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Author Topic: H3D Concerns  (Read 27523 times)
Kenneth Sky
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« on: September 30, 2006, 07:35:49 AM »
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Michael:
Well said. As a Hasselblad user for 36 years, I am concerned as well, at the attitude of the new management to its customers. Canon has recently displayed this same condescending attitude which, as you point out, may well border on illegal selling practice. I suspect that the H1 and H2 models will be selling at a premium on eBay as buyers reject the notion of a closed architecture and look to 3rd parties for new lenses.
Ken
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John Camp
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2006, 11:29:17 AM »
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I understand Michael's concerns from a photographer's point of view, but from the company's point of view, it looks like they are simply trying to knock down the competition while locking in their customer base. Nothing new in that; sort of reminds you of Microsoft and Adobe. And another way to look at it is that Hasselblad is now simply selling "a camera," like Pentax does, but instead of having a non-detachable back, as in the Pentax, the back is upgradeable (but not interchangeable.)

It's also possible that Hasselblad has made a mistake -- people who prefer other backs will now go to other systems, and instead of locking in their customer base, they're driving them away. We'll see.

Of course, it's easy for me to say this, because I don't have a dime locked into Hasselblad glass.

JC
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Photomangreg
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2006, 03:21:57 PM »
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I guess I'm seeing this in a different light, it sounds like Hasselblad will still produce the H2 which is the standard for any of the other medium format back manufacturers.  In addidtion, they have created an integrated camera system, the H3D, which offers some benefits over a back on a camera, sure it is removeable, but there seem to be a lot of advantages from having a camera with a digital back built together.  For example, the lens correction features found in the new camera sound amazing, how much have we complained about chromatic aberations, distortion, focus issues, etc., over the past years.  If it takes a "DSLR" to accomplish fixing these issues, why not take advantage and create such a tool?  

The 28mm lens sounds pretty cool, according to HAsselblad it will only work on the H3D because it needs the lens correction features found in the HAsselblad software to make it a usable and affordable lens.  It won't even work with a film magazine, and we know that HAsselblad, through the merger with Imacon, is still in the scanner business.

Canon makes what are arguably the best 35mm digital cameras available, I would prefer to use Nikon lenses on my Canon, but thats not very likely to happen.  I think the people who are going to complain about this new camera are the ones who bought Leaf and Phase.  This new camera does not change how their camera works, availability of lenses that were available for it when they purchased it, etc.

Michael seems to spend a lot of time criticizing Hasselblad, yet he shoots with one?  Maybe he should get an H3D, do a proper test and see if the features offered have any merrit instead of just ripping them apart.  he talks highly of this mythical Hy6, will that come along as quickly as the ZD or the Pentax?  Who knows, but at least Hasselblad is talking about products that are real and available now, once again, maybe this is the result of making all the components??

I'm looking forward to taking this camera for a test drive and making the decission for myself!

Greg - Digital shooter for over ten years
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2006, 04:45:46 PM »
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Greg
The point Michael has made is that Hasselblad seems to be intimating that any future developement in lenses and perhaps backs will be built on the H3 system which leaves H1 & H2 owners high and dry. Certainly from Michael's tests all the 39 megapixel backs appear to outresolve older lens designs made for the analogue era. Wouldn't it be more in keeping with Victor Hasselblad's philosophy to keep older models able to take advantage of newer advancements for the system?
Ken
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Boghb
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2006, 11:17:39 PM »
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I do not envy the Harvard MBAs advising Hasselblad on this one.  Closing the system was an extremely risky decision.  In the case of Apple, that decision relegated the company to minor player at the beginning of the home computer revolution, almost spelling its total demise.  

Apple had a superior operating system with a genius user interface (the mouse) that was poised to dominate the market and wipe out Microsoft's DOS, but they decided to dedicate that system to their not-so-great hardware.  As other hardware manufacturers came out with better and cheaper computers and laptops, consumers opted for choice and out of the Macintosh operating system.  By the time Apple got its act together, Microsoft had managed to copy its user interface, and the mistake could never be reversed.  The whole world paid for that one.

