Is medium format digital viable?

Until now, you have had three choices if you want to shoot digital medium format.

None of these were ideal: the most practical for outdoor handling of the group are the Leica and the Pentax, but for action and flash the leaf shutters help sync. This video from a couple of years ago demonstrates this: note that the models change slowly.

None of these systems are less than superb. But… film is a lot cheaper, and for most applications you could get a better result with something smaller and faster. You can buy a very fast car for almost all these systems — the only one approaching affordability is the Pentax.

Which brings us to a new and obvious announcement. Hasselblad has made an affordable mirrorless camera. They are not the first: Alpa did something similar a year or so ago. Bur this is basically the same sensor, with lenses engineered for a smaller focal length. Steve Huff is rapt. Matt Granger is correct on what we know now.

Quoted price is 8995 US, which would be about 15K in New Zealand. With leaf shutters, so you can sync motion with flash. For me? Not that useful: I did get the gear out over the weekend and have a series of files to process shot in freezing weather on Saturday.


More will come. I have updated my Medium Format Page. In the meantime, I’m sticking to film.

Two days, four places, two lens.

This set of photos started last night. It is close to the shortest day, and it was still and cold. We drove up to signal point, which is above Dunedin. Unfortunately, it being a Friday night, a bunch of teenagers were snogging. So I pulled out a 19 mm F 2.8 Sigma ART lens, stuck it on the Olympus M10 (original model) and walked down to the viewing area, past the various couples drinking, put the camera firmly on the ledge of the balcony — I was not going to set up a tripod — and took four second exposures.

It is worth noting that wide open you have a very narrow depth of field, and this shot demonstrates.


Today we went to Brighton, where the tide was in. In these situations you don’t use a camera bag so I attached a Panasonic 25 mm f 1.8 lens (normal for micro four thirds) to the camera and went walking.

We then travelled to St Clair, where we witnessed a sunset which made me again go wide-angle — the 19 mm ART is about 30 mm equivalent

All photos jpeg. Used darktable to adjust the exposures, some cropping and making one photo monochrome, but I have not fiddled with the colours. The sky was very yellow tonight, to the point that some shots were not taken because they would have looked over photoshopped directly from the camera.