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Author Topic: H2D  (Read 12905 times)
marc gerritsen
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« on: May 15, 2006, 06:23:01 AM »
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Hi all

Sofar I have not found any reliable Hasselblad gurus, who can tell me anything about the H2D.
so....

Hasselblad is giving me the use of a H2D 39 system for testing in my own studio.
It might only be for 2 hours.
IYO what would be the shooting criteria to test such a camera.

My plan is
- do a basic studio shot,
  colored objects of diverse reflective qualities
  highly reflective materials
  Gretag Macbetch color checker
  skin tones

- test dynamic range
  interior shot; I shoot a lot of interiors so blown out windows vs
  deep shadow detail are important to me

- noise test
  shoot a darkened room at  3 different F stops, for up to 32 seconds at 50, 200 and 400 asa

- moire test
  shoot various patterns, I think a fly screen or so
  never seen moire in my photos, so do not know how to go about it

- dowload time
  cf card and firewire

- focus
  test same scene at different f-stops

- hand held shooting
  trying to detect at which shutter speed it starts blurring

- interface
  how easy it is to get around the functions

- APO and IAA
  probably just to find out what it is and how it works

- general handling and feeling

All this I will do simutaneous with my Nikon D2X, which has become my known benchmark.
I know it might be better to test it next to a Phase 1 or a Leaf back, but I have already decided
to go for the H2D39 simply because of the integrated system, service, upgrade capabilities, promotion (free 50-110mm lens) and last but not least the name. In the process of making up my mind, I just want to bowled over!

Any sugestions?
I will post my results afterwards (testing monday 22, results depending on work load)

cheers
Marc
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Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2006, 07:00:12 AM »
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Marc, your test plans look pretty comprehensive, but IMO the difference between a digital back and a DSLR is more subtle and elusive. Don't misunderstand me, I think the differences are significant, but the paradox is that if you look too closely you might miss them!

I use a Phase One P25 alongside a Canon 1Ds MkII. The difference in terms of absolute resolution is pretty small, you can strain your eyes looking at matched samples at 100% on a monitor and see only the tiniest advantage for the P25. But is that what makes a shot special?

Print some modest sized A4 or A3 inkjets from a medium format digital back versus similar prints from your DSLR, and instead of scrutinising them with a loupe stand back and casually observe them. It's then that IMO you'll see the most significant difference. The DSLR shots just look "digital" and to my eye over-processed. Where as the digital back shots seem to have more depth and substance, tonal transistions are smoother, there's that extra hint of texture in the shadows and highlights, and the out of focus areas of the image have a fluidity instead of the harshness I typically see from DSLRs.

I guess what I'm saying is don't just look for differences at the micro level. Step back and regard the shot as a whole, because IMO that's where you'll see the real benefit of a medium format digital back.
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SeanBK
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2006, 07:11:25 AM »
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I shoot with H1 & D2X. Gary is right in his assessments of subtle differences. Though I do like your shopping list of criteria.
Do post your findings and your impressions, I am sure there are others, who join me in looking forward to your evaluations.
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2006, 01:41:35 PM »
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While you are at it can you explain the differences between the H1 and H2 and why you chose the latter?
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David WM
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2006, 08:50:01 PM »
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Quote
While you are at it can you explain the differences between the H1 and H2 and why you chose the latter?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=65562\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I understand the differences to be electronic only, that Hasselblad have discontinued the H1, and it may be a problem for other manufacturer's DB's mounted on the H2.
Anyone care to comment  if backs like Sinar eMotion, Leaf &  Phase One can be used on H2?  I get the impression that the H1 would be more versatile if you are not totally committed to Hasselblad gear.
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SeanBK
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2006, 08:59:28 PM »
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H2 powers the back thru' the rechargable battery in the handgrip and it communicates better with Hasselblad digiBacks. But if you are going to use anyother digital back than it is not recommended to use H2 (one can but why spend $500 for the conversion of H1 to H2). All the other important elements are identical.
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eronald
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2006, 07:52:39 AM »
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H2 powers the back thru' the rechargable battery in the handgrip and it communicates better with Hasselblad digiBacks. But if you are going to use anyother digital back than it is not recommended to use H2 (one can but why spend $500 for the conversion of H1 to H2). All the other important elements are identical.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=65612\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Compatibility of backs with the H2 may be the most important question for readers of this section - if Hasselblad locks down the H2 or its successor then Leaf and Phase employees will get to spend a lot more time with their families, and we  will be condemmned to buy Hasselblads. In fact, it would seem that Hasselblad have an overwhelming interest to do this now, thereby denying their competitors breathing room by killing of the competing backs.

