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Thoughts on the Hasselblad 907X

P. Chong

Well-known member
Recently, I had the chance to try out the Hasselblad 907X 50C. And wrote about my thoughts on the camera and my specific use case. Links to the 3 part review below if you re interested.

887F7646-A836-46DF-9551-923F0750EC16.jpeg

Part 1: Hasselblad 907X 50C

Part 2: CFV II 50C with 503CW and CZ Planar 80

Part 3: Conclusions and discussion on image quality of the Hasselblad 907X 50C
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Nice review Peter.
It is unfortunate that you didn't also have the opportunity to use the 907x with native XCD lenses.

Two nitpicky notes:
  • The 907x/CFVII 50c Special Edition was announced in July 2019, the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing which it commemorates.
  • The 200/2000 series focal plane shutter bodies were introduced about 1977 ... twenty years after the 500C ... and never really replaced the 500 series leaf shutter bodies. The write up seemed to imply that these were a replacement, where they were really an option with additional features on top of what the 500 series had to offer. The 500 series bodies continued on to the end of the V-system production.
Nothing in that to speak of, I just noticed when reading. The Hasselblad Historical website has a nicely delineated history of the V system time line, and a mechanism for users to identify the year of every body, back, and lens by serial number. :)

Regards focusing when using the back on an SLR body: Live View is incredibly accurate and makes it easy to focus with any lens, but as noted, using the lens shutter or the body shutter and Live View is a slow, clumsy operation. Switching the back to use the eshutter and simply locking the lens open is much easier in use, but then you have the limitations of using a 300ms scan time eshutter to entertain yourself with. ;)

I bought the 907x Special edition (ordered in July 2019, delivered in Feb 2020) for itself and to extend use of my Hasselblad 500CM bodies. When I first started using it on the 500CM, I thought the same: Some alignment is off and I'm not getting the true focus plane in the viewfinder. Stopping down two stops when hand-holding the camera solved that problem to a great degree, allowing increased DoF to cover the focus error, but it bugged me. I did a series of tests with the camera on a tripod and the high magnification chimney finder to focus with ... that determined for me incontrovertibly that the back and the viewfinder were properly aligned. The problem is the older focusing screens: they're just not particularly easy to see the focus transition clearly enough with the WLF magnifier and the digital back resolves so well that extremely minor focus errors are very easy to see in the final image when seen at 1:1 on a computer screen.

I then tried the focusing screen supplied with/for the CFV50c back as a standard component. I'm pleased to report that not only does this focusing screen have the appropriate framing scribed for the CFVII 50c back, it has also been computed to assist with ascertaining focus quality more compatible with the digital back. I find that when using it, with whatever lens wide open on the body, my "critical in focus" consistency jumped up from about 25% of my shots to over 85% ... which is about as good as I ever get hand-held, unless shooting at a distance stopped down three to four stops. So I strongly suggest anyone using the CFVII 50c with a Hasselblad SLR body is wise to upgrade their focusing screen to this model.

I really love working with this camera system; for me it's a high quality, utilitarian camera not a bling object—although I really like the signage on the Special Edition version of the digital back. LOL! I don't use it as much as I use some of my other gear, but I pull it out in preference whenever I'm going for that extra plus in dynamic range and imaging quality. It's not a fast system, but then I never expected a medium format camera to be a fast system... I've now acquired four of the XCD series lenses to complement my four V system lenses and find they are all excellent, high performance lenses with beautiful character and imaging quality.

Fun stuff.

G
 

Geoff

Active member
One of the issues when using Live View and the back on the 907 is that unlike the reversed image on a WLF (say on the V camera), the image goes with your movement: you go right, the image goes right. For an old time user of GG on medium format cameras used to reversed images, this takes some getting used to. Oh well - old dogs, new tricks.
 
