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Reasons for MF in 2021

vieri

Well-known member
I love the look, always have. I love the slower operations. With the Phase One XT, I truly love the workflow, the ease of use and the tech-camerish features coming with it. The gear doesn't make anyone a better photographer, per se, but if it makes your work more enjoyable, that in turn will make you work better, thus making the work better as well.

That's my excuse, and I am sticking to it 😂
 

Hasslebad

New member
I would say I go for a certain look that I like which happens to be on a Hasselblad V with an old Phase One P25 back. I can't say that I enjoy the slow process. But I enjoy the look I get after processing the image in Capture One. The files look different from anything I've seen from Nikon, Canon, Fuji, iPhone etc. It could be I like how Capture One sets the profile or how Kodak designed the color array on that sensor. Those other cameras are great also and all have their place. Cameras, digital backs and lenses are like wines. You pick the one that you like, that works for that moment.
 

MartinN

Active member
that works for that moment.
That was great. Today the interest in one tool (camera) only last until a new model is announced. Or when the photgrapher get the idea that the grass is greener on the othe other side of the fence, that is changes to another camera brand or line. The unwritten law in everything is that the new thing is always better than the older.

But I try to behave differently. Thanks for such.
 

jerome_m

Member
If I may extend the question a little bit... It is not just about MF versus full-frame camera. Photography is supposed to be a creative process, meaning we, as photographers, are supposed to use these little machines to bring something interesting within the constraints of a frame and exposure time.

Everything is part of that process. If you look at the history of photography, you will notice that the kind of camera and how various types of camera came in and went out of fashion dictated the kind of pictures which were taken. One does not see the world in the same manner on a view camera ground glass, on the top visor of a Rolleiflex, from the little peep hole of small format or on the screen of a smartphone held at arm's length. How a lens draws, what depth of field you have, what residual optical aberrations are present, what colours are produced by film or by mathematical computations in a computer, whether one needs to carry and set up a tripod or can get enormous ISOs and stabilization, all this contributes to the end product. And, last but not least, how we as humans and artists feel and interact with the little machine counts as well.

So, if what it takes to produce the images you have in your mind is a particular camera, be it a medium format, a Minox C, a smartphone or a room-size chamber with a lens and photographic paper the size if the back wall, go for it. The camera is not important. What is in you head is.
 

bernardl

Active member
One recent, and arguably irrelevant in many ways, data point.

i was on a beach a month ago in Chiba for a bbq with friends with my Z6iI and 85mm f1.8 S, amazing sunset,Mt Fuji emerges from the haze -> No tripod so ISO goes up to 1600, a bit of time in C1 pro later the image gets 450 likes on Flickr



two weeks ago I was walking in Hakone with my IQ4-150 and RRS travel tripod. There is a veeery nice section of the old Tokaido route with beautiful old cedar trees. I capture a lovely vertical with the 110mm BR at ISO50, ES, amazing sharpness and colors, printable in 40x60 inch size without any problem -> 30 likes on Flickr



It all really depends on how we measure our success doesn’t?

I am personally equally happy about both images for different reasons. And I loved capturing these 2 moments, these 2 atmospheres. I loved using these 2 cameras that both deliver delightful shooting experiences, again for different reasons.

I'll probably visit Hakone again soon with my new 8x10 because that's one place for which it is really perfect.
 
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fotografz

Well-known member
I have a different take on the question. Why go MF these days? Bear with me ...

Although retired from my rat-race Advertising creative career, I used it as a way to win free-lance photography assignments and photo related work like digital retouching. It helps pay for the crushing expense of gear as technology marches onward. :rolleyes:

My most recent expression of gear has been Sony mirrorless to replace DSLR systems. An A7R-IV plus a set of rarified lenses able to fully resolve that full-frame 61 meg state of the art sensor. My medium format kit is a Leica S(006) and six Leica lenses with Central Shutters (CS). It also operates with a focal plane shutter, making it more versatile than any 35mm.

When acting as a retoucher, I deal with very expensive commercial photography ... (which is a whole other conversation about infrastructure and organization unrelated to gear). I see end results from Phase One, Hasselblad H6D, and recently Fuji GFX100s ... all of them are super high meg, large sensor images used in a very broad array of applications. The clients are SUPER F'ing picky. All this stuff is for top national advertising and promotion.

