So What is a Format?

BobBill

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In many ways it is:

-- larger formats, shallower DOF at same f/stop and subject distance

-- larger formats need less enlargement for a given print size, so less IQ is lost and the noise (digital) or grain (film) is less obvious.

-- the larger the format, the smaller the aperture at which diffraction effects begin
Dig that...are the pixels smaller sized? Or, same, just fewer?

Am visualizing a circle of light from an adapted lens and a dedicated auto...primes!
 

BobBill

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135 and 6x6, I believe. 645 wasn't too popular yet. BTW when were the first 645 SLR cameras marketed? I remember shooting a Bronica ETR around 1977 or 1978 for a few jobs.
Yes, I never could understand why, say, larger 66 were preferred, really. I used to use old Pearl and loved the renderings...now the thing sits with its extra lens/shutte...price of change, I suppose. Still think film is easier to use...but that is old me.
 

exakta

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the typical MF lenses were slower and the film speeds were the same and being lab dependent you could not take much advantage on finer MF grain on typical small prints - the smaller FF format must have been in a lens speed advantage back then..
Well, yes and no. Just like today, when the prints are small, the weaknesses of the smaller film formats are less visible.

Film cameras for amateurs kept moving to smaller and smaller formats as time went on, but professional formats didn't change once 35mm was finally blessed as being good enough. In the late 1960s many stock photo and advertising agencies still required 4x5 or larger formats. National Geographic was the first publication to move entirely to 35mm so they could use Kodachrome which was never made in roll or sheet formats.

Amateur cameras had moved from 6x9cm, 6x6cm, 4x4cm "Vest Pocket" (127) rollfilm and the 28x40mm Kodak 828 "Bantam" rollfilm format (all before WWII) before Kodak announced the 126 Instamatic in 1963 with a 28x28mm frame similar in quality to 35mm (Agfa's competing but unsuccessful Rapid instant loading cartridges retained the 24x36mm format of 35mm).

When Kodak moved to the even smaller 110 Pocket Instamatic format (13x17mm) they gambled (correctly) that most people would not be making large prints so the inferiority of the roughly 2x crop wouldn't be an issue. With their Disc cameras, Kodak went to 8x11mm (about a 3x crop), same frame size as the Minox subminiatures!

One could argue that the popularity of the 110 and Disc cameras set the stage for today's small sensor P&S, bridge and phone cameras with IQ clearly good enough for many shooters.
 

BobBill

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135 and 6x6, I believe. 645 wasn't too popular yet. BTW when were the first 645 SLR cameras marketed? I remember shooting a Bronica ETR around 1977 or 1978 for a few jobs.
My Pearl is from later 50s as I recall...Konica's orig or parent firm. Still sits in drawer.
 

BobBill

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Well, yes and no. Just like today, when the prints are small, the weaknesses of the smaller film formats are less visible.

Film cameras for amateurs kept moving to smaller and smaller formats as time went on, but professional formats didn't change once 35mm was finally blessed as being good enough. In the late 1960s many stock photo and advertising agencies still required 4x5 or larger formats. National Geographic was the first publication to move entirely to 35mm so they could use Kodachrome which was never made in roll or sheet formats.

Amateur cameras had moved from 6x9cm, 6x6cm, 4x4cm "Vest Pocket" (127) rollfilm and the 28x40mm Kodak 828 "Bantam" rollfilm format (all before WWII) before Kodak announced the 126 Instamatic in 1963 with a 28x28mm frame similar in quality to 35mm (Agfa's competing but unsuccessful Rapid instant loading cartridges retained the 24x36mm format of 35mm).

When Kodak moved to the even smaller 110 Pocket Instamatic format (13x17mm) they gambled (correctly) that most people would not be making large prints so the inferiority of the roughly 2x crop wouldn't be an issue. With their Disc cameras, Kodak went to 8x11mm (about a 3x crop), same frame size as the Minox subminiatures!

One could argue that the popularity of the 110 and Disc cameras set the stage for today's small sensor P&S, bridge and phone cameras with IQ clearly good enough for many shooters.
But, if the pixels are smaller, are the issures the same as with film? Seems the smaller resolution or clarity is as good..

Not arguing just curious out loud. if "full frame" 35 renders a give pic and one shoot with a 4/3 and must move to have same view...what does that mean, really? Is it just a smaller sized sensor with smaller pixel points or same size, but smaller diagnol, if that ? makes sense.
 

exakta

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There's another thread here that shows deatiled comparisons of the same scene shot with various formats that clearly shows that IQ does drop as sensor size decreases. Whether it matters or not is solely up to the viewer.

P.S. To those who want to guarantee the same lens design in testing, that was definitely possible in the film days when there were common classic designs used like the Cooke Triplet, ZeissTessar (4 element) and Zeiss Sonnar (6 element) used in lenses for everything from large format view cameras to Minox "spy" cameras and common film emulsions as well. It would be impossible to find such lens and sensor design commonality across formats nowadays.
 

BobBill

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I found a very decent explanation of formats on-line that included DOF differences.
I was curious, as the math does change, but adapted lenses are changers. But, what do I know? Am just an amature shooter.

As to moving...seems one has to move forward or back (depending) to arrive at same panorama or view as, say, a full frame 35 or other format produces and so on...but functionally, it seems reasonable few do that.

The differences, seems, are to note differences in formats.

Most of us grab what we have...in camera. Plain and simple, seems to me...

Here is one, of many, reference: https://expertphotography.com/camera-sensor-size/
 
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BobBill

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FWIW...am slowly learning

Full-frame image sensors are 35mm in diameter, the same size as old school celluloid film. Hence the name full-frame. There are many smaller frame sensors (known as crop sensors), and smartphone sensors are found at the tail end of the spectrum.
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Various sensor sizes. Source: techspot.com
A full-frame 35mm sensor measures 864mm2 while a 1/1.7” smartphone sensor only measures 43mm2. That means the once-praised Huawei P30 Pro’s sensor, for example, is 20 times smaller than a full-frame DSLR sensor. That’s a lot!
 

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