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jjosephlatshaw

New member
Agreed; it seems like Hasselblad could include mirroring the view on the CFV’s screen as a switchable option in a firmware update. Maybe if we all email Hasselblad about it, it could make it on the list of future features. 🙂
 

jjosephlatshaw

New member
You guys are being nutty. ;)
G
For me, I think it makes sense as I swap between the 907X and my 500C regularly, and I also use a Yashica MAT-124G. When looking down at a WLF I expect the reversed behavior you get without a pentaprism, so mirroring the image makes sense from a muscle memory perspective. If I was mostly using the 907X I would probably not care about such a feature, but then if I wasn’t into V-series equipment, I would have gotten an X1D II, if I’d have bought any Hasselblad equipment at all.
 

richardman

Active member
> I don't use it as much as I use some of my other gear,

Godfrey, you know who you can talk to if you want to get rid of that ;-P
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
and the rest are sane?
And then there is the occasional annoying personality we all have to put up with. :cautious:
For me, I think it makes sense as I swap between the 907X and my 500C regularly, and I also use a Yashica MAT-124G. When looking down at a WLF I expect the reversed behavior you get without a pentaprism, so mirroring the image makes sense from a muscle memory perspective. If I was mostly using the 907X I would probably not care about such a feature, but then if I wasn’t into V-series equipment, I would have gotten an X1D II, if I’d have bought any Hasselblad equipment at all.
LOL! I interchange the 907x with the 500CM/CFVII 50c setup frequently. Frankly, I've never consciously noticed that the one was reversed to the other in the viewfinder: My brain makes the switchover without me being conscious of it. I've even been working with the 500CM and flipped it over to Live View for some particularly critical thing I was trying to focus with and didn't notice that the WLF and Live View on the same camera were reversed one to the other... (I find the same is true when I hop into a right-hand-drive car in the UK and then get back to the USA and my own LHD car... and the same again when I have a motorcycle with a left hand, down for low gear change and another with a right hand, up for low gear change, and when swapping between bicycle and motorcycle I never get which lever connects to the front brake mixed up ... etc)

Perhaps this is some special talent I've got. It has never seemed all that big a deal to me.
I guess such special talent might be annoying to some. LOL!! :eek::eek:

I don't know who's sane and who isn't. Being a bit nutty sometimes isn't either. To me, it's fun. :)

G
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
> I don't use it as much as I use some of my other gear,

Godfrey, you know who you can talk to if you want to get rid of that ;-P
Not in the selling market at the present, I like it too much. :)
I do want to sell my Mamiya Press 23 Super kit, however.

G
 

jjosephlatshaw

New member
I’ve not had issues driving a RHD car when I visited the UK, manual transmission and all. For me, I think the issue is that I haven’t been using cameras with WLFs long enough (less than two years, and not as much as that implies, because COVID) to have the “backwards” movements be second nature. To me, it’s more analogous to having one car set up to go left when I turn the wheel right, and another similar car where turning the wheel left makes the car go left. 🙂
 

leejo

Member
Nice. For me the best old + new combination is with the 200 series bodies with meters - builtin metering, instant mirror return, higher shutter speeds to reduce movement and loss of sharpness due to vibration (a definite problem with using this back with the older bodies), and the option of faster lenses.

More observations and much more detail on the various combinations here: https://leejo.github.io/2021/05/31/hasselblad_reality/
 

P. Chong

Well-known member
nice read. Thanks for sharing your experience.


Nice. For me the best old + new combination is with the 200 series bodies with meters - builtin metering, instant mirror return, higher shutter speeds to reduce movement and loss of sharpness due to vibration (a definite problem with using this back with the older bodies), and the option of faster lenses.

More observations and much more detail on the various combinations here: https://leejo.github.io/2021/05/31/hasselblad_reality/
 

richardman

Active member
Godfrey loaned me his CFV II 50C back for a few hours last year and my experience with it and my 203FE/SWC is exceptional. It just works (minus some dark frames with the 203FE, which afterward I found out, I think every time I push the exposure meter button, it would take a picture). Really the only issue is the crop factor and lack of portrait support, but these are well known. If I need digital and have the $$, it's a no-brainer proposition.
 
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