My prognostic for Photokina: Hasselblad launches H3D, cheap, integrated and locked down. At an irresistible price point for the entry-level model (eg. $12-14K).

Edmund
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jecxz
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2006, 08:04:56 AM »
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My prognostic for Photokina: Hasselblad launches H3D, cheap, integrated and locked down. At an irresistible price point for the entry-level model (eg. $12-14K).
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for the laugh.

[a href=\"http://www.jecxz.com/]derek jecxz[/url]
« Last Edit: May 16, 2006, 08:07:13 AM by jecxz » Logged

zuckf11
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2006, 05:06:59 PM »
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don't laugh, it's not unrealistic at all!

PhaseOne has the p30 and p21 on the market with slightly smaller Kodak chips for about 15.000 EURO. Leaf has the Aptus 65 with about the same size Dalsa chip for about the same price.

I expect Hasselblad to come out with a MFDB using one of these smaller chips and they are usually a little bit below the price of Leaf and PhaseOne. So 13-14k for one of these backs is probable in the near future. I would be surprised if Hasselblad would leave this spot open. It would be a costly mistake on their part.

And once they are at it they will probaby come out with an integrated solution as well like the H2D-39. However they will call it. H2D-31 if they use the Kodak chip of the p30 or H2D-18 if they use the Kodak chip of the p21. Whatever they will call it I expect them to come out with it and Photokina would be a good place to do it. And pricing will be competitive to steel customers from PhaseOne and Leaf and also convince people to choose an MF DSLR instead of the Canon 1DsMKIII which will probably be introduced during Photokina as well. I wouln't be surprised to see an entry level integrated Hasselblad H2D-whatever the name will be at around 14-15k.

Time will tell as usual.

And how about some wild speculation:

PhaseOne and Leaf very well knows of the danger that Hasselblad is posing so who are they going to team up with? will CONTAX be resurected by one of them? Will Rollei get their act together and come up with something? They have been quite but probably working on something very hard. Their only chance is to come up with some surprise. How about a new 645 auto focus camera using their existing schneider AF lenses + the zeiss and schneider manuals of course and how about an alliance with PhaseOne or Leaf? Too good to be true? Who knows. Interesting times and I am sure some surprises still ahead.

Any other wild guesses, wishes?
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jecxz
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2006, 07:48:45 PM »
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I expect Hasselblad to come out with a MFDB using one of these smaller chips and they are usually a little bit below the price of Leaf and PhaseOne. So 13-14k for one of these backs is probable in the near future. I would be surprised if Hasselblad would leave this spot open. It would be a costly mistake on their part.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=65711\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

On this I agree, I was commenting more on the "cheap" notion.
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eronald
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2006, 01:45:52 AM »
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don't laugh, it's not unrealistic at all!

PhaseOne has the p30 and p21 on the market with slightly smaller Kodak chips for about 15.000 EURO. Leaf has the Aptus 65 with about the same size Dalsa chip for about the same price.

I expect Hasselblad to come out with a MFDB using one of these smaller chips and they are usually a little bit below the price of Leaf and PhaseOne. So 13-14k for one of these backs is probable in the near future. I would be surprised if Hasselblad would leave this spot open. It would be a costly mistake on their part.

