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Long Exposure Photography with the Phase One IQ 260 Achromatic Digital Back

Hello everyone,

I recently had the rare opportunity to work with a dedicated black and white camera solution. When visiting Toronto, my friends of B3K Digital let me work with a Phase One IQ 260 Achromatic Digital Back.

This is a 60 megapixel digital back that is dedicated to black and white photography only. The IQ 260 Achromatic offers pure black and white images; no filters or interpolation applied. As there is no IR cut-off filter mounted on the sensor, there are some very exciting opportunities to create very distinct imagery using lens-mounted filters.

I had 2 days to work with this digital back, and here's a preview of one of the images from my shoot in downtown Toronto:

This image is a 61 second exposure. I shot the image above using my Cambo WDS with 35mm lens. To get this perspective and to keep the architectural lines straight, a very generous amount of rise (upward lens shift) was applied. It's a square crop from the original 4:3 aspect ratio RAW image shown above on the rear screen of the IQ 260 Achromatic.

As you can see when comparing both images, the RAW file already looks very much like the final edited version shown above. In fact, this was one of the things that impressed me the most about this digital back. Sure it's got sharpness and incredible detail, but the fact that it is black and white direct capture makes this the first digital camera where I can see my vision come to life in camera (without having to 'previsualize' what I will be doing in Photoshop later).

You can use color filters like you would with traditional film photography and you can see the effect right away. You are not being distracted by color. This is a very dedicated, specific tool but that's were its beauty lies. When shooting film, you make the decision to shoot in black and white even before you take your first image (by loading black and white film). Same when using this back. I loved the fact that color wasn't an option, as I think we have way too many choices these days. It's nice and refreshing to keep things this simple once again. The only negative I could see in this is the steep price tag. As they say 'Things are simple at the top'. 

I will be posting a longer report about using this digital back very soon - please stay tuned for that.

More tk...

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Reader Comments (2)

very strange light, like infrared i like it, congratulations.

November 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvangelos Politis

Wonderful !

November 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBernard

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