Tuesday, October 18, 2016

100-megapixel Phase One IQ1-100

This isn’t much of an update unless you count the two-images included. 
We had a full moon this past weekend and I took the opportunity to try capturing it using a Phase One XF, Schneider LS 240mm lens and the new 100-megapixel IQ1-100. 
My first thought was to use the 240 with the 2x extender thus making it a 480mm lens however I wanted to experiment seeing just how much of a crop I could get using the 240 as a standalone.  The first image show 2-moons; the top moon is the original as shot while the bottom moon is the same moon at 100% crop.  This was shot at f/11 1/200 ISO 200.
The image below is a 200% crop from the same night using f/11 1/200 ISO 100 for a setting.  While not included, the full non-cropped version is the same size as the example above.
This is just an example of what a 100-megapixel medium format digital back from Phase One can produce.  And yes I’m very pleased.
More to come

Friday, October 14, 2016

Shooting 100 megapixels medium format

f/10 1/4000 ISO 400 "parent file"(handheld)
Crop from parent file
My first digital medium format back was 16-megapixel Kodak DCS connected to a Mamiya 645 AF body.   Little did I know that within a little over a decade I would be shooting a 100-megapixel medium format digital back!
Shooting the ceiling
f/12 1/30 ISO 1600
Phase One introduced their first 100-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor late 2015 with delivery shortly afterwards.  The IQ3-100 is so packed full of options one should expect it to weigh much more than a normal digital back; WIFI, HDMI and full integration with the new Phase One XF to mention just a few.  And of course the price is just as hefty even with a generous trade-in/upgrade program.  As much as I liked the back I saw too many things that I wouldn’t use thus didn’t want to pay full price; opting instead to wait until they came on the used market (which they have).

f/8 1/25 ISO 400
Early September this year I decided I had waited long enough.  I’ve been shooting nightscape landscape images being forced to use a Sony A7rII and wanted to use medium format.  I remember calling my camera dealer and very close friend Dave Gallagher and caught him literally as he was headed out the door to fly to Photokina 2016.  I told him what I wanted and his rely was no, I’m not selling you anything – yet.  Dave wouldn’t tell me why as he was on an embargo against disclosing details of upcoming Phase One releases that would be announced within the next couple days.  Since I trust Dave with my family I also trust him not to steer me wrong. So I waited.  Image my surprise when Phase One released the new I00-megapixel IQ1-100. 
f/8 1/1000 ISO 200 (handheld)
The IQ1-100 is everything I wanted without spending extra money for things that I no longer need/require.  Since I’m no longer shooting with a tech camera I don’t need HDMI and since I can tether using my Surface Pro I don’t need WIFI.  There are other differences which fit into what I consider “nice to have” however I’d much rather save several thousand dollars to use for say trips.  A trip to Japan to shoot the snow monkeys or Alaska for northern lights or .. you get the idea.
f/8 1/2500 ISO 400 (handheld)
f/8 1/320 ISO 50 (handheld)
I believe Phase One released the details on the 100-megapixel IQ1-100 on September 20th.  The following week we were in Moab speaking to Dave Gallagher on the phone and ended up ordering it on September 28th taking delivery on October 8th.   Not bad at all.  The only thing that didn’t work in our favor was coming down with a cold which was bad enough to stop any work until just yesterday.  In the meantime the 80-megapixel IQ180 has been returned as part of the deal and my credit card company is smiling. 
So, what do you do to test a CMOS sensor that has beautiful live view, high ISO capabilities? Go someplace where you are in a dark place lit only with natural lights from very tall windows.  We traveled south past Tubac to Tumacacori and visited a Spanish Mission founded by Jesuit Eusebio Francisco Kino in 1691 and is currently a National Historical Park.
f/11 0.5 seconds ISO 800
f/9 1/8 ISO 800
Equipment used: 100-megapixel Phase One IQ1-100 digital back attached to a Phase One XF body using a Schneider LS 35mm lens.  Since I wanted to shoot low and not use a tripod I opted instead to use a Platypod Pro Max with KPS geared ballhead.  Since I knew I might be taking longer than normal exposures I also used a Hahnel remote shutter release for the XF.

So, was the upgrade worth it?  Yes.  Will I miss shooting with a CCD sensor now that I have a CMOS? Too early to say but I’m willing to bet no.  How was the live view?  Worked even better than I had hoped.
f/12 1/4 ISO 400

I’ll have more to share later from this trip as well as an upcoming trip to New Mexico where we hope to capture nightscape images so stay tuned.
This IQ1-100 makes the 3rd IQ1 series digital backs I’ve owned and a total of 6-Phase One backs; all purchased from one source Capture Integration.  I wouldn’t keep returning if I didn’t like how they do business.  They won’t sell something you don’t need (yes, I’ve tried).  The stand behind everything they sell; new or used.  Their customer service model of what others should study and strive for.  Dave and his crew started out as vendors and over the years surpassed that into dear friends.  If you want a camera dealer that stands behind you look no more. Click the link found on the right column of this page or give them a call; you’ll be glad you did.










Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Southwest Trading Posts

When we write about trading posts we don’t mean the gaudy tourist traps one might find off an interstate.  What we’re describing is what used to be the life blood on an Indian reservation.  Place where folks who were forced to live went to buy and often time trade for essentials such as food stuffs like flour, salt etc.
Rear wall of the trading post in Oljato UT

Another rear wall Oljato UT
While there are still some operational trading posts to be found the majority are now closed.  The advent of better transportation help close this way of life on many reservations.  We don’t look for the trading posts that remain open; instead we prefer the older closed defunct abandoned ones.
Front wall Oljato UT
We recently spent several days on the Navajo Nation in the Monument Valley area of Arizona and Utah and found two old trading posts.
Front wall Oljato UT
Looking down the front wall, Oljato UT

The first in Oljato Utah is located 10-miles from Goulding’s in Monument Valley and is easily accessible by paved road.  Take the road running between the airfield and new housing for 10-miles and Oljato is on the left side.  Watch for herds of sheep along the way; in other words slow down and enjoy the scenery. Oljato trading post is an easy side trip to take after visiting Monument Valley.
Red door, Oljato Utah

Old Hogan in front of the Oljato trading Post

We found our second trading post approximately 130-miles south in the Ganado Arizona area off BIA15; named Sunrise Trading Post.  Sunrise is located on the north side of BIA15 and very rundown. 

Sunrise Trading Post Ganado UT fro BIA 15
Close up of the front wall
Green door leading into a front room
Where Oljato trading post is in fair condition with standing walls, most windows intact and doors and roof sadly that can’t be said for Sunrise with no windows, little doors left and no roof.  Sunrise is truly abandoned and had graffiti and left to natures elements.  They both offer a unique photographic experience.
What's left of a wall

Looking down and out from the windows through the roof
Please remember you are visitors and be respectful of the area and leave things where you might find them. We’d also caution to not enter buildings as the floors may be weak. Also you might want to think about proper footgear as you are in the southwest where critters like to hide.
All images were captured with a pair of Sony A7rII and either a 24-70GM (Sandys lens of choice) and a Mitakon Speedmaster 85mm (Dons lens).  All images were processed using a combination of Capture One-9 and Topaz Labs filters.
Sandy & Don