Film Photography: Shoot Your First Roll Of Medium Format Film | Kyle McDougall | Skillshare

Playback Speed


  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Film Photography: Shoot Your First Roll Of Medium Format Film

teacher avatar Kyle McDougall, Photographer + Filmmaker

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

15 Lessons (1h 13m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:55
    • 2. The Benefits Of Medium Format Film

      4:05
    • 3. Film & Frame Sizes

      4:31
    • 4. Camera Styles 01: The TLR

      5:51
    • 5. Camera Styles 02: The SLR

      5:23
    • 6. Camera Styles 03: The Rangefinder

      4:49
    • 7. My Camera Recommendations

      7:41
    • 8. Lens Focal Lengths

      2:16
    • 9. On Location: Shooting With The SLR

      5:30
    • 10. On Location: Shooting With The TLR

      5:52
    • 11. On Location: Shooting With The Rangefinder

      5:05
    • 12. Scanning: 35mm vs Medium Format

      4:02
    • 13. Scanning At Home With An Epson Flatbed

      7:13
    • 14. Scanning At Home With A Dedicated Film Scanner

      7:23
    • 15. Conclusion

      1:27
  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

130

Students

1

Project

About This Class

The world of medium format film photography is one that brings with it a lot of unique benefits, from camera options to image quality, and is something that I think every film photographer should at least experiment with once.

But regardless of whether you've worked with 35mm film or not, there's a lot to learn with this larger format, with various frame size options, and a long list of unique camera styles and models to choose from. That's why I decided to put together this course to quickly and easily introduce you to the world of medium format film photography, and provide you with the necessary knowledge so that you can shoot your first roll of 120 film. 

Shoot Your First Roll Of Medium Format Film

We'll start from scratch, beginning with:

  • The Benefits Of Medium Format‚ÄĒ including why it gives you more flexibility, better image quality, and unique camera options
  • Film & Frame Sizes‚ÄĒ including what 120 film is, how it works, the different frame sizes you can shoot, and which one may suit you best
  • The Different Camera Styles‚ÄĒ including the pros and cons of each, how they differ, and which ones are unique to medium format
  • My Recommendations‚ÄĒ including camera options for each style, as well as some cheaper¬†versions if you just want to dip your toes in the water
  • In-Field Sessions‚ÄĒ¬†we'll jump into the field with the three different camera styles, and shoot a roll of film in each, showing you how to load them,¬†how they operate, and some of their unique traits
  • Scanning & Flexibility‚ÄĒ including the benefits of scanning medium format at home, and a comparison between different scanner options

*You can find the camera recommendation list and lens focal length chart here: Medium Format Cameras, Focal Length Chart

I look forward to introducing you to the world of medium format film photography, and can't wait to see your results!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kyle McDougall

Photographer + Filmmaker

Teacher

Kyle McDougall is a contemporary landscape photographer from Ontario, Canada. His work is driven by a fascination with society, time, and change. He is an advocate of film, and currently creates all of his images using a wide range of formats—from 35mm to 4x5 large format.

