Could a Digital Pentax 67 Make Us Fall in Love with DSLRs Again?

There is no doubt in my mind that, if there is one company barely hanging in there in the photo industry, it’s Pentax. They haven’t made the monumental mistakes Nikon has in the past, but they’ve run into a lot of unfortunate events. Hoya more or less gutted them a little more than a decade ago. Samsung never ended up buying them. And the Ricoh company hasn’t done much with Pentax. But now, they’re starting to make an effort with building more factories. If anything can grab our attention again, it would be something different: like a digital Pentax 67.

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Which Film Format Is the Right One for You?

Interested in getting into analog photography, but not sure which film format to use? Our latest infographic has you covered.

Although digital dominates much of the photography market today, analog photography continues to be alive and well. In fact, interest in film photography has been steadily increasing in recent years. So much so that film manufacturers are actively developing and releasing new film emulsions to satisfy the growing demand. For the uninitiated, the film formats available on the market may have you scratching your head in confusion. If you’re just getting started with film photography, our latest original infographic covers some of the most common film formats you can find today. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the various formats outlined below if you’re planning to start shooting film.

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The Hasselblad H6D-400C Can Shoot Up to 400 Megapixels

With the Hasselblad H6D-400C, you can get 400MP images using the multi-shot feature.

Though you may rarely need it, the new Hasselblad H6D-400C multishot camera is claiming to have some really big tech inside. For starters, it’s a camera body using the Hasselblad full frame 645 100MP sensors with 16 bit RGB color readout and 15 stops of dynamic range. If you shoot in TIIF multishot with 6 images to create a 400MP photo, your photos can be up to 2.4GB in size. Additionally, it had flash sync up to 1/2000th. When you’re in the studio, you’ll be able to utilize the USB 3.0 C readout when you’re tethered. What’s more, it also shoots 4K video and has a 3″ touchscreen LCD.

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Is Sony’s New 1″ Sensor Really as Good as Medium Format Film?

I highly doubt it is, but the new Sony 1″ sensors are indeed very capable

It’s no secret that the 1″ sensors Sony has been producing for years have been winning awards left and right. But on top of that, photographers in major contests have won awards using their cameras with the 1″ sensor at the heart. Further, photographers who still shoot film have held out not on 35mm film necessarily, but more so on large format and medium format film. Indeed in my eyes, medium format film, when well exposed and processed, still has a look that can outdo digital. We’re not talking about scans here–because that’s essentially taking a digital photo of a film photo and that’s all; no, look at prints. However, The Online Photographer thinks differently.

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Portraiture: Various Imaging Formats Visually Compared

If you were to look at the various imaging formats currently available on the market, would you be able to easily tell the difference between the bunch? We’re out to prove a point in today’s posts: most people most likely would not be able to tell if a photo was shot on Micro Four Thirds, Medium format, or full frame. Just take a look at this sample gallery we’ve put together.

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Lens Review: Fujifilm 63mm f2.8 R WR (Fujifilm G Format)

Of course, the closest thing to a normal prime lens had to be the first thing that Fujifilm announced for their Medium format G Format; and to that end we got the Fujifilm 63mm f2.8 R WR lens. It’s an interesting move for Fujifilm. You see, when the X series was announced, the company debuted at least one f1.4 lens. But this time around, we got slow lenses. Yes, I’m aware that this is medium format, but there are f1.8 lenses in the 645 format–which is larger than G format.

Nevertheless, the Fujifilm 63mm f2.8 is a fantastic lens that I wasn’t sure I’d like. But a number of factors had me coming back to it over and over again.

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Medium Format Film Cameras With Autofocus For Beginners

So previously we have talked about some great budget medium format film camera options for those on a budget, but all of those cameras were manual focus only. Today we wanted to bring a few options into focus that feature something that many of you can’t live without – Autofocus.

