The *existing* V owners. You talk only about new sales. New sales had dropped off a cliff because Hasselblad has provided no way forward with the system, not the other way around. People love their Vs. Hasselblad was one of the companies which ignored digital for way too long. There are still lots of V owners who harbour resentment for the abandonment of their V cameras. I thought that you were a big fan of the 203FE. Doesn't it bother you in the slightest that a large square sensor was never released? We frequent the same forums. I don't know why you don't notice the people lamenting the death of their V system. I do.Abandoned the V system. Who cares?
At this point it is no longer clear if it would be a success, although I tend to believe that it would. It would have to a simple back with good integration with the V system, for a low price, however. V owners are probably not the buyers of P65+ and AFiII-10 backs... $12k for a 30MP 48x48mm back would probably be a good place. When that it economically feasible, someone should do it, I don't care who.That said, there are a ton of legacy V users that would love a bigger square sensor. However, I seriously doubt it would be a barn burner in terms of sales unless by some miracle it was a CFV-II 48X48 priced below $15K.
It may increase sales. But it may also just lower income. It is always a gamble. If the coming system (speaking generally here...) is hotly anticipated, then it may change nothing, except your profit margin.Also, why wouldn't any company blunt the intro of a potential competitor by using a entry level pricing strategy? That strategy doesn't produce a bloody nose, it produces sales into your system rather than the competitor's.
If you built a 6 x 6 sensor with a 9 micron or better a 6 micron pixel size. What do you think...
a) The cost of the this sensor would be and
b) How many MegaPixels it would be
Is that directed at me? It would be huge and cost a fortune. I am asking for a 30MP 48x48mm sensor myself, as I think that this can be done affordably.
You wouldn't, and probably many, perhaps even most others wouldn't. But if Hasselblad keeps making unpopular moves like this, it does affect how people think about them, and it just sits there in your head and simmers. If one day an opportunity arises for a switch, some might just take it. A loss of faith can change things very fast. Have you read "The Tipping Point"?
This assumes a loss of faith ... which I only see from people that aren't buying their products anyway. Those moves were mostly unpopular with owners of other backs and the companies that make them. Hasselblad is now Imacon which also happens to make their own camera ... why would they care about those buying someone else's digital back .... which is where the money is?
The *existing* V owners. You talk only about new sales. New sales had dropped off a cliff because Hasselblad has provided no way forward with the system, not the other way around. People love their Vs. Hasselblad was one of the companies which ignored digital for way too long. There are still lots of V owners who harbour resentment for the abandonment of their V cameras. I thought that you were a big fan of the 203FE. Doesn't it bother you in the slightest that a large square sensor was never released? We frequent the same forums. I don't know why you don't notice the people lamenting the death of their V system. I do.
Well, Hasselblad may have ignored it since they were a camera company back then, but virtually every digital back made worked on the V, so what's the issue? As to sales dropping off a cliff due to lack of developing the V system further ... why would they do that? Why not develop a whole new proprietary camera platform that uses the current (and still current digital) technology? Years later, and there still is no larger square sensor from any sensor maker to use on the V system. It was, and still is, vaporware.
One fact tends to escape everyone here .... Hasselblad is the ONLY MFD system that makes both the separate digital back and the modular camera system that's matched to it. Phase relies on other camera makers. So does Leaf and to some extent Sinar. Now there is the specter of the Hy6 going bye-bye with the possible demise of F&H. What if Mamiya goes belly up? Plenty of used gear to work with, but no more advancement in either camera system to stay current with developments in digital back technology.
At this point it is no longer clear if it would be a success, although I tend to believe that it would. It would have to a simple back with good integration with the V system, for a low price, however. V owners are probably not the buyers of P65+ and AFiII-10 backs... $12k for a 30MP 48x48mm back would probably be a good place. When that it economically feasible, someone should do it, I don't care who.