Kyle's love of film has inspired him to help other photographers who are interested in exploring the medium or improving their technique. He regularly releases videos on his YouTube channel titled "Analogue", that focus on both craft and equipment. Kyle also has a strong background in filmmaking and video production—working professionally in the industry as both a freelancer and a business owner over the last ten years.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
    0%
  • Yes
    0%
  • Somewhat
    0%
  • Not really
    0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi everyone, my name's Kyle McDougal. I'm a photographer from Ontario, Canada and in this course today I'm going to teach you everything you need to know, so you can shoot your first roll of medium format film. [MUSIC] I've been shooting almost exclusively with film for the past five years now, and it's a way of working that I absolutely love and definitely brought a new energy to my career. A lot of my earlier images were shot with 35-millimeter film, which is a great option, and I have a course here on Skillshare focused on that. But now I use medium format for almost all of my work, and it's an experience that's both unique and also very accessible in the film world. But if you're new to all this, it can be a bit confusing, just with a wide range of camera styles, and frame sizes to choose from. [MUSIC] That's why today in this course I want to introduce you to the world of medium format and then also teach you all the different steps you can feel confident working with this larger format. If you're new to film, as mentioned, I have a 35-millimeter course here on Skillshare that covers some of the basics like film stocks in different labs use. But in this course we're going to cover a wide variety of topics including film size and frame sizes, choosing the right format that suits you best, the different styles of cameras that you can use, including my recommendations and also how to use them. Then, we're going to jump into the field, shoot some film using a few different camera models, get it developed, look at and test some different scanning procedures, and then do some comparisons with 35-millimeter, just so you can see how much difference there is when it comes to detail and quality. By the end of this course, you'll have all the knowledge that you need to choose a format size, purchase a camera, and shoot your first rolls of medium format. If you're anything like me, I can guarantee you're probably going to have a hard time going back to 35 millimeter after this. Anyways, excited to have you here today, let's jump into the course. [MUSIC] 2. The Benefits Of Medium Format Film: [MUSIC] I want to start this course by talking about the benefits that come with medium format and what makes it so much more capable than 35 millimeter. A few of these answers are probably going to be obvious, but I think it's still important that we take some time and look at what makes this format unique. The first and most obvious one is the frame size or the size of the negative. Unlike with 35 millimeter, depending on which camera you choose to shoot with, you're going to have a bunch of different options when it comes to frame sizes. This Mamiya shoots six by 4.5. This is six by six. This Pentax shoots six by seven and you can go all the way up to six by 17, and we're going to go into more detail in the next lesson about those different frame sizes. But I think what's really important to understand right at the start is that even if you choose the smallest medium format frame size, which is six by 4.5, which is this one right here, it's still substantially larger than a 35 millimeter negative. The exact measurements are 24 by 36 millimeter for 35-millimeter film compared to a 56 by 42 millimeters for 645, which means that 645 is a little over two and a half times larger than 35 millimeter, which in my opinion is quite a step-up. With that larger size comes benefits like finer detail, less apparent grain when comparing similar image sizes, and also smoother tones. The second advantage is detail and resolution. As you'll see later in this course, medium format film can be scanned much larger and also produce a much sharper and more detailed scan. This opens up quite a few possibilities when it comes to printing. For example, with 35 millimeter, I often won't print much larger than say like 20 inches on the long edge because I find you're really starting to stretch the negative at that point where you can get out of it. But on the flip side, medium format, especially something like six by seven, I'll often print 30 inches wide. You could even go up to 40 depending on how you get it scanned. This really opens up a lot of possibilities, especially if you're scanning at home using a cheaper scanner like an Epson flatbed. That brings us to the third benefit, and that is convenience and control. I found as people get into film a little more, they want to start taking control, especially with something like the scanning process. But I've also had a lot of people reach out to me who are scanning 35 millimeter using something like a cheaper Epson flatbed V550 or V600, and they just talk about how they aren't satisfied with the results and how the image is almost look blurry. That's because flatbed scanners struggle with 35 millimeter because the surface area is quite a bit smaller than medium format. But on the flip side, even with 645 like we looked at, with it being quite a bit larger than 35. As you enter the realm of medium format, you can start to get very nice scans out of something like an Epson flatbed, especially as you go up to 66 and 67. That gives you just this option to scan at home and start getting nice, sharp, detailed images that you have complete control of. The last benefit I want to talk about is just accessibility. Medium format digital is getting more affordable. There are more options out there nowadays, but you're still going to spend, I think, around $3,500-$4,000 for a body alone. I think that's Fuji's cheapest offering, and that's a pretty decent investment still. But on the flip side, if you just want to try a medium format film, you can get something like this Lomo Lubitel 166 for $40. Super cheap. It's not the greatest camera, but when it's working, it actually produces pretty nice images. Then obviously, you can spend a little bit more and probably around the $400-$500 mark for a body and a lens depending on what you pick up, and we will look at some options later. It is a lot more accessible and affordable, and that's pretty exciting. In the next lesson, we're going to take a look at a roll of medium format film and explore the different frame size options when it comes to cameras. [MUSIC] 3. Film & Frame Sizes: [MUSIC] If you've looked into medium format cameras, you probably notice a bunch of different sizes. There are six-by-six, six-by-seven, six-by-eight, six-by-nine, the list goes on, we're going to dive into that a bit later in this episode. But what's important to understand is that what those numbers refer to are the length and the width of the frame size measured in centimeters. Depending on which format you choose or going to use, a different portion of this 120 film to expose either larger or smaller depending on the size. I think what we're going to do is we're going to open this up. This is unexposed Portra 160, ruined this roll, but I just really want to show you what this looks like, because obviously this isn't something you would do with your own film at home. As we unroll this, you will notice that if you've shot 35, you probably used to like the black plastic canister that the film pulls out of and then it winds back into. With 120, you're going to have a take-up spool on the other side of the camera, and the film's going to wind down to that as you shoot, and then you're going to take that out afterwards and send that to the lab. But usually, there's about 12-14 inches of this paper backing. Then you'll see we start to get into the film itself, which is just taped to this backing paper. Just with that initial section, a tape, so there's a gap between the two. But that first section are 12-14 inches. That just acts as protection for the unexposed film. Obviously, it's wound around a bunch of times so you don't get any light leaks before you load this. Then on the other side, this is important too, there's all these different markings. This is the most important one, depending on which camera you use, this vertical arrow here. What you would do is you would load this roll and you would start to wind it with the back open until this lines up with the mark in your camera. That's when you would know that you want to shut the back lid, and then wind on it to get to your first frame. A really simple, just some backing paper with the film taped to it, and that's about it. [MUSIC] Jumping back to talking about frame sizes, we're going to run through the different ones right now. The smallest size is six-by- 4.5 which is roughly a four-by-three aspect ratio. After that, we jumped to six-by-six which is square format, and another really common option out there. Next comes six-by-seven, which is just slightly wider than six-by-six. This is a very traditional frame size and matches four-by-five large format film. It's also one of my personal favorites. I do just want to mention that these first three are the most common when you're shopping for a camera, they're probably the ones you've come across. I also want to say as well, I mentioned four-by-five large format film. When we're talking about that, large format is measured in inches or four-by-five inches. Like I said before, medium format is measured in centimeters. Just want to clear that up because it can be confusing at times for people when they hear four-by-five and all of a sudden it's supposed to be larger than something like six-by-seven. After six-by-seven, we have six-by-eight which is quite uncommon with only a handful of camera options out there, mostly made by Fuji. Then come six-by-nine which provides the same three-by-two aspect ratio. It's a 35-millimeter film, also a little more rare. After these, we jump into some of the panoramic versions with six-by-12 and six-by-17 and then a few specialist formats. As I mentioned before, depending on which one of those formats you shoot with, they're all going to use a different portion of film, and because of that, you're going to get more or less frames depending on which one you choose. 