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Thread: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

  1. #1
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hi,

    Something like three years ago I bought a P45+ back and a Hasselblad 555/ELD to go with it. I bought into that system, although I always have been an MFD skeptic. The reason I bought into it was that the back was available at 10k$US, which I set as my upper limit. The other reason was that I had a couple of Hasselblad lenses I really liked and wanted to utilise them on the system they were intended for.

    So, how did it work out? It was a mixed experience. As I mentioned I was a bit of an MFD skeptic, and indeed first tests indicated that my reservations were justified. On the other hand, I actually liked to take pictures with the camera. Initially I had a grand plan:

    • Start with the two lenses I had a Sonnar 150/4 and a Planar 120/4 macro
    • Add a reasonable wide angle, like the Distagon 50/4 FLE
    • Get a Planar 80/2.8
    • In 18 months buy A HCam B1 and a Canon 24/3.5 TSE LII to fix tilt and shift and get really wide angles.
    • I also got myself a Hartblei loupe type viewfinder


    Initially, I was not very happy with corner performance of the Distagons and the Planars. The Sonnar was fine.

    The Planar 120/4 Macro was not a great performer, but I found that I used it more than the Sonnar 150/4. So I traded the Sonnar 150/4 for a Sonnar 180/4.

    What I also have found was the focusing loupe didn't work for me. So I bought a MP5 viewfinder. At the same time I also bought a Zeiss 3X monocular. With the PM5 it gives 9X magnification. This is still my favourite focusing solution.

    What I have found that viewing with glasses didn't really work for me. So, I fixed a replacement ocular for the PM5 with help of my optician. With that I had perfect viewing but the Zeiss 3X monocular could not achieve correct focus. After a year or so I went back to the original ocular and the Zeiss loupe.

    Meanwhile, I decided I wanted a real wide angle. The only reasonable option was Distagon 40/4 CF FLE. But, I was not that impressed by the MTF data from Hasselblad. There was a very nice Distagon 40/4 IF CFE, but it was a bit to expensive. So I got the Distagon 40/4 CF FLE. I also bought a Hasselblad Flexbody that offers tilts and shift with all lenses. It was nice to shoot at home, in studio conditions, but a PITA in the field. So what did I find?

    • The lenses were OK at f/11
    • Some shots were great
    • But some were not so great in the corners
    • The pictures making it to the wall tended to be coming from the 24x36 DSLR system.
    • Many nice pictures from the P45+, it is just that they were not making it to the wall
    • On long walks, it is the MFD kit is what's left behind


    A couple of years ago the Sony A7/A7r were released:
    • The Sony A7r would be a nice combo with the canon 24/3.5 TSELII.
    • Soon enough, HCam DE released the HCam master TSII, that was the camera I wanted to have
    • But, the A7r lacked some important features my Sony A99 head. It lacked Electronic First Shutter Curtain and on sensor PDAF. I wanted that Sony A7r, but not without those features! Long wait!


    I got my A7rII in September 2015, with a Metabones IV adapter, the Canon 24/3.5 TSE LII and the Sony 90/2.8 macro. The Metabones IV failed early, the IV-T I have now is pretty OK. I also have a cheaper adapter as backup. I added the Canon 16-35/4L which is a very good lens and also bought the Canon 24-105/4L.

    Also, I bought the HCam Master TS that I can use with almost all lenses I have. Hasselblad V, Pentax 67, Canon EF and the Yashica/Contax mount. The problem with Canon lenses on the HCam TSII is the electronic aperture. So I decided to buy two Yashica/Contax lenses for tilt work on the HCam. They work great.

    So, where am I now?

    • Right no it seems that the Sony A7rII with Canon lenses and the HCam Master TS can do most things I want to do.
    • The Sony kit is essentially complete and delivers similar image quality to the Hasselblad P45+ combo, with the Sony having the edge in most cases.
    • Sense says I would sell the Hasselblad kit, but I don't think it is worth a lot of money. I like using it, so it is a keeper.


    Downsides with the Sony:

    • Not everything is shiny, at least on two occasions I got bad sharpness with the Sony 90/2.8 G one side of the image. Need to find out how and why.
    • The Canon lenses are very good, but AF is just OK.
    • I am pretty much tripod bound.
    • I feel the need to get a few native lenses.


    So, my take right now is that Sony is workable. In the few comparison I made I would say that image quality is quite close between the Hassy/P45+, with the Sony having the edge except in the extreme corners.

    The HCam TSII allows three way stitch with the Hasselblad lenses. I have just tested a few combos. The Planar 100/3.5 is great, the Distagon 60/3.5 is quite OK while the Distagon 40/4 fails miserably. The Pentax 67 45/4 is quite OK, but a bit soft overall.

    My take is really that I still enjoy the Hasselblad/P45+ and it can deliver great results. The Sony is more flexible and probably a bit superior in image quality.

    Best regards
    Erik
    Last edited by ErikKaffehr; 8th July 2016 at 11:30.
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    I also had the P45+ V mount. I opted for the SWC staright away and was always impressed with the image quality even at f22.

    The most distrubing fact was the connection cord between old and new-i.e., the cord between the DB and the flash sync of the lens. It often gave inaccurate signals to the back of either change the CF card or the battery was low when neither were the case. All too often this occurred at just the one minute of sunup I was waiting to capture after getting up at 04H00.

    Thus I bought the 645Z. Never a problem.

    Sold it for the XF+100. Have only had one long shooting trip with it so far, but happy with my results to date.

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Erik -

    Some reflections for comparison.

    My work is 90% field...10% studio.

    I've been shooting Hassy-V since 1975. Almost every lens you can name, except 30mm and the achromats.

    First film...of course...then Kodak DCS-Pro 16MP back. Then an Aptus-65. Now a Credo-60.

    Hassy-40mm = stunning at 30x40 prints.....all 3-backs.

    Hassy-180mm...truly stellar prints...all 3-backs.

    Flexbody is a dream...EXCEPT for exchanging the viewfinder for the back. Sigh...can't have everything, I suppose.

    I'm getting older, and I'm not well...so hauling full-kit is a struggle. But...the Flexbody beats hauling the Sinar P-2 around...although the movements can't be compared.

    Just a comparison of experiences....

    I also shoot DSLR...Canon, and several "pocket-shooters" (Canon, Sony...)...not to be compared.

    Enjoy!

    Hank
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    I have a Credo 60 in V mount but have never used it on a Hasselblad body, just a technical camera.

    I've long thought about the need for a quicker to use, mainly tripod based but more flexible to use than the technical camera, SLR type camera. The announcement of the Hasselblad X1D has me excited, allthough the price of entry doesn't. I could get an excellent V series body, a 40mm IF and 60mm for a heck of a lot less.

    But...

    For those that have gone that route – Erik's comments above about focusing noted – how easy is a V series camera to focus if it's perfectly calibrated and you're using an accute matte screen with split prism? I'm not generally a wide open shooter, more f8-11, but it'd be good to have confidence in my focusing abilities out in the field, particularly if I need to shoot interior portraits at or near widest aperture.

    Thanks,

    T

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hi,

    I have not seen the problems you mention but I also feel the sync cable is not very reliable.

    Interesting to hear that the SWC worked for you, as it is known not to work well with digital backs.

    Hasselblad's own backs don't need the flash sync cord. On the other hand, the Hasselblad backs cannot be mounted vertically.

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    I also had the P45+ V mount. I opted for the SWC staright away and was always impressed with the image quality even at f22.

    The most distrubing fact was the connection cord between old and new-i.e., the cord between the DB and the flash sync of the lens. It often gave inaccurate signals to the back of either change the CF card or the battery was low when neither were the case. All too often this occurred at just the one minute of sunup I was waiting to capture after getting up at 04H00.

    Thus I bought the 645Z. Never a problem.

    Sold it for the XF+100. Have only had one long shooting trip with it so far, but happy with my results to date.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hi,

    Accurate focusing depends on your definition of accurate.

    I am using a PM5 viewfinder with a Zeiss 3X monocular for focusing, this gives around 9X magnification in total. Also, I mostly use f/11. With that i feel that I have reasonably accurate focusing on the centre of acute matte glass. Of axis it is a bit of a gamble.

    Using the split image on smooth edge is "dead accurate" but say a trunk of a tree is not smooth enough for dead accurate focusing. For distant subjects the infinity stop is OK.

