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Author Topic: Hasselblad back on tech cameras?  (Read 3494 times)
joezl
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« on: October 11, 2012, 01:03:48 PM »
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Has anyone used a Hasselblad H3D or newer back on a tech camera (Cambo, Alpa, Arca Swiss)? Sales reps have told me it's possible but I don't know what "possible" implies. A phase IQ back is probably the most convenient (and expensive) way to go but I'm considering a Hasselblad system and would like the option of including a tech camera.
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torger
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 01:34:34 PM »
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Has anyone used a Hasselblad H3D or newer back on a tech camera (Cambo, Alpa, Arca Swiss)? Sales reps have told me it's possible but I don't know what "possible" implies. A phase IQ back is probably the most convenient (and expensive) way to go but I'm considering a Hasselblad system and would like the option of including a tech camera.

You need an external power source, and synching with the shutter can be awkward. But it is possible :-). Someone actually using the system can give you more details, but power source and shutter synchronization is the issues to look out for.

If they work as older Hasselblad backs you need a wakeup signal and set the shutter speed in the back, possibly through a cumbersome menu system.
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2012, 01:38:57 PM »
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Has anyone used a Hasselblad H3D or newer back on a tech camera (Cambo, Alpa, Arca Swiss)? Sales reps have told me it's possible but I don't know what "possible" implies. A phase IQ back is probably the most convenient (and expensive) way to go but I'm considering a Hasselblad system and would like the option of including a tech camera.

The IQ's LCD, touch screen interface, and fast operation speed on reviewing/zooming images along with it's automatic horizon correction and perspective correction do make for compelling features on a tech camera, but as you say: at a price. If you want an IQ but don't have the budget you should know a P40+ and P65+ have the same "no hassle" operation on a tech camera (built-in battery, no wakeup required, no requirement to set shutter speed range in the menu).

No reason you can't do a Hassy system with a Phase back. That's still the most popular combination in the rental market (at least in NY and Miami).
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 01:53:07 PM by Doug Peterson » Logged

DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
Dealer for Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Profoto
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Phase One IQ250 FAQ
Dustbak
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2012, 01:50:31 PM »
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Doug,

Back in your cage, if I am not mistaken the question was about a HB on a tech cam  Grin


As a HB user I can tell you one thing. Don't do it at the moment. We are now waiting almost 2 years for a clip-on battery for using a H4D60 back on a tech camera. This battery is still not here. for the moment I would only trust it when I see it working.

Having said that, if I would want to have a tech camera for my main use I would opt for an IQ or Credo. It is just that I like using the H too much...
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2012, 01:51:33 PM »
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Doug, Back in your cage, if I am not mistaken the question was about a HB on a tech cam  Grin

But it's cold and lonely in there :-(.
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
Dealer for Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Profoto
Office: 877.367.8537
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Phase One IQ250 FAQ
torger
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2012, 03:01:33 PM »
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I'm a bit curious about this too, I'm kind of wondering "how bad can it be?". Hasselblad backs are often substantially cheaper, so if one is on a budget maybe one can live with the cumbersomeness, if it is not too bad.
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Dustbak
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 03:47:07 PM »
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For the H4D60 it means you cannot power the back unless you shoot tethered to a laptop.

Using a H3Dxx should be possible because you can use the image bank II. You can also use a CF or CFV back easily (I have a CF as well and with this it is just a matter of clicking the battery underneath the back, syncing the back with the lens and putting a CF card in the back).

Anything but the 60.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 04:29:44 PM by Dustbak » Logged
joezl
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 06:19:48 PM »
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Thanks for your responses. I've borrowed The Hasselblad H on occasion and  I much prefer the body and the system to the Phase,Mamiya offerings. I also like the H series lenses. It makes more dollar sense to purchase the Hasselblad as a kit with 80mm lens (or 50mm) than it is to buy the back alone. But, I think I'd prefer a tech camera setup for most of my work. So... as you all have stated, seems there's no easy bridge between the Blad and a tech camera. Yeeesh, I guess there's no easy solution (if you're on a budget).
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tom_l
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 12:28:23 AM »
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can this battery be used? For recent backs too? They only mention H3DII.

Power source for Hasselblad digital backs on view cameras: http://www.silvestricamera.it/index.htm (scroll down)



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epines
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2012, 01:37:47 AM »
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OK -- let's get some facts out there. I use an H3DII-39 back on an Arca Swiss 69 FC, and it's pretty simple:

1. Power: You can shoot tethered (very easy; rock solid with Phocus), and the back is powered by the computer. Or, for portable power, you can get a Tekkeon MP3450i R3 and a Firewire Socket Adapter. (Of course it'd be nice if it had a little snap-in battery like the Phase backs, but that's not how the H backs work.) No need for an Image Bank.
http://www.tekkeon.com/products-mypowerall.html

2. Syncing: Really? Who said this was problematic? You set the back for "Flash Sync / <1/8s" and run a cable from the lens to the back. A second cable goes from the back to your transmitter, if you're using strobes. 