645, you're going to get 15-16 images per roll, depending which camera you choose. Six-by-six, you're going to get 12, six-by-seven, you're going to get 10, something like six-by-nine, you're going to get eight. There really is this trade-off of maximum resolution versus quantity of images, and this is going to be different for everyone. I recommend experimenting with a few of the different sizes, but in the end it's going to come down to how you work. 645 still provides very nice image quality in it, but it does give you a little bit more flexibility with 15 or 16 images per roll. [MUSIC] Now that we've covered film and frame sizes, over the next few lessons we're going to take a look at three different styles of medium format cameras. Those are the TLR, the SLR, and the range finder. 4. Camera Styles 01: The TLR: [MUSIC] The first cell of camera that I want to focus on is the one that is unique to medium format and that is the TLR or a twin lens reflex. [MUSIC] There's a good chance you've seen a TLR before, even if you don't really know what these are. They're these funky looking box style cameras with the two lenses on the front. These have been around forever, I think the late 19th century is when they were first invented, but around 1930s is when they really started to get popular, largely due to a brand called Rolleiflex, which I'm sure you've heard of. Almost all of these shoot six by six square format. There are a few specialized versions, but if you're looking at these cameras, that's probably what you're going to come across. It's a really fun format to work with. When it comes to brands and models, there's a bunch of different options. Obviously the highest end are from Rolleiflex, you're going to pay a lot for those versions, but there are a bunch of different options from brands like Yashica, Minolta, Mamiya and the list goes on [MUSIC]. When it comes to operation with these cameras, they're all going to be fairly similar, the only difference depending on what brand and model you buy is just where some of the functions are located on the camera. This Yashica has a waist level finder, all TLRs are going to be like this. You basically look down onto the ground glass to compose. It's a very unique way of working and it is one of my favorites. I wouldn't want to personally shoot with it all the time, but it is fun to take out. Then on the Yashica, here you have a lever on the side, you basically wind that, that'll take you to the next frame and it also caulks the shutter as well. Then you have a shutter release down here. Then on the left-hand side of the camera you have your focusing knob, you just turn that to focus it. Obviously while looking down through the ground glass. Then most cameras as well have this little drop-down magnifier here, see if we can get that in focus. That just allows you to check critical focus, which is a nice option as well, so you can really nail things. But I have this Rolleicord here, this is similar to the Yashica just in price and capability, but a little bit different. It has the focusing knob on the right-hand side of the camera. Then it actually has, instead of the lever, it has a knob here to advance the next frame. Then the shutter release is down here, it's a little lever that you actually have to push that to the other side first to cock the shutter. Then shutter snapshot controls are on the front here by the lenses. Obviously same with the Yashica as well. Like I said, these are all going to operate in a similar way, it's just depending on which one you choose, the controls probably going to be in different places. [MUSIC] When it comes to these two lenses, obviously if you're looking at one of these for the first time, it could seem a little strange and you might be wondering what it's all about. But basically, the one on the bottom is called the taking lens, the one on the top is called the viewing lens. When you're looking down through the viewfinder, you're looking through this lens on the top, and when you're actually taking the photo, you're using the taking lens, which has a shutter mechanism built inside of it. That's what is exposing the image onto the film itself. It can seem strange that they're stacked on top of one another. You might think that when you're composing, it might not be super accurate, but basically, you never have to worry about that unless you're shooting something that's very close to the camera, like a meter or less, and that's when you run into what's called parallax error. Different models of cameras will actually correct the viewfinder for parallax error, but it is just something to keep in mind if you're shooting subjects really close to your lens. But other than that, especially for the work I do landscape work, it's something I never have to worry about. One important thing to add though, like I said, I love using the waist level viewfinder to compose, but since there's no prism in here, because you're basically just looking through the taking lens on top, everything is backwards and it can be a very strange feeling when you're first using this camera. If you go right, everything goes left and vice versa, up, down. It'll take a little bit of just using this to get used to that backwards movement. It does get easier but the first time you pick one of these up it might be a little bit frustrating. [MUSIC] When it comes to the pros of the TLR, the first one is that there's a huge variety of makes and models out there and you can probably find yourself a nice camera for a couple $100. Some of the more popular ones were made by Yashica, Mamiya, Minolta, and Rollei. As I mentioned earlier, Rolleiflex is the most expensive, but they did have a budget version called Rolleicord, which are still super nice and these are a lot more affordable, could be a great option if you're jumping into this. TLRs are also a unique camera to work with and bring a nostalgic feel to your workflow that's bound to strike up conversations with strangers when you're out shooting. The mid to high range options as well usually have nice optics that produce super sharp images. What's cool about them is most of these cameras are fairly lightweight and pretty compact and it's neat just to have a camera set up this small that is shooting giant six by six sides negative. When it comes to disadvantages, the biggest one is probably the fact that most TLRs have fixed lenses, usually in the 75 mil to 80 mil focal range, equivalent to around a 50 mil in the 35 format. If you go this route, there's a good chance that you're going to be stuck with a fixed lens unless you invest in something like a Mamiya C-series, they did allow interchangeable lenses, but those cameras do get quite a bit larger as well. Even though I don't shoot a ton of six-by-six, I still own a couple TLRs and it is just a very fun way to work and I recommend everyone try it out at least once. [MUSIC] In the next lesson, we're going to take a look at the second style of medium format camera, the SLR or single-lens reflex. [MUSIC] 5. Camera Styles 02: The SLR: [MUSIC] Up next is the SLR or we could also refer to this as the system camera. This is a big category with a number of different brands and format sizes available. If you've shot 35 millimeter before, you're probably familiar with a SLR camera. There's a lots of options in the medium format world, but 6 by 4.5, six by six, and six by seven are probably the three most common. Six by six, maybe just a little less. Obviously, the bigger the format size, the bigger the camera's going to get like this Pentax 67 here, which is really just looks like this gigantic, oversized 35-millimeter SLR. [MUSIC] The reason that these are sometimes referred to as system cameras is because unlike 35-millimeter SLRs, some versions of the medium format SLRs really act as just like a box that you can add or remove accessories to build up or build down depending on how you want to work. They can be very flexible depending on the brand and the model that you choose. This Mamiya 645 is an example of a system camera. This isn't the most customizable out there, but it does offer some features. I don't have them here, but I'll still remove a few things and show you how this works. The one thing this doesn't have though and a bunch of 645 cameras and some six by seven and six by six will have is a removable back. On this Mamiya here, you just actually have the film holder in the back here. Obviously, once it's loaded and this is sealed up and you start shooting, that's it. You have to wait until you finish your role to take it out. But a bunch of these cameras will offer a removable back or basically you have a dark slide. You can put the dark slide in, remove the back, and you can put on another back with, say, like a different type of film in it. Let's say you're shooting black and white and you want to shoot some color. That is a core feature. Not something I've used a ton in the past when I've owned one of those cameras just because I usually stick to one film stock, but it is neat if you're someone who works that way. But with this Mamiya, this is a camera that does have some customization options. The first one is the finder. You'll see, this is the prism finder right here. I purchased this separately for this camera. But when you remove it, you basically just have the ground-glass there. I could buy a waist level finder. You can buy this prism finder, but in a metered version. It gives you a few different options depending on how you want to use this. I think there's also like chimney finders that help with critical focusing. But this camera as well also offers options for grip, so you can get different grips for it. Some other models will offer more accessories. But the idea behind this is basically you buy one system, you buy the access reason. Depending on what you're going to shoot, if there's different ways you work, like I said before, you can build the camera up for a scenario and you can strip it down if you want to be a little more discreet and lightweight. [MUSIC] There are some other options out there that act more like traditional SLRs mostly made by Pentax. Their 645 series really doesn't