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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 24 Aug 2004 (Tuesday) 14:45
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Full Frame 35mm versus medium- & large-format

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Joined Aug 2004
Aug 24, 2004 14:45 |  #1

At a recent digital seminar in Boston, the speaker--a well-known New York photographer--claimed that "a full frame 35mm digital is now as good as either a medium- or large-format camera." Am I to believe that Hasselblads and Seinars are now on their way out?


Admin (type T-2000)
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Location: Rhode Island USA
Aug 24, 2004 15:03 |  #2

This sounds a little like an exageration.. or at least an over simplification.

But many 1Ds users are claiming that they have certainly surpassed 35mm in resolution and detail..

I too know of one prominent phtographer who has switched from medium and large format photography to the 1Ds. (happens to be the Dean of Fine Arts at Yale as well.. and the foremost expert on black & white printing in the world) ...

So the claims do have some merit for sure.

Jake Hegnauer Photography (external link)

Senior Member
918 posts
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Joined Jul 2003
Location: South East UK
Aug 24, 2004 16:07 |  #3

Hi Rubydoo,

well as this is my 100th posting, I guess i'd better make it a good one.

There is a point at which the human eye can not see any more detail, various things effect this, age, tiredness, how many beers you've had etc. However under good viewing conditions some things are just to small to see, so if the image contains these tiny details they will be to small for you to see. So for example if you take a 1Ds (11Mp digital), a EOS3 (35mm film) and a 645 of your choice and produce a 6x4 print you will not be able to see any more detail in one print than in any other. This is because there is more than enough information crammed into your 6x4 print so that all of the media that is supplying data are suppplying more than can be percieved at that scale. If you now do the same but take it to 12x8 then you will see that there is little difference between the 1ds and the 645 but the film based eos might be starting to show its limits. Get it up to 16x10 and the film is going to be showing its grain, whereas the 1ds and the 645 are still looking good. If you keep pushing it you get to a point where the 645 is going to have more data to play with than the 1ds, this seems to happen around 19x13 prints. Have a look at Reichmans review of the 1ds, he even does nice pictures.

LL 1Ds review (external link)

I guess it all depends on what the final output is going to be. It's not just about how big the enlargements are, its about sharpness, acutance, noise and grain. For prints under 19x13 the 1Ds has most other cameras beat.

Best regards


Moderation is for people that can't handle excess.

Gear List.

4,132 posts
Likes: 1
Joined May 2004
Aug 24, 2004 23:51 |  #4

Luminous Landscape did a comparison between 1Ds and a medium format camera. The conclusion was 1Ds is the same, if not better, than the MF camera.

Tried looking for that article but couldn't find it.

Senior Member
998 posts
Joined Mar 2004
Aug 25, 2004 05:19 |  #5

The current Shutterbug has a medium format vs. digital (Nikon D100, I believe) comparison and concludes that below 16x20 prints it is pretty much a draw.


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Full Frame 35mm versus medium- & large-format
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