Doesn't exist. Vaporware. Wishful thinking (by me also). It's up to the sensor makers to do this ... if it'd be such a hot prospect why aren't they doing it?
It may increase sales. But it may also just lower income. It is always a gamble. If the coming system (speaking generally here...) is hotly anticipated, then it may change nothing, except your profit margin.
That is not how it works. The H3D is not new, it's R&D is probably covered already so it's likely that it'd still be profitable even at $12 or 13K ... or if not, would not be a loss leader draining profit margins ... which ancillary sales would most likely mitigate anyway.
All of which is good as far as I'm concerned ... the lower the price of this stuff the better ... especially now when business is so bad. But admittedly not so great for Leica trying to launch into the marketplace with competitors who's R&D costs have already been amortized to a great extent
Okay, it seems that our opionions on the matter just differ, and there doesn't really appear to be any way to resolve anything, so I'll just leave it at this point. We have both expressed our thoughts.
One minor point I wanted to respond to: the sensor makers don't work in a vacuum. When Leica wanted sensors for the DMR, M8 and S2, they went to Kodak with specs in hand. When Phase wanted to make the P65+, they went to Dalsa. These companies work with their customers. If a 36x56mm chip is possible, so is a 48x48mm chip. The only thing missing is the will.
It is as if the love of the square never existed, or as if it was a brief (decade-long actually) love affair. I don't understand why no one caters to this market. The square is still a wonderful way to frame things.
FWIW, I think I ought to add a little about my opinion of the H system, for those who feel attacked by my Hasselblad rants. My main issue is with the two decisions I have already mentioned: the killing of the V, and going from open to closed.
In fact, I consider the H system to be the strongest MF system on the market at the moment, and it doesn't appear to do anything worse than anyone else (except it doesn't match the 1-hour exposures of Phase), and it does a lot of things better. The integration is excellent, the viewfinder is bright, the system is very complete, and everything works well together. Hasselblad doesn't appear to suffer from the QA issues of Mamiya, or the partially out-of-date or incomplete Hy6 (although I am sure that this will be fixed with time). Leaf also seems to be going strongly, but Hasselblad just outperforms them at this time. If I were to go pro, and was looking into MF for those purposes, I would probably buy an H. Even though it is two-tone grey-brown.
But I am no pro, and I make photos for the love of it, and I feel an emotional connection to my Contax 645 and especially my V system that I don't expect to feel for the H. This is similar to how I prefer my M8 to a DSLR. The DSLR and the H are clearly more well-rounded and competent for pro work, but the soul is not there any more. They are just good tools.
I see 3/2 4/3 format digital capture as an addition to the square film based format, not as a replacement.
Yes... except that the square is now film and the tiny CFVII. Everything else is not made any more. And so for high-res digital squares, you need to crop or stitch, not always possible or attractive options.
As Marc pointed out , we do not have a bigger square sensor than 37x37 , because none of the sensor makers produces a bigger square sensor .
The H-SYSTEM could take a 48x48 sensor and I see big chances for good sales figures for such a back . I believe that some players in the game do not want a sensor 48x48 to come on the market . Technically , I think , it would not be a problem . If you can produce 36x56 sensors , why not 48x48 sensors ? ? ?
Btw, the H system is about the worst potential candidate for a 48x48 sensor. The viewfinder is only big enough for Hasselblad's 'new full frame - 48x36mm', afaik, and the image circle of some lenses is also too small (e.g. the 28mm only covers 48x36mm). The only realistic candidates for large square sensors are the Rollei 6000/Hy6/Afi or the old Hasselblad V systems (and I can't see anyone developing an expensive new sensor for the V).
http://www.graham-mitchell.com Graham Mitchell
I honestly think it is an economic thing -- most of the people willing to pay for medium format digital are shooting commercial where the end product is usually close to a 4:3 ratio. In film, shooting in a square was not a big deal as it just required slightly more film so if people cropped down, it tended not to really matter. With digital, that extra bit of sensor is a substantial extra cost given the difficulty in making sensors (the bigger it is, the more likelihood of an error in the chip, and consequently the higher rejection rate and cost). If 80-90% of their intended market is going to crop off that extra bit of information anyway, it makes more economic sense to stick to the 4:3 ratio.
