or landscape?
    As for wanting to get more shots on a roll; well what's wrong with that? As I hinted above, if you don't print from it, then it's just wasted film anyway. The 56mm width of the 645 negative is just as wide as the 56mm of 6x6, and without the extra slap that you get from having another 25% of mirror area (apart from Bronicas of course, which all seem to have explosive bolts releasing the mirror - flame,flame!).
  25. Raymond, I think I'll stick with what I know. I routinely shoot the P645N down to 1/8s, and get tack sharp images from my 35mm f/3.5. Don't believe I'd achieve this if my cradlin' hand was also doing the shutter squeezin'.
  26. i think you're looking for a bronica rf645, fuji ga645, or rollei 6000-series camera with the revolving 6x4.5 back.
  27. Hmm... I realize other posters have already made similar points, but I'll add: looking at my cameras, I seem to have two 645 cameras that are vertically oriented (well, four if you count Holgas with their inserts), and one 645 SLR that has a vertical grip. So no issues with shooting vertically for me with any of my 645 cameras. Which is good because I probably shoot 95% vertical (I don't believe in that "humans see in landscape" business).
  28. 6 x 6 makes no sense? It does if you project your images on a screen. A square image projected has far more impact than an elongated image such as 6 x 4.5 or 35mm.
    By the way, what does a Troll (a fearsome creature from Norse mythology) have to do with film format?
    Regarding so called mirror slap, Bronicas are no worse than many other similar cameras, and in fact, used with mirror lock up, are vibration free.
  29. "By the way, what does a Troll (a fearsome creature from Norse mythology) have to do with film format?"
    From dictionary.com:
    1. [From the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban] To utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or flame s; or, the post itself. Derives from the phrase "trolling for newbie s" which in turn comes from mainstream "trolling", a style of fishing in which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do, while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in fact a deliberate troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be in on it. See also YHBT .
  30. Hi Ivan ...
    I understand. As I mentioned previously, I was "forced" into using the technique I described because of the stroboframe flip grip that I use for my flash unit. Having used this method for what seems like forever, I find the other way very awkward. And absolutely no problem shooting at 1/8s.
    Hi David ...
    If a projected 6x6 image has more impact than an elongated image, I would wonder then why TV's have gone from 4:3 to 16:9 and why movie screens are usually in the 2:35 to 1 proportionally? I can't remember where I read this but the article stated that there was less waste of lens glass by fitting a square format in a circular unit. And that makes a lot of sense from many points of view. Whether it provides more impact than an elongated image I would think is somewhat subjective.
  31. In the past I had thought that a totally new film width - say 55mm sprocketed like 35mm, allowing for a 645 format - would have allowed for a new generation of compact MF cameras based on primarily eye level viewing. Imagine a slightly larger Leica RF 645, with the new width film - with maybe a 35-45-65-100-150 lens combo. Pano-width cameras with 9X4.5 and 12X4.5 would round out the program.
    And now imagine the above - with the inclusion of digital. Bodies would be likewise compact, useable with current-generation MF sensors. All would be right with the world.
    ....and no issues with needing to install a prism onto a "new film format" MF slr for verticals, nor having to hold an mfrf "vertically" to shoot horizontal.
    With the above in mind...the next jump up would be to the current 120/220 size, with 6X6 and 6X8 formats being standard (6X7 is too square and 6X9 is too long) - then jumping to 6X12 and 6X17 for pano's.
    Now imagine a 6X8 version of the Mamiya 7, but with a collapsible mount like the 6, and with a 45-70-105-160 lineup. (not only do I feel that 6X7 is too "square" - but that Mamiya blew it with their lens focal length spacing for the M7 - should be more like 40-60-90-135).
  32. Raymond,
    You can hardly compare a relatively small TV image to a slide projected on a screen. You have to bear in mind that a square slide will fill the entire projector screen, whereas an elongated image will not. This is where the visual impact is created.
    You are quite correct about less waste of lens glass with square format - it's the most (by a small margin) efficient use of the image circle.
  33. Joseph Wisniewski wrote:
    The F5 and F6 built the vertical grip into the camera and added duplicate shutter and aperture wheels, metering and AF mode buttons to the vertical grip, as did the D1, D2, and D3 series digitals.​
    The F6 has no build in vertical grip
  34. Holgas have the vertical option. Does that make them the pro camera of the MF world?
  35. Fuji GA645Zi - vertical format, and an awesome camera!!!!
    6x6 - Square is Cool, but it could be a real film burner, if your into rectangular/normal print sizes.
  36. Hi David ...
    I suppose that it's a matter of personal preference: square or elongated. Small TV picture or screen presentation ... what about 60 feet by 25 feet movie screens. Not square by any means. Even Hasselblad have stopped producing their square format.
    I had told myself not to get into a square vs rectangular discussion but here I am. So easy to fall into these traps.
  37. Anything smaller than 4x5 is for limp wristed weaklings who can't carry a tripod and are too stupid to understand movements.
    One troll deserves another.
