Travel safely with the Phase One XF (DF/DF+ too)

 In Leaf, News, Phase One, Tech

The Phase One XF is the latest in the 645 format cameras that originally started with the Mamiya 645AF film platform.  And in the myriad of new features available on this digital powerhouse, one feature is specifically designed around the safety and longevity of the system: When you power down the body the mirror automatically retracts to its safety position, up and out of the way in the mirror box.

Prior to the XF, when powering down the 645DF or DF+ cameras, the mirror position would not change, leaving it down and able to dance up and down and even slam up and down when inertial changes, especially those endured in shipping affected the camera.  This state could potentially cause damage to the mirror, the mirror hinges, the auxiliary shutter that carries the autofocus specific mirror,  the focusing screen carrier, damaging the Focal Plane Shutter, any or all of the above.

We routinely receive client camera systems shipped to us with the camera body and digital back attached and only in a rare few cases, the AFD/DF/DF+ has been properly prepared for this travel.


Here is the simple 4 step process I recommend for transporting AFD, DF and DF+ cameras:

  1. Remove the Digital Back from the camera and listen for the click of the Mirror and the Focal Plane Shutter retracting.
  2. Remove the grip battery from the camera.
  3. Reattach the Digital Back
  4. Transport the grip battery outside of the camera body or place a small square of electrical tape over at least one of the two battery contacts of the camera grip battery before reinserting

Note on XF:Even though the mirror of the XF retracts automatically at power down (by default) I like to take one further measure which is to prompt the Focal Plane Shutter to recede as well. I think of shutters like ornate folding hand fans, and much more protected against damage when retracted into a tight grouping than splayed out. With the XF, there’s no need to pull the battery, you need only to pivot the digital back off of the camera, listen for the click and then reattach the DB. Both the Mirror and Focal Plane Shutter will remain locked up until the camera is powered on again. 

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