As for the people who like the square -- it is more often artists and amateurs (I don't mean this in an derogatory sense...in the sense of someone who loves photography for making pictures, not for taking photos for catalogs, of products etc). In that market, people are less likely to want to pay 20,000-30,000 dollars for a digital back. They cannot amortize the costs and it is viewed as a discretionary expenditure rather than a business move. Hasselblad probably figures that they catered well to that market with the CFV -- they gave them a square sensor that worked seemlessly with the V series cameras and lenses that they preferred using. At the same time, they kept it at under 10,000 dollars so that it was an easier sell to this type of photographer. I am sure if they could make a full frame square chip for a price they thought would be profitable, they would do it.
Anyway, if anyone does it, it is likely to be Sinar or Leaf -- they have the camera system that is best suited to it (in the Hy6/AFi), and Leaf especially has shown willingness to make non-standard sized sensors. I suspect that the future of a square back from them will be dictated by how well the AFi 10 does.
Edit: I was writing this while Graham wrote his post...we were thinking along very similar lines.
well put, both Graham and Stuart.
Square format is not really that viable in the commercial end results. It's actually quite rare to see square in magazines , catalogs, and marketing pieces.
I question that. How many square format pictures do we see in magazines and ads ? Can't remember a single one
(apart from the pictures in the good old Hasselblad Forum magazine).
So it is left to hobbyist shooters. And there we have only few nerds left that are
willing to spend >12-15k Euro for a digital back.
I'm pretty sure the companies in that market have made their homework and
calculated the expected sales figures. The result speaks for itself.
Of course they may re-consider their decision, but then the price of the 48x48 has to drop to about 7-8k Euro (ala D3X).
Not sure when that will happen though. (if it happens i would by one for my V system since i love the square format,
meanwhile I'm totally happy with my H3DII)
Anyway, just my 2 cents.
I agree , that the final results in the professional world are in most cases not square and that square images would have to be cropped to a 4:3 ratio .
I have recently attended a model shooting where H-SYSTEM cameras have been used .
When I saw the photographers turning the cameras from horizontal to vertical position and back again , I thought , pour guys , and how wonderful and easy to handle must it be , to have a digital back with a big enough square sensor . Full concentration on the shooting without a lot of gymn . In other words , the square format would have the adantage of easier handling .
Following all your thought on square format I must say I fully agree with both sides.
As I was probably the one who initiated this discussion, I want to mention, that in my personal favor I like square, because it opens up my mind. Now this of course is not any justification for a business case, nor will it turn any manufacturer into building square format backs and systems for the digital world.
But on the other side consider, that evolution in the digital area is progressing extremely fast, thus in some time from now building square format sensors will become feasible and much cheaper than it is today. And maybe then the time has come ....
At least i would love it.
The "sensor size topic" has also been discussed in other forums and I have contributed as well . I admit sometime also emotional .
Why ? ? ?
First , because I do love the square format .
Second , because I hoped that sensor and digital back makers would hear my prayers and those of many others as well .
Then we were not far away from PHOTOKINA and not only my hopes were disappointed , but also many others did expect that something would happen in the "square sensor world " .
Nothing of the kind .
But presented was a sensor 36x56 . Here we have a ratio of 4:6,2 .
LEAF APTUS -II 10 . (ca.30.000 €)
Is there anyone out there , who sees a need for that size of sensor ? ? ?
It is not a pano sensor . Not wide enough . And with the currently available stitching software , panos are much cheaper to achieve .
So , who are the users for that format ? ? ?
