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Author Topic: Deciding between H3D System or H2 w/ P45 Back  (Read 17848 times)
Jim Wheeler
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« on: November 16, 2006, 12:39:16 PM »
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I'm a studio, still life photographer (mainly food), who just had my last film client go digital. This means that is time to BUY a medium format digital system. Until now I have been shooting a Canon Mark IIDs for most jobs, or renting a H1 with a P45 back when needed. I use each of these systems with Capture One Software.

There seems to much hemming and hawing over the new H3D system. "It's a closed system, it's not REALLY full frame, etc.., etc..." But in my situation a closed system doesn't really matter. I don't have any existing camera equipment that I would be trying to use within this set-up, other than the Capture One Software.

I understand that the H3D with the Hasselblad back requires the Flex Color Software, but I haven't used Flex Color at all. My question is, has anyone used Flexcolor AND Capture One who can give me a brief comparison? Pros and cons of each?

I'm not a jaded Hasselblad owner who is uptight that the new H3D system is a closed one. Just because it's closed doesn't mean that it's not a good system. However, if it is a general conseses that  the P45 in conjunction with the H2 and Capture One is a better bet, I would buy that system.
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RicAgu
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2006, 01:25:37 PM »
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Hello Jim,

I have the H series with the P25 & P45 now.  I have no experience with the Flexcolor software for the camera.  As scanner software it is really great.

I really love Capture One and the P backs. I am super excited about the new Rollei system that is coming out.  If you plan on investing a substantial amount of money I would buy the P45 on a camera mount that would allow you to change to the Rollei mount.  Since you are a food photographer I assume you don't really need the high flash sync.  So the Mamiya 645 would be a cheap way to go.

The Rollei gives you the ability to use the xAct 2, which I am sure you will love this camera.  I used it once years ago and was quite impressed with it.

Not sure if you own any Medium format sytems right now that would allow you to use a P45 on it, i.e. an RZ, Hassy V or Mamiya 645?  if you do not, send me a private message I may have a solution for you.

A good dealer will work with you to change your back and system into anything you want at no cost.  Unfortunately your only solution to get into Rollei right now would be to get an emotion bundle to my knowledge.  I am not sure they can bundle a P45, but it is worth asking.

Best of Luck


Ric

 


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I'm a studio, still life photographer (mainly food), who just had my last film client go digital. This means that is time to BUY a medium format digital system. Until now I have been shooting a Canon Mark IIDs for most jobs, or renting a H1 with a P45 back when needed. I use each of these systems with Capture One Software.

There seems to much hemming and hawing over the new H3D system. "It's a closed system, it's not REALLY full frame, etc.., etc..." But in my situation a closed system doesn't really matter. I don't have any existing camera equipment that I would be trying to use within this set-up, other than the Capture One Software.

I understand that the H3D with the Hasselblad back requires the Flex Color Software, but I haven't used Flex Color at all. My question is, has anyone used Flexcolor AND Capture One who can give me a brief comparison? Pros and cons of each?

I'm not a jaded Hasselblad owner who is uptight that the new H3D system is a closed one. Just because it's closed doesn't mean that it's not a good system. However, if it is a general conseses that  the P45 in conjunction with the H2 and Capture One is a better bet, I would buy that system.
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SeanFS
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2006, 01:30:25 PM »
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They are both pretty good. I use flexcolour with an imacon 132c and Capture one with a 1ds2.
Flexcolour is very comprehensive and takes a little while to learn , but if you get to know the poorly documented "modify" button its easy to batch images, rename etc - similaar to "apply settings " command in  Capture one . I'm not fussed about the floating palettes as they always seem to be in the wrong place but at least you can have all the commands up if need be. I find everything  like noise reduction and sharpening of top quality and rarely have to do much in photoshop where the sharpening etc in Capture one could do better - this may be different with phase backs as I use it only for my 1ds2 where the colour it produces, and in particular skin tones, is far better IMHO  than other Raw processing options with this camera.
Flexcolour is probably faster to process and less fiddly ( I hate having to set up the "process" folder in capture one as I frequently forget to do it.) but the layout of capture one with the seperate pages for colour , noise , curves is excellent.
Neither of then have a facility for adjustment of vignetting or chromatic aberration as in Camera raw - its automatic I believe with the H3D  and CF/H2 and lenses , I use a V series Hasselblad and will be for some time to come so at least I can do those adjustments manually in Photoshop which isn't that frequent with the sort of work I mostly do. I guess I could output DNG from flexcolour and use Camera raw for this but I can never seem to get the colour quite the way I want it there easily.







