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Thread: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

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    Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    I was foolish enough to request for a demo of the H3Dii-31 at the local dealer's, and was amazed with the quality. As mentioned elsewhere, I normally shoot Canon 1dmk3. Typical subjects are watches, portraits, a bit of architecture and landscape...though very heavy on first two.

    The dealer offered a fairly interesting price for a demo H3D-22 with 6 month warranty, and I went for a quick spin with the older camera. Shooting tethered, found it to be rather good...See Fun with MF thread for a couple of pics from the session.

    I am wondering if it is a good time to get into Hassy now...especially when the H4D is imminent, I am guessing the H3Dii line will be replaced. The H3D-22 is already been discontinued, though still produces very nice results. With the H4D, tradeins, etc, I figure the H3Dii will drop in prices, and perhaps may be able to pick up a H3Dii-39 or H3Dii-31 one instead of the H3D-22...or by then even the H3D-22 should drop further in price.

    So the question is, is the difference between H3D and H3Dii great enough? Did anyone upgraded from i to ii? What is your experience?

    Thanks.

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    A provocative statement: "medium format" only comes to its full beauty when the sensor is not cropped too much.
    So the 22 or 39 ...

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    I've had them all ... from a H2D/22 to my current H3D-II/39 ... with a H4D/60 on order.

    Things to consider:

    All of the 22 meg backs are older sensor technology, in fact, I believe Kodak stopped producing that sensor. However, there are advocates of 9 micron pixel pitch digital backs which produce a certain inexplicable magic. The smaller square sensor Hasselblad 16 meg CFV & CFV-II have this 9 micron pixel pitch, and produce absolutely stunning images. I also had a Leaf Aptus 22 meg back that did the same. IMO, even if 35mm DSLRs go to 30+ meg, these 22 meg digital backs will still produce better Image Quality ... because the sensor is huge in comparison, and so are the pixels. The caveat to this is dependent on subject matter. For critical work with fabrics, or intricate minute detail, there can be issues with moiré. Also, all of the Hasselblad 22 meg backs have an ISO range from 50 to 400 and have not benefited from software/firmware updates that increased the 39 meg backs to an ISO range from 50 to 800.

    Differences between a H3D and H3D-II are: improved LCD from a 2.2" OLED display to a 3" TFT display, fan cooling changed to an integrated CCD cooling sink, and a new, improved sensor filter. There may have been other improvements, but some or all of them may be included with a H3D via the latest firmware updates. BTW, there also was a H3D-II/22. One thing in favor of a H3D is that it accepts film backs where the H3D-II does not ... if you favor shooting B&W film over digital B&W, this could be an important factor. Also, being able to use film acts as a back-up should the digital back go down at an inopportune time.

    Again, the "magic" that 9 micron sensors seem to produce is not to be discounted. Not being a digital engineer, I personally cannot explain it ... I just accept it based on what I see.

    As to price to value ratios, and the impending effect that the H4D may have on investing in anything right now ... that is solely dependent on what price was offered on the H3D/22 by the dealer. If you share that, I can be more specific with advice.

    A mitigating factor is Hasselblad's recent trade-up promotion. Because of this, many H3Ds and H3D-IIs will disappear into the void after being turned in for a H4D. So the market may not become flooded with used systems at raging discounts. Why would I sell my H3D-II/39 for $13K or less, when I can get $20K in trade? Oddly, the trade values didn't distinguish between models and only used meg count. So, a H3D and H3D-II produced the same trade value.

    I've attached PDFs of Hasselbalds current Preowned items for sale for comparisons, and a copy of the Hasselbald Trade-Up promotion.

    -Marc

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Marc, it would be a bit of a hassle, but you could sell the H3DII-39, buy an H3D-39 and *then* do the trade...
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    An excellent reply from Marc, as usual. FWIW I'll add my bit.

