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Thread: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

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    Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    I recently acquired one of the Ver 1 Hasselblad CFV backs for use with a 500 C/M. Not the latest technology, of course, but I get a kick out of working with the Hassy and framing in square format, and as old as it is, the CFV still seems to produce less noise in shadow areas that my Canon 1DsIII. Still, looking for greener grass, I wondered whether a Phase 20+ might be a a significant enough step up in image quality to warrant looking into a trade up. Since the two backs use the same or similar Kodak chips, so I am guessing there wouldn't be that much difference. However, I note that the Phase back can shoot for up to an hour, whereas the CFV is limited to a few minutes. This suggests that Phase has developed better ways to deal with low light situations. CFV native raw files contain a fair amount of color speckles in shadow areas at shutter speeds of 1s or more; for some reason Hasselblad chose to deal with these in software (Phocus) rather than by shooting an extra dark frame as do Canon and, I gather, Phase backs. That seems like a superior solution. Would I have anything else to gain with a P20+? Would greatly appreciate advice from those who might have experience with both systems. Thanks in advance, Chris

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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    Software
    Have you ever used Capture One? The Pro version of the software can be used with your Canon as well as any Phase One back. The tools, conversion quality, and workflow of Capture One is really worth looking into. Most of our (Phase One) customers end up using the software for all of their cameras, not just their digital back.

    Long Exposure
    Going up to an hour is a very niche/rare need, but as I'm sure you've run into already if you have a high f-stop, an ND/polarizer, or if you're shooting at pre-dawn/twilight you can easily get up into several-minutes. The P20+ will handle these exposures nearly as well as it handles a 1 second exposure.

    General User Interface
    I've always liked Phase's approach to the UI of the digital back. Namely the four button system is very easy to operate even with gloves on. But of course this is a personal preference thing.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    I am a big fan of the CFV line of backs for use on a Hasselblad V camera. They are the only integrated back for the 500 series cameras (no PC cords required), and the ONLY back that fully works on the 200 series camera (with a slight modification to the camera).

    It also should be noted that the Phocus software now contains specific DAC corrections for most Zeiss V lenses.

    However, for long exposures, I'd look to the Phase One back ... keeping in mind that you have to take an equally long dark exposure ... so a 10 minute shot is 20 minutes.

    -Marc

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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    Doug, Mark, thank you for your comments. From your experience would you say that the IQ from the various Kodak-sourced 16MP square backs would likely be pretty much the same in raw and that the key is really the software used in post?

    On Haasy vs Phase backs, it appears to be a choice between longer exposures vs better back-camera integration and the ability to shoot square.

    One other solution I have seen for shooting square is the CFV39, which I understand will crop automatically to square format. However, the one comparative review I have seen of that vs the original CFV (on the Diglloyd site) suggested the 16MP back produced more pleasing results (the same site also did not give the P20 terribly good marks either). I would appreciate any thoughts from CFV39 users.

    Chris

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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    Quote Originally Posted by cjl View Post
    Doug, Mark, thank you for your comments. From your experience would you say that the IQ from the various Kodak-sourced 16MP square backs would likely be pretty much the same in raw and that the key is really the software used in post?

    On Haasy vs Phase backs, it appears to be a choice between longer exposures vs better back-camera integration and the ability to shoot square.

    One other solution I have seen for shooting square is the CFV39, which I understand will crop automatically to square format. However, the one comparative review I have seen of that vs the original CFV (on the Diglloyd site) suggested the 16MP back produced more pleasing results (the same site also did not give the P20 terribly good marks either). I would appreciate any thoughts from CFV39 users.

    Chris
    Chris, it depends on what your end product may be ... like what size do you like to make prints?

    I used both CFV versions, but not the CFV/39. However, I did use a 39 meg back using the same CFV/39 sensor in a H3D-II camera and used Zeiss V lenses. I did not read the Digiloyd review ... but I found the combo quite good. Cropped to a square the 39 will produce a higher resolution image than the CFV/16 versions.

