Falling prices mean it might not be too long before medium-format photography is back on the agenda for enthusiasts, but what can we expect from a digital medium-format camera?
In the pre-dawn landscape Damien Demolder was glad he had spent some time familiarising himself with the H4D-40’s control layout
My task for this feature was to use the Hasselblad H4D-40 to shoot landscapes. Choosing to shoot just before sunrise and into the morning, I set myself up with the tripod kit, some ND grads and a polariser as one would normally.
The first challenge, though, was the size of the front element of the lenses we were using. With a thread diameter of 95mm for the 35-90mm f/4-5.6 zoom lens and 67mm for the 120mm f/4 macro optic, I was going to have to dig out my largest accessories. The zoom lens barrel is wider than anything else I use, including my plate and 5x4in kit, while most of my medium-format lenses happily share filters with the lenses for my 35mm and DSLR kits.
Packed into a Billingham shoulder bag, the body plus two lenses kit is heavy enough but not much worse than I would normally carry, although all the padding and compartments had to come out so the body would fit with a lens attached.
I used a standard mid-weight Benbo tripod with the Manfrotto 410 geared head, and found both coped well with the load.
Image: Medium format allows extremely narrow depth of field to be used even at ‘quality-safe’ apertures in the middle of the f-stop range