View Full Version : 6x9cm vs 4x5in

Ellis Vener
16-Dec-1998, 13:40
I alternate between shooting 6x9 roll film and 4x5 on my LF cameras. Given that the tripod is in a fixed position (perspective doesn't change) and th at I switch lenses to closely match the same composition from format to format ( i.e. a 90mm for the 4x5 and switch to a 65mm for the 6x9) I still like the feel of the image on the larger format. Is this caused by the difference in "compression" from using a longer lens on 4 x5? Or is it an illusion?

Has anyone else experienced this?


Stewart Ethier
16-Dec-1998, 14:32
I don't think "compression" is the answer. The compression one sees when using a 300mm lens on a 35mm camera is nonexistent when using a 300mm lens on 8 x 10. In other words, I believe the compression effect is a function of angle of view, not focal length. Could the effect you're seeing be due merely to aspect ratio, namely 1.25 for 4 x 5 vs. 1.5 for 6 x 9? Do you still see the effect when comparing 4 x 5 and 6 x 7, assuming angle of view is comparable?

Ron Shaw
16-Dec-1998, 15:25
I is an illusion, if the field of view is the same. Its like Stewart says, that its a function of the angle of view. If you take a wide angle shot, then crop it down to a small section in the center, perspective is the same as a telephoto shot in the same angle of view as the cropped portion. I think the reason you always like it better, is because of increased resolution, and everything else that makes a larger negative better.

Lawrence Watson
16-Dec-1998, 19:25
Which are you evaluating, the neg, or a print? If you're evaluating the neg, don't you feel that a larger image always feels less compressed. If you are looking at a print, that was the same size enlargement from each format, then I would imagine that one would see very little difference.

Ellis Vener
17-Dec-1998, 11:48
Thank you for the responses do far. i should add that both my 65mm and my 90mm l enses are Rodenstock Grandagons and that whilethe 65mm is newer, the coatings ap pear to be the same and the color rendition on the film is the same. I shoot 95% transparency (Velvia and Provia, occassionally some E100s or E100sw.) I think w hat i am trying to define is something I have named "presence" which is probably a combination of resolution of detail, rendering of micro-contrasts, and sharpn ess. May be it is something I see (even in prints) because i make the images. I really should do a blind side to side a/b comparison of a reasonable print size (say 11x14) and have others look at the two prints and pass judgement.

Mike Long
21-Dec-1998, 00:32
I think I know exactly what you're talking about. When I look at a medium format image, I simply feel like I'm viewing a transparency. When I'm evaluating a 4x5 chrome, I feel as though I'm in the mi ddle of the location. I'm sure size has something to do with this but I also have a sense the image is all around me wit h 4x5. "Presence" is a good word for it.