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Phase One IQ4: Stitching For Broader Field of View, Higher Resolution + Reader Comment

Having tested the PhaseOne XF system for my Dec 2019 trip, I’d love to shoot/test the PhaseOne XT system sometime soon, but all my PhaseOne contacts seems to have departed PhaseOne, so it would be starting from scratch to get that rolling. I’d also love to shoot the PhaseOne IQ4 Achromatic digital back, to see just how much detail is possible without a Bayer matrix.

A bit more than two years after shooting the PhaseOne IQ4 in December of 2019, I thought to take a retrospective look at its image quality. Reviewing my images, I remain as impressed as ever that its single-frame image quality remains unbeatable. And there are no issues with monochrome conversions, unlike the Fujifilm GFX100S/100.

So I decided to try a stitched image. Funny, I really like this image a lot, I wonder how many other unprocessed gems I might have—never did go through all the material I shot!

Phase One IQ4: Stitching For Broader Field of View, Higher Resolution

Includes images up to 330 megapixels (image stitched to 440MP after cropping).

This stitch was shot with the Schneider Kreuznach LS 80mm f/2.8 with a finished field of view equivalent to a 40mm lens for the finished image. That longer 80mm focal length (vs 40mm) delivers a result that would in effect would require an 107mm-wide capture area. In other words, the 'feel' from the focal length is like shooting a 4X5 camera with its ~96 X 120mm capture are—and that is one reason to do stitching rather than a wider lens with cropping. The feel would be vastly different had I shot the same scene with a 40mm lens and cropped for this aspect ratio to ~100 megapixels—much larger foreground and much smaller mountains would have resulted. The amount of telephoto compression feels just right.

Toggle for color.

f11 @ 1/60 sec panorama stitched from 9 frames (3 X 3), ISO 50; 2019-12-11 11:55:12
Phase One IQ4 + Schneider Kreuznach LS 80mm f/2.8
ENV: Alabama Hills, altitude 4500 ft / 1372 m, 50°F / 10°C
RAW: LACA corrected, distortion corrected, push 1 stops, +40 Whites, +10 Clarity, USM {10,50,0}, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot](incorrect metadata: stitched from 6 images, 2 rows of 3)

Dr S writes:

The monochrome version is stunning, especially the sky.  You were able to find a spot near to far that engaged the sense of an arid to moist environment that I'd like to be in right now.

For those not willing to shell out the $$$ for the Phase One do you have a version both monochrome and color of a similar spot with the GFx100 or 100S?  Curious the difference.

One last comment......the pano is worthy of the forest service making a room-long print...I would say, monochrome for its dramatic effect.

DIGLLOYD: It’s always hard to anticipate what a stitch will yield, but I like the "flow" of the scene a lot. Acontrail-free sky would have been preferable, but you get what you get while you are there.

For monochrome images with the Fujifilm GFX100S/100, see Fujifilm GFX100: Monochrome Conversions, Perspective, and other pages (GFX100S and GFX100 have identical sensors). For more, go to the monochrome pages, and then search (cmd-F) directly on the web page itelf for "GFX100".

The Fujifilm GFX100S and Fujifilm GFX100 can make very superb B&W prints if not pressed too hard, but I deem the image quality of the PhaseOne IQ4 beyond compare in color and overall integrity. With Fujifilm, the sky can reveal unworkable horizontal white stripes when processed as I’ve done here. I’m unhappy about the stripes, because otherwise you could get a GFX100S and call it a day for both color and B&W. One option is to stick with 50 megapixels for monochrome... the Fujifilm GFX50S II and its predecessors all are free of PDAF pixels. But having to give up half the capture resolution makes it a non-starter for me; I want one 100-megapixel camera good for both.

The huge advantage of the PhaseOne IQ4 is that it lacks the PDAF pixels that apparently are the root cause of those offensive stripes. Had I the money, I’d get a PhaseOne IQ4 back and shoot landscape with that, traveling the west!

James K writes:

The image is very well composed and the subject has a satisfying artistic balance.  Nice work Lloyd.

DIGLLOYD: funny how it had sat there for two years in my archives—had never processed it. Often I run out of time and cannot go over all my work from a trip.


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