Now, Hasselblad has done the same thing with its camera: made it hostage to its uncompetitive digital backs.  It has gambled that it can force the consumer to choose its hardware.  But this is even worse than Apple's gamble because the H camera system is not a genius idea ahead of its time; its just a decent camera made for film but adapted to digital.

The appeal of the Hasselblad/Imacon camera/back combo was that the consumer had to deal with only one warranty and support team.  Support matters a lot in this market segment, and Hasselblad's superior support system and dealer network might have given it the edge.  

Now, others have cought up on this point and introduced the Rollei-based universal camera that is offered by each back manufacturer under its own name and warranty package.  So there is even less reason to opt for the H system.  

Another marketing tragedy seems in the making.  As someone once said: he who does not learn from experience can't be taught by any teacher.
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Steve Kerman
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2006, 12:38:05 AM »
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If the reaction elsewhere to Hasselblad's announcement is anything like what it is on this forum, I expect that they will back off from the "closed system" position, unless they are totally brain-dead.

Then again, given the obvious "Marketing MBA trumps common sense" exhibited by their "full-frame 48mm" claim, they just may be totally brain-dead.
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cgf
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2006, 04:52:22 AM »
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If Hassleblad is relying upon tasty new lenses 'forcing' owners to upgrade to a H3 then that's an interesting ploy.

Telling your existing customers that there are no future lenses for them... was that class called How To Destroy Customer Loyalty 101???

The addition of the digital back problem takes this into the bizarro-world.

In plain english, what has Hassleblad achieved:

1. Existing Hassleblad customers are unable to make further purchases within their current system (lens compatibility).

2. Future Hassleblad purchasers considering the H3 system, including those upgrading from H1/H2 systems, are forced to accept the Hassleblad back despite their personal choices, preferences and any digital back already owned.

I always thought that successful marketing involved removing barriers and making the customer's decision (and the opening-of-the-wallet) as easy as possible???
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Lehphoto
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2006, 04:54:40 AM »
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Quote
Michael:
Well said. As a Hasselblad user for 36 years, I am concerned as well, at the attitude of the new management to its customers. Canon has recently displayed this same condescending attitude which, as you point out, may well border on illegal selling practice. I suspect that the H1 and H2 models will be selling at a premium on eBay as buyers reject the notion of a closed architecture and look to 3rd parties for new lenses.
Ken
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=78405\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hello.

Iīm living in Sweden and two different professional photequipment sellers claim that the H3 can use other backs than Hasselblad. Hope this is correct.
Even I think itīs a dangerous way to lock out other firms.

Cheers
Lars
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Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2006, 05:25:10 AM »
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Hello.

Iīm living in Sweden and two different professional photequipment sellers claim that the H3 can use other backs than Hasselblad. Hope this is correct.
Even I think itīs a dangerous way to lock out other firms.

Cheers
Lars
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=78549\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, I have no digital camera other than a D200 and I still have an analogue Nikon  too. I used to own and work with two Hasselblad bodies and 50/80/150 lenses as well as what used to be, on average, about three different Nikon bodies and most focal lengths from 24 to 500 mirror.

The point: at no time did my 500C or 500CM accept lenses other than Hasselblad/Zeiss and I can't recall anyone else marketing backs for them either. Was that a problem for me? I don't think it was. With Nikon, why would I have looked at other maker's lenses?

This current bit of angst seems, to me, to be just another newish problem brought into existence by the digital revolution where everything is suddenly expected to be available in whatever permutation that might strike the individual's mind. Life was seldom so - I see little value to expecting things to be different now. After all, you don't have to buy Hasselblad unless you believe their product superior AND can afford to enter the game. Surely there is choice enough already?

