For some time now I have been torn between two loves.
35mm film for its speed, agility & compact size and Medium Format for its beautiful rendering of the scenes I want to capture.
Recently I took a stroll from Camden Lock to Oxford St via Tottenham Crt Rd and Soho and yesterday a photo walk whilst visiting the optician’s for an eye test and new glasses.
Out of the rolls of 35mm and 120 these two pictures for me sum up the difference in scene rendering and has finally nailed it for me. I am going all in of Medium Format.
These two pictures being <- Left taken using Kodak Tmax 100 on a Canon A1 100mm lens and Right -> using Ilford FP4+ on my Bronica GS-1 testing a new to me 6×4.5 back I purchased recently.
Hopefully you can see is the difference in “flatness” between the two.
I feel I can reach out and stroke the leaves on the Medium Format image its so realistic in depth, whilst the 35mm seems flat, 2d, static in its rendering.
Both have a good tonal range but it is the depth that MF delivers that for me is signaling where my path in photography should be heading.
I did question 35mm over MF in this post All in on Medium Format? but the last few days haves nailed it for me.
Well I am going to have to get used to loading my camera more often & carrying heavier gear about, but the results for me speak louder than any inconvenience this might cause.
I’m already in the process of planning trips away from London to capture the beauty of my country as I see it & if for some reason I get and urge to revisit the streets of London to capture any beauty it might still have, I have made myself a “portable” MF setup to capture for that.
My new setup rigs for MF photography.
My main rigs are as follows.
- Bronica GS-1 6×7 plus vertical 6×4.5 back
- Bronica ETRSi 645
- Yashica 124G
- Fuji GSW690iii 65mm 6×9
Each one can be used for capturing the landscapes and other scenes or objects of beauty I find on my new travel’s around Great Britain.
I will use the Bronicas mainly with the Fuji 6×9 if I find that stunning scene that deserves the space provided on such a big negative.
The Yashica 124G will now be primarily used for Urban shots.
It is compact enough, silent and easy to mange on the streets. The 6×6 size covers the modern style wonderfully.
Again the Fuji and maybe the ETRSi, in its minimal format, can be used if I want to revisit an Urban spot to capture it more in the formats both offer,
I do have the Canon R6 with various RF lens and EF ones via an adapter and for now this fits and copes with the commercial side of things for now.
When the price of MF Digital cameras comes within reach, I will add one that delivers the same difference in rendering of the object or scene I capture. I have not tested any yet so have yet to find one that will fit the bill.
I will have plenty of film MF images to compare the Digital MF images against when I am up for spending my hard earned cash.
Selling my 35mm gear!
I have sold most of my 35mm gear that I had sitting around and am in the process of selling most of the rest.
I say most as I will be keeping my two Canon A1’s and two AL-1’s, my fave street photography bodies, for both sentimental reasons and just incase they might be needed for something. A roll will be put through each regularly to keep them functioning on all four cylinders.
Medium Format, I’m All In baby!!!
I’m slowly finding my path and voice in photography, making mistakes along the way and learning as I go.
MF for me fits that “look” I want in my pictures and I now a more focused, sorry, vision for my photography forming.
Still a lot to learn & enjoying the moments.
May I take this time to introduce you to my new website, setup to specifically offer prints of some of my work if you would like to support me in my journey.
davesprints.com is the new site where I offer what I consider my best Film and Digital works which I print here at home and ship globally.
I wish you well