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I'm a studio, still life photographer (mainly food), who just had my last film client go digital. This means that is time to BUY a medium format digital system. Until now I have been shooting a Canon Mark IIDs for most jobs, or renting a H1 with a P45 back when needed. I use each of these systems with Capture One Software.

There seems to much hemming and hawing over the new H3D system. "It's a closed system, it's not REALLY full frame, etc.., etc..." But in my situation a closed system doesn't really matter. I don't have any existing camera equipment that I would be trying to use within this set-up, other than the Capture One Software.

I understand that the H3D with the Hasselblad back requires the Flex Color Software, but I haven't used Flex Color at all. My question is, has anyone used Flexcolor AND Capture One who can give me a brief comparison? Pros and cons of each?

I'm not a jaded Hasselblad owner who is uptight that the new H3D system is a closed one. Just because it's closed doesn't mean that it's not a good system. However, if it is a general conseses that  the P45 in conjunction with the H2 and Capture One is a better bet, I would buy that system.
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glennedens
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2006, 02:07:41 PM »
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It is a tough call, both systems have advantages and disadvantages.

Flexcolor must be used to import the images but you can then export them to DNG and use any downstream software that can read the H2 DNGs, it adds an extra step to the workflow.  I assume this will still work with the H3, there will be lawsuits if this is not the case.

Flexcolor is ok, not great, but getting better.  There is a new release coming that is rumored to fix many of the issues, do not know when, Hasselblad are scarce on information.  One gripe, of many, I have is zooming into an image to check focus, hot pixels or dust.  This must be done in Flexcolor with the Detail window which for me is clunky, you cannot just zoom into the image - this may be fixed in the next release.  Capture One is more mature and offfers many more features and is much faster to use.

My workflow lately has been Flexcolor to DNG and DNG to Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop as needed.  LightZone also handles the H2 DNG's.  Apple's Aperture does not.  I have not tried the path from Flexcolor to DNG to Capture One but I am going to try that later today.  I just returned from a workshop and I had forgot how great Capture One is.

The H3 will support the new prisim finder and the new HCD lenses, such as the upcoming HCD 28mm wide angle.  There will most likely be more HCD lenses to come.  Clearly most of the new accessories are being designed to lock out H2 and H1 users, although the waist level finder will work on the H2.

What I find annoying is that Hasselblad has embarked on a long slow process to lock customers in, which goes against their initial claims of creating an open system and a modular system.  First DNG was produced directly by the backs, then DNG was dropped in favor of 3FR.  Then the H2 open architecture was closed with the H3 announcement and new accessories are only usable on the new H3 leaving the H2 and H1 behind.  There is an upgrade path for existing users but the details and timing have not been announced.  Hasselblad does upgrades after new customer shipments which is the opposite of other digital back makers.  Digital APO correction was announced for the H2 and now the literature states it is only avialable on the H3.

The Phase One warranty is much better, 3 years versus Hasselblad 1 year.  Hasselblad is $2,000 to extend the warranty an extra year and it is not clear if you can extend beyond that.  Customers were led to believe that the warranty was 3 years by both dealers and Hasselblad staff so this is very questionable business practice.

In my experience the Phase One support is better than the Hasselblad-Imacon support for software and the digital backs.  Hasselblad is always quick to deny any problems which i find irratating.  The whole "worlds first full frame 48mm DSLR" ads are silly not to mention odd, what about the H2D?  Same sensor size.  When companies resort to this kind of marketing BS it causes a confidence issue, so what else is going to go wrong or what other BS might we be getting?  They have a great product so no need to BS and make silly claims, I'd fire the ad agency.

