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Is 645 medium format film better than 35mm?

Photographer Kyle McDougall said that many of the questions he was asked were whether shooting with medium format film like 645 is really “worth it” compared to 35mm film. In this 11-minute video, he explained why this happened.

Although he is very clear that there is no “bad” format, all features are very powerful. It really comes down to the type of job you plan to create and the preferences that you develop over time.

He said: “If the format you are using right now is right for you and is working for you, then you don’t have to upgrade just for it.”

In other words, he believes that 645 is much larger than 35 mm in many cases. Using a larger negative means you can get better detail, obvious grain at similar image sizes, and smoother tones. If you want to view the film side by side, side by side 645 and 35mm will be very different.

645 film also provides an aspect ratio of 4:3, many photographers (including McDougall) are particularly pleasing visually. In addition, if you are going to transition from 35mm to medium format, it will not be much narrower than the 35mmmm frame, which may be much narrower than other medium format films.

McDougall also said that based on his experience, he found that among the medium format cameras, the 645 camera seems to be the most compact and the easiest to buy, and compared with other medium format cameras, these options are also more economical. .

All in all, McDougall believes that 645 is the most beneficial for those interested in switching from 35mm to medium format film. To answer the initial question, McDougall basically believes that the answer is yes: for many reasons, it is better than 35mm for many use cases, especially landscape and posed portraits. Not only is the image quality improved due to the larger negatives, but compared with other medium format sizes, the trade-offs are not so serious.

Do you agree? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.

For more information about Kyle McDougall, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel.

(Passed ISO 1200)

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