  38. Ray, I have to say that I too try not to get involved in square versus elongated arguements. I admit that I am biased and hate the 35mm format with a passion.
    Regarding movie screens, have you ever been to an Imax theatre? The screens are practically square, and have far more visual impact than a conventional wide cinema screen.
    BTW, I didn't realise that Hasselblad had stopped producing square format cameras.
  39. I shoot a 645 Bronica, a square Rolleiflex GX and a Mamiya 7. I prefer all of these aspect ratios to 35mm as its too elongated for my tastes. At one time I thought of trying 6x9 but did not for the aforementioned reason.
    I agree with the above comment about the square in the sense that there are specific compositions that benefit from this ratio. The square is very graphic and when used effectively can create stunning results. It can also be incredibly boring and mundane if not used correctly. Adapting to a square compositional style takes some time to master. Personally, I have not. Square cameras do give the crop to 645 option so that the MF advantage is maintained. Who cares if you waste a little real estate in the process. Who cares if 645 tries to squeeze more shots on a roll of film for those who prefer quasi rectangular aspect ratio? Horses for courses.
    645 is my favorite format for portability and handling ease along with what I consider stunning image quality if properly drum scanned. To each his own though. The original poster is a troll. If you dont care for a specific format then do not shoot it. As far as SLR size my Bronica ETRSI is quite a bit smaller than the Bronica SQai or Mamiya RB/RZ for instance. Depends on how much gear you want to lug around. Everything grows proportionally with format size when you are talking MF SLR's. The Bronica and Pentax 645 cameras are very compact systems. I can haul a complete ETRSI system with AE3 prism, a couple of backs and four PE prime lenses easily on a long hike with a tripod and not be overwhelmed with "gear".
    And to the original posters contention that portability is lost by mounting a camera on a tripod I say: Rubbish. You loose so much by not using a tripod with just about any MF SLR it defeats the purpose of the increased film and processing costs. Why would you shoot one in the first place if you were not after maximum quality? ((excepting the case of outdoor flash photography)). You just about have to use a rangefinder in MF to work handheld. MF SLR's were never designed to be used handheld for nonflash photography unless one is willing to settle from some image degredation. If you want to work handeld with an SLR buy a Nikon D700 or some other high iso wonder cam. Just be ready to pay for it.
  40. Hi David ...
    Good point about IMAX ... I did not remember the almost square format of the IMAX media: 72 ft x 53 ft or 1:1.36. As one poster said ... horses for courses I guess. Unlike your actually hating the elongated format, I simply don't see the point or the passion that is usually associated with the square format or the elongated format. I must unabashedly admit that I've never shot square format.
    I think this is somewhat like faith: If you believe, no explanation is necessary; if you don't believe, no explanation is possible. I would think that this applies to both viewpoints.
    And so the golden rectangle: 1:1.618. Multiplying each of these factors by 4 yields 4:6.47 and almost 4 x 6 or 8 x 12, etc ... an almost primal and ingrained visual pleasure for the eye (I read somewhere), sounds good to me.
    Sorry David, it's been awhile since a good square and rectangle discussion. Believe me, all in good fun and sharing of differing viewpoints.
  41. Last(?) in a long thread: As with film versus digital, different situations demand different compositions. Luckily I have both the PME45 and the PME90. An A12 back and an A16 back. And I do not feel ergonomically set back by turning my 503CW 90 degrees anti-clockwise for the vertical compositions with the PME90 making this possible.
  42. I make photos. I use a camera. Period.
  43. Medium format single lens reflex was never meant to be hand held? I guess 60 years of the Graflex SLR was all for nothing and the famous photog.s who used them, like Berenice Abbott to mention only one, along with their work, can all be dismissed.
    I don't know why this topic has degraded to its present level. No one said the 6x6 was perfect as-is. It does present the opportunity to crop it down to 6x4.5 with the option of choosing, after the fact, whether to use any of 6 possible crops. If you use "perfect format" 6x4.5 (or 6x7) then you have to have perfect composition. How many famous photos were shot "on the fly" and cropped later? Thousands. How many photos stand still for you to compose perfectly? A lot less.
    Yes, you can get more shots on a smaller format for economy. If that is the goal, there is always half frame 35 or a movie camera.
    Really does surprise me that all these 645 SLRs are being used for landscapes. That is more of a job for a view camera with perspective correction.
    I thought the real reason so many weddings were being shot by 35mm users had nothing to do with film technology improving but that there was a proliferation of cheesy little guys passing themselves off as "photographers" working out of their garages who either didn't know any better or just didn't really care about quality and professionalism. They were inspired to go into "business" by those seeminly questionable org.s like IFPO whose purpose, in my opinion, was to sell "credentials" and further abetted by an ignorant public blinded by the joy of an impending wedding.
