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Author Topic: from Nikon autofocus to using Hasselblad H3D-31  (Read 18870 times)
sperera
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« on: January 09, 2009, 05:30:59 AM »
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Hi there....I'm debating (big time) whether to get a 2nd hand Hasselblad H3D-31 and 50-110mm lens or a Nikon full-frame (either D700, D3 or D3x as I have access to good prices) to supplement the Nikon D300 Im not getting rid of.

I've owned Hassy before....Hasselblad 503CW with a Zeiss 80mm lens - and I was hoping for opinions on actually living with a H3D-31....

I mean whats it like to work with as I have to give up 51-point autofocusing etc....is the difference in focusing something thats too annoying to use again or do you just get used to it......

for example...you're doing a fashion shoot......you want that face and eyes in focus.....is the fact you have to focus on a person's eye and then move the camera with the finger on the button etc not to lose the focus on the eye too annoying?Huh? know what I mean.....
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Stephen Perera
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2009, 06:22:18 AM »
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Quote from: sperera
Hi there....I'm debating (big time) whether to get a 2nd hand Hasselblad H3D-31 and 50-110mm lens or a Nikon full-frame (either D700, D3 or D3x as I have access to good prices) to supplement the Nikon D300 Im not getting rid of.

I've owned Hassy before....Hasselblad 503CW with a Zeiss 80mm lens - and I was hoping for opinions on actually living with a H3D-31....

I mean whats it like to work with as I have to give up 51-point autofocusing etc....is the difference in focusing something thats too annoying to use again or do you just get used to it......

for example...you're doing a fashion shoot......you want that face and eyes in focus.....is the fact you have to focus on a person's eye and then move the camera with the finger on the button etc not to lose the focus on the eye too annoying?Huh? know what I mean.....

Hi,

I shoot with both D3's and H3D 31, I mainly shot people and always use centre AF on the D3 and find the AF on the H3D to be pretty good. Of course it is different and you need to allow for this with your shooting style. I found the H3D to be one of the fastest MF focus.

Rodney
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nikf
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 06:57:10 AM »
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I'm not a fashion shooter, but a photo artist. I have a H3DII-31 beside Nikon D3, D90, D2x ... And in 99,99 % I use only the center AF field. Therefore working with the AF of the H3DII was
not a loss of flexibility for my work. Usually I have time to manual focus or use AF, check again, and re-frame the shot.
What I miss on the Hassy is the good display of the newer Nikons.
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sperera
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 07:14:14 AM »
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thanks guys, this is exactly the feedback i wanted.....anymore welcome
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Stephen Perera
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Dustbak
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2009, 07:48:42 AM »
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I shoot fashion, product (fashion) & catalogue.
I use H2F and Nikon. Now to compare autofocus between these two is comparing a Ferrari with a Volkswagen. Having said that the Hasselblad is not bad but since I rarely have the focus in the center I usually focus in the center and recompose. This doesn't work really well but I find the DoF of the Hasselblad is so shallow I most often work with a bit smaller aperture than I would have with my Nikon.

Weird enough is that some people state that focussing, recomposing puts the sharpness at the wrong place. My experience is that focussing and recomposing generates the best results with my H. I would like to hear the experiences of the other H users with that?

I do suggest you place the autofocus on either the AE-L or User button. Than you don't have to keep your finger on the release button and use that solely to expose for an image.

I find the autofocus of the H a huge improvement over my 503CW. If that is your reference you will be pleasantly surprised. If your reference is the Nikon you will be kind of annoyed
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 07:55:56 AM by Dustbak » Logged
markowich
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2009, 07:59:42 AM »
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i use the H3DII 50 on the tripod often and really miss multi-point AF. recomposing on the tripod is a real hassle.
peter



Quote from: Dustbak
I shoot fashion, product (fashion) & catalogue.
I use H2F and Nikon. Now to compare autofocus between these two is comparing a Ferrari with a Volkswagen. Having said that the Hasselblad is not bad but since I rarely have the focus in the center I usually focus in the center and recompose. This doesn't work really well but I find the DoF of the Hasselblad is so shallow I most often work with a bit smaller aperture than I would have with my Nikon.

