photography

A new era in Medium format photography

The Phase One IQ250 Medium Format digital back was announced today. This is the first time we see a modern CMOS sensor that is larger than 36x24mm (full-frame 35mm) in Medium Format.

CMOS technology has improved over the last 14 years, since the Leaf C-Most came out (36x24mm, 6MP) and the IQ250’s 44x33mm, 50MP brings high ISO capabilities, fast capture rate and excellent Live View functionality, previously available only in high-end DSLRs.

As expected, a number of naysayers and armchair warriors are jumping through hoops to find “holes in the plan” and to compare it to cameras 10 times cheaper; some in attempt to justify their own purchase decisions and some because they cannot see why some photographers like, want or need to shoot medium format…none of it is new and I’ve been around long enough to know that there’s a huge gap between on-line forum chatter and what happens in the real world…gladly in favour of the latter.

What they fail to realise, perhaps because they can only see and read numbers and charts on their computers’ screens (easier than stepping out and taking photos) is that this is a milestone for Medium Format and for Photography in general, regardless of format. Adopting and implementing this technology in “larger than 35mm” cameras is a sign of good things to come and it demonstrates the strength and the breadth of “Team Phase One” and its ability to innovate and to lead the market for the foreseeable future!

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Farewell to a trusty ol’ friend

Mamiya Leaf has just announced the end of production of the Aptus-II product line. For me, this marks the end of an era and the end of a long and mostly beautiful relationship!

It was announced on Sept’ 7th 2004. Since then Leaf moved from Creo to Kodak and was then sold to Phase One. The Aptus went from 17MP to 80MP, from FW400 to FW800, from CFI/II to UDMA and from Leaf Capture V8 to LC10, LC11 & Capture One. It had a 3.5″ touch screen only rivalled by the latest smartphones and it used Bluetooth for image preview when BT was still in its infancy and used to connect headphones to mobile devices…

I’ve demoed hundreds if not thousands of units and was involved in thousands of sales. I’ve shot with every single model (all 13 of them) in every single mount (all 5 of them) on more than 60 different camera bodies. I’ve even serviced a few…taking them apart, changing some bits and putting them back together…

The Aptus has brought dinner to my family’s table even before we had children. We now have 3 with the oldest being 8 year old!
I’ve taken the Aptus (or Apti?) on business trips and on holidays to North & Central America, Africa, Scandinavia, Russia, Australia and  Asia and took some of my most memorable images with them.

I cannot think of another modern days electronic device which has been in service for more than 3-4 years, let alone 9 years!!! just think about all those 35mm DSLRs that came and went during the last 9 years…Canon 1DsMkII? MkIII? Nikon D2X anyone???

This is not the end of the Aptus as thousands of them are being used daily by both amateur and professional photographers, creating art and making money!

I would like to use this opportunity and to wish all my friends, colleagues and customers (many whom are close friends) happy holidays and a healthy and successful new year!

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 One of my personal favourite images which I took on an early foggy morning in British Columbia, Canada in June 2006. Click on the image to see a larger version and read more HERE

NYC October 2013

Work took me to NYC last month and I was lucky enough to A) have some free time and great weather and B) have some of the best camera equipment in the world with me: A Leaf Credo 60 digital back with a Mamiya 645DF+ and a Mamiya 35mm/f3.5 lens, which is one of my favourite lenses, being light, small, sharp and relatively fast for a wide angle lens
I took the subway to Brooklyn on a Friday night and walked down to Brooklyn Bridge park, which was dark and quiet, perfect for taking a few photos of the city and the bridge.

The next morning I walked down from 26th st. to the 9/11 memorial site at the world trade centre, a very unique experience which made me pause for a couple of hours.

I’m still going through some of the images but here is a small collection that I’ve chosen so far, shown with a little post treatment as possible

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Goals etc.

I love setting targets and goals and then not having to make up excuses for not reaching them

Most times we tend to set them too high, or just a little too high. This keeps us motivated and encourage us to try harder next time, or at least that’s how it works for me…

When it comes to cycling, I usually plan one month ahead, look at work and travel commitments, family stuff and try to predict the weather, not very easy when you live in the UK!

For July everything looked good, summer arrived and decided to stay for a while, which means not only good weather but also long hours of daylight and as I’m not a good sleeper I could get up early and be back just when everyone wake up. Also as Europe was entering the holiday season, I did not have too much travelling to do, giving some extra flexibility.

After a busy June, where I was able to squeeze in 645km, 55km off the 700km that I’ve set as a target, I thought that 900km for July would be challenging but maybe achievable

And today, the last day of the month, I was on the road at 06:30 and 1:15 hours and 28km later (and very wet they were!!!), I got back, stopped and looked at the odometer and was very pleased to see 1,004 km!!!

Yes, that is 104 kilometres more than what I was going to do!!!!

This is the most I’ve ever done in one month and especially after last year’s back injury, which took me off the road for 5 months, I am very, very happy with this progress!!!

And if you want to know why I do this, you can turn to my BHF Fundraising page

I do this because it is good for the body, the mind and the soul and one day it is going to help me, just like it helps thousands of others every day!

So I have to thank the great british weather and most of all to my loving and supporting family who are not only willing to put up with my hobby but who also encourage me to continue pushing!

Now the bike needs a good clean and lube and I need to continue training for the next event: Haywards Heath Howler Sportive Aug 11th

Ride safely!

A little road trip

Last weekend two friends and I took a little road trip to Wales that involved with some driving, some shopping, some “soft” hiking and also indulging with a bit of food and drink….I also tried to mix some photography into this hectic schedule:-)

I took two camera and two digital backs along:

A Mamiya 645DF+ with a Leaf Credo 80 with 3 lenses including the new 28mm/ F4.5 LS D and also a Credo 60 on an Arca-Swiss Rm2D with a Schneider 43mm.

The weather was excellent, not too cold (approx 2 degrees at night and a bit warmer during the day) with a mix of cloud and some blue sky. Both kits performed flawlessly and the DF+ with the Credo on it even took a little tumble into the mud (there was LOTS of it!!!) as we were walking through marsh lands. Lens, back and camera were not phased at all by the sticky stuff…

 

A muddy camera

 

Here’s a small collection from the trip, enjoy!  These are 2,000p wide images so you can click on them to view them at a larger size

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Winter is here

This morning as I walked back from the kids’ school I stopped to look closely at the frost that developed overnight on our car’s roof. I took these images with my phone and found the structures formed by the ice crystals quite incredible!

I promised myself that if it is going to be as cold tomorrow morning I will bring out an 80 megapixel camera with a macro lens:-)

       Click on an image to view a larger version of it                                           ICE_3

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