Thursday, 30 May 2013

Medium Format

Medium Format

Medium Format refers to the film in the camera.

Medium format film is larger (often significantly so) than 35mm film, and is wound onto reusable spools. While 120 is the most common medium format, there are others available, including 620, which is the same size as 120 but uses smaller spools. Medium format film uses a paper backing to protect it from exposure to light, and should be loaded in subdued light conditions. Currently the two most popular formats are 120 and 220. 120 film is basically a spooled paper-backed film, that will take from 8 to 16 exposures (6x9 to 6x4.5). The paper back typically has rows of numbers that lines up with the (usually red) window on the back for the format of that particular camera. 220 film is the exact same film, except instead of a paper backing, it has a paper leader. The film itself has no paper backing and is twice the length of 120, so instead of 8 to 16 exposures you may get around 15 to 31 exposures. 116 or 616 type film was a 70mm wide paper backed film, which is no longer readily made.

Pros -
    Larger negative requires less blow-up (16X to 24X) to make 8X10s.
  • Available in a variety of types, & some systems that are as versatile as 35mm.
  • Good range of professional quality films available.
  • Most are still small enough to be convenient and hand holdable.
  • Automation available on some models.
Cons -

  • Many are *EXPENSIVE* compared to 35mm cameras with similar features due to lack of a mass market.
  • Local availability of film and processing is limited unless you are in a metropolitan area.

Here is an image that was taken on a Medium format camera.

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