RE Which Medium Format?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by gordon_vickrey|1, Aug 28, 1997.

  1. ***
    Simon Hollington wrote:

    <p>

    > I'm thinking of moving from 35mm to medium format with
    > the intention of submitting landscape photos for
    > publishing in postcards, calenders, tourist info.
    > guides etc (basically anywhere I can sell). Can
    > anyone advise me on the format preferred by
    > publishers ? 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, does it really matter ?
    > I'd prefer to buy 6x4.5 as this appears to be the
    > cheaper option but there again I don't want to waste
    > my money.
    >
    >
    > Has anyone had a photo. rejected for publication
    > because of wrong format or is it a case of a good
    > photo will always sell ?

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    ***
    I don't claim to have any answers to these questions, but because I am publishing landscape/nature photos in three formats on a more or less regular basis, I do have some experience I can pass along.

    <p>

    No one I know has ever had a photo explicitly rejected for publication because it was taken in the wrong format, *but* there are publications within the paper product market that do not accept 35mm submissions, so some doors are closed to shooters in that format. A few places don't even accept MF. And although no editor ever told me my shot was rejected because of format, my hit ratio went up maybe five fold when I started submitting MF transparencies in addition to 35mm. Let's face it: you have to pick up a loupe to see what you have with 35mm, and with MF you do not. The extra effort that busy editors have to make to see composition and judge resolution undoubtedly leads to some usable 35mm shots being overlooked.

    <p>

    I think great photos will always sell in any format. But my experience has been that good ones sell better in larger formats than smaller ones. This has more than made up for the fact that I *get* more good photos on 35mm for obvious reasons. Your mileage may vary, however.

    <p>

    As to whether one or another of the medium formats is preferred by editors, I don't really know. Most of my MF works is done with a 6 x 7 roll film back mounted on my 4 x 5 view camera. It is a heavy rig to lug around and so I can't do the candid, quick-draw type scenics that, say Pentax 67 shooters can do. On the other hand I can overcome many depth of field problems that they cannot; and perhaps in landscapes and close ups that advantage is what I have used to create a little room for myself in the editor's eye. More trade-offs, always more trade-offs! I do crop my 6 x 7s to 645 sometimes, and these seem to sell about as well as the larger ones.

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    I have recently begun using the Mamiya 7 with the 43mm wide angle as a supplement to the monorail, and the results are very encouraging. Big image, stunning quality, lightning fast to use; I am making good sales with this combo and am seriously considering adding another lens or two to enable me to get much of the grab shot type of scenics that I have been missing. Combing these two cameras, the M7 and the monorail, gives me everything I now need, including the abilitity to do 4 x 5 work, but if I had to start out again with only a single MF camera, I'd either stick with my monorail ( if landscapes were to predominate), or go with 645 if general nature/travel were to be the focus. You might do well to notice, however, that there are a whole lot of folks out there with Pentax 67s, and more than a few of them are making a living from that camera.

    <p>

    Gordon Vickrey
    krmhlz@earthlink.net
     

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