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06-29-2011, 03:17 PM   #1
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Question about the medium format

I no nothing about the full frame or medium format cameras, but I'm not planning on buying one anytime soon; this is just from my own personal curiosity, as I only have a humble Kx.

So from what I was able to gather, FF and medium use a larger sensor and take a 'higher definition' picture then the regular aps-c sensor cameras. Also, what are these used for mainly? Do they have a specialized purpose/use or just a huge upgrade from the aps-c?

06-29-2011, 03:49 PM   #2
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Good question

FF sensor size = traditional 35mm film, which is 35X24, therefore it is at least 50% bigger than most APS-C. Most people use FF because of the "legacy" lenses which focal length would be multiply by ~1.5X when using on an APS-C, i.e. a 20mm super wide angle becomes a "mere" 30mm wide angle. Imagine the benefit of owning a FF when you have half a dozen expensive 35mm legacy lenses - you don't have to switch into a new 14mm to get the same coverage of the old 21mm!

MF is the same, lot of digital backs for them are not FF, i.e. the sensors are smaller than 6X6cm. Hence, the "crop factor" also apply to these MF lenses also. Since the FF MF digital back itself typically cost >$15K, many casual MF users just switch into "cheaper" 35mm FF. Only the professional with an entire MF system would stay with digital MF backs. Many people argue MF lenses are better, personally I agree but these lenses are also bigger and slower (f/2.8 or smaller), which are best suit for studio work.

Hope this information help.
06-29-2011, 04:40 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply and helpful explanation of these things.
06-29-2011, 04:45 PM   #4

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Let's not forget that a 105mm f2.4 lens for a Pentax 6x7 camera, for example, may not sound like a fast lens by 135 format standards but the DOF is several stops more shallow for equal aperture and equal equivalent focal length on these larger formats.

The post your medium format photo section is full of shots that are not done in a studio. What it's best suited for, IMHO, goes well beyond the studio if you're a person that doesn't think a camera has to be a matter of convenience to use.

Last edited by tuco; 06-29-2011 at 04:59 PM.
06-29-2011, 05:07 PM   #5
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It is all about the image quality.
06-30-2011, 07:10 AM   #6
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Larger sensors have advantages in dynamic range and tonal resolution, quite apart from the number of pixels recorded.

To amplify Tuco's post - what he describes applies to having the subject be the same relative size in the frame. In other words, using a 105 with an APS-C camera you would need to back away to get a full head and shoulders shot to take up most of the frame; with full frame 35mm you can get closer; and with 6x7 you get closer still. As we know from experience, the closer we are the shallower the DOF.
06-30-2011, 03:12 PM   #7
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thanks for the continued information and replies. Explains quite a bit haha.

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