Question on Medium Format Lenses

This is a discussion on Question on Medium Format Lenses within the Film Photography Equipment forums, part of the FILM PHOTOGRAPHY FORUM category; Hi, I have just happened across a bronica etrsi, which came with a 50mm and 75mm lens. I know that 50mm on a medium format ...


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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Hi,

    I have just happened across a bronica etrsi, which came with a 50mm and 75mm lens. I know that 50mm on a medium format is a wide lens, and 75 mm a standard lens. As I have been used to 35mm I know there are differences, but I'm struggling to understand how those differences work and what they mean! Could anyone enlighten me? For example, I kind of though that 50mm on a 35mm camera was considered the'normal' focal range, and anything below 35mm is wide.

    So yeh could anyone give me some advice, an overview maybe of the comparisons between 35mm and medium format (6x4.5) lenses, it would be much appreciated!

    Thanks


  • #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    3
    Quote Originally Posted by slh3004 View Post
    Hi,

    I have just happened across a bronica etrsi, which came with a 50mm and 75mm lens. I know that 50mm on a medium format is a wide lens, and 75 mm a standard lens. As I have been used to 35mm I know there are differences, but I'm struggling to understand how those differences work and what they mean! Could anyone enlighten me? For example, I kind of though that 50mm on a 35mm camera was considered the'normal' focal range, and anything below 35mm is wide.

    So yeh could anyone give me some advice, an overview maybe of the comparisons between 35mm and medium format (6x4.5) lenses, it would be much appreciated!

    Thanks
    Basically it is not the lens, but the size of the film. The bigger the film the more area you cover. Same deal happens in digital photography where one camera will have a full frame sensor and another will have a multiplier of say 1.6 only because it has a smaller sensor. I hope this made sense in anyway. Not to sure how to explain it in text.

  • #3
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2009
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    Billings, MT
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    PHOTO EDITING OK
    Imagine that you have two cameras set up, one which is a 6x6cm and the other is a 35mm. On the 35mm camera, you choose a 50mm lens and voila, the subject sits squarely and takes up 2/3 of the frame. You switch over to the 6x6cm camera and with a 50mm lens you expect the same result. Instead the object is significantly smaller.

    As mohican pointed out the issue is not the lens. In fact, if you had a lens that would fit both your 6x6 and 35mm camera, you'd have the same issue.

    The issue here is that the subject, relative to the film plane will take up more "space" on 35mm than it would on the larger 6x6. The subject doesn't change, obviously, and now you realize that the lens doesn't change either. The film format is larger, so the subject **appears** smaller. In fact everything is smaller relative to the larger film plane so more "stuff" can now "fit" in your 50mm view on 6x6 than on 35mm (for lack of better terms). So if you cropped a 35mm-film-sized area out of the center of this image, it would look exactly as if you took it on your 35mm camera.

    When considering this concept, try to avoid thinking of higher focal lengths as "bringing the subject closer" and shorter focal lengths as "wide" but rather "making the subject larger" and "making the subject smaller".

    And not to confuse you; but imagine if you had a magical camera with magical film of infinite size. It wouldn't matter what lens you put on it, this magical camera it would always take full spherical*pictures and everything in the frame would be equally infinitely tiny.
    bear with me. i don't have an escape button...

  • #4

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    For estimating similar field of view multiply focal length of desired 35mm FOV by x1.5 to get 6x4.5 focal length.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_lens

    "I donít use an exposure meter. My personal advice is: Spend the money you would put into such an instrument for film. Buy yards of film, miles of it. Buy all the film you can get your hands on. And then experiment with it. That is the only way to be successful in photography. Test, try, experiment, feel your way along. It is the experience, not technique, which counts in camera work first of all. If you get the feel of photography, you can take fifteen pictures while one of your opponents is trying out his exposure meter." -Alfred Eisenstaedt


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