Braedon Flynn from Film Supply Club is back with another film photography shootout. Except this time, instead of comparing two different film stocks (see here), he’s comparing two formats using the same film: 35mm and 120 format Fuji 400H.
The video is really less about “which is better” and more about “why and how do you shoot one over the other.” At its core, it’s an educational video. A side-by-side comparison that’s a great way for beginners to familiarize themselves with the difference between the two film formats and get a sense of the one they might prefer.
“It’s the age old question of which is better? 120 vs 35mm film. And really it doesn’t come down to which is better but more of a comparison of the two and why you would use one over the other,” explains Flynn. “For instance, a 35mm camera is smaller, easier to carry with you, can fit in a purse, a small bag or even a pocket, depending on the camera. While a medium format camera is usually quite large and often heavy. Way more difficult to carry around with you.”
In addition to the question of easy-of-use, there’s also the question of grain, the dimensions of the frame itself—since 120 can be shot in square format or cropped to 4×6 depending on your camera—and the DOF and light-gathering benefits of using a larger film plane. You can see all of these differences and more side-by-side in the video above. For Flynn, he tends to prefer the 120 look:
“There is something about the larger film plane on a medium format negative in comparison to the 35mm neg. There is less grain and more clarity.”
For reference, the 120 film was shot on a Contax 645 camera with the 80mm f/2.0 lens while the 35mm film was shot with a much more affordable Canon AE-1 with a 50mm f/1.8. To watch the whole process and see the results for yourself, check out the full video up top. And if you want to expore more film photography content, there’s some great stuff to peruse on the Film Supply Club YouTube channel.