But it looks as if the pixelmania rules the professional world . 50MP , 56MP , 60 MP . Were will the future development go ? ? ?
Pixelmania produces many funny flowers .
The journey will shurely bring us even bigger sensors .
But still , I will not give up hope for a 48x48 sensor digital back , which can be adapted to the V-SYSTEM .
And I do not care who makes it . Not any more . Even beeing a loyal owner of great HASSELBLAD gear .
If you trust internal road maps from RED, Phase One, and Hasselblad then we will all be shooting 1000 megapixel cameras at 100fps on 2 foot wide sensors in mid 2010.
Take the optimism of an R+D guy and magnify it through the lens of internal marketing evangelism and reality and plans often diverge by an order of magnitude.
Let's all live in the here and now shall we?
Doug Peterson (Email Me)
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Remember the build up to the Segway? When that guy was saying, "I have an invention that will change the world!" and it turned out to be a freaking scooter?
My guess is that Hasselblad is building a digital back into a Segway...
No, I hope it is a thing which will change all our lives, but I have a feeling Doug is probably right.
Where is Marc anyway? Did the black ops get him? Maybe he is out there screaming for help, or maybe he is out there, earning enough money to get that special thing that Hasselblad is coming out with. He has got my curiousity piqued, that is for sure.
I think it's important to understand that the S2 will have appeal way beyond the traditional MF crowd. By offering MF resolution and quality in a system that is weather sealed and has a form factor (size and ergonomics) that I know I can live with, this would be the only camera I need. Studio, street, on location at factories or in the jungle... I can't really see any situation when I would not bring an S2.
The Canikony all lack in one or more features, and the traditional MF cameras are not what I would carry around anywhere. A Sony with Zeiss lenses seems to be the strongest competitor in my book, but given the choice, and if price didn't matter, I would undoubtedly end up with the Leica.
The big question mark is the price. It will obviously be much more expensive than Canikony, and I keep asking myself how much I would be willing to pay, if I could afford it. At the moment I can't, and I probably have that in common with a lot of potential users.
I could certainly fill a much needed gap in my work with the S2. No question it has my name written all over it and exactly what I am looking for BUT this is not even a option for me UNTIL a FULL system is OUT and ALL systems are full bore with service , repairs, firmware , lenses and accessories. I will NOT go in with it half way and it must be priced correctly. Issue is this is not ready for me until after January about 3 or 4 months after release. For a Pro too be waiting is not always the best choice.
I have a question WRT resolution - which s actually the most important one for my needs: do you think that the 37MP will be enough for 60" x 40" or similar print sizes (mostly landscapes)? Would there not be the need for 50 or 60MP?
This is my biggest concern besides the fact that I have doubts how Leica will perform their professional service etc.
Maybe not that big, Jack can answer this better with regards to the 39mpx P45 plus which I think 40x60 maybe the limit with all the detail you will want to see. One issue also is the micro lenses which with regards to Moire it tends to knock down the high Nyquist value to eliminate Moire well in my mind this also knocks down the very finest details down also. No this is my thinking and we may need some more thoughts on this from the engineers. But in general like the P30 plus with micro lenses it is highly regarded as a fashion camera which helps control some moire. Now there is pixel pitch and other stuff here also so we may need to hear from more a expert in this area. Personally I think the sensor is too small for a 40 x 60. Not sure I would push my back this far on one frame.I know my P25 plus will go a easy 20 x30 and after that Jacks P45 plus will start taking over. My feeling is you will need the higher MPX backs to get 40 x 60. Peter if you need a raw file with these backs to play with that is not a issue. Steve and Doug would be able to help here.
7 feet wide for a wall display a client needed and even the printer was stunned at how good it looked.
Thirty day free demo here:
Would be interested in hearing of anyone's experiences with the latest version of this program with these MFD backs.
As paper I am using Hahnemühle Photo Rag (Matt) and Hahnemühle Artist Canvas. I am going for 300dpi (as long as I can).
