Hmmm ... it is now rumored that Hasselblad may announce (as soon as next week) an alteration that will allow use of Phase One backs on the H4 Camera.
Sounds odd to me, but stranger things have happened.
Hmmm ... it is now rumored that Hasselblad may announce (as soon as next week) an alteration that will allow use of Phase One backs on the H4 Camera.
Sounds odd to me, but stranger things have happened.
Yes, I heard that too. If true it sounds like a very bad strategy. Hassy goes back to becoming a camera maker (and a patsy for Phase) and gives up the responsibility to calibrate each back to the camera for optimum results. Phase is obviously working on a camera to compete with Hassy, in order to overcome the woefully inadequately camera (my opinion only) they currently use. But, who knows, maybe the new camera Phase will announce sometime in the near future prompted this decision (if true).
Makes sense in so far as in the professional world is more or less ruled by H1s and H2s with Phase backs. Some rental houses I've talked to recently are thinking of replacing their aging Hassy's with Phase because the old Hassy's are costing them a bundle in repairs to keep going. This would let the rental houses keep all their glass and backs and just replace bodies, which is a much cheaper proposition...and, one would think, commercially viable. It would also give the rental world access to the 28mm lens...and keep them in the Hassy fold.
Are you kidding me! Who says "the professional world is more or less ruled by H1s and H2s with Phase backs" Before I'd believe that I would have to see "accurate" sales figures for Phase and Hasselblad. David Grover will probably have a good laugh on that one. It always amazes me to see such statements bandied about on discussion forums. And the statement that "some rental houses I've talked to recently are thinking of replacing their aging Hassy's with Phase because the old Hassy's are costing them a bundle in repairs" seems rather odd to me. Having an aging H3D and lenses without one penny of repair cost makes that statement suspect. They are simply work horses.
I have written 3 responses and deleted each one. Seriously think about this one it's actually not very good news for continued product development of Hassy backs. There maybe many sidebars to this good and bad. Also may depend on who's doing the talking here too. Granted I am a Phase shooter but care very much about the industry, this actually does not sound good. Its basically saying we give up trying to compete on the back level so we will continue as a camera and lens company open it up for Phase backs so we can still make revenue on camera's and lenses Sorry but that is how I read it. Or they are buying time until they come out with a new back that competes better to the IQ. It does open up a question mark here and I have to be honest this is how I am reading it and certainly could be completely wrong.
I should probably delete this one too but I'll take the heat.
interesting - remember all the negative comments about Hassy being a closed system when they gave up to be open for other backs?
Perhaps this is related to the recent lawsuit between the two companies.
http://www.graham-mitchell.com Graham Mitchell
Not sure Graham but it is interesting for sure. Lets see how this pans out.
I work in the film business in Los Angeles, on commercials mostly, so we often have stills going on at the same time. Phase backs and H1s and 2s are what usually show up. I have only seen a Phase One body and back used once and that was recently when a DP wanted to try out a IQ180 back and had the Phase rep out here swing by with one. Everyone was blown away, unbelievably good camera, but like I say, call any pro rental house and ask what gets rented most in medium format. It was at one of these rental houses out here in LA recently--researching my personal desire to jump to medium format--that they told me of their desire to switch to Phase One bodies for the reasons stated. Very tellingly, this particular house only had one Phase DF body for rental, but they had a slew of aging H1s and 2s. You could also ask someone like Calumet what they sell the most of and by how much.
So this is the way it is in Los Angeles in my end of the progressional world, Hasselblad rules the body and glass world, Phase is back king. So from my point of view, it makes sense that Hasselblad would open their system up again, but it's also a little scary because it also implies they might be getting out of producing digital backs which would shrink the market even more. It's also interesting that this rumor is floating around just after they open up to Lightroom...thus paving the way for, perhaps, exiting the software business, too. Just speculating, of course.
I see it as a positive for the Medium Format Digital marketplace. It will give people more options on which to put a digital back on.
Phase One and Leaf(Mamiya) still make digital backs in the H mount and recently it has been a challenge to find bodies in good condition to place new systems on. In NY market the H mount is still very popular especially in the rental houses, although many are getting aggravated with repair costs, a good number of them are sticking on that platform because of their huge investment in the H platform (and have accumulated quite a few backups over the years) . Quite a few have started to add the DF platform to their rental pools and rental requests are increasing. There is another hurdle though beyond the investment to move to the DF platform it is getting the photographers to switch, there is a comfort factor on the H platform, it is the beast they know.
