Night time


When shooting medium format, I usually run through a range of emotions:

From the “I’m not pressing the shutter enough and I’m missing moments because I’m pretty sure the focus wasn’t spot-on…” to the “I’m shooting too much indiscriminately, and the roll is going to be a big waste of time and effort…”

Furthermore, the shooting envelop is rapidly exhausted (especially indoors…) and the meter often says “You are probably three stops under, even though you think ISO 800 is enough”.

And of course, the “No, you cannot actually hand-hold that shot at 1/8s”.

It is usually a tense wait until that roll is finally developed, dried and scanned…

Hoping that even one shot will make the whole effort worthwhile.

It’s a drug, is what it is…






Tri-X pushed one stop in D76.


13 thoughts on “Night time

  1. andygemmell says:

    Lol…very amusing and spot on! One reason I got back into 35mm with the M4 was to allow a bit more latitude around that whole thought process of – limited opportunities, limited range of exposure choices (especially when you have an f4 as fastest lens option!), etc etc.

    So I’m being disciplined and using my M4 mostly at the moment but something is always bugging me about it. I think I’ve just over thought all that those earlier issues!

    That Fuji rumour just keeps popping up and we may see a MF option come from them next year given they have a strong history in this format. A digital 670 or 6 x 9 or 645!!

  2. Joe shoots resurrected cameras says:

    I’m relatively unfamiliar with medium format in general, but it seems to me that it’s a bit impractical for indoor use. I think I’d be much less worried myself if I knew I wasn’t resorting to super-slow shutter speeds, but the more experimenting I do, the more I feel comfortable using an SLR at 1/15 or even 1/8, so if the hands are steady enough it’s usually ok, and you pulled it off marvelously. In your experience, how many stops can you get away with pushing medium format film to get the same shutter speeds you could with 35mm, and is the grain holding up enough at that point to make it worth it?

    • mewanchuk says:


      You are quite correct–it is fairly impractical, but fun to shoot with at the same time! It has a bit of a different “feel” and rendering than the 35mm stuff, and as Jordan says–The Negatives!!

      As for this series, they were all shot at 1/60s or faster…I wouldn’t dare handhold “The Hammer of Thor” (Pentax 6×7) with its mirror slap. I am finding that I can comfortably push 1-1.5 stops in post without loosing detail or definition.

      Is it worth it?

      …Sometimes I think so.



    • mewanchuk says:

      Thanks Teresa.

      It is certainly fun and rewarding to go through a roll; though I am not certain I would feel the same way if I had the added effort and cost of having to send away for development…


  3. jkjod says:

    Well whatever it is you are doing when you decide to hit the shutter, just keep doing that…these are great as usual.

    I do like that with medium format you can go up to 1600 and still get very pleasant grain – something that’s a little tougher in 35mm. I think the “drug” part for me is the negative size, every time I pull them out of the tank it amazes me.

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