The HCAM B1, also known as the Hartblei camera is for me the camera that changed almost everything, and all in the better way.
But first some short history.... In the late nineties when MFDB was the only proper way to shoot digital on a professional level, there was not that much to chose between when one not only wanted to use the very restricted amount of MF lenses but also wanted to use all sorts of great 35mm gear. There was the KG ThrueWide and the Digiflex1 and 2. All accepting Hasselblad-V digital backs and Nikon lenses ( or all Nikon mount lenses ). From that time on I started using them to achieve a particular style, look in my images. Although they were both +/- 34/36 to 36/36 mm size mounts, they where and still are wonderfull pices of equipment for those wanting to achieve a different look in studio and fine art photography. I still have two Digiflex2 bodies of wich one is hardly used and put up for sale( without succes ;-)) ). But that was then and then there was the HCAM B1!!!
I have used every camera ever produced, i have had a Rollei SL66 converted to accept Hasselblad CF backs, I have a Kiev88 digital, all sorts of digital cameras, self made contraptions and combinations of bits and pieces available on the marked..... Then, a few days ago the B1 arrived at my studio. I already had been testing pre-production samples thanks to the always helpfull and most knowledgable person I know in the Bavarian highlands: Stefan Steib. After shooting some architecture and industrial stuff back then in spring of this year, I immideately ordered my copy of the B1.
Now, what is so very special about that camera body you may ask... and the short answer is: almost everything. It is a hand made, relatively heavy but also completely vibration free rock of camera technology unseen and un-precedented. The camera sports a 35mm lens mount (canon as it is the widest in my case) and a digital back mount for any back from Phase, leaf or Hasselblad at your choice. Mine has Hassie-H so I can use all my Ixpress, Phase and H3d backs on it. Power is supplied by the well known Sony Info Lithium-L series batteries( or clones). There are three control panels on the camera, one on the lefthand side for the on off button, sliding back, display illumination and opening the shutter (this one is without display, just buttons). A second one on top of the camera controls the apperture and setings of the Canon TSE lenses. The third and largest control display allows special camera functions and speed settings ( up to 1/4000 of a second, thruly amazing when using high speed lenses such as varius 1,4 tele lenses... but more on that later.
Here are to conclude part one some images of the HB1.