So far I am getting stunning quality from my film scans (all 6x6 or 645, taken with Hasselblad, Rollei6006 or Contax645). For scanning I use a Hasselblad Flextight X5 - probably the best scanner I have found - and I have tried a lot, even high end drum scanners - BTW most no longer in production
But my future is clearly a pure digital workflow, thus I am so curious about which system I will get in.
Steve and/or Doug:
this would b really great, if I could get a RAW file (preferably landscape) from a 60MP back and maybe as comparison from a 39MP back.
Not sure if you could post a link here to the files for download (because also others might be interested), or you could send the file to my email address:
Many thanks in advance.
As a rule of thumb, a good 90MB digital file (RGB), with a good RIP will go up to virtually any size inkjet print at 300dpi
We can argue about the X5 being the best scanner but that can be in another thread:-)
I've got some files from 33MP and 56MP backs if you want, taken with different cameras/lenses
Check this test of an 8.8" X 11" file from a Hasselblad H3D-31 shot enlarged to 60" using Genuine Fractals v6.0 ... I tested it against using PS to enlarge the same shot the same amount ... see what you think :
Thanks Marc I was not thinking so far as a Rip or a software program just straight from the can sort of. I know on my Epson 3800 if I went for 40 x60 crop to match the size . I would not hold up nearly as well to bigger back.
I don't think you will have any problems from 40x60 with 37mp, particularly with good lenses. You may not get the same detail that you get in an 8x10, but you will still get tons of excellent detail. People are not going to look at this from 2 inches away -- they will have to stand back a bit to take it in. Even when they move in to look at a detail, there will still be plenty to look at. You have to remember that people have been printing that big from earlier digital for years, and from film for even longer than that.
I'd think you could go a lot larger than 20x30 with your P25+ files. I routinely print out stunning 20x30s from my M8 files. In fact, I have some 20x30s printed from 22MP ZD files that don't appear any sharper/better at that size than M8 or DMR prints when comparing them side-by-side.
To me, 40x60 seems the ideal output size for the S2 at 37.5 MP. Actually, if you print a 40x60 from the P45+, because of aspect ratio, you'd only get 34.6 MP. Not a huge loss of information, but the S2 will make at least as good a print at this size, if not a touch better. Of course, we will have to wait a few more months to see for sure.
Thanks folks for your feedback so far! Seems all very logical to me!
I was considering not to upsize the images and be able to print with 300dpi, thus I came to larger MP counts than 37 or 39.
My printer uses some RIP, I do not know which one, I have to ask.
Would be interesting to see if I could go with the S2 in principle. Although I am pretty sure it will in the end not be a cheaper solution than going with the H System
Another thing to keep in mind is that Epson inkjets don't print at 300dpi. Their native resolutions are 360dpi and 240dpi. A lot of paper manufacturers (like Harman for the FB AL and so on) actually recommend that you print at 240dpi. If you do a test yourself and print at both resolutions, you will be very hard pressed to see a difference. Certainly, if you are printing a large print, you should set the resolution at 240dpi and you will get a larger file without interpolation, and in general, better results.
300dpi is the standard only for professional lab printing, such as Chromira, LightJet and so on. It is best to talk to your lab and find out what the native resolution of the printer is, so that you can give them a proper file. Most of these machines will automatically convert the dpi on the fly if it is not already set up at the right size.
The M8 is 22x33cm, the S2 42x63cm and the P65+ is about 76x57cm @ 300ppi. Of course that's well known theory but in my experience, that's reality, the maximum for the most demanding situations and given the best lenses really delivering fine detail with good contrast and no visible abberations at all.
Of course you can go below 300ppi, but the picture quality starts to decline visibly with fine detail. I print my M8-files up to DINA3+ (32x48cm -> 210ppi, slight loss in quality already visible) and use a fractal-based interpolation software, it works quite well on architecture (makes edges/borders "cleaner") - does it also work with "natural" structures without looking artificial- I have never tried it!?