offer any customization at all. It just shoots like a traditional 35-millimeter SLR. I actually really like that camera. The Pentax 67, which is my go-to, I have the 672 and the original. These offer a little bit more. You can get a left-hand grip and then you can swap out the finder. This is the AE finder, which has a meter in it. You can also get a chimney finder and a waist level finder. These offer a nice balance if you want a little bit of customization, but I prefer these cameras just because it acts and shoots like a 35-millimeter SLR. [MUSIC] Like I said, though, depending on which model you buy, they will offer a different level of customization. The cool thing is there's some options like the Mamiya RB and also I believe the Bronica GS-1. They allow you to shoot with different backs as well, different sizes. You can shoot with like a six by seven back, and you could also go down to a 6 by 4.5 backs and get almost by this one camera system. All these different accessories cover a lot of bases. When it comes to the advantages of the SLR system, the first one is availability. There's an endless amount of brands and models out there as well as different versions of finding one of these cameras for a decent price won't be an issue. Most of these systems as well were tailored towards pro. When it comes to things like optics, you're going to get super high-quality lenses that can produce nice sharp negatives. Then the last pro, like we talked about already, is the customization just giving you a really flexible camera system that can handle a bunch of different situations. [MUSIC] When it comes to downsides, probably the biggest one is going to be the size. Obviously, it's something like this Mamiya. If you were to put just a waist level finder on it, it can be a pretty compact camera to work with. But obviously, as you add accessories to it or as the negative size get bigger, things start to get quite large. This Pentax 67 almost looks comical with how big it is. It's not something that's ever really bothered me. But obviously, if you're someone who works a little more discreet or if you're doing something like street photography, a camera system like this is going to make you stand out both visually and also with the way it sounds. [MUSIC] Up next, we're going to take a look at the last style of medium format camera, and that is the range finder. [MUSIC] 6. Camera Styles 03: The Rangefinder: [MUSIC] Last on the list, definitely not least, is the rangefinder. [MUSIC]. There's a good chance you've probably heard of or even shot with a rangefinder before in the 35-millimeter world. But I still want to take a few minutes just to talk about how they work in some of the different options when it comes to medium format. [MUSIC] Obviously with an SLR, when you look through the viewfinder, you're looking through the lens itself, but a rangefinder is a little bit different. You're basically just looking through a viewfinder window depending on which camera you have. Some are going to have frame lines in there to show you the focal length, others like this old Zeiss, you're actually just going to use the edge of the viewfinder itself as your frame lines. Then when it comes to focusing you're going to have a range finder patch in the middle of the viewfinder. This will vary on different cameras. Sometimes it'll look like a little yellow square or circle and there's a split image. As you adjust your focusing dial or focusing knob on your camera, those two images are going to align and when they do, you know that your image is going to be in focus. Some people love rangefinders, some hate them, personally, there's still growing on me, there's things I like about them, but I'm still not sold on the viewfinder experience. When it comes to camera options, there are actually quite a few out there, although I will say once you get into the newer camera territory, say 1980 and above, they do get a little bit more expensive and harder to find especially some of the iconic models. But there were quite a few made back in say like the '50s, all different options and they can be had for quite cheap. Important to note as well quickly, there are two types of rangefinder cameras, coupled and uncoupled. Basically what this is, is that coupled rangefinder system is where everything is linked together. This Zeiss icon has a coupled rangefinder. Basically what you would do is you would look through the viewfinder and you would turn the front of the lens here. It also has this little dial on the side, and you would set your focus using the rangefinder patch. As you're doing that, the focus is being set on the lens. Everything is attached to one another. But with an uncoupled rangefinder system, you would still operate the exact same way, but usually you have like a dial on the back of the camera, maybe different depending on what you own, and you would set your focus, align your rangefinder patch, and then the camera usually on the top or on the back will give you a readout. It'll say like 12 feet is how far your subject is and then you would actually have to go and set your lens to 12 feet. It's just like an extra step in the process, nothing wrong with an uncoupled rangefinder. The benefit is as well is that they're usually quite a bit cheaper. Although I will say most of the newer cameras are going to have coupled rangefinder systems. [MUSIC]. Just like with SLRs, there are all sorts of different options to choose from. With range finders, you can get these in six by 4.5, 6'6, 6'7, 6'8, 6'9, a lot of variety out there but some of the newer models. A lot of the older ones though are six-by-six and they're often these folder style cameras which are pretty cool. I like these a lot because they super compact, they're packed down, really small, and then they usually just have this release on the front that pop some open. A cool design, you've got to be careful though with the bellows on these older ones cause they can have light leaks so just make sure you buy from a reputable seller, maybe with a camera that's been tested. A lot of different options out there. I will say if you go for an older uncoupled model, you can pick up a rangefinder camera for quite cheap. When it comes to the pros of rangefinder cameras, they're often more compact than SLRs and are also quieter because of the leaf shutter. Some of the newer versions, specifically the Mamiya 7, have some of the best optics ever made in the camera world. As mentioned, if you opt for an older camera, they're also very affordable and the folder style will give you one of the best negative size to camera size ratios out there. When it comes to negatives, like I said before, some of the newer, more iconic versions like the Mamiya 7, getting very expensive, obviously supply and demand. These older ones as great as they are, they are pushing 60, 70, 80 years old so it can be a little risky buying one, just making sure that it has no issues and you're going to be able to use it right away. That's all three camera systems. I hope now you feel a little bit more comfortable and just understand which one may be best for you. I would still recommend experimenting because it is fun to just pick one of these up and try it. It's a chance that one of them, like a TLR, that's a little more unique, might hook you even if you don't expect it's going to. In the next episode, we're going to jump into looking at a few different recommendations for starting out both on the low end and the high end. [MUSIC] 7. My Camera Recommendations: [MUSIC] Now that we have a feel for how the different styles of cameras operate and how they differ from one another, let's take a look at some makes and models that I think would make a great purchase. Since this is an intro to medium format film, I'm going to include some low and mid-range options that I think would make great purchases that are both capable and reliable. But I will also include a document in the class notes you can check out, that just goes into a little bit more detail and has a few extra recommendations on there, so check that out. But I will say also if this is your first time buying a film camera, if you can try and find a local camera store that's still selling used gear and try and find something tested. You can even buy off another photographer, maybe from a firm or someone local, that way you can just avoid any headaches. That being said, I still do buy a lot of my gear off of eBay. It's a little bit more of a gamble. I've had pretty good luck up until recently, had a few problems, but as long as you make sure you're buying from a seller that has a long feedback history, positive feedback, I've found they're always willing to work with you to fix any problems that you might run into. eBay is great, a lot of selection, usually good prices, but it is a little bit of a gamble. [MUSIC] We'll jump into things, we're going to start first talking about TLR camera options. If you don't want to spend much money and just want to shoot a roll and see if it's for you then a Lomo Lubitel 166 is a decent option. I actually picked one up for $40. I did a review on it and it did fall apart while I was shooting with it, which was a little disappointing, but I think that was just a bit of a fluke. The images that I created when it was working were actually quite impressive. This can be a good cheaper option, but just know that you might run into some headaches if you decide to go the cheap camera like this and in the end that can actually just lead to more frustration than you might actually want if you're just trying this out for the first time. Stepping up to mid-range, I'm a big fan of Yashicas cameras. This 124 G is actually one of my favorite cameras that I've ever owned, but it is the top of the line Yashica and it's getting quite expensive. When it comes to recommendations, you can always check the Yashica-D, which is a great option as well. It'll run you around $250-$300 in good condition, and as far as performance, it'll probably make images that are just as good as the 124 G. One more option is the Rolleicord, so Rolleiflex which we talked about, made the Rolleicord line, which was supposed to be like a budget line but these things are still incredible when it comes to construction. They have Schneider lenses as well, which are nice. If you look for one of the later