  44. The only portraits I take are of people lying down. 6x4.5 works great for me! ;-)
  45. Hi Tom, I suggest you to rent a Bronica rf645 for 2/3 days!!!
  46. 645 is a great format. Its about the only rollfilm format that gives you anything like the depth of field required for deep landscape shots (tilt lenses notwithstanding). I know for the majority of landscapes I shoot I could not manage with 6x7 in terms of depth of field, whereas I can generally just get by with 645s at f/22. This is why there are load of people using 645 SLRs for landscapes, plus they are pretty cheap, cheap running costs, and you can then use the same camera the next day for shooting action, closeups, portraits, travel etc. A 645 slr stripped down to a hand winder, prism and a normal lens weighs no more than most 35mm/DSLRs, and take up little more space.
    All this about 6x6 being great because you don't need to rotate the camera for verticals is all very well, but is means bigger image circles, thus bigger lenses, heavier lenses, heavier bodies, bigger prisms, bigger mirrors, heavier tripods, changing film more often.
    Plus it surprises me that this idea that you can be pretty slapdash with the composition on 6x6 and then tweak it afterwards to horizontal/vertical is seen as being a benefit. What makes great photos, particularly landscapes, it taking the time to frame and compose properly, this is if anything the single thing that makes the work of great shooters stand out from the rest. Anyone can focus a camera, anyone can wait for great light, anyone can get the correct exposure, not everyone can compose properly. If you're taking a shot and you're not sure what your composition should be then you shouldn't be taking the shot yet. Composition is almost always best done then and there, when you've got the whole scene in front of you, and you're reacting to it and the light. if you're cropping later on the lightbox then you're only reacting to your full square slide, and possibly a shaky memory of the scene. You're not going to get the same raw emotion and reaction in the composition.
    Plus lets not forget that some people like to compose seeing just what is in frame, and a proper 645 finder beats an unmasked 6x6 finder for this if you're intending to shoot a rectangle. You could of course mask your 6x6 finder and use a A16/645 back, but then you've essentially just got a rather heavy camera which you've still got to rotate for verticals. In my mind, if you want to mainly shoot squares, then go 6x6, otherwise get a rectangular format.
    4x5" for landscapes with tilt is fantstic for some people, isn't necessarily any bigger of heaver than a medium format setup, but with something like a tenfold increase in film/processing costs, and less versatility. Some, if not most people may never print big enough to warrant the detail that 4x5 gives anyway. A good modern scan of a 645 or 6x7 transparency can be printed surprisingly big.
  47. "I don't know why this topic has degraded to its present level."
  48. Also, the comments that 645 isn't a format for landscapes. Then, why do people use 35 for that?
  49. Square frames are hard to find,,,,I shoot digital & Hasselbald at weddings, I cut the 5x5 down to 4x5,,,if you like old-school square wedding photos, than it is great. You do not have to flip the album back & forth. But nowdays of photojournalistic style shooting, shooting 2000+ shots at a wedding, med. format is about $1.10 per click for film, processing, & print. Do the math,,,,,
  50. Who said anything about printing square? Never said square prints were the way to go. The topic was how awkward holding a 6x4.5 camera is on its side to take a vertical shot and how doing so induced vibration/shake that reduced the advantage of using medium format. The only point was using a square format camera provided less problems since it didn't need to be held in an unnatural position to shoot verticals. Of course, the photo will be cropped afterward.
  51. 6x6. problem solved.
  52. Tom, as I mentioned earlier. A 6x7 camera has to also be held on it's side for vertical. That's why the RB67 was invented.
  53. "Square frames are hard to find,,,,I shoot digital & Hasselbald at weddings, I cut the 5x5 down to 4x5,,,if you like old-school square wedding photos, than it is great. You do not have to flip the album back & forth. But nowdays of photojournalistic style shooting, shooting 2000+ shots at a wedding, med. format is about $1.10 per click for film, processing, & print. Do the math,,,,,"
    I have done the math Gregory ... what many folks don't take into account is that the print prices are the same for either media ... so the premium for using film for wedding work is the price of the film itself and the film processing ... the proof prints are a wash. So, you have to weigh how much time it takes you on the computer to do what the lab does for you with film. Personally, I make a little more than a lab tech does, so I'd rather be shooting than processing.
    Not avocating one medium over the other, but pricing may not be the best reasoning to use digital. There are plenty of other advantages for the wedding photographer.
    BTW, someone shooting journalistic wedding work usually doesn't do it with a MF camera ... film or digital.
  54. Yes, like the RB67 very much. Never had one. The scuttlebutt on them from repair shops say they need repair often. McBroom, in his book, says they are about as portable/hand holdable as a car battery. So far, in 6x7, have the Koni-Omega. Nice but heavy.
    The thing about medium format is you want it for the higher image quality and larger enlargement possibilities but, when photo'ing people/models, the camera should be mobile so the photog. can jump around to the best angle or shot. A lot of the time a model gets the perfect pose and the photog. has to "grab" the shot without the luxury of time in composing so having a larger negative that can be cropped to the right composition is a plus. Careful composition work is not always a possibility in every phase of photogr.
  55. I guess I can stop turning the 500 c/m on it's side to take verticals.
  56. I guess I can stop turning the 500 c/m on it's side to take verticals.​
    How many vertical squares have you shot?
    So unless you have an A12V back, no.

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