Why insist on FF format?

Started Sep 22, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: Nothing "just happens"
In reply to forpetessake, Sep 23, 2012

forpetessake wrote:

Paul De Bra wrote:

It just happened that 35mm became a very popular film format and that as a result of that it became a standard for cameras and lenses also in the digital age. But it is just as arbitrary as any other format. There is nothing "optimal" about any format because every format has its own strengths and weaknesses, in film as well as in digital.

This is just your ignorant imagination. FF was an evolutionary survivor, other formats tried and failed to compete, 24mmx36mm -- succeeded!

The main reason it succeeded was Kodachrome. Kodachrome processing was a complex industrial process (it had no dye couplers in the emulsion) and the Kodak plant was designed to handle only a small range of formats, in 35mm 24x36. This very effectively limited the adoption of any other format, if the camera was to be useable with Kodachrome, which was widely acknowledged as the best colour film until Velvia came along. The US government also helped along with protective measures (presumably on lobbying from Kodak) so, for instance the original Nikons were made to a 32x24mm frame size (4:3 aspect ratio) but were not allowed to be imported to the US due to the non-standard frame size, so Nikon re-engineered, eventually to the Kodak imposed 24x36.

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