There are a few things about AF with these cameras that needs to be said. It’s not lightning fast, but it is pretty accurate. Just don’t expect to get the sort of AF performance that you get these days, these camera are decades old after all, AF technology has advanced quite a bit. That said, if you manage your expectations, you should have no problem getting great AF results using these cameras. Continue reading…

Shooting with the Fujifilm GFX 50S: Extended Thoughts and Sample Images

The Fujifilm GFX 50S has been in for review for a few days now and I’m sort of wrapping my head around how to test it correctly. That’s kind of tough to explain for many reasons. You see, Fujifilm sent me the camera along with the 63mm f2.8 and the 120mm f4 lenses–both primes which are great for general work, portraiture, and the mainstay of most medium format photographers out there. Zooms are often tough to work with, but in some ways I feel like Fujifilm is genuinely trying to redefine the way people work with medium format cameras, lenses, and sensors.

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How Well Do Old Medium Format Lenses Hold Their Sharpness Vs Modern Prime Lenses?

Something that has always been in the back of any camera lens lover’s mind is the question of how well the older lenses hold their own against the newer lenses. Indeed, older lenses have a special character to them that can’t really be replicated with most modern lenses, sans the offerings from Lomography and Lensbaby. While most 35mm film format lenses were designed with an appeal for consumers over professionals, medium format was always more of the cream of the crop (with exception to large format).

So we went through our archives and looked at how a few classic medium format lenses compare to the new king: the Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art lens. Of course, this is a very interesting battle in the film vs digital debate.

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Nicholas Lindsey’s Beautiful Analog Portraits of Dogs

All images by Nicholas Lindsey. Used with permission.

Everyone loves dogs–the heartwarming creatures have been proven to lower stress in humans. In our years of interviewing various dog photographers, it’s usually tough to find the absolute star amongst the loads and loads of them out there. Nicholas Lindsey really stands out from the rest. In Nick’s portfolio, what truly tugs at my heart is his analog 645 portraits of dogs. They’re unlike much of the others out there and Nick’s methods to capturing the scenes are very unlike anything else that I’ve seen out there.

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How Much Bigger is the Sensor in the Fujifilm GFX 50S vs Full Frame?

At Photokina 2016, the medium format Fujifilm GFX 50S camera was announced. It features a medium format sensor that is larger than full frame 35mm sensors, but isn’t larger than full frame 645 format sensors. To see just how large they all are in comparison, we put them all in a comparison chart together. In truth, it’s really not much larger; but it is indeed larger than full frame and effectively targets the photographers that want something more.

In Digital Photography, The New 645 Format is Even Smaller

If the trends in medium format photography have been any indication at all, then the idea of getting a truly large 645 medium format sensor is something to truly aspire to, but what most professional photographers may never accomplish. Years ago, back when film was king in photography, the 645 medium format size was something of a joke in some circles of photography. In photojournalism, it was a format valued for its smaller size yet larger negative than what 35mm film offered. Many professionals tended to want to reach for the 6×7 format instead. At this size, the photographer got a larger negative yet still retained a manageable size to work with. Photojournalistic applications tended to favor the 645 format.

But today, it sincerely seems like we’ve got what I’d like to call a new 645 format in some ways. At least that’s what Photokina 2016 makes it seem like.

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Phase One and Sony Design a New 100MP Medium Format Sensor

XF System_lowres

It’s time, folks! Right before CES 2016 starts, Phase One is making an announcement that they’ve collaborated with Sony to make the new 100MP full frame 645 Medium Format sensor for their new 100MP Phase One XF Camera system. Crazy, huh? To clear confusion, this is a full 645 sensor instead of it being cropped, hence why it’s called Full Frame

So what can this sensor do? It offers 16 bit color, 15 stops of dynamic range, live view capture via HDMI, ISO 50 to 12,800 and exposure of up to 50 minutes. The sensor packs101,082,464 active high quality pixels. Because it uses the XF system, it also features lots of the new features that came out at Photo Plus 2015, like the seismographic shutter delay plus, Honeybee Auto Focus, Vibration Tracking, Electronic First Curtain Shutter, and more.