    Some folks are better at focusing some are less good at focusing. Keep in mind that the viewfinder has much lower resolution than the sensor. So when you focus you try to maximise image contrast for fine visible detail. That takes skill, and skills can be learned. I am not so good at it. That said I have a lot of very good images from the P45+ and sharpness is not an issue.

    The image belows shows a shot of a USAF test chart at actual pixels. I marked which groups I could resolve in the viewfinder, with the PM5, a Hartblei Loupe viewfinder and with the PM5/Zeiss monocular combo:


    Best regards
    Erik





    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    I have a Credo 60 in V mount but have never used it on a Hasselblad body, just a technical camera.

    I've long thought about the need for a quicker to use, mainly tripod based but more flexible to use than the technical camera, SLR type camera. The announcement of the Hasselblad X1D has me excited, allthough the price of entry doesn't. I could get an excellent V series body, a 40mm IF and 60mm for a heck of a lot less.

    But...

    For those that have gone that route – Erik's comments above about focusing noted – how easy is a V series camera to focus if it's perfectly calibrated and you're using an accute matte screen with split prism? I'm not generally a wide open shooter, more f8-11, but it'd be good to have confidence in my focusing abilities out in the field, particularly if I need to shoot interior portraits at or near widest aperture.

    Thanks,

    T

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hi Hank,

    Thanks for sharing. Your experience is obviously a bit different from mine.

    I have been trough four of the Sonnars, and I was indeed very happy with those lenses. As I mentioned, very few of my MFD images made it to the wall, although I have a lot of MFD images I really like. So I cannot say about 30x40 images from the Distagons.

    Comparing with my Sony gear, I found that the Distagons don't keep up with the Canon zooms, except in the extreme corner, so if we say that the Canon 16-35/4 Sony A7rII combo is sharper than the Distagon 40/P45+ combo over 95% of the image area than I prefer the Canon 16-35 and Sony A7rII combo. That combo also gives me ample shift and tilt on my HCam Master TSII. The P45+ and the Sony A7rII give essentially the same image size, approximately same number of pixels vertically, so comparison is easy.

    So, for me the Sony stuff is best solution.

    Best regards
    Erik



    Quote Originally Posted by PhiloFarmer View Post
    Erik -

    Some reflections for comparison.

    My work is 90% field...10% studio.

    I've been shooting Hassy-V since 1975. Almost every lens you can name, except 30mm and the achromats.

    First film...of course...then Kodak DCS-Pro 16MP back. Then an Aptus-65. Now a Credo-60.

    Hassy-40mm = stunning at 30x40 prints.....all 3-backs.

    Hassy-180mm...truly stellar prints...all 3-backs.

    Flexbody is a dream...EXCEPT for exchanging the viewfinder for the back. Sigh...can't have everything, I suppose.

    I'm getting older, and I'm not well...so hauling full-kit is a struggle. But...the Flexbody beats hauling the Sinar P-2 around...although the movements can't be compared.

    Just a comparison of experiences....

    I also shoot DSLR...Canon, and several "pocket-shooters" (Canon, Sony...)...not to be compared.

    Enjoy!

    Hank

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    Member MomentsForZen's Avatar
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Comparisons between a CCD back (P45) and a CMOS sensor (A7r/A7rII) are being expressed.

    Can anyone compare a V-series with a CMOS back (CFV-50c) and the A7r/A7rII ? That would seem to be a more valid comparison.

    I have no experience with the A7r/7rII but have a 500C/M and the CFV II (16MP CCD) and the CFV-50C (50MP CMOS). Resolution issues aside, the CMOS sensor has completely different qualities.

    :-) ... MomentsForZen (Richard)

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    How are your focusing skills with the 500c/m and 50c, not using live view?
    I'm interested to hear other peoples opinions, especially if it saves me deciding I "need" the X1D for the times the Linhof isn't a great tool...

    Quote Originally Posted by MomentsForZen View Post
    Comparisons between a CCD back (P45) and a CMOS sensor (A7r/A7rII) are being expressed.

    Can anyone compare a V-series with a CMOS back (CFV-50c) and the A7r/A7rII ? That would seem to be a more valid comparison.

    I have no experience with the A7r/7rII but have a 500C/M and the CFV II (16MP CCD) and the CFV-50C (50MP CMOS). Resolution issues aside, the CMOS sensor has completely different qualities.

    :-) ... MomentsForZen (Richard)
    Last edited by tjv; 9th July 2016 at 04:10.

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Ahhh, a subject close to my heart. So, please forgive the rambling reply

    When making comparative evaluations, I always have a tough time keeping nostalgia for the V system out of the equation Along with the Leica film Ms, these cameras were/are the epitome of mechanical aged tools which deliver a very satisfying user experience and manual user control.

    As mentioned elsewhere, I have owned/used most of the bodies, accessories, and lenses, up to and including a 555ELD, 503CW, 203FE camera and FE lenses. Leaf-shutter lenses included the 40IF through a 250 Super "Acrobat" (my nickname for that lens). Leaf- Shutter was, and remains, important to me due to use of lighting.

    A few years ago I left the V behind. Plain and simple, my primary addiction to the V was based on film. I shot film which I processed myself, then as the digital age encroached, scanned on a Imacon 949. The only digital backs I used were early tether based Imacons (PITA), A Kodak back with tilting LCD and giant Quantum battery (semi-PITA), then the self contained CFV/16s … all so called fat pixel backs with their particularly pleasing look and feel, as well as the drawbacks.

    For my last iterations of the V, I used film backs and the CFV/16 on a 503CW and factory modified focal plane 203FE (for which I had a full compliment of the faster aperture FE lenses including the beautifully flawed 110/2).

    I used various metered viewfinders with flip magnifiers for critical focus. Through repeated and frequent use, I became very fast at focusing these cameras (even action work) … but as time progressed, I increasingly had difficulty focusing both the V camera and my Leica Ms. It turned out that was due to growing cataracts and aging astigmatism (both since corrected with simple surgery). That operation allowed me to continue on with a digital Leica Rangefinder, which I still use quite a bit.

    When Hasselblad introduced the next gen CFV backs (39 meg, then 50 meg) I had to make a longer term creative and business decision. The new backs were rectangle aspect ratio and couldn't be rotated to portrait orientation like with a RZ, plus dealing with film was "getting old" … So, I opted out. Many V owners pined for a FF square, but the handwriting was on the wall that made it a bet I would never take.

    I committed to the H system and stayed through the H4D/60, including most the lenses from 28mm to 300mm, and special bodies that took film backs and a CF Multi-Shot DB. I also use the backs on a Rollie Xact-II for full movements control in the studio or location.

    My applications differ from many here in that I use MF for commercial work, 80% of which is studio or controlled location shoots. Table top, corporate, some fashion, even certain higher end weddings and portraits, fitness advertising and portraiture. The closest I come to field work like landscapes, is environment portraiture.

    Based on what I shoot, my evaluations of IQ also may not be focused on the same things others may deem critically important. For lack of a better description, I look for "presence" …. the native look and feel a system produces. The Zeiss optics delivered a look and feel I preferred … one I like so much that for many years I used select CFi and CFE lenses on the H camera via the clunky CF adapter that allowed you to wind the V lens' central shutter. In particular, the 40/4 IF was a much better performer than the HC-35/3.5 … a focal length I was likely to use for things like industrial interiors demanding acuity across the frame … where the 40IF murdered the previous FLE for edge/corner sharpness, only exhibiting pin-cushion distortion which was an easy fix with Phocus DAC corrections. Macro tended to be done with the view camera and Schneider lenses for ultimate DOF control.

    By using so many different systems over the years, I found that certain systems with certain camera/back/lens combinations do offer a variety of aesthetic choices. For example, I found that the RZ Pro-II with a Leaf Aptus 33 meg back and the incredibly diverse range of Mamiya lenses seemed particularly suited to one another, plus the back rotated. The Hasselblad H4D/40 is another "sweet spot" system which in terms of versatility was probably as far as a CCD based kit was going to get you. Hasselblad's True Focus APL, and user selected micro delay, made it one of the best hand-held MFD cameras I've ever used.

    Being now semi-retired, my current MFD systems is a Leica S(006) which blended a lot of my needs/preferences into one system. Dual FP and CS shutter/dual card capture/great AF-MF lenses/large,incredibly clear optical viewfinder … and a particularly satisfying native look and feel best described as organic, with natural colors and beautiful tonal roll-off. In short, it has a presence I am aesthetically drawn to.