One advantage is that with the H3 and CFH39 combo you have a very nice integrated system with one control and battery system.  Hopefully the system will become more stable to fully realize the integration benefit that should be there.

All users of the H2 and CFH39 that i have tallked to and worked with, including myself, still experience lock ups that can only be cured by removing the battery.  Long exposure performance is lousy, lots of hot pixels, noise in the shadows and the OLED display gets an orange glow that makes it useless for review unless you scroll to another image and then back.  In the studio this should not be a concern since you will have plenty of light.

The new Hasselblad company is not the old Hasselblad company when it comes to customer care, information, road maps and rapid support.  The other side of the coin is the H-series bodies are wonderful to use, the controls are well laid out, the viewfinder is awesome and the Fuji lenses are first rate.  The CFH39 back produces great detailed images.  My only ergonomic complaint is that when the camera is high on a tripod it is impossible to use the grip display which faces up, it would sure be nice to see the entire camera user interface displayed on the back OLED display as well, or have a viable remote control with display.

A Phase One and Hasselblad merger would have been a lot more exciting ;-)

I will most likely upgrade to the H3 - CFH39 when details and timing are released.  The lock in worked, depreciation schedules are long enough that the system still has too much value on the books ;-)  If Hasselblad locks in H3 or H4 customers to Flexcolor then i think we will see a revolt, lots of lawsuits and a crash in the value of H-Series gear, let's hope the new management has enough brains to not go this path.

Hope this was helpful,

Glenn
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Nick_T
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2006, 02:45:47 PM »
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There are a few errors in this post, I have trimmed the post down to the relevant bits:


What I find annoying is that Hasselblad has embarked on a long slow process to lock customers in, which goes against their initial claims of creating an open system and a modular system.  First DNG was produced directly by the backs, then DNG was dropped in favor of 3FR.


This was done to reduce the processing load on the CPU in the back, also the new 3FR format was needed to enable the lens corrections, they would not have been possible with in-camera DNG. granted there is an extra step needed to generate a DNG but it has NOT been dropped.


Then the H2 open architecture was closed with the H3 announcement and new accessories are only usable on the new H3 leaving the H2 and H1 behind.

Not quite true, you are confusing the H2 with the H2D/H3D. there is no such beast as an H3.


There is an upgrade path for existing users but the details and timing have not been announced.  Hasselblad does upgrades after new customer shipments which is the opposite of other digital back makers.


There are indeed upgrades (free in some cases) from the H2D to the H3D. To be fair most of the other MFDB manufacturers offer upgrade paths. The 'blad upgrades have always been very fair (ie typically you pay the difference in cost between the two units to upgrade).

Digital APO correction was announced for the H2 and now the literature states it is only avialable on the H3.

Not so! Digital Apo and digital distortion correction works with any of the CF backs on an H2 and the H2D/H3D

The Phase One warranty is much better, 3 years versus Hasselblad 1 year.

And I'm guessing the price reflects that..


Hasselblad is $2,000 to extend the warranty an extra year and it is not clear if you can extend beyond that.  Customers were led to believe that the warranty was 3 years by both dealers and Hasselblad staff so this is very questionable business practice.


The warranty can be extended to a maximum of 5 years. If a dealer is mis-leading a customer on the length of warranty then he is a very poor dealer this has nothing to do with Hasselblad.

In my experience the Phase One support is better than the Hasselblad-Imacon support for software and the digital backs.

I've always found 'blad support to be very good. I think it fair to say that Phase and Leaf also work very hard at support.

The whole "worlds first full frame 48mm DSLR" ads are silly not to mention odd, what about the H2D?  Same sensor size.

My definition of full frame would be: #1 What you see is what you get.(the new viewfinder)
#2 No loss of wide angle (the 28mm lens) So it maybe BS to you but I think the solution does provide full-frame functionality (if that makes sense).


All users of the H2 and CFH39 that i have tallked to and worked with, including myself, still experience lock ups that can only be cured by removing the battery.


These issues are a thing of the past with current back/body firmware 9.1.2 (or 9.2 for the H2/H3D) and 177 for the backs.


