Over the weekend I went out with a Minolta Autocord, a fantastic medium format camera, and shot a few rolls of 120 film. The experience was wonderful, and the camera deserves a full review. For now, I’ve uploaded a brief video demonstrating how to load film into a medium format camera. The steps illustrated here should be applicable with any number of medium format cameras, though small variations in camera design will call for deviation. Still, this should help introduce the operation of these ancient looking cameras to people who may be unfamiliar with medium format and 120 film.
The main benefit of shooting medium format is simply that the film is larger. These machines record images on media larger than the 24 x 36mm found in standard full frame cameras (35mm film). More surface area means higher resolution images and better performance when enlarging shots. Another bonus is a greater control over depth of field. Essentially, medium format produces incredible quality images, and that’s enough to convince most photographers to give it a shot.
Check back soon for an article where I examine the format’s extensive benefits and unfortunate detractions.