I recently developed a roll film which was exposed with a Mamiya 645 middle format camera. Do you see the amazing image depth? Analogue, baby!
The M645 was manufactured from 1975 to 1987. This was the first model to offer a 6x4.5 cm frame.
The main benefit of medium-format photography is that, because of the larger size of the film or digital sensor (two to six times larger than 35 mm), images of much higher resolution can be produced. This allows for bigger enlargements and smooth gradation without the grain or blur that would characterize similarly enlarged images produced from smaller film formats. The larger size of the film also allows for better control of the depth of field and therefore more photographic creativity.
Cameras with a bellows typically support ‚tilt and shift‘ of the lens. Together with 1:1 focusing (via a ground glass screen mounted at the rear in the film plane position), this permits landscape photography with an extremely large depth of field — from closest foreground to the far horizon — to be achieved.
Compared with 35 mm, the main drawbacks are accessibility and price. While 35-mm cameras, film, and photo finishing services are generally widely available and cheap, medium format is usually limited to professional photography shops and can be prohibitively expensive. Also, medium-format cameras tend to be bulkier than their 35mm counterpart.