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Medium Format Photography

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Published on Apr 21, 2013

Medium format photography typically refers to images produced on 120 type film which is much wider than the standard 35mm film. 120 film has a constant width, however the aspect ratio can vary depending on the type of camera used. The most popular ratios are square format (6x6), 6x9, 6x7, 6x4.5 and you can also occasionally find wider ratios for panoramic usage on cameras such as the Noblex or the Russian Horizon.

The allure of medium format is its size. Being much larger than 35mm, you achieve a much higher image quality. Of course moving to large format you get even more resolution, but the cameras and methods become much more difficult and clumsy than using a medium format camera. So being in the middle its a nice tradeoff of decent resolution, portability and speed.

So in this episode we'll start by looking at a range of cameras for people interested in getting started with medium format. I've arranged a cross section starting with a $5 box camera and moving up to the more expensive Hasselblad. My point is that all of these cameras provide decent imaging at their respective price points. You don't have to spend a lot of money to shoot medium format. In fact, in many cases the cheaper cameras are more sought after for the more "artist" look that you can achieve with the distortions and imperfections that come with cheaper lenses. Its all about experimentation and finding what works best for you.

Cameras shown in this video:

Ansco B2 "Cadet"
Holga 120S - modified by Randy Smith at http://holgamods.com
Ciroflex Model D
Pentacon Six TL
Hasselblad 503CX (similar to the Hasselblad 500 and 501 CM)

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