Ciao - Rob C
« Last Edit: October 01, 2006, 05:26:25 AM by Rob C » Logged

Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2006, 05:39:51 AM »
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There are still older photographers who would never forget how canon left their customers high and dry in 1989 when they switched to the EF mount. Hasselblad in the last few years has abandoned their traditional mount to go AF and are now doing it again just a few years afterwards. Why would anyone spend that kind of money just to have it happen again in another 5 years?
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michael
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2006, 05:45:50 AM »
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The point: at no time did my 500C or 500CM accept lenses other than Hasselblad/Zeiss and I can't recall anyone else marketing backs for them either. Was that a problem for me? I don't think it was.

Really?

There were in fact quite a number of third party lenses for the V series Hasselblads over the decades. Have you also forgotten Polaroid backs?

Several different companies currently make digital backs for H Hasselblads. Those photographers who currently have a substantial investment in one of these are now prevented from moving forward with that company's latest bodies and lenses, and those that may wish to step up to Hasselblad's latest bodies and lenses are forced to choose just one brand, rather than having several choices. Why is this not an issues that's easier to appreciate? The free market is about choice.

And just to rebut the obvious rejoinder, of course I have the choice of not continuing to use Hasselblad. But with a $50,000 captial investment in the brand, my real-world options are not as clear cut.

As for it not being a problem for you, well that's fortunate. But try to see the world though a less narrow filter. People who prefer alternatives, or who have substantial equipment investments which are now rendered restricted, or who wish to sell alternatives, or who wish to manufacture alternatives, may think otherwise.

Michael
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hcubell
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2006, 06:48:56 AM »
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We can all debate endlessly whether Hasselblad's decision to to release the H3 as a "closed" system that will be the only platform that can handle the new 28mm  lens and probably the forthcoming T/S lens is a smart business decision. However, I  am in the market for MF DB solution and I ask myself the following question: before the H3 was  announced, would I have considered Hasselblad's DB for a split second? Absolutely not. It was a choice between a Phase DB and  a Leaf Aptus. Now, the Hasselblad back, because it is the only way into the H3 and at least some new lens offerings from Hasselblad, in a way becomes a real choice that I have to consider and perhaps the presumptive choice. I suspect many will have a similar reaction, despite wishing it were not so.
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pgpgsxr
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2006, 07:35:50 AM »
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$50,000 captial investment in the brand

 Dear Michael I think one of the problems is that the MFD world is too new and unstable a place to have a $50,000 captial investment in ANY brand. Sometimes I feel digital world has just made life a whole lot harder for all us; the priority for the industry doesnīt seem to be the client but the latest megapixel count and being able to beat the other brands to the cashbox regardless of  the photographers opinions and real life needs. I think itīs quite clear there is not one single camera maker in the digital world who listens properly to the real life needs of any photographer. Their sole intent is to get their product out as quick as possible to recover as much investment money as possible and get on with the next years digital race and of course we are the real losers here. Of course everyone says thatīs because digital is so new. Well Iīm getting a bit tired of that excuse. Itīs about time sensor sizes, megapixels and camera formats were set under some kind of standard, like we tried to do with Raw and the DNG formats. At least we may begin to know where we are heading, the photo world at the moment maybe very interesting from a "sitting on the fence" approach but being in the thick of it is crazy and any step forward investment wise is a step in the dark.  This hurts us all, the guy with a "investment" in 1DS II like me or you with a massive investment in a very uncertain market, because if we let Hassy get away with it other camera makes may dare to try the same marketing approach later on.
 Paul
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michael
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« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2006, 08:19:22 AM »
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Your point on price is well made, but photography isn't the only craft with expensive tools. A dentist, auto mechanic and many others have comparable financial hurdles. People with hobbies like golf and sailing similarly spend tens of thousands on their pursuits.

For a successful working pro this isn't that great a burden, not is it for the affluent amateur.

The real issue, as you point out, is being hung up to dry by companies that use limiting choice as a marketing strategy. People for whom these are tools are rightly concerned, and even the wealthy don't like being hurt financially.