Long exposure performance is lousy, lots of hot pixels, noise in the shadows

I'll have to test this as I don't usually do long exposures, will report back. As an aside the 400ISO performance is now very good.


and the OLED display gets an orange glow that makes it useless for review unless you scroll to another image and then back.

I've not seen this, you should email support.



The new Hasselblad company is not the old Hasselblad company when it comes to customer care, information, road maps and rapid support.


No it is not the same company, since the merger with Imacon the company has turned it's finacial performance around (ie they are making a profit) for which we should all be very grateful. As above I find their support very good and love the new product innovations.

If Hasselblad locks in H3 or H4 customers to Flexcolor then i think we will see a revolt, lots of lawsuits and a crash in the value of H-Series gear, let's hope the new management has enough brains to not go this path.

Assuming they come out with an H3 or an H4 how can they possibly lock camera BODY users into software? If you are using a Hasselblad BACK then sure you need to use their software, what's wrong with that?

Hope this was helpful

Me too!

Nick-T
« Last Edit: November 16, 2006, 02:53:08 PM by Nick_T » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2006, 03:32:20 PM »
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i would actually recommend the P45+ with any mount..if you buy the 3 year phase warranty you get a free mount change within one year...by then the Hy6 will be out and that is the camera you want....or that is the system you want...complete intgration with the rollei x-act, switch lenses and accessories between Hy6 and X-act....the P45+ has live preview and C1 (by then V 4.0) is by far the most advanced software compared to all the others...flexcolor is nice and simple, but does not have the features of C1....the H3D really only gives you one option for stillife shots, the 120macro (read some posts on the performance of that lens at f11 and up) ...no T/S..at all, not sure if you even get the option to mount on a 4x5, especially considering that the back is only to be used with the H3, so the software probably won't allow it to be used on anything else...the CF39 might be a different story....
last but not least....i have yet to see a test (or an image with my own eyes) that does not put the imacon/hasselblad files last, behind phase and leaf and sinar...i am sure they are capable of stunning images, but so are the others and they are ahead IMHO....the software in the H3D combined with the 28 might be great for achitecture, but i don't see the advantage for food...
live preview and the overlay feature in C1 alone would make it a no-brainer for me for stilllife....
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Nick_T
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2006, 03:38:52 PM »
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The H3D back can be put on a View camera.

A CF22 Or CF39 can be used on ANY platform (using adaptor plates) that the user can swap at will.

The Hasselblad backs have had Live video (with overlays) and overlays for years.

I shoot mostly food these days and mostly with the 100 2.2.

The Image quality is as good as all the other backs.

Nick-T
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pss
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2006, 03:51:29 PM »
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The H3D back can be put on a View camera.

A CF22 Or CF39 can be used on ANY platform (using adaptor plates) that the user can swap at will.

The Hasselblad backs have had Live video (with overlays) and overlays for years.

I shoot mostly food these days and mostly with the 100 2.2.

The Image quality is as good as all the other backs.

Nick-T
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i was obviously not aware that the H3D back can be used on a view camera, how does that work? with an adapter?
i also did not know that flexcolor has a layout-overlay feature? the version i worked with did not...
i think the quality is excellent and we are splitting hairs....it is also a personal preference....i would not buy without checking it out...
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Jim Wheeler
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2006, 04:08:54 PM »
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Thanks to everyone who has responded thus far. Your input is helpful.
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pss
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2006, 04:23:03 PM »
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please please please make sure you check it out for yourself...the final files can be too hard to tell apart, but how you get them is very much different and everybody has a different ways of working....i have never seen anyone who "got" C1 at the first try, but it is very addicting....give yourself time to look at your options... the facts and stats will probably be very similar and so will be the end results, but everything in between is personal preference....
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2006, 05:02:41 PM »
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You are spoilt for choice. Either the H3D or the H2/P45+ are wonderful tools. Hasselblad service is first rate (my lens services are turned around very fast indeed and optical adjustments are spot on). I'd probably go for the Hasselblad because of the 28mm option but the new lower noise P45+ and the live preview of the Phase might change my mind. You are so lucky to be buying new now with such refined options available. The HC lenses are much lighter than the Rollei kit and the AF works very well indeed as you have probably found out.