    At the risk of turning this into yet another Sony thread … like the OP, I have a A7R-II with its obvious advantages of size, customization, and vast versatility. I primarily use the Zeiss FE55/1.8, and Batis 25/2 and 85/1.8 … a few A mounts, and some of my Leica M lenses. I'm on record as not liking this camera for its UI, so I'll leave it at that. Still, I have a lot of fun with this camera, like shooting with a Sony AF 500 mirror that is IBS. Or my Leica 21/1.4 ASPH on a variable adapter … much better on the Sony in terms of not needing a separate viewfinder like my M needs. What I am ambivalent about the A7R-II is the native look and feel regardless which lenses I use. All the lenses are pretty good, but I've yet to warm up to the files compared to other choices … especially the Leica S. It certainly isn't bad, and a great choice for travel, adapted lenses, shooting in awkward positions because of the articulated LCD, and so on … but in the end, I'm not as enamored with it as many others are. However, if I really didn't like it, I wouldn't own it …. which I do. I think it is the best of the mirrorless offerings in production. I recently hands on tried the Leica SL, and was surprised by it size and weight, and my expectations of the EVF were overly optimistic.


    - Marc

    A few V shots over the years:

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  11. #11
    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hi Marc,

    Your ramblings are most welcome! I would like to hear a bit more about that Distagon 40/4 IF, as I have read about it but never had the opportunity to use.

    Comments on the 250/5.6 Super Achromat would also be interesting.

    Nice to hear about you liking the Zeiss lenses. Personally, I am a bit middle ground. I feel the Zeiss lenses work well on my 555/ELD but I wouldn't say I am really enthusiastic about specific lenses.

    I essentially always used my cameras with specific colour profiles. Right now I use DCamProf to generate profiles for both Sony and "Blad"/P45+.

    Your comments on the Sony are interesting. I would say that I am quite happy about that camera, as it works well for my needs. The articulated screen is a part of that. I don't have a lot of love for the Sony, but it works. On the other hand, even if I like working with the 'Blad' it is still similar to working with the Sony. You set up tripod, select lens, mount camera and lens on tripod, compose, focus, guess exposure (on the Hassy/P45+), shoot, chimp, adjust and try again. The Sony gives you more lens choices, live view, T&S and quite few more lens choices.

    Something I like with the Hasselblad is the feeling of shooting with a classical camera. Regarding image quality, I think that both deliver a bit beyond my needs.

    Best regards
    Erik




    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Ahhh, a subject close to my heart. So, please forgive the rambling reply

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hi Erik,
    I would definitely look into some native lenses for the Sony and some off-tripod use of the Sony system. For me, the size, portability, and off-tripod potential of the Sony is a major strength compared to my Hassy (H4D-40). The A7R/55mm f1.8 combo is great handheld when I don't want to use my Hassy on a tripod, and I'm sure the A7RII would be even better. The 55mm f1.8 is crazy sharp and I've done some handheld stitching with that combo that produces 50-80mp files (from 3-4 image stitches) that people assume was done with the Hassy. I recently tested the Loxia 21mm for a week and was pretty impressed with that one as well, although it's really easy to turn the aperture ring when you're focusing and vice versa, so care must be taken to ensure sharp focus. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here (and elsewhere) about the Hcam TSII as well! I've always been curious about that adaptor but I'm not sure I want to pick one up for myself as I am trying to keep the Sony off of the tripod as much as possible
    -Todd

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    What an honest and reasoned post, Erik. Thank you for starting this thread. If it's musings and not rants, I am in.

    I've always loved photography, and in my perhaps quixotic search for perfection, I came across MF. At this point in life I could afford it too (with the consent of She Who Must be Obeyed, of course). Jumped in at the deep end with the Phase IQ180, why not start with the best?

    Gave up after a little over a year and a half - too bulky, too limited and certainly not my style. I don't do people or fashion/products and did not have the patience to try out tech cams. Low-light photography was non-existent which is where most landscapes work. Dark-frame issues were too much for me.

    Then came Pentax 645z. What a difference, it opened up a new world in MF imaging, no more problems with low-light. Even able to take hand held shots at 1/15 with tack sharp images. Problems with bulk and size remained and lenses were archaic, though optically very good. Took it everywhere and even shot wildlife with it.

    Then came Sony A7r and its newer version, the A7rII. Initial offerings in lenses were not stellar but with the Batis line and of course the 55 1.8 it shines like nothing else I've used.

    I did my own comparison, not wanting to depend on somebody else's opinion. Ran the Pentax 645z against the Sony A7rII and the Canon 5DSR each with their best lineup of lenses. The Canon was not anywhere as good as the other two and got sold.

    I then took the Pentax and the Sony to do fall photography. Took identical shots. Pixel peeping in LR and looking at 24X36 prints, found the Sony almost as good, but given its size and ease of use preferred it.

    I have not used the Pentax in almost eight months now, but still have it.

    My landscape kit now is the Sony A7rII with the 16-35 f4, Batis 25, 55 1.8 and Batis 85. Plan to get the Batis 18 which will then replace the 16-35.

    There is no camera in the world that can do everything perfectly. Different needs dictate different pieces of equipment, unfortunately.

    I am still very much intrigued with the idea of a large sensor and high resolution. However, my next foray into MF would be for a system that is not only small and light but also offers good AF, frame rate and low-light capability. A higher resolution than 50MP and (one can dream) a FF sensor would be ideal. The technology appears to be available, just needs implementation.
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hi,

    This is my first post on getdpi, although I've been somewhat active on LuLa for the past year or so...

    Thanks to Erik for consolidating and summarizing his experiences with the V system/MFDB combination, and for starting this thread. To add to the conversation, here are some musings from a non-professional who shoots mainly landscapes/cityscapes and still life images from a tripod...

    I first started using Hasselblads 40+ years ago. I've always loved the 6x6 film format, which compared to 135 is, well... there's really no comparison once you've been hooked. Longing for a more film-like tonality that I found lacking in my Nikon D800E (with that said, still a marvelous instrument) but without the hassle of developing and scanning (tried it, got frustrated), about two years ago I picked up a V mount 60 Mp IQ160 back. In addition to the 500 series bodies, I have a Flexbody which gives additional control over perspective etc. but as Erik has noted, it's a pain to work with in the field; it's basically a low-tech tech camera with no rangefinder and pretty terrible live view capability on the CCD back. This was my way of getting into full frame MFD without totally breaking the bank.

    Lenses - some, but not all of the old V series glass are excellent. The lenses I've wound up keeping are:

    - 40mm IF CFE (echoing Marc's comments, it renders stunning sharpness corner to corner, but it's a beast),
    - 100mm Planar (superb),
    - 120mm Makro-Planar (beautiful for macro work),
    - 150mm and 180mm Sonnars (both excellent), and
    - 350mm Tele-Tessar for additional reach/compression (literally not the sharpest tool in the shed, but better than one would surmise from reading on the internet and the prices of the 350 Superachromats are beyond nuts, if you can even find one to buy).

    I recently sold my 50mm FLE - it helped me make some nice prints that are hanging on my wall, but it suffers a bit from field curvature. With the 40 IF in my kit, I recently decided to sell my SWC/M as it requires stopping down to f/16 to bring the corners into reasonable sharpness on the digital sensor. So, I'm finding myself with a versatile wide-normal-tele lens kit with a macro thrown in for good measure. More as collector's items than workhorses, I've also kept an old SWC, 60mm f/4 C and 80mm f/2.8 C, all dating back to the early 1960's, together with an assortment of film magazines.

    Focus - an ongoing challenge for my 57 year-old eyes. With an Acute Matte ground glass screen the PME51 plus 2x loupe (total 6x magnification but only on center) has given me mixed results. I've now gone back to the waist-level finder (4.5x mag for the late model version). Both are corrected to my eyesight. The waist level finder is much brighter than the prism finder, gives a full view of the screen, and so far is giving me more reliable focus. I dabbled with a split/microprism screen as well. Suffice it to say that for a number of reasons I prefer the ground glass. YMMV. One obvious point worth mentioning: ensuring that the screen and mirror are properly aligned is essential. There is little tolerance for focusing errors when using a high resolution back (even stopped down) and the mirrors are known to get out of alignment with use.