Rolleicord, this is the Rolleicord 5 or V, is what it's called. These can be had for quite a decent price. I think I paid a £160 for this camera. It has a few minor issues when it comes to the slower shutter speeds, but overall, the lenses are nice and it produces some great results. Rolleicords are also a nice option if you're looking for something mid range that's going to last. Moving on to SLRs is going to be tough to find a budget option like the Lomo Lubitel but my number 1 recommendation for anyone looking to get into an SLR style camera in the 645 format is the original Pentax 645. These cameras are just great, they are fully automatic, so they have auto wind and they also have auto exposure modes. Manual focus only for the lenses unless you step up to one of the later 645 versions. But just a great camera with an excellent lens line up and you should be able to pick one up for around $500 with a lens in pretty good condition. If you want a traditional SLR feel, the Pentax 645 is an amazing choice. If you're looking for something with a little bit more customization, then definitely check out the Bronica ETR series. These are similar to this Mamiya we looked at, but they also have interchangeable back so you can remove it and replace it with a different one. While you're shooting, you can also change the finders, you can add a grip and a few other accessories, great lens line up as well, and they can be had for probably a similar price and the Pentax 645. That's a great option for 645 format just with a little more customization. If you want to jump up to a larger negative size with an SLR camera then the Mamiya RB67 is still a really great value. The price is increasing quite a bit, but you should be able to find one for maybe $6-$800 in great shape with a lens. This is a 6 by 7 camera. It also is fully customizable. It even has a rotating back, which is a pretty cool option. Then you can add on different backs as well, so I think 6 by 8, 6 by 12.5. This is a camera system that's going to give you a lot of different options depending on how you like to shoot. They're also built like tanks. They were used by professionals for years so great investment and going to be super capable. My last recommendation for SLR is if you want more of a traditional SLR style handling with a larger negative then the Pentax 6 by 7 is an amazing option. These as well, just like all film cameras are getting more expensive. They don't offer a lot of customization, but they are basically just a massive, oversized 35 millimeter SLR. This is my camera of choice in the 6 by 7 format. I also have a 672, which is the newer model, but these original 6 by 7 versions are still a great pickup. You should be able to find one for maybe $700-$1,000 with a lens. All I'll say is make sure that you get at least the 6 by 7 mirror lockup version or later not. You don't want the very first version as those are getting quite old now and you could have some problems with them. [MUSIC] Moving on to range finders. If you want to get one on a budget, your best bet is probably the original Mamiya 6. I think you can find these for $200. It's a 6 by 6 folder similar to the ZEISS that has a coupled range finder. A few versions of them even have a selectable switch to go from 6 by 6 to 6 by 4.5. Nice option. The only thing is they are getting a little bit more difficult to find and then also hard to find in good condition. Like I said before, the bellows on these cameras often wear out, so it's just something you got to keep an eye out for if you're looking for one. If you want to jump up in price a little bit, Fuji made a great selection of fixed lens range finders. The 645 series, they have the GS645W, has a fixed 60 millimeter F4 lens. Just a nice camera overall. Little bit plasticky, but the Fuji lenses are somehow my favorite. They're just super sharp and render images very nice. If you want to jump up in size, Fuji also made a GW690, which is also referred to as the Texas Laika, shoots a massive 6 by 9 negative and it's a pretty cool camera. The only downside is you got to keep in mind you're only going to get eight images per roll of 120. I hope that gives you a better understanding of the different camera styles out there, as well as some recommendations and it gives you an idea of where to start in which might be best for you. Excited to see what you pick up. Make sure to leave a picture and a comment in the discussion below. But in the next few episodes, we're actually going to head out into the field. We're going to take one of each style of camera, we're going to go shoot a roll of film in each one and just go over how they operate [MUSIC] 8. Lens Focal Lengths: [MUSIC] Quickly before we jump into recommendations, I just want to do this mini lesson to clear up one detail that may be a little bit confusing, and that is just talking about lens focal lengths and crop factors. I'm sure you've noticed when looking at medium format cameras before that most focal lengths don't go any wider than 30 or 35 mil depending on the format. The reason for this is, as the film negative size gets larger, the field of view for a specific focal length gets wider. I'm not going to go into too much detail with this. I recommend doing more research if this does interest you, but I just want to simplify this a little bit so you don't get confused. But let's say you take a 50 millimeter lens or a focal length from your 35 millimeter camera. That would be considered a normal field of view on a 35 millimeter camera. But if you took that same 50 millimeter focal length and put it on something like a 645 format, that's going to give you the same look as a 30 or 35 millimeter lens. It's going to be wider. If you took that same 50 millimeter focal length and you put it on something like a six by seven, it's going to be quite wide. It's going to be like a 24 millimeter, how that would look on a 35 millimeter camera. As the film negative gets larger, the field of view for a specific focal length gets wider. On a six by seven camera, a normal field of view would be something like a 90-105 millimeters. That would give you the same look as a 50 mil on a 35 millimeter camera, or on a 645 camera, something like a 70 or 75 mil is going to give you that normal 50 millimeter look. Just important to understand. As you're shopping around, you may notice that a lot of these cameras have longer focal length. These TLRs have 75 or 80 mils, this camera right now is a 75 mil. I also own a 105. You just got to keep in mind that the field of view gets wider as the film negative gets larger. [MUSIC] 9. On Location: Shooting With The SLR: [MUSIC] For today we came out to the country. We're basically going to go on a big walk. We have all three cameras with us. The point of these next few lessons, basically, it's just to load up some film and show you how each one of these cameras operates. The first one we're going to start with is an SLR and today I'm shooting with a Pentax 672. Like I mentioned earlier, for me, I really prefer an SLR for all the work I do and the Pentax 672 is my camera of choice. It just really suits me best and it is similar to the Pentax 645 and which I talked about earlier just in terms of all go and how it handles. But what we're going to start with today is we are going to go load some film and then I think we'll just stick in this area and see if we can make a couple of images and I'll talk to you about how this camera operates. I'm going to walk you through the process here and try and make it as seamless as possible. But basically what we're going to do is, we have the take-up spool right here and put that in the proper side. Can the idea with all of these cameras is you're always going to have a take up spool and then you're going to have your film in the other side. Depending on what camera you're using, it's going to feed vertical, could be horizontal, the base of the idea is together from this spool over to that one. We're going to load this roll of film or shoot some 400 speed from a pan black and white today. Just going to peel this little sticker off here. Just like that. I will load this in the take up side. Now in this simple as just running it over to the take-up spool. I didn't there and then we're going to feed this across. Like I showed in an earlier episode, we're going to watch for the arrow on the film to come out. There's a mark right here on the pentax, that's what you want to line it up with. I'll keep winding, there's the arrow and unwind it a little more, [NOISE] stop there. [NOISE] I'll close the back and then right here as we wind, it's going to show us that we still need to advance it just like on a 35 millimeter camera until we get to [NOISE] the one mark right there. Good to go. Like I mentioned earlier, a lot of the SLR systems offer customization, but the pentaxes really don't offer that much at all. The 645 system doesn't offer any. The 67, the one thing you can change out is the finder itself. You can take this one off and you can put on a waist level finder. The only one that I own is this AE finder, which has a meter in it, it's the only one I use. What I like about it is just the fact that you can shoot at eye level and then also it has three different metering mode. That just adds to this whole system, keeps it really portable and keeps it really simple, which is for me and the type of work that I do a huge benefit. [MUSIC] As I mentioned earlier, with medium format six by seven really is my favorite. As you can see in these image examples, the amount of detail you're able to get out of these negatives really is impressive, even with a cheaper film stock like this former Pan 400. [MUSIC]. You combine that with the portability of something like the Pentax system, and it really becomes this unique camera to shoot with that is incredibly capable of producing high-quality images. I like that I can use this camera in multiple ways, hand-held, going for a stroll down a country road, but then also on a tripod with the cable release when I need to slow things down and get the most quality from my images. One of the things that I love about this camera is it has an aperture priority modem and the Pentax 645 that I talked about is the same, but basically that allows you, you set the shutter speed dial here to the green a, and then you can pick your