Is bigger better? Why I still love the medium-format look

Hasselblad digital camera
(Image credit: Hasselblad)

Back when I was shooting 35mm film, I flirted with medium format for quite a while before buying a secondhand Hasselblad 500C/M and, a bit later, adding the motorized 500EL/M to my kit. I was mostly shooting 35mm Kodachrome 64, so I’m not really sure why I thought I might needed medium format, but the mantra then was bigger is better. 

As it happens, I only ended up using the ’Blads on a couple of jobs, then decided they weren’t worth the bother, although I went on using them for a long time to shoot landscapes for my personal work. Here the slowness and greater involvement were good things... although whether 120 rollfilm Ektachrome or Fujichrome 100 delivered a far better image quality than 35mm K64 – given the latter film’s unique structure – is debatable.

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Paul Burrows

Paul has been writing about cameras, photography and photographers for 40 years. He joined Australian Camera as an editorial assistant in 1982, subsequently becoming the magazine’s technical editor, and has been editor since 1998. He is also the editor of sister publication ProPhoto, a position he has held since 1989. In 2011, Paul was made an Honorary Fellow of the Institute Of Australian Photography (AIPP) in recognition of his long-term contribution to the Australian photo industry. Outside of his magazine work, he is the editor of the Contemporary Photographers: Australia series of monographs which document the lives of Australia’s most important photographers.