Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-26-2010, 10:45 PM   #1
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,167
Medium format...

hi....

I have looked around. And still confused. I cant figure out the advantage of Medium Format. Why is it so expensive? sure its 40MP, but its highest ISO seems to be really low. Why is that so? What is the advantages of Medium format over full frame?

Thanks in advance!

03-26-2010, 10:54 PM   #2
Ole
Administrator
Ole's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,783
40MP -> better resolution (finer details visible)
Larger pixels on the sensor -> less noise/cleaner images
Larger pixels on the sensor -> extended dynamic range (more contrast)

Is it worth the extra cost? Probably not for most of us. But if you're into wall-sized prints!
03-26-2010, 11:26 PM   #3
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
Medium format has a long history, from 1892. MF film cams have frames ranging from 6x12cm and 6x17cm panoramics, to 6x9cm (very popular up to the 1950s), to 6x7, 6x6 and 645 -- and Pentax was a leader in 645 and 6x7cm pro film cams. Compared with a 35mm full-frame (35/FF) image, 645 film has almost 3x the area, and about 6x the area 35/HF (half-frame, equivalent to your dSLR).

In digital MF, ISO isn't really relevant. Most current digital MF usage is in studios and for landscapes, and if you're shooting action, you can easily push the speed in PP without introducing significant noise. The new Pentax 645D (actually more like 634) is targeted at studio pros who may want a cam that costs half as much as the competition, and outdoor and landscape photographers who want their expensive hardware weather-resistant.

Why MF? Detail detail detail! Big images that will be viewed closely! Lots of printed pictures (posters, coffee-table books, big magazine ads and other product images, wall-size photos etc) are still shot with large-format (LF) cams, 4x5" and 5x7" and even 8x10". because they offer the greatest detail. If I scanned a 6x9cm transparency, I'd end up with a 100mpx+ file -- and that's still only about 1/3 the size of a 4x5" frame! Digital MF allows pretty good detail in a package that's much easier to use than LF film.

You might gargle MEDIUM.FORMAT and see what pops up, eh? And take a look at the MF discussions here: Pentax Medium Format: 645, 6x7, 645D - PentaxForums.com

Last edited by RioRico; 03-26-2010 at 11:32 PM.
03-27-2010, 03:10 AM   #4
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,296
Another big deal is flash sync speed, medium format can shoot with flash extremely quickly. But like previous posters have said, it's mostly about resolution.

03-27-2010, 05:14 AM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,167
Original Poster
ah i see. Thanks for the replies . I guess if the intended use is studio setting always, then it make sense. plus if its lower ISO performs pretty equally to a higher one from our cropped sensor due to the pixel size.

ISO is my bane right now with K200D, where i cant push 800 safely, let alone 1600. Thats why it was the first thing i noticed.

Thanks again
03-27-2010, 05:37 AM   #6
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
ISO is my bane right now with K200D, where i cant push 800 safely, let alone 1600. Thats why it was the first thing i noticed.
You have options:

* Fast lenses (but you already have a few)
* Flash(es), tripod, calmness, preparation
* A noisy picture is better than no picture.

I've made notable shots with terribly noisy gear, both film and digital. And print your shots. What you see on your computer screen is NOT what anyone will see when its printed, matted, glassed, framed, and hung. (From far enough away, everything looks sharp.) What's most important, other than your eye, is the subject. Some of the most famous photographic images are grainy blobs shot with pathetic equipment. But because of the subject, they grab. Meanwhile, more options:

* Use your camera within its limitations.
* Always be ready to stretch the limits.

If you can't shoot handheld over ISO 800 to your satisfaction, then don't. Use that flash and/or tripod. Wait for subjects to get into sufficient light. Just be ready to up the ISO and accept the noise if that's the only way to get a shot. Good luck.
03-27-2010, 06:35 AM   #7
Veteran Member
er1kksen's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Staten Island, NY
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,662
Something a lot of people don't realize is that MF is about on par with or slightly better than most 35mm sensors at higher sensitivities. Due to the extreme dynamic range of the MF sensors, you can underexpose an image at the highest sensitivities (say, 800) and push it much higher in post (lets say 3200 or 6400). Compared at equal output sizes, it will be similar in image quality to, say, the results of a D3x shot at ISO 3200 or 6400. MF guru Michael Reichmann made some interesting posts on the subject over at Luminous Landscape.
03-27-2010, 07:36 AM   #8
Veteran Member
Ben_Edict's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SouthWest "Regio"
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,303
QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
Something a lot of people don't realize is that MF is about on par with or slightly better than most 35mm sensors at higher sensitivities. Due to the extreme dynamic range of the MF sensors, you can underexpose an image at the highest sensitivities (say, 800) and push it much higher in post (lets say 3200 or 6400). Compared at equal output sizes, it will be similar in image quality to, say, the results of a D3x shot at ISO 3200 or 6400. MF guru Michael Reichmann made some interesting posts on the subject over at Luminous Landscape.
I think, here is the really important point about digital MF: dynamic range. Also, the Bayer filters in front of the small format sensors will degrade image quality, whereas some MF sensors simply do not have these filters, but leave image assembly to the processing engine, which gives added sharpness. Also, some MF cameras and backs allow for multi-shot use, which add a great amount of detail to the final image (the Hasselblad tech brochure has some nice examples:http://www.hasselbladusa.com/media/1062809/de_h3dii_ms39_datasheet_v4.pdf )

It basically boils down to the same differences we had in film days. Higher res - yes, sure. But the increased tonality of the larger film formats are at least as important.

There was a comparisson shoot out in Professional Photographer between a humble 16 MP digital back on a Mamiya 645 compared to a Canon full frame 1Dsomething camera in the last year. And despite the FF Canon had higher resolution, the images of the Mamiya simply turned out better. Better sharpness, better colour rendering, just great.

Ben

04-06-2010, 12:14 PM   #9
Veteran Member




Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,167
Original Poster
Thanks. The comparative information against current FF and 35mm sensors are useful; especially because that is what i need to make decision on. Whether to get another 35MM or not
04-06-2010, 03:59 PM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ste-Anne des Plaines, Qc., Canada
Posts: 2,014
QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
Another big deal is flash sync speed, medium format can shoot with flash extremely quickly. But like previous posters have said, it's mostly about resolution.
Flash sync speed is actually slower, unless you use lenses with a leaf shutter instead of the camera's focal plane shutter.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, format, medium, pentax help, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Going into medium format? dugrant153 Pentax Medium Format 15 08-28-2010 12:54 AM
First Medium Format straightshooter Pentax Medium Format 3 08-24-2010 07:10 AM
new to medium format krystalgem85 Pentax Medium Format 3 08-02-2010 02:20 PM
Medium Format Buffy Pentax Medium Format 5 03-19-2008 12:04 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:25 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top