    Image quality - when everything falls into place, it's superb. I suppose that the magic lies in some combination of the old Zeiss lenses, the big Dalsa sensor and the Capture One raw conversion. Regarding the latter, at least in my hands the images are more "alive" and vibrant following a C1 conversion compared to ACR. However getting good results from C1 took a little practice, at least for me. My Nikon D800E (and some top-shelf Nikon and Sigma lenses) mostly sits in the closet except when I'm photographing moving subjects or need to be more mobile. Or shooting in bad light.

    Ergonomics - I love the old school simplicity of the system: the camera UI consists of shutter speed, aperture and focus and I usually leave the back at base ISO and daylight white balance when shooting. By contrast I am still bewildered every time I pick up my A6000, which means that I use it infrequently, adding to my lack of familiarity with the controls when I do (but it does deliver very fine images). The downside of my MFDB kit is its bulk. I originally went digital with my old V system in anticipation of a trekking trip in Patagonia. I came back with some winners but the weight almost killed me.

    Synching - almost never a problem as I typically pre-release the mirror. Otherwise a gentle release of the shutter button seems sufficient to arm the back via the little tab that sticks out of the body and into the back. For shooting on the Flexbody and SWC, the back needs to be set to "zero latency" mode (there's nothing to mechanically pre-arm the back). A PC synch cable is used at all times, of course.

    Would I do it this way again, in 2016? Maybe, maybe not. I really favor the "full frame" 40 x 54 mm sensor but the cost of the XF-3100 and H6D-100 are too far beyond reason for me to consider seriously (this from someone who owns an IQ160!). I think that the size, weight and cost advantage of the new X1D (not to mention the more modern CMOS sensor) would probably tip me toward this new crop sensor Hassy were I to do this again today. If I ever go down this road I would probably just keep the IQ160 (its value is plummeting faster than the British Pound!) and continue having fun with it.

    - John
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Are the V bodies worse for syncing issues? Why is that?

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Are the V bodies worse for syncing issues? Why is that?
    There shouldn't be a problem as long as the lens flash sync is working properly (my dealer told me this is a common culprit in these old lenses) and one doesn't stab the shutter button too quickly so that the back has enough time to arm. On the rare occasion I've had a problem (when I was trying to work quickly and wasn't pre-releasing the mirror/auxiliary shutter, if I recall correctly), setting the back to zero latency seemed to take care of it. The setup appears a little Rube Golberg-ish but it actually works pretty well.

    - John
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hi Marc,

    I forgot to say, lovely images!

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Ahhh, a subject close to my heart. So, please forgive the rambling reply

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hi John,

    Thanks for sharing.

    Regarding the lenses I also found that the Distagon 50/4 CF was lacking a bit in sharpness at edges and yes that may have been due to curvature of field. But, I still think it can deliver great image even on large prints. My guess is that the Distagon 60/3.5 may perform similarly.

    The reason I got rid of the Distagon 50 was that I got hold of a Planar 100/3.5 CF, that is known as one of the best lenses for the V. So I had 40, 50, 80, 100, 120 and 180 mm. A bit to much to carry. So I replaced the 50 and the 80 mm with the 60/3.5 CF.

    I liked the Sonnar 150/4 very much, but I found that it was the 120/4 that got most use, so I switched to the 180/4.

    With regard to the Macro Planar 120/4 it has very serious field curvature at infinity, so I feel it needs to be stopped down to f/11. Shooting close ups, it is just fine, and it is he close up range it is intended for.

    As have been discussed, nailing focus is not easy.

    I would also add that it is nice to shoot with the camera. It is very basic, but works very well. The model I have the 555/ELD has built for digital, with a bit titghter tolerances and electrical connections to the back.

    Something I have noted that few of the Hasselblad images made it to the wall, but that may change, my boss got the idea that I would decorate a very long corridor at our offices. I have a lot of nice images from the Hasselblad…

    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by jng View Post
    Hi,

    This is my first post on getdpi, although I've been somewhat active on LuLa for the past year or so...

    Thanks to Erik for consolidating and summarizing his experiences with the V system/MFDB combination, and for starting this thread. To add to the conversation, here are some musings from a non-professional who shoots mainly landscapes/cityscapes and still life images from a tripod...

    I first started using Hasselblads 40+ years ago. I've always loved the 6x6 film format, which compared to 135 is, well... there's really no comparison once you've been hooked. Longing for a more film-like tonality that I found lacking in my Nikon D800E (with that said, still a marvelous instrument) but without the hassle of developing and scanning (tried it, got frustrated), about two years ago I picked up a V mount 60 Mp IQ160 back. In addition to the 500 series bodies, I have a Flexbody which gives additional control over perspective etc. but as Erik has noted, it's a pain to work with in the field; it's basically a low-tech tech camera with no rangefinder and pretty terrible live view capability on the CCD back. This was my way of getting into full frame MFD without totally breaking the bank.

    Lenses - some, but not all of the old V series glass are excellent. The lenses I've wound up keeping are:

    - 40mm IF CFE (echoing Marc's comments, it renders stunning sharpness corner to corner, but it's a beast),
    - 100mm Planar (superb),
    - 120mm Makro-Planar (beautiful for macro work),
    - 150mm and 180mm Sonnars (both excellent), and
    - 350mm Tele-Tessar for additional reach/compression (literally not the sharpest tool in the shed, but better than one would surmise from reading on the internet and the prices of the 350 Superachromats are beyond nuts, if you can even find one to buy).

    I recently sold my 50mm FLE - it helped me make some nice prints that are hanging on my wall, but it suffers a bit from field curvature. With the 40 IF in my kit, I recently decided to sell my SWC/M as it requires stopping down to f/16 to bring the corners into reasonable sharpness on the digital sensor. So, I'm finding myself with a versatile wide-normal-tele lens kit with a macro thrown in for good measure. More as collector's items than workhorses, I've also kept an old SWC, 60mm f/4 C and 80mm f/2.8 C, all dating back to the early 1960's, together with an assortment of film magazines.

    Focus - an ongoing challenge for my 57 year-old eyes. With an Acute Matte ground glass screen the PME51 plus 2x loupe (total 6x magnification but only on center) has given me mixed results. I've now gone back to the waist-level finder (4.5x mag for the late model version). Both are corrected to my eyesight. The waist level finder is much brighter than the prism finder, gives a full view of the screen, and so far is giving me more reliable focus. I dabbled with a split/microprism screen as well. Suffice it to say that for a number of reasons I prefer the ground glass. YMMV. One obvious point worth mentioning: ensuring that the screen and mirror are properly aligned is essential. There is little tolerance for focusing errors when using a high resolution back (even stopped down) and the mirrors are known to get out of alignment with use.

    Image quality - when everything falls into place, it's superb. I suppose that the magic lies in some combination of the old Zeiss lenses, the big Dalsa sensor and the Capture One raw conversion. Regarding the latter, at least in my hands the images are more "alive" and vibrant following a C1 conversion compared to ACR. However getting good results from C1 took a little practice, at least for me. My Nikon D800E (and some top-shelf Nikon and Sigma lenses) mostly sits in the closet except when I'm photographing moving subjects or need to be more mobile. Or shooting in bad light.

    Ergonomics - I love the old school simplicity of the system: the camera UI consists of shutter speed, aperture and focus and I usually leave the back at base ISO and daylight white balance when shooting. By contrast I am still bewildered every time I pick up my A6000, which means that I use it infrequently, adding to my lack of familiarity with the controls when I do (but it does deliver very fine images). The downside of my MFDB kit is its bulk. I originally went digital with my old V system in anticipation of a trekking trip in Patagonia. I came back with some winners but the weight almost killed me.

    Synching - almost never a problem as I typically pre-release the mirror. Otherwise a gentle release of the shutter button seems sufficient to arm the back via the little tab that sticks out of the body and into the back. For shooting on the Flexbody and SWC, the back needs to be set to "zero latency" mode (there's nothing to mechanically pre-arm the back). A PC synch cable is used at all times, of course.

    Would I do it this way again, in 2016? Maybe, maybe not. I really favor the "full frame" 40 x 54 mm sensor but the cost of the XF-3100 and H6D-100 are too far beyond reason for me to consider seriously (this from someone who owns an IQ160!). I think that the size, weight and cost advantage of the new X1D (not to mention the more modern CMOS sensor) would probably tip me toward this new crop sensor Hassy were I to do this again today. If I ever go down this road I would probably just keep the IQ160 (its value is plummeting faster than the British Pound!) and continue having fun with it.

    - John

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    How many versions of the 60mm V mount lens are there? If choosing the best version, is it an average, good or great lens? Trying to figure out if I should dip my toes in the water with that FOV as the only other lens I'd want is the 40mm IF, and I'm not about the jump in the deep off the bat...

