Last Updated on 07/15/2018 by Mark Beckenbach
Curious about what makes medium format different from 35mm format? These comparison videos by Hasselblad will serve as a technical and unbiased primer.
Because there’s now more to the distinction between 35mm and medium format than the frame size and shape, it’s worth knowing their differences given today’s technologies and applications. With the help of photographer and technical expert Karl Taylor, Hasselblad has created a series of comparison videos that put both formats to the test, and shows the advantages of medium format in an unbiased manner.
For the uninitiated, medium format refers to an image size of anything larger than the 24x36mm dimensions of the 35mm format, whether film or digital. However, it shouldn’t be bigger than the 4×5 inch large format. Because a larger image size means more details can be captured, medium format has been the choice of photographers for projects where superior image quality is paramount.
In the video series below, Karl Taylor demonstrates a number of scenarios where we can see the advantages and performance of medium format. Pitting a 35mm camera (looks like the full frame Nikon D850) against the Hasselblad H6D-100c, we learn how the two formats differ in terms of factors like depth of field, color rendition, dynamic range, sharpness, shadows, and details captured.
There you have it. The video series could very well be a not so subtle promotion of Hasselblad’s medium format system, but take from it what you will. Some may point out that medium format automatically wins because of the sensor size alone. But we can give these videos credit for dissecting each image and why one format stands out over the other, straight from the camera. If you’re thinking of transitioning into modern medium format, these tests could be just what you need to make that jump. However, if your work doesn’t really require the level of detail and technicality of medium format, these tests could mean little to you.
Check out the Hasselblad website if you want to find out more about the advantages of medium format.
Image used with permission from Hasselblad