Medium Format Look

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Chris Dodkin, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Lot's of discussion again, now the cheaper digital MFs are out, about whether MF really does have a look?

    Typically described as 3D pop, or spacial rendering, or dimensional rendering of images.

    What's everyone's take?
  2. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Well, they look expensive!

    Does that help?
    Chris Dodkin likes this.
  3. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Lots! :D
    Rob MacKillop likes this.
  4. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Beyond more expensive is better (and being a user of Leica cameras I clearly adhere to that! ;)), there is a apparent look to MF (and LF) I agree. I still think that Zeiss lenses create a certain look and I've always attributed the 'style' associated with the V-system Hasselblads to that. And it is different to the H system, with their Fuji lenses. However, maybe it is more to do with the fact that the lenses can be bigger, easier to design and maybe even be less affected by edge effects etc. The effective apertures can of course be smaller and so quite narrow DoF can be brought to play with less negative impact on the image and, with portraiture, the subject responds very differently when put in front of a MF and, especially, a LF camera; this is a serious business, not a snap.

    I was discussing new cameras with a photographer friend the other day as he knew I have been looking at the new generation of PhaseOne backs and wondered if I'd bought one yet - I haven't. And the reason I haven't is that I don't really need the extra resolution they bring and, for most of what I do with them, I do not need the greater dynamic range. We have a couple of P45 backs and so far 39MP has been enough. I still also use the P20 backs as well and the tonal rendition of those is still exceptional even though they are only 16MP. More pixels in the systems these are used on just doesn't add anything (or at least enough) for now. And, although the touch screens etc are all jolly nice, I mainly shoot onto these backs tethered and it is one more thing to fail. The extra pixels etc don't change the look of the image though I don't think, if they did I might be more tempted. Having said that, I do rather like the achromat backs that PhaseOne produce. Hmm...

    Staying with the higher resolution theme a bit longer (even though not associated necessarily with 'look'), for our technical imaging more resolution is usually useful if only to allow an increase in magnification while maximising DoF. However, that can only take you so far and then stacking ends up providing a better solution (and those files get big even at only 39MP per slice!).

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