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Author Topic: Michael--3HD question  (Read 11540 times)
John Camp
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« on: December 26, 2006, 11:10:06 AM »
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I read the essay on Hassy 3HD concerns and understand what you're saying.

With those concerns aside (the questions of company direction and closed systems), if you were to start from scratch in medium format digital right now, with no legacy equipment at all, would you go with a 3HD purely on the basis of quality and useability? Or are there better choices out there?

JC
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michael
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2006, 02:54:03 PM »
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I would absolutely NOT go with an H3D. Get an H2 instead. You won't be able to use their 28mm lens, or their tilt / shift which is coming in '07 (supposedly), but at least you won't be locked into a completely closed system.

Or, if you can wait six months, hang on to see what the Hy6 is like, and then when you decide which back to buy you can purchase a system from a Sinar, Leaf or Phase One dealer.

Michael
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2006, 03:27:47 PM »
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I would absolutely NOT go with an H3D. Get an H2 instead. You won't be able to use their 28mm lens, or their tilt / shift which is coming in '07 (supposedly), but at least you won't be locked into a completely closed system.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=92388\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Is it definate that the tilt/shift will only work on the H3D? I can't find where Hasselblad has said this, was it in private to you Michael?
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michael
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2006, 04:29:38 PM »
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It's definate – at least this is what was told to a number of journalists at Photokina.

Hasselblad is taking the approach with these, and likely most future lenses, of doing optical correction in firmware. This helps reduce the price of the lens and also helps keep the new system closed.

Michael
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MarkKay
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2006, 04:58:18 PM »
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I was told a final decision on the TS and ability to use it on an H2 system was not made yet. However, if I had to bet, I suspect it will be an H3 only lens and that is when i might consider selling all my H2 hasselblad gear.

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It's definate – at least this is what was told to a number of journalists at Photokina.

Hasselblad is taking the approach with these, and likely most future lenses, of doing optical correction in firmware. This helps reduce the price of the lens and also helps keep the new system closed.

Michael
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jecxz
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2006, 05:06:43 PM »
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I was told a final decision on the TS and ability to use it on an H2 system was not made yet. However, if I had to bet, I suspect it will be an H3 only lens and that is when i might consider selling all my H2 hasselblad gear.
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Mark, I understand the frustration; I've invested heavily in the H system, with every lens except the 100mm f2.2. However, how much would it cost to upgrade an H2 to an H3? Probably not much and there you have it, no need to sell everything. But I certainly understand the disappointment and frustration.

I still shoot film; if the tilt/shift is done with software, I'll make my move to digital or live without it. I won't sell all of my H gear over this. I don't even know if I want a tilt/shift done with software, I'd have to get used to the concept of "soft-optics."
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MarkKay
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2006, 05:26:27 PM »
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Well it is not that simple. I paid alot for  leaf digital back, and I purchased a hasselblad H sliding back adapter for my view camera. I am not sure if i could use the digital back on that sliding back or not.  Even if i did trade in, I figure I would still need another 10K and I just bought all this stuff this summer.

I am curious why you never purchased the 100mm lens. That is the one i am considering. Mark

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Mark, I understand the frustration; I've invested heavily in the H system, with every lens except the 100mm f2.2. However, how much would it cost to upgrade an H2 to an H3? Probably not much and there you have it, no need to sell everything. But I certainly understand the disappointment and frustration.

I still shoot film; if the tilt/shift is done with software, I'll make my move to digital or live without it. I won't sell all of my H gear over this. I don't even know if I want a tilt/shift done with software, I'd have to get used to the concept of "soft-optics."
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michael
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2006, 05:27:07 PM »
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Just for clarity – if one is shooting film then upgrading to an H3 may well be worthwhile.

But if one of shooting digital then one needs to be aware that only a Hasselblad back will work on an H3.

Michael
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MarkKay
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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2006, 06:16:42 PM »
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I guess if I was starting from scratch I would consider the H3 closed system but I might feel alittle uncomfortable locking myself in with Hasselblad changing their "format" every couple of years. mark

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Just for clarity – if one is shooting film then upgrading to an H3 may well be worthwhile.

