Medium Format vs. Full Frame Locked

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Hiphopapotamus Senior Member • Posts: 1,175
Re: Medium Format vs. Full Frame

Macro guy wrote:

Hiphopapotamus wrote:

Macro guy wrote:

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.

I think I said, $4 is a cup of coffee... I was born in the 80s, grew up in the 90s and was an adult by the early 2000s so film is my vibe.

It's quite cheap actually if you're on a tight budget you're not gonna go out and buy a ony A7R III. You might get a 5D MK III at this point or even a II which has had about 10,000 clicks on it, that the shutter or something else could fail on, which they're known to do at that point, particularly if they've had a hard life.

645 is not really medium format, it was kind of the small format of medium format and generally won't produce more than about 20megapixels worth of usable data before you start just enlarging the grain.

690 on the other hand, you will get 50-60megapixel quite easily, and with technical film you can still push that out to 80-100megapixel before you run out of usable resolution. But you're dealing with slow speed black and white at that point such as CMS20 which is designed special purpose for recording architecture.

$4 is a cup of coffee, but you're not shooting a single shot. A roll of 10 shots will run you $40 before you even print anything.

10 rolls and there's $400. So, where are the savings?

You may as well save and get a used sony a7r2 or canon 5ds r and get much cleaner files with less hassle and no consummable costs.

Btw, where are you getting your data vis-a-vis 645?

I don't shoot 645 regularly (although I shoot a Universal camera and so I can). My figures for 645 are off the top of my head from what I last remember. Re: the rest you either learn how to develop yourself and pay for the consumables or you pay someone else. Let's say you divide about $60-$70 by 8 you're still working out that 6x9 costs you $8 a shot.

There are other things... I can put up with film grain, it's not random noise caused by other electronic factors that makes it displeasing. Even Canon, Sony, Nikon, and Fuji are realising this and adding other factors such as baked in noise reduction to deal with the less pleasing factors of noise. Or otherwise X-Trans. This deals with the undesired random disturbance of useful information that is caused by signal gain amplification rather than the unique texture of film that is not only pleasing but replicable.

I posted up a 30megapixel 12x24 shot. If you open it at print size on your monitor in Photoshop or Lightroom, if you have your monitor scaled correctly you wont see the grain at all at 300dpi. That's from a very early version of Fuji Pro film they no longer make anymore and the grain structure is about equivalent to ISO800 or 1600 but it's not displeasing.

Maybe if you printed the same film at 24x48 (2ftx4ft) and hung it on the side of an average sized wall you will see the grain if you're standing in front of it. But who stands directly in front of a 2ft by 4ft print? With a 48inch print you should be at least standing about 5ft away from it or at a minimum 3ft.

Viewing things at 100% is a very bad habit anyway...

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