    There is a lot of energy for the so called "Fat Pixel" 9 micron digital backs especially when used with legacy lenses. Up to certain print sizes, they produce a very pleasing look. Here is a bit I wrote about my CFV/16 experiences that Hasselblad published on the "Planet V" portion of their website ...

    http://www.hasselblad.com/planet-v/w...-williams.aspx

    -Marc

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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    Marc, Thanks for steering me to your review (BTW, beautiful work on your site, too). Although I shoot landscapes, I mostly print at A4/Letter sizes, with 17x24 the maximum except for the occasional longer, panoramic print. So 16MP may well be enough for most of my purposes. I only have 35mm based digital equipment to compare with, but the Hassy/CFV seems to produce results that are both more three dimensional in appearance and details that are somehow 'rounder' (if that's the right way to describe it). I presume that is a product of the 9 micron receptors. Perhaps that would be lost moving up to the CFV39. Chris

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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    Quote Originally Posted by cjl View Post
    Marc, Thanks for steering me to your review (BTW, beautiful work on your site, too). Although I shoot landscapes, I mostly print at A4/Letter sizes, with 17x24 the maximum except for the occasional longer, panoramic print. So 16MP may well be enough for most of my purposes. I only have 35mm based digital equipment to compare with, but the Hassy/CFV seems to produce results that are both more three dimensional in appearance and details that are somehow 'rounder' (if that's the right way to describe it). I presume that is a product of the 9 micron receptors. Perhaps that would be lost moving up to the CFV39. Chris
    Thanks and you are welcome.

    Chris, another interesting technique I've used with the CFV/16 is using the Hasselblad V Shift adapter to make a 3 shot panoramic ... perhaps of interest for the occasional wide-scope landscape printed 17" X whatever? All the charm of the 9 micron sensor, but with twice the resolution or so.

    -Marc

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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    Quote Originally Posted by cjl View Post
    Doug, Mark, thank you for your comments. From your experience would you say that the IQ from the various Kodak-sourced 16MP square backs would likely be pretty much the same in raw and that the key is really the software used in post?
    The sensor is the same and most areas of image quality are pretty similar but saying "the key difference is really the software used in post" perhaps downplays the fact that the software is largely responsible for
    - how fine details are handled
    - color accuracy
    - flexibility of post-processing
    - shadow noise (how much and what kind)

    There are also differences in the IR cut filter used which can effect the color (especially in the shadows) of hot rock formations or artificial fabrics and differences in the read-out mechanisms which effect higher ISO and color rendition. It is however fair to say they are more similar than different except when it comes to long exposures where the P20+ wins without question.

    Quote Originally Posted by cjl View Post
    On Haasy vs Phase backs, it appears to be a choice between longer exposures vs better back-camera integration...
    I would argue that the only increased "integration" that a CFV has over a P20+V is the lack of a cable between the lens and back. That is certainly not "nothing" but is a convenience rather than feature/quality difference. Both software packages contain lens corrections for most Hassy-Zeiss lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by cjl View Post
    One other solution I have seen for shooting square is the CFV39, which I understand will crop automatically to square format. However, the one comparative review I have seen of that vs the original CFV (on the Diglloyd site) suggested the 16MP back produced more pleasing results (the same site also did not give the P20 terribly good marks either). I would appreciate any thoughts from CFV39 users.
    Actually you have a lot of other options since Phase One makes every one it's digital backs available in a Hasselblad 500 series mount. Along with the CFV39 the P25+ / P45+ / P65+ would be other good options to try (these are the larger sensor options). The "mask" you put in the viewfinder for any of these backs shows the crop lines for a square crop (along with horizontal/vertical crops) so you could continue to compose square images. Beware that the 25+/45+/65+ can be rotated for vertical or horizontal capture whereas the CFV cannot. Consider this: even if you ONLY print/use square crops the ability to take the crop from the top or bottom, left or right of the overall viewfinder will allow you a de-facto rise/fall/shift. With a CFV you'd have to choose between rise/fall or shift.

    As for "automatic cropping" your composition on the ground-glass can be done with a square mask with any of these solutions and you can apply a "default style" which includes a square crop to an entire folder of images in about 4 seconds using Capture One. So I'd consider this pretty low on the list of pros-cons.

    We have a P65+V available for rental-towards-purchase or free-in-person-evaluation if you'd like to see it.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    Marc,

    Thanks for the advice on the Hasselblad V Shift adapter. I am having some trouble tracking this device down on the web. The only Hassy product I could find via Google was the HTS for the H system. Is this an old Hasselblad product or another manufacturer's?

