Getting Your First Medium Format Film Camera? Check Out This Guide to the Options

When it comes to picking up your first medium format camera, the sheer number of options can be quite daunting. Moreover, the different types of options (SLR, TLR, and rangefinder) can cover uncharted territory. 

In this video, Kyle McDougall covers the full array of options available for medium format film cameras. Though he covers a lot ground and goes into depth in some areas, the way it's presented makes the information very digestible for people at all familiar with cameras. As a bonus, he makes specific camera recommendations for each type he covers. 

This video acts as an excellent supplement to a recent Fstoppers article which covered the broader range of film format options from 35mm to large format. For me, medium format is often my go-to when I leave the house with a camera in hand. With the larger negative, it is difficult to beat the resolution of a 645, compared with 35mm and even modern digital cameras. By the time you are shooting 6x7, only the highest megapixel digital cameras coupled with the sharpest lenses can compete.

If you currently shoot digital and want to give film a shot but don't want to sacrifice the resolution, give medium format a go. 

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4 Comments

anthony marsh's picture

I watched KYLE Mc DOUGALL'S video. Apparently the person who described it as a "full array" of medium format obviously did not as he used a digital camera and ONE film camera. Also referring to getting into film as opposed to digital "If you don't want to lose resolution" WHAT? Medium format and large format film blows digital out of the water as far as resolution is concerned. There is also a curious disconnect in articles .One states that film is becoming dead and may never recover,another states ,now that film is becoming more popular,etc.This leads one to conclude that FSTOPPERS is not a very reliable source of credible information. For this reason I will not be logging in in the future.

Lawrence S's picture

A H6D-400C offers two resolution options: 100 and 400MP. I doubt medium format blows that detail out if the water.

I would have agreed about 10 years ago. But not today. And I am not even talking about medium high ISO.

Adriano Brigante's picture

That's not the full array of options! There are also viewfinders (like the Zeiss Ikon Nettar), folding cameras (like the Agfa Billy Record), box cameras (like the Kodak Brownies) and pinhole cameras (like the Zero Image 6x9)... :)

barry cash's picture

PP was not discussed this is a bigger part of digital vs film which has better resolution of which there is not one answer. However a better statement would be that out of one hundred photographers 95 to 1. 95 using digital capture could beat the resolution of film printing images as compared to 5 using film and printing to beat digital capture. Why because digital is all inclusive where as shooting film depends on what film, how you capture it, to process it and to then print it. And to top it all off and why the one answer is impossible is because they have different final looks. That’s not my opinion it’s a fact.

The choice is comparable to living in the city or living off the grid, I shot film for about forty years, now shoot digital it’s been 20 years I think I’ll go another 20 years with digital don’t miss the Film at all!