I guess Hasselblad may see this as not only a way to sell more hardware, but to keep the brand out there in the marketplace. Perhaps people will then be open to trying other Hasselblad products , such as backs in the future when it comes time to upgrade that part of the system.
It's just a rumor, albeit from a reasonable source. Then again, maybe it's a ruse to stir the pot
It does conjure up some interesting speculation depending on one's perspective.
Technically, I don't see it making a ton of sense, which is why it seems dubious. The H4 camera is so integrated to the back for many features I wonder how it would work in the same manner with other backs other than dumbing it down. To keep it fully viable, doesn't Phase have to cooperate and reverse engineer a H mount that works with the H4D? If Phase has a new camera on the horizon, why would they want to do that?
Let's push the speculation right over the top ... Maybe Hasselblad has a totally new kit pending, and their new money bags owners want to maximize profits from the existing production capability?
Lets face it, the boundaries of MFD based on old tech are being reached requiring more and more technical band-aids, and the world of photography is changing rapidly. Old think is ripe for revolution. Just look at the landscape ... it's littered with the bones of once proud MF brands. Who would have thought that die-in-the-wool 35mm Leica would be in a larger format business? That Sony would be blazing the path toward the future of photography? Not Canon. Not Nikon. Sony!
Apparently, the way to win the game is to change the game. How that plays out remains to be seen.
It could ultimately be that Hasselblad wanting to remove that negativity to it being a closed system or at least coined that way. 'I think' a lot of people going to Hass will be using it with Hass back as a complete system, but then there's always that possibility to mix it up if people want to use a current back with Hass and its lenses, definitely more sales.
It's surely as Marc says, that how it plays out remains to be seen.
Now i can't speak but yes something is going on its not bad per say but helpful for some. End of day it makes sense and good for everyone in the industry. To me that is good. Let them make what announcements they need to make, Im zipping my mouth effective immediately.
Guy, Marc, and Graham each have valid points, and in the future we may find that all have a grain of truth in each prediction.
I have no NDA with anyone but I do respect the privacy of vital information from these companies if I get wind of something.
My bluntness is definitely one of my negative attributes, and maybe the printed version of my remarks could not express my tone and did seem rude. Sorry. That was not my intention. However, a lot of people do come to me if they want the straight unvarnished truth. But your statement about the professional world being ruled by Hassy bodies sporting Phase backs deserves at least some kind of actual data to support the claim. Every one has an opinion, and I respect yours (as an opinion) if you are in the industry. However, at times, one finds himself in sort of a bubble in terms of knowing what is happening outside their sphere of influence. In certain parts of the US Phase may dominate and other parts maybe another manufacturer. That also goes for certain parts of the world. My concern was only that a statement like yours deserves some kind of factual numbers to support it, or at the very least your position in the industry that gives you privy to such information.
I also apologize to the moderators if they feel my post was rude. In the future I will try to be more aware of the politeness of my responses.
My particular bubble is TV commercial production in Los Angeles. When we shoot stills, or when stills guys and gals tag along, or when I work on a stills shoot, its almost always with an H body, a Phase back, and Capture One on cart. At the rental houses, there are far more H1 and H2s and Phase backs in the racks than anything else. Id suspect this is true in New York, in London, all the major markets, but I could be wrong about that.
Regarding the ubiquity of H1/H2's in rental houses and repair costs etc., it may be worth remembering that the original H1/H2's were very well-received by individual pros and rental houses. Considering these systems' age and amount of use (abuse?) they are subjected to when being rented out, it would be very conceivable that repair costs have been increasing with time.
Short version: It is conceivable that Greg and gme2815 are both right.
I hate commenting on rumours, but if it is true, then Hasseblad may be attempting to circumvent a move by rental houses to consider buying into other camera systems as their older H1/H2 bodies become uneconomical to maintain. Think about it: If the H1/H2's are becoming too expensive to hold and need to replaced, but they are being predominantly used with P1 digital backs, then the options (at the moment) will depend on what digital backs the rental houses will decide to stick with.
If I read Guy correctly, something is up ... maybe not exactly the rumor I first posted, but something.
There is another angle to this we haven't considered. If the H platform is opened back up, it may be that Hasselblad owners will now have the option of a second back-up body without all the complex aspects and additional expense it currently requires?
Also, it may be that an owner of a H3D/H3D-II 31, 39 or 50 will be able to upgrade their body ... which frankly is the way it should have been all along. I'm hoping this is true because IF there is a H5 in the works I DO NOT want to pay for a new digital back just to get the new body.
