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Author Topic: H2 article  (Read 11627 times)
kipdent
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« on: May 31, 2006, 11:12:55 PM »
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I've just finished reading Michael's post on the Hassy H2. I couldn't resist opening this topic since it has been bothering me for months, and Michael's article was enough of a nudge to get me to write.

Has it occurred to anyone how strange it is that the Rollei 6000 series hasn't cleaned up in this market, especially with digital backs? I purchased a 6008i in 2002, mostly as a result of Michael's posts about the wonderful performance of this camera and its lenses. And wonderful it was, producing images that remain the best and favorite I've done. However, once the siren song of digital mesmerized me, I sold the whole kit for a Canon 1Ds (first iteration) and have been disappointed ever since. I miss the astonishing sharpness and non-digital look of prints that the Rollei produced, and as a result, I have wanted to get back onto MF. But losing money "twice" is just too painful for me right now (and not practical). In any event, when one looks at the dwindling MF choices today, I'm shocked at how little press the Rollei system gets. Just consider what's going for it:

- 6X6 format with outstanding ergonomics
- fully automatic operation with built-in motordrive and impressively accurate metering
- Zeiss AND Schneider glass choices
- leaf shutter lenses with 1/1000 speed available, with flash sync across entire range
- built like a tank
- modern digital backs available, up to the current state of the art 39MP (but only from Imacon)
- somewhat more reasonable pricing (no $2K film backs here!), especially on the used market
- paper manual included     (Had to slip that in)

Seriously, though, I can't really think of another MF platform that has ALL of these attributes--and yet, most people talk only of the other (and I think "compromised") platforms as logical choices. And I don't just mean Michael. Even Phase One continues to support a discontinued camera, the excellent Contax 645, instead of a currently still-in-business camera like the Rollei 6008AF! I just don't get it.

An excuse that many potential customers and digital back vendors give, including Phase One, is that "Rollei only sells well in Europe." So? How big is this market anyway? It seems to me supporting this camera (both as users supporting good photography and as vendors of digital backs) would make good business sense. For example, I'd be surprised if the investment Phase One or Leaf would have to make to create a fitting for the Rollei back would be insignificant.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my thoughts about this excellent system with this knowledgable group, if only to get it off my chest. I know it probably sounds like I work for Rollei or something, but trust me--I don't even own one anymore, but I want to!

I look forward to reading any feedback this elicits...
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2006, 12:01:52 AM »
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Hi there,

I have always considered the Rollei 6008 as one possible option, but various - probably unfounded - rumours on quality issues as well as a very high price in Japan have prevented me from becoming concrete about it.

It appears to be a very tempting product indeed though.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
James Godman
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2006, 01:43:30 AM »
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Hello-

One thing that makes a viable camera system for pro use is the availabilty of rental bodies, lenses, and accessories.  The fact is that the availabilty of Rollei gear in the States is extremely limited.

However, I do love the Rollei system!
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David Anderson
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2006, 04:30:23 AM »
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A few years ago when I was getting my first medium format system I was loaned a Rollei 6008 system by the local importer to try in the studio.
I loved the look and feel of the bodies and the fast lenses, but the body I tried stopped working within a few frames.
After a quick phone call to the rep another was sent over and it too failed soon after...
I never was told what the problem was.
The whole situation put me off Rollei and I ended up with the Blad V system and never had a major problem.

This was early days for the 6008 so might have just been teething problems..
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Wim van Velzen
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2006, 07:28:04 AM »
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The only real problem Rollei has, is its marketing. I have found them to be great cameras and lenses, in a complete system.

As every other brand it has its quality problems for some things, but no more than others.

I hope to be able to buy a back for my Rollei spring 2007!
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kipdent
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2006, 07:41:58 AM »
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Great responses so far--and thanks!

I do want to state that in the four years I had the 6008i, I did not have ONE quality problem--the thing just kept working flawlessly. I was alwyas inpressed with its performance and build quality.
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jecxz
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2006, 09:38:47 AM »
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Don't mean to change the subject from the 6008i back to the H2, but I really liked the article and I would like to have read more about Michael's trouble with the 50-110 Zoom that recently fell apart (maybe I missed an update, sorry if I did).

I guess I am one of the few that use a film back with the H2. I also fall into the category of not being able to afford a $20,000+ digital back.

