Is there any appetite for medium or large format film camera photos? Is there film available for these cameras?
I see the occasional camera and lenses available and am intrigued as I have never used one. Are they worth making the investment?
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Once one understands the advantages of a medium format camera it becomes obvious that there are situations that such a camera would make sense. It is unlikely that a client will specifically request such a camera, but it is possible that the needs require resolution, sharpness, dynamic range, and contrast that you may only be able to achieve with a medium format camera. Recent advances in full frame DSLRs and their associated lenses may minimize the impact that a medium format camera brings, but the benefits still exist.
The bottom line is that you should use the right tool for the job. If you don't have a job that requires medium format results, then I wouldn't go shopping for a medium format camera. A very viable option is to rent a medium format camera if/when you find a necessary shoot.
Yes, there is demand for it. Film sales seem to have hit the bottom and are picking up (from a low base). Instead of all the doom and gloom stories of a few years back there is a trickle of good news as well - especially the Black & White film scene is doing well, with several new emulsions introduced on the European market recently (Bergger, Ferrania, Foma Retropan, etc.)
Now when digital has become the norm you start seeing professionals shooting medium format film to differentiate themselves. This is especially true on the very competitive wedding market - a photographer with a big and shiny Hasselblad will make a different impression from your average Canikon shooter. Young brides are not exactly price sensitive, so the cost of film and scanning is not a big issue.
But to not sound too optimistic: there are hardly any new cameras being made. If you discount the toy and Lomo market there are no medium format film cameras being produced anymore; the glut of used gear and prices of second hand market make it impossible to make money by producing new top quality gear (although I hear the prices of used Contax 645's are close to what they were when new, so there is some hope yet).
A lot of people seem to enjoy working with them. Intrepid just ran a kickstarter for a new 8x10 camera and hit their goal in 12 minutes! As of right now, they are more than 10x the original goal with 3 days to go.
Other kickstarters have run in the large format space and done well. New cameras are being made, and even some new film. Personally, when I tried shooting 4x5 I enjoyed it. I found that the fact that I have to go very slowly makes me really think about what I am doing in a way that I don't when using a DSLR.
I would say if you have ever tried medium or large format find someone who has one and ask them to spend some time using it. You might enjoy it or learn something interesting.
There is absolutely a demand growing for medium format (MF) film photography (i can not speak for large format since i never touched it).
Sure, demand is not high as before, because there are many MF digital options in the market for every budget, do not think it's cheap; cheaper than hasselblads let's say).
However film and develop still costs a lot, enthusiasts, photography artists and some wedding photographers using MF film cameras. I started to see lots of wedding photographers using film cameras.
You can easily find MF films on the market, there are even specialised stores like ars-imago (italy-switzerland). There are even new brands coming up for MF films.
Cameras vary from plastic holgas to higher-end hasselblads. I can recommend pentax 645 series, which are quite affordable on the second hand market and have similar design like classic slr's however they are bit bulky.
Can't speak for large format, but medium format film photos is making a comeback for weddings thanks to Jose Villa. The most common cameras used for weddings are Contax 645, Mamiya 645 AF, or the Pentax 645 range, with either Fujifilm Pro 400H or Kodak Portra 400.
source: I shoot weddings with a Pentax 645N + Fujifilm Pro 400H