If the above is true, and IF the features are reasonably retained (which I personally can't get my head around given the Hasselblad "integrated" propaganda of the past few years), then Hasselblad will not be able to make enough H4Ds.
The other aspect for Hasselbald owners is the prospect of using a specialized back on their existing H camera ... for example a P45 which still is the reigning champ of long exposures, or the panoramic Leaf back. Interesting prospects.
As to rentals, it depends on who we are talking about, and what you currently tend to use, that colors the perspectives being voiced here. As a Hasselblad owner, I know there are hundreds and hundreds of rental locations where I can get an integrated H system kit if needed ... including Hollywood, New York and Chicago. Hasselblad lists their world-wide rental partners on their website, and they are virtually everywhere. BTW, a quick audit shows that it is less expensive to rent a H4D/40 verses a H1/2 with a 40 meg Phase One kit ... and you can use the HCD 35-90 and 28 on the H4D which you cannot with the H1/2.
This is a bit of a closed world here and the assumption that the new Phase One backs fit ALL people's needs and personal tastes better than a Hasselblad digital back, therefore the Phase One is universally superior, is flawed logic and biased propaganda. There are many who have the opposite opinion who do not post here, and are just as biased and vocal as Phamaya members of this forum.
Anyway, what will be, will be ... we'll just have to wait and see.
At least it isn't boring ...
What I have always understood was that the money was being made primarily on the backs, much less so on the bodies.
I assume that now backs are more mainstream than before the division on what you can make on a back vs what you can make on a body pluss glass is a bit more friendly towards the body and glass.
As a HB user I would applaud opening up the system again. It would make me feel more comfortable continueing using HB equipment knowing I have the flexibility of choice. I couldn't care less about what I am using, I just happen to use HB and I am well taken care of. Feeling comfortable with what I use is key to me. When they open up the system to me it feels like the system I currently use just has become somewhat more versatile.
I think HB is doing good work at the moment. The ability to use ACR with the Raw files to name one of the other things.
This thread seems to imply that the rental studios are the biggest market for the MF manufacturers. I do wonder about this on a global scale. In the markets I work in regularly (Australia, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Hong Kong and Singapore), my observation is that most of the pros who shoot MF own their own kit, be it Blad or Phase. Sure, there are rentals available but how significant is it? Just makes me wonder...
However it should be noted that this forum is far better than another, where the vitriol emanates from the top down.
The Photo Plus Expo opens in NYC next week and the rumor is that Phase One will preview on some basis what will be forthcoming in a new Phase camera body (or bodies). Hasselblad is presumably focused on figuring out how to meet that competitive challenge, so opening up the H4D would be one way. Another way would be a completely new open platform camera from Hasselblad. That would be wonderful for medium format digital. Two new high end platforms that take all backs. Probably too good to be true.
I'd like to find out asap as i am trading in my H39 back for the IQ160 to use primarily with the cambo, h-mount. did it this way so I can continue to use my H body, as I was going to trade my H-39 body and prism for the H2 body and prism.
As someone who has a lot of experience in different spheres, I would say - at least in the USA - that certainly in the rental market Phase One digital backs on H2 cameras, followed by Leaf digital backs on H2 cameras are the dominant platform. You'll never find any "facts" about this. So your data points come from having enough of a collection of that data from those who would know (and who would be honest in providing their experience).
It is difficult to get a read on overall product reliability from individual users unless a product very obviously has issues that are below standard guidelines for reliability. Rental houses have a unique perspective in that they typically carry a volume of a single product, and the product gets enough use that issues will take on a pattern that is identifiable as indicative of that product's reliability. We're not a "rental house", but we do rent digital backs and cameras and also have relationships with various rental houses that augment their rental business from our inventory as well. So we do have a high sample rate and a perspective on reliability with various camera systems and digital backs.
That said, assessing reliability from the perspective of a rental house is not conclusive. When equipment is not owned, it is typically not cared for as well by the user. The equipment may also have reliability limitations when used in a certain way or in certain environments.
I think the more pertinent element of the H camera system is that repairs costs, when they occur, are substantial. Given that Phase One DF cameras and lenses have not yet gained overwhelming acceptance in rental house, it is hard to say whether their track record will be as good or worse than H systems. Regardless of the rate of repairs, when repair costs are reasonable, and turn around times are fast, the sting of repairs is diminished, and perhaps the perspective towards the reliability of the product is affected as well.
Gosh I hate/love (or love/hate?) speculation. But I had heard whispers of this quite some time ago. It seems like this is coming to fruition as those whisperings have hardened and perhaps there will be an announcement next week.