3. Wakeup: Not necessary. The back is always ready.
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Dustbak
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2012, 02:20:37 AM »
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Yes you can use other external power sources instead of the IB2. These can be used with CF/CFV/H3Dxx and I am pretty sure with every H4D as well with the exception of the 60.
Syncing the back with the lens is most of the time not an issue but there have been cases where people did need a wake-up cable with their HB backs to prevent casting issues. These were very few AFAIK (as in; I have heard of only 2 cases in the last couple of years). Other syncing issues tended to be caused by faulty shutters in leaf lenses, or wrong settings on some cameras. All these things happened much more often in the 'prehistoric' phase of MFD.

If you really want to put a HB back onto a tech camera these would have my preference: 1) CF 2) CF-V 3) H3D/H4D (I prefer with the IB2). Since you are on a budget, good deals can be had on CF backs nowadays. (I still have one for sale Smiley)

(Almost) Everything can be done but some ways are a bit more complicated. Unfortunately there are no perfect things under all circumstances out there.

Just do not buy a 60 when you plan on using it on a tech camera.
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torger
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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2012, 05:01:41 AM »
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OK -- let's get some facts out there. I use an H3DII-39 back on an Arca Swiss 69 FC, and it's pretty simple:

1. Power: You can shoot tethered (very easy; rock solid with Phocus), and the back is powered by the computer. Or, for portable power, you can get a Tekkeon MP3450i R3 and a Firewire Socket Adapter. (Of course it'd be nice if it had a little snap-in battery like the Phase backs, but that's not how the H backs work.) No need for an Image Bank.
http://www.tekkeon.com/products-mypowerall.html

2. Syncing: Really? Who said this was problematic? You set the back for "Flash Sync / <1/8s" and run a cable from the lens to the back. A second cable goes from the back to your transmitter, if you're using strobes. 

3. Wakeup: Not necessary. The back is always ready.

Alpa has said it is problematic, but there has been many Hasselblad backs, there may be some variation. Kodak sensors generally need wakeup, you can solve it with kapture group one-shot cable and tricks like that. Hasselblad backs and tech cams seems to be a bit of a minefield, one really needs to research what the specific back one is looking at can do. Hasselblad has not exactly shown great interest in supporting tech cameras.
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cunim
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« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2012, 09:14:19 AM »
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Used H3/4D backs with Arca and Alpa bodies for a while.  Works OK and the battery was a non-issue for me when tethered.  For extended sessions I power my phase gear with the same batteries I used for the Blad.  However, the Blad really needs to be tethered while the IQ back, not so much.  No way I could use the Blad back display well enough to handle focus, especially with movements.  With the IQ back, I tether less because the display is so much better. 

A fewthings about the Blad stick in my mind.  For me, Phocus was a nightmare.  On my equipment it was very unstable and I would sometimes spend an hour just getting the bugs out before shooting.  Various FW driver issues, computer incompatibilities, etc.  My PCs are pretty bleeding edge so maybe that's a factor.  Lots of people don't have these types of problems.

If you need focus stacking with a remote camera, and are using the Blad body, the motorized lens is great.  I could have the Blad ten feet in the air pointed into a set and make precise focus adjustments while sitting at the computer.  Sometimes I would give up using the tech camera just to get this automation going.  I REALLY miss that with the P1 system.  In some ways - lack of camera control in particular - the P1/C1 system is very primitive.

Finally, I was blown away by MS.  Those images really rang my bell and I would almost (only almost) give up the IQ for them.
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joezl
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« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2012, 10:45:47 AM »
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well, I feel more optimistic after reading the last few replies. Seems it's not such a problem after all. I'll be waiting a few more months for the H5D to come out before I commit as that might affect the current prices. Thanks again for all your help.
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phoTOMgraphy
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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2012, 01:11:01 PM »
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i'm using a h3d39 (not h3dII) on an arca tech cam, and my experiences are very ambivalent.
image quality is very good, usability is more or less painful.

i power the back via the silvestry battery mentioned above - works very well, but is another thing hanging down my tripod.
after massive cast issues even on straight shot without shift and big noise problems at base iso my dealer told me about some known issues when triggered from the flash sync of the lens.
the copal shutter triggers the back at the time when the shutter is fully open - therefore some light hits the sensor before it gets triggered - this back (i don't know if h3dII backs are different in this case) constantly "flushes" the sensor while waiting for the next shot to be always clean (pixelwise). and hitting light while flushing cause those weird behaviour. so i have to trigger the back first with a cable release and then trigger the shutter of the lens. if you trigger the back from cable release the shutter speed can be elongated from your default setting to max 5 sec. simply by holding the release button pressed. so you don't have to set up the menu every time when longer shutter speeds are required - but only to 5 sec.

long story short - you have to use both hands all the time. this becomes funny when shooting a lcc image to correct color casts... which hand takes the plexi glass???

if i would start again i would rather go the leaf or phase way than hasselblad when using tech camera only.
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thomasebruster.com
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epines
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« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2012, 05:38:01 PM »
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It's true -- the display on the H backs isn't good for checking focus. Tack-sharp areas don't look sharp when zoomed in all the way. It is nice and big and intuitive, though -- much better than, say, a P45+ display, which is mostly good for checking composition and histogram.

