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Medium Format 6x6 vs MM

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Anyone here went from Medium Format to MM and back to MF? thank you.

 

Yes, me. I sold my Monochrom last week to return to creating B&W images with my Hasselblad and Rolleiflex cameras.

 

Gary

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If you "is absolutely no care" about what you write here, you'll forgive us if we is also absolutely no care and put you on our ignore lists. I'm surprised the moderators haven't banished you long ago.

 

I quite like his posts, a breath of fresh air from the constant Pollyana-like internet love fest with the buckets of blind praise circles of the Mutual Admiration Society.

 

Go Ned!

Edited by KM-25

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A person cannot be banned because he is just silly, our ignore list is our friend.

 

But a person can be banned because he is insulting other people for different views...

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This may be off topic but I would not decide for the one or the other on the basis of resolution. The MM has its unique characteristics, just like the Mamiya 6 or 7 has, just like a Hasselblad can be recognized from a Rolleiflex TLR. There are really more important aspects that influence the final image, like for instance depth of field, which is of a completely different character in 6*6 than in 35mm.

If in the end you print your analogue photo digitally, the ADD process, you'll loose a lot of the analogue style too, e.g. in an original baryta wet print.

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I quite like his posts, a breath of fresh air from the constant Pollyana-like internet love fest with the buckets of blind praise circles of the Mutual Admiration Society.

 

Go Ned!

Aye, and he takes some good photos.

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There is one camera system which can handle both medium format film and high resolution digital backs. The latest ownership of Rollei (DHW) has an SLR called the Hy6 which used Zeiss and Schneider lenses with 120 film backs and medium format digital backs from Leaf.

 

I hope that someone with real money can buy into this small company to provide some financial stability and support growth in medium format hybrid camera systems. The systems cost a fortune as they are bench assembled, but having the flexibility to use film when it makes artistic sense and digital when business dictates will only help drive quality photography without aligning photographers into opposing camps.

 

Medium format B and W negatives have a natural gradation which makes silver prints shine, but money still needs to be made with digital images as well.

 

Bill Geissler

Maplewood NJ

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Thank you, sir.

 

For you, a print I've just finished. 10"x24" GB, selenium toned. Xpan+ TRI-X

 

(Iphone shot)

 

I think I'll go get the X-Pan II out again.

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There is one camera system which can handle both medium format film and high resolution digital backs. The latest ownership of Rollei (DHW) has an SLR called the Hy6 which used Zeiss and Schneider lenses with 120 film backs and medium format digital backs from Leaf.

 

I thought you could do this with the older film Hasselblads at a much lower cost.

 

On another note, there is an interesting post on his blog from Ming Thein today about the differences between MF and 35mm. Two of the diffrences are tonal transitions and depth of field transitions, and I'm not sure whether it is possible to compensate for either of these in post. Perhaps this is why anything I produce on My Rolleiflex just has a different look to anything I can achieve in post on any of my 35mm digital images. If this is correct, then no matter how finely the MM resolves, it won't be able to replace the look of the same scene taken on MF Film or MF digital.

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On another note, there is an interesting post on his blog from Ming Thein today about the differences between MF and 35mm. Two of the diffrences are tonal transitions and depth of field transitions,

 

Before I retired we had good scanners and I experienced a revelation when scanning B&W MF (6x10cm). The wet prints had beautiful tonal transitions. When the negatives were scanned the tonal quality vanished, and sharpness increased. The reason, I think, is that regardless of using the best enlarger and lens, there is an inevitable loss of resolution with the benefit of gentle tonal transitions.

 

and I'm not sure whether it is possible to compensate for either of these in post.[...]
I did not succeed in making as fine a print from the digital scans.

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The Hasselblad v system has both film and digital backs.

 

Quite remarkable, isn't it? I am waiting for a larger sensor which is unlikely to appear in my lifetime.

.

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I printed my butt off in the darkroom for 15 years and now shoot mostly digitally. I still own two Mamiya 7 II bodies, a full set of lenses and have exhibited darkroom prints from these cameras, as well as large prints made from Mamiya 7 drum scanned negs. These 6x7 negs have appreciably better performance at large print sizes than the 6x6 cropped to 645, for example. Here is me next to a 40" 'giclee' print from a drum scanned Delta 100 neg from the Mamiya at en exhibition in London:

 

 

IMHO the Monochrom produces a little less detail than a perfect Delta 100 Mamiya 7 neg, but the Monochrom allows you to produce better resolution under many circumstances. This is due to the base ISO of 320, virtually zero degradation at ISO 640 and lenses that perform similarly to Mamiya 7 lenses, but at wider apertures (giving yet more speed). If you compare traditional ISO 400 films (such as TriX) on 6x7, the Monochrom is far superior at the same speed. Bottom line: The Monchrom is only going to be bettered by a Mamiya 6 with slow films on a tripod under perfect conditions. You are also going to have to take a lot of care in your darkroom printing, align everything perfectly and have a great enlarger lens. Any flaw in this chain is going to see the final print from the negative take a dive from its ideal potential. The Monochrom, however, punches out perfect files with ridiculous ease, because you have great ISO performance and lenses that can deliver at wide apertures. I can produce files at f4-5.6 and ISO 640 on the MM that would require high res ISO 100 or slower film, f8-f11 and a tripod on the Mamiya to match or beat. And no wind. And somewhere to put that tripod, that I had to carry etc etc. For pure landscape use, with tripods etc, the Mamiya 7 will have a clear edge. For everything else, where higher ISO or hand held work is involved, the MM will be very, very difficult to beat in terms of accessible resolution.