The questions it raises are interesting -
Marc - backup bodies for H3D/H4D users, does that become easier simpler, less expensive? Good question.
My questions would impact your question.
To me, it only makes sense to open the platform up if you open up all the features also. Meaning DAC, True Focus, etc. If a Phase One or Leaf digital back user has access to an H4 body, but the only advantage oner an H2 body is that it is a current product, not discontinued, then I don't see much of a story here for those users. But if a Phase One or Leaf user can also now use the 28mmHCD and 35mm-90mm HCD lenses, as well as have DAC and True Focus capability, then I can see some Phase/Leaf users sticking with their H platform, and going forward other Phase/Leaf users having a real viable choice of whether they want to use the H platform or the Phase/Mamiya platform. And they can more realistically base that choice on the merits of the camera system, rather than whether one camera maker is more committed to the digital back platform than another.
From that standpoint, even if the camera systems going forward are on a roughly equivalent footing, I can also see that Hasselblad has burned a lot of trust and that regardless of how committed they might say they are to supporting Phase One/Leaf owners, many of those users may wind up opting for the new Phase One camera system just because of a comfort zone of knowing they're riding with the horse that brought them.
All speculation for now, of course.
But if this were true, to me, what it confirms to me for Hasselblad is that they don't really have a choice. I don't believe Hassleblad - on the path they charted - would ever match the digital back end of Phase One. And so the danger for them, as Phase One gets closer to launching their new camera (s) is that the new camera from Phase One knocks it out of the park and the advantage of camera/lenses goes away for Hasselblad, leaving them with diminished prospects.
I think this way, they at least can preemptively take advantage of renewed buy-in to their system (though on what level would remain to be seen), be able to recoup profits from that revenue, and continue to develop their own system as well.
I hope this is true because I think it helps Hasselblad, and even though we do not sell Hasselblad, the medium format world is much better off with Hasselblad in it. Their exit would produce a lack of choice for end users, and a lack of competitive drive and offset for Phase One/Leaf/Mamiya. I also feel Hasselblad has opportunities to create additional digital camera platforms - Xpan, SWC, etc. I feel their strategy to focus so strongly on one single system, meaning the camera/lens system itself, presents sustainability challenges, given the ever increasing vertically-driven, niched marketplaces for high end photographic products.
BTW Howard - if you only knew all the information that is discussed between manufacturers and us that does not get disclosed..... (or at least not until the proper time).
I think I have signed 2 NDA's my whole career. But we discuss "not for public consumption" or "not ready for prime time news" issues regularly with our manufacturer partners. We honor the nature of the information in terms of whether it is appropriate to disclose or comment without signatures at a given time. Otherwise, much of that information flow would be reduced to a trickle.
All good points and make a lot of sense. You are probably right on all your suppositions. You put it in a better perspective for me since I am emotionally (having used their equipment since the early 70's) as well as monetarily invested in Hasselblad which skews my overall view. Sometimes it takes someone like you to put forward knowledgable arguments that fit into the overall pictures to snap me back to reality.
Steve well said. The real issue at the moment and this reality not bias either. Is phase and hassy at one time shared a old design back which made choices more even. Now let's be real here and massive sales numbers are the proof. Phase beat Hassy to a new design on the back. Reality it's pretty dang awesome and many jumped all over it. Just talk to any Phase dealer. So with this it puts Hassy in a defensive position until they have a redesigned back. Let's think about this of Hassy can open that up to gain some customer loyalty to at least the platform than it is a very smart move. Not only can they get Hassy back sales with its back but give Phase shooters another option for there back and get some revenue from it. Not only that it beats the Phase new body and get some swing votes on the platform . This will catch some fish and when Phase does come out some folks will be already moved over to Hassy platform and be very reluctant to switch again. Let's be real here and face the reality the IQ has it going on and that is not bias but Hassy sees a chance of making it work in there favor until there redesigned back or not but gain revenue. Kudos to their thinking. It's a smart move
Pardon the spelling on a location shoot and iphone
Exactly. Though they are uniquely positioned from the variety of users and the volume of units they deal with to offer a valuable perspective.
The amount of large, multi-bay photography studios is also a small part of the overall industry, but similarly, they also offer a valuable perspective with a high concentration of sampling.
It's hard to get "facts" in this industry, so in the absence of that, a collection of data points is the most reliable source for feedback on reliability. A single data point that will not provide the complete picture.