But if one of shooting digital then one needs to be aware that only a Hasselblad back will work on an H3.

Michael
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jecxz
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2006, 06:50:07 PM »
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Just for clarity – if one is shooting film then upgrading to an H3 may well be worthwhile.
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Michael - what advancements are there with an H3 over an H2 for film? I wonder if an H2 can be upgraded to an H3 (I have two H2s full bodies)?

Mark - I didn't purchase the 100mm f2.2 because I have the 80mm and the 120mm; the gap is best for portrait photographers and it easily missed for the type of landscape work I do. Plus I recently purchased the 55-110mm zoom, so it's covered. I would love to see some 100mm wide open shots, on second thought, don't show me, I may want to buy one.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2006, 07:41:38 PM »
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I don't even know if I want a tilt/shift done with software, I'd have to get used to the concept of "soft-optics."
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Most probably, the optics would on the contrary be optimized for sharpness with less emphasis on distorsion and CA, since these 2 can be corrected in software with limited impact on image quality.

Regards,
Bernard
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hcubell
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2006, 07:35:44 AM »
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I would absolutely NOT go with an H3D. Get an H2 instead. You won't be able to use their 28mm lens, or their tilt / shift which is coming in '07 (supposedly), but at least you won't be locked into a completely closed system.

Or, if you can wait six months, hang on to see what the Hy6 is like, and then when you decide which back to buy you can purchase a system from a Sinar, Leaf or Phase One dealer.

Michael
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I disagree. THIS closed system is a good or bad thing depending upon whether it enhances or limits you in some material way with respect to one or more capabilities in your ability to create images of the type you want and with the workflow that works for you. Does the H3D produce color that is inferior in any way to a Phase or Leaf back? How about the "look" of the  file? Do you like what some consider an analytic, "digital" look to the Phase files? Is the ability to use a 28mm lens and a tilt/shift lens with built-in, optical correction of lens aberrations desirable? Is an integrated package with one battery desirable? How about one manufacturer being responsible for both the camera and the back? Does the Flexcolor software "work" for you compared to the software from other MFDBs?
As with most things, the H3D is a balance sheet with assets and liabilities that you need to weigh for your style of work. In the end, no one can make that evaluation for you. These are MFDBs, not ideologies. A Canon 1Ds is also a closed system and no one complains. They just look at its strengths and weaknesses in a clinical way.
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hcubell
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2006, 07:42:44 AM »
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It's definate – at least this is what was told to a number of journalists at Photokina.

Hasselblad is taking the approach with these, and likely most future lenses, of doing optical correction in firmware. This helps reduce the price of the lens and also helps keep the new system closed.

Michael
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That's an emotional response, not a professional opinion backed up by any empirical data. I would suggest that you do a comparative test of the Mamiya 28mm lens with your Phase P45 against a H3D-39 with the new 28mm Hasselblad lens. Then, we will see if Hasselblad was "just" trying to save money and keep the system closed.
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michael
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« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2006, 08:47:50 AM »
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Emotional?

My comments are based on intervews conducted by me as well as others with Christian Poulsen, the CEO of Hasselblad at Photokina in September. I am simply reporting what we were told. Nothing emotional about the information, other of course than my response to it.

And as for the Canon 1Ds being a closed system, that's a complete non-sequitar. A Canon system doesn't have interchangable sensors (backs), which the H1 and H2 do. I would agree that the H3D is like a Canon in that you buy the camera and sensor as a system. The H1 and H2 are more like a film based system which allows the photographer to choose their recording medium.

The situation is simply this. Hasselblad has huge debt, and can't make enough money to service that debt by selling just cameras and lenses. Their margins on digital backs are much higher, but they have to share that market on the H1 and H2 with Phase One, Leaf and Sinar / Jenoptic.

By making the H3 incompable with any back other than their own they want to force photographers to buy H backs. By creating lenses which reply on software to correct for optical abberations they lower production costs as well as lock out the competition (through patent protection).

