The Phase One IQ180 Takes On Race Cars at Laguna Seca Speedway!!

Fred “Frosty” Knoop on the Corkscrew in a Lister Special.  Fred Knoop brings a lot of history to the beginnings of Laguna Seca.  ©2012 Ken Doo Photography
 
Last week I was invited by a client and friend, Rick and Cydette Knoop, to accompany them to the racetrack at Laguna Seca.  I have been doing the medium format digital copywork and giclee fine art reproductions on canvas for Cydette Knoop for her series on famous racetracks.  Her husband, Rick Knoop, is a professional race car driver.  So when they asked if I’d like to see them exercise the cars, I just couldn’t turn down that special opportunity.  This was not an event open to the public and was one of the few times where the cars are allowed to run basically open muffler without sound restrictions.  Consequently, these high horse-powered cars were running fast.  And so I brought along a Canon 1Ds Mark III with a 300mm f/2.8 IS and what the hell, let’s see if the Phase One IQ180 can capture a race car.  So I took along my Phase 645DF and Phase One IQ180 outfitted with a 150mm f/2.8 D series lens.  I know, I know—that Don Libby guy is gonna be chiding me all week long about selling my Mamiya 300mm AF.  But even yet, the 300mm would have been a bit short in focal length.  The 150mm would have to do.  After viewing some of the incredible cars in the garage, we headed out to the famous Corkscrew, the setting for Cydette’s first oil painting in her racetrack series, Heart and Soul.

Rick Knoop heads down the Corkscrew in the Knoop Mann Lister Special. ©2012 Ken Doo Photography.

 The above image was taken with the Phase 645DF and IQ180.  Surprisingly, the camera system was able to stop the action.  I set the AF switch on the 645DF to continuous focusing.  I set custom function CF19 AF to speed.  It was bright outside so ISO was set at 50, which still set the shutter at 1/1000th.  I shot the image at f/2.8 (hey, no guts no glory, right?).  A faster shutter might have yielded a sharper image on this fast moving subject.  So what does eighty megapixels on a full-framed 645 sensor yield?  Take a look at the crop below.

Fred Knoop on the Corkscrew; cropped image from above. ©2012 Ken Doo Photography

 Not bad. This is not to say the Phase 645DF and IQ180 is a suitable choice for fast moving sports and race cars.  Hardly.  But it does go to show how flexible and capable this camera system is.  I didn’t even try to use the faster capabilities of the IQ180’s Sensor Plus feature, albeit at lower resolution but still on a full-framed 645 sensor.  Hell with that.  I just wanted to see if the Phase 645DF and Phase One IQ180 could be coaxed into photographing race cars.  And with a much too short focal length, I knew I would need the full eighty megapixels to crop.  Okay, so the Phase 645DF and Phase One IQ180 was able to photograph race cars going through their paces at Laguna Seca, but it’s still not my first choice for fast action.  Images here on the track were much easier to capture with the Canon 1Ds Mark III paired with a 300mm f/2.8 IS great white.  But this exercise was to answer one of those what-ifs.  So kudos to Phase One for an extremely flexible camera system.  The 645DF with D series lenses and IQ180 is able to focus quickly, and although slow compared to flagship DSLR offerings, it certainly is faster than some current DSLRs such as Canon’s 5D Mark II.  I’m impressed.  I look forward to seeing further improvements and refinements with Phase One’s rumored new camera body.

More Race cars on the Corkscrew. ©2012 Ken Doo

The original Lister. ©2012 Ken Doo Photography

Rick and Fred Knoop, father and son. ©2012 Ken Doo Photography

Rick Knoop in the Lister Special. ©2012 Ken Doo Photography

You can see more race cars at Laguna Seca from last weekends festivities on my website, www.kendoophotography.com  Go to the commercial side of the website.  From the top menu bar, select Commercial Client Area.  Enter the password:  knoop   There is a mixture of images taken with both the Canon 1Ds Mark III and the Phase One IQ180.  Obviously where the IQ180 really shines is in the studio or on location for landscape and portrait work.  For wall portraits and large prints, the quality of the Phase One IQ180 is unsurpassed.

For more information, contact me at my boutique portrait photography studio in Carmel, CA or call (831) 626-1844. ken

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3 Responses to “The Phase One IQ180 Takes On Race Cars at Laguna Seca Speedway!!”

  1. I just wish I was there too! Oh, and you never should have sold the 300 however there’s one in my kit should you need it…

  2. Great Shots Ken! These images must look great outputted large!

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