    It took me over a year to find a virtually new - less than fifty clicks - H3D11-22 and once found - direct from Hasselblad - I grabbed it with both hands and paid roughly the equivalent of a new Nikon D3x. I specifically wanted the more recent model and haven't looked back; I'm delighted with the camera, system and files.

    Eventually I'll probably take advantage of the trade-up promotions but for the moment I'm more than happy.

    At the time there were many older H3D-22 cameras available, as indeed there are now, but my advice would be to decide which model you would really prefer and then have patience until the right offer comes along. One thing is for sure, you'll save a fortune by buying used and letting some other sucker take the depreciation hit!

    Keith

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Marc, it would be a bit of a hassle, but you could sell the H3DII-39, buy an H3D-39 and *then* do the trade...
    Thanks for the suggestion Carsten ... I had thought about doing that.

    What is really a bite in the bum is that this H3D-II/39 is like brand new, has worked flawlessly from day one, and has less than 2400 shots on it ... mostly used in studio tethered to a computer where you tend not to hose off shots.

    So someone trading a beater H3D/39 with 50,000 shots on it gets basically the same trade in amount as I do with a LN H3D-II/39.

    Now I did negotiate a slightly better trade value with the Hassey rep, but it's still not very equitable.

    Actually, the thought I had was to see if someone with a H3D/39 just wanted to trade + some cash to get the H3D-II/39 with low mileage.

    What is even worse is that any old 16 meg back on any beat-up H or V camera garners the same trade value as my H3D-II/39 toward a H4D/50 or H4D/50 Multi-Shot.

    So in that case if I could find a $5,000. kit (no lens) and trade it, I could keep the H3D-II/39 ... or sell it for a deal and be $$$ ahead.

    This crap makes my head spin around and then explode.

    -Marc

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Just a side note I had the P25+ which is actually for sale in the B&S section from Mark Saperstein but anyway back to Marc's comment on the 22mpx 9 micron sensors. I don't know what it is either but I loved the look from that back or maybe better said the 9 micron sensor.I have some thoughts on it the micro contrast detail was punchier in look and the Dr slightly less than say the new sensors today but the end result was very punchy images . Also the 9 micron sensors are very friendly to older glass. Which in essence gives you the chance to get some great quality out of some inexpensive lenses. It's a great starter system and many still shot the 9 micron because of these qualities of it. We have many threads on the P25+ and 9 micron sensors in the archives. Actually if you search my name you should find them . Okay I have over 10k in posts but they are their.

    BTW the Hassy and Phase are the same Kodak sensors so it does give you a good idea what you can achieve from them.

    Now the only issue you will run into is Moire so if your a fashion shooter may not be the best back shooting clothing and fabric. Also these backs can be used on a Tech cam.
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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion Carsten ... I had thought about doing that.

    What is really a bite in the bum is that this H3D-II/39 is like brand new, has worked flawlessly from day one, and has less than 2400 shots on it ... mostly used in studio tethered to a computer where you tend not to hose off shots.

    So someone trading a beater H3D/39 with 50,000 shots on it gets basically the same trade in amount as I do with a LN H3D-II/39.

    Now I did negotiate a slightly better trade value with the Hassey rep, but it's still not very equitable.

    Actually, the thought I had was to see if someone with a H3D/39 just wanted to trade + some cash to get the H3D-II/39 with low mileage.

    What is even worse is that any old 16 meg back on any beat-up H or V camera garners the same trade value as my H3D-II/39 toward a H4D/50 or H4D/50 Multi-Shot.

    So in that case if I could find a $5,000. kit (no lens) and trade it, I could keep the H3D-II/39 ... or sell it for a deal and be $$$ ahead.

    This crap makes my head spin around and then explode.

    -Marc
    I am in exactly the same position. I have a CF39 or a CF39MS for trade-up. I am thinking about finding a friend with a 96C...

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Thanks Marc for a well thought out response. The prices my dealer quoted me for the demo H3D-22 is slightly more than what is offered by HUSA. BTW, I live in Singapore, the dealer is Shiro.