It's a marketing strategy, that's all. And based on reaction by photographers and dealers so far, a highly flawed one. It's also thrown off course by the F&H Hy6, which likely blindsided Hasselblad. Soon there will be an alternative medium format system backed by all of its digital back competators. Without the Hy6 Hasselblad "might" have been able to force their program down our throats. With it, it seems to me to be a doomed strategy.

As someone who owns an H1, H2 and four H lenses this is of more than academic interest. So, if my tone seems emotional – well, it is. On the other hands, I am simply stating the facts as I know them. If anyone has definitive information to the contrary I'll be pleased to hear it, and publish it.

In fact, if anyone from Hasselblad reads this, I would be happy to provide an online forum for a debate on the matter.

Michael
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hcubell
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« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2006, 11:06:11 AM »
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Emotional?

My comments are based on intervews conducted by me as well as others with Christian Poulsen, the CEO of Hasselblad at Photokina in September. I am simply reporting what we were told. Nothing emotional about the information, other of course than my response to it.



And as for the Canon 1Ds being a closed system, that's a complete non-sequitar. A Canon system doesn't have interchangable sensors (backs), which the H1 and H2 do. I would agree that the H3D is like a Canon in that you buy the camera and sensor as a system. The H1 and H2 are more like a film based system which allows the photographer to choose their recording medium.


The situation is simply this. Hasselblad has huge debt, and can't make enough money to service that debt by selling just cameras and lenses. Their margins on digital backs are much higher, but they have to share that market on the H1 and H2 with Phase One, Leaf and Sinar / Jenoptic.

By making the H3 incompable with any back other than their own they want to force photographers to buy H backs. By creating lenses which reply on software to correct for optical abberations they lower production costs as well as lock out the competition (through patent protection).

It's a marketing strategy, that's all. And based on reaction by photographers and dealers so far, a highly flawed one. It's also thrown off course by the F&H Hy6, which likely blindsided Hasselblad. Soon there will be an alternative medium format system backed by all of its digital back competators. Without the Hy6 Hasselblad "might" have been able to force their program down our throats. With it, it seems to me to be a doomed strategy.

As someone who owns an H1, H2 and four H lenses this is of more than academic interest. So, if my tone seems emotional – well, it is. On the other hands, I am simply stating the facts as I know them. If anyone has definitive information to the contrary I'll be pleased to hear it, and publish it.

In fact, if anyone from Hasselblad reads this, I would be happy to provide an online forum for a debate on the matter.

Michael
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1. Surely interviews are no way to conduct a test of optical performance. The question is  this: does Hassselblad's 28mm lens substantially outperform Mamiya's? If it does, then cost savings and marketing leverage were not the only reasons for Hasselblad's approach with the 28mm, and your implication that they were is simply wrong.

2. The sensors in MFDBs are really not the "film". The software (and what you do with the files in the software) is the film. All of the latest generation of MFDBs are capable of providing exceptional performance, and the differences are really over how easy or difficult it is to pull that level of exceptional performance out of the software.

3. The issue of open v. closed is a red herring for anyone who does not already have an H1 or H2 with another company's back. The relevant question is whether the H3D allows you (i)to work more or less efficiently and (ii)to create better (or worse or the same quality) files than some other camera/back combination. All of the handwringing over the marketing, ethical and related issues is nonsense. The focus should be on performance, but Michael does not seem to be particularly interested in addressing that. Out of character for him.
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michael
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2006, 12:23:32 PM »
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The only thing further that I'll add to this discussion is that image quality is only one of a number of factors that need to be considered.

Cost (initial purchase as well as ongoing service), upgradability, interoperability, ergonomics, after sales support, resale value, etc, etc, are all factors that need to be  considered. To soley focus on image quality is to ignore practical considerations.

Been there. Done that. No thanks.

Michael
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John Camp
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2006, 01:41:36 PM »
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The only thing further that I'll add to this discussion is that image quality is only one of a number of factors that need to be considered.

