Phase One recently sent award-winning portrait photographer Rick Wenner on a dream assignment. Equipped with the XF IQ3 Achromatic—the world's only 101MP black-and-white medium format digital back—he was sent to Wildwood, NJ to shoot an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen.

The annual drag racing event features pre-war era hot rods and motorcycles, speeding across the beach. It's the ideal event to shoot in black-and-white, and when you're shooting with the only 101MP digital back out there... well, all the better.

But why black and white only? Wenner explained in an interview with Phase One:

“Black and white photography is a great approach to focus completely on the detail and art of these beautiful machines. [...] You aren’t distracted by a bright blue sky or a yellow-green paint job on a hot rod. You are not distracted by the colorful tattoos or the rust and patina of an old delivery truck. Your eye is only looking at what I want the viewers to see in my photos - detail, texture, facial expressions, style, shapes, and action.”

As for the camera itself, it was... hefty... as you might well assume. In addition to the weight of the XF IQ3 Achromatic, Wenner was using the Schneider Kreuznach 40-80mm LS f/4.0-5.6 and Schneider Kreuznach 75-150mm LS f/4.0-5.6 Blue Ring lenses, neither of which are exactly light.

Speaking with DPReview over email, though, Wenner tells us the extra weight was totally worth it once he got a look at the files:

The camera was heavier than what I’m used to with those zoom lenses but still manageable throughout the day. The files are ENORMOUS, as expected. The .IIQ (raw) files are on average about 150-175 MB. I loved working with the files because of the insane amount of detail captured and how much information can be recovered in highlights and shadows.

Check out the full set of photos from the TROG event up top. And if you want to see more of Wenner's work, visit his website, check out his blog, or give him a follow on Instagram.


All photos by Rick Wenner and used with permission.