Obviously Hasselblad's new owners must have made the push for this, sensing they bought in to a company perceived to be on the back foot with regard to speed of product releases etc. I'm not sure how they would allow an open platform H4 to work with DAC with a Phase back, unless it's all lens specific corrections without sensor specific corrections. I guess this is why they have partnered with Adobe. It's a smart move in my opinion, although I sense Hasselblad wants to get new products to market asap to compete with the new IQ series Phase backs and their undoubtably impending redesigned camera.
While I agree that the IQ backs are great, they are great for some users and their specific applications, not all. No doubt in my mind that I'd still prefer a H4D/40 to an IQ140 on a H4D body because I prefer a straight full res ISO 1600. It is functionally as bias as that.
IMO, it IS a biased thrust here, not out of spite, negative spin or anything of the sort ... it is because this is a site overwhelmingly dominated by landscape shooters with specific needs that Phase has met. So, enthusiasm and bias is quite understandable. However, for me, and many that I know that do similar work, we are either shooting to a computer with 30" screens, or shooting on the run, where what Hasselblad offers more than does the job, and then some.
I have an H4D/60 which handles very well, is very reliable, and produces file quality that I've yet to see beaten by a comparable IQ back ... and many Hassey users are of the opinion that the Hassey files are better, so it greatly depends on who's doing the biasing. If I want the ultimate Image Quality studio files, I'll get a H4D/200. But, like the IQ backs, I just don't need it ... at least not any more.
In fact, I'm seriously questioning the whole MFD rat race these days because I just don't see better work because of it. Sorry, I just don't. So, my time is going into improving my ideas, and my money's going into lighting gear where I can see a marked improvement ... at least for my applications.
I do think Phase will do very well in the near term future ... mostly because they DO cater to a few specific applications in general (not soley). I think this is wise because landscape and tech camera work may be the last bastion of medium format digital gear.
Personally, I think Leica has placed the handwriting on the wall ... but it won't be them upsetting the apple cart, it'll be someone else that re-invents it all in a more practical manner.
Just my 2’
Sorry Marc but sales have been very brisk with standing orders for months. This I know as fact. Dealers have enjoyed year end total sales from the past in one quarter. That is pretty dang good. Granted the word massive should have not been used. My bad
Btw I am NOT a landscape shooter by trade. I just shot 30 models with sensor plus on my DF.
I also really resent this bias talk by a very large margin.You know me far better than that. I would shoot a diesel engine if I thought it would work. Hell maybe I will buy a Hassy platform and my back so I never have to hear this again. Now there is a thought.
Hassey had a better 3" LCD than Phase with the introduction of the H3D-II years ago. So, now Phase has the better, more innovative "review" system. So to me, it seems odd for a Phase reseller to publicly imply or flat out say that Hasseblad is not capable of producing a back that equals or leap frogs what exists now. That would be like me saying that Mamiya/Phase will NEVER be able to build a camera as good as the H4D.
In fact, future developments may not take the same technological direction of Phase, but the same objectives can be met with innovative thinking ...just look at how Hasselblad by-passed all the issues with multiple focus points in a MFD camera (especially a full frame one).
Okay, bias may be poor semantics, but then I'm not sure what word to use ... so I guess none is the best alternative
BTW, I seriously doubt that you need a 60 meg Phase One IQ to shoot models any more than I need a H4D/60 for such a project. We just do it because we can. In fact, I don't anymore, I use the S2 because it's better at that work than the Phase or Hasselblad.
I guess that was me, Marc. And that is my opinion. Just because Hassleblad had a better LCD than Phase One did years ago doesn't mean to me that they offered a better back end. There's a whole lot more to it than that, even with the new IQ backs. In my opinion, Phase One has always offered a better back end than Hasselblad, and given the pace of development, the apparent health and momentum of both companies, and the current offerings, I don't see Hasselblad catching up, let alone leap frogging. If this were not the case, then the idea of Hasselblad opening up their platform might appear more questionable than it is, given a scenario of superior back end mated to superior front end.
I don't mean to say that Hasselblad is not capable of matching/exceeding Phase One's ability on the back end. I am saying, in my opinion, given the evidence and how I evaluate that evidence, it seems unlikely.
This doesn't mean Hasselblad cannot compete. As they've already shown, being at a disadvantage on the back end doesn't mean that they still do not offer a compelling feature set to buyers.
It is not the same as saying Phase One/Mamiya cannot build a camera as good or better than the H4D. The same reasons that I feel Hasselblad is unlikely to match Phase One's back end are the same reasons Phase One/Mamiya can certainly similarly succeed with a camera.