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It’s Time to Stop Using the Term “Full Frame”

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm 35mm f2 WR product images first impressions (9 of 9)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 2.8

Full Frame has been a term in heavy use in the photography community for years now since the first digital full frame 35mm sensors were formed. Then medium format came about, and they had their own full frame format. Instead of having a sensor with full 645 field coverage, some sensors were slightly smaller than that–therefore not providing a true 645 format coverage.

This was one of the problems with digital initially–the cameras were designed to take lenses created to cover a 35mm film plane/sensor but the only options available for many years were APS-C film/sensor cameras. But then why was there no full frame APS-C moniker if 35mm and 645 have their own? And to that end, why wasn’t it called full frame APS?

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Review: Lomography LCA 120

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography LCA 120 product photos (1 of 7)ISO 2001-200 sec at f - 4.0

Earlier this year, Lomography announced the smallest 120 film camera with automatic metering ever made: the LCA 120. Traditionally, no photographer that uses 120 film on a regular basis has ever consistently wanted to shoot with a fully automatic mode. This is why many of these cameras have interchangeable backs, lenses, and various settings. There were also various medium format rangefinders, but those are another story.

The LCA 120 is a medium format (6×6) automatic metering camera with the only variable being ISO control. Focusing involves flipping a switch for zone control. Otherwise, this camera is also the most straightforward and simple medium format camera that I’ve ever touched.

This makes the LCA 120 arguably one of the best cameras that the Phoblographer has tested for street photography.

So what’s the problem?

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Infographic: The Different Film Sizes Compared

The-Phoblographer-Infographic-on-Film-sizes

Inspired by Zack Arias’s video on film and digital sensor size comparisons, we decided to whip up a quick infographic for you on the different film sizes available in a friendly comparison. Think it’s cool to have a full frame 35mm sensor in your camera? Well consider the fact that you can get 645 (6×4.5) 6×7 film cameras for fairly cheap. Sure, you’ll have to pay for the film expenses, but you’ll also put more effort into you photos and have loads more keeper shots if you’re careful. Plus, you likely won’t upgrade your camera every couple of years.

As we show in the infographic above, 35mm film is smaller compared to everything else. In fact, 35mm film was originally invented to please consumers, not professionals. It was designed quite literally for novices but because the standard once people could deliver great work with it.

Sound familiar? It sounds a lot like the phone generation.

Phase One Introduces 40-80mm Wide-Angle Zoom Lens with Leaf Shutter for its 645 System

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.

The Leica S Medium Format DSLR Can Now Accept Contax 645 Lenses

Leica-S-Adapter-C

How many of you know the story behind Contax? They were a Zeiss owned company and back in the days that medium format film cameras were in the hands of many professionals, lots of them dreamt about the Contax 645. It was a short lived system with some of the best lenses ever made for medium format cameras. Plus, they had autofocusing capabilities.

The great news that came in recently is that those lenses now won’t go to waste. They can be adapted onto the Leica S system using a brand new adapter. The new adapter will allow for both autofocusing and manual focusing, plus it will have an automatic aperture function (such as in shutter or program mode.) Even better–the adapter will recognize the lenses and assign the according EXIF data to them. Most of the Contax system lenses are supported.

Sounds pretty sweet, right? You can have all this for $1,950.

Via Leica Rumors


Lens Announcement: HD Pentax D FA 645 Macro 90mm f2.8 ED AW SR … Whoa, That’s a LONG Name!

Together with a bunch of other new lenses, ranging from the teeny-tiny 06 Telephoto Zoom lens for the Q system via an all-purpose zoom lens for K-mount and a super-telephoto for the same, Pentax also announces the latest addition to its 645 medium format system, a 90mm f2.8 macro lens. As with all of Pentax’ 645 lenses, this one can be used on film as well as digital bodies. On the former it renders an image with an angle-of-view of 42.5°, while on the latter it produces a 34° a-o-v, comparable to that of a 71mm lens on 35mm full-frame. It is the third lens expicitly developed for the digital 645D medium format camera, after the 55mm f2.8 normal lens and the 25mm f4 wide angle lens.

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