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Can you really “see“ medium format?

  
 
RustyBug
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p.4 #1 · p.4 #1 · Can you really “see“ medium format?


theHUN wrote:
there is gear where the cost of trying out is minimal, so there is little harm if things do not work out.


Long term rental program.

The cost of educating yourself. Once you know ... you'll always have the value of that knowledge and experience in your hip pocket, no matter what gear you decide fits you best ... even, as those needs may ebb and flow over time. So, it does cost something in the $$$ realm, but it offers you something in return.

Might seem like a "chunk" to procure, and a "loss" on the resale / trade for some ... but, calculated over time, the daily cost can be very reasonable for the lifetime of information, insight and experience gained from it. In the "now you know" category ...


I get that many folks (self included) don't have the means to do whatever they want on a whim, so a certain degree of strategy may be involved. That, and yes "change" can be an expensive proposition that isn't undertaken lightly. But, if we allow ourselves to be restrained from from the experience of XYZ, then we'll never really know.

Someone told me once that everyone should experience driving a 12 cylinder vehicle at least once in their life. I'd say the same of shooting medium format ... you have to try it, to experience it. How I went from Bridge camera > ASP-C > m43 > FF > MF ... and associated brand / glass over time to where I'm currently at ... well, it kinda blows my mind how I managed to get to where I'm at with gear.


Somewhere I never thought I'd be, yet ... here I am ... albeit a long, slow journey.

FYI, I was shooting a little Fuji Bridge camera when I first joined FM, searching for camera / lens reviews to make my first DSLR purchase (D70s). Funny, how much things can change in 15 years.






Apr 14, 2024 at 10:58 AM
2613pch
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p.4 #2 · p.4 #2 · Can you really “see“ medium format?


Jman13 wrote:
Can you 'see' medium format? No. There is nothing inherently special about the format, especially given the types of lenses that are made for medium format. For instance, you can get the same 'look' as a medium format camera and fast lens using any full-frame camera with a fast lens, because full frame has significantly faster lenses available for it. This is especially true with the Pentax / Fujifilm medium format sensors, since they are only 1.25x the size of full frame - just a bit bigger, and nowhere near the size of medium format film, where even 645 (the
...Show more

YeP u can see the difference right away with medium format in portrait photography if you know what to look for its focus fall off and highlight fall off which will always blow the 35mm or apc sensor out of the water. Not to mention the room to crop in and still maintain that beautiful PoP. (not the Leica PoP medium format PoP)



Apr 17, 2024 at 01:03 PM
Jman13
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p.4 #3 · p.4 #3 · Can you really “see“ medium format?


2613pch wrote:
YeP u can see the difference right away with medium format in portrait photography if you know what to look for its focus fall off and highlight fall off which will always blow the 35mm or apc sensor out of the water. Not to mention the room to crop in and still maintain that beautiful PoP. (not the Leica PoP medium format PoP)


Sorry, but no. You can imperically test between formats. I have. If you equalize depth of field (which is rather easy to do since FF lenses have wider apertures on the whole), there is no difference as far as 'look' is concerned. I don’t see a difference shooting 6x6 medium format film, which is a massively bigger difference than the very minor size difference of medium format digital to FF. Also, your last point makes zero sense. If you're cropping a medium format image, you're effectively making that image shot with a full-frame or smaller sensor. How on earth could a cropped medium format image have more 'pop' than a full frame image based solely on the format? Some lenses, of course, have more pop than others, but that's down to individual lenses. And of course, the previously mentioned small image quality improvements do exist, but that has nothing to do with the 'look'.



Apr 18, 2024 at 08:13 AM
cbass
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p.4 #4 · p.4 #4 · Can you really “see“ medium format?


DOF "equivalents" aren't really equivalent either. The aberrations of a f/1.4 lens are generally much worse than a f/2 lens. Those affect the final image. It's like comparing a V6 engine to a V8. There are aspects you can compare, but they will never truly be apples to apples because the physics are different.


Apr 20, 2024 at 09:17 PM
 


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Jman13
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p.4 #5 · p.4 #5 · Can you really “see“ medium format?


cbass wrote:
DOF "equivalents" aren't really equivalent either. The aberrations of a f/1.4 lens are generally much worse than a f/2 lens. Those affect the final image. It's like comparing a V6 engine to a V8. There are aspects you can compare, but they will never truly be apples to apples because the physics are different.