They are the market leader. They have been successful, and this year is a record year. Even throughout this economic period, they have acquired two companies and obtained controlling interest in a third, and leveraged a long term strategic partnership with a 4th. They have established an excellent base to create a great camera, with Mamiya and Schneider as partners, along with Leaf, and their technical prowess from the Hy6 project. And they have been churning out new products, digital backs and lenses at a pace that says they have the R&D and production budgets to continue. That is my opinion.
But at the end of the day, it is not so important who dominates, it is more important that multiple companies compete. And there is no reason Hasselblad cannot compete. Everyone who owns a Hasselblad or a Leaf or Phase One or Mamiya or even Pentax, or even Leica MF product should enjoy it and hope there is more to come.
I don't really see the issue of bias on this forum (or others), other than perhaps there are more biased Phase One users than biased Hasselblad users present? (BTW, that last statement is not meant as an indication of worldwide or local sales numbers, or ..... sigh ....any other controversial claims of world domination...
I am thinking Hassy may be opening just as Phase One is about to announce a closing and new camera?
doesn't really matter though - cos the video and still convergence tech is making a lot of this stuff obsolete as far as fun factor goes.
While I DO appreciate your opinion and do read it with interest as well as opinions of others ... I simply take it as opinion not fact, regardless how it is presented, what antidotal evidence accompanies it, or what credentials seem apparent. No matter what system or gear related opinion that is being forwarded, be it cameras, lenses, digital backs, or lighting gear, the credentials that matter to me are the end results. To that end, I have become VERY skeptical of early adopter enthusiasm, sales driven propaganda and purchase justifications ... which is why it took me over a year and a half before I bought into the Leica S2, despite my own lust for one, manufacturer claims of superiority, slick sales presentations, and initial user enthusiasm. I am VERY wary of all this anymore, as others should be IMHO. All of these companies have to feed the beast, and the only way to do it is make users dissatisfied with what they currently use ... when in reality, a huge expenditure usually makes little difference in the outcome ... which is why, if the truth be told, most professional photographers are more pragmatic, and aren't on the bleeding edge of digital technology, but continue to produce images just as good as they always have. Let's not confuse a fascination with toys and the thrill of mastering some new do-dad with actual photography.
Frankly, as a photographer, I do not see the evidence of better anything in the actual outcome. Sorry, despite lofty tecno-claims and internet marketing chit-chat, I do not see claims of Phase superiority translating into better quality of images than from other systems. I DO understand that for some applications, certain digital back feature sets translate into an easier path to the end result ... but that is application specific, and the basis for photographers to make purchase decisions. For example, for the ultimate, application specific studio work, the superior product to my eye is the H4D/200, and I still prefer that ALL of my lenses including the wide angles be leaf shutter, so that made my decision path clearer. For faster paced hand-held work or people shooting no doubt I gravitate to the Leica S2. Granted, not everyone can indulge in expensive dual systems, however, that is not the rule but instead the exception ... most photographers have a more clearly defined path, or at least a dominate application that colors their reasoning.
On the other hand, for field work like so many here on this forum do, I can easily see gravitating to an IQ solution. Guy is a bit of an anomaly here in that he is very adept at manipulating a system to his varied purposes, be it his commercial work or his GetDpi workshop applications ... before MFD, he "enthusiastically" did it with a Leica DMR or M digital ... which is a pretty rare occurrence, not the norm.
Over the years I've watched with interest the trek others have taken ... specifically those who seem to know their desired end, both experientially and in the final results, then match their gear to it ... Jono has wisely resisted Medium Format and kept his lively experiential approach to making photographs. Recently, I have watched Shelby Lewis construct a MFD kit on a shoe-string budget and is already producing his kind of work. Would he like a big bad digital back? I'd hazard a guess that yes he would, but I'd also speculate that it would not make a wit of difference in his actual outcome, and he'd be tens of thousands of dollars the poorer for it.
I know my perspective is not exactly PC here, and I also am VERY aware of being something of a gear slut hypocrite ... but I do not confuse my own failings with what is real, and am fast re-inventing myself and getting back to making ideas come to life rather than making more purchases ... and for that I do not need yet another "next best thing" ... and in reality, neither does most anyone else
Well said, Marc. Sometimes it's nice to chew the fat about technology and gizmos, but at the end of the day no matter what "camp" you're in the image quality is there to satisfy pretty much anything you can imagine. We're lucky to live in an age that presents us with so many ways around so many problems.