    Chris

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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    Quote Originally Posted by cjl View Post
    Marc,

    Thanks for the advice on the Hasselblad V Shift adapter. I am having some trouble tracking this device down on the web. The only Hassy product I could find via Google was the HTS for the H system. Is this an old Hasselblad product or another manufacturer's?

    Chris
    It's for the V cameras. Zeiss PC MUtar 1.4X Converter (see attached PDF).

    It was optically optimized for use with the Zeiss 40mm ... the best of which is the "bank busting" 40IF. However, one need not spend a fortune on the IF .... the PC Mutar was optimized for the 40mm before the 40 IF version was made available.

    Patience is the only way to find one of these, but they do come up for sale. Put a WTB notice on the F/S section here on GetDPI.

    -Marc

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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    Marc,

    Thanks yet again. I found a Mutar on KEH and it is on the way. Look forward to giving this a try. Next task: figuring out how to get rid of the yellow cast without alway having to shoot a grey card first. I wonder why Hasselblad built in a yellow bias. You would think that would be something they would have dealt with in firmware long ago, or at least with an automatic fix in Phocus.

    Chris

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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    Marc,

    My PC Mutar arrived and I started trying to figure it out today. What settings are you using in the CFV back to get the timing coordination right among the CFV, body, lens (an 80 CF in my case) and the Mutar? I am finding so far that shots with the Mutar centered usually come out close to ok but shifting up or down leads to strange exposure values and often serious vignetting on the left side of the frame (which I assume means the Mutar shutter isn't getting out of the way quickly enough). Do I need to dial in longer shutter times on the CFV to get this working properly?

    Regards, Chris

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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    Quote Originally Posted by cjl View Post
    Marc,

    My PC Mutar arrived and I started trying to figure it out today. What settings are you using in the CFV back to get the timing coordination right among the CFV, body, lens (an 80 CF in my case) and the Mutar? I am finding so far that shots with the Mutar centered usually come out close to ok but shifting up or down leads to strange exposure values and often serious vignetting on the left side of the frame (which I assume means the Mutar shutter isn't getting out of the way quickly enough). Do I need to dial in longer shutter times on the CFV to get this working properly?

    Regards, Chris
    Chris, I was using the Mutar on a 200 focal plane V camera with zero vignetting issues unless I shifted all the way with certain lenses ... and even then it was minor.

    If I recall correctly, with a 500 series camera you have to use the dual shutter release cable ... and that has to be adjusted to release just right.

    Also, I believe you can set a slight delay on the back's release to allow for analog stuff time to do its thing. Someone more versed in using the Mutar Shift on a 500 V camera may need to pipe up here as to which setting to use in the CFV menu ... it may be that you have to set it on sync and use a PC cable to the back ... sorry, not sure about that.

    I should have been clear on my use of the Mutar on the 200 camera ... which didn't need the dual cable release.

    Maybe the 500 camera doesn't either ... I just don't know exactly how to set it up. I would guess it does work, since it'll work with a film back on a 500 camera. So, it probably a matter of which setting to use on the back itself.

    -Marc

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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    Marc,

    Thanks for your advice on this. I tried setting a longer shutter speed on the back than I actually used but that did not seem to help. I also just left the Mutar open (uncocked) and tripped the lens shutter, but that did not do it either. I'll have to experiment a bit more. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and get a 200 series box but when I asked a local dealer about this (here in Tokyo) he claimed it required a lengthy trip back to Sweden and an expensive bit of servicing to get a 200 series ready for a CFV, which deterred me until now. Any other issues I should be aware off with moving to a 200 series body and a digital back?

    I have to say that when it works, and after you get the yellow cast corrected, CFV files really do have a special quality.

    Chris

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    Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    ^ What software are you using for those files? I have one of the original CFVs as well, and there's no yellow cast. I use ACR 6.1.

    Also, check your firmware version on the CFV.

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    Lightbulb Re: Phase 20+ vs CFV for Hassy V

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    Also, check your firmware version on the CFV.
    The current firmware version for the CFV-39 and most other digital backs is 259.

    Free download here: http://hasselbladusa.com/service--su...downloads.aspx

    - Leigh

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