What is the MF advantage?

Started Dec 13, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Ben_Egbert
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What is the MF advantage?
Dec 13, 2011

This question keeps being debated with lots of technical jargon, but from an end use perspective, what is the overall objective and how does MF provide it today given the very different technology? And how should 35mm format cameras respond?

For starters, let’s eliminate stuff that matters little to the sort of studio/landscape use that MF lovers seek. ISO can be as low as required, and need not be more than say 400. Speed and video are unimportant.

For objectives, let’s say that what we want is the best possible print for any given size of 20x30 or higher. Obviously the subject matter will be limited to the sorts of things where tripods and controlled light and lack of action are the norm.

The argument over sensor technology, CCD, versus CMOS, sensor efficiency etc is just technology; the best technology could be used for either 35 or MF or even LF given the proper commercial incentive.

It seems obvious to me that the quality and types of available lenses also make a big difference to end results.

So with these premises it seems obvious that MF will always have an advantage over 35mm with the one exception being cost.

That being said, that cost difference is very large, and so it seems to me to make sense to build a few high end 35mm sensor cameras that strive toward MF image quality. That is to say, to optimize for studio/landscape work with action and low light a lower priority.

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