 

Yes, the Monochrom's files can often be made to look like film if this is your desire, but sometimes it is very, very difficult (sometimes easy). You will need to introduce a curve and mess with grain a little, even if only to add a barely perceptible disruption to the perfect smoothness of digital files at low ISO. DxO film pack, Silver Efex are good programs for this, but LR is not bad either, but you need to learn what to do.

 

Personally, I do not like linear digital files and end up producing files that look more like film. This is not because I am mimicking film, but producing what I like, which film often happens to do right off the bat.

 

No, messing with digital files is not a lot more trouble than just shooting a neg if you know your PP. I have produced both for years and overall, IMHO, the digital workflow is not only quicker, but dramatically quicker if you need to produce subsequent prints. For film you have to include the time for loading spirals, development, washing, drying, then the print, the wash, the drying, flattening, spotting. It aint quick especially if you do not treat it like a production line and work in bulk.

 

I still LOVE film, but am under no illusions as to how far digital has come and the post processing options now possible.

 

The one area where film is still head and shoulders above digital is, ironically, lower resolution work, because shedding resolution from digital files is sometimes challenging.

Edited by batmobile

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The one area where film is still head and shoulders above digital is, ironically, lower resolution work, because shedding resolution from digital files is sometimes challenging.

 

You do write some interesting stuff (your blog is one of the more thoughtful out there and always worth a read IMO) and this is another point that I think I probably agree with.

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I printed my butt off in the darkroom for 15 years and now shoot mostly digitally. I still own two Mamiya 7 II bodies, a full set of lenses and have exhibited darkroom prints from these cameras, as well as large prints made from Mamiya 7 drum scanned negs. These 6x7 negs have appreciably better performance at large print sizes than the 6x6 cropped to 645, for example. Here is me next to a 40" 'giclee' print from a drum scanned Delta 100 neg from the Mamiya at en exhibition in London:

 

 

IMHO the Monochrom produces a little less detail than a perfect Delta 100 Mamiya 7 neg, but the Monochrom allows you to produce better resolution under many circumstances. This is due to the base ISO of 320, virtually zero degradation at ISO 640 and lenses that perform similarly to Mamiya 7 lenses, but at wider apertures (giving yet more speed). If you compare traditional ISO 400 films (such as TriX) on 6x7, the Monochrom is far superior at the same speed. Bottom line: The Monchrom is only going to be bettered by a Mamiya 6 with slow films on a tripod under perfect conditions. You are also going to have to take a lot of care in your darkroom printing, align everything perfectly and have a great enlarger lens. Any flaw in this chain is going to see the final print from the negative take a dive from its ideal potential. The Monochrom, however, punches out perfect files with ridiculous ease, because you have great ISO performance and lenses that can deliver at wide apertures. I can produce files at f4-5.6 and ISO 640 on the MM that would require high res ISO 100 or slower film, f8-f11 and a tripod on the Mamiya to match or beat. And no wind. And somewhere to put that tripod, that I had to carry etc etc. For pure landscape use, with tripods etc, the Mamiya 7 will have a clear edge. For everything else, where higher ISO or hand held work is involved, the MM will be very, very difficult to beat in terms of accessible resolution.

 

Yes, the Monochrom's files can often be made to look like film if this is your desire, but sometimes it is very, very difficult (sometimes easy). You will need to introduce a curve and mess with grain a little, even if only to add a barely perceptible disruption to the perfect smoothness of digital files at low ISO. DxO film pack, Silver Efex are good programs for this, but LR is not bad either, but you need to learn what to do.

 

Personally, I do not like linear digital files and end up producing files that look more like film. This is not because I am mimicking film, but producing what I like, which film often happens to do right off the bat.

 

No, messing with digital files is not a lot more trouble than just shooting a neg if you know your PP. I have produced both for years and overall, IMHO, the digital workflow is not only quicker, but dramatically quicker if you need to produce subsequent prints. For film you have to include the time for loading spirals, development, washing, drying, then the print, the wash, the drying, flattening, spotting. It aint quick especially if you do not treat it like a production line and work in bulk.

 

I still LOVE film, but am under no illusions as to how far digital has come and the post processing options now possible.

 

The one area where film is still head and shoulders above digital is, ironically, lower resolution work, because shedding resolution from digital files is sometimes challenging.

 

This was perhaps the best summary of digital vs film that I have ever read, especially given I think you eloquently hit things I've found from my own experience - I was also a massive fan of the Mamiya 7 (Delta 100, and then later Acros given it's even finer grain and reciprocity benefits. All drum scanned, or else printed analogue by places like Metro or by the masterful Robin Bell). I've now gone Leica digital, the M240 and Silver Efex, but also tested with great interest the Monochrom (and APO 50mm). For a 40"+ wide landscape, I agree, the Mamiya 7 likely often has the edge, but only on a tripod and slow film - in hindsight, I think I often used the Mamiya 7 too "casually", given a tripod and precise focusing etc can make a large difference for its 80mm standard lens and short depth of field. The Mononchrom, for 90 per cent of things, can have 6x7 beaten with a higher degree of precision and ease. Quite remarkable really for such a small gadget vs 120 format. Similarly, I think the Monochrom needs to be detuned a bit with regards to its biting sharpness (I refer here to acuity, not resolution) to get it looking more like film.

 

Do I still yearn for the organic / more natural look from the Mamiya 7 vs Leica digital ..... Yes. Undoubtedly, especially for very large prints. But otherwise, the convenience of ease (and accuracy) of getting the shot often makes me lean more to a digital Leica. I'd guess that second view in favour of the digital M will strengthen as megapixels increase to allow an even more "unstretched" look for larger prints.

Edited by Jon Warwick

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