From Nikon to Phase One Medium Format

Posted by Mark Esposito | Posted in Fine Art, Gear, Printing | Posted on 23-11-2011

PhaseOne 645DF Medium Format System

Some months ago I made a major change in equipment, going from Nikon 35mm Digital Cameras, to a Phase One Medium Format System. (645DF and P65+ Digital Back) While I stay mostly clear of gear on this blog, I can’t help talking about this, as this change has a big impact on my portfolio by allowing for much larger prints at a very high quality. In Landscape Photography it’s important to be able to print large, as otherwise it’s difficult to convey scale. While an 11×14 print of Rock Art can look fine, a Canyon printed at the same size loses it’s sense of grandeur.

Print Size

The larger print sizes are possible due to the very high resolution of the Medium Format System. Phase One and Hasselblad are the major names in Medium Format Digital Photography. While this camera uses the same kind of technology that all Digital Cameras use, the sensor is much larger, allowing for much higher resolution. (and making it quite expensive).

The Phase One System has a 60 MegaPixel Digital Sensor, so without tweaking anything, the print size is 22 x 30 inches. For most prints that is large enough. However, when larger Panoramas are needed, stitching as few as two photos together gets me a super high-quality 40 x 60 print.


Digital Sensor Quality

The Medium Format System does more than just print larger. It seems to capture a wider or finer tonal range of color. For Landscape Photography this is very important. I don’t just want detail. I want the full range and nuance of color that I see in nature.


Print Quality

Here’s what I use to make these large prints. I’ve been working with Inkjet printing since the early days of color proofers in the 1980’s. Today these Epson printers produce among the highest quality Fine Art Prints you can buy. With the right quality papers and inks, the prints I produce will last over a hundred years. Longevity would rightly be a concern to anyone that has seen old photos turn yellow. The materials we use are nothing like the common paper old time photos were printed on. The color photos have Permanence Ratings of over 100 years, and the Black & White photos over 200 years. The Epson inks will also hold up to fading this long. Along with most Fine Art Photographers, I have a Lifetime Warranty against fading. The technology has really made a difference, especially with color printing.

Coming up, lots of new work on the web page along with some beautiful new custom frames.