Medium Format Family

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medium format vs DSLR 35mm

blowupster

Member
(...)Seriously, why on Earth would anyone want to stop a 35mm format portrait lens down to f/11 (if I reads you correctly)?
To
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In a 200x300px pictures, it's OK at 2.0. On 50x75cm not.
Even at 11 you have 3D effect if you blow up to 30x40cm, F 11 allows you to have the 2 eyes, hear sharp. It's important that cloths, jewels and harms are sharp for special orders.
 

imageman

New Member
I'm looking into Leica myself too, Hasselblad is awesome, but everything is big and heavy, not ideal for what I want.
I have been a Hasselblad user most of my life, but in the last 10 years I have switched to Leica for a number of reasons. The Leica delivers superb quality, speed of operation compared to Hasselblad, is lighter and more compact, less obtrusive in discreet situations, etc.

Last week, I took the Hasselblad kit 'out of mothballs' and ran some colour and B&W through it. Wow! Quality and excitement gushed at me from the darkroom after processing the films.

The advice I would offer you, with no knowledge of your finances, is get the Leica. Do NOT sell the Hasselblad. There is room in life for both and in fact they complement each other. As a photographer you need a kit of tools. Hasselblad and Leica are are just two of those (superb) tools.
 

blowupster

Member
I have the chance to have a CFV-39 (since end 2009) and a M9-P (since july 2011) with top lenses (Cfi 100mm and 50mm Asph.). Last month in Japan I made the same picture with the Leica I made with the CFV-39 one year ago. Ok Leica is far lighter than Hasselblad and basic iso at 160asa at f1.4 is more confortable than 50 asa at f 2.0 however I really was surprised to compare at home on a true screen how the cfv-39 is really better.
 

Fliger747

Member
I lugged my Hassys all over the Arctic for years and ended up with quite a number of prints in museum and private collections. When digital came along I went Canon and shoot most of the aerials and landscapes with the 5DII. Compared to the Hassys stuff shot on film, the Canon takes the edge in clarity and possibly resoltion. One shot printed 16x20, the remark of several was that the resolution was simply insane.

However, but, whatever.... I think that was mostly a function of all of the steps working with film entails. I do like the images as scanned with either the Epson or Nikon scanners but some clarity is lost in the process. I am considering going with the CFV50 and dragging the Hassys out again for some particular projects I have been working on.

As I discovered years ago working with Kodak Tech Pan a very fine resolving emulsion puts your technique on trial. I don't necessarily think that the now greater digital resolution is worse than film, it just shows quite well if our technique needs refinement.

Certainly digital offers one great advantage as I fly my plane with the door open, stick between my knees as I changed roll film......

Cheers. Tom
 

bladdered

Member
I am considering going with the CFV50 and dragging the Hassys out again for some particular projects I have been working on.
Cheers. Tom

Tom, can you expand on that ? Why, and what you expect to gain ?

Just it was a surprising turn in your writing when you seemed satisfied with your Canon output.

Gary
 

Fliger747

Member
Over the years I have had a personal project doing photography of Denali (Mt McKinley) from up (really) close. The photography has been quite well recieved by the local climbing community, one of the best compliments I recieved at a show from a group of mountaineers clustered around a print, reveling in the detail, "He even out Washburns Washburn".

As a former climber and current professional pilot, and daughter and her husband who know the mountain as well as anyone, I have something that Bradford Washburn did not have, proximity. Though Washburn produced many quite large prints from hisequipment, the tonality is often indifferent at best.

One of the advantages of digital over film for this type of photography is in the resolution of the texture of the snow. Grain of about any useable film really obliterates and covers up the texture and form of the snow. Medium and large format were always much better at this with film than 35 MM. Digital should excell for this type of project, and build upon the size advantage of the MF. For some subjects, pixels do matter, looking at prints from the 12 MP Canon 5D and the 21MP 5DII, of the high mountains, there is a difference!

For this type of aerial work, flying at high altitude with the door open the Blad is a good shape and quite handy with the pistol grip.

In Summer I go to all sorts of out of the way places (Super Cub lakes we call them, much higher than they are long.....). Nothing like poking about the mountains. lakes and streams with a Blad.... Just love the magnified image on the glass.

Tom
 

najobskalf

Member
Pixels wanted

Now, a Canon 5D MkIII with a 30MP sensor and adequate noise control would be nice for me. I always found it difficult to focus my Hasselblads accurately and was delighted with the autofocus provided by Canon (not to mention the L-series lenses). However, I do miss the beautiful engineering of the V Hasselblads - obviously my admiration of these cameras was not for the right reasons. My Canon 5DII consistently gives me better results than I got from the Hasselblad.
 

fotografz

Active Member
Ability to focus accurately is a different issue from image quality produced by any given camera.

I used a flip magnifier on my V cameras to achieve critical focus. Nothing is more accurate than that.

I process a huge number of Canon 5D images from photographers that shoot for me. The AF is great when it locks onto the intended area for critical focus ... however, it sometimes doesn't do that, and the images are then not so well focused ... the Canon 1DsMK-III and 1DMK-IV have better AF consistency.

In general, our Sony A900 has more consistently accurate auto focus than the 5D or 5D-MKII

The best auto-focusing Medium Format camera I've used to date is the H4D with True Focus using the rear TF button to focus with rather than the shutter button ... followed by the Leica S2 using the rear button to AF with.

-Marc
 

Fliger747

Member
It is true that autofocus systems, as with auto exposure systems do not resolve all issues! I somewhat prefer the 7D Canon for fast street type photography and the 5DII for the landscape work and aerial work I do. Focus is either infinity or more leisurely for that sort of subject. 30 MP might be pushing the point of diminishing returns fro a 35mm full frame sensor though with very careful work the best Canon lenses might be up to it. Both lens reolution and diffraction limits will continue to frustrate the pixel peeping types.

