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Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Smaug01
Smaug01 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,054
Re. medium format has better optics

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

I always wondered why do portrait photogs want mF ?

Cleaner, higher resolution images that particularly have smoother skin tones. Also, better optics.

I don't think this is necessarily the case. The best small format lenses are as good as the best medium format lenses. It's just that 35 mm needs significantly more enlargement to get to a given print size, so it is degraded more.

The other side is that there were all grades of small format lenses, from uncoated plastic to multi-coated, 7+ element aspherical primes. Medium format, on the other hand, didn't have every low-ball company making a lens for it.

Example: I'm looking for a 35 mm f/2 lens for either my Canon EOS EF or Nikon AF-D. Canon's used original (pre-IS) go for around $200, even now. There is a Chinese company that completely copied the exterior look of the Canon lens, put junky electronics in and the optics aren't the same either, and it costs half.

That was just not done for Hasselblad 6x6 mount, so the average optical quality across the market may be higher for medium format, but it's not fair to say they have better lenses. A Zeiss Planar for Contax/Yashica 35 mm mount is the same high quality as the Zeiss Planar for Hasselblad mount.

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-Jeremy
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