As the world around us turns digital, it's reassuring to know there are still plenty of people out there embracing film photography. With the surge in popularity of 'toy' cameras, and the affordable availability of many old, yet reliable, film cameras, medium format lives on. Medium format film is regarded as the industry standard for professionals shooting film due to it's incredible shot quality, which at times is the equivalent of 50 megapixels. Today, we take a looks at some amazing work done in this format.
In terms of new cameras, Hasselblad, Rollei and Mamiya all still make high-end medium format cameras. When looking for lower end cameras, consider Seagull or Kiev. For used cameras, look for all those brands plus Zeiss, Yashica, Bronica and Moskva. Of course, there are also the inexpensive Dianas and Holgas as well.
Film comes in two forms, 120 film has a paper backing and can take 12 6cm x 6cm images per roll. 220 film does not have a paper backing and can take 24 6cm x 6cm images per roll. When buying film, make sure you get the correct type, as not all medium format cameras can take 220 film.
You'll also need to think about where you get the film developed and whether you want to scans so you can display them digitally. It's best to do some research online to find out if you've got a lab near you that will develop the negatives at a decent price, otherwise you can end up spending a lot. Scanners, again, can range from fairly inexpensive models, to those that are designed for film, so do a bit of research and find what's best for you.
Make the most of the square format, this is particularly useful as you don't have to change between portrait and landscape. As with all film cameras, it will depend on the type of film you use and the light available, but hopefully the selection of shots below will provide some inspiration and show that medium format is great for landscapes, portraits, abstract work, documentary work and anything else in-between! So start saving up, get your hands on a beautiful medium format camera and take some equally beautiful photographs!
Here are a few links to really useful tutorials and articles that will teach you more about this type of photography:
- Quick Tip - 5 Tips for Shooting Medium Format
- The Medium Format Advantage
- A Beginner's Guide to Film Photography
Share Your Own Images!
I hope you've enjoyed the photographs and that they've inspired you to go out and capture something amazing for yourself!
We'd love to see your favourite medium format shots - just post a comment and link below. Also, feel free to link to any resources that you've found particularly helpful in this area.