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Wednesday, 01 December 2021


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Many years ago I took a nature/landscape workshop taught by the wonderful naturalist and photographer Rod Planck. He extolled the virtues of the traditional 35 mm frame, arguing that it provided a nice 'almost panoramic' format. He felt (as I remember it, any errors are mine) that it allowed a greater sense of space than squarer formats.
I took that to heart, and I still favor the format for landscapes. But I do find that frequently my tendency to compose very tightly within the constraints of the current 'full format' digital SLR's leaves me struggling when I want to create a painting from my photos; something tends to get amputated due to my tight compositions.

My favorite format is 1:1. I wish a digital 24mm x 24mm or a 36mm x 36mm ILC (under $2.5K) existed.

Your post and the comments are interesting. Aren't most comments concerned with aspect ratio? 4.5x6cm, 6x7cm, 4x5 inch and 8x10 inch are all 1.25 - 1.29 (length divided by height). APS-C, 35mm full frame, 2.25x3.25 inch, 6.5x9cm and 5x7 inch are all around 1.5. Micro 4/3'rds and the 3.7x4.9cm medium format is in between with a 1.32 ratio.

Another consideration is the relative depth-of-field at a given aperture using the different formats.

The 5x7 proportions are practically the same as the DIN 1:√2 height-width ratio that I called my favorite in my previous comment. DIN is 1:1.41 and 5:7 is 1:1.4.
The beauty of 1:√2 is that when you fold it you get two smaller formats with also a 1:√2 ratio. Full frame could for example become 24:34mm, half frame 17:24mm, quarter frame 12:17mm and so on. That's very close to what we have now and in most cases we don't need new lenses for it. Suitable paper sizes and printers do already exist.

Dozens of years of Hasselblad 6x6cm film photography still has me liking the square and I'm amazed how many images I end up cropping to exactly square or very close to it, especially from my Full Frame Panasonic S1R, which has pixels to burn. To that I have added the Fuji FGX100S medium format camera with 4:3 and I love that ratio. Curiously, I often take wide angle shots and crop them to 16:9, which is my favorite panorama format. When using the Fuji XT-4, the smaller number of pixels has me more carefully composing to use all or most all of the 3:2 frame, but clearly over time I've come to prefer "squarer" rectangles!

It depends. My nikon 14-24 on Hasselblad 907x require crop if it is not 24. I found out I like x-pan crop very much. And you can quite wide on it.

When I shoot MF I tend to print 1:1 because that was the way I saw the subject in the viewfinder. When I shoot 35mm I print 3:2 for landscape orientation and 4x5 for portrait orientation.

I second Bob Rosinsky's wish for square sensors and would also add I want one that is native monochrome.


My big 6x7 medium format output was nearly square so it was easy to crop slightly to a square if the scene called for it. Back in the 60s I shot with a 4x4 TLR and appreciated the option of tailoring output to a rectangle. As for the 67, more recently, if I lined up a shot and knew there was too much sky or foreground, or excess along a side, there was plenty of leeway to crop and still have far more image area than a regular 24x36 frame. I always like larger formats because I frequently print very large, and having either MF or stitching from a full frame digital lets me do that, even with cropping.

i have a 4x5 Toyo view camera. Bob Hankins bought it while he was a student at The Art Center (Third St campus). Then it was used by Glenn Swanson (also an Art Center student). Swanson gave the Toyo to me about 20 years ago. Vertical 4x5 looks good to me.

Kodak TXP is too expensive for a pensioner. https://www.freestylephoto.biz/1791367-Kodak-Tri-X-Pro-320-ISO-4x5-50-Sheets-TXP

Someone commented in the previous post about the amount of M4/3 equipment I carry in my little backpack. The bodies and larger lenses have their own compartments. The smaller lenses are in pouches in one compartment. It all fits, but is is tight! Although I can work out of it in the field when I need to, I rarely do. I usually leave it in the car, carry my G9 on a black rapid or other strap and put a few lenses and the GX-8 in a small shoulder bag.

I am still amazed at how much can be carried with this format and at the quality it offers.

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