Well, I just happened to notice that I shot identical frames with both the Sony NEX 5N and the Plaubel Makina 67 (loaded with Kodak TRI-X 400), so I cropped the same part of each image to see what’s going on. The NEX 5N is a 16 megapixels digital camera while the Makina 67 is a 6×7 medium format film camera. The crop really shows the winner in terms of image resolution. Now, remember that TRI-X is a 400 ISO film with a very distinct grain, if I was to shoot with a slower film like Delta 100 or TMAX 100, the grain would be minimal and the difference would be even more evident. Add a tripod to the equation and the 6×7 film goes even further away. Use a slide film like Velvia 50 or Provia 100F and… well you can imagine what’s going to happen !!
Medium format scanned on a dedicated film scanner like the Coolscan 9000 has an image quality which only few digital cameras can get close (we are talking about expensive cameras equipped with their best lenses). Even then, the tonality and color of MF (if we are shooting slides) has a very distinct look which a 35mm sensor cannot easily reach. And of course the dynamic range of a black and white film is really superb.
For all the above reasons, I really enjoy shooting with medium format film cameras and although there are new super duper DSLR beasts coming (like the 36mp Nikon D800 or the Canon 5D MKIII), medium format film will always have a place in my arsenal.
(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.