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Saturday, 20 September 2014


Could it be the extra zero in the price that the graduation to medium format entails. it certainly is stopping me

Point taken. But ... the money step from APS-C to Full Frame is incremental. From Full Frame to Medium Format is monumental.

When I win the lottery, I will be stopping in Copenhagen to pick up a Phase One body, a set of backs (black & white and color) and a variety of lenses on my way to Stuttgart for my Cayenne Turbo.

M 4/3 . . . same great taste less filling . . . .

Medium Format to Full Frame would be the Macdonald's equivilant of Super Size Me.

But it takes us to another level of complication:
if you want to go larger than "full" you have one of two alternatives; go and pay a helluva lot of money on a digital MF system or get a second-(now-not-shinny-old-tech)-hand MF back and accesories. as we all know any 6 month old electronic device is (perceived as) not the best of the best available.

I've always wondered why FULL frame is smaller than MEDIUM format. Shouldn't anything less than full - medium - be smaller.

This is what happens when you mix digital and analog terms.

Just as well digital MF is so expensive. Its price is the last barricade protecting art from the dogs.

@john krill who writes "I've always wondered why FULL frame is smaller than MEDIUM format"
It is a back-formation. In my youth 35mm was called "Miniature" and Half of that was "Half-Frame" which happens to be more or less the same as APS-C. So in the course of time double APS-C became "Full-Frame" to those who did not appreciate the the history.

This is a the kind of filter bubble statement. Because you don't know folks shooting medium formats you assume there aren't any. But there are. People who took the next logical step. I could name several awesome photographers who are shooting medium format only. Plus one not so awesome, me. And several who took the NEXT logical step and moved to large format.

In 1998, Sinar was practically giving away 8x10 P2 view cameras for about $6,500. I consider this to be the best view camera ever made. 50,000 for a medium format back and another ten grand for a camera with lens? My kids went to college, instead.

Did the term full-frame come about as a result of the half-frame cameras from decades ago? Kind of like someone becoming a Sr. after they name their son Jr.

Maybe it's a self-deprecating thing where 'medium format' is not 'full' of itself. Just middling. Not 'large' nor 'tiny'.

My m4/3 camera is full frame, at least when the lens I'm using does not vignette.

To me, the term "full frame" refers to any 2:3-aspect-ratio camera that makes "full" use of the image circle that is created by more than a hundred million existing lenses. Period.

I'm not a "full-frame only" snob. I own multiple smaller-sensor mirrorless cameras (including three m4/3 bodies and numerous lenses for them that are extremely impressive). But for the foreseeable future I will be highly interested, and invested, in how much camera makers can wring out of that ubiquitous ~43mm-diameter circle of light that is cast by those millions of "full-frame" lenses.

35mm or full frame used to be called miniature format in the old film only days. For a entry MF digital, The Pentax 645D should be considered. New it was priced around $9000 and there are a lot of people right now dropping their used ones for the new 645Z. Both are compatible with the older 645 & 645n(ii) lenses which can add a unique character to your images in this age of digital vanilla ice cream.

״Who is rich? He that is contented with his lot; ״
Saying of the Jewish fathers, IV, 3

Format schmormat, what's on the print?

Me? I use an APS-C Fuji, a "FULL FRAME" Nikon (and proud of it :-), and just enjoy what I do. Sure, I'd love a Phase 280 but even if I could afford it, my back, the human type, not the digital type, could not handle it. I gave up 4x5 and medium format when I gave up film.

To Marcin Wuu - I'm not in a bubble, at least as regards formats. I know people who use MF, and in the film days I used everything from 110 to 4x5 (never graduated to even larger sheet film). But I'm part of a large, mostly online community of photo nerds who sneer at APS-C, and even more so at Micro 4/3, because they can't get (or think they can't get) quite the same image quality (always abbreviated IQ) from a smaller sensor. They completely ignore the fact that there are even larger sensors, with even better properties, at least for some uses. I've seen one such person comment on another's perfectly fine vacation shots that if they were his, they'd make him "sad" because they didn't show quite the "IQ" that he considers essential. It's all nonsense. Some images need excruciating detail or whatever, others don't. Very few images will ever match the power of Robert Capa's grainy, blurred photo of a soldier charging through the surf on D-Day. There are other photos that would absolutely fall apart as images if they matched the grain, blur, etc. You pick your tools for the job at hand, and in particular, sensor sizes form a spectrum from very small to very large. Good photos can be made with any of them, and stopping, as so many enthusiasts do, at "full frame" as though it were the pinnacle of excellence is simply silly.

I call it 'old frame'. To some people that is just as seductive, though.

Me, I jumped from 1.6 crop sensor to 6x7 film. Just call me Retro-Edie.

A long time ago I did a lot of business (4x5 E-6) with a commercial film lab in town. I shot 1 or 2 rolls a year of 35mm slides when on vacation. Once when I picked up 35mm slides the counter lady called it "micro-film." That commercial pro lab processed a few hundred sheets of 8x10 E-6 per day, and they made literally wall sized prints. I still think of 24mmx36mm as a tiny format. I really like my APSC and 1" sensor cameras today. They have their rightful place, along with my large format cameras.

Everyone knows that Medium Format is only a stepping stone to Large Format. Medium is so... middle of the road.

All I want is to take "full-frame" pictures with my 12MP APS-C camera. If I'm careful with my composition and mind the electronic bubble level, I can do that since I don't have to crop.

Unfortunately, there are no tilt-shift lenses for my camera and I'm constrained to crop when correcting drunken verticals in post. (For display on a monitor, I have no qualms about cropping.)

Composited pictures taken with a cropped sensor camera can match or exceed the file size of pictures taken with full frame or even medium format digital. Provided one has a sturdy tripod and is handy with stitching software. And ideal shooting conditions (a steady subject, unchanging light, and short exposures).

Even single frame pictures taken with a cropped-sensor camera ought to match the image quality (resolution) of those taken with full-frame or maybe M-F digital cameras, if printed no larger than 8 X 10" (the size of a large-format contact print.)

That said, I still want to upgrade to full frame digital but I can wait.

Everybody knows that full-plate is 6½" x 8½" right?
And that when Oskar Barnack invented the Leica, he called it a double frame camera since a single frame was what we now call a half frame.

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