Damien.
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H1/P25 -35mm,80mm,100mm,210mm
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2006, 06:45:58 PM »
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Normally I shoot 50 iso with a H2D and i have only used 400 iso about once or twice before.
Recently I had to shoot a portrait of someone in low light and really needed it, with the new software upgrade I was actually really amazed at the improvement re noise.
Just had a look again at the file to make sure I am not telling bs; NO noise at 400 iso,
in the well exposed areas and the mid tones and also the shadows and I had another look to make sure again that that is so.
So between lens correction software and now no noise, the choose a Hasselblad is a no brainer!
cheers
Marc
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mkravit
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2006, 07:44:18 PM »
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My new H3D arrives tomorrow. The test images I have ssen are amazing. I am told by other users that the AF is faster and the camera has not experienced any lockups or issues so far.

I will post more once I give it a thorough run through.
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James Russell
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2006, 11:22:57 PM »
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and the OLED display gets an orange glow that makes it useless for review unless you scroll to another image and then back.

I've not seen this, you should email support.

Nick,

On the recent H3-D I briefly tried in NY the hasselblad oled screen was very red, almost a bright sepia toned and the thumbnails in flexcolor matched this red.  Once opened the file was file, though still a little warm in comparision to the Leaf A-22 and the Phase P-30 file.

In comparision the Phase and Leaf LCD's were neutral in comparision to the oled on the H3D.

I would should a client the leaf or phase lcd, but would be hard pressed to let the client view the red oled preview.

The H3 file is nice and it seems Hasselblad has worked hard on skin tones, though I wouldn't say it's better than the Phase or Leaf file and in some ways needs a little more work to get to an equal match.

The only issue I have with Flexcolor (other than the red thumbnails) is there is no way to see a full rez file in it's enterity.  The main preview is a little rough and the only full rez view is through the small detail windows.

I didn't get the opportunity to test flexcolor in tethering so I can't report on the speed or stability.

I do belive a big liability of the blad file is that it doesn't work in lightroom or ARC natively, without dng conversion.

This IMO is another uneeded step.

JR
« Last Edit: November 16, 2006, 11:23:27 PM by James Russell » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2006, 12:15:57 AM »
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I have a Hassy H2, leaf 65 aptus back and a rollei X act 2. I use the back on both the Hassy and rollei.  I am very pleased with the leaf images. However,  I purposely paid extra to get a H2 adapted sliding back for the Rollei.  I am going to be really upset with Hasselblad if they do not reverse some of their plans for a lock out with the H3D. I hope some of the new lens release include the H2 (e.g. a shift or tilt shift option). mark

Quote
Hello Jim,

I have the H series with the P25 & P45 now. I have no experience with the Flexcolor software for the camera. As scanner software it is really great.

I really love Capture One and the P backs. I am super excited about the new Rollei system that is coming out. If you plan on investing a substantial amount of money I would buy the P45 on a camera mount that would allow you to change to the Rollei mount. Since you are a food photographer I assume you don't really need the high flash sync. So the Mamiya 645 would be a cheap way to go.

The Rollei gives you the ability to use the xAct 2, which I am sure you will love this camera. I used it once years ago and was quite impressed with it.

Not sure if you own any Medium format sytems right now that would allow you to use a P45 on it, i.e. an RZ, Hassy V or Mamiya 645? if you do not, send me a private message I may have a solution for you.

A good dealer will work with you to change your back and system into anything you want at no cost. Unfortunately your only solution to get into Rollei right now would be to get an emotion bundle to my knowledge. I am not sure they can bundle a P45, but it is worth asking.

Best of Luck
Ric

 
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« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2006, 12:30:07 AM »
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For studio still life I am a real fan of the C1 Pro software.  The large preview is nice.  The focus is easy to check.  Precisely setting color tempeture, input profiles, cropping, file naming, and other adjustments is very easy.  If a client were looking over my shoulder, and we were working together to create a final image on the spot, it would be my software of choice.