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Erik,

    ...very few of my MFD images made it to the wall, although I have a lot of MFD images I really like.
    You have written this on several occasions, but have you considered why it is the case?

    Could be important.

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    How many versions of the 60mm V mount lens are there?.

    Distagon f/5.6 60 mm C
    Distagon f/4 60 mm C small production run no T* AFAIK
    Distagon f/3.5 60 mm C and T* version
    below all are T*
    Distagon f/3.5 60 mm CF
    Distagon f/3.5 60 mm CFi
    Distagon f/3.5 60 mm CB

    AFAIK there was no E - electronic databus version or F version although that is not strictly true there was a 60mm f5.6 for the 1600F, 1000F bodies (1948-57) and there was also a 60mm f/5.6 MK Biogon for the MK70.

    You could keep yourself well occupied just collecting all those variants

    I have no hands on experience with any but I'm actively looking for a f3.5 C uncoated, just into non T* look at the moment.
    Last edited by ChrisLivsey; 10th July 2016 at 04:20.
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hi Rob,

    I have paid considerable thought to it and I simply don't know. There are a few obvious factors:

    • I have just used the system for the latest three years
    • Although I am essentially tripod bound, I also shoot freehand
    • I shoot everything from fisheye to extreme telephoto
    • Recently I am shooting a lot of tilt and shift


    There are some other factors, the MFD images are often:
    • A bit boring
    • Static - lacking dynamics

    I would suggest this is not a technical quality issue, more about zooming with your feet instead of zooming with your lens.

    I am essentially tripod bound. The way I work more often than not the camera is in the backpack, with no lens. So, when I see a subject I walk around, looking for a good vantage point. Finding my vantage point I set up the tripod. Once tripod is set up I choose the lens, tune the composition etc.

    On the other hand I can often just lift the camera of the tripod and shoot some folks standing around.

    The third factor is that the MFD gear tends to be left behind when I go to places. If it's a long walk, it is MFD that is left behind.

    Here are some samples:

    P45+ shoot at Max Valier observatory: (Carrying both P45+ and 135)


    Sony shot at Max Valier observatory:


    Sony shot at Giau Pass:


    Phase One shot at Karersee:


    Sony shot:


    Phase One shot:


    This Phase one shot almost made it to an exhibition, but anded up standing in kitchen…


    P45+


    P45+


    P45+


    Sony;


    These small images don't show any relevant image quality differences. But I would say is that I don't see any significant differences in prints, up to A2-size (16" x 23"). Printing larger the 39 MP P45+ is "better" than the Sony A99 at 24 MP. To me it seems that the Sony A7rII has a small lead over the Hasselblad 555/ELD P45+ combo with regard to image quality, both these cameras are around 39 MP, with the Sony cropped to P45+ dimensions, so comparing is easy.

    But, I don't think technical quality decides what goes on the wall.

    That is what I can say right now.

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by AreBee View Post
    Erik,



    You have written this on several occasions, but have you considered why it is the case?

    Could be important.

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Even though my SWC/M with my P45+ was my favorite HB, I always remembered my first HB, the 500C, which I bought in the early 70's. I had to 80 and 250 at the time, as no more funds to get more lenses.

    When I got the P45+ I later looked for a 503CW and skipped any wides due to owning the SWC, but did get the 100 (lovely), the 150 (nice), 250 (my favorite perhaps due to 70's nostalgia) and 350 (loved it, but became just too large to backpack along with my other gear). I basically used all my HB gear for landscapes.

    At the same time I used the HB system, I also used my 5D3 for studio and sports and M's for street and occasionally landscape, especially the Monochrom plus a Q later for both street and landscape.

    Images available under the recent thread about whether Leicas can be used for landscape or only street.

    Is Leica Really Just a Street / People System?

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    [IMG]_DSC3787.jpg by Peetey, on Flickr[/IMG]

    I've been shooting with a 205TCC and 503CW for many years now ( Marc will recognise the CFE 4/40 IF) [ 50 FE, 100/2 FE, 80 CFE, 150 Cfi and 180 CFi ]. My observations regarding all these lenses is that they are ok-ish when shooting digital but were all designed to shoot with film. The 503CW has a CFV11 -16 on it and the 205TCC [ thanks Phon] I have used with both the CFV11 and a Sinar 75LV with adaptor. The Leica S2 can mount via adaptor as well.

    Below is a shot cropped to pano ( 75% size of native file used ) with the CFE 40/4 IF and Leica S2 - great detail at focal plane and good corner sharpness is to be expected, however ( from my experience) absolute hyperfocal sharpness is significantly below the quality of what you get from Hasselblad HC lenses for the H series camera - and miles behind a Rodenstock. You get a 'reverse' tele view of the world with the 40....pushes objects away somewhat. however for a no corrections applied outcome - the quality of the lens is very high. Yes it is a big boy.

    [IMG]scraper.jpg by Peetey, on Flickr[/IMG]

    For me all this Hassleblad V gear along with Hy6 kit and RBZ full kit are great for studio work, poor for walk around work and all really designed for a film world. I have decided to clean out my cupboards- because quite frankly, I don't use the stuff as much as it should be used and there are people out there who will use the stuff.

    All that said - I have some special shots and memories made and preserved using the Hasselblad V lenses - and lens perfection isn't really that important to image making - gear is great , but making shots and memories is better.

    Below is an image made with 205TCC CFV11-16 and the famous FE 110/2.

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Great thread, thanks for all who are involved in posting!

    If one is trying to amass a V series kit for digital (in my case a Credo 60) which body do people generally think is best to look out for? From my understanding the 501C/M and 503C/W are the latest model 500 series camera bodies? I don't care for using an auto winder, so the 501C/M seems better – and cheaper – but would I do well to look out for older models?

    Essentially I'm thinking if I buy from somewhere like Pro Centre in London I could ask them to check calibration before sending? Or is it hit and miss with calibrating the screen in these cameras regardless?

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    The V system is a lovely compact modular design, with a lot of appeal. But is there a need for a bit of discussion about focus calibration? It would be interesting to know how folks have tackled calibration of focus screen to back, and the differing lens requirements. Is focus shift ever an issue? Anyone done "screen to tethered" inspections to see how this all works out?

    Perhaps the concern about aging eyes is about getting an older mech'l camera calibrated to precision levels required by higher res backs. Are fat pixel backs more forgiving?
    Last edited by Geoff; 11th July 2016 at 03:18.
    Geoff

    www.gigi-photos.com
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hello All.

    This is a wonderful thread, even for someone of my ilk who has little technical knowledge of the optics of cameras. I have a 500C/M and an assortment of lenses. I use them because I enjoy the look of them, and I enjoy the brilliance and feel of the mechanisms.

    I have noted in some of the latest posts that there is a recognition that so many (most?) of the cameras around produce images that are "good enough", be they film or digital. The differentiating element for good photography lies in the subject matter, not the camera. Many of my "best" photographs are technically poor, but the subject is compelling as far as the viewer is concerned.

    I was also wondering with respect to the question about which body to purchase that the body played very little part in the process as long as it basically worked? The light passes straight through the body when the shot is taken?

    :-) ... MomentsForZen (Richard)

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    I guess this is at the heart of my question. Is there a particular model of 500 series body that is easier to calibrate for focus or is known to better maintain calibration after it is adjusted perfectly? I'm assuming that the newer models like the 501cm / 503cw are better, so long as they weren't abused?

    In other words, do the newer models allow for tighter calibration tollerances due to better materials, etc?

    I'm asking this question because I mounted my Credo on a very well used 500C a while back and the focus screen was quite clearly out with resulting photos very much back focused. It depressed me a bit – although I'm quite happy using my back only a technical camera only – because I realised it might be hard to find a body with acceptable focus calibration. Who do people send these bodies to for adjustment? Do Hasselblad still do this, or do they farm it out to people in different countries? I'm in the antipodes, so that's where things get tricky for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    The V system is a lovely compact modular design, with a lot of appeal. But is there a need for a bit of discussion about focus calibration? It would be interesting to know how folks have tackled calibration of focus screen to back, and the differing lens requirements. Is focus shift ever an issue? Anyone done "screen to tethered" inspections to see how this all works out?

    Perhaps the concern about aging eyes is about getting an older mech'l camera calibrated to precision levels required by higher res backs. Are fat pixel backs more forgiving?

