Snow in California: Leica M10 & Phase One IQ3-100mp By Darwin Nercesian

Snow in California: Leica M10 & Phase One IQ3-100mp

By Darwin Nercesian

As a change of pace, a group of friends and I set out this weekend to take photos in the mountains of Angeles National Forest. Of course we remembered to bring warm clothing (but not the appropriate footwear) but we didn’t let that stop us from hiking out into the snow. For this outing, I packed my Phase One IQ3-100 megapixel digital back attached to a Cambo WRS-5000 technical camera sporting a Rodenstock 32mm large format lens. This setup is far less intimidating than one might think, especially with the addition of the electronic shutter on the IQ3-100. Of course, I did forget my LCC card and I still haven’t found a way to compress the images for the web in a way that will not induce some banding in the blue sky, but needless to say, it is very clean in the full resolution image. I also packed my new Leica M10 because, well, I never leave home without an M.

Phase One IQ3-100 megapixel, Rodenstock 32mm, Cambo WRS-5000

While I did have my tried and true 50mm Summilux Pre-ASPH and 35mm Summicron ASPH with me, Handevision generously sent me out one of their new IBERIT 75mm lenses to test out and I decided to limit myself to this lens for the day. The IBERIT lineup of lenses can essentially be thought of as an even more affordable alternative to the Leica Summarit line. They will be available in 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, and 90mm, all with a maximum aperture of F/2.4.
I found myself pleasantly surprised by the build and the optics of the IBERIT 75mm as it is a lens that is scheduled to sell for under $600 in the US, which is about as accessible as it gets for the M mount.

Not one to shy away from shooting into a light source, even one as hot as the sun, I caught one of my fellow photo muchachos taking his own shot of the setting sun.

And finally , here is my own shot of the sun setting over the mountains.

Thanks for looking. My name is Darwin Nercesian. I am an Architectural, Commercial, and Street photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. You can see more of my work at: and on instagram: @dna_image and @dna_architectural


  1. To be clear, the first 2 photos were the only ones taken with the IQ3100. They are actually 2 shot stitches. I am not a landscape photographer so I was a little out of my element and we were walking around in the snow in sneakers, so this wasn’t really something I was really prepared for.

    Aside from that, the compression of the IQ3100 images really kills what you would see in full resolution, like details of the trees in the distance, which is pretty remarkable, but I see that it is not visible here. Perhaps I need to find a way to host full resolution files online and link them here. Either way, the shots themselves were not remarkable, but the dynamic range and resolution was very impressive.

    The last two shots were taken with the M10 and the Iberit 75mm. I found the lens to be quite capable, even shooting into unfavorable back lighting. The softness you see here is from the flare and more a function of the loss of contrast. I do that a lot, shooting into the light source, and typically like the look. Perhaps I did not connect here.

  2. These images don’t do the gear any justice. Why not use an Iphone7 to capture these, as we wouldn’t be able to tell the difference?

    Now if you actually got the iberit lenses to go on the IQ100mp, that would be a different story…

  3. Dear Darwin,

    sorry to be honest, but… incredible equipment aside, I’m really missing any feeling from the landscape shots you posted, sorry. At least the first 2 in daylight. Maybe wrong choice of the shots… maybe is beond my limit of comprehension but… really I’m not able to understand… sorry


  4. Darwin, what do you think about the performance of the iberit lenses you use? I’ve been wondering about these lenses, as they are indeed a more affordable option. But how is their performance if you compare, say with Voigtlander? I suspect the above picture does not do justice to the true power of this lens, as I find it a bit “soft”, but maybe its my screen.

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