Read our letter of the week, from an Amateur Photographer reader, sharing their views and opinions about a photography related subject. Find out how to submit your own letter to share your views.

Letter of the Week

Letter of the Week

Letter of the Week – 21 May 2016

Affordable format?

I read Damien Demolder’s article on the PhaseOne XF (AP 9 April 2016) with great interest. I’ve always wanted to shoot medium format, but as the XF is six times the price of my car I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford it. At a recent photography show I tried the Pentax 645, which is gorgeous, but also out of my price range. I remember in AP’s review the person who tested the camera said it slows you down. That fascinates me and I wish there were an affordable way into medium-format digital photography.

The Phase One XF, letter of week

The Phase One XF


As much as I would love to shoot film to learn medium format, I don’t have the space or funds to develop film at home or to be continually paying out for film and developing. Is there any way digital medium format is available at a cheaper, or at least affordable rate, or is the tech so dated it’s not worth using it when compared to the price of a used Nikon D800 or similar?

Ian Fakenbridge, via email

Digital medium format is not mainstream, making second-hand kit scarce and expensive. A back alone, with no camera body or lenses, will cost more than a used Nikon D800. All but the most recent medium-format backs also use CCD sensors that give poor image quality at high ISO, especially compared to modern full-frame DSLRs like the D800. They mostly have significant crop factors compared to the 645 film format, meaning wideangle lenses are no longer really wide.

While the best medium-format cameras and backs offer breathtaking image quality, full-frame cameras from Canon, Nikon and Sony give exceptional image quality and are more practical to useAndy Westlake, Technical editor


Submit your own letter

Share your views and opinions with fellow AP readers every week on the AP Inbox pages of the magazine.

If your letter is chosen as Letter of the Week* you’ll win a great shockproof, waterproof and dustproof 5-Proof Technology 32GB Samsung Orange SDHC Plus memory card offering up to 48MB/sec transfer speed.

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Write to ‘Inbox‘,Amateur Photographer, Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 7BF or email with the subject heading ‘Letters’.

Please include your full postal address and daytime telephone number with your submission.


You could also send us your views for our ‘Viewpoint’ section of the magazine. Do you have something you’d like to get off your chest? Send us your thoughts in around 500 words and you could win a year’s digital subscription to AP, worth £79.99.

Write to ‘Viewpoint‘, Amateur Photographer, Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 7BF or email with the subject heading ‘Viewpoint’.