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post

    But, I don't think technical quality decides what goes on the wall.

    That is what I can say right now.


    Erik

    Erik,

    I don't think it's ever the technical quality although obviously at a certain point it does become relevant. It is always about what kind of photography you can do with a camera and how easy it is.

    I've found that traveling with friends and family makes it almost impossible to carry and use heavier equipment. There is not enough time to 'do your own thing' and fiddle about with settings and lenses. You tend to hold people up and delay the proceedings. The luxury of a slow, measured approach to landscape photography is only possible when you are alone or on a special trip with like minded photographers.

    Many of the locations I have traveled to are difficult to go back to again on my own, so I now tend to simply use the most portable and yet high resolution system, which is the Sony. Except for wildlife action, it is almost perfectly suited for all my imaging needs.

    Naturally, in my case too, very few of my MF prints have made it to the wall.
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    I guess this is at the heart of my question. Is there a particular model of 500 series body that is easier to calibrate for focus or is known to better maintain calibration after it is adjusted perfectly? I'm assuming that the newer models like the 501cm / 503cw are better, so long as they weren't abused?

    In other words, do the newer models allow for tighter calibration tollerances due to better materials, etc?

    I'm asking this question because I mounted my Credo on a very well used 500C a while back and the focus screen was quite clearly out with resulting photos very much back focused. It depressed me a bit – although I'm quite happy using my back only a technical camera only – because I realised it might be hard to find a body with acceptable focus calibration. Who do people send these bodies to for adjustment? Do Hasselblad still do this, or do they farm it out to people in different countries? I'm in the antipodes, so that's where things get tricky for me.
    I don't think newer bodies are better because of manufacture as such, I speculate that, like Leica, over the years plastic parts have made their way into the mechanisms which may not be detrimental just saying.
    The primary issue is how they have been cared for. If you look at the pictures of bodies on line, ignoring those that cover the rear mount with a back or cover, always suspect, you will note those that have the silver scuff marks from the rough and approximate mounting of backs usually from pro use opposed to those that are, usually, from careful amateur owners who attach backs slowly and precisely. On the other hand those professionals often routinely retuned bodies for factory service sometimes annually as Hasselblad recommended for constant usage, two to three years otherwise,a cost amateurs are unlikely to have undertaken.
    For some of idea of the complexity look here:
    Service Manual 503CW
    http://www.galerie-photo.com/manuels...-500-503cw.pdf
    You will note special tools for focus calibration.
    You will also note the film plane tolerance ± 0.03 mm, and the rather complex instructions for the screen: Position the microscope V-2236 on the screen adapter V-4705. Adjust (all four screws) the screen height with V-4704 until the green line is central between the two red lines. Use the engraved cross on tool as reference.

    Personally mine went to Hasselblad for service and calibration with a note saying it was for digital back use, that may or may not have affected tolerances I have no issues. I have owned the body from new so am aware of any abuse it may have suffered, usually swearing at it when the dark slide is still in.
    I have not read that some bodies are "better" than others in focus or maintaining it.

    If you are looking at ProCentre look also here:
    http://www.cameramuseum.uk/
    They have on site repair facilities and as a customer I have found them good.

    I don't think if buying secondhand you can beat actually handling the camera to gauge its condition but understand that may not be possible.
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    I guess this is at the heart of my question. Is there a particular model of 500 series body that is easier to calibrate for focus or is known to better maintain calibration after it is adjusted perfectly? I'm assuming that the newer models like the 501cm / 503cw are better, so long as they weren't abused?

    In other words, do the newer models allow for tighter calibration tollerances due to better materials, etc?

    I'm asking this question because I mounted my Credo on a very well used 500C a while back and the focus screen was quite clearly out with resulting photos very much back focused. It depressed me a bit – although I'm quite happy using my back only a technical camera only – because I realised it might be hard to find a body with acceptable focus calibration. Who do people send these bodies to for adjustment? Do Hasselblad still do this, or do they farm it out to people in different countries? I'm in the antipodes, so that's where things get tricky for me.
    Hasselblad opted for matched back to camera a few models ago - in their H series. Leica opted for permanent mounting of the chip IN the camera - we have ample anecdotal evidence on the board regarding issues with mounting mirror boxes properly and even the chip itself from Nikon in the 800 series cameras...Alpa provide a set of shims with each Alpa - so that your desired back can be 'calibrated' to infinity or whatever distance you choose ( with one lens) ....

    It is a very good question posed by Geoff and picked up by yourself....

    think about the tolerances that have to be dealt with when you are looking at a plane of focus ( the chip) whose individual components ( pixels) are measured in microns (1000's of a millimeter) and this plane has to be fixed to a housing which then has to be fitted to a camera- Hasselblad V series cameras were not designed for such tolerances ...

    In order to test the 'fit' of 'a' back to 'a' camera body - first one would test the back's mounting ( assuming the chip or capture plane ) is mounted perfectly within the body of the back one would place the back on a fixture which secured it to parallel to a granite surface plate and then use a test indicator to sweep across and around the actual mounting plate to test for how 'flat' or parallel to the surface plate ( your reference datum) is - and then repeat for camera body. I have no doubt whatsoever that no camera back or MFD back will be perfectly flat relative to each other....it comes down to how flat is good enough which comes down to what is good enough...

    and the best answer is provided by Alpa who provide those shim sets and then you go through a complicated 'calibration routine' ...for' a lens' at 'a' given distance ( usually infinity ) and to test you do some pixel peeping - rinse and repeat until you are happy or just fed up and say well that will have to do...

    and then you have to remind yourself that metal expands and contracts according to temperature - the colder it is the more it contracts and the hotter it is the more it expands- oh yes only tiny amounts for sure - but enough to make any calibration less than the optimal that was decided on when it was decided that the calibration was good enough...

    When one is dealing with microns or hundreds of microns - all it takes is a finger to touch the metal and your measurements will be off.

    Now for the good news - you can see that any depth of field or hyperfocal set of tables for a given lens to film plane distance will produce a given 'theoretical' circle of confusion around a theoretical perfect focus point - so one can figure out how much difference X amount if out of perfect plane for a chip or a back will actually make.

    For wide angle shooting ( forgetting diffraction issues) no big deal because your camera back would actually not be mating properly with the digi back - before it makes any difference shooting at say f8-11 for hyperfocal maximisation of good enough focus.

    I wouldn't use a HAsselblod V for macro work OR telephoto work OR portrait work of the type which sees one eye in focus and the other not - people show these shots - precisely because it isn't easy with this type of gear.

    Sorry for the long winded response I thought I'd touch on some of the issues pertinent to the conversation.

    and in conclusion the holy grail of photography ( at least for technical shooting) would be decent live view and zoom for focus - where the photographer can see exactly where the plane of focus lies on each shot....CMOS tech allows for much better live view - and is precisely the resonm I am finally considering 'updating' my digiback to an elephant gun size in terms of megapixels.
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    This discussion has now reminded me that I might have one last item:

    -Hasselblad Acute Matte D PN 42215 with HB case for 503CW. If interested let me know and will try to dig it up.

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    As Chris mentions, the decision whether to purchase a newer vs older body is muddled by how much abuse the body has taken and whether it was recently (and properly) serviced and aligned, issues that are not always obvious by casual inspection. I have two 500 series bodies - an old 500C that I've had for 40+ years and a newer 501CM. After a recent service by a local technician my 500C back-focuses slightly and when I purchased my 501 - in excellent shape otherwise, at least cosmetically - it front-focused substantially. I recall looking through the 501 on my tech's collimator and the test image appeared perfectly sharp. At that point I realized that alignment with a more sophisticated calibration method was needed. To make a long story short, an overhaul by Hasselblad-Bron in New Jersey (I'm in the US) completely resolved the issue. I will admit that I drove myself (and the senior tech at Hasselblad) a little crazy sorting this out but in the end the camera is now set up perfectly, at least until the mirror works its way out of alignment again from normal use. Screen height and screens also play a role although I imagine that once your screen is properly dialed in, it shouldn't drift out of alignment too easily. I found some variation from screen to screen, or at least between my specific copies of a matte screen and split/microprism screen. So, it's important to have the body aligned with the screen you intend to use most, and to verify that any other screens you use are within your tolerance for focus error. It's also important to verify that the lens and back mounts are aligned and true - something that requires a special jig from what I understand. Finally, it cannot be overemphasized that the person doing the adjustment needs to have the right tools and knows how to use them.