aperture and the camera will do the rest in terms of exposure. So it just adds to some of that portability and ease of use. I find myself often just living it set to that, I usually rate my film a little bit lower just to build in a little bit of insurance in case there are some underexposure and it seemed to work really good for me for say, the past year using this camera like that. [MUSIC] If you're interested in shooting a six by seven, there really are a lot of great options out there to choose from, it's all just going to come down to what type of camera you prefer to work with. If you want something even more portable than the Pentax 67 well then the Mamiya 7 is a great choice. But for me, the range finder system just isn't as enjoyable as an SLR. Really it comes down to thinking about the type of camera that you'd like to work with, and if you've been comfortable with an SLR in the past with 35 millimeter then the Pentax 67 might be a great choice for you. [MUSIC] With any of these medium format cameras, regardless of the style that's going to be the same procedure. When you finish your roll of film, you want to wind it on until you feel no more tension, open up the back, the film's going to now be on the take-up spool. You want to pop that out, use the sticker to seal it back up and keep it out of any direct light until you send it off to the lab. [MUSIC] In the next lesson, we're back out in the field again, this time, shooting with a TLR, the Yashica mat 124G. [MUSIC] 10. On Location: Shooting With The TLR: Just like with the range finders, a nice thing with the TLR is they're actually quite small. This camera in particular is very light, so considering the size of the image it shoots, a big six-by-six negative, it's nice to have this small portable camera to work with. It's quite different than something like the Pentax 672. This camera, when it comes to using it, you just have your aperture and shutter speed adjustments up here, just on either side of the lenses here, so really straightforward. Again, like I've said, as you work with each one of these specific cameras, you get used to the different ways of operating them. It is important to decide on what camera you think would work good for you, but then also accept that you've got to go, you got to buy one, you got to work with it for a couple weeks, just to get used to how it operates and the different quirks that each one brings with it. A lot of these TLR cameras load the same, they just usually have some sort of lock on the bottom, you pop them open. Then basically the top here is where you load in your take-up spool, and essentially the film runs from the bottom vertically up to the top, so a little different than the range finder system we shot with or the Pentax 67 where it's running horizontally. But usually pretty straightforward, so we're just going to put in this take-up spool. We'll lock it down here, just like that. This is the lever to advance it, let's get it lined up nice, then we'll go ahead and just get this sticker off. That's how it's locked in. Same as with all the other cameras as well, except we're just going vertically here, so we're going to go up, take-up spool just to line it up a little better for us. Let's start the film, just like that. Same thing again, we're going to wait for the arrow to show up. You won't be able to see it. I'll get a shot after, but there is a little green arrow in here on the issue command, so same idea. We're going to advance the film until the arrow on the film gets up to that section. Keep advancing right there, so we're going to close the back now, we're going to lock it. Then with the Yashika, you just have this frame counter on the side, and what you want to do right now it's just an S. I'm going to go ahead and wind this, it's going to stop automatically, and the number 1's going to show up in that window there. Just back wind it and then you're basically good to go. [MUSIC] I don't get out to shoot my TLR too often, but every time I do, I'm quickly reminded just how small and compact these cameras are. When you take into account the size of the negative being six-by-six, they are just a really unique and impressive style of camera. So this Yashica-Mat does really hold a special place in my heart, being the first film camera that got me back into film photography. But it's really straightforward to use, and it's a unique experience. You have this flip up finder here, the way its little finder. A lot of your images, you're going to end up composing, just holding the camera like this and as much as I like shooting at eye level, it is nice to look down into this massive six-by-six ground-glass to compose. Then you do have your flip up magnifier here just to check your critical focus, so you can really get in there and make sure that your subject's going to be in focus. But this Yashica-Mat in particular, just has a really unique way of rendering images. The lens on it, there's something special about it, and it's one camera I certainly won't ever get rid of. [MUSIC]. Like I said in an earlier lesson, most midrange and also high range TLRs are going to be more than capable when it comes to the optics and producing nice sharp detailed images, and the Yashica is definitely no exception to that. While it might not be as capable as the more modern optics I was using in a Pentax in the last lesson, it still produces very detailed images, especially when you look at them at full resolution. The lens on this camera also has some character to it, so you can see in this last image just flaring a little bit when the late evening light hits the lens. The one thing that takes getting used to with one of these cameras and something that I'm not used to because I hadn't shot with a TLR for awhile, but since we're just looking straight at the ground glass and there's no prism in there like with an SLR, when you move, everything goes the opposite way. So the first few times shooting with a TLR camera was a way its little finder. It will take some getting used to, and it is a little bit frustrating when you're trying to frame up and you seemingly just keep going the wrong way rather than the right way. But something to note, just to get used to, it's going to take a little bit of time, but it still is worth it when you get to compose straight onto the ground glass. As much as I love working with the SLRs and they are my go-to choice. For most of my work, there is just something unique about both how a TLR looks and also how it operates. If you're new to medium format, I definitely recommend at least giving a TLR a shot. You may fall in love like I did. In the next lesson, we're wrapping up the infield sessions with the last camera on the list, the range finder. 11. On Location: Shooting With The Rangefinder: [MUSIC] Through this next episode, we are going to load up some film into the rangefinder camera, which is the Zeiss Super Ikonta 534/16. This camera shoots in the six by six square format, and just like the Yashica Mat that we're using, this also has a 75 milli lens, which would be considered normal around a 50 milli on a 35 millimeter camera. This 534/16 was the last version of this camera, so it's actually quite fully featured. It has a coupled range finder, and it also has a built-in light meter, although it's obviously a pretty old camera. I don't have much faith, even though it does show that it's working, so I'm going to use a handheld meter for this. But let's go ahead, we're going to load some film in this camera, and then we will go and make some images. Super straightforward to load. Same thing, we got the take-up reel, and we've got our spool loaded in there. On this camera, it's just actually the spring-loaded tabs, so we'll get that in there. Same deal. Just going to feed this over [NOISE] to the take-up reel. Once it gets going, so we're going to do the same thing as before on this camera, the little white mark there, we're going to wait for the arrow to show up. I'm going to keep my thumb here, just to keep a little bit of tension on there. Trying to film nice and flat. As soon as we get there, go ahead and close the back. We're just going to lock it like that. Then we have a little view finder window here, and just like with most cameras, we're going to wind that until we get to the number 1. It'll stop automatically, and we're good to go. This camera is actually quite rare, because it has an automatic film advance, so it'll stop, as you saw it stopped when we got to the first frame. When you shoot an image and you advance to the next one, it'll automatically stop once we get to frame 2, 3, 4, and so on. But a lot of these old folder cameras don't have that feature, so that's important to know if you pick one up. Lot of them have this rear window. What you need to do is, just open that window as you're advancing your film and just keep an eye out for the next frame number to show up, and that's when you stop. You got to keep in mind these cameras are from the '50's, '60's, stuff like that so a feature that seems so simple, this automatic film advance, actually was quite rare. Just keep that in mind when you're looking for one of these cameras. [MUSIC] The one big difference with the folder camera and also the TLR is, they have a leaf shutter compared to an SLR that has the mirror and the shutter built-in, so a lot quieter, which is nice, especially if you're doing like street photography. Then you could also handle these cameras at a lot slower shutter speeds as well. But depending on the camera you have, there is a little bit of a process to it. With this one in particular, you have to cock the shutter before every shot and also before you wind it. It's just a little bit more of a process, but it is something that you get used to overtime. I mentioned with the TLR, the combination of cameras size compared to negative size was really amazing. Well, this folder takes that one step further being, of course, is six-by-six negative, but just in this incredibly compact camera body. I've already mentioned that I prefer working with SLR's, but like I said, some range finder cameras have framed lines. This does not, so when you're actually looking through this viewfinder window, for me, it's not the most accurate because the edges are a little soft and blurry. Obviously, if you're shooting wider scenes like