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Author Topic: Hasselblad Flexbody  (Read 2159 times)
Mike Sellers
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« on: December 18, 2012, 08:26:44 AM »
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How well does this camera work with a digital back? Which backs will work best?
Mike
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NickCroken
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2012, 12:19:27 PM »
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I tried one when I was using an aptus 65 and it didn't mount up well.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2012, 01:20:33 PM »
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What was the problem?

BR
Erik

I tried one when I was using an aptus 65 and it didn't mount up well.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2012, 02:37:17 PM »
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Another option for tilt shift with a DB is the Fuji gx680 combined with a stitch back. Gives you loads of movement.
Lens prices used are ridiculously cheap and you can get just under twice the capture size and MP count.

See kapturegroup.com
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yaya
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2012, 04:36:49 PM »
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How well does this camera work with a digital back? Which backs will work best?
Mike

Hi Mike,

Some of the older Flexbody and especially the Arcbody cameras have got a thicker light trap on the rear plate that prevents the digital back from mounting properly. It can be machined to clear room and on the later models there's a clip-on piece that can be removed

The Flexbody is a sweet little camera and the Zeiss lenses in general are very good

Yair
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epines
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2012, 07:58:22 PM »
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Worked great for me (mine had the removable piece that Yair mentioned -- it's just a thin, small, metal square frame that prevents light from spilling on to the film area). Have you researched this? There's a ton of info on the Flexbody online. The limiting factor is the amount of shift the Hasselblad/Zeiss lenses provide. Bear in mind that you'll get more than you would with film, since the backs' sensors are smaller than 6x6 film.

With film, here's the amount of shift the lenses enable (without vignetting, at infinity, at f/16, with lens shade removed) (this is based on my actual experience):
50mm CFi: 7-8mm
60mm + 80mm: 10-15mm
120mm: 14mm

You'll get substantially more than this with a digital back, especially when shooting horizontal. It's a well-made, light, small option for using movements with MFDB. And most of the other options are very pricey and require other lenses. As you'll read, the Flexbody gives only vertical shift and tilt (no horizontal shift or swing, unless you turn the camera on its side). It also gives about 22mm of lens extension for close-up work.

As for which backs will work best, that depends on what you want. 22MP? 39MP? Longest exposures? Fastest shooting? Cheapest price? I believe you want to avoid the sensors with microlenses, since those aren't as good for shifting / movements. The 36x48 and 37x49 backs tend to be the ones without microlenses, in my experience.

Hope that helps.

ethan
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Mike Sellers
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2012, 06:20:04 AM »
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Thanks for the info. I would probably be better off with an H body and the HTS TS adapter.
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yaya
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2012, 08:23:35 AM »
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Thanks for the info. I would probably be better off with an H body and the HTS TS adapter.

That depends on what you're looking for in a camera. The Flexbody is smaller than the HTS on its own and takes 6x6 film backs, but it's all manual with no metering, no viewfinder (there's a ground glass...), no grip and no EXIF data, so a totally different experience...
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NickCroken
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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2012, 09:56:30 AM »
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Hi Mike,

Some of the older Flexbody and especially the Arcbody cameras have got a thicker light trap on the rear plate that prevents the digital back from mounting properly. It can be machined to clear room and on the later models there's a clip-on piece that can be removed

The Flexbody is a sweet little camera and the Zeiss lenses in general are very good

Yair

This is what was wrong with it.  We couldn't figure it out in the store, now I know!
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LenR
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2012, 11:34:32 AM »
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I have one I use with an Aptus 75.
I use live video to compose and focus.
Haven't had any problems mounting the back.
It's nice to be able to use the lenses I already have when I need a little bit of moves.
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rogerxnz
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2012, 03:17:44 PM »
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This is what was wrong with it.  We couldn't figure it out in the store, now I know!


Nick, I think you may be dismissing the Flexbody far too fast.

I have two of them, including one that has been modified so it also has sideways shift and tilt (a "BendyBlad"). I have used them with Aptus 17, 22 and 75 backs and, now, with a Credo 60. I have no problems attaching backs and I suggest you test "your" one to see if it will accept digital backs before you dismiss it.

I have never heard of the problem that Yair mentions. Digital backs are designed to clip onto Hasseblad bodies just like film backs and I cannot understand why there should be a problem with a digital back unless the back's shape protrudes where a film back does not, which would be very strange indeed. However, I accept there have been problems with some Flexbodys and you need to research further.

