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Large Format Photography -- There are generally three film formats: small, medium and large format. 35mm and smaller films are small format. While these cameras take fine photographs, the size of the resulting prints is limited by the size of the film. Medium format film is a step up, and is often used for wedding and commercial photography. Medium format produces fine quality prints in sizes up to 30-40 inches in width. Top quality digital cameras of more than 10 mega pixels are able to come very close to, match, or some say even exceed the quality of medium format images captured on film. However, not even the best digital cameras can yet match the image quality of large format film, which is 4x5 inches or larger, producing a 40x50 inch image with a 10X enlargement. More importantly, large format cameras allow movement of the plane of sharpness so that both near and far subjects are in sharp focus at the same time. Most of my images are made with a large format camera, which permits maximum creative control over the image and maximum quality enlargement of the image. Large format cameras are also the ultimate tool in macro photography as a result of their ability to render detail, magnify the subject through bellows extension, and their fine focusing ability. While these camera are heavy, require tripod mounting and must be carried into the field with specialized backpacking equipment, the results are well worth the extra effort. In my way of thinking, if the image is worth capturing and intended for professional reproduction, it is worth capturing in large format.

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