That might have been a valid argument 10 years ago. Today, it is not unusual at all to have lenses with exceptional performance at f/1.4 and f/1.2. Also, the same challenges with creating a high quality f/1.4 lens wfor a full frame image circle exist when making an f/2 lens on a much larger medium format image circle.

And the physics aren’t different at all. Physics don’t change because you put a bigger sensor behind a lens.

There are definitely image quality improvements to be had with medium format with regards to dynamic range and tonal transition, and resolution depending on the sensor (and definitely when you are talking about film). But the “look” is frankly hogwash.



Apr 20, 2024 at 09:54 PM
cbass
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p.4 #6 · p.4 #6 · Can you really “see“ medium format?


Jman13 wrote:
That might have been a valid argument 10 years ago. Today, it is not unusual at all to have lenses with exceptional performance at f/1.4 and f/1.2. Also, the same challenges with creating a high quality f/1.4 lens wfor a full frame image circle exist when making an f/2 lens on a much larger medium format image circle.

And the physics aren’t different at all. Physics don’t change because you put a bigger sensor behind a lens.

There are definitely image quality improvements to be had with medium format with regards to dynamic range and tonal transition, and resolution depending
...Show more

Larger aperture lenses have made impressive gains in performance. However, they are still not as well corrected as their slower counterparts.

What do you think I mean by physics? Larger sensor size is part of that. If you have less resolution, then you have a bigger photo site. If the pixel size is the same as FF, then the resolution will be higher on the larger sensor. 60MP vs 100MP.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/tips-and-solutions/explaining-the-medium-format-look/bi/19115/kbid/10779



Apr 20, 2024 at 11:39 PM
MAubrey
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p.4 #7 · p.4 #7 · Can you really “see“ medium format?


cbass wrote:
DOF "equivalents" aren't really equivalent either. The aberrations of a f/1.4 lens are generally much worse than a f/2 lens. Those affect the final image. It's like comparing a V6 engine to a V8. There are aspects you can compare, but they will never truly be apples to apples because the physics are different.


I mean, sure. Maybe. You can certainly say stuff like that in the abstract, but that doesn't make it true in practice.

For 44x33 vs 24x36 sensors, 45mm and 35mm are equivalent focal lengths, but there is no 45mm f/2, much less the highly corrected f/1.8 that you'd need to compare to something like the highly corrected Sony 35mm f/1.4 GM or the f/1.5 that you'd need for the also highly corrected Sigma 35mm f/1.2 Art.

So we need to question whether anyone has built the V8 engines you're imagining. The Fujifilm 110mm f/2. Yeah, that's an awesome V8.

There's no 63mm f/1.5's that compete with the modern 50mm f/1.2's from Sony, Nikon, or Canon.
There's no 170mm f/2.3's that compete with the incredible 135mm f/1.8's Sony, Sigma, Canon, and Nikon.

What do you have. You have MF lenses equivalent to a 43mm f/1.34 (Fujifilm 55mm f/1.7) and 63mm f/1.34 (Fujifilm 80mm f/1.7). Then Hasselblad has one f/1.9 lens.

It's a boring comparison because the lenses you're arguing for just don't exist. And that's fine. People don't buy MF to compete with the fast 24x36 format lenses. These supposed better corrected slower, but equivalent lenses don't affect the final image at all because they're not real lenses.



Apr 21, 2024 at 11:14 AM
jeffersoncasey
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p.4 #8 · p.4 #8 · Can you really “see“ medium format?


I'm all for color richness and separations, at the same time having smooth tonal transitions. To my eyes some of the Leica M lenses on M bodies produce some of the best looking images.

I can see medium format superior highlight latitude, but for everyday natural light shooting, it's overkill and lacking some "pop" (think clarity slider). No doubt for product shooting especially with flash the medium format still takes the crown. Otherwise, the only scenario I can enjoy the medium format is to pixel peep.

For everyday casual shooter like me, where images end up viewing on my phone most of the time with occasional small prints, FF give the best performance balance (especially on portability!), where I found the best color science (for lack of better word) in the digital world. In fact, some of the older bodies has way more romantic output due to the technology limitations.

Do I see medium format? If I'm the shooter, then yes, otherwise no. It's like music production, having the high end rigs doesn't guarantee the best results, in fact, the better the rig, more meticulous work need to be done extract the potentials like recording booth sound treatment (equivalent to lightings) and the skill of the singer and musicians (equivalent to photographer), as well as mixing and mastering (equivalent to editing and printing).



Apr 21, 2024 at 08:48 PM
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