Let’s start with one thing. Medium Format. The feel the look, it’s hard to describe in words, but you can see the difference immediately. With medium format, you’re drawn into the image in a way that is very different, having a completely different tactile feel to the image.
The decision to move to medium format was made back in 2015 on a shoot Zurich with another Phase One owner, Roger Fichmann. I was shooting with two of the best DSLR cameras on the market, with the highest resolution and they were both great but when I saw the depth of field and the incredible quality in the Phase One System, I was sold.
Being new to the Phase One XF Camera System (only having tested it a bit from home), and not very well versed in the field of medium format photography, I was nervous that it would be bit of a mouthful tackling three shoots in five days. To my relief, however, everything worked right out of the box. The system was simple to set up and I was able start shooting right away. Getting started with this medium format beast was proving quite the easy transition.
For the planned shoots I would both on location and in the studio. Though I wasn’t very familiar with tethered shooting, I decided to give it a try. Looking back now I can honestly say for my style of shooting I would never shoot without it again. Having the ability to instantly adjust and focus-check through Capture One and be sure you’re spot on just makes everything so much easier.
On the set
I like my models to move a lot and constantly change poses, that being the case I never shoot on a tripod. Sure this may not be for everybody, but despite the handling difference of Medium Format I still got incredible detail and superb results even sooting as low as 1/60th and 1/80th. The Autofocus of the XF Camera System was fast and incredibly accurate, so despite the extensive resolution I need not worry.
I shot mostly with the Schneider Kreuznach 75-150mm and yes, it is a BEAST, but for me it seemed comfortable and well balanced. All the lenses I have used with the XF system are incredible and extremely sharp, so sharp that the detail can be rather unforgiving so it is important that all effort is met to have your models looking their best!
The XF Camera System, for me, delivered on all levels and made my transition from DSLR an easy one. The XF Camera System is intuitive, a real workhorse in the field, reliable and accurate. Not to mention the stunning detail. Sure there are some tradeoffs to DSLR, size being one of them, but at the end of the day the image quality, reliability and ease of use are what counts.
I have a major project in the tropical rainforests of the Philippines that will last a month, mixing studio and location shoots, and I have no hesitation that this system will perform under all the challenges. Like I said, for me the image quality is the highest priority and the images produced are insanely detailed, the colors suberb, and as the team all said when they saw their images on the big monitor, the final result is “WOW!”
William Barrington Binns
I am a Photographer with a passion for travel and life. I try to capture moments that will make the viewer feel as if they are there. I want people to have a glimpse into worlds they may not see everyday, this doesn’t just mean travelling by plane or going long distances, its everywhere around us.