Cost (initial purchase as well as ongoing service), upgradability, interoperability, ergonomics, after sales support, resale value, etc, etc, are all factors that need to be  considered. To soley focus on image quality is to ignore practical considerations.<snip>

Michael
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I will say that image quality was not one of my considerations when I asked the original question; I assume that the quality of ALL of thse backs will meet my standards, which might be somewhat lower than is the case with other people. I haven't shot MF since I got rid of a film RZ several years ago, in moving to digital. If I go back, I was more intersted in everything else that Michael just mentioned -- initial cost; upgradability; potential resale value in case it doesn't work for me;  the possibility of being trapped in a closed system that fails, and therefore goes from closed to dead end; its usefulness or shortcomings when used out in the countryside; and, extremely important, the software learning curve. Spending days just learning new software doesn't appeal to me; I spend too much time at a computer already.

By the way, my initial reference to a "3HD" didn't come because I was too long in front of a computer, or because it was 3 a.m., etc., etc.; it was simple ignorance.

I've now started reading about the Hy6, and my inclination is to put off any decision until summer (when I do most of my shooting anyway) to see what reviewers say about that. It sounds terrific, but then, I've been burned before.  

JC
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hcubell
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2006, 03:18:00 PM »
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The only thing further that I'll add to this discussion is that image quality is only one of a number of factors that need to be considered.

Cost (initial purchase as well as ongoing service), upgradability, interoperability, ergonomics, after sales support, resale value, etc, etc, are all factors that need to be  considered. To soley focus on image quality is to ignore practical considerations.

Been there. Done that. No thanks.

Michael
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Who said that image quality was the only relevant consideration? I referred to "performance" in terms of BOTH image quality and the efficiency of the workflow in being able to extract that quality. As for the other criteria you mention, I will just say that the Hy6 is a blank slate today, but based upon the historical record of Rollei, those are not likely to be the Hy6's selling strengths.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2006, 05:51:41 PM »
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Who said that image quality was the only relevant consideration? I referred to "performance" in terms of BOTH image quality and the efficiency of the workflow in being able to extract that quality. As for the other criteria you mention, I will just say that the Hy6 is a blank slate today, but based upon the historical record of Rollei, those are not likely to be the Hy6's selling strengths.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=92539\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What you seem to be overlooking is that many MFDB owners are tight to a brand (be it Leaf, Phase,...) because it makes it a lot cheaper for them to upgrade to the next generation back.

Hassy has chosen a path with some advantages, but also some clear drawbacks. It would seem that you are not realistic about these drawbacks, and about how many potential buyers see these drawbacks.

I have personnally taken the decision to "lock myself" in the Mamiya ZD system coming from a H1 + film back, but I was starting from scratch in the MFD world and the entry price was low. I have decided to leave the Hassy world for various reasons, but the closure of the system is a major one. It just doesn't appear to be a platform with enough options anymore, even if the image quality of the H3D is probably great.

Cheers,
Bernard
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pprdigital
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« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2006, 05:57:34 PM »
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Emotional?



The situation is simply this. Hasselblad has huge debt, and can't make enough money to service that debt by selling just cameras and lenses. Their margins on digital backs are much higher, but they have to share that market on the H1 and H2 with Phase One, Leaf and Sinar / Jenoptic.


Michael
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Michael:

We've been through this. I've spoken personally with Christian Poulsen myself. The idea that you had any kind of "interview" that qualifies you to state that Hasselblad has huge debt and that determines their path is a bunch of crap.

You distort Hasselblad's financial picture, you pick and choose what you want from your "interview", you have no real dialogue with Hasselblad at all, no real attempt to communicate with them or understand them. Instead, you take a snatch of information from your "interview" and parade it on your website as if it's a complete financial picture of Hasselblad.

And for the record, this is most certainly not a "doomed" strategy. Most dealers I've spoken to feel it's the right path for Hasselblad. Since the announcement, interest and sales from end users has increased dramatically. Every other digital back manufacturer is trying to get to the same place, and if they're not there in 5 years, their position - no matter who they are - will be tenuous at best.

Steve Hendrix
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