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Encyclopedia > Medium format (film)
A size comparison of medium format film, left, and regular 35 mm film. Note how medium format film lacks the sprocket holes of 35 mm film.
A size comparison of medium format film, left, and regular 35 mm film. Note how medium format film lacks the sprocket holes of 35 mm film.

Medium format has traditionally referred to a film format in still photography. Generally, the term applies to any film size in-between 35 mm and large format (4"×5" or more) sheet film and to the type of camera that uses the format. Due to the higher image resolution offered by the larger film size, the majority of medium-format users are professional photographers who often require fine image detail, but the format is also favoured by many amateur enthusiasts. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1260x992, 703 KB) Summary A scan comparing the size of medium format film to 35mm film Created on October 27, 2005, by myself, Clngre. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1260x992, 703 KB) Summary A scan comparing the size of medium format film to 35mm film Created on October 27, 2005, by myself, Clngre. ... 135 Film Size, Kodak Tri-X 400 speed 135 (ISO 1007) is a film format for still photography. ... // Movie film formats Amateur formats: 8 mm Single-8 Super 8 mm Polavision 9,5 mm film 17. ... Cameron Frost is a good photographer! Photography is the process of making pictures by means of capturing light on a film. ... 135 Film Size, Kodak Tri-X 400 speed 135 (ISO 1007) is a film format for still photography. ... Large format describes photographic films, view cameras (including pinhole cameras) and processes that use a film or digital sensor the size of 4 x 5 inches or larger. ... Sheet film is large format photographic film supplied on individual sheets of acetate or polyester film base rather than rolls. ...


In digital photography, medium format refers to the use of cameras adapted from medium format film gear, fitted with digital backs incorporating sensors larger than 24 by 36mm (the typical frame size used on 35mm film). As of 2006, medium format digital photography peaks at sensors of 36 by 48 mm, with 39 million pixels. These new high resolution sensors bring the feedback and greater shooting speed of digital to the medium format world.

Contents

Characteristics

The main draw to medium format is that, because of its increased film size (two to four times bigger than 35 mm), it offers much higher image resolution. This allows for relatively big enlargements and smooth gradation without the grain or blur that would characterize similarly enlarged images produced from smaller film formats. While large-format film used in view cameras offer greater film size and higher resolution still, they generally lack the versatility and convenience of a medium-format camera due of their bulky size and relatively awkward processes. The view camera is a type of camera with a very long history (some modern examples are often mistaken for antiques), but they are still used today by professional and amateur photographers who want full control of their images. ...


Medium-format film can also be shot in a variety of aspect ratios, which differ depending on the camera or frame insert used. The most common aspect ratios are 6×6 cm (square) and 6×4.5 cm (rectangular). Other frequently used aspect ratios are 6×7 cm, 6×9 cm, and 6×17 cm panoramic. The 6×4.5 cm format is usually referred to as "645", with many cameras that use this ratio bearing "645" in their product name. Cameras that can switch to different aspect ratios do so by either switching camera backs, by using a frame insert, or by use of special multi-format backs. All of these dimensions are nominal; actual dimensions are a bit different. For example, 6×7 cm might give an image on film that is actually 56×70 mm; this enlarges exactly to fill an 8×10 sheet of paper. Another feature of many medium format models is the ability to use Polaroid instant film in an interchangeable back. Studio, commercial and architectural photographers value this system for its ability to verify the focus and exposure. Another pro is that, like large-format cameras, many medium-format cameras have various interchangeable parts. Like most 35-mm SLRs, medium-format cameras usually support different lenses as well, but in addition it is also standard for medium-format cameras to support different winding mechanisms, viewfinders, and camera backs. The aspect ratio of an image is its displayed width divided by its height (usually expressed as x:y). For instance, the aspect ratio of a traditional television screen is 4:3, or 1. ... This article is about the artistic term Panorama. ... The Polaroid Corporation was founded in 1937 by Edwin H. Land. ... The single-lens reflex (SLR) is a type of camera that uses a movable mirror placed between the lens and the film to project the image seen through the lens to a matte focusing screen. ... Photographic lens One of Canons most popular wide angle lenses - 17-40 f/4 L The zoom lens of the Canon Elph A photographic lens (or more correctly, objective) is an optical lens or assembly of lenses used in conjunction with a camera body and mechanism to make images... In photography a viewfinder is what the photographer looks through to compose, and in many cases to focus, the picture. ...


