Vistek and Phase One recently got together to host a few hours at the Ashbridges Bay skatepark and let some local photographers get their hands on some high-end equipment that you don’t get to see in the wild every day. Promises of 80 megapixels and skateboards were enough to get me to sign up.
We were testing the Phase One / Mamiya 645DF with the Phase One IQ180, IQ160 and 1Q140 backs. The main shooting spot had an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra with A Head on full power, triggered with a skyport.
After some quick intros by Gary and Graham from Vistek, Ariel and Scott were riding the 7 stair and handrail combo. I grabbed the IQ180 while most were shooting on the flashes to try some natural light shots. Vistek did have a used Mamiya 24mm fisheye on hand that I really had my sights set on, but it managed to jam up the body it was on as Graham was testing it out. Man down. That lens got retired quick. The bodies themselves are heavy, but you expect that. The viewfinder, massive! The LCD screen on the back is actually a capacitive touchscreen, very iOS-like which I’m used to. Pinch to zoom would put it over the top, but that might infringe on some trademarks. The colours were certainly accurate and the menus fairly easy to get through.
It turns out with the older, non-leaf shutter lenses, the Phase One has a 1/125 sync speed. For the action I usually shoot, not a chance. I’m always at 1/250 minimum, 1/1000 if I can get it.
Didn’t have much trouble with the IQ180 wandering around grabbing a few test shots. Eventually my turn rolled around for the IQ160 on flashes. Asked Ariel for a bluntslide, and Scott for a heelflip. The 160 managed to jam up on me with a “batt db” error. Sweet, need fresh batteries. Jammed up after getting fresh batteries with a “busy db” error. Gary eventually smoothed it over and I got a couple shots off. After Scott’s heelflip I pulled my card out… only to return home and realize I pulled it out too soon. Corrupt file. Shit.
I hope it was just bad luck on the day and that the cameras usually perform without issue.
An awesome event put on by Vistek and Phase One and a big thanks to those who brought it together. I know I’ll be going out to future events they put on. It’s invaluable to get some hands on experience with new equipment as you can easily be prepared to hit the ground running for the next job you need to rent it on… because for $60,000 I won’t be pulling it from my own camera bag this week.