There are problems with the HTS device, in my opinion. First, it is horribly expensive and, secondly, it has a lens factor of 1.5 (you need to check this figure). So, although you want to use the HTS with wide angle lenses, you are compromised because a 40mm lens becomes a 60mm lens, and so on.

The Flexbody also has up to (from memory) 21mm continuous extension capability built in. You need to check whether the HTS has this capability (I think it does not).

I find using a Flexbody with the Credo is great. I do not have to use the optical viewfinder and I leave the back on the Flexbody all the time. I use LiveView to compose and focus and it is a fantastic to be able to zoom in to 100% view when you want to focus.

Because of LiveView, using the HTS with an H series body does not give you anything extra apart from the aperture in EXIF. The Credo records an approx shutter speed which I find close enough. With both the HTS and the Flexbody, you have to manually record the tilt and shift. [I have since found this is incorrect and the HTS records tilt and shift data--see Nick-T's post below]

I enjoy using the Flexbody so much, I no longer take a "normal" camera body into the field. I appreciate the process of using the Flexbody and the extra movements it provides.

So, I suggest you consider the Flexbody a lot more. They are great devices and can serve as a backup for your normal camera body if pushed.
Roger
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 11:15:55 AM by rogerxnz » Logged

Roger Hayman
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Nick-T
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2012, 03:30:43 PM »
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Just to add to what Roger has said.

The HTS does indeed have a 1.5X focal length multiplier so the 24mm becomes a 36mm (pretty wide for medium format no?)

There is no extension with the HTS but of course you can combine it with extension tubes.

With Hasselblad backs the HTS reports back tilt and shift numbers which is pretty clever, you can also see the numbers change on the top LCD as you make adjustments. These numbers are used in conjunction with Phocus to correct for distortion caused by the movements, worth getting someone to demo this feature if you haven't seen it.

And yes it is expensive but if I didn't have it I'd have to focus bracket my Pizza Hut shots Smiley

Nick-T

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rogerxnz
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2012, 03:58:21 PM »
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Just to add to what Roger has said.

. . .

The HTS does indeed have a 1.5X focal length multiplier so the 24mm becomes a 36mm (pretty wide for medium format no?)
. . .

Nick-T

AFAIK, the widest wide-angle lens for the 500 series is 30mm. Because of distortion issues, I seldom use it for landscapes. The next widest is the 40mm, which becomes a 60mm and not very wide, in my opinion.

Thanks, Nick, for advising about how the HTS records tilts and shifts. I did not know this. Incidentally, the last price I saw for the HCD 24mm lens was about USD6,000!
Roger
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Roger Hayman
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NickCroken
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2012, 10:01:20 PM »
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Nick, I think you may be dismissing the Flexbody far too fast.

I have two of them, including one that has been modified so it also has sideways shift and tilt (a "BendyBlad"). I have used them with Aptus 17, 22 and 75 backs and, now, with a Credo 60. I have no problems attaching backs and I suggest you test "your" one to see if it will accept digital backs before you dismiss it.

I have never heard of the problem that Yair mentions. Digital backs are designed to clip onto Hasseblad bodies just like film backs and I cannot understand why there should be a problem with a digital back unless the back's shape protrudes where a film back does not, which would be very strange indeed. However, I accept there have been problems with some Flexbodys and you need to research further.

There are problems with the HTS device, in my opinion. First, it is horribly expensive and, secondly, it has a lens factor of 1.5 (you need to check this figure). So, although you want to use the HTS with wide angle lenses, you are compromised because a 40mm lens becomes a 60mm lens, and so on.

The Flexbody also has up to (from memory) 21mm continuous extension capability built in. You need to check whether the HTS has this capability (I think it does not).

I find using a Flexbody with the Credo is great. I do not have to use the optical viewfinder and I leave the back on the Flexbody all the time. I use LiveView to compose and focus and it is a fantastic to be able to zoom in to 100% view when you want to focus.

Because of LiveView, using the HTS with an H series body does not give you anything extra apart from the aperture in EXIF. The Credo records an approx shutter speed which I find close enough. With both the HTS and the Flexbody, you have to manually record the tilt and shift.

I enjoy using the Flexbody so much, I no longer take a "normal" camera body into the field. I appreciate the process of using the Flexbody and the extra movements it provides.

