Medium Format - The Professional Choice

by Brite Pix - Date: 2009-04-21 - Word Count: 560 Share This!

As you dig through a box of old wedding photos, you may come across the negatives from the event. When you open them, you will realize that they look quite different than the negatives you had from your older film camera. These negatives are much larger than the 35 mm negatives you are used to handling. This is because the wedding photographs were captured by a professional photographer on medium format film.

What Is Medium Format Film?

Photographic film comes in several sizes, but the three main ones are large format, medium format, and 35 mm. Medium format film is 56 mm in height, and the width varies depending on the type of camera used. Any film that is taller than 56 mm is considered large format. In contrast, the smaller 35 mm film is 35 mm in height. Interestingly, medium format film cartridges were first introduced for the amateur film market, but soon became the standard used by professionals, and even in the digital world of modern photography, medium format images are still quite popular among professional photographers.

Benefits of Medium Format Film

Why do professionals choose medium format film? Because the film itself is larger than a typical 35 mm negative, as much as six times larger depending on the camera used, much clearer enlargements can be produced. When 35 mm film is enlarged, it often has grain and blur due to great difference in size between the negative and the resulting image. Since the medium format negative is larger, there is less difference in size between the two, and the resulting image has a smoother gradation and does not show as much grain as a similar enlargement of a smaller negative. Since most professional photographers take images with the intention of enlarging them, medium format is the better film choice.

Getting Film Digitized

Even though medium format film carries a distinct advantage over 35 mm film, it does have a disadvantage in today's market. The disadvantage is that medium format film is not a digital medium. The old negatives you have in a shoebox in your closet are difficult to share with friends because they are not digital. Professional photographers who use medium format film need a way to digitize the images in order to display them in a digital portfolio or on a website.

Medium format film can be scanned using specialized scanners designed to carefully handle these negatives and create a positive scanned image. The process begins with a careful cleaning of the negative to remove any stray dust or lint. Unmounted negatives are then placed into a glass film adapter that holds the image steady during scanning. Negatives that are mounted are loaded into a mounted film carrier. These negatives are scanned using high-resolution scanning equipment designed specifically for negatives. A typical flatbed scanner cannot accomplish this task and create a quality digital image as a result. Dust and scratch removal technology is essential to creating a clean digital image from a medium format negative.

Because medium format film is larger than 35 mm film, the scanned digital image will be more clear and crisp than the image that would be created by scanning a 35 mm negative. When larger film is combined with a high-resolution scanning equipped to handle medium format negatives, the resulting images are professional and perfect for creating a digital portfolio or simply preserving memories for a lifetime.

Related Tags: picture, slides, photo, photos, photograph, negatives, 35mm, large format, slide scanning, photo scanning, negative scanning, medium format

Britepix offers you negative scanning of your original 35mm negatives.

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