If you end up with an X-ACT 2 or other view camera solution, be aware that you will run into color shifts with all the 33 and 39mp backs on the market today.  So for swings, tilts, shifts, or wide view camera lenses you will end up using the software to correct the color uniformity.  With Phase One this is VERY easy in a studio environment.  It is just like shooting a gray card and setting the gray balance.  This creates a process setting that corrects the output of the file.  The RAW file is unchanged.  So with a this kind of setup you will rule out being able to process those images in third party software like ACR, Lightroom, or RAW Developer.

As a studio shooter this may become important to you.  I would guess that you would likely not leave C1 Pro to do Raw processing somewhere else, and so this would not come into play.  If this would concern you, then Sinar and Leaf have solutions which create a new, corrected RAW files which can be moved through other processing applications without the color casts.  I am not aware of Hassleblads approach to this.  I would guess that the DNG output from their software could be corrected for color casts.

These same issues apply to shooting with the GX680.  I have had a lot of direct experience with this camera and the Phase backs.  I run the Lens cast correction for nearly every shot.  In my case though, nearly every shot with this camera has swings and tilts.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2006, 01:02:24 AM by ericstaud » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2006, 10:11:35 AM »
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Are oder Zeiss lenses (hassey V and 200?) mountable on H3?

For me a big advantage of the P45 route. IF they add an adapter and there are H3 mount for ALPA, Cambo etc then a toss up on your IQ preference.

I have the P45 and am amazed at the betttre noise and detail than the P25. The P45+ promises live view, great for view camera (and I have a 2.8 pound laptop that would work great in thefield

will H3 have live preview?

Victor
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2006, 12:24:01 PM »
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Are oder Zeiss lenses (hassey V and 200?) mountable on H3?

For me a big advantage of the P45 route. IF they add an adapter and there are H3 mount for ALPA, Cambo etc then a toss up on your IQ preference.

I have the P45 and am amazed at the betttre noise and detail than the P25. The P45+ promises live view, great for view camera (and I have a 2.8 pound laptop that would work great in thefield

will H3 have live preview?

Victor
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Victor:

The CF Adapter that was utilized on the H2 cameras (and H2D) will also work with the H3D. This will allow the CF lenses to be used on the H3D. The lenses for the 200 will not work, because of the lack of a sync post for communication.

The "D" part of the H3D will mount on an Alpa, or most view cameras or tilt/shift cameras that accept adapters with H mounting.

Steve Hendrix
PPR Digital
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2006, 01:02:09 PM »
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Steve you stated you have had an opportunity to use the H3D.  Can you give some thoughts as to image quality or comparisons with the H2 with the Leaf or Phase backs.  Mark

Quote
Victor:

The CF Adapter that was utilized on the H2 cameras (and H2D) will also work with the H3D. This will allow the CF lenses to be used on the H3D. The lenses for the 200 will not work, because of the lack of a sync post for communication.

The "D" part of the H3D will mount on an Alpa, or most view cameras or tilt/shift cameras that accept adapters with H mounting.

Steve Hendrix
PPR Digital
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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2006, 06:47:03 PM »
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Steve you stated you have had an opportunity to use the H3D.  Can you give some thoughts as to image quality or comparisons with the H2 with the Leaf or Phase backs.  Mark
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My opinion today (subject to change   ), is that the image quality from ALL of the MFDB's is very equivalent. With the exception of a few specific applications like the Phase backs capturing long, long exposures in minutes instead of seconds (although I believe that's coming for Hasselblad as well), determining who has the best image quality is getting to be extremely subjective. That wasn't the case 18 to 24 months ago.

If you really know what you're doing with the software, I believe shooting images with all the backs, that it would be very hard to identify which back it was shot with and whether any difference could be seen or appreciated.

If I was buying today, image quality would be close to last in my considerations. Instead, I believe buyers should be focusing more on:

*workflow
*software
*camera integration
*camera platform flexibility
*capture speed (if applicable)
*price
*upgrade paths
*company support
*company survival/development prospects
*Etc.

In the end, choice often comes down to a subjective, often intangible quotient. Sometimes, a product just "feels right". Few of my customers say that, although, while it may not sound scientific, I believe how a product "feels" has relevance.

Steve Hendrix
PPR Digital
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Steve Hendrix
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