    Guy, I just read yours and Jack's report on P25 vs P65. Very informative. I am not sure if moire will be a problem for me, as some 30% of my shooting will be people, portraits. I also suspect I will want to be able to shoot at higher ISOs.

    But the 9 micron magic issue seem to encourage me...the 22mp backs are certainly cheaper.
    Last edited by P. Chong; 6th February 2010 at 03:55.

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustbak View Post
    I am in exactly the same position. I have a CF39 or a CF39MS for trade-up. I am thinking about finding a friend with a 96C...
    PM me about your CF backs ... I have a H2F that'll take a CF with a H iAdapter and maybe we can work out a deal (this has nothing to do with the trade program, looking for a separate deal here because Hasselblad is smoking the drapes with a Crack pipe chaser concerning their Pre-Owned listing prices).

    -Marc

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    BTW, what does Hassleblad do with the traded in cameras? Do they refurbish, and resell?

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    I honestly think Hassy and Phase send to rental houses, use as spares and get them off the market. I call it marketing 102 is to take the used systems off the market to get buyers to buy new. At least that is my theory
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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by P. Chong View Post
    Thanks Marc for a well thought out response. The prices my dealer quoted me for the demo H3D-22 is slightly more than what is offered by HUSA. BTW, I live in Singapore, the dealer is Shiro.

    Guy, I just read yours and Jack's report on P25 vs P65. Very informative. I am not sure if moire will be a problem for me, as some 30% of my shooting will be people, portraits. I also suspect I will want to be able to shoot at higher ISOs.

    But the 9 micron magic issue seem to encourage me...the 22mp backs are certainly cheaper.
    Thanks best advice I think all of us can give you is take your time do your homework and try things out. This forum is loaded with data so take advantage of it and we have some extremely smart folks here that know a lot about Hassy, Phase and Leaf products not to mention Sinar as well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by P. Chong View Post
    BTW, what does Hassleblad do with the traded in cameras? Do they refurbish, and resell?
    I asked the same thing on another thread ... and Guy answered that many basically go bye-bye.

    There is a huge warehouse somewhere in North Dakota filled with digital backs .... looks like the last scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

    -Marc

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quick question, guys, is the upgrade from h3d to h3dii a send in and get a new camera affair, or send in, camera goes to Sweden (or wherever) and gets the upgrade affair?

    To those who have done the upgrade, or used both, do you think its worth the $$?

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    I think that the IQ from a H2D 22 is the same than a H3D II 22 ...

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by erick.boileau View Post
    I think that the IQ from a H2D 22 is the same than a H3D II 22 ...
    I believe the later model has an improved IR filter which results in less noise and better resistance to flare etc.

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    certainly a few things are better, but not that much I think

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    I believe the later model has an improved IR filter which results in less noise and better resistance to flare etc.
    That's correct. Plus the MKII model has the larger brighter 3" LCD. and a different ergonomic layout of the buttons.

    However, one would be hard pressed to see real world IQ differences in most applications ... most, but not all.

    -Marc

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by P. Chong View Post
    Quick question, guys, is the upgrade from h3d to h3dii a send in and get a new camera affair, or send in, camera goes to Sweden (or wherever) and gets the upgrade affair?

    To those who have done the upgrade, or used both, do you think its worth the $$?
    I don't believe sending it in for an upgrade is economical.

    However, trading in a HD3 garners the same trade value as a H3D-II ... makes no sense but that's the way it is.

    -Marc

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    thanks...very useful. So in summary the IQ for say going from H3d to H3Dii is negligible. I kind of like the idea of not having a fan though.

    Marc, from what I understand, if you buy a ZD...these are going with lens for about $3.5k, you can also trade in...in fact for even more than a Hassie body/back. Plus you still have your old camera, which you can sell..I did see you put it up in the sales corner earlier...are they encouraging loyalty, or what?

