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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials Medium Format Beginner (1 of 6)ISO 1001-30 sec at f - 4.0

When the time comes that 35mm film or the sensor format just isn’t cutting it anymore, consider medium format. Though the film can surely be costly, it is also still capable of delivering some beautiful results are comparable and many times better than full frame 35mm DSLRs.

On the other hand, you could just be looking for something else to give a try.

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Sony A7s sensor

We knew that Sony’s new A7S would be a low-light monster. We knew it would provide outstanding image quality due to its super large pixels. We knew that it would put pretty much any other full-frame camera to shame. What we didn’t know is that it would even rival medium format systems in terms of pure image quality. Or at least, that is what Michael Reichmann with The Luminous Landscape claims.

Reichmann has just posted his first-impressions review of Sony’s new 4K-capable full-frame mirrorless camera, and he seems to be quite smitten with the product. Thanks to its large pixels, which are twice the size as those of the A7, and three times the size as those of the A7R, the camera produces not only super clean high ISO images, but also renders a certain look that Reichmann likens to that of medium format cameras.

Compared to the 36MP A7R, Reichmann finds that the A7S produces superior images at ISO settings beyond 1,600. And while the A7R’s output becomes pretty much unusable (in his opinion) at ISO 12,800, the A7S holds up well until ISO 51,200 “with some moderate noise reduction.” As for dynamic range, Reichmann claims he does not see a difference between the A7S and A7R, but admits that this may need further testing.

Another aspects that he likes about the camera, apart from the possibility to record 4K video, is its electronic front curtain shutter, which helps make the camera virtually silent during exposure. This is something that wedding photographers, among others, might find to be a great benefit, as it helps take pictures more stealthily.

After reading Reichmann’s first impressions over at The Luminous Landscape, we can hardly wait until our own review unit comes in and we can put it through its paces.

Via Sony Alpha Rumors

Phase One Schneider Kreuznach 40-80mm f4-5.6

In the world of medium format photography, most systems work primarily with fixed focal length lenses for a couple of reasons. These are mainly size, weight, and complexity of the optical construction, which due to the larger size of the imaging area of medium format film and digital sensors are higher than those of (D)SLR or mirrorless camera lenses. For pure convenience, however, a zoom lens just cannot be beaten. And so Phase One has decided to introduce a second zoom lens for its 645 digital medium format system, the new Schneider Kreuznach 40-80mm f4-5.6 with leaf shutter.

Due to the requirements of the medium format system, the lens consists of 15 elements in 11 groups, two of which are aspherical. The lens has been designed to deliver “excellent optical qualities throughout the zoom range” according to the press release. This is reflected by its price tag, which is US-$ 8,990. The Schneider Kreuznach 40-80mm f4-5.6 is the second zoom lens for Phase One’s 645 system, the other one being the 75-150mm f4-5.6 which was also developed in conjunction with the German optics manufacturer.

According to Los Angeles based photographer Richard Thompson III, who has already been testing the new 40-80mm, the lens delivers flawless performance that rivals many prime lenses. A behind-the-scenes video of his shoot can be found here.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7r review photos brooklyn bridge reddit walk (4 of 14)ISO 1001-800 sec at f - 3.2

As if the Sony A7r wasn’t enough of a high resolution megapixel beast of a camera, Sony Alpha Rumors is stating that a high megapixel medium format camera may be coming this year at Photokina 2014. They’re saying that it could be a mirrorless camera; which could then in turn be a totally brand new medium format system. The site is also saying that it could be a mirrorless camera. This would make it something close to the very highly prized Mamiya 7II.

On the other hand though, Minolta (a company bought out by Sony) used to make TLRs and Sony could disrupt the industry by making something that resembles a TLR. According to Japan Camera Hunter, the Mamiya Autocord was a fairly popular option.

But let’s think about this: Sony embracing something so amazingly vintage? That sounds a bit tough to believe. They put an aperture ring on the RX1 and the A7/A7r/A7s have a very SLR style camera body. But for the most part the company is very much about embracing future tech.

On the other hand they sure do like being game changers–and a medium format TLR style camera with no prism could be an interesting addition.

"Saturday morning" (from the collection "NYC")

“Saturday morning” (from the collection “NYC”)

I don’t recall exactly when and where I first came across the photographs of Maike Venzl. But I do remember that her unique style immediately got me hooked. Maybe it is because she uses medium format film cameras exclusively, maybe it is because of how she communicates her personal view of the world through her pictures. Or maybe it is because of both. It’s not every day that you come across someone who uses medium format film for street photography, let alone who creates such captivating multi-layered imagery. Reason enough for us to take a closer look at Maike’s work, and to have a little chat with her.

All images in this article are copyright by Maike Venzl and used with permission.

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surreal-photography-oleg-oprisco-11

All images taken by and used with permission from Oleg Oprisco.

As photographers, I think we all have that single photograph, or this series of photographs, or even that artist that moves us so greatly, it influences, sets the tone, and opens the path for our future work. For me, it’s Ukraine photographer Oleg Oprisco’s early work – delicate, intricate, and ethereal – that made me really aspire to be a better photographer.

But it’s not just me he’s inspired. Oleg has influenced an astounding number photographers, medium format shooters and digital snappers alike. And looking at the utterly beautiful and surreal images he painstakingly creates and captures with his trusty Kiev 6C and Kiev 88, this comes as no surprise. His photographs, vibrant with lovely hues and colors, are celestial yet earthly, whimsical yet corporal, and ever so exquisite.

I had the immense pleasure of having an insightful, albeit short, chat with Oleg recently about his work and I’ve come to find out that the man behind the lens is just as stirring as his wonderful photographs. Read our short conversation after the jump.

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