does anyone shoot med or large format anymore? - Page 4
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Old 08-31-2007   #31
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Default Re: does anyone shoot med or large format anymore?

I just returned from a visit to the Bodensee region in Germany, captured some MF with my Mamiya 645 and Bronica ETRSI....waiting for the negs to come back...
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Old 09-02-2007   #32
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Default Re: does anyone shoot med or large format anymore?

I still shoot a Calumet 4x5 with Rodenstock and Schneider lenses. Though I owned a Mamiya 645 (and a few good lenses) for many years , I rarely used it for commercial work because art directors wanted larger transparencies for the work that I do.

Even when I shot weddings, I brought the MF out only for show. I'd capture the formals on it solely so that I could claim, "Yes, I shoot medium format." (Wedding photographers back then, for some reason, liked to engage in overkill and photograph everything with a prime lens on a medium format camera when a good, sharp lens on a 35mm autofocus film camera was surely sufficient and usually more practical for obvious reasons).

I shoot film on the 4x5. The scanner backs that were made to replace film never attracted me. The digital backs that are now manufactured (while still good tools), don't produce the quality to justify the cost-- yet. The trick to using film in the digital age is to maintain total control in the studio and to produce an excellent scan so that minimal postprocessing is needed.
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Old 09-02-2007   #33
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Default Re: does anyone shoot med or large format anymore?

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Originally Posted by LeeK View Post
I have several clients that still want me to use film rather than digital. The major part of my income comes from shooting 4x5...used to have a little mf...but I do those on digital now.
Are you turning in transparencies to the client or are you producing the scan files yourself? Nothing would make me happier than to turn over the transparency and be done with it all, but I've had some transparencies returned to me which had been mishandled (scratches, fingerprints, dents and wrinkles).
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Old 09-04-2007   #34
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Default Re: does anyone shoot med or large format anymore?

Does this count as large format? Not me, but someone I shot at Death Valley early this year.

http://photocamel.com/gallery/data/8...otographer.jpg
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Old 09-05-2007   #35
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Default Re: does anyone shoot med or large format anymore?

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Even when I shot weddings, I brought the MF out only for show. I'd capture the formals on it solely so that I could claim, "Yes, I shoot medium format." (Wedding photographers back then, for some reason, liked to engage in overkill and photograph everything with a prime lens on a medium format camera when a good, sharp lens on a 35mm autofocus film camera was surely sufficient and usually more practical for obvious reasons).
Well, I went to Medium format for weddings because, well, 35mm was just plain crappy....the Neg size is way to small and anything over a 5x7 print gets grainy as hell. Most of the wedding clients I dealt with were seeking images they could make nice portraits from....8x10, 11x14, 16x20 in some cases...and a 35mm simply cannot produce a neg that can be enlarged to that size without losing all of it's integrity. Also, small prints from Med format blow 35mm shots out of the water...the colours are better saturated, the grain is tighter....I never understood why folks chose "AF" over image quality.... Plus, I find the length of 120/220 rolls to work much better for most shooting situations (I cannot recall how many 24 and 36 exp rols were processed for only 10 or 12 shots....) and the interchangable backs allow me to shoot several different types of film without having to switch bodies and lenses all the time.

Medium Format in wedding photography is not "just for looks," it is a valuable tool for getting top quality negs for my clients.
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Old 09-05-2007   #36
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Default Re: does anyone shoot med or large format anymore?

Still shot with my 20 year old Pentax 645 manual focus. I meter with a Pentax Digital spot for landscapers.
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Old 09-06-2007   #37
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Default Re: does anyone shoot med or large format anymore?