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by P. Chong View Post
    Marc, from what I understand, if you buy a ZD...these are going with lens for about $3.5k, you can also trade in...in fact for even more than a Hassie body/back. Plus you still have your old camera, which you can sell..I did see you put it up in the sales corner earlier...are they encouraging loyalty, or what?
    This upgrade/trade-in path is just plain crazy.

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by P. Chong View Post
    thanks...very useful. So in summary the IQ for say going from H3d to H3Dii is negligible. I kind of like the idea of not having a fan though.

    Marc, from what I understand, if you buy a ZD...these are going with lens for about $3.5k, you can also trade in...in fact for even more than a Hassie body/back. Plus you still have your old camera, which you can sell..I did see you put it up in the sales corner earlier...are they encouraging loyalty, or what?
    The ZD may not qualify since they clearly say "Any MF camera system and digital back".

    Basically, for the most part, Hasselblad is homogenizing everything and lumping together 16, 22, 31 and 39 meg backs into the same trade value with a few minor exceptions.

    Odd and off-putting if you've stayed relatively current with your Hassey H gear.

    -Marc

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    OT..but is there a trade-in program for the CFV-39??

    Steve

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    but a ZD back with an old AFD will be only slightly more. I am sure that qualifies, no?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The ZD may not qualify since they clearly say "Any MF camera system and digital back".

    Basically, for the most part, Hasselblad is homogenizing everything and lumping together 16, 22, 31 and 39 meg backs into the same trade value with a few minor exceptions.

    Odd and off-putting if you've stayed relatively current with your Hassey H gear.

    -Marc

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by tetsrfun View Post
    OT..but is there a trade-in program for the CFV-39??

    Steve
    None listed. You can trade in a CFV/16 or 39 mounted on an old 500 series camera toward a H system ... which reveals how insane this trade structure is because basically they'd be worth the same trade value toward a number of the H upgrade choices.

    -Marc

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by P. Chong View Post
    but a ZD back with an old AFD will be only slightly more. I am sure that qualifies, no?
    I'm sure that would.

    It's still hard to make the math come out to your advantage if you already have a H3D-II/39 like I do.

    A Mammy AF with a ZD back @ say $4,000. + $27,000. (as listed on the trade sheet) gets me the H4D/60 I want. So we are at $31,000. If I sell my H3D-II/39 without lens, that would fetch about $12,000. if I'm lucky. So, the H4D/60 would then cost me $19,000.

    The trade value I negotiated with my Hassey dealer is less than that ... and all I have to do is hand him my H3D-II/39 as he hands me a new H4D/60. No buying something to trade, and no selling my H3D-II/39.

    It's a no brainer.

    -Marc
    Last edited by fotografz; 11th February 2010 at 23:41.

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I'm sure that would.

    It's still hard to make the math come out to your advantage if you already have a H3D-II/39 like I do.

    A Mammy AF with a ZD back @ say $4,000. + $27,000. (as listed on the trade sheet) gets me the H4D/60 I want. So we are at $31,000. If I sell my H3D-II/39 without lens, that would fetch about $12,000. if I'm lucky. So, the H4D/60 would then cost me $19,000.

    The trade value I negotiated with my Hassey dealer is less than that ... and all I have to do is hand him my H3D-II/39 as he hands me a new H4D/60. No buying something to trade, and no selling my H3D-II/39.

    It's a no brainer.

    -Marc
    Ah, you are getting a better deal than $21k trade up from H3D-II/39 to H4D/60. Good for you.

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by P. Chong View Post
    Ah, you are getting a better deal than $21k trade up from H3D-II/39 to H4D/60. Good for you.
    Well, the USA trade offer reads that any Hasselblad 39 meg combo, or other make camera/back to H4D/60 is $19,500., and I negotiated with my dealer from there.

    It's the H3D-II/50 Multishot that's $21,000. no matter what Hasselblad combo you trade in ... and the H4D/50 Multishot is $22,500. no matter what Hassey combo you trade in.

    My best deal is the H3D-II/39 for the H4D/60.

