Phase One 645DF+ with IQ250 field test
Phase One 645DF+ with IQ250
This is a field test of the Phase One 645DF+ combined with the IQ250 digital back. The back can be used with other bodies, just as the body can be used with other backs, but what I will be looking at is the way they work together. It is worth noting at this point that the 645DF+ has recently been superseded by the Phase One XF camera system, which seems a little more modern, and the IQ2 50MP back is now the IQ3 50. Though the XF system is on the way, there are plenty of 645DF+ bodies still for sale.
Stepping back a bit, we can remember a time not all that long ago when you made your stand as a 'serious' amateur by using a medium format camera. Compacts and SLRs existed of course, but the graduation from 35mm film to roll film in 120 or 220 formats meant that you had really made it and you expected to be treated with respect by your peers. For some it was like being 'made-up,' a sign of advancement, but for others medium format systems were just a means of improving detail resolution and achieving shallower depth-of-field in their images. Nothing changes and, of course, ownership of even the best medium format kit was never guarantee that good pictures would be made – such a purchase though did at least indicate a respectable degree of desire.
My medium format film journey began with a Lubitel TLR, in the days when they were priced appropriately (£10) for what they are, and I upgraded to the deluxe Yashica Mat 124G when I went to college. When things got serious and I started to begin to earn a living making cameras go click, and I needed interchangeable lenses, I spent £125 and bought a Mamiya 645 J from a small ad in the back of a photography magazine. I loved that little camera, and ever since I've had Mamiya cameras in the family, from the RB67, RZ67, to the 7ll rangefinder, and the 645AF system.
Apart from the delightful 7ll these cameras were all nice tools – slightly unrefined workhorses that were very good at their job and pleasant enough to use. I mention all this personal journey not only to be able to reminisce about the good old days, but primarily to remember that these cameras are history and, significantly, historic.
The relevance to this article, of course, is that the Phase One 645DF+ is very much a Mamiya 645AF, with added features and full integration with the Phase One IQ2 digital backs. If it seems strange to you that Phase One has combined today's cutting edge digital technology with an old dark box from 1999 we might note that the 645DF+ is somewhat more accomplished than the original 645 AF. Launched simultaneously by Phase One and Mamiya in 2012, this latest model is more closely related to the last film munching Mamiya 645AFD lll from 2008.
Phase One IQ250 key specifications
- 50MP CMOS sensor
- ISO 100-6400
- Built-in wireless technology
- 3.2" 1,150,000-pixel touch screen
Phase One 645DF+ key specifications
- TTL phase-detection auto focus
- Shutter speed 1/4000 sec - 60 min
- 1/1600 flash sync with leaf shutter lenses, 1/125 sec with focal plane
- Continuous shooting up to 2 fps
Above is a rundown of the system's major specifications, but some of the features are worth calling special attention to. The shutter speed range runs from a remarkable 60 minute maximum timed opening, to a shortest exposure of 1/4000sec, with B(ulb) and T(ime) modes also available. While the maximum shutter speed that can be synchronized with flash is an old fashioned standard 1/125sec, the use of leaf shutter lenses makes synchronization up to 1/1600sec achievable – and there are currently eight leaf shutter lenses in the range to make the most of this feature.
The shutter can be tripped by one of four methods ranging from the ancient to the very modern – pressing the shutter release button, using a screw-thread cable release, plugging in an electronic trigger cable or via Wi-Fi through the iOS Capture Pilot app.
With such a large mirror to potentially disrupt the acquisition of fine detail, it's a great thing that a mirror lock-up mode has been included. This can be used manually or alongside the camera's self-timer – which can be customized to create delays of between 2 and 60 seconds.
There is basically a single AF zone, right in the center of the screen, and manual focus override is easily achieved via the body switch or the ring on the system lenses.
On the face of it a top drive speed of 2 frames per second doesn't sound like much, but when you experience the 645DF+ in action at that rate, to hear the steam-driven pistons at work and feel the room shake, it seems a wonder it can operate that quickly at all. With the IQ250 back attached though, the frame rate is reduced to 1.2fps as the back can't process the files any faster.
The camera is driven by its own lithium-ion cell that runs at 7.4v and which has a capacity of 2000mAh, although a 6-cell AA adapter is also available.
|Devil Rock (Stuttgart, Germany) by cornissimo|
from Neon Signs
|Carla... by lickity split|
from Beautiful caucasian female faces
|Lunar New Year Fireworks by Michael L NYC 99|
|Vatican Basilica by wam7|
from Street lights
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.
Adobe just released version 2015.12 of Lightroom CC, adding support for several new cameras and lenses, and baking in several important bug fixes while they were at it.
In this interview, Chiara Marinai, photo editor for VanityFair.com, explains exactly what she looks for in new photographers and photo submissions. Take notes.