Michael
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pgpgsxr
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« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2006, 09:28:12 AM »
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Dear Michael,
Wealthy or not, I think anyone who invests a huge sum or a small sum has the right to enjoy their equipment without worrying about updating their equipment let alone not being able to update it. But now we have the prospect of not being able to update thanks to hassy. You are quite right, for the successful pro it isnīt a great burden however the young pro who is just kick-starting his/her business has so many financial hurdles with digital. Come on Hasselblad the pro world is steep enough as it is!! The whole shift in Hassyīs attitude towards itīs marketing I think proves that everyone except for Canon is having a hard time surviving in the digital era. All we need now is Leica to bring out an M9, which canīt use all the existing lenses!!
 Paul
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larryg
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« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2006, 09:31:02 AM »
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I purchased my first Hasselblad 205Fcc system with two bodies and most of the lenses available.  I had about $50,000 invested back in 1999 for the "best" mf
system I thought was available.
While this was indeed a small fortune I felt it was a lifetime investment. Actually I was quite satisfied with the results of this equipment. The only additions to make was a new lens or accessories once in a while.
Back in early 2005 (that was only 18 months ago) I switch to digital mf Contax with Koday DCS back  spent around $20,000+ for the new system, sold my old system and was basically satisfied.
Then fall of the same year Phase one announces a new 22mp back  (ok just another $33,000 investment less trade in)  I made the switch to Phase One when Kodak announced they were discontinuing the DCS Back.  Stil satisfied then within six months of purchasing the Phase one  they announce a newer and greater back with 39mp (just $14,500 to upgrade) while I have been considering this upgrade (not so likely right now)  Phase One announces another upgrade p45 +  for another upgrade fee.

Of course things have changed but it is well beyond possibility of justifying trying to stay on this merry go round to try and keep up with the latest and greatest.
And of course during all this Contax quits   geeeez  

I was even considering  selling the Contax to switch back to Hasselblad so that I would have a camera system still in business?

The last couple of years have seen such significant changes (and still coming)
While this is a good thing to a certain degree  I need to start thinking through some of these purchases  While I still have something left in the bank account
« Last Edit: October 01, 2006, 09:37:35 AM by larryg » Logged
pgpgsxr
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« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2006, 10:01:15 AM »
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Hi Larrq,
The digital revolution has affected all of us in diferent ways and I think very few are positive steps forward. My experience purchasing gear isnīt as spectacular but also has hurt my wallet.
 I purchased an Ebony SU45 in 2002 with 5 lenses and all the necessary add-ons, I also thought it was a lifetime investment. Enjoyed and worked with the camera for about 3 years, suddenly 3 days before ordering an Imacon scanner my local and only 4x5 E6 lab announced they would not be processing E6 anymore. (I live on a Spanish island and I just couldnīt face the expense of sending all my slides to the mainland) I had medium format pentax 67II but never really adapted to it, but decided to use it as I found a lab which processed 120 and 35mm. But then they warned me they would stop processing E6 in the new year so I decided to jump to digital.
 I now use 1ds II not bad at all, however one thing is going digital out of choice and another is being sort of forced into it!
Paul
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Photomangreg
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« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2006, 10:41:16 AM »
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Some unbiased reviews:


Pop Photo:

http://www.popphoto.com/photonews/3073/has...rlds-first-48mm
-full-frame-dslr-camera-system.html


PDN Online:
http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/newswire/arti..._content_id=100
3188075
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michael
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« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2006, 11:02:59 AM »
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To my mind a regurgitated corporate press release is not a "review".

Michael
« Last Edit: October 01, 2006, 11:09:55 AM by michael » Logged
ijrwest
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« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2006, 11:51:32 AM »
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I am a software engineer and I suspect we face the same issues as the camera engineers. If we upgrade software, we have to ensure that data created by old software versions is readable by new versions ( backward compatibility ). Also there is a demand to publish specifications (APIs) so that third party software can be integrated. What I can tell you, is that these demands are expensive to meet and can make product development uneconomic. It may be that the engineers at Hasselblad are calling the shots here, not the marketing people - they don't have the resources to develop new products and still keep compatibility with everything else.

Iain West
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