this, it gives you pretty good idea of what you're going to get, but it's still just not that precise SLR border where, you know what's in and what's out. [MUSIC] But I think it is one of those things that you'd get used to as you use this a little more. Also, the one strange thing about this camera, I'll come and close here. Again, this is going to be different depending on what type of folder camera you have, but you adjust the shutter speed and the aperture on the lens here, but they're actually linked together. You'll see they both move when you move the shutter speed dial. Just interesting quirks, that if you've used just a normal 35 millimeter camera, when you come to something like this, just know that it is going to take some getting used to working out these quirks and getting used to how the camera operates. When it comes to lens quality, it is going to depend on the camera system that you buy. This Super Ikonta has a Carl Zeiss, 75 millimeter Tessar, which overall performs pretty well when it's shot wide open or close to it. It is a little bit soft, but once you start to stop it down, it sharpens up quite a bit and produces very detailed images. Kind of what's to be expected with an older lens like this. If you are looking at one of these older range finders, so best to do some research and read up about the optics on whichever model you're going to buy. In the next lesson, we're going to jump into scanning, starting with looking at a comparison between medium format and 35 millimeter scanned at home. 12. Scanning: 35mm vs Medium Format: [MUSIC] In this lesson, we're going to quickly talk about the options for scanning medium format at home and why it's easier to get high-quality results because of the larger negative size. When a lot of people start scanning at home, they seem to end up with an Epson flatbed scanner just because they're affordable. They're also quite flexible just because they can do 35-millimeter and 120. I think you can pick up a new Epson V600 for $250 US. This 4990 and also a V500, which I used to own, I found both of them for $5 at a thrift store. There are deals out there waiting to be found and you can get setup quite cheap. The only downside with these scanners though is that, in my experience, I've always found them to be a little bit lacking with 35-millimeter film. You can refine your process and get okay results, but you're still dealing with smaller file sizes at the end of the day. There's only so much that these can pull from the smaller 35-millimeter negative. It can be a little bit disappointing if you're just starting out. I've actually had people message me before, just asking if there was something wrong with their camera when they were focusing because their images were blurry, and it actually turns out that they were just scanning them at home on a flatbed, not sharpening them properly, and the results were just very [LAUGHTER] disappointing. [MUSIC] But the cool thing is, with medium format, that all changes. Even using the smallest format size of 6 by 4.5 with an Epson flatbed, you're able to produce pretty decent files that are quite detailed, quite sharp, and the image size also starts to jump up and give you a lot more flexibility as well. If you're looking to get into scanning at home for the first time with medium format, I would recommend looking for either a V600, which you can buy new and then you're going to have no issues, but you can also look at V500, V550 or this 4990. These are all older options. They're all probably going to give you very similar performance. The 4990, maybe the best out of the bunch, just because even though this is older, it was one of the professional versions back in the day being able to scan larger format film as well. The second option is getting a dedicated film scanner for medium format film. Unfortunately, nowadays, there's not many of them out there. Still being made. Couple of companies are. I don't have any experience with them, but I actually haven't heard great things from the reviews that I've read. That leaves you with the Nikon CoolScan. There's the 9000, which this is, and then there's also the 8000, which is a little bit cheaper. These are as good as it gets for scanning at home unless you want it to jump up to a massive drum scanning setup. But what I love about these is they just allow you to get the most out of your film regardless of the formats of 35 and 120, super sharp and detailed massive file sizes. But like I said, since these aren't being made anymore, they are quite rare or getting rare, and that makes them quite expensive. The CoolScan 9000, you'd spend upwards of like $3,000 US. It's really an investment that you would want to make once you're sure that you want to stick with this format and also you have a reason for wanting to get the most out of your film. But really, why I wanted to include these next couple of lessons is just to talk about the importance of taking control as much of the process as you can, even just for a short period of time so you can understand it better. Scanning is a big one because when you send your film away to a lab, you just get these image files back, and often, you can look at them and not really understand why they look how they do and it can lead to confusion and maybe a little bit of misunderstanding. By scanning at home, especially when you can produce some nice results with something like medium format, it allows you to really start to bring some consistency to your workflow [MUSIC] and start to understand the process that much better. In the next episode, we're going to jump at the computer and take a look at some film I've scanned using the Epson V4990. 13. Scanning At Home With An Epson Flatbed: [MUSIC] In this lesson, we're going to look at some medium format images as well as some 35 mil that were scanned using an Epson V 4990 flatbed. You can see the differences between the two. I do just want to mention as well quickly before we jump into these next couple lessons that this is really just meant to show you a bit of a comparison between medium format and 35 and the performance of these scanners. Not going to get into the process too much because that is a pretty in-depth topic. I'm actually working on a course here on Skillshare that's going to be all about scanning films, so just keep an eye out for that if that's something you want to learn more of. You can also check out my YouTube channel, where I have a bunch of videos as well in the meantime. But let's jump on the computer. We'll take a look at some of the results from the 4990. Jumping into things, we're going to start with 35 millimeter. I also want to say that we aren't necessarily looking at the color of these images when I'm doing these comparisons just because scanning 35 mil and then converting it color negative film, there's so much variance depending on your process and how you do things. What I more so want to focus on is just showing you the detail and the resolution of these images and how it differs between scanners and between formats. This first one's 35 mil. This was done at half resolution. Flatbed scanners almost always exaggerate their max resolution number. I think the Epson 4990 is 4800 DPI. I usually cut that in half by 50 percent and that's where you start to see the best results. With 35 millimeter film, we're seeing a 3300-pixel wide image. Not really that big and not that exciting as well, especially like I said, if you're used to working with digital. This image and most of the ones here that we're going to look at, these were converted using Negative Lab Pro in Adobe Lightroom and then they all just have capture sharpening added to them, which is done in the software. It's this minimal sharpening. It's what I do to all my images, and then I'll go and I'll sharpen from there. But as you'll see, so this is at 100 percent, not a huge file size. This is a 5K monitor. But even if we go into 200, you'll see that it just doesn't look that great. It's a little mushy. There's not a ton of fine detail or anything like that. Obviously, you could take this, go through a sharpening workflow, and get it quite a bit better. But still, as an initial result, especially if you're used to shooting digital, you might look at this and be pretty underwhelmed. Then this is the same image. This is without any capture sharpening. Ignore the difference in look, I just converted this quickly without capture sharpening to show you as well. It's even worse. Obviously, it's even softer. Not great. But as you'll see, if we take this one with the capture sharpening, you can now go put it to 100 percent. We'll just do rough sharpening here with Lightroom. It does clean up, it does get sharper. Obviously, you could do this a lot better approach, a little more refined. But the thing is since the surface area of the film is smaller with 35, you get to a point where there's only so much you can do and then you aren't really sharpening detail anymore. Anyways, it doesn't look too bad like this, but still you're dealing with quite a small file size. For me, whenever I used to do this with a flatbed, it just always felt like I was leaving a lot on the table because 35-millimeter film has quite a lot of potential if you scan it with the right equipment. Just zero that back out. But now, we'll jump to 645 next. You'll see right away if we look up at the resolution. Again, this was scanned at half resolution. We're getting 5100 pixels on the long edge, so quite a bit larger than the 35, which was 33. Right away, even at the smallest medium format size, you're starting to get into the territory where you're working with image sizes that have quite a bit of potential, so 5100-pixel wide image or on the long edge. You can do quite a bit with that when it comes to printing. Then you'll notice again, this just has capture sharpening none apply. But right away, even with no sharpening applied, this image looks quite a bit better than the 35 did. The cool thing is is since we have that larger surface area to work with, we're capturing a little more detail. This medium format file sharpen up quite a bit nicer than the 35. You'll see even if we just do this rough in Lightroom here, this file looks pretty good. That's the cool thing, 645 format on a flatbed, especially if you can find one for a low price. All of a sudden you have