(NOTE: Any comparison of smaller formats and larger ones is going to be antidotal and subjective ... BUT, mine is based on observations over a broad range of work by various other photographers over the past few years. Make what you will of it:

1) None of the work was shot with 35mm.

2) Every shot displayed an incredible sense of rendering the critical subtleties of color and dynamic range. I've not personally seen this level of color correct capture from any 35mm anything, including my own carefully planned commercial work with tech assistance, PAs and Profoto lighting using my Sony kit.

3) Some the retouching I have to do is of details so the image is product correct at time of publication ... it requires enormous enlargement to isolate these details and fix them ... the MFD files are pliable and clarity is not an issue.

In addition, I compared the A7R-IV multi-shot ability to MFD MS ... and my old Hasselblad 39 meg MS back kicked its ass in terms of color separation and simple fidelity. The MS on these 35mm cameras may increase something, but isn't worth the effort IMO.

Lastly, I still select the Leica S with its 37meg sensor and S optics over the 61 meg Sony for anything that really matters ... my eye subjectively sees the difference esthetically, and there is a look and feel I find lacking in most Sony images (except maybe a few shots using a Leica M lens on the Sony ;)).

Trust me, a more fixed income and having other priorities has put a damper on the unbridled gear acquisitions that was once my history ... it'd be great if I could consolidate everything to a Mirrorless kit ... HOWEVER, not going to happen because it'd be an uninspiring and routine experience. Content would be similar, but the execution would suffer IMO. In short, it'd suck the joy out of my commercial shoots, especially when working with lighting.

Not everything is critical commercial ... I also shoot candid stuff on location using the Leica S kit ... I did a beach shoot with the Sony but brought the S with a couple lenses for some shots ... like this handheld one of my pal taking a break from the activity:Jeff.jpg S(006), S-180 3.5 CS using the focal plane shutter.
 

ErikKaffehr

Well-known member
One recent, and arguably irrelevant in many ways, data point.

i was on a beach a month ago in Chiba for a bbq with friends with my Z6iI and 85mm f1.8 S, amazing sunset,Mt Fuji emerges from the haze -> No tripod so ISO goes up to 1600, a bit of time in C1 pro later the image gets 450 likes on Flickr



two weeks ago I was walking in Hakone with my IQ4-150 and RRS travel tripod. There is a veeery nice section of the old Tokaido route with beautiful old cedar trees. I capture a lovely vertical with the 110mm BR at ISO50, ES, amazing sharpness and colors, printable in 40x60 inch size without any problem -> 30 likes on Flickr



It all really depends on how we measure our success doesn’t?

I am personally equally happy about both images for different reasons. And I loved capturing these 2 moments, these 2 atmospheres. I loved using these 2 cameras that both deliver delightful shooting experiences, again for different reasons.

I'll probably visit Hakone again soon with my new 8x10 because that's one place for which it is really perfect.
Personally, I feel that sunsets are boring, but old trees are beautiful...

The second image is really great!

Best regards
Erik
 

vieri

Well-known member
I have a different take on the question. Why go MF these days? Bear with me ...

Although retired from my rat-race Advertising creative career, I used it as a way to win free-lance photography assignments and photo related work like digital retouching. It helps pay for the crushing expense of gear as technology marches onward. :rolleyes:

My most recent expression of gear has been Sony mirrorless to replace DSLR systems. An A7R-IV plus a set of rarified lenses able to fully resolve that full-frame 61 meg state of the art sensor. My medium format kit is a Leica S(006) and six Leica lenses with Central Shutters (CS). It also operates with a focal plane shutter, making it more versatile than any 35mm.

When acting as a retoucher, I deal with very expensive commercial photography ... (which is a whole other conversation about infrastructure and organization unrelated to gear). I see end results from Phase One, Hasselblad H6D, and recently Fuji GFX100s ... all of them are super high meg, large sensor images used in a very broad array of applications. The clients are SUPER F'ing picky. All this stuff is for top national advertising and promotion.

(NOTE: Any comparison of smaller formats and larger ones is going to be antidotal and subjective ... BUT, mine is based on observations over a broad range of work by various other photographers over the past few years. Make what you will of it:

1) None of the work was shot with 35mm.