So, I suggest you consider the Flexbody a lot more. They are great devices and can serve as a backup for your normal camera body if pushed.
Roger


The flex body was actually for sale in a shop.  Since then I've sold my aptus 65.  Had I have known that at the time I probably would have bought the flex body and kept my kit!
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epines
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2012, 12:21:34 AM »
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I agree with Roger. It's a great little piece to have with you. Not sure why you dismissed it, but the shift numbers I quoted are with film. On a digital back, you'll get a lot more. And 10-20mm of shift on a 36x48 sensor is quite a bit. It's also a lot easier to focus the Flexbody than other technical cameras, due to the great Hasselblad viewfinders (which all fit the Flexbody's ground glass).

 

Nick, I think you may be dismissing the Flexbody far too fast.

I have two of them, including one that has been modified so it also has sideways shift and tilt (a "BendyBlad"). I have used them with Aptus 17, 22 and 75 backs and, now, with a Credo 60. I have no problems attaching backs and I suggest you test "your" one to see if it will accept digital backs before you dismiss it.

I have never heard of the problem that Yair mentions. Digital backs are designed to clip onto Hasseblad bodies just like film backs and I cannot understand why there should be a problem with a digital back unless the back's shape protrudes where a film back does not, which would be very strange indeed. However, I accept there have been problems with some Flexbodys and you need to research further.

There are problems with the HTS device, in my opinion. First, it is horribly expensive and, secondly, it has a lens factor of 1.5 (you need to check this figure). So, although you want to use the HTS with wide angle lenses, you are compromised because a 40mm lens becomes a 60mm lens, and so on.

The Flexbody also has up to (from memory) 21mm continuous extension capability built in. You need to check whether the HTS has this capability (I think it does not).

I find using a Flexbody with the Credo is great. I do not have to use the optical viewfinder and I leave the back on the Flexbody all the time. I use LiveView to compose and focus and it is a fantastic to be able to zoom in to 100% view when you want to focus.

Because of LiveView, using the HTS with an H series body does not give you anything extra apart from the aperture in EXIF. The Credo records an approx shutter speed which I find close enough. With both the HTS and the Flexbody, you have to manually record the tilt and shift.

I enjoy using the Flexbody so much, I no longer take a "normal" camera body into the field. I appreciate the process of using the Flexbody and the extra movements it provides.

So, I suggest you consider the Flexbody a lot more. They are great devices and can serve as a backup for your normal camera body if pushed.
Roger

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design_freak
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« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2012, 05:40:56 PM »
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AFAIK, the widest wide-angle lens for the 500 series is 30mm. Because of distortion issues, I seldom use it for landscapes. The next widest is the 40mm, which becomes a 60mm and not very wide, in my opinion.

Thanks, Nick, for advising about how the HTS records tilts and shifts. I did not know this. Incidentally, the last price I saw for the HCD 24mm lens was about USD6,000!
Roger


Hts works only with V system cameras. HCD 24 and HCD28, there is no 40mm lens to H system ....  HCD 24  - 36mm   HCD 28 - 42mm

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Mike Sellers
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« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2012, 09:46:25 AM »
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Roger,
I very much like your Flexbody/Credo setup. Are there other backs with Live View that will fit the Flexbody? I can`t afford a Credo right now.
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rogerxnz
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« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2012, 12:55:20 AM »
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Sorry, design_freak, I think you are getting your systems mixed up. The HTS is only for the Hasselblad H system and it will not work with the 500 Series V bodies. The 40mm lens I refer to is the 40mm CF lens that is designed to work with the 500 Series V bodies, including the Flexbody.

You may be able to get the H series lenses to work on the 500 Series V bodies, including the Flexbody, (and vice versa) but I don't know anything about this.

I accept that the HCD 24 and 28mm lenses would become 36mm and 42mm lenses on the HTS, which are certainly wide enough for many purposes.
Roger

Hts works only with V system cameras. HCD 24 and HCD28, there is no 40mm lens to H system ....  HCD 24  - 36mm   HCD 28 - 42mm
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Roger Hayman
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rogerxnz
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« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2012, 01:00:37 AM »
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Mike, I am only aware of the Credo and the Phase One IQ backs which have live view available through the back's LCD screen. The Aptus backs have live view to the screen of a tethered computer/laptop. I have only tried this briefly and never out in the field. As far as I can recall, the quality was nowhere as good as is available from the in-back live view that the Credo and IQ backs have.
Roger

Roger,
I very much like your Flexbody/Credo setup. Are there other backs with Live View that will fit the Flexbody? I can`t afford a Credo right now.
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Roger Hayman
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