Not seeing the difference between 22MP-MF-sensor and M8/DMR? The lens on the Mamiya must have been pretty bad!? The M8/DMR+lenses give excellent prints, much better than other 10MP-cameras given by it's lack of abberations and smoth transitions but it can't do magic. In my experience <200ppi make every artifact clearly visible.
Microlenses lower resolution or avoid moire? That seems very unlikely and far from my technical understanding of microlenses!? They can cause abberations or vignetting, but they have very little to do with the seperation from ony pixel to another (->resolution).
I started to mention native printer resolution as well, but decided I was too lazy. It's good that you brought this up, Stewart.
However, Epson is not the only printer out there. I use Canon imagePROGRAF printers, which have a native resolution of (supposedly) 600ppi. Lots of experimenting has been done with the Canons using 300ppi files and 600ppi files, and there is a tiny difference. The higher rez files get huge and smoke starts to come out of my print server, so I try to print at 300 first in most cases.
My point is mostly just a nit-pick, because I grow a bit weary of the "all Epson, all the time" print discussions. I know that they have the largest part of the market, but so does Windows have the largest part of the OS market. There are still alternatives. I scratched Epson off of my large format lists when I have to do the ink swaps or purges (even mini purges) to alternate black ink types for matte or semi-gloss papers. They have taken steps to improve this, and of course they have excellent inks, etc., but many printing discussions lose accuracy because they assume 360ppi native resolution (i.e. Epson) and other readers get some less-than-accurate info.
Edit to add: I should mention that I do not print with the Canon/OS print driver, but with the provided Photoshop export plug-in, which acts as a sort of mini-RIP.
Thank you very much for your technical information .
I use EPSON printers .
Many of my high end scans are done by SNAP STUDIOS .
A well known professional studio here in my area. Using 848 scanners .
The scans I get from them , no matter which format the source is , is 300dpi at LStarRGB V2 profile .
I was never asked , what printers I use .
So I am a bit worried about the resolution for printing on EPSON .
Looking at EPSON driver specs , I find 2880 , 1440 , 720 , 360 , 180 dpi .
Nothing of the kind of 300dpi or 240dpi .
So I am confused about , what is the best method of transfeering files from the delivered 300dpi to 360dpi . I use CSPS4 and also GF6 .
Epson does natively not use 300dpi it uses 360 qand 180 or other multiples and fractions of that. My print lab uses Epson and Canon printers, but they say that Epson has advantages through their piezo elecric print heads because of finer adjustment of ink drops. I do not know, I simply trust them. And also Epson is better represented in Austria than Canon as far as my opinion goes, thus I would also buy an Epson printer if I would go for a large format printer myself. Just waiting to see their replacement of the 4880 to hold all inks at once, which is the biggest drawback of the current older series.
I actually do not care about resolution for the printer in the moment, as I can assign any resolution to my scanned files, in the Flextight X5 I am simply scanning with highets resoltion and then I care only for the output format. The resulting resolution follows then automatically in PS and this is done by the printing lab.
They are using some RIP in order to scale, but they do no upscale calculation, as they say the quality is better if I stay with lower resolution for large prints instead of running any SW over the file and artificially calculate a higher pixel count - no matter which SW. So I follow them here and I am really stunned from the results I see.
Point is, the higher the resolution one can get out of the sensor, the larger the prints can go without any massaging og the file through post processing SW, thus I try to stay to that rule (as long as I can afford it).
I have good experience with multiples of 120dpi: 240,360,480,720 all works fine on my Epson printers. With 300 it seems that the image gets calculated and can lead to halos.
If I print larger and need the size 240 works pretty good for me.
The important point is when finalising your print file and sizes you need to use 'Image Size' in Photoshop and set the resolution to 360 pixels/inch (or divisibles) before sending to the printer.