Compared to 35 mm, the main drawbacks are accessibility and price. While 35-mm cameras, film, and photo finishing services are generally widely available and cheap, medium format is usually limited to professional photography shops and can be prohibitively expensive for some. Medium-format film also supports fewer exposures per roll, usually around 12 to 16, and are generally more difficult to load and handle than their 35-mm counterparts. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with photographic developer. ...


Medium format photography today

All medium-format cameras manufactured today use the 120 film format. Many also can use the 220 film format, which is twice as long and hence allows twice the number of exposures. 120 and 220 film is still almost as available as 35mm from specialist shops. 120 is a film format for still photography introduced by Kodak for their Brownie No. ...


Digital photography has come to the medium format world with the development of digital camera backs, which can be fitted to many medium-format cameras. Digital backs are a type of camera back that have electronic sensors in them, effectively converting a camera into a digital camera. These backs are usually very expensive and are used predominantly by professional photographers. Like with film, due to its increased size they deliver more pixels and have lower noise. Features like fan cooling also improve the image quality of studio models. In early 2006 Hasselblad (H2D and H3D) and Phase One (P45) released a 39 megapixel back, the highest resolution single-shot digital backs to date. 10 MP Nikon D200 and a Nikon film scanner The Canon EOS 350D The Canon PowerShot A95 Digital photography, as opposed to film photography, uses electronic devices to record the image as binary data. ... The Digital camera back is a type of high-end digital photography equipment. ... A specially developed CCD used for ultraviolet imaging in a wire bonded package. ... A SiPix digital camera next to a matchbox to show scale A Hasselblad 503CW with a digital camera back A digital camera is an electronic device used to capture and store photographs electronically instead of using photographic film like conventional cameras. ... This example shows an image with a portion greatly enlarged, in which the individual pixels are rendered as little squares and can easily be seen. ...


"Lomography" and other low-budget medium format cameras

While most professional medium format cameras are very expensive, some inexpensive plastic imports, such as the Chinese Diana and Holga, are gaining in popularity, particularly with toy camera enthusiasts. Many of these cameras are sold though the Austrian Lomographische AG. Due to the poor quality of the cameras, the exact image captured on the negative is somewhat random in nature. These cameras often have plastic lenses that offer poor or uneven focus, light leaks that oddly colorize an image, extreme vignetting, and a multitude of other "flaws" that are generally undesirable to photographers. While these elements certainly are "flaws" in camera design, they can produce interesting, artistic, or enjoyable results. Because of the popularity of lomography and toy camera culture, medium-format photography has seen a resurgence with amateur photographers. Lomography detractors point out that twin-lens reflex cameras (TLRs) and folders without the distortion and light leaks can be had on the used market in the same price range. Diana camera branded Conforama. ... The Holga 120 GCFN The Holga is a very inexpensive, medium format box camera appreciated for its low-fidelity aesthetic. ... Chinas Holga camera takes medium-format photographs on 120 film. ... A 1988 LOMO LC-A camera Lomography Fisheye Camera photo of Wakayama Castle Lomography is a commercial trademark of Lomographische AG, Austria for products and services related to photography. ... An example of vignetting in a photograph. ... A 1988 LOMO LC-A camera Lomography Fisheye Camera photo of Wakayama Castle Lomography is a commercial trademark of Lomographische AG, Austria for products and services related to photography. ... The front of a Kinaflex twin-lens reflex camera Sketch of an early 20th century twin-lens reflex camera 1957 Kodak Duaflex IV, an inexpensive fixed-focus TLR A twin-lens reflex camera (TLR) is a type of camera with two objective lenses of the same focal length. ...


The Chinese Seagull TLR and medium-format cameras from the former Soviet Union such as the Russian Lubitel and somewhat better made Ukrainian Kiev-Arsenal 60 and 88 are also available at moderate prices. These cameras can deliver quality images, although the lenses and camera bodies are not at the level of those from Swedish, German and Japanese manufacturers. The front of a Kinaflex twin-lens reflex camera Sketch of an early 20th century twin-lens reflex camera 1957 Kodak Duaflex IV, an inexpensive fixed-focus TLR A twin-lens reflex camera (TLR) is a type of camera with two objective lenses of the same focal length. ... Lubitel refers to any of the several medium format twin-lens reflex cameras manufactured by LOMO. The design is based on the early 1930s Voïgtlander Brilliant camera with various improvements. ... Kiev-Arsenal is a Soviet brand of camera (sometimes branded simply Kiev) manufactured by the Arsenal Factory in Kiev, Ukraine. ...