    Responding to a previous query, shooting tethered allows one to check focus pretty easily, although I can tell you from experience that this can be a deep, deep rabbit hole in its own right...

    I don't know how alignment of the sensor in the back is determined but mine was checked and adjusted by Phase One shortly after I purchased it as a "refurbished" unit.

    As for the aging eyeballs... for me this has been a slow and losing battle but adjusting the eyepieces to my eyes and having the camera working properly certainly helps. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a CMOS back or camera before all of my images go blurry. The new X1D certainly opens up some possibilities...

    - John
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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Focusing accuracy

    Hi,

    Regarding focusing accuracy, I would say it makes some sense to discuss the focusing accuracy at the film plane. Let's assume that we have P45+ sensor, it has a pixel pitch of 6.8 microns. My experience/opinion is that the image starts to degrade when CoC exceeds something like 1.5X the pixel pitch. So, for optimal sharpness the P45+ would require a CoC of 10.2 microns. The amount of allowable defocus at f/8 would be 8*10.2 -> 81.6 microns, say 80 microns. At f/2.8 the limit would be 2.8 * 10.2 -> 28.56 microns say 29 microns.

    Factory calibration on the Hasselblad is +/- 30 microns and on the P45+ back +/- 12 microns. So worst case would not be OK for f/2.8 but very much OK for f/8.

    How can you check focusing accuracy? Simply:

    • Take your fastest lens set focus at infinity and shoot a quite distant subject at full aperture at infinity stop. If you get a good image, the body is well aligned.
    • If you have a split image viewfinder you can check that it indicates perfect focus on the distant object.


    If possible, you should use a viewfinder magnifier for this.

    How do you know that you have good focus? If you can see aliasing effects you probably have decent focus.

    For good sharpness, don't rely on DoF markings. They are calculated for 66 microns, or so.

    It is quite OK to stop down a bit. With the best Hasselblad lenses, like the two Sonnars, you would probably need f/5.6 for best performance and you essentially get rid of aliasing at f/16. But you can sharpen an f/16 image quite a bit.

    Many Hasselblad lenses have some field curvature. In general, I found that f/11 is a pretty decent compromise. Sonnars and Planar 100/3.5 achieve peak performance at around f/5.6. Some degradation of image quality is visible at f/8.

    The DoF scales on the lens are based on small prints and they will mislead if you want to make large prints that hold up to close scrutiny.

    One thing to consider is that most good lenses will perform about the same at f/8. So, if you are shooting small apertures, you don't need expensive lenses.

    Best regards
    Erik

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hi Pradeep,

    I am fortunate to have tolerant family and friends. Also, I am very much in favour of a tripod base workflow.

    Still, I find that a small and flexible system like the A7rII is preferable. It may not be the ultimate pleasure to work with, but it does the job and can deliver excellent image quality. Add to that, being able to do "Scheimpflug" in a small package matters a lot to me.

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    Erik,

    I don't think it's ever the technical quality although obviously at a certain point it does become relevant. It is always about what kind of photography you can do with a camera and how easy it is.

    I've found that traveling with friends and family makes it almost impossible to carry and use heavier equipment. There is not enough time to 'do your own thing' and fiddle about with settings and lenses. You tend to hold people up and delay the proceedings. The luxury of a slow, measured approach to landscape photography is only possible when you are alone or on a special trip with like minded photographers.

    Many of the locations I have traveled to are difficult to go back to again on my own, so I now tend to simply use the most portable and yet high resolution system, which is the Sony. Except for wildlife action, it is almost perfectly suited for all my imaging needs.

    Naturally, in my case too, very few of my MF prints have made it to the wall.

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    Re: Focusing accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Hi,

    Regarding focusing accuracy, I would say it makes some sense to discuss the focusing accuracy at the film plane. Let's assume that we have P45+ sensor, it has a pixel pitch of 6.8 microns. My experience/opinion is that the image starts to degrade when CoC exceeds something like 1.5X the pixel pitch. So, for optimal sharpness the P45+ would require a CoC of 10.2 microns. The amount of allowable defocus at f/8 would be 8*10.2 -> 81.6 microns, say 80 microns. At f/2.8 the limit would be 2.8 * 10.2 -> 28.56 microns say 29 microns.

    Factory calibration on the Hasselblad is +/- 30 microns and on the P45+ back +/- 12 microns. So worst case would not be OK for f/2.8 but very much OK for f/8.

    How can you check focusing accuracy? Simply:

    • Take your fastest lens set focus at infinity and shoot a quite distant subject at full aperture at infinity stop. If you get a good image, the body is well aligned.
    • If you have a split image viewfinder you can check that it indicates perfect focus on the distant object.


    If possible, you should use a viewfinder magnifier for this.

    How do you know that you have good focus? If you can see aliasing effects you probably have decent focus.

    For good sharpness, don't rely on DoF markings. They are calculated for 66 microns, or so.

    It is quite OK to stop down a bit. With the best Hasselblad lenses, like the two Sonnars, you would probably need f/5.6 for best performance and you essentially get rid of aliasing at f/16. But you can sharpen an f/16 image quite a bit.

    Many Hasselblad lenses have some field curvature. In general, I found that f/11 is a pretty decent compromise. Sonnars and Planar 100/3.5 achieve peak performance at around f/5.6. Some degradation of image quality is visible at f/8.

    The DoF scales on the lens are based on small prints and they will mislead if you want to make large prints that hold up to close scrutiny.

    One thing to consider is that most good lenses will perform about the same at f/8. So, if you are shooting small apertures, you don't need expensive lenses.

    Best regards
    Erik
    Erik -
    There is some good information in the above post, especially regarding tolerances at both wide open and at f8, and the factory tolerances. But I wonder if something is missing here - as this is in general assuming that the focus set at the GG is working with the focus plane of the sensor.

    The other issues to be addressed might include:

    - variation in focus settings by each lens
    - mirror shift
    - focus shift in each lens (near to far)
    - what is acceptable tolerance for focusing at the GG

    Some of these could be put to rest by taking the GG out the equation, and just examining the shots by tethering, and looking at 100%.

    Best,
    Geoff

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Focusing accuracy

    Hi,

    The two test I suggest take both issues into account. The first one, the infinity test confirms that sensor is in proper register with lens. The second confirms that lens, mirror and ground glass are aligned at the focusing point. But that test is limited by your vision. Split image makes use of vernier acuity, so it extends the practical resolution of human vision.

    But, I agree that a tethered set up is more accurate, but shooting in the field you are still limited by your vision.

    With CMOS backs, you can use magnified live view. But even magnified live view has some issues and one of them may be focus shift. I don't think there is much focus shift on Hasselblad lenses, but I don't know.

    Also important, if focus is accurate, aliasing is present. On the P45+ you need f/16 to eliminate aliasing, at f/11 it aliases a lot. So if you can detect aliasing in a lot of your pictures you probably have good focusing. If you don't it may be that you or your subjects are not prone to aliasing.

    The link below shows to images shot with the 100/3.5CF probably at f/11, the one on the left is a three way stitch shot with the Sony A7rII, downsized to 5433 pixels width the on the right side is from the P45+.

    The area marked on right shows a kind of colour aliasing. That indicates that the "CoC" (including defocus, residual aberrations and diffraction) doesn't smear the image enough to cover significantly more than a single pixel.
    http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/Ar...s/Aliasing.png

    Best regards
    Erik

    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Erik -
    There is some good information in the above post, especially regarding tolerances at both wide open and at f8, and the factory tolerances. But I wonder if something is missing here - as this is in general assuming that the focus set at the GG is working with the focus plane of the sensor.

    The other issues to be addressed might include:

    - variation in focus settings by each lens
    - mirror shift
    - focus shift in each lens (near to far)
    - what is acceptable tolerance for focusing at the GG

    Some of these could be put to rest by taking the GG out the equation, and just examining the shots by tethering, and looking at 100%.

    Best,
    Geoff
    Last edited by ErikKaffehr; 11th July 2016 at 22:54.

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Dear All,

    I couldn't resist jumping-in here.

    We all have different Hassy-V bodies.....lenses.....viewfinders.....backs...tech niques..
    ...experiences.

    But...what we all have in common is one thing: the final image.

    Unlike film, with a MFDB I can check my focus after each exposure.

    Sure, if light and fleeting-image demand...that's where my personal experience with each body-lens-viewfinder-back comes into play.

    I know my various cameras.

