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medium format

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X30 first image samples (1 of 28)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

The title of this piece can almost make you say, “Duh” depending on what school of thought you’re coming from. Whether we choose to believe it or not, the iPhone is one of the most popular street photography cameras not only due to its small size and reliability, but for the fact that it has such a small sensor that it’s tough to not get a subject in focus. The sensor is indeed so small that it is tough to get something not in focus–so the photographer is forced to have compelling subject matter without relying on tricks like bokeh.

And by going on a similar train of thought, one can argue that smaller sensors indeed make street photography easier.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer The Brenzier Effect tutorial portraits (1 of 3)ISO 16001-80 sec at f - 1.4

Otherwise known as the Brenizer Effect but colloquially called panoramic portraits–this is the act of taking multiple images of a static subject and stitching them together in Photoshop. The result is something that looks like it was shot on a medium format lens and sensor/film plane due to the wide field of view but very shallow depth of field.

Doing them is fairly simple–though there are considerations that you’re going to need to remember along with having a lot of patience while your software of choice processes through an image like this.

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All images courtesy of CineStill

What the world needs right about now is more medium format film: and that’s exactly what the Brothers Wright are looking to create. CineStill announced a new Kickstarter initiative for a medium format 800 ISO 120 film. Like their first entry into the market, this one will be Tungsten color balanced. They’re calling it 800T, and again it is rebadged Kodak cinema film. This time, they’re using Kodak Vision 500T film– which is probably the 65mm film version but rescaled for medium format still camera bodies.

CineStill states that each roll of the film has 250 exposures and medium format 120 film has on average around 12 exposures if you shoot in the 645 format. So each roll could be split into around 20 CineStill films.

The film is said to work with regular C-41 processing–which means that it can be developed at many local stores. One of the biggest things about this film though is the fact that there aren’t very many high ISO medium format films left and available in color–so this would open up new possibilities for medium format shooters everywhere (myself included.)

More images and the company’s new promo video are after the jump.

Via Petapixel

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split prism

Years and years ago, SLR cameras used to use the split prism method of focusing. This was before autofocusing was a standard feature on cameras. In order to get a lens in focus, the photographer had to look through their SLR with the lens attached and turn the focusing ring accordingly. When the image in the center lined up perfectly, it meant that the scene and subject int he center was in focus.

Today, this method isn’t use as much except if you manage to get your hands on a matte or split prism focusing screen for your DSLR. They work exceptionally well with manual focus lenses, but modern screens and viewfinders have become so good that it’s arguable that you don’t even need them anymore. This method also wasn’t always the most accurate when shooting wide open. Additionally, many photographers back then loved to focus and recompose. So it was almost useless to use this method unless you were stopped down quite a bit or were incredibly careful.

All of this worked through bouncing the image from the mirror to the prism which then showed what the lens saw to the photographer who peered through the viewfinder. This method is still used with some medium format cameras that use manual focusing lenses. But generally, it’s over and done with. Fujifilm, however, brought this method back in a digital version with their X100s camera. However, their simulation is absolutely nothing compared to the real thing.

The video after the jump demonstrates this is better detail, check it out.

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LCA 120 Lomography

We didn’t think that it could be done, but Lomography has surely done it. Today, the company has come out with something seriously and amazingly cool for medium format photographers. Building on the success of their LCA+ and LC-Wide cameras, the company has created the LCA 120–the same camera as their 35mm versions but able to take 120 film.

In a way, we could easily call this a medium format point and shoot with program exposure shooting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have aperture control like the original LCA did, but much can still be done with this camera.

It sports a 38mm f4.5 lens–which roughly translates into around a 24mm equivalent somewhere between f2.8 and f3.5 in the 35mm film equivalent world. They’re also claiming a very compact body, square image types, multiple exposure capabilities, and rear curtain flash sync for really creative images.

Plus, the lens is made of glass–just like the other LCA cameras. It’s going for $429; which isn’t terrible at all for medium format. More images and specs are after the jump.

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Whether you’re thinking about getting into film, or you’ve magically picked up an old SLR and are confused about how to use it, hopefully this little guide can steer you in the right direction.

The actual process of shooting film isn’t that much different from digital. Assuming you understand how exposure works, then the principle is exactly the same.

If you come from shooting RAW on a digital camera then really you only lose three features.

– Ability to change ISO

– Ability to change White Balance.

– *shocker* Ability to preview your shot

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published at Peter Stewart’s blog. It has been syndicated with permission.

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