    Actually the best deal is do nothing ... use what you have, which has worked fine, and keep the 20K to buy a H4D/60 when owners dump it for a H5D/80 in 2 years ...

    Marc

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    Actually the best deal is do nothing ... use what you have, which has worked fine, and keep the 20K to buy a H4D/60 when owners dump it for a H5D/80 in 2 years ...
    But the files are soooooooooo nice NOW!

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    But the files are soooooooooo nice NOW!

    Yeah, 60 meg and larger sensor is intriguing, as is Hassey's True Focus gizmo. P.O. already sent months ago ... now it's just a matter of time. Tick-Tock.

    (If I'd stop buying Leica M stuff, I might actually be able to pay for it when it arrives ... )

    Off to sell more Pack Rat stuff.

    -Marc

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Jack, are you able to share with us some of the H4D-60 files?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    But the files are soooooooooo nice NOW!


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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by P. Chong View Post
    Jack, are you able to share with us some of the H4D-60 files?
    +1, i would like to see H4D-60 files shots.

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by P. Chong View Post
    Jack, are you able to share with us some of the H4D-60 files?
    Jack has a Phase One P65+. This is the Phase One 60 megapixel offering that has been shipping for a year with the Dalsa sensor that Phase One has exclusivity on.

    The H4D-60 is not released and I have not seen any files floating around from pre-production / prototype units.

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  35. #35
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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    I am using three 22Mp back's on a regular base and still i am super pleased with the results. I use an Imacon 528c for fine art reproduction, unsurpassed information for a 22Mp. In studio i also use an Eyelike22Mp on a H1 and sometimes a wonderfull SinarEmotion22 on a H1( wich also are for sale). I think interest in 22Mp back's is more virtual than real: ever since i put them up for sale nobody showed real interest in them. So i think that for a company like hasselblad it is not of any interest to produce such a back/body combo.

  36. #36
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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    So i think that for a company like hasselblad it is not of any interest to produce such a back/body combo.
    ********
    That is what David Grover posted elsewhere. When the "line up" was 22, 31, 39, the sales of the 22 MP back were essentially 0.

    Steve

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Sorry more questions...with the H3d-31, how serious is the color cast when used with tilt and shift on a view camera. I did try and search the archives, but found little. Maybe I am not searching right..."microlens", "microlens tilt shift", "microlens view camera" all yielded few solid advice.

    I have tried the H3d-22 with HTS, but for tabletop, it seems that the range of adjustment is not sufficient for what I would like to do...so it indicates a view camera...I have access to a Sinar X, and if I do end up with the 31, I know it can be mounted and used, but wonder how serious is the problems with more extreme shifts, and tilts or swings?

    I am keen on a H3dii-22, like the smaller files (I don't intend to print larger than B2, so figure 22MP is sufficient, and like the punchier images) but they seem to be as scarce as hen's teeth...I know there is one available elsewhere right now, but not many others. While the H3d-31 seem to be a bit more plentiful. And a handful of 39s around too. The 39s are quite a bit more expensive (rightly so, but I am tight on the budget) , so it does look like I will end up with a 31.

  38. #38
    Member Makten's Avatar
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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Thread archeology Grande!

    So, seven years later. Is it worth getting one of these, if the price is right? Seems like you can get a H3D-22 with 80/2.8 for ~$2.5k or so.
    What I want is a sensor as large as possible, nice, subtle colors and "MF look". I don't care if the camera is slow or noisy above ISO 200, since I got other gear for faster stuff and/or low light.

    I'm not a professional, but IMHO I know very well what I'm doing and I've owned and used many systems, including multiple MF film cameras. Those are in fact the ones that I've liked the most, and the only reason they are now in my drawer, is because I don't want to hassle with film developing and scanning.
    IQ-wise, I'm quite happy with my current Sony a7 and a mix of modern and vintage lenses. But I want a native ratio of 4:3 or narrower, and cropping every image makes the effective sensor size smaller than desirable. Not to mention I can't find a "true" normal lens that I like (~40 mm after cropping to 4:3). Edit: I do realize that 80 mm on 36x48 mm is more like a 53 mm lens on 24x36 when cropping to 4:3, but let's just ignore that for now.