this combo, where you're finally starting to see some results from your film. Working with this process at home where you're getting these image files, you can be excited about. So 645, lot of potential there. But obviously, as you start to jump up, we'll go to six by seven next. This is where it really gets good. The larger the negative size on the flatbed, the better it's going to get. Even scanning four by five on a flatbed is great. But with six by seven here, you'll see that it's almost 6500-pixel wide image. This file size is getting quite large. Again, this is at half resolution. If we zoom in, you'll see that we're starting to get quite a detailed image without any sharpening, and then once we start to apply it, this image actually comes to life quite well. As a file to work with at home, 6500 pixel is quite large. It's actually pretty detailed. Again, you could refine your sharpening workflow a little bit. I'm just doing this rough just using this slider. You can make this even better than it is. But with six by seven now, there's a quite a bit of potential with this Epson scanner. Then we'll zero that out. One more example here. Same thing, 6500-pixels wide, no sharpening, and it's not looking bad at all. We have this sign here. We're at 100 percent, it looks pretty good. We sharpen that up. Quite easily, these six-by-seven files start to look pretty nice. That's the cool thing. If you jump into the medium format world, say you maybe start with 645, once you get to 67, all of a sudden for quite easily you can have this scanner and camera combo that's going to allow you to start taking advantage of the size of the negative. As you can see from these examples, there's just a lot more potential scanning at home using a more affordable Epson flatbed scanner when you're working with medium format film. Even though you can get by with 35, the image files, like we saw, the size of them, it's quite small and there just isn't as much detail there. I think this is really cool. One of the big benefits of shooting medium format is just as flexibility that it opens up to be able to take control of this part of the process for a quite affordable price and start to learn how to really bring some consistency to your images at home. In the next episode, we're going to take a look at scanning using a dedicated film scanner, the top of the line, Nikon Coolscan 9000. [MUSIC] 14. Scanning At Home With A Dedicated Film Scanner: [MUSIC] In this lesson, we're going to look at some film, both 35 millimeter and 120 that was scanned on the Coolscan 9000. Like I said earlier, the Coolscan 9000 really is the best of the best for scanning at home. But it is getting quite expensive and it's probably not the right option for a lot of people, especially if you're just starting to scan yourself at home. But I I wanted to do this lesson just to show you some image examples so you can get a feel for what medium format film scan and a top of the line scanner looks like. I'm going to show you the exact same images that we used for the Epson lesson that we just looked at. In that way we can compare the two and you can get a feel for how the two differ. First image we'll look at, again is the 35 millimeter frame just so you can get a feel for the difference right away with that smaller format size. If we look up here at the resolution right away, this is 5600 pixels wide for 35 millimeter frame, the Epson was 3300. Quite a bit of a jump up. That's because like I said, the Nikon list their their resolution is 4,000 DPI, but it's an actual true 4,000 DPI, they aren't exaggerating it. You can take the scanner, you can use it at maximum resolution. Even when you do that, as you'll see, no sharpening applied, just that little bit of capture sharpening. When we zoom in, the image is already quite detailed as is, so it's giving you a lot more to work with right away. From a 35 millimeter frame, it looks great and it's only going to get better as we sharpen it. If we do a little bit of comparison here, we'll throw that Epson one on the left, close this out, and we'll do this one on the right. Obviously the Coolscan, we're going to be able to get in a little closer to 100 percent. But if you look at both of these image files with no sharpening applied, you can just see how much I step up there is with the Nikon. Then obviously the Nikon as well as you start to sharpen it. Like I said before, when you have that detail that's there you can take advantage of that and it's only going to look better as you start to sharpen it up a little bit. This for a 35 millimeter frame 5600 pixels wide, this image has a lot of potential, even from that small negative size. I just want to start with that 35 millimeter one, but it only gets better obviously as we jump up, and this is where it'll get interesting and we can compare the two. We'll look at 645 first, you'll see right away there's a quite a big jump up in resolution compared to the Epson. We're at 8500 pixels compared to 5100 on the Epson. Right away with a dedicated film scanner and medium format, even with the smallest size, 645, you're getting quite a massive file size to work with, 8500 pixels, and then again, we zoom into 100 percent, you'll see right away, even without sharpening the scanners able to basically start resolving the grain, you can see the crane in the image and then as you sharpen this up, it's only going to get better. You have these workable massive files from the Nikon straight away. We will do a comparison here though. Let's look at the Epson on the left. No sharpening on either, right now they're both zeroed out. Now the Epson doesn't look as good. It's actually quite a bit softer than the Nikon. You can't really see any of the grain. That would change as you sharpen it up a little bit. The Nikon obviously is quite a bit better, but still the Epson is doing pretty good. There's not that drastic difference that there was when we looked at the 35 millimeter frames with the 35 is very soft. Moving on to six by seven, just like with the Epson, this is where it gets really good, so 10,600 pixel wide image. This is massive. Six by seven on the Nikon I absolutely love because now you're getting into the territory where you can print quite large, 25-30 inches wide without having to oppress the image at all. You're working with these native file sizes, which is great. Again, as you'll see, if we go to 100 percent on this Nikon file at max resolution, it's resolving the grain. You're seeing the detail here in the grill. It looks really nice. Then if we compare, again, we'll throw that Epson up on the left here and we'll do the Nikon on the right, we'll go up to 100 percent on both. This is where the Epson with the best obviously with the larger six by seven negative. But you can see now when you compare the two, the Epson it looks cleaner, but that's because we're not resolving any of the grain, so it looks like a little smoother, you'd obviously want to sharpen this up a bit. Whereas the Nikon is even with zero sharpening, starting to show some of that grain already. Quite a big difference. But even just looking at those two, like we saw before, the Epson was six by seven has a ton of potential and it's really starting to get to a place where you have these image files that you can be really excited about even at 645. Then last one here, we might as well do a comparison for this one as well. Epson on the left, Nikon on the right, you'll see again, just looks incredible being able to read all these little details even on the open sign this interstate batteries. Then the Epson is obviously looking a bit softer. Although I think we did leave the sharpening on the Epson we did, so let's pull that off and we'll go back. Now we can see the difference between the two. But as the negative size gets larger, the difference between these two certainly starts to narrow a little bit when it comes to detail. Obviously, the resolution jump is still quite large between the two, but not bad at all. Interesting to see these results, wanted to show you this comparison with both of them. Just you get a feel for how more affordable flatbed scanner is going to look versus a top of the line [MUSIC] dedicated film scanner. I hope these past two lessons just show you the potential there is when you start scanning larger negative sizes at home. Like I said, with the 35 millimeter stuff, it's still doable, but it can be a little bit disappointing, especially if you're used to working with digital where you're getting these like 20, 30, 40 megapixel files that are very detailed from like a full-frame 35 millimeter sensor. Then you go and scan your 35 millimeter film, you get this like 3,000 pixel wide blurry image. But like we saw in this lesson, and obviously in the last one with the Epson scanner, soon as you jump up to the larger negative size, it just opens up a lot of possibilities and you can finally start getting some results that you're actually excited about, and it feels like you're starting to see some of the benefits that come with shooting on a larger negative size. 15. Conclusion: [MUSIC] That's a wrap. I hope you enjoyed this course and that you feel a lot more comfortable now with this world of medium format film photography. I hope that helps you understand which camera might be best for you, in which frame size might be best for you. For me, medium format really is one of the special things about shooting with film. It's one of the things I love about it and I think it's something that everyone should try, at least once, even if that means picking up a 30 or $40 Lomo Lubitel and giving it a shot. But as always, if you have any questions at all, I'm happy to help. I'd also love to hear your feedback below if you can leave a review. That'd be greatly appreciated. Love to see what camera you picked up, what images you've made, and if there's any questions you have or any way I can help, just let me know. Feel free to reach out direct as well. Also, in the near future we're going to be launching my next course here on Skillshare, which is all about film scanning, so if that's something you want to learn more about, make sure to give me a follow, just to be notified of when that launches. But until then, just want to say thank you, I appreciate you taking the course. I hope you enjoyed it and happy shooting. [MUSIC]