What is the main reason you shoot film under medium format?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by RaymondC, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. Yup, saw your listings on Ewebsite a few days ago, I regularly look up Bronica for accessories. There was strangely damaged ETRC... And we're off topic o_O
  2. These days, only for fun. My DSLR is as good as 4x5. Back in the days of film the larger the negative the better and MF was always perfect for just about everything. I shot with MF professionally for years and do miss it. 35mm was rarely accepted by pros as a professional medium, 35mm didn't make clean 16-20's - 24x36" prints, MF did.
  3. Just for fun, because I have it.
    To use a bigger negative than 35mm.
    Same reason I shoot my 4x5, for an even bigger negative.
  4. I have the opposite results from you. 98% of the time (more like 100%), I am unhappy w/ digital images, so I have always been a film shooter no matter what negative size we are talking about. In fact, I dislike digital so much that I have to grit my teeth to watch a movie that has been shot w/ it. The colours and overall look are not up to film standards. It's a heck of a lot more trouble and expense, but worth it. To each their own.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
    bobbudding and michael_radika like this.
  5. I returned to film about five years ago and rebought a nice array of Nikon F and F2 equipment. The shots were great and I was thrilled until I hauled out my Bronica S2 and shot a roll. I put the Nikon gear away and picked up an SQi and a few lenses. The one thing I love about MF aside from the ability to enlarge to greater sizes than 35mm, is that the 35mm is such a small window on the subject. The MF captures so much more content. I do landscape mostly and MF allows me to be much closer to the subject than if I tried to capture the same image with a 35mm and an equivalent lens.
  6. I enjoy the unique look I am able to get from my medium format scans. I am not able to replicate this 'look' with digital equipment.

    I'm sure that somebody more gifted than me with Photoshop or Lightroom might tweak their digital shots to give them the look I'm talking about. I can't do it, and I like to keep the digital part of my workflow to a minimum: inverting with vuescan+colorperfect, cropping/straightening, a little unsharp mask. That's it. Love this simplicity, and love the results.

    So much so that, In fact, I've sold all my digital equipment. I don't miss it!
    andyfalsetta likes this.
  7. My usage of film is very, very rare nowadays. I'm still in the very protracted process of selling off my 35mm, 6x6, 6x9, and Polaroid gear, and slimming down my Mamiya 645 gear a little. My keeper film bodies are just two: the very first M645 1000s body I got second hand in 1992 [my intro to medium format]; and my current 645 AFD. But even the latter is used 95% of the time with a Kodak DCS645M digital back.

    The 645 AFD gives me the best of both worlds: native square-format digital imaging with medium format lenses on a medium format body, with all the processing ease and cost-free running that digital affords; and good ole' 645 4:3 film images for that 5% of the time when I want something different.

    And the circumstances when I shoot 645 film over digital? When technical issues other than resolution arise. Spectral response for example; nothing (bar a modded digital) has the huge red sensitivity of Kodak E200, of which I have a frozen stash. Or when I want to get the full 180 degree field of view of the awesome Mamiya 24mm fisheye. Or when taking a very long exposure, without long exposure noise. Niche reasons, certainly.
  8. Simply size & available resolution/quality of MF images.

    Plus it's nice using a film camera. Forces you to slow down especially when you're using one without an auto-winder and built in metering.
  9. I shoot film because I love the workflow. An evening spent in the darkroom with music playing is very relaxing. So why medium format? The tonality is superior to miniature formats.
    Gary Naka likes this.
  10. A number of years ago, I went "all digital, all the time", even unloading all my film cameras. A couple of years ago, I saw images posted that were scanned from a number of formats, and I got out my negatives and transparencies, deciding I wanted to do some more film shooting. There's a lot of excellent used equipment, so I bought a Mamiya 645 Pro TL from a dealer in Japan, and it was off to the races. Later, I bought an Epson V850 scanner, and started to scan and edit negatives and slides from my film years.