    Am I nuts, or what do you say?

  39. #39
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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    I went through the same set of considerations, and just bought a H3D-31. I got into MF digital with an amazing deal on an iXpress back for my 500C, but I had so many missed shots due to focus issues, that when the deal on the H came along it was a no-brainer. It is at the end of it's economic life for pros, but as an amateur, I don't care.

    The fat pixel back on my V had a special look which I preferred, the 31 is still a CCD and gets files that look a bit like my old M9, but not as wonderful as the iXpress. Also, 22Mpix would have been enough. However, I have never seen a 22 back for sale in my budget, so that made the decision easy. On the upside, the 31 is one stop faster than the 22, and that makes a difference when using the camera outside of the studio. ISO 400 is fine, 800 could be used when in a pinch and being careful exposing. The lens choice is a bit less obvious than for the V series, because of the expense. I am therefore renting different lenses to figure out what works for me.

    I have just started testing my new setup and so far I am happy with the choice I made.



    Quote Originally Posted by Makten View Post
    Thread archeology Grande!

    So, seven years later. Is it worth getting one of these, if the price is right? Seems like you can get a H3D-22 with 80/2.8 for ~$2.5k or so.
    What I want is a sensor as large as possible, nice, subtle colors and "MF look". I don't care if the camera is slow or noisy above ISO 200, since I got other gear for faster stuff and/or low light.

    I'm not a professional, but IMHO I know very well what I'm doing and I've owned and used many systems, including multiple MF film cameras. Those are in fact the ones that I've liked the most, and the only reason they are now in my drawer, is because I don't want to hassle with film developing and scanning.
    IQ-wise, I'm quite happy with my current Sony a7 and a mix of modern and vintage lenses. But I want a native ratio of 4:3 or narrower, and cropping every image makes the effective sensor size smaller than desirable. Not to mention I can't find a "true" normal lens that I like (~40 mm after cropping to 4:3). Edit: I do realize that 80 mm on 36x48 mm is more like a 53 mm lens on 24x36 when cropping to 4:3, but let's just ignore that for now.

    Am I nuts, or what do you say?

  40. #40
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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Makten View Post
    Thread archeology Grande!

    So, seven years later. Is it worth getting one of these, if the price is right? Seems like you can get a H3D-22 with 80/2.8 for ~$2.5k or so.
    What I want is a sensor as large as possible, nice, subtle colors and "MF look". I don't care if the camera is slow or noisy above ISO 200, since I got other gear for faster stuff and/or low light.

    I'm not a professional, but IMHO I know very well what I'm doing and I've owned and used many systems, including multiple MF film cameras. Those are in fact the ones that I've liked the most, and the only reason they are now in my drawer, is because I don't want to hassle with film developing and scanning.
    IQ-wise, I'm quite happy with my current Sony a7 and a mix of modern and vintage lenses. But I want a native ratio of 4:3 or narrower, and cropping every image makes the effective sensor size smaller than desirable. Not to mention I can't find a "true" normal lens that I like (~40 mm after cropping to 4:3). Edit: I do realize that 80 mm on 36x48 mm is more like a 53 mm lens on 24x36 when cropping to 4:3, but let's just ignore that for now.

    Am I nuts, or what do you say?
    I would say you are nuts: A Canon 5DmkIV or equivalent is a better camera in almost every technical metric. The "large sensor" doesn't really offer much benefit over smaller newer sensors.

    That said, it is a good kind of nuts, and if you go in understanding it's a 10 year old camera, with all the drawbacks that implies, it can be fun. I chose Phase One when making the same decision last year, picking up an old P30, so that shows how much weight I put in the evaluation above.