In aerial I discovered an interesting phenomenon, It was best to shoot at high speed repeat exposures, as the second shot would always be sharper than the first, either because the camera vibrations have settled down or because of a tendency for the first shot to have some camera motion imparted from releasing the shutter. Not as easy to get the perfect release while also flying the plane!

Careful workers have been able to do much more with the 35mm sized digital cameras than was possible with film, I expect that similar results and improvements are possibe with MF Digi's. It is generally a somewhat different style of photography and will remain so.

My CFV 50 should have arrived in a day or two and I should be able to do more than theorize.

Happy New Year to all!

Tom
 

Fliger747

Member
Recently returned from two weeks in NZ having left the canons behind and just with the Hassy and five lenses (plus a small Lumix). Working with the medium format is only slightly heavier and bulkier, though it is a blessing in some ways to be committed to always carrying a tripod, and using it. It is the somewhat careful way of working which pays the dividends.

My lady companion is a Nikon user, so it should be interesting to contrast and compare the results, though we photograph for somewhat different purposes.

Initial working reveals some images can be of excellent quality at any conceivable print size.

Cheers. T
 

Fliger747

Member
170 gigs of images from two week trip. Certainly one must anticipate storage and computer requirements. I used a Mac Book Air and an external drive, still the battery and power requirements are greater than for the typical DSLR and could be a consideration on a remote expedition.

Will post a few images when I get a "Round tuit".

T
 
170 gigs of images from two week trip. Certainly one must anticipate storage and computer requirements. I used a Mac Book Air and an external drive, still the battery and power requirements are greater than for the typical DSLR and could be a consideration on a remote expedition.

Will post a few images when I get a "Round tuit".

T

Thanks for your updates. Looking forward to seeing some photos.
 

HassyLover

New Member
Although digital is certainly capable of very high resolution, to me most times the image looks "plastic". Digital will never have the "feel" or "look" of film, nor will it ever provide you with the flexibility in terms of exposure/processing afforded by the film (especially B&W) process. And honestly, even though I have an outstanding Canon photo printer, it still falls short in terms of quality, depth and beauty of a true photographic print.
 

HassyLover

New Member
I was having a conversation with a photographer yesterday who uses nothing but 35mm digital and he was basically saying that unless you are printing above A2 or A3 you don't need medium format, I tried to tell him that even at A4 the quality is vastly improved over 35mm and very noticeable, In fact i have been doing some comparisons and even postcard size shows more detail and tonal quality, In fact everything about it is better.

I would be interested to know if this person has ever even shot Medium Format film or even any film for that matter. So many people nowadays have grown up with nothing but digital or shot film with inexpensive cameras and had the corner drug store do their prints and have never even experienced "real" photography for themselves. It is just a personal opinion and of course your mileage may vary, but until you have gotten your hands wet with film and paper chemicals you have not really experienced true photography.
 

najobskalf

Member
I would be interested to know if this person has ever even shot Medium Format film or even any film for that matter. So many people nowadays have grown up with nothing but digital or shot film with inexpensive cameras and had the corner drug store do their prints and have never even experienced "real" photography for themselves. It is just a personal opinion and of course your mileage may vary, but until you have gotten your hands wet with film and paper chemicals you have not really experienced true photography.

I had many years of "getting my hands wet" and it was fun. However, one should compare like with like. Perhaps you belong to the school of photography that judges all photographs by the cost of the gear with which they were taken? I have no argument with those who admire the engineering quality of Hasselblad or Leica cameras, but that is a different thing. However, if you do want to spend a lot of money you can go with Canon DSLRs and L-type lenses, although these are unlikely to form the basis of the sort of Leica collections of pristine, unused cameras! The one thing that puzzles me is where is all the film that keeps being praised? Further, once people discuss taking photos with a film camera and then having them scanned as a superior technique to using digital in the first place - words fail me!

Incidentally, has anyone anything good to say about Hasselblad taking a digital camera made by a third party, sticking assorted adornments to it and their logo, then marketing it at inflated prices. No dobt some fool will claim that it takes incredibly sharp photographs!

(A tip for the impecunious - Get a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30, set it on square format and "Intelligent Auto" and post small photos from it on the Web and tell everyone they were taken with a Leitz lens - just don't mention the camera! Oh, if you want to have A3 enlargements made, go for it and you may be pleased with the result.)

Now that I have got that off my chest, has anyone else noticed how much more "musical" recordings on vinyl are than ones on the newer SACD ......
 

HassyLover

New Member
Perhaps you belong to the school of photography that judges all photographs by the cost of the gear with which they were taken?

Quite to the contrary, I judge an image on it's merits. But if you took the same image with 35mm digital and one with a Blad and placed the two prints side by side, it has been my experience that the one taken with film will look (at least to me) superior every single time. As for scanning negatives, I only scan my Hasselblad negatives so I can post them on the web. For any other purpose I head to the darkroom.

Satisfied?
 

najobskalf

Member
Quite to the contrary, I judge an image on it's merits. But if you took the same image with 35mm digital and one with a Blad and placed the two prints side by side, it has been my experience that the one taken with film will look (at least to me) superior every single time. As for scanning negatives, I only scan my Hasselblad negatives so I can post them on the web. For any other purpose I head to the darkroom.

Satisfied?

What you have not stated is the identity of the 35mm digital camera (and lens) you are using for this comparison.

How do you find the availability of 120 film? Is there much choice nowadays? Do you print in colour?
 
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