And once they are at it they will probaby come out with an integrated solution as well like the H2D-39. However they will call it. H2D-31 if they use the Kodak chip of the p30 or H2D-18 if they use the Kodak chip of the p21. Whatever they will call it I expect them to come out with it and Photokina would be a good place to do it. And pricing will be competitive to steel customers from PhaseOne and Leaf and also convince people to choose an MF DSLR instead of the Canon 1DsMKIII which will probably be introduced during Photokina as well. I wouln't be surprised to see an entry level integrated Hasselblad H2D-whatever the name will be at around 14-15k.

Time will tell as usual.

And how about some wild speculation:

PhaseOne and Leaf very well knows of the danger that Hasselblad is posing so who are they going to team up with? will CONTAX be resurected by one of them? Will Rollei get their act together and come up with something? They have been quite but probably working on something very hard. Their only chance is to come up with some surprise. How about a new 645 auto focus camera using their existing schneider AF lenses + the zeiss and schneider manuals of course and how about an alliance with PhaseOne or Leaf? Too good to be true? Who knows. Interesting times and I am sure some surprises still ahead.

Any other wild guesses, wishes?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=65711\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don' think it's about stealing cutomers, it's about locking them out - fashion etc are impossible now without a Hasselblad body, and that means that Hasselblad has a stranglehold here for the moment. I think Leaf and Phase might get someone (Alpa ?) to make a box for them, put on Schneider or Zeiss lenses and use live preview to focus, saving themselves the architecture and product shot buisness, but AF needs a real camera maker and they're all gone from MF

Edmund
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marc gerritsen
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2006, 04:54:25 AM »
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Thanks for the suggestions and reactions to my initial post.

It is is all very interesting to read and I am again in the same situation as before, invest a lot
into a camera now and make money with it, or wait and safe money with the purchase.

Since I am in the photography business I think I can make a lot more money buying and using now, than to buy later and save.

cheers
Marc
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dazzajl
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2006, 06:44:21 AM »
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Looks like a very comprehensive test schedule, although slightly superfluous I suspect.
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but I have already decided to go for the H2D39

 
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marc gerritsen
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2006, 10:53:06 AM »
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So today I tested the H2D unfortunately with a 22 back instead of the anticipated 39
Nevertheless I found that the sharpness was oustanding (tested on the 80mm and 50-110mm)
The overall feel of the file seemed less contrasty then i expected, but there is so much tonality.
I actually can't wait to get a proper print done

I did a couple of 23 second shots at 50 and 400 iso and the result of those were very poor, compared to my D2X so for Canon users thinking they can switch to Hasselblad and maintain their iso levels, well forget it. I sincerely hope that they have got a better noise reduction on the 39, especially as I would commonly use 10 second exposures.

I tried to do some test for the suposedly 12 stop dynamic range, but could not detect an incredible difference from the D2X

Handheld shooting was surprisingly good, I shot a wall about 25meters away with the 80mm lens
and started at 1/15 thinking I would never be able to do that, but checking the file on screen it was pin sharpe, same sharpeness apeared at about 1/125 with the D2X.

Overall handling was a bit tedious, you had to go into the menu to delete a file, same as switching from manual to auto focus. Maybe it's just another thing to get used to, but at first it is a bit strange.

So overall I am not bowled over yet, and want to see the 39mp files especially some long exposures.
Maybe later this week
till then

Marc
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SeanBK
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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2006, 02:48:59 PM »
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Thanks Marc, that was very good as I use D2X & Hasselblad H1 and getting close to taking a plunge for a Back. I relly would be interested in knowing your reaction to Arch/Interior situations. Seems from reading your post, you were dissapointed. Did you try to improve contrast thru' Hasselblad's software? I am surprised at you shooting  real long exposure at higher ISOs for Interiors/Arch, as I find D2X at higher ISO disappointment. Do you find that for Interiors you need to shoot at longer duration? Looking forward to your part deux.
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rethmeier
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2006, 06:59:40 PM »
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I might have some answers here.
As far as I know,the H1 or H2 have an instant manual focus override.
Regarding noise Leaf is winning the game here.
Or the Canon 1DsMk2.
On another note,I suspect the new Hasselblad 39 backs to be superior to the 22 MP backs.
The P-45 is an improvement on the P-25 as well!
At the end of the day,your own testing should be paramount,as we all have different needs!
Have fun,
Willem.
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Willem Rethmeier
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marc gerritsen
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2006, 07:26:13 PM »
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regarding architecture an interior shots at high iso.
I usually do not use high iso but wanted to test the extreme.
I do have used 25 second exposures inside, the D2X has no noise
with 100 iso at 25 seconds. The H2D has noise with both 50 iso and 400 iso at long exposures.
lets hope the 39 is a vast improvement, otherwise my buying plan comes apart.
Will keep you posted
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pprdigital
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2006, 11:10:08 PM »
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Overall handling was a bit tedious, you had to go into the menu to delete a file, same as switching from manual to auto focus. Maybe it's just another thing to get used to, but at first it is a bit strange.