  41. #41
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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles S View Post
    I went through the same set of considerations, and just bought a H3D-31. I got into MF digital with an amazing deal on an iXpress back for my 500C, but I had so many missed shots due to focus issues, that when the deal on the H came along it was a no-brainer. It is at the end of it's economic life for pros, but as an amateur, I don't care.

    The fat pixel back on my V had a special look which I preferred, the 31 is still a CCD and gets files that look a bit like my old M9, but not as wonderful as the iXpress. Also, 22Mpix would have been enough. However, I have never seen a 22 back for sale in my budget, so that made the decision easy. On the upside, the 31 is one stop faster than the 22, and that makes a difference when using the camera outside of the studio. ISO 400 is fine, 800 could be used when in a pinch and being careful exposing. The lens choice is a bit less obvious than for the V series, because of the expense. I am therefore renting different lenses to figure out what works for me.

    I have just started testing my new setup and so far I am happy with the choice I made.
    I've also thought about a back for my 500 C/M, but just as you suggest, I doubt that the focus accuracy would be good enough. Especially since it's hard enough to get it right with film. Also, probably the old Planar lens is not really up to the task of using with a smallish sensor compared to true 56x56.

    Since I would be using this camera in the same way as I do (or did) with film MF, I think the limited ISO performance won't be an issue. Got the a7 with a bunch of fast glass for those occasions.
    Also, I'm one of those who love the files from oldish CCD cameras, such as the M8 or M9. There is just something special with the colors, that I don't see in modern cameras (at least no FF or smaller sensors). Probably partly because of the "high ISO race" and low noise priority before nicest possible colors, but that's just my guess.

    Regarding lenses, I think I might want a ~50 mm to complement the 80/2.8. But OTOH I like to limit myself, so it all comes down to if I like the AOV of 80 mm enough.


    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieAB View Post
    I would say you are nuts: A Canon 5DmkIV or equivalent is a better camera in almost every technical metric. The "large sensor" doesn't really offer much benefit over smaller newer sensors.

    That said, it is a good kind of nuts, and if you go in understanding it's a 10 year old camera, with all the drawbacks that implies, it can be fun. I chose Phase One when making the same decision last year, picking up an old P30, so that shows how much weight I put in the evaluation above.
    Haha! Yes, I'm glad to be nuts in cases like this. I don't want a "better" camera than my a7, just different. And a 5D mkIV would almost be uninteresting even if I got it for free.
    My only concern is if the handling – including PP – is just too bloody awkward. OTOH, I've developed slide film at home just for fun, for quite a while. And scanning film must be worse than anything, right?

    I'm one of those guys that shoot like 10 frames on a day. I don't push the trigger before I know it will be an image that I'm happy with. If focus is correct and there is no unintentional motion blur, of course. So in that sense, even if these cameras are sloooow, I guess they would fit me and my intentions.

    Now I just got to investigate if the price is right.
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  42. #42
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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    I was the original poster' and actually, I did buy one. A H3D-39, not long after the discussion. And I still have it. The camera still shoots awesome pictures like it always did. I shoot both the 39 Mp back as well as with the 645 film back.
    http://Www.deployant.com
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  43. #43
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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by P. Chong View Post
    I was the original poster' and actually, I did buy one. A H3D-39, not long after the discussion. And I still have it. The camera still shoots awesome pictures like it always did. I shoot both the 39 Mp back as well as with the 645 film back.
    Awesome!! Thanks for the follow-up!!!
    Best regards,
    Dave (GT)

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    I guess I should elaborate a bit more...

    Last year I asked myself the same question, and decided (partly on the back of a blog I was reading) to jump for a P30 with a Mamiya 645 AFDII body. I have since added the Mamiya 210mm APO lens, and the Mamiya 35mm lens. I don't shoot with it enough, but I love it. I really would love to get one (or more?) of the film backs for the body, but they seem to be pretty rare here in Europe, and my budget doesn't extend to paying trans-atlantic shipping costs plus import costs. The big drawback from my perspective to medium format digital is the lack of solid support for Linux. On Windows or Mac, certainly for Phase One, support is there in Capture One DB which is free, but only supports Phase One cameras. I would expect decent support from the Adobe software as well for cameras of this vintage, but that could just be my innocence regarding Adobe.

