Back in the day when I was young, my mentor had 4 camera systems in his professional work, each a different format. He had Nikon for 35mm, 6x6, 6x7, and 4x5.
My question is: Do pros these days use several formats, or are they pretty much sticking with one format (I assume digital)?
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#1. "RE: Muli-Format Photographers?" | In response to Reply # 0
King Nothing Nikonian since 31st Dec 2011Fri 29-Mar-13 03:19 PM
I'm not a pro but I do use several formats (all digital). But, I think it really depends on how you define a "format". If it's the sensor size then I use three (FX, DX and m4/3). If it's the lens mount then I use two (Nikon F and m4/3). If it's simply digital vs film then I use a single format.
There are pros using more than one digital format according to their blogs. Take a look at Frank Doorhof's gear page: http://www.frankdoorhof.com/site/gear-guides/gear-guide-2/
He's got Canon, Sony, PhaseOne, Mamiya, Leaf and Fujifilm all listed there as cameras he uses. Thom Hogan has a site dedicated to mirrorless cameras that says he prefers m4/3 as a lighter alternative to Nikon dslrs. It looks like there are some but I have no idea how many.
#2. "RE: Muli-Format Photographers?" | In response to Reply # 0
agitater Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007Fri 29-Mar-13 08:19 PM
>Back in the day when I was young, my mentor had 4 camera
>systems in his professional work, each a different format. He
>had Nikon for 35mm, 6x6, 6x7, and 4x5.
All film formats, because that's what existed.
>My question is: Do pros these days use several formats, or are
>they pretty much sticking with one format (I assume digital)?
A very small handful of pros still use both film cameras and digital cameras in the studio (1% of them or less IMO), a very small handful of pros shoot handheld with film and digital formats - I'd bet less than 5% of them at this point in time). I can't offer any hard stats - it's just a guess based on the practices of the 25-30 pro photographers I've talked to over the past 18 months or so. Basically, none of them (wedding photographers, photojournalists, wildlife photographers and landscape photographers) use film more than once or twice a year, and then only rarely for remunerative work. It's all anecdotal information.
If we're going to stick with a single definition for the word "format" in digital photography, Chris said it all: there are different digital formats. Micro four-thirds is considered a different digital format from APS-C/DX which in turn is considered a different digital format compared to full-frame/FX digital or even larger medium format digital, just as 35mm was considered a different film format compared to medium format film and large format film.
#3. "RE: Muli-Format Photographers?" | In response to Reply # 2
ScottChapin Charter MemberFri 29-Mar-13 08:49 PM
Yes, with the exception that photographers shooting film professionally had a large medium format following which was substantially larger than the mainstream 35mm film which they would use otherwise.
I don't expect that there are a significant number of pros, as a percentage, that use digital medium format due to its expense. I don't "think" smaller than DX options are considered to be professional formats, much as I wouldn't consider 110 instamatics to have been a professional film alternative.
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#4. "RE: Muli-Format Photographers?" | In response to Reply # 0
Adding to the different formats, are their aspect ratios: The relationship between the longest and shortest dimension of the film/sensor.
I divide the longest dimension by the shortest dimension to derive aspect ratio. This results in a number that is equal to/greater than, 1.0 which is a little easier to work with than the reciprocal which produces numbers equal to/less than 1.0.
Some formats have identical aspect ratios, 4 x 5 inch = 1.25:1.0 and 8 x 10 inch = 1.25:1.0, for example.
Nikon DX (16 x 24 mm = 1.5:1.0) and FX (24 x 36 mm = 1.5:1.0) for example.
There was an 11 x 14 inch view camera with an aspect ratio of 1.27:1.0.
One can purchase photo paper at 11.0 x 8.5 inches, a 1.29:1.0 aspect ratio.
The list goes on ... and on ...
Differing film and sensor formats, their aspect ratios, and the wonderful array of paper sizes offer almost unlimited flexibility ... agree?
Interesting observation, thanks for posting it.
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#5. "RE: Muli-Format Photographers?" | In response to Reply # 0
Back in the day, if you wanted to shoot for billboards you needed Medium Format, but if you wanted to shoot news, you needed 35mm. If you wanted to shoot for truck sides then you needed a large format camera.
Since 12 MP made it to dSLR, it's possible to shoot billboards and most kinds of advertising with a Nikon. The D800 takes us almost to truck sides.
Any kind of photography that requires camera movements still requires large format or a special system with movements on a small camera. The space that was once owned by medium format, though, is eroding.
My personal feeling is that, at the high pro end, people still buy the equipment they like and feel comfortable with. However, someone without a background in medium or large format can now move into shooting very large images without having to move away from dSLR.
However, when shooting for very large advertising images, the cost of the camera system itself begins to be inconsequential. If you're planning a $400,000 advertising campaign, then the costs of setting up the shot might very well be more than the cost of the camera used to shoot it.
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#6. "RE: Muli-Format Photographers?" | In response to Reply # 0
There maybe guys out there who shoot with the Digital Hassleblad in the studio who use smaller DSLRs in the field...
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#7. "RE: Muli-Format Photographers?" | In response to Reply # 0
Perhaps not what you asked, but I shoot FX, DX, and CX.
No plans to "abandon" any of these formats either, they each serve a purpose for me.
Best regards, SteveK
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