    I know my various lenses.

    I know my 2-MFDB's.

    Now...what do I do with "this" body"..."this" lens...."this" viewfinder..."this" back....
    "this" setting....????

    That's the trick.

    I have some written notes. I have volumes of unwritten notes. I use my intuition. I use (sometimes) brute force....like a light-meter!

    Sure...I've spent hours aligning...refining...defining. But in "the moment," those hours are only as good as I am, right then.

    I share my humble reflections with you....as we all enjoy the wisdom and experiences of the posters thus far!

    Cheers,

    Hank

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    I don't get this discussion on focus, tolerances, etc... I use an H4D which was calibrated by Hasselblad a few years ago. When I take a picture, I point the AF at the subject, let the camera focus and focus is perfect. Each time.

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    I don't get this discussion on focus, tolerances, etc... I use an H4D which was calibrated by Hasselblad a few years ago. When I take a picture, I point the AF at the subject, let the camera focus and focus is perfect. Each time.
    The clue lies in the thread title- V-series, not H series.

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    But you're using an H camera, with autofocus, not a V with manual focus. An H is, relatively speaking at least, a lot newer and designed for much tighter tollerances than the V system ever was.

    I have a V mount Credo 60 that I've never mounted on a V camera. Focus is perfect using a GG on my Linhof Techno, which suggests my back is in good alignment. I'm wanting to use the back on an SLR and I very much appreciate other peoples thoughts on using it with an older 500 series camera and the pitfalls, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    I don't get this discussion on focus, tolerances, etc... I use an H4D which was calibrated by Hasselblad a few years ago. When I take a picture, I point the AF at the subject, let the camera focus and focus is perfect. Each time.

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    I don't get this discussion on focus, tolerances, etc... I use an H4D which was calibrated by Hasselblad a few years ago. When I take a picture, I point the AF at the subject, let the camera focus and focus is perfect. Each time.
    Not only are the H lenses AF, they employ True Focus … which is not to be confused with True Focus-Absolute Position Lock. Before Hasselblad introduced TF-APL in the H4D, True Focus meant that each lens was mapped to make micro adjustments to correct for any focus shift. My H dealer once demo'ed this for me (on my H3D-II/39 if I recall correctly), and I could hear the lens make a tiny focus adjustment. It is one benefit of electronic control that the mechanical/manual lenses lack.

    - Marc

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Not only are the H lenses AF, they employ True Focus … which is not to be confused with True Focus-Absolute Position Lock.
    I think this was called ultra focus. The mechanism is described in this article:
    http://static.hasselblad.com/2015/02..._of_lenses.pdf
    Frans Rutten
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    You are probably right. Early on I swear my dealer referenced it as True Focus (which makes sense if you think about it). It probably always was Ultra Focus, but I'm not sure now … my memory may be the only thing that's fuzzy … LOL!

    No matter, the concept works.

    Another interesting focus aid Hasselblad had was a sonar type audio/graph in the Phocus Software. You'd turn this on and make micro adjustments manually listening to the feed-back and watching the graph. He used that focus aid to shim my Schneider 120 Macro on a view camera.

    Hasselblad has tried a lot of interesting innovations which aren't common knowledge. Some good, some not so good.

    I think they are the first to make a back that directly shot DNG files. It was a H2D/22. Unfortunately, it was to early on in the DNG development and never worked all that well. I had one, and Hasselblad replaced it with a regular H2D/22 no questions asked.

    - Marc

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    I have to reply even though I never used a traditional V body with digital -- but that caveat stated, I did use V and F lenses adapted to other systems for MF DB as well as DSLR capture

    First comment -- P45+ was my first serious DB and I still have many images from it hanging on my studio walls. At it's current price-point, I have considered getting another one to use on a 203...

    Lenses in general -- especially with MF, I think absolute sharpness is over-rated; and perhaps even more so, corner sharpness gets over-rated. There is so much more to making a "great image" than optical perfection, especially in the corners. In fact, I believe that some optical imperfections can be magnificent when used to advantage. Several legacy Hassy V and F lenses have pleasing aberrations (as does most Mandler era Leica glass).

    My only point here is to forget about optical perfection -- most any MF lens is more than good enough optically to make great images -- and focus on making images that exploit your particular lens anomalies.

    My .02...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    But you're using an H camera, with autofocus, not a V with manual focus. An H is, relatively speaking at least, a lot newer and designed for much tighter tolerances than the V system ever was.
    Actually, when I use manual focus on my H, I also get it right, which proves that it is possible to adjust the tolerances between the sensor plane and the ground glass plane to be small enough. And the discussion I answered was specifically about tolerances, that temperature variations would wreak havoc calibration, etc...

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hi Jack,

    I agree sort of, but…

    I guess that many of us look into MF for ultimate image quality. After all, Ctein says in an interview with Michael Reichmann is that Micro 4/3 at 16 MP is good enough for his work up to A2-size (16"x23").

    Personally, I have great respect for that view, especially as I have found that 12 MP on APS-C was good enough for A2 size.

    On the other hand, some photographers like Charlie Cramer and Joseph Holmes found that the P45/P45+ was an adequate replacement for 4"x5". I guess that you need thrive for optimum quality to replace 4"x5".

    Personally, I am a bit of image quality freak, but my measure is good tree tops. If I can have good tree tops at the corner of the image that look natural I am quite happy. They don't need to be extremely sharp, but they need to look good.

    Best regards
    Erik



    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I have to reply even though I never used a traditional V body with digital -- but that caveat stated, I did use V and F lenses adapted to other systems for MF DB as well as DSLR capture

    First comment -- P45+ was my first serious DB and I still have many images from it hanging on my studio walls. At it's current price-point, I have considered getting another one to use on a 203...

    Lenses in general -- especially with MF, I think absolute sharpness is over-rated; and perhaps even more so, corner sharpness gets over-rated. There is so much more to making a "great image" than optical perfection, especially in the corners. In fact, I believe that some optical imperfections can be magnificent when used to advantage. Several legacy Hassy V and F lenses have pleasing aberrations (as does most Mandler era Leica glass).

    My only point here is to forget about optical perfection -- most any MF lens is more than good enough optically to make great images -- and focus on making images that exploit your particular lens anomalies.

    My .02...

  48. #48
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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Hi,

    Thanks for calling that article to attention. I have read it several time but missed out on the "Ultra-focus" thing. I used to read Lloyd Chambers DAP-site and he essentially complained about AF on most cameras, like Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax and Leica. But it seems that he didn't complain on AF regarding the Hasselblad he tested. Nice to hear that Hasselblad handles focus shift when stopping down.

    Just to say, it is a minor effect. If Hasselblad takes care of that they clearly deserve a honourable mention in the despatches.

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by Miller View Post
    I think this was called ultra focus. The mechanism is described in this article:
    http://static.hasselblad.com/2015/02..._of_lenses.pdf

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Erik,

    Nice to hear that Hasselblad handles focus shift when stopping down.
    It is my understanding that the Leica S also takes focus shift into account when focusing.

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    Re: Some reflections on my V-series Hasselblad/P45 kit…

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Hi Jack,

    I agree sort of, but…

    I guess that many of us look into MF for ultimate image quality. After all, Ctein says in an interview with Michael Reichmann is that Micro 4/3 at 16 MP is good enough for his work up to A2-size (16"x23").

    Personally, I have great respect for that view, especially as I have found that 12 MP on APS-C was good enough for A2 size.
    If all you're looking at is the per-pixel image quality, then yes I'd agree. However, many of us believe there is (a lot) more to an image's net "quality" than per-pixel IQ -- I'll call it the "collection of pixels" IQ...

    On the other hand, some photographers like Charlie Cramer and Joseph Holmes found that the P45/P45+ was an adequate replacement for 4"x5". I guess that you need thrive for optimum quality to replace 4"x5".
    Charlie, Joe, Bill (Atkinson) and I all had this discussion, and I sold my 4x5 film gear within a few months of acquiring my P45+ as well. (FTR, Joe was slowest to adopt but not why you think -- he did not want to give up the easier focus with movements that a 4x5 GG offered. But then he owned a Tango scanner too )

    Personally, I am a bit of image quality freak, but my measure is good tree tops. If I can have good tree tops at the corner of the image that look natural I am quite happy. They don't need to be extremely sharp, but they need to look good.
    No problem, just make sure to account for field curvature with your MF lenses as by design they have more than M4/3 or DSLR glass does


    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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