PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum

PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum (
-   Medium and Large Format (
-   -   Canon EOS5D vs Contax 645 medium format (

dodu 05-20-2006 02:41 AM

Canon EOS5D vs Contax 645 medium format

I would like to buy the Canon EOS5D with 24-105mm f/4 L lens.

How does it compare in quality with Contax 645 with 80mm Zeiss lens when printing on A3 format ?

More generally does it reach the quality of a 6x4.5 medium format camera like the Contax 645 ?

My question is to know if I should rather stick twith the medium format camera or go digital with the Canon (I am only speaking about quality of the final print).


Wilt 05-20-2006 09:43 AM

Re: Canon EOS5D vs Contax 645 medium format
You will get replies from those who think top end DSLR with 12+ MPixel resolution are the equal of MF film. Just remember that in MF vs. 35mm film comparisons, MF would come out on top for tonality and color rendition, even if the same film were in both cameras. And consider the fact that the larger format has to be enlarged less, so MF lenses have an apparent advantage even in optical performance...since the film is 1.8x larger (one axis) it has to be enlarged 1 / 1.8 less. So if you needed a stellar 80 ll/mm lens on 35mm film, an MF lens would only need to provide a very mediocre 45 ll/mm to exceed the permance! So if everyone flocked to MF for ultimate quality, and viewers could easily see that MF slides were so much more vivid than the same 35mm slide projected on the same screen, even when using the same film, then why does everyone think DSLR is 'equal' to MF now?!?! Effectively DSLR sensor is merely an alternative to film, so if you could put the same pixel density into both MF and 35mm bodies, the MF would still win (merely a digital equivalent comparison to the film comparison, after all!).
Now none of this is to say that digital is not a whole lot more convenient for pros and amateurs alike, than using film. You can edit digital photos in computer and save shots that would have to be thrown away on film. And the results are instant and not subject to the delays that film processing imposes. No, it is no surprise at all that many pros who used to shoot MF film have changed over to DSLR...they can't afford to pay 3x the price of a 1DSII for a MF digital back, in order to get the advantages inherent to going digital. Shooting on film then scanning them to digital puts one generation of image quality loss into the process simply by adding the scanner to the process, there is still the delay caused by film processing and scanning, so that is not much of an 'improvement'.

Mr. Pickles 05-20-2006 12:07 PM

Re: Canon EOS5D vs Contax 645 medium format
Wilt is right, you're opening a debate here. To me, MF film is still a thing that a DSLR can't touch. Not just about details, or image sharpness or that kind of stuff, although that "can be" important. MF just has that "look" that digital can't do yet, IMO....

Latinbob 05-20-2006 05:05 PM

Re: Canon EOS5D vs Contax 645 medium format
There is a great article at Luminous Landscape that compares some of the higher res DSLRs and MF digital backs against film. It is an interesting read. Film still wins, but the gap is getting smaller, even for large format film.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:20 AM.