It's not often you hear of medium format cameras being used to shoot sports, let alone racing cars that can achieve ridiculous speeds. Yet professional sports photographer Jesper Gronnemark has done just that.
in his latest photoshoot with Red Bull F1, Gronnemark used Phase One’s highest megapixel camera, the Phase One XF IQ4 150 (opens in new tab). That’s right, shooting racing cars with a 150 megapixel camera!
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Phase One has been a big contender in the medium format universe since the film days, and after taking over Mamiya it soon became a household name in the world of elite photographers and advertising campaigns, offering the highest resolution and craftsmanship possible.
Today its cameras have taken images that feature on the covers of luxury magazines like Vogue or used in high-fashion campaigns for the likes of Ralph Lauren, but haven’t been used for sports that much… until now.
Armed with a the Phase One XF 150MP camera and a range of blue-ring lenses from the blue Schneider Kreuznach 35mm LS f/3.5 to the 80mm f/2.8 to the 240mm LS f/4.5 IF, Gronnemark was able to capture some stunning images of the Red Bull F1 team’s car within the countryside of Denmark – a setting not common for this type of race car.
The shoot would prove even more difficult than expected, as not only did Jesper have a shot list as long as his arm, but he would have to work round the whole F1 team, film crew, members of the public and of course some rough weather conditions thrown in for good measure.
From the images Jesper has captured, the photoshoot was a complete success – and it goes to show that even though he is a professional photographer who has worked for over ten years supplying the sports advertising and editorial industry with his work, even he has to work around a film crew getting in front of his lens or working in harsh conditions sometimes.
The Phase One XF IQ4 150MP is a modular camera system that features a removable back or brain from the camera body itself. Within this back is the massive sensor that is even bigger than full-frame, 1.5 times larger than any mirrorless medium format on the market, and produces stunning images of 14,202 x 10,652 pixels. Or, to put it another way, a native image output of 120.26 x 90.19cm and 300dpi with 15 stops of dynamic range.
So you can see why some consider this the best medium format system that money can buy. And while we are talking about price, the kit that Jesper was using for this shoot would total in the region of around $65,000 / £48,671 / AU $88,590! The whole thing is simply mind-blowing, but the images look fantastic and just go to show that the myths of digital medium format not being suitable for sports is simply a thing of the past.