So overall I am not bowled over yet, and want to see the 39mp files especially some long exposures.
Maybe later this week
till then

Marc
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=66271\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Marc:

To delete files, all you have to do is hold down the bottom nub of the scroll dial, until you see the prompt. There are options to delete just the selected image, all the images, or images by rating (with the red, green, yellow rating button). What could be easier?

Regarding noise - I'm surprised to hear that. We've been a Hasselblad (Imacon) dealer since 2003, and have seen nothing but clean files at those exposure times. We have the CFH-22 and just received the CFH-39 - apparently 1 of only 2 in the country at the moment. I'll do some long exposure testing with both this week and see what I come up with.

Thanks,
Steve Hendrix
PPR Digital
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Steve Hendrix
eronald
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2006, 05:10:55 AM »
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I'd like to add another data point. A month ago I was at my favorite dealer here in Paris and a lady photographer was vocally complaining how she couldn't do her assignments because of  the failure of the back part of the Hassy integrated system she had just bought. It was clear from listening to the phone calls the dealer was making that she wasn't going to get her assignements shot with any Hassy product, very clearly people were scurrying away from the problem like roaches when you switch on the lights.

I chatted a bit with the lady, and she was soon asking me to recommend a cheap backup, I suggested a 5D as I have seen professionals use this camera for location portraiture.

The same dealer has stood up for me when my Canon gear failed, and got it swapped within less than a working week, so I know he does the maximum he can for his clients, and I could see he was trying hard here, making calls rather than sales. Let's not blame him.

Another data point: The same dealer sells Phase. I asked him whether he sells Leaf, as I am seriously thinking of getting a Leaf back in the future becuse of the high ISO and the file quality, and have a history of selling back equipment to him in order to fund my new purchases. He replied he will not sell Leaf due to reliability problems he had in the past (*not recent*) which created too many problems for him. This is the sort of direct reply which I like to get from a dealer and explains why I still buy from him: bricks and mortar retailers need their clients more than their clients need them. Also, one needs to to remember that the mothership can improve product quality but they cannot so easily improve the quality of their distribution net.

All new tech fails, but the real test is whether after-sales works. CPS Paris turns my cameras around in 24 hours when I really need it, and the size of the company means they always have some sort of replacement gear available immediately. Of course, it's possible that there are islands of perfection over in the USA or Japan where you really get a current-generation replacement Medium Format system  when you need it, where you need it, and before the subject has gone extinct. For the rest of us, however, I think that those after-sales assurances are about as accurate as Mr. Bush's statement that Iraq is a democratic country - if you don't have backup or clout you may find that concept and reality differ.

Edmund
« Last Edit: May 23, 2006, 06:10:33 AM by eronald » Logged
dazzajl
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2006, 06:59:56 AM »
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I tried to do some test for the suposedly 12 stop dynamic range, but could not detect an incredible difference from the D2X

This is probably apparent to you but I thought it's worth a mention anyway. You wont see the 12 stop range of a digi back on a monitor or print but the detail is there in the raw file and can be used.

It does mean that you can often comfortably use a shot that's 3 or so stops out (not that any of us charging for out time should shoot frames 3 stops out) or create 2 or more files from one raw and blend them to get both ends of the histogram displaying.
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