    I've scanned nearly 5000 negs and slides, and I'm shooting more film.

    I look at film just as a "different" medium than digital. And whatever floats my boat gets used that day.

    I'm a gear hog, so I've bought two 4x5 cameras, a Hasselblad, Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya C330s, and a slew of Nikons, Canons, Olympuses, and Pentaxes. Gets more fun every day.
    Gary Naka likes this.
  11. I bought thousand of dollars worth of mamiya RB67 equipment and lenses 30 years ago. I never got rid of it and started to get back into film for fun. It slows me down and I enjoy the process. Builds muscles too. :)
    bobbudding likes this.
  12. I should add that I shot a great deal of digital when my sons were playing indoor basketball. Gym lighting is often very dim, so film would have been impossible. I typically bumped the ISO to 6400 to keep my shutter speeds up. But the kids are off to college now, so I sold my Nikon DSLR and lenses, and now I'm back to MF film.
  13. I shoot 6x7 mostly black and white. I love film and I love the process of shoes and film I love developing the film but......

    I'm scanning my negatives or having them scanned processing them in Lightroom and I'm printing them out on my Canon Pixma pro-100.

    What I'm questioning is is it worth all the effort because something's still lacking it's not the same as going in a dark room and looking at a dark room print on ilford paper coming out of the chemicals.

    For me personally I'm I'in love with the process of shooting at developing the film. I question the scanning and putting it in Lightroom process it comes out looking different than a digital camera but still I'm not getting that solid film look it's like somewhere in the middle.

    Maybe I just don't have enough experience in Lightroom which I admit I don't have a lot and I don't have a lot with wi with my new printer.

    Is it just a learning curve that I'm going to have to get past or am I never going to achieve the look that I'm after wil I have to go back to printing in the darkroom.

    Unsure at this point.
  14. AJG


    If you can, try darkroom printing. Inkjet isn't evil but the prints do have a different look from conventional wet prints, especially good fiber based prints. Which one you prefer is up to you and the particular image you are making.
    bobbudding likes this.
  15. Yeah I've got a lot of dark room experience I love printing in the darkroom here where I'm living now I definitely don't have room to set up a dark room I'd have to drive about 30 minutes to a place that rent out dark room space which takes a lot of time and a lot of effort I don't know if I want to do that.

    I just got my Canon Pixma pro-100 and I'm playing around with it I'm notI'm not so sure it's the printer. I don't have a scanner I paid someone to scan my 120 negatives on a Epson v700 I'm thinking it's the scans they're not high quality scans.

    I think I'm going to send one off to have it drum scanned just so I can see the comparison see what a good drum scan negative looks like and print from that.
  16. If you REALLY want to print, you can print at home.
    I use a small half bath to print.
    Durst M600 (up to 6x6) on the toilet, Cibachrome drum or Honyewell rocking print tray on the counter.
    Wash and dry in the kitchen.
  17. Yeah that's not going to work here there's no way I can print it home it's not going to happen.

    I'm going to get some really good scans done by somebody and see how I like it and go from there if I don't like it then I will go 30 minutes away to the place where I can rent the dark room very very $15 a day.
  18. I like photography. All kinds. My favorite was the 4x5 Polaroids. I had the backs and holders for my Calumet and Speed Graphic cameras. I also like the Hasselblads. I have four of the motorized bodies and three 500 C/M bodies and a slew of lenses. I also have several Mamiya's including a 330f twin lens and three 645 bodies, and a RZ67 with a bunch of lenses. I shoot with whatever moves me at the moment. Right now I'm playing with the Hasselblads. I would like to get a digital back for the Hasselblads, but the cost is prohibitive. I do scan my negatives and I process my own b/w negs. I would like to see Polaroid make a come back, but that's asking a lot. Photography is supposed to be fun. Now that I'm able to afford all the medium format stuff I lusted for years ago it is really fun!
    michael_radika likes this.
  19. 2018: FUN - only

    18 years ago better quality than 35mm, used several for my wedding business.

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