    While I can agree with the sentiments regarding not being interested in a 5DmkIV, it is worth mentioning to people considering this option that a mid-high range FF camera from either Canon or Nikon, as well as the smaller formats from other vendors, is probably a better camera for most purposes. Not as much fun, in my opinion, but still better. I feel if people are dropping a couple of grand on a 10 year old camera, we should at least warn them what they are getting into. If they are doing this as a hobby and can afford it, we welcome them.
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  45. #45
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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieAB View Post
    While I can agree with the sentiments regarding not being interested in a 5DmkIV, it is worth mentioning to people considering this option that a mid-high range FF camera from either Canon or Nikon, as well as the smaller formats from other vendors, is probably a better camera for most purposes. Not as much fun, in my opinion, but still better. I feel if people are dropping a couple of grand on a 10 year old camera, we should at least warn them what they are getting into. If they are doing this as a hobby and can afford it, we welcome them.
    You're right of course, and I've rethought the whole MF thing in the last couple of days. As I mentioned, I own a Sony a7 with two modern lenses and a lot of old manual focus glass. Before that I've had numerous systems, including Sony APS-C, MFT, Nikon D700 and Leica M. All of these systems have had flaws that made me move on, but the D700 was the most convenient camera, except for the size of it.

    And, the more I think about it, I know I would end up hating the MF camera because of its size, no matter how good the output is. The most interesting camera right now is therefore the Fuji GFX, but even if I can easily afford it, I don't want to put that kind of money into something that wouldn't also generate money. And I also don't want more pixels; it'll just force me to buy a new computer.

    So, I'll probably end up with a simple upgrade from a7 to a7II to get better ergonomics (and IBIS), at the expense of a little more bulk and weight. And I will continue to hate Sony for not allowing other aspect ratios than 3:2 and 16:9 in-camera.

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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Just a side note I had the P25+ which is actually for sale in the B&S section from Mark Saperstein but anyway back to Marc's comment on the 22mpx 9 micron sensors. I don't know what it is either but I loved the look from that back or maybe better said the 9 micron sensor.I have some thoughts on it the micro contrast detail was punchier in look and the Dr slightly less than say the new sensors today but the end result was very punchy images . Also the 9 micron sensors are very friendly to older glass. Which in essence gives you the chance to get some great quality out of some inexpensive lenses. It's a great starter system and many still shot the 9 micron because of these qualities of it. We have many threads on the P25+ and 9 micron sensors in the archives. Actually if you search my name you should find them . Okay I have over 10k in posts but they are their.

    BTW the Hassy and Phase are the same Kodak sensors so it does give you a good idea what you can achieve from them.

    Now the only issue you will run into is Moire so if your a fashion shooter may not be the best back shooting clothing and fabric. Also these backs can be used on a Tech cam.
    Absolutely agree with these favorable comments on the P25+ and other 9 micron sensors. As Guy says elsewhere, a digital Kodachrome 25.

    Randy
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  47. #47
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Does it still make sense to buy a H3D-22 now?

    As the owner of 3 "fat pixel" 9 micron digital backs (CFV-16II, P25+ and Aptus II 5), I think these backs still offer a look which is worth shooting, as long as a person can live with their limitations (low ISO etc). Prices on many of these backs are below $2k now, so for anyone who already has a camera system to support them, the cost of entry for medium format digital is minimal. I personally prefer the look of the images from the P25+ and Aptus II 5 vs my Sony A7. On the other hand, if I had to choose between any of these fat pixel backs or my A7R2, I would keep the A7R2.

    Gary

    Leaf Aptus II 5 and Mamiya AF 80/2.8
    Last edited by bensonga; 4th June 2017 at 18:50.

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