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Originally Posted by Vedauwoo View Post
Well, I went to Medium format for weddings because, well, 35mm was just plain crappy....the Neg size is way to small and anything over a 5x7 print gets grainy as hell. Most of the wedding clients I dealt with were seeking images they could make nice portraits from....8x10, 11x14, 16x20 in some cases...and a 35mm simply cannot produce a neg that can be enlarged to that size without losing all of it's integrity. Also, small prints from Med format blow 35mm shots out of the water...the colours are better saturated, the grain is tighter....I never understood why folks chose "AF" over image quality.... Plus, I find the length of 120/220 rolls to work much better for most shooting situations (I cannot recall how many 24 and 36 exp rols were processed for only 10 or 12 shots....) and the interchangable backs allow me to shoot several different types of film without having to switch bodies and lenses all the time.

Medium Format in wedding photography is not "just for looks," it is a valuable tool for getting top quality negs for my clients.
I agree with you about medium format for weddings to a point. In my market at the time, it was rare that anyone ordered anything larger than an 8x10 from events after the formals. I was being facetious in saying that I used the medium format just for show. 35mm is wholly inadequate for formal groups shots and formal portraiture, but after the church events, 35mm was wholly adequate.

The extra weight of the metal bodied MFs pretty much prohibited handheld photography without a flash and/or 400 speed film. A manual focus MF camera was, for me, too slow for photojournalistic coverage, and shooting with a prime all day long required too many lab crops. Obviously, you aren't hindered by the greater weight and the size of the MF camera.

If you are shooting with a modern autofocus MF with a lightweight polycarbonate body, you're in heaven. Forget 35mm altogether. There's almost no argument to be made for 35mm vs autofocus MF at a wedding except that the zooms on the 35mm are light weight.

Before I bugged out of the wedding biz (after fifteen years, full time), I almost bought one of the Mamiya autofocus systems. By that time, though, I was shooting more and more commercial work that required 4x5, and I just couldn't justify the expenditure. (I didn't exactly bug out of the business... there were circumstances). The drawback to 4x5 is the limited speed at which one can work. If I were to go back to people photography, I'd probably buy a couple of Mamiya 6x7s and forget medium 2 1/4 completely and use 4x5 less. Most ad agencies will accept a 6x7 transparency, if they don't demand a postprocessed file instead.

But yeah, if you are fixated upon grain and the ability to print 11x14s from a negative, medium format does a much better job, though I always felt that 11x14 was pushing it a bit on 2 1/4" neg. I felt that the print lost tonal gradation at enlargements over 8x10.

There are tradeoffs for everything.

With a sharp lens, proper exposure and a competent lab, many of the pro 35mm emulsions can produce excellent results.
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Old 09-08-2007   #38
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Default Re: does anyone shoot med or large format anymore?

I just did some work for an art photographer who does only custom printed books and art prints. she still doesn't own a digital camera and primarily shoots 6x7 SLR and 8x10 view cameras. Very successful, gets 2 or 3 museum endowments and several gallery showings every year.
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Old 09-08-2007   #39
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Default Re: does anyone shoot med or large format anymore?

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I just did some work for an art photographer who does only custom printed books and art prints. she still doesn't own a digital camera and primarily shoots 6x7 SLR and 8x10 view cameras. Very successful, gets 2 or 3 museum endowments and several gallery showings every year.
It's not at all surprising, though some digital photographers don't seem to understand the inherent differences between the sizes between the capture areas of most digital cameras and the capture areas of film cameras, nor do they understand that film resolves on the crystallline/molecular level while digital sensors capture on a much lower level. This results in loss of detail, loss in sharpness, and gradation of tone the greater one enlarges the digital file.

I am sure that most art photographers are very picky about who processes their film and produces their prints.
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Old 09-11-2007   #40
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Default Re: does anyone shoot med or large format anymore?

Have any of you seen the coffee table book about the rescue workers at 911? Those were shot in XLF, or super-heavy-duty-extra-large-format. This is the only camera like it in the world, the whole room is a camera, and you actually walk into the inside of the camera to load polaroid paper, then shoot, then process it, using a mop and bucket full of chemicals.
The reversal prints are about 5 feet tall. The prints in the book are actually reductions from the original print.
The lens in this camera was originally an aerial photography lens which was removed from an SR-71 Blackbird.


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