The world's second-tallest building isn't open to the public yet, but British photographer Paul Reiffer managed to get early access to the Shanghai Tower. The 128-floor skyscraper stands at 632m (2,073ft) high, and it is situated next to two more of the world's 20 tallest buildings, the Jin Mao Tower (420m) and Shanghai World Financial Centre (492m). Reiffer said: "It's a rather strange experience to be looking down on them – especially in a city where private aviation is pretty much illegal, meaning helicopters are a no-no."

Although the Shanghai Tower is smaller than the Burj Khalifa, the observation deck of Dubai's mega-structure is at 556m, while the Shanghai Tower's is higher, at 561m (and the photographer was higher than that). Perched at the very top of the megascraper, Reiffer managed to photograph the dizzying view with the 80-megapixel Phase One camera for a brief moment before the clouds closed in on him.

Paul Reiffer
Looking down on the Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Centre from the top of Shanghai TowerPaul Reiffer

Reiffer uses one of the most advanced medium format cameras in the world, manufactured by Danish company Phase One. At 80 megapixels, it has one of the highest resolution digital sensors in the world (2.5 times larger than the ones found in high-end DSLRs), allowing him to capture extreme levels of detail.

Paul Reiffer
The two bubbles in this photo of New York show the level of detail captured by the 80-megapixel Phase One cameraPaul Reiffer

Reiffer is an award-winning landscape and cityscape photographer from the UK, currently based in Shanghai. Earlier in 2015, he was recognised with a Fellowship in the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP). He specialises in photographing cities at night. He has kindly allowed IBTimesUK to publish some of his nocturnal cityscapes. To see more, follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Paul Reiffer
Dawn breaks over Sydney Harbour, AustraliaPaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
The sun rises behind the Sydney Opera HousePaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
Sydney Harbour at nightPaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
The Tokyo Tower, in the Japanese capitalPaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
Nine Dragon Pillar intersection, Shanghai, ChinaPaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
The skyline of Pudong, Shanghai, ChinaPaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
Nanpu Bridge, Shanghai, ChinaPaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
Tower Bridge at dusk, London, UKPaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
Millennium Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral, London, UKPaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
Venice by nightPaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaPaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
New York's financial district, seen behind the remains of a pierPaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
Midtown, New York CityPaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
Dubai, United Arab EmiratesPaul Reiffer
Paul Reiffer
Hong KongPaul Reiffer