6x7 and grain concerns?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by stradibarrius, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Is it correct that grain is not as big an issue with MF as it can be with 35mm? If I shoot 120/400 ISO film and under the same exposure conditions shoot 35mm/400 ISO does the MF have less visible grain?
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Yes.
     
  3. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening,

    Because the grain from a larger negative is less obvious than that of a 35mm negative, given a similar-size print and a similar film/developer combination, the print from MF will ordinarily exhibit much less graininess.

    With a film such as Tri-X, 8 x 10 prints are too grainy for my taste, but those from MF are acceptable. But with a finer grained film, such as 35mm TMX, I find graininess in 8 x 10 prints very acceptable for most purposes; you'd have to go to at least 11 x 14 before noticing grain.

    Tastes vary. What is acceptable to some may not be to others.

    Konical
     
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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  5. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    It's all about magnification. Since MF is larger you don't have to enlarge it as much as 35 mm for a small print, so the grain appears less.
     
  6. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    The less apparent grain is one thing. While e.g. Carl Zeiss and Mamaya lenses are very well reputed, MF lenses usually are less sharp and less contrasty than their 35mm counterparts. (Not to mention the dedicated digital lenses, which are very sharp and contrasty.) On the other hand you will notice a much smoother tonality. The pictures may seem a bit sharper but at the same time they are much smoother. I think that is the greatest gain in the larger sized negatives. (Which is why I refer my Hassy SWC to being my "pocket camera". :smile: I personally "max out" with some old brass lenses on a 5x7" Sinar.)

    //Björn
     
  7. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    It's simply a truism that a larger format means less magnification (for the same size print), and that less magnification means less apparently grain. I recently experimented with Kodak's Portra NC 400 in 6x7, and was stunned to see how grainless it is. I hadn't used any color film to speak of for a very long time, and was unaware just how much the color emulsions have improved. I'm about to try the VC version, just to see what that is like and how it compares. The smoothness of medium format and large format works very well for people photography, in my opinion. If I gave a damn about landscapes, I would probably also prefer the larger formats for their ability to render detail.