Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/03/24

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Leica Quality versus Medium Format
From: Johnny Deadman <>
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2001 19:55:21 -0500

on 3/24/01 7:09 PM, Tony Salce at wrote:

> I came across a lovely Rolleiflex 3.5F for a very reasonable priceand am
> thinking of purchasing it.. I've not used medium format before and I'm
> wondering whether users of Medium Format on this lsit could comment about
> the pros and cons of having a 35mm system and a medium format system.

They complement each other very well. I have a Rolleiflex and it's a
wonderful beast. Unlike with Leica there's not much temptation to keep
adding to the kit. I have a set of close-up lenses and that's it. If you
don't have a decent tripod you may go out and buy one.
> I do not plan doing big enlargements and perhaps that is one of the primary
> reasons for getting into medium format. Some would argue however that with
> the quality of leica lenses you do not require medium format. Having said
> that square photos have some appeal.

Even at 7x7" the difference between Leica 35mm and 6x6 negs is pretty
radical, given that you're shooting on 100asa or faster film. You would
never IMO mistake one for the other. The smoothness of tonality with MF is
in another league from what you can achieve using the same film in a Leica.
Just because of the size of the neg. By contrast, the difference between MF
and large format is, in my experience, harder to see at enlargements up to
about 16x12. Above that again it's obvious.

- -- 
Johnny Deadman