The Phase One P 30Medium FormatDigital Systemis Ideal forFine Art PhotographyNicholas Hellmuth© Copyright FLAAR 2006
FLAAR REPORTS • Phase One P 30 Medium Format Digital Camera 2At present there are three FLAAR Reports comingout on the P 30; these are what you mightconsider “first impressions.” Later we will havea full review. Comparative comments relative toLeaf, Hasselblad, and Sinar-Jenoptik will comewhen we have tested the most recent models thissummer and coming autumn.We find that medium format cameras have muchmore use than just for portraits and commercialphotography. A medium format back such as thePhase One P 30 is the ultimate camera for fine artphotography. A personal interest of mine is fineart photography of rust and abandoned buildings.Since most areas where there are abandonedbuildings in Guatemala is a bit dangerous to access,to be more secure, this photo essay limiteditself to photographing rust in a junkyard directlyadjacent to the main highway between GuatemalaCity and Antigua Guatemala (the 16th century formercapital in the time of the Spanish colonies).We thank Greg Lamb, CEO of Global Imaging Inc.,for making these medium format backs availablefor evaluation.
IFLAAR REPORTS • Phase One P 30 Medium Format Digital Camera 3especially like to photograph rustedmachines or mechanical parts becauseyou get both shapes, color andtexture.The beauty of this particular junkyardwas that the junk was grouped by sort oftheme. This pile seemed to be primarilymufflers and exhaust systems. It’s amazingthat this junk has value in its bangedup rusted condition. But when my alternatorfailed in my ’84 GMC Suburban inMexico, all the Chevy and GMC dealerslaughed at me when I tried to buy a newalternator. They said that no Mexicanwould drive a car that old (this was theoil-rich state of Tabasco). So I had to finda one-man mechanic’s shop. He operatedout of his home, and did the repairin his yard. He jerry rigged an alternatorthat lasted me about 5,000 miles. Hecharged me $28, for the parts and labor.It took him four hours.
FLAAR REPORTS • Phase One P 30 Medium Format Digital Camera 4Here is a good closeupof the camera.This is a 30-year oldHasselbald ELX, witha Zeiss 120 mm lens. Ithought it was a macro,but not really (or barely).But this was a betterlens than an 80mmwhich would have beentoo wide a view for whatwas available to photographhere this day.
FLAAR REPORTS • Phase One P 30 Medium Format Digital Camera 5Normally I strive to find a compositionthat is natural, not one that Ihave created myself. But in this instancethe white plastic container is obtrusive,and distracts from the round gears. So Imoved the white plastic out of the way.
FLAAR REPORTS • Phase One P 30 Medium Format Digital Camera 7Ifound some bright colored rust inside this blueplastic container. This is when it helps to have atall tripod, so you can shoot straight down.I rarely try to change what I find, but there wasone piece that was too reflective, and I wanted tomove it out of view. Then there was another piecebelow that was very bright. I wanted to move thatup to the top so the color would be available forthe composition.
AcknowledgementsFLAAR REPORTS • Phase One P 30 Medium Format Digital Camera 8TThe Gitzo carbon fiber tripod was providedfor evaluation courtesy of Kriss Brunngraber,Bogen Imaging. This is an excellent choice for atripod sturdy enough to hold a medium formatdigital camera. There are several sizes of Gitzocarbon fiber tripod. We are evaluating them oneby one as they become available to us. You cansee all the Manfrotto and Gitzo tripods and otherphotography equipment products on their informativewebsite, www.BogenImaging.com.This camera back was provided courtesy ofGreg Lamb, CEO of Global Imaging Inc. This isthe only company we know of in the USA whichhandles four or five major brands of wide formatinkjet printers:• HP• Dilli Neo Plus UV-curable flatbed printers• Mimaki• ColorSpan• and another leading brand that will be addedGlobal Imaging sells nationwide. If you wishto visit them in person, they are located atGlobal Imaging2011 Cherry Street, Suite 116Louisville, CO 80027Tel: 303.673.9773Toll Free: 800.787.9801Fax: 303.673.9923Global Imaging1130 Dragon Street Suite 180Dallas, TX 75207Tel: 800.787.9802