Looking forward to hearing what Hasselblad are rumored to announce. Could be it'll place me a step closer to my dream of a digital transition via a more open second hand route.
Guy, you may feel that you are objective, but respectfully, some may feel that you, Jack and others who run this forum are hooked into the Phase marketing arm through various avenues and participations. This in no way diminishes your opinion or reduces respect, it's only meant as an observation. It's a valid perspective and kudos to Phase one for turning the forums into an extension of their marketing. And I stress again, you, Jack and the others here go out of your way to make everyone feel welcome and it's obvious, it's appreciated.
The length of time it's taking Phase to develop a camera body (and as Steve states, Phase purchased several related companies), demonstrates the difficulty in creating a fully integrated system (body and lenses and back). It's so easy for Phase supporters to forget that Hasselblad has the responsibility to develop, support and manage all sides of the equation; if it were so easy, Phase would have released an integrated body five+ years ago. When they do, after a year of debugging, it'll be a killer (perhaps we're looking at full release in 2013). But until then, it's important to consider this fact and it's nearly 2012 already.
In the end, Marc is right, at least for me, a new Phase body or an IQ back (while cool!) won't help me make better photographs (it may help others) and my ancient Hasselblad 39mp backs do a terrific job for my licensing and sales. The only thing that will help me is to work harder.
Well said. I could not agree more.
Thanks Derek and yes no question I do like most of the Phase products since that is what I shoot and the back,lenses and software are my favorite parts. Not crazy about the Phase marketing arm comment as I really am not be holding to anyone and honestly never want to be ever. So I'm not but respect your comment anyway since obviously no question I am very involved in this forum and have very good friends in the Phase dealership as well. Freely admit in private I am tagged on a daily basis on helping people make purchase decisions but on the same hand I would never say the DF is the king of anything. First and foremost I am honest about my opinion with no hidden agenda. Now without spilling the beans here directly, I all of a sudden have maybe a option on platform if I wanted to go down this path. Frankly I actually been giving Hassy a lot of credit here but can't say why. Feels like I'm hitting on a hot blonde but tiring to bed down her brunette friend. okay that was meant to be funny. But let me be also very honest Jack and I have on several occasions tired very hard with Hassy on getting demo's and getting a chance to even try there products and it has gone on deaf ears. Even my friends at Leica would give me anything I want to demo knowing how hard I was on them on the S2 in the beginning. They certainly improved a lot since than and I am planning a new review with them when they are delivering the CS lenses.
Now i have taken that ignoring of Hassy and let it go and still support there product line. I have said it before if I did not go Phase I would have went Hassy. Today I maybe might just go Leica and frankly if I really had some money in my pocket . Go Phase with my Cambo and 4 tech lenses and have a S2 to shoot that other stuff but I can't do it. Problem is it would be Phase tech kit and Canon for other stuff but I can't seem to pull that trigger since not a damn thing turns me on in 35 mm land. But I am so tempted to do this I can't tell you , I think about it everyday. But you never know what I will do next either, so never be surprised . I will and have turned on a dime before. As you can see I am not married to anything when it comes to gear. My new fling is with Cambo right now. I'm having fun with that. But I will freely admit my IQ 160 sings a very nice tune for me and love it along with C1. If there is my bias anywhere it's the back and software. Everything else is changeable in my mind.
The key word here in all this is choice.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I do think that while what you have written is pretty unarguable, I also feel that your position doesn't require an analysis of my post. What you have stated is pretty good common sense, shared by many photographers, especially on the commercial side.
But I just want to say that while I may have feelings or opinions about the end result, they mostly stay private, meaning I don't necessarily feel in general that one digital back substantially trumps another in general application image quality.
However, I do discuss freely the process of getting there, and the elements that affect that, be it both hardware and software. And in this regard my opinion is out there. And that is all it is, my opinion. I'm not declaring any facts here, and I state it as such.
At the end of the day, what matters is what is in the photographers head, their heart, and their soul. And the only other thing that ultimately matters is ensuring the path to bringing that to life is as unimpeded or positively facilitated as possible.
Manufacturers like Phase One, Leaf, Hasselblad, etc, all do their best to produce the best product they possibly can. Our responsibility it to measure the capabilities of those products in the photographers hands and help determine the best fit for any photographer attracted by what any new (or old, for that matter) model brings to the table. I don't think you see us (at CI) throwing marketing, gear-envy headlines into discussion forums trying to entice photographers that they just aren't the s**t anymore if they don't have the latest, greatest. That more often comes from the photographers themselves. We usually find ourselves in the position of trying to tamp down enthusiasm when it is misplaced, rather than building it up.