Weird enough is that some people state that focussing, recomposing puts the sharpness at the wrong place. My experience is that focussing and recomposing generates the best results with my H. I would like to hear the experiences of the other H users with that?

I do suggest you place the autofocus on either the AE-L or User button. Than you don't have to keep your finger on the release button and use that solely to expose for an image.

I find the autofocus of the H a huge improvement over my 503CW. If that is your reference you will be pleasantly surprised. If your reference is the Nikon you will be kind of annoyed
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Dustbak
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2009, 08:11:44 AM »
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I agree, on the tripod that would not be convenient. I use the H quite often on the tripod but virtually never use AF in that case so I didn't really think about that

Going slightly off-topic here, how is your experience with the 50? (especially compared to the 39).
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 08:12:38 AM by Dustbak » Logged
choen
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2009, 08:37:58 AM »
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I use a H3d with the older lenses via adapter. Manual focusing is easy with the big and clear viewfinder.
No need for fuddly AF.
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KLaban
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009, 09:03:48 AM »
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Going slightly further off topic, how easy is it to manually focus the H3D 11 and H lenses (not tethered) and what diopter correction is there on the standard eyepiece?
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sperera
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2009, 10:31:12 AM »
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any regrets from anyone moving away from Nikons etc to Hssy?
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Stephen Perera
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2009, 10:39:04 AM »
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Euh... no. But I didn't move away from the Nikon. I have kept the Nikons alongside the Hasselblad. I use the Nikons far less than the Hasselblad (at least commercially). I need both systems and will be adding a D700 as soon as my bank account has recovered from all the other investments I have done last year
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bcooter
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2009, 11:02:11 AM »
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Quote from: sperera
any regrets from anyone moving away from Nikons etc to Hssy?


The best rule is to use what works for your specific look or genre.  these comparisons break my brain.   No medium format camera (even with film) will work as fast and hand hold as well as a 35mm camera.  No 35mm camera has the perceived detail and resolution of a semi modern digital back.

No medium format workflow is a fast as 35mm, it's just the way it is.

The dslrs have gotten better (not just file size) but with better colors, lcd's and in the Nikons case much more accurate focus, but they all can have a place.

I believe what has hurt medium format sales, (excluding the economy) is the last round of annoucements (other than Sinar) did little to address what most people were asking for which was better lcds, higher iso, or at least more moveable iso and camera platforms and software that were out on the shelves with everything in place everything working.

But even with the new 31mpx Sinar for most of us it would require a complete platform change of back, body and lenses and given the state of the used market, dumping your phase or Hasselblad systems means your going to take quite a financial hit, for a camera that is still using the same sensor.

I have two backs, one 18mpx one 31mpx and nothing that has been announced has moved me to think about a change.  Going from a 1.24 crop to a 1.04 to 1.14
crop was not an earth shattering format change, it was just another small incremental move with  the same sensor technology.

When I use the backs I need them, but to lock myself down and say I must shoot everything either medium format or 35mm would not do much for my work and actually have a negative effect on my business.

Now had medium format come out with real camera to device wi-fi, or an lcd preview that matched the nikons, 800 real iso that didn't smudge the shadows or show track noise and software that was really bullet proof and multi platform I might have seen it differently.

If I was a digital tech, I'd probalby get a 50 or 60 mpx back because so many of their "customers" don't really know the difference between any digital file so they say either give me the biggest or the fastest, usually thinking they get both.

Actually I doubt if the rent by the day photographer has ever lined up a Nikon, Canon and a medium format back, shot the same scene and then looked at the image for which one has the desired look, not which one has sharper eyelash detail.  At least not compared them through a year of production to really know what the difference is.  All of these cameras and sensors react differently depending on the lighting, the scene, the ambient color and the movement.

