Medium Format vs. Full Frame Locked

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Macro guy
Macro guy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,428
Re: Medium Format vs. Full Frame

Hiphopapotamus wrote:

Macro guy wrote:

thebbqguy wrote:

I like the idea of medium format and I drool over Clyde Butcher's landscapes. The medium format digital cameras are beyond my desired budget, but a used film camera seems like a viable consideration.

To this point I have kept my photography budget purposely conservative and dont see that changing in the near term.

Should I investigate medium format film or hold out for a full frame?

How big are you going to print?

A 50mp digital camera (of any format) can be printed to about the same size, with the same quality as a 6x7 camera. Furthermore, given that practically no one ever prints chemically anymore, your film images are going to be digitized anyway and printed on an inket printer. Therefore, it makes no sense to shoot film if you're looking to get a 20x30 print at 300dpi.

As far as budget is concerned, you can pick up a Sony A7RII, a Canon 5DS r for around $1500.

If you're going to shoot film, you also have to factor in the costs of film and processing. A roll of 120 film, which will produce 10 shots on a 6x7, 12 shots on a 6x6 or 15 shots on a 645 will run you $5. You'll pay another $5-$10 to process, then you'll pay $25 PER FRAME to scan and whatever your printing costs are going to be.

So, when you start factoring in all the hidden costs, the money saved on a film camera doesn't seem as such a bargain anymore.

Umm you start at 4800 or even 7200dpi at the same pixel count and then you downsize to the print you want. Yeah...

You tell me how you're going to print that billboard at high resolution without a film camera without cheating and upscaling? Righto mate... To do the same job you could do at high resolution with film you end up going down to as low as 30dpi in sign printing.

As to lens resolution maybe, but when you consider the sensor size or film plate at 6x7 or 6x9 then it's not even a comparison. Not to APS-C or anything else this side of an A7 III and then you do the math on it, and add up the cost and its still far cheaper to shoot and develop film.

You can get a complete GL690 and lenses for under $500.

The real-world costs of film are about $3 - $4 a shot shooting slow film... You can buy Portra 800 or whatever at cost if you want it, but your gonna have grain coming out of your ears.

I was a late comer to digital. I held out until 2012 because I didn't think that digital was there yet. However, digital came into its own around 10 years ago. My 20x30 inch prints made from my 20mp Canon 5d2 are on par with the same size prints I had made with my Mamiya 645.

So, then what's the point of shooting film, going through the extra step of digitizing it and printing it with an inkjet printer? It just makes no sense. You'll get much cleaner files shooting digital to begin with. Furthermore,  at $4 per shot, not including a high res scan is quite expensive. Those dollars will quickly add up to consume any savings you might have had.

If you want to play with an old camera and if you want to play with film development, that's fine, but I would never recommend a film camera to someone on a tight budget or to someone looking to print moderately large.

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