I love medium format. I’ve always loved it. If you have never shot medium format, or a format above it, you are missing such a sublime and beautiful part of photography. DSLRs are fantastic. I wouldn’t be a photographer today if it weren’t for the Nikon D100. That 6 megapixel APS camera relaunched my career and I’m forever grateful for affordable digital gear like Nikons and Canons and Fujis and Sonys and the like. I can’t imagine life without them and I don’t want life without them, but life without medium format sucks.
Let me say that again for emphasis.
LIFE WITHOUT MEDIUM FORMAT SUCKS.
I’ve told this story many times and I’ll make this as brief as I can. A few years ago I attended an opening in Dubai presenting the work of the instructors teaching that year at GPP. One of the photographers showing work was Drew Gardner. His prints stopped me in my tracks. My jaw hit the floor. I got really, really close to them. He walked up beside me and I began to say, “There’s something about these prints…” He stopped me and simply replied, “Phase One, mate. Medium format.”
It was then and there that I began putting a Phase One into my budget. I was going to have a medium format again.
In my Crop or Crap video I said that the difference between APS sensors and full frame 35mm sensors was negligible; I stand behind that statement with all of my being. Put some perspective on it, though, and realize I shoot with a Phase One. It absolutely stands heads and shoulders above 35mm based cameras. Where it falls flat on its face is size. And speed. And ISO performance. And auto focus. It’s an ISO 50 – 200 camera for me and, while I have taken it to the streets before, I rarely do so. I like it locked down most of the time and that brings a certain slowness to my work that I like, and a set of limitations that hinders me at times.