2) Every shot displayed an incredible sense of rendering the critical subtleties of color and dynamic range. I've not personally seen this level of color correct capture from any 35mm anything, including my own carefully planned commercial work with tech assistance, PAs and Profoto lighting using my Sony kit.

3) Some the retouching I have to do is of details so the image is product correct at time of publication ... it requires enormous enlargement to isolate these details and fix them ... the MFD files are pliable and clarity is not an issue.

In addition, I compared the A7R-IV multi-shot ability to MFD MS ... and my old Hasselblad 39 meg MS back kicked its ass in terms of color separation and simple fidelity. The MS on these 35mm cameras may increase something, but isn't worth the effort IMO.

Lastly, I still select the Leica S with its 37meg sensor and S optics over the 61 meg Sony for anything that really matters ... my eye subjectively sees the difference esthetically, and there is a look and feel I find lacking in most Sony images (except maybe a few shots using a Leica M lens on the Sony ;)).

Trust me, a more fixed income and having other priorities has put a damper on the unbridled gear acquisitions that was once my history ... it'd be great if I could consolidate everything to a Mirrorless kit ... HOWEVER, not going to happen because it'd be an uninspiring and routine experience. Content would be similar, but the execution would suffer IMO. In short, it'd suck the joy out of my commercial shoots, especially when working with lighting.

Not everything is critical commercial ... I also shoot candid stuff on location using the Leica S kit ... I did a beach shoot with the Sony but brought the S with a couple lenses for some shots ... like this handheld one of my pal taking a break from the activity: S(006), S-180 3.5 CS using the focal plane shutter.
Perfectly put, and based on a lifetime of experience with extremely high level equipment. Thanks for sharing!

Best regards,

Vieri
 

Paratom

Well-known member
The "problem" - in my case - is, that my medium format gear doesnt get as much use as it should. Why? Speed and flexibility of the SL(2)-system: Just yesterday we had a family "event", starting in the church, later shooting some candits, than a big family group shot, and the get together.
For the candits and group image I would have prefer the skin tones and rendering of my Leica S-system. In church and later the flexibility of the 24-90, the high ISO capability and OIS of the SL system, and face detection made the SL2(S) such a reliable tool to get the images. So yes, I could have also brough both systems, but I would have been in Sherpa mode.
This is just an example, but overall I feel as soon some flexibility is needed, or some motion, speed, action is involved the medium format systems dont give this feel of reliability (focus) and flexibility.
 

Bill Caulfeild-Browne

Well-known member
I agree Paratom. I keep a Sony mirrorless for just the sort of occasions you mention - and for bird-in-flight photography. But when I want a large print with the best possible image quality, out comes the MF gear. Today I went out to shoot an old ranch house (see the FUN thread) where I had lots of time to do the very best with it that I could. I only took three shots in over 15 minutes. While you cannot see the detail in the 1200 px JPG, on my screen at 100% I can see every crack and roughness in the wooden window frames. A Sony ar3 shot I took at the same time can't begin to match the micro detail.
Different tools for different needs.
 

vieri

Well-known member
...
Different tools for different needs.
That's exactly the point. I wouldn't use my Phase One XT for street / candid work, for that my Leica M10R is unrivalled. Equally, I wouldn't use my Leica M10R for landscape work on a tripod, for that my Phase One XT is unrivalled. If I did shoot sport, I would use neither. And so on...

Best regards,

Vieri
 

Shashin

Well-known member
I shoot what pleases me. I have used 4x5 for street and APS-C for studio. I have made large prints from every format from 35mm to 8x10 film and iPhone to MFD digital. If I like something, I will figure out how to use it. Of course, I have the luxury to simply shoot for myself. Ultimately, for me, photography is a creative process. The only criteria is the final image pleases me.

I learnt a very important lesson in Japan. In the west, we can be kind of hard--everything is compared against an apex (well, that isn't a Picasso! what? iPhone photography!!). In Japan, you go to an exhibition and you appreciate that the work is what this artist can do now. No comparison is needed. It does not have to align with your taste or interest, but simply to be enjoyed for what it is. That does not mean you lose a critical eye on your own work, but it frees you in better evaluating what is essential in the image.

In archery there is the expression that you cannot buy points (i.e. a better bow or arrow is not going to change your score): it is the shooter. Photography, while not a competitive sport, is the same.
 
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