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Thread: Large Format Displacing Your Old Medium Format?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Pasadena, CA

    Large Format Displacing Your Old Medium Format?

    Dear Abby,

    Alas I seem to only shoot 8x10, a little 4x5 and the rest digital capture with different cameras. Even the 4x5 cameras get more lonely by the day. Especially since type 55 is gone, even the 4x5 will see still less use. Sad day indeed. The joy of that first 4x5 negative was surpased only by the first 4x5 color transparency viewed with a fancy loupe. After using the 8x10, even the 4x5 seems like an overgrown, expensive to use medium format when it comes to color work.

    Poor old RZ. In perfect working order. Razor sharp optics. Poor old hardly used, like-new Contax 645. And the money they once cost! The sobs of loneliness all their kits and cases bring. And then the roll film backs for 4x5 cameras - even a much coveted 6x12 Horseman back at that! Dust to dust, what were once the fine and loved creations of Santa's elves sit idle. The stories they could tell of their glory! Today, nearly worthless, I cannot let them go, yet I know someday soon I will. I swear that the lens on the little Contax is better than any LF lens I've seen (I could be delusional on that point, but under a loupe it sure looks that way).

    Has the medium format, the middle, dropped out of your shooting? Ditching the 4x5? If you still have your MF gear, do you at times feel that it would be more satisfying to crush the stuff or literally shoot it with a 44 instead of selling it for a fraction of a cent on the dollar? Is their any help for the anguish of parting with the trusted old MF friends? Does anyone care about MF anymore?

    Signed - Forlorn in Photoland

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    nuevo mexico

    Re: Large Format Displacing Your Old Medium Format?

    I have not shot my Hasselblad in about 6 months, since diving head first into 4x5.

    But I miss the ease and the beautiful negs.

    I am planning a new project with my Hasselblad so hopefully
    that will get things going again.

  3. #3
    Big Negs Rock!
    Join Date
    Mar 2000

    Re: Large Format Displacing Your Old Medium Format?

    An easy way to cure your sadness is to use your cameras. I shoot with a 2 1/4x3 1/4 Crown Graphic my father bought in 1937. I have a 120 back for it and I love to take it out. The Tessar lens is wonderful. I also have a Bronica that was given me. I don't use it much, but I do shoot with it. Then there's the 2 wooden cameras my father built (5x7) that I enjoy. And finally the different configurations of the P1 Sinar. Fun stuff. Oh, btw I shoot street photography with a 1938 Leica. Fun times!
    Mark Woods

    Large Format B&W
    Cinematography Mentor at the American Film Institute
    Past President of the Pasadena Society of Artists
    Director of Photography
    Pasadena, CA

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Albuquerque, NM

    Re: Large Format Displacing Your Old Medium Format?

    I have a fairly extensive Bronica SQA outfit, 2 bodies, 5 lenses, 3 backs, etc. I had the main body serviced by Bronica over 4 years ago and have shot 1, yes 1, roll thru it since. When I get a chance to go out, the 4x5 goes out.

    Sold my extensive N90s outfit for a simpler D50 outfit. Use that for kids soccer and such.

    I love my Bronica but am seriously thinking of selling it. Maybe replacing it with a 3 lenses 6x7 outfit or even maybe a 645 outfit for when I go hiking. But yet, I went out and bought a F3 and a FM recently.

  5. #5
    Dave Karp
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Los Angeles, CA

    Re: Large Format Displacing Your Old Medium Format?

    My Mamiya 645 sees little use any more. When I can go out to make photos, it is with a LF camera.

  6. #6
    unexposed darr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Re: Large Format Displacing Your Old Medium Format?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed K. View Post
    ... Especially since type 55 is gone,
    Type 55 is not gone!

    I still shoot a Pentax 67II and a Hasselblad. I also shoot a 6x9 Arca FC on a 50cm rail for macro work, so medium format is not gone from my tool box yet. I actually love the 6x7 format. But when Type 55 dies, I probably will hang up my 4x5 then.

    A Photo A Day Project:
    My Other Website:

    LF Print Exchange Gallery

  7. #7
    3d Visual Effects artist
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Culver City, CA

    Re: Large Format Displacing Your Old Medium Format?

    I haven't used my RB67 in a good while now! I don't use Polaroids, so slimming choice on Polaroids doesn't really affect me. My 1Ds2 gets use, however.
    Daniel Buck - 3d VFX artist
    3d work:
    photography: -

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Ann Arbor, MI

    Re: Large Format Displacing Your Old Medium Format?

    The Canon 1DsII is the best camera I have ever owned! I love it more than the Mamiya 7II, which *used* to be my favorite camera.

    I have 3 4x5's that I use - a Toyo AII, a Cambo Wide, and a Fotoman. I just bought a Mamiya 645 this summer, but only 2 rolls of film through it, and I haven't even gotten the 1st developed yet!

    Digital displaced medium format for me in 2002. I just stopped using it!

    I am looking forward to the day when it replaces my 4x5. Too heavy, bulky, awkward (can't even see my composition on the GG with a 65mm and a center filter) too expensive, ($1,200 for 300 sheets of film in 3 months - the same as a years depreciation on the 1DsII.)

    I have been doing photography for 30 yeras. I am delighted with the new tools. Much less expensive than the old - I used to spend $5K a year on film for my Mamiya 7 at $1 a frame. And I am aesthetically much happier with digital, than with all that base noise and lousy darkroom prints with film.

    Sorry, don't mean to be offensive. But not crying here. I side with Kirk's "the best of times" 100%.

    Do you remember that John Prime song "Dear Abbey"? The chorus was: "You are what you are and you ain't what you ain't. So listen up buster stop knocking on wood ... ...." (and i forget the rest that goes here?) "Signed, Dear Abbey"

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Re: Large Format Displacing Your Old Medium Format?

    The freezer is full of 120 VP that han't been touched in over two years. The Rolleiflex lives in the drawer with my socks and hasn't seen daylight in I don't know how long, nor has the mf enlarger seen use. I still play with 127 though, but 8x10 rules the roost with 5x7 coming in a distant second. I just added a GVII to the fleet, but only to justify keeping my D-II enlarger with which I have an unhealthy, mechanically perverse relationship with (no, not really!)
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Winchester, MA

    Re: Large Format Displacing Your Old Medium Format?

    I still shoot with my beloved Rollei SL66 a lot; whenever a tripod is not practical. It is my "pocketable" hiking/walk around camera.

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