The usability of the H2 and the design is excellent and it is truly a pleasure to work with. As the article said, there are some firmware hickups along the way but nothing that stopped me for more than a few moments. I use this camera in the field and mostly while hiking--it's sturdy and rugged.

I imagine there is a great deal that goes into releasing a new camera: design, financing, marketing, customer support, interoperability (not only a Microsoft buz-word anymore) with other devices (such as third party backs) and pleasing a customer base. Obviously with the ever improving 35mm digital market, the MF side has increasingly looked dim to so many manufacturers, Hasselblad is no different. I think they are struggling to keep up with support and firmware fixes with limited sales. Would a drop in price help that? I don't know and obviously they don't think so (I too was shocked when they dobuled the price of the back).

Anyway, great article and please let us know about the 50-110 lens. Thanks.
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BJL
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2006, 01:14:20 PM »
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Quote
Has it occurred to anyone how strange it is that the Rollei 6000 series hasn't cleaned up in this market, especially with digital backs?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=67068\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
It does not seem strange at all to me; it seems the sad but predictable continuation of Rollei's long decline.
- In digital, sensors are all in formats smaller than 645, so being 6x6 instead of 645 does not help, it just adds extra "baggage": a smaller portion of the VF image is relevant to the image recorded by the sensor, shorter focal length designs are possibly a bit harder, etc.
- In MF film, 6x6 has mostly fallen out of favor, with 645 largely taking over. Hasselblad with Fuji finally caught up with the 645 trend started by Pentax and Mamiya; Rollei never has.
- The Rollei auto-focus system is stalled at a totally insufficient two primes and one zoom. Even the 4/3 system has a larger selection of primes than Rollei AF, and still gets criticized for not having nearly enough!

Rather than thinking that Rollei's failure is "strange", I suggest that you look at the differences between Rollei and more successful systems like Hasselblad or Mamiya, or even Canon 1Ds, and try to work out what the others are doing differently that Rollei should be doing, or should have done sometime ago. And please, do not try to explain it all with excuses about good or bad advertising campaigns; Rollei has been in decline for a long time, well before digital, and the problems are far deeper than that.
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pss
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2006, 01:51:39 PM »
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the virtual non mention a rollei everywhere is unbelievable...i have a 6008af and it is by far the best camera out there...i have owned fuji gx680 (and 645, 690) mamiya RZ, hasselblad (500, 555) and mamiya 645....the hasselblads broke down the most...by far...lenses locking up, electronics in the 555, stuck shutters, you name it...fuji, mamiyas: nothing, ever...flawless...rollei: so far: there was an issue once, now fixed, no problem..considering that this is the only camera out of all these with built in everything including spotmeter and drive and af...pretty good...the system is by far the most wide ranging and sophisticated..rollei is simply the best...yes there are no rentals in the US..i personally like to own my equipment...the last thing i rented was a film back for mamiya from samys LA...lightleak...i know why i prefer to shoot digital and why i own my stuff (thank god the client insisted on film and actually rented the back)...
i looked at the H1 when it came out, mostly because of the fuji connection and never liked anything about the camera...cheap feel, ergonomics are the worst of any camera i have ever seen, nothing is where it should be and nothing can be done without taking your eye off the finder and going through 5 of the 37 buttons (which must be the cheapest buttons anyone can find...any chinatown .99cent game or calculator has better buttons, a joke)...reports of malfunctions and lenses falling apart!!!!! (i mean come on...this is the only player left?!) and last but not least: i shoot 95% vertical, thank you and the camera is not really built to be held that way...
in many ways the H1/2 has the same problems that gave rollei a bad name 10 years ago...the early 6003s and 6008s had some funky technical problems because so much was crammed into them...the latest 6008s are the results of going through these problems and develpoment...the H1/2 is going through it right now and things are getting better, i am sure...but still not a camera i would want to shoot with...
AF on the H1/2 is slightly better then the rollei, but nowhere near SLP level..if you want to shoot running kids neither one will work for you...
2000 for a back? how about that monopoly! the rotating 645 back on the rollei is 800 and it is a technical and mechanical marvel and i am sure the hasselblad backs are outselling them 10:1 which should make them even more competitive...
the H1 is the emperor's new clothes...if it wouldn't say hasselblad on it and was hyped everywhere (TV, magazines...the 2000 for the back pays for all the free ones they passed out in what can only be described as an unprecedented marketing campaign to simply buy what is left of a dying market) nobody would buy it...
to finish off my rant: a demo rollei 6008af with phase P20 and 80PQS can be had for 11,000...or you could buy a H1 with lens and film back! for just about 9,000...hmmm
also: there are currently  several af lenses available: 50, 80,180, and one (or two?) zooms..the 90macro is coming this summer (in europe) fall in the US
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awofinden
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2006, 02:12:27 PM »
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I don't understand why everyone doesn't use the mamiya 645 afd, in the recent review of backs by michael, the mamiya lens' outperformed the H1's also I find the mamiya lens' to have a very "pleasing" image quality on top of the sharpness and contrast charecteristics. I understand if you need the high synch speed, is that why a lot of people go for the H1?
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mcfoto
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2006, 04:42:03 PM »
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I don't understand why everyone doesn't use the mamiya 645 afd, in the recent review of backs by michael, the mamiya lens' outperformed the H1's also I find the mamiya lens' to have a very "pleasing" image quality on top of the sharpness and contrast charecteristics. I understand if you need the high synch speed, is that why a lot of people go for the H1?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=67120\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
HI
 I agree I shot a job with both the H1 150mm Aptus 22 and the Mamiya 645AFDII 150mm Aptus 22. The Mamiya was less contrasty and a little sharper. For skin tone the Mamiya glass was better. The fact is we are comparing Fuji and Mamiya in glass to be fair. However I can not justify the cost difference.
Thanks Denis
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Denis Montalbetti
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ddolde
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2006, 06:18:51 PM »
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Unless I missed it, no one has mentioned that the Rollei 6008AF is available with the eMotion22 (Eyelike) digital back and will soon likely be available with the newer eMotion75 (33mp) back.