Used folding cameras, TLRs, and box cameras are also a cheap option to shoot medium format. Sadly many U.S.-made folders, including most of the mass produced Kodak folders use the discontinued 620 film requiring the user to respool 120 film. A folding camera is a camera that can be folded to a compact and rugged package when not in use. ... The box camera is, with the exception of the pin hole camera, a camera in its simplest form. ... Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK) is a large multinational public company producing photographic equipment. ... 120 is a film format for still photography introduced by Kodak for their Brownie No. ...


Medium-format cameras

Types

A Carl Zeiss folding camera
A Carl Zeiss folding camera
  • Folding-bed field cameras

Additionally, most large-format cameras can, with the use of roll-film adapters, use medium-format film. Image File history File linksMetadata ZeissMediumFormat. ... Image File history File linksMetadata ZeissMediumFormat. ... The single-lens reflex (SLR) is a type of camera that uses a movable mirror placed between the lens and the film to project the image seen through the lens to a matte focusing screen. ... The front of a Kinaflex twin-lens reflex camera Sketch of an early 20th century twin-lens reflex camera 1957 Kodak Duaflex IV, an inexpensive fixed-focus TLR A twin-lens reflex camera (TLR) is a type of camera with two objective lenses of the same focal length. ... A Foca camera of 1947 at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. ... A folding camera is a camera that can be folded to a compact and rugged package when not in use. ... Monorail cameras are the studio workhorses that are still used today in the digital photography age to make many of the images used in catalogs, magazines and publicity around the world. ...


Common brands

"Classic" medium format cameras are collected and used by antique camera enthusiasts. Names like Graflex, Omega, Voigtländer and Zeiss can quicken a collector's pulse. Bronica is a Japanese brand of medium format cameras. ... Contax is a camera brand noted for its unique, and sometimes odd, technical innovation and a wide range of Carl Zeiss lenses. ... Fujifilm TYO: 4901 , NASDAQ: FUJIY is a Japanese company known for its photographic film and cameras. ... Hasselblad 503CW with Zeiss Distagon 3,5/30 and Ixpress V96C Hasselblad is a Swedish manufacturer of high-quality still photography cameras based in Gothenburg, Sweden. ... Year 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... The Holga 120 GCFN The Holga is a very inexpensive, medium format box camera appreciated for its low-fidelity aesthetic. ... A horseman can be:- A man who rides a horse. ... Kiev-Arsenal is a Soviet brand of camera (sometimes branded simply Kiev) manufactured by the Arsenal Factory in Kiev, Ukraine. ... Mamiya C330 twin-lens reflex camera Mamiya-OP Co. ... Minolta was a Japanese worldwide manufacturer of cameras, camera accessories, photo-copiers, fax machines and laser printers. ... PENTAX Corporation ) (TYO: 7750 ) is a Japanese company founded in 1919 as Asahi Optical Joint Stock Co. ... Rolleiflex medium format camera Rollei is a German manufacturer of optical goods, and maker of the well-known Rolleiflex and Rolleicord series of cameras. ... Rollei is a German manufacturer of optical goods, and maker of the Rolleiflex series of cameras. ... Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... Graflex was a manufacturer, a brand name and several models of cameras. ... Omega is the name of various medium-format cameras. ... Voigtländer is an optical company founded in 1756 by Johann Friedrich Voigtländer in Vienna and thus the oldest name in cameras. ... Carl Zeiss The Carl Zeiss company is a German manufacturer of optical systems, industrial measurements and medical devices originally founded in Jena in 1846 by Carl Zeiss, Ernst Abbe and Otto Schott. ...


External links

  • "Camera Review" on medium format cameras
  • David Silver on medium format
  • Medium Format MegaSite

  Results from FactBites:
 
medium format - Camera resources for artists (717 words)
Digital photography has come to the medium format world with the development of U-Medium The only significant difference is price, with medium format digital But medium format never lost its allure, just as large format didn't for many.
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Medium Format Medium format is the Goldilocks of the camera world; not to big and not too small.
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