Medium Format Lens vs 35mm Lens

Above Image: Nikon FE2

Medium Format Lens Crop Factors

People immersed in digital photography have been dealing with crop factors for years. Less so with the advent of “full frame” sensors. But, as with those crop sensor “equivalencies”, you’ll run into the same re-thinking of focal lengths in reference to film size. If you’re shooting a large format camera, (4×5), 150mm will be your “normal” lens. There is something called a crop factor. Basically, this is a number that will translate that medium format lens to what a 35mm camera lens would be. For example, a 6×6 camera has a crop factor of .55. So, if you multiply an 80mm lens by .55, you’ll get 44mm. That would be the lens you would use on a 35mm camera for an exact match. (if there were such a lens) But getting an exact match is not really necessary. Especially as the lens gets longer. Only with very wide angle lenses would you notice much of a difference with a few mm. Hence, a Hasselblad, Rollei, etc., 6×6 80mm lens is “about” a 50mm on a 35mm camera.

Crop factors are based on the diagonal measurement of the negative. What would put a monkey wrench into these numbers is that some of these aspect ratios are a little weird. So, please don’t write me to say the equivalent lens is really 42.098. I don’t care, and neither do most people. In fact, a 35mm camera lens called “50mm” could actually be 52.5mm or even 48mm if measured precisely. I know most people think they are exactly as marked, but that would rarely be the case. So, this is just to provide a reasonably accurate measurement in order to identify “equivalent focal lengths” to your full frame 35mm camera lenses that you know by heart. A cheat sheet of sorts. 😁

 

 

Medium Format Film Size Comparisons
Film Size Comparisons

 

Medium Format Lens vs 35mm Lens
Pentax 645

 

645 Crop Factor = 0.62

 

645 Lens

35mm Equivalent

45mm

28mm

55mm

34mm

60mm

37mm

55-110mm zoom

34-68mm

80mm

50mm

80-160mm

50-100mm

100mm

62mm

120mm

75mm

150mm

93mm

200mm

124mm

Hasselblad 500 Series
Hasselblad 500 Series

 

6 x 6 Crop Factor = 0.55

6 x 6 Lens

35mm Equivalent

30mm

17mm

40mm

22mm

50mm

28mm

60mm

33mm

65mm

36mm

75mm

41mm

80mm

44mm

120mm

66mm

150mm

83mm

180mm

99mm

200mm

110mm

Pentax 6x7
Pentax 6×7

 

6 x 7 Crop Factor = 0.5

6 x 7 Lens

35mm Equivalent

45mm

23mm

50mm

25mm

65mm

33mm

90mm

45mm

105mm

53mm

127mm

64mm

165mm

83mm

180mm

90mm

200mm

100mm

250mm

125mm

360mm

180mm

Medium Format Lens
Fuji GSW680

 

6 x 8 Crop Factor = 0.45

6 x 8 Lens

35mm Equivalent

65mm

30mm

90mm

40mm

100mm 

45mm

125mm

56mm

135mm

60mm

150mm

68mm

180mm

81mm

190mm

85mm

210mm

95mm

Medium Format Lens
Fuji GW690

 

6 x 9 Crop Factor = 0.43

6 x 9 Lens

35mm Equivalent

65mm

28mm

90mm

39mm

100mm

43mm

105mm

45mm

150mm

65mm

 

The video below illustrates the DOF differences between two formats. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve,….size matters.

😎

 

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