If I worked everyday in a NY studio on white I'd probably only shoot medium format, but once outside of the studio, it would be damn difficult to shoot what I do with just one format of camera.

Still, use what works for you and what you believe satisfies your client demands.  Also be clear that if you are a photographer and your selling technology over the art and the production that is pretty much a downward spiral as just about anybody can buy a camera.





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markowich
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2009, 11:06:51 AM »
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Quote from: Dustbak
I agree, on the tripod that would not be convenient. I use the H quite often on the tripod but virtually never use AF in that case so I didn't really think about that

Going slightly off-topic here, how is your experience with the 50? (especially compared to the 39).

i have not done scientific comparisms but it seems a big step up in tonality gradation (i should say that i can only compare with H1 + P45 and H1 +A75) and you can see the resolution difference,
particularly compared to the 33mpx A75. but actually, i just bought it in order to make use of hasselblad's upgrade offer to the 60mpx sensor model. i am only a bit worried about whether it is a
good idea now to buy the two HCD lenses or not. seesm that hasselblad has not yet fully engineerd the HCD lens- H3DII60 interaction.
peter
ps: i do like phocus. the HC 35mm was not all that great with P45 and A75, but it behaves nicely (even in the corners) on the H3DII50 with the phocus software.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2009, 12:08:04 PM »
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Quote from: sperera
Hi there....I'm debating (big time) whether to get a 2nd hand Hasselblad H3D-31 and 50-110mm lens or a Nikon full-frame (either D700, D3 or D3x as I have access to good prices) to supplement the Nikon D300 Im not getting rid of.

I've owned Hassy before....Hasselblad 503CW with a Zeiss 80mm lens - and I was hoping for opinions on actually living with a H3D-31....

I mean whats it like to work with as I have to give up 51-point autofocusing etc....is the difference in focusing something thats too annoying to use again or do you just get used to it......

for example...you're doing a fashion shoot......you want that face and eyes in focus.....is the fact you have to focus on a person's eye and then move the camera with the finger on the button etc not to lose the focus on the eye too annoying?Huh? know what I mean.....

I use H1 and D3

Like everyone else I use exactly the same method  for static subjects with both cameras

Centre focus recompose

no different

The nikon AF is too close spaced to be really useful

For movement that is fire and hope on the nikon, and a no go on the blad

S
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 12:09:18 PM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2009, 02:49:36 PM »
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Quote from: sperera
any regrets from anyone moving away from Nikons etc to Hssy?

Completely different animals.
You will miss the spontaneity of the AF from the 35 dslr, also, the time lag. However, that would have been the same with analog.

Kevin
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2009, 03:18:17 PM »
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Quote from: sperera
Hi there....I'm debating (big time) whether to get a 2nd hand Hasselblad H3D-31 and 50-110mm lens or a Nikon full-frame (either D700, D3 or D3x as I have access to good prices) to supplement the Nikon D300 Im not getting rid of.

You seem to be assuming that the HD3-31 will feature an image quality which is significantly better than that of the D3x, and would justify the price if you could afford it.

Considering that the sensor of the HD3-31 uses micro-lenses just like the D3x, but is 3 years old technology, chances are that the D3x sensor is extremely close in detail and DR.

My guess is that the difference will be impossible to tell at any print size.

I would suggest that you do a serious comparison yourself.

Cheers,
Bernard
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sperera
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2009, 08:53:05 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
You seem to be assuming that the HD3-31 will feature an image quality which is significantly better than that of the D3x, and would justify the price if you could afford it.
Considering that the sensor of the HD3-31 uses micro-lenses just like the D3x, but is 3 years old technology, chances are that the D3x sensor is extremely close in detail and DR.
My guess is that the difference will be impossible to tell at any print size.
I would suggest that you do a serious comparison yourself.
Cheers,
Bernard
Thanks for all your continued comments.....all very useful.....what would have been the deal-breaker was Hasselblad not having to go through Phocus (didnt they shoot DNG files straight off before and thus no need for Phocus or Flexcolor?) just as I feel Nikon has to go through Capture NX2 to come up with its best RAW conversions.....speaking to Hasselblad they said - case to point being Lightroom - that Adobe had not done what was needed to get their .fff files looking their best......

