Seems like medium format is dead here. : LUSENET : Photography Singapore : One Thread

I have gone from website to website, local that is, but there never seem to be anyone mentioning or enquiring anything about medium format. All I see day after day are the same old Canon & Nikon questions. Is the interest in medium format dead in Singapore or are we too frightened to move up to a larger format?? Comments anybody?

-- Paul Chuah (, April 05, 1999


This is what I think about larger format:
The cost is higher.
Limited choice of lenses.
Camera body does not operate as easily or have as much function as 35mm.
Too bulky and heavy for my style of photography, especially travel and snap shots.

-- Wee Keng Hor (, April 06, 1999.

After 20 years of 35mm Canon gear I've just bought my first Mamiya 645 and I love it. I'll still keep my EOS 5 for the smaller stuff, but for stock or assignment, the Mamiya wins out every time.

-- Paul Russell (, April 09, 1999.

I don't think medium format is dead. It is less popular only.

It is mostly used where picture quality is concerned, eg Weddings, Advertising, etc.

The 35mm format photos degrade greatly when blown up. The advantages of the 35mm format is the portability, cost and a wide variety of affordable gadgets to experiment with.

-- Patrick Lew (, April 21, 1999.

Dead? Hope not.

Am just starting medium format with my purchase of the Fuji 645 (non "i"). Cheapest in the Fuji range.

I know, some say it is merely a point and shoot, but I understand the EBC lens is very sharp.

Any pointers for someone very new to medium format?

-- Benjamin Yap (, August 26, 1999.

Hi Ben,

I too have a Fuji 645, but it is a manual focus, manual everything rangefinder. Comes with built-in LED display meter.

Nothing unusual about medium format except for the larger film size. Otherwise the use is just the same as your 35mm. In fact, Fuji cameras are made so that handling is so easy you don't even have to think much about it, especially so for the 645(any model).

Just enjoy the EBC quality.

-- Paul Chuah (, August 27, 1999.

Medium format photographers are a special breed. Those who have moved up from 35mm are enjoying the better quality output from the larger negative. However most ofthese photographers would keep to themselves and did not encouraged other 35mm users to do likewise.

Medium format photographers should group together and give lots of encouragement to 35mm users to move up. I have known more than a dozen 35mm photographers moving up to medium format after picking the hobby for about 3 - 5 years. This happens after much encouragement from their friends who are using the larger format.

Perhaps it is time to group these photographers so that they can learn to interact with one another and exchange ideas on how to better enjoy their hobby.

I have known a photographer who move up to large format in less than a year after picking up the hobby. He was fascinated with the quality of the larger print size of 16 x 20 or 20 x 24 inches made from a 4 x 5 negative.

There is a new discussion forum on photography mainly for serious photographers who wants guidance in this area. You are all welcome to express your thoughts freely so that we can learn from one another. The url:

The forum also welcome anyone from beginners to advanced to participate in the discussion for the better advancement of photography. Professional photographers, teachers of photography are also welcome. Photographers in Singapore need to identity the importance of being a learning and sharing community.

patrick lee

-- Patrick Lee (, October 30, 1999.

I am wondering if anyone can recommend a professional lab other than RGB. I have nothing against RGB but would like alternatives for my 120 processing.

-- Benjamin Yap (, February 09, 2000.

Ben, try 35mm Colour Lab Pte Ltd. They are located at 2nd Ave junction, just along Bukit Timah Road. That's where all my 120 film are processed(Slides & colour negative film).

-- Paul Chuah (, February 09, 2000.

I hope the interest is not dead... I have noticed a lot of you are mentioning 645 format. What about 6x6. There is something beautiful and pure about the square format... Having said all that I myself do not own a medim format camera yet but would love to purchase one (6x6) of course. Any hints on where I can find one?

-- sanja burns (, May 07, 2001.

"I have noticed a lot of you are mentioning 645 format. What about 6x6. There is something beautiful and pure about the square format"

Hello Sanja, This is the way Singapore has been and will probably always be(Singaporeans being an extremely practical lot),it will pose a huge challenge to you finding amateurs having enough time and money to devote themselves beyond their 35mm systems, let alone interested in the square format or other sub-cultures of the hobby.

Singapore amateur photographers are not as commited or devoted to their passion/hobbies/recreation as compared to elsewhere. Not that they refuse to, but their time, money and attention is spread thin from other urgent and pressing commitments. Job/Career comes first and family next. What's left of ones time is hardly enough for soul searching, to explore his/her interest and sustaining that interest is another matter.

Thus, you seldom find someone truely passionate in whatever they do. Even if you do find one, they are highly compartmentalized(in their viewpoints) and seldom venture beyond the physical nature of the interest/hobby. Weakness in general knowledge(reading beyond their area) and lack of interaction may be a reason(Singaporeans do not share/mix/speak to/with others/strangers openly), and discussions seldom reach a broad and philosophical level. I will take the risk being flamed by saying that the maturity of the general community has not reached a congenial level where you can openly have a lively and constructive conversation with just about anyone/anywhere. People here tend to be defensive and very material/status conscious. Speak only when spoken to and answer only when asked. Robotic and strange, but true.

Another thing you would find amazing about Singaporean amateur photographers is that, they dare not take risk and are highly afraid to explore beyond their comfort zones. Things that seem too troublesome or challenging deter their spirit of adventure. Many deny themselves the opportunity to discover and enjoy in "uncharted/new" areas, for fear of failure. Getting into medium format is one example, even if there is an affordable route/chance. (Failure is often misconstrued as ones' incompetance, therefore, embarrassing and difficult to swallow for many. So, "avoid failure at all cost" becomes their adopted defence)

Sanja, the longer your stay here, the deeper you'll know the community. Have fun.

**This is my observation. Apologies if I've offended anyone(but do swallow the truth graciously, and admit it if the hat fits snugly). No flame wars please.

-- sanja burns (, May 07, 2001.

-- Paul (, May 14, 2001.

My apologies for accidentally leaving Sanja's signature behind. Keng Hor, can you please delete that? Thanks.

-- Paul (, May 14, 2001.

Just look at the quaility of a print from a medium format setup versus a print from a 35mm. Thats right there is no comparison.

-- Martin Giacobbe (, October 20, 2001.

Paul, get a quality second hand medium format camera that you can get along with, and watch your work rise above the crowd. They are expensive to own and operate, but the results are quite gratifying. My rollei TLR is taken along anywhere I anticipate really good opportunity to take the photograph of a lifetime. Sometimes my Canon gets the shot, but it remains true that normal lenses on quality cameras are your very best combination for an immoral photo.

--and don't forget to have fun!

regards tom

-- Tom Donaghy (, March 20, 2002.

These photographers are into medium and large format:


-- Wen Li (, May 18, 2004.

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