http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/rollei.htm#Label6008D

This should certainly be among those mentioned in "The Last Man Standing" list.
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michael
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2006, 06:44:06 PM »
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There isn't much to add about the 50-110mm lens that fell apart on my the second day on location.

Hasselblad was very responsive and replaced the lens without question. The new lens appears to be perfect, with no problems at all.

I have been contacted by several people who also had a problem with their 50-110mm zooms falling apart. Some of them were treated well by Hasselblad, others not. There doesn't seem to be a corporate policy on this issue, with each instance treated differently by the company.

Michael
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kipdent
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2006, 09:57:44 PM »
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Unless I missed it, no one has mentioned that the Rollei 6008AF is available with the eMotion22 (Eyelike) digital back and will soon likely be available with the newer eMotion75 (33mp) back.

http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/rollei.htm#Label6008D

This should certainly be among those mentioned in "The Last Man Standing" list.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=67127\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Doug--thanks for the heads up on the Eyelike backs for the 6008. Now with the Imacon backs there are some choices. I think Rollei just might make a stand now! I agree with the member (since I work for a very large IT company that makes some marketing mistakes of its own) who said Rollei's current market penetration is largely its own fault. Looking only at the product, it's hard to argue with their ergonomics, image quality, lens choices and overall cost of ownership. I also agree with you that they should be mentioned more prominently as one of the "last standing" manufacturers.
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BJNY
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2006, 11:29:13 PM »
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Eighteen months must have passed since I first contacted Rollei directly, and through Jenoptik as well with the following suggestion (previously posted at the RG Forums):

Alpa, Cambo & Horseman make wide-angle cameras for architectural use.
Arca Swiss, Cambo, Linhof, Plaubel, & Sinar make mini view cameras.
Mamiya (RZ67) and Fuji (GX680) make medium format cameras.
What do they have in common?
Answer: Their products accept digital backs in the "universal" Hasselblad V-mount.

I'm advocating that Rollei manufactures a 6008 "V" or "D" camera body that accepts Hasselblad V-mount digital backs DIRECTLY.
No more questions about rotating backs a.k.a. vertical/horizontal orientation.
No more concerns about upgrade path since every brand's latest digital backs are available immediately in V-mount.
With Schneider/Zeiss glass, wouldn't all this make the Rollei a much more viable camera platform?
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Guillermo
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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2006, 09:14:32 AM »
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I have a 6008i which I absolutely loved when shooting film, but for me now the digital domain is just too attractive from an ease of use issue. I have never mastered scanning film.