My workflow with Nikon is as follows....shoot - load em all up and organize in Lightroom  - process in Capture NX - post-process in Photoshop if need be....

Bernard, as a D3x owner how's it looking for you the more you use it....Ive been reading your posts.....yes, ideally doing those comparisons is the way to go but I cant get hold of either for testing myself.....I'd be very surprised if he gap between them in perceived 'quality' was substantial if at all noticeable......

the issue for me is enlargement quality.....ideally need the 24mp minimum to make the desired leap to bigger prints.....at the moment, with a D300 I'm at the limit going to around 50cm.....in my opinion, without losing that fine quality reproduction that 300dpi at actual size gives me.....

the issue is the Nikon D3x is overpriced in my opinion, lacks a few 'opttions' I'd like to have seen on it (but then so do all kits!) and I feel Nikon is being arrogant in its pricing.....Nikon UK is upping prices as we speak and that's the market i compare to and normally buy from....
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 08:59:06 PM by sperera » Logged

Stephen Perera
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2009, 02:45:44 AM »
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as stated depends how you work. I doubt you'll be able to handhold the H zoom for long and manual focus while dealing with the weight doesn't work. I can handhold a canon w/ a big zoom all day and dont have to manual focus b/c focus points and focus is good.

that said, H3 w/ 80mm I can hand hold all day. set AF to user button focus and recompose, I rarely miss a shot...

the nikon w/ 3 lenses (2 zooms, 1 fast prime) will be 1/2 to 1/3 the price of the H w/ 3 lenses (80, zoom, wide?) and will be more versatile. i wouldn't really dream of shooting fast action on the H - but then again, I never do, so...

Bernard makes a very good point on the prints - do a comparo.
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2009, 02:56:41 AM »
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with a zoom you will get tired with a hasselblad system.  Honestly, the AF is somewhat rudimentary after using a dslr, but the file quality can be worth it at times.  When it comes down to it, you have to look at what size you'd like to print and find a way to get there.  if you find the d3x high in price, wait a year for it to come down, it has to.  I think the main reason to do medium format is the optics and the tonal gradations.  The workflow is sometimes daunting and you have to alter how you shoot.  But once you get used to it, it can be rewarding.  The times I've used the H bodies and digital backs (mostly a p30 on an h2) I've found the files way more pliable and print amazingly.  BUT I print about 1/8th of my work bigger than a magazine page.  I guess you really need to try both and see how you FEEL shooting.  It sounds kinda lame, but how you act behind the camera with people or feel when you're shooting a location is key to how the images turn out.   Its much more important to love your process than to fight the process to create compelling work.  Good luck with your search.
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nikf
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2009, 06:37:08 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
You seem to be assuming that the HD3-31 will feature an image quality which is significantly better than that of the D3x, and would justify the price if you could afford it.

Considering that the sensor of the HD3-31 uses micro-lenses just like the D3x, but is 3 years old technology, chances are that the D3x sensor is extremely close in detail and DR.

My guess is that the difference will be impossible to tell at any print size.

Of course it depends on what you see as 'significant'. At least the H3D-31(II) has no anti aliasing filter AFAIK. Compared to the D3 I have too, the H3DII-31 is not only better in resolution (sure it is), e.g. shadow detail is exceptional in comparison, H3DII-31 files scale up beautifully. For me the Hassy is a different tool and will be so even when I probably add a D3x. The most important differences I see in favor of the D3(x) are handling, fun of usage (ergonomics), high ISO capabilities and flexibility of the whole system. Have you ever shot a H3DII on your own subjects and had a look at the quality?
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