So.... please, by all means do not take my opinion as fact. Because in the case where it is my opinion being presented, there is no presumption of fact, other than this is what I believe. You and anyone else here are free to believe what you wish to.
I promise I won't automatically take your opinions as fact if you promise not to take mine that way either.
I didn't say that Phase One bias did not exist. I said that there is also Hasselblad bias, and if there is more Phase One bias, then there are simply fewer biased Hasselblad users present. I mean, I thought what I was saying was kind of obvious. Now, yes, certain participants have an agenda, and we have discussed that in the past (and you know who I'm talking about). But that is different than a bias. Everyone has a bias.
Yes, it is difficult to develop an entire system. And Hasselblad got into the digital back game late (by acquiring Colorcrisp in 2001). They've done well narrowing that gap on the developmental head start that Phase One had. And Phase One got into the camera game late (by acquiring Leaf, investing into Mamiya, leveraging Schneider, etc). But I don't understand why Hasseblad advocates have a hard time accepting that Phase One has always been ahead of them on the back end when they can clearly state that Hasselblad has a lead on the front end.
It doesn't seem like that controversial of a statement to me.
BTW - regardless of what camera you use, your work continues to inspire me.
Guy, no offense was meant with the marketing arm remark, PhaseOne was smart to get into the forums; I can't answer why Hasselblad did not take you up on your offer to review new gear, perhaps they had such bad experiences elsewhere and didn't want to take any chances (see the acknowledged agenda below), but that's just a guess (it is not saying you would be unfair in a review). I also feel your response to me demonstrates your open mind and as I said, it flows down to how you guys run the forum.
Steve, I agree, "bias" is probably is the wrong word; "having an agenda" is better. We won't name names but I'm glad we both recognize it and agree it exists. I also don't think stating that PhaseOne's backs are better is controversial, I don't think that has been said. From what little I've read here on this forum, the IQ backs are incredible - I'm not sure why you'd use the word controversial. (And thank you for your kind words about my work, I'm doing the best I can.) People should know that you helped guide me when my dealer totally dropped the ball on my Hasslelbad gear, and I'm still appreciative.
As far as choice of equipment, I can only echo what Marc has said above. At some point you and the gear must produce results unless you're just buying it because it's fancy. And once you have it, it can become a viscious cycle of upgrading, at which point your only purpose is to support PhaseOne or Hasselblad (or whomever) and that's not a good place to be. What's bad for Hasselblad is that I'm too happy with the results from my H3DII39s. That too will happen to PhaseOne (with their backs or new body). Again, this is nothing new, Marc already covered this.
This idea is something with which I've really struggled. For me, 28mp is a big bad back, lol... and the tonality and serendipitous beauty it offers in combo with the mamiya RZ (and AFD) glass translates into something that surpasses pixel count and feature creep of the newer tech. So, when I see the end results of my lowly set-up and think about what might change if I were to upgrade to an IQ back, I actually cringe a bit. What if that lovely "something" going on between that low-mp Dalsa sensor and those lenses goes away? What if that little bit of "texture" in that sensor goes away and gives me a file that seems so clean as to be sterile? (I loved the bit of texture in the sony a900 files).
So from this end of things, all this talk of system changes and markets is missing a major component... what is it offering the artists? I mean, really, is a more competitive marketplace better for us if the gear we have now is already too much? I know I'm just stirring the pot a bit, but I sometimes wonder if the "market" is more important than the results of using these great cameras.
To stay on topic... i wouldn't mind an opening up of the hassy system. I like the H body better than the current phase body. For the portrait shooter, it sure would be cool to be able to use get true-focus with a phase/leaf back.
The day we stop saying what we actually think here is the day this forum stops being of any value. Everyone is biased, that's life, get over it. Give respect where its due and consider what all have to say - nobody is forcing anyone to take what's said here as Gospel. We're all smart enough to form our own opinions and hopefully respectful enough to express them without the childish and unhelpful "flaming" that occurs elsewhere.
This forum has thusfar struck a pretty good balance, thanks in no small part to leadership by example from Guy and Jack. I, for one, think accusing them of being biased (in the negative sense of the word) is unfair, given the wealth of evidence to the contrary. If they have a preference, they should be free to state that preference and the reasons therefor.
I am slightly troubled by what I see as a tendency to soften statements in the name of "politeness" or from fear of offending sensitive people or companies. Sadly, this can mean that some things that need to be said, don't get said. I think it is possible to be pretty blunt without being rude and this is healthy.