I want medium format!

Started Aug 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,626

stevo23 wrote:

When I was young, we had medium roll film cameras like Yashica, Rolliflex and Mamiya. They weren't versatile, but the negatives were big and you could really blow them up. Then my dad got a Pentax Spotmatic and we were forever stuck in 35mm because 35mm was "good enough" (reminds you of another discussion?). Medium format was eventually the domain of pros.

But even after I bought my first Nikon, I always wanted to get into medium format or even large format. The look and image quality just couldn't be duplicated with 35mm. When I bought my F5, I was very close to actually getting a Mamiya 7. In the end, it was the old issue of embedded lenses - I already had Nikon lenses.

So now we have today. Medium format digital seems like a greater jump than medium format film was. It used to be about 40 to 50 percent jump to get into medium format film. But you'll have to spend a lot more to get into medium format digital and the low end may or may not yield better results than a D800. The lowest barrier I can find is about $18k or so. Really, much greater than that if you want to see better results.

So I find this disappointing. I suppose medium format film is still around and that may be part of it. Film hasn't been buried in the medium format world because it's hard to beat? That's too bad. I really like medium format, it looks great.

So here's my proposal:

Medium format camera in Fuji X series form factor only bigger.

80 Mp sensor

Optical rangefinder with split screen manual focus

Just the basics - no fancy scene modes or any of that useless stuff. Just simple, high DR, high resolution images.

Come on! Why not?

I'm sure you are aware that sensors do not come for free

And I'm sure you are also aware that the larger a chip one makes, the higher the failure rate because of the increasing likelihood that some issue will render the chip useless.  There is no simple mathematical formula, but it increases faster than the area of the chip.

Finally I'm sure you are also aware that all else being equal, the less in demand a chip is, the more costly it will be: (1) the R&D costs need to be spread out on a much shorter production volume, (2) the lower production volumes imply much lower efficiencies and economies of scale, (3) well-run companies attempt to stay in business i.e. avoid projects where the return on investment might dilute their overall returns.

Because of all this, (1) most companies will stay away from medium-format digital because it will rarely, if ever, make economic sense - especially when 24x36 already delivers stunning IQ today;  (2) any medium-format digital cameras will be very expensive - and remain that way.

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