How can MF bring greater resolution, don't diffraction limits apply?

Started Mar 9, 2012 | Discussions thread
Regular MemberPosts: 360
Re: Smaller formats need less light.
In reply to Barrie Davis, Mar 13, 2012

Barrie Davis wrote:

malcolm82 wrote:

Barrie Davis wrote:

malcolm82 wrote:

Barrie Davis wrote:

I know that when I changed to digital from film formats that were much larger.. (6x6, 6x7, 6x12, 5x4") I managed to shoot location with greatly reduced numbers of lights brought to the site....

Indeed, the drop in power levels was thousands of watts fewer to illuminate the set to similar DoF and shutter speed settings as with film.

What iso values do you typically use then? Just wondering...

The smaller formats can be shot wider open, and still achieve the same DoF.

So, where I typically used 100-ASA/ISO film, I also shot digital at the same sensitivity. The economy in light levels with digital was achieved by shooting at f/4, instead of f/16, say, with 6x9cm... or even f/22, if 5x4".

So you actually did shoot large format at a setting that has no equivalent setting available on full frame such as iso 10.

No. 100-ASA/ISO was just the slowest Daylight Ektachrome reversal film available in any format, at the time... (still is, as far as I know. I have not bought film in a long time.)

Thats exactly what i said, the equivalent setting of the large formats at iso 100 is not available on full frame being something around iso 10.

Those must be some powerful lights if you cant use them at f/4 on iso 100.

Huh!? (For some reason or other seems you cannot understand a single thing I write.)

You stated your lights were too powerful to be used on the digital camera's and you had to use less of them or turn them down which i find surprising at iso 100 f/4. That is all i meant to say there.

So you have no use of faster shutter speeds or more depth of field to take advantage of the lights?

I told you. I got the DoF I needed at f/4, so stopping down anymore was pointless. The subjects were typically still life interiors, and any shutter speed was fine.

Seems you didnt need those powerful lights for your large format camera's either then.

I didn't use 35mm film for serious work. Its quality was not high enough.

Yet 35mm sensors are good enough?

Yes they are. They are terrific. But I don't use FF-sensors.

Whatever format you use it is smaller than you used with film. Judging by the fact you stated you use f/4 where you used f/22 on 5x4 that means you use an aps-c camera now?

That was my first reply to you, it is the higher quality of digital sensors that allows you to use less light, not the fact that it is a smaller format.


  • It is their high quality that makes them able to replace larger film formats.

  • Whereas it is their small size that makes them require less light than the formats replaced, because they give same DoF at lower f/numbers.... Note that this is equally true of small film formats, of course. So, it is a FORMAT thing, NOT a digital thing!

No it is the fact that you are using higher equivalent iso settings that makes them require less light. The reason you can now use higher equivalent iso's is because digital sensors are better than film.

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