The problem for me with Rollei is I am sincerely worried that they will be around in the next few years. It's the small things. I'm have been trying to get a new diopter for the 45 degree finder as my eyes have changed and I have been unable find one. Dealers here tell me it would have to be special ordered from Germany and no one wants the hassle.

I really would like a digital back for the 6008, would even buy a new AF model, but want to buy something other that the 16 megapixel older back from Phase.

They have an opportunity now but they are doing nothing here in the US to calm fears of owners such as me. What a shame.
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pss
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« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2006, 02:03:37 PM »
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Eighteen months must have passed since I first contacted Rollei directly, and through Jenoptik as well with the following suggestion (previously posted at the RG Forums):

Alpa, Cambo & Horseman make wide-angle cameras for architectural use.
Arca Swiss, Cambo, Linhof, Plaubel, & Sinar make mini view cameras.
Mamiya (RZ67) and Fuji (GX680) make medium format cameras.
What do they have in common?
Answer: Their products accept digital backs in the "universal" Hasselblad V-mount.

I'm advocating that Rollei manufactures a 6008 "V" or "D" camera body that accepts Hasselblad V-mount digital backs DIRECTLY.
No more questions about rotating backs a.k.a. vertical/horizontal orientation.
No more concerns about upgrade path since every brand's latest digital backs are available immediately in V-mount.
With Schneider/Zeiss glass, wouldn't all this make the Rollei a much more viable camera platform?

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=67151\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
the hasselblad V mount is virtually dead, especially for digital backs..no communication with anything..not even the 555ELD can talk to digibacks...
instead of looking elsewhere, how about the rollei x-act...amazing camera accepts any LF lens and all rollei lenses (and i believe many more via adapters)
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pss
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« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2006, 02:18:24 PM »
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I have a 6008i which I absolutely loved when shooting film, but for me now the digital domain is just too attractive from an ease of use issue. I have never mastered scanning film.

The problem for me with Rollei is I am sincerely worried that they will be around in the next few years. It's the small things. I'm have been trying to get a new diopter for the 45 degree finder as my eyes have changed and I have been unable find one. Dealers here tell me it would have to be special ordered from Germany and no one wants the hassle.

I really would like a digital back for the 6008, would even buy a new AF model, but want to buy something other that the 16 megapixel older back from Phase.

They have an opportunity now but they are doing nothing here in the US to calm fears of owners such as me. What a shame.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=67166\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
looks like the emotion bundle is made for you...just out of curiosity: why do you need more then the "old" 16mipx P20...which is as old as any P series back...
the need for more pixels is a total marketing hype...anyone who has shot with the 12mpix canon 5D will agree that the files are virtually identical to the 16mpix 1DsmkII...the difference is not visible in print...one lets you crop a little more, neither are comparable to the P20 (even cropped)...i agree that the latest (P45, leaf75, emotion75) clearly give you more resolution (actually pretty much the same as 2 P20 files stitched), but they are also almost 3x as much (and shoot much slower and provide filesizes that make HD manufacturers drool)...for landscape and fineart in 30x40 prints...no question, the latest backs replace 4x5, but for everything else...and if you do landscape i would still recommend the P20 with the x-act stitched...a bigger "negative/film area" and still half the price (cameras included)...
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AlaBill
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2006, 08:18:13 PM »
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To be totally truthful, I'm not sure I need more that the 16 megapixels.I am seriously considering the bundle from Rollei. I would have already sprung for the bundle if I felt them secure in the near future. I don't.
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kipdent
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2006, 08:58:19 PM »
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To be totally truthful, I'm not sure I need more that the 16 megapixels.I am seriously considering the bundle from Rollei. I would have already sprung for the bundle if I felt them secure in the near future. I don't.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=67225\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
As I alluded to in the first post that started this thread, I think Rollei's popularity in the United States is a false way of gauging their overall health. There are many products that do well in the combined global market that don't do quite as well in the U.S., but that doesn't mean the manufacturer is struggling. My belief is that since Rollei does quite well in other regions, there should be no fear of their future compared to the other surviving MF players. Add to that the outstanding nature of the product, and I think it's a solid choice. That 16MP Phase One bundle is a screaming deal, too--although I'm salivating at what Rollei might unveil at Photokina this fall since partnerships seem to be driving the MF digital market right now.
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