I haven't had any of the cast issues and wake-up issues mentioned in the former post. That sounds like an ordeal. It sounds like Hasselblad changed / improved something starting with the H3DII. That being said, the newer Phase backs might indeed be better for tech cameras, given that they are easily battery-powered and that you can accurately check focus on the back itself. Tech cameras in general are more cumbersome and painstaking, so whatever route you go, be prepared for that. And center filters, LCC shots, etc.

ethan
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bpepz
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« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2012, 10:35:57 PM »
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i'm using a h3d39 (not h3dII) on an arca tech cam, and my experiences are very ambivalent.
image quality is very good, usability is more or less painful.

i power the back via the silvestry battery mentioned above - works very well, but is another thing hanging down my tripod.
after massive cast issues even on straight shot without shift and big noise problems at base iso my dealer told me about some known issues when triggered from the flash sync of the lens.
the copal shutter triggers the back at the time when the shutter is fully open - therefore some light hits the sensor before it gets triggered - this back (i don't know if h3dII backs are different in this case) constantly "flushes" the sensor while waiting for the next shot to be always clean (pixelwise). and hitting light while flushing cause those weird behaviour. so i have to trigger the back first with a cable release and then trigger the shutter of the lens. if you trigger the back from cable release the shutter speed can be elongated from your default setting to max 5 sec. simply by holding the release button pressed. so you don't have to set up the menu every time when longer shutter speeds are required - but only to 5 sec.

long story short - you have to use both hands all the time. this becomes funny when shooting a lcc image to correct color casts... which hand takes the plexi glass???

if i would start again i would rather go the leaf or phase way than hasselblad when using tech camera only.

this kind of worries me, I also have a h3d-39 and I've been wanting to use it on the fuji gx or rz67, I really hope it could work.
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torger
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« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2012, 04:51:00 AM »
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Concerning focus check I've noted that while the screens are okay even on an old CF22 the built-in raw demosaicer is fuzzy (probably to make it fast, that old CF22 back is much faster to navigate than my Aptus 75) so 100% focus check is never sharp even if the actual image is. This makes it hard to differ between a slightly out of focus image and a tack sharp image.

On the Aptus 75 the builtin demosaicer is not good looking, lots of color moire and stuff, but the advantage is that you can understand when things are tack sharp (which the 100% view should be for anyway), the rendered image has more microcontrast than the 'blad image - and if you see lots of color moire you know it's tack sharp Smiley.

As far as I know Hasselblad has not changed the demosaicer behaviour in newer backs. To make a working 100% focus check a high resolution screen is really not necessary, the oldest 160x120 pixel screens would do okay just if the demosaicer made sharp renderings. It is good if the screen is contrasty though, which is a weakness of the Aptus, in bright light conditions focus checking becomes harder.
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gigdagefg
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« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2012, 09:11:51 AM »
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I find these posts so amusing because they must be written by people who have axes to grind or have not had much experience with Hassey backs and technical cameras.
I use my H4D50 back on my Arca Swiss RM3DI as my preferred method of taking an image. I find the lenses available for tech cams considerably sharper with added depth of field than comparable focal lengths available for other cameras. I power my H4D50 back with image bank which takes less then 20 seconds to connect. The sony rechargeable  batteries that fit into the image bank last for quite a long time and they are cheap and small (I think about $50) so you carry several in your pocket when shooting for hours at a time.
Most lenses that are wide have center filters available I have one each for my 32mm Rodenstock and my 43mm Schneider. The center filters reduce the undesirable  cast that occurs with ALL wide lenses on ALL tech cameras-its the tradeoff for the increased sharpness and DOF. I still do an LCC for every shot on every lens I use on my RM3DI which does require two hands (so what) and does take a minute or two-so what-making great photographs is not a speed competition.
To illustrate how easy the whole workflow is I am attaching a image that I took recently completely in the dark although I did set the focus on the camera prior to going into the theatre.
It is not necessary to wake up a Hasselblad back-it is always ready as long as it receives power.The small cable from the shutter to the back requires about ten seconds to hook up.
Stanley
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torger
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« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2012, 12:57:18 PM »
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I think it is easy to conclude from this thread that it depends a lot on the model. I've used an ancient CF22, I was not impressed by synching. It needs to be woken up before exposure and cannot detect when the shutter closes so you need to set a timer manually in the back, and this is not so easily accessed in the menu system.

From reports here it seems like H3D-39 is the same, but H3DII-39 is better. So one cannot say anything about Hasselblad backs in general but need to check out the specific back one is looking at.

It would be interesting to know if they have fixed the demosaicer in the newer backs so a tack sharp image actually shows as tack sharp at 100% view on the back's screen. As a ground-glass user it is a much appreciated function in difficult conditions, but for a pancake camera without tilt it is less important of course.

It is certainly true though that Hasselblad over the years has gained a reputation of being tech cam-unfriendly, probably something stemming from older backs and poor collaboration with tech cam manufacturers in the past concerning resolving synch problems, and their "closed" H3D system. But as we see here it cannot be applied to the current situation.
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