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Thread: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

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    First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    First I want to thank Lance for all his help and continued communication.
    I had the chance to shoot the Mamiya AFDII with the old 80/2.8 , old 150/3.2?, and old 120/4 Macro in Puerto Rico, using a P25, P30+, & P45+. The files were fabulous once I got the depth of field and shutter speed differences needed into my head.

    I am currently shooting a Hassy H3DII/39 with 80/2.8 and 120/4 Macro. This is with Sean from Camera West. It is also generating unbelievable files.

    First I'm looking for a system approach that will just work and not get in the way. I think both of these options can meet that criteria.

    Let's talk camera bodies and ease of use first. This one has to go to the Hassy. The battery lasts longer and is a single unit vs. one for the back and AA batteries for the camera. In an emergency, you can also use 3 "123" batteries in the Hassy. Viewfinders are similiar with a slight edge in brightness/contrast going to the Hassy. Weight is a mixed bag, the Hassy is heavier but built like a tank and seems to help me stabilizing while the Mamiya is lighter and less of a burden. Ergonomically, I prefer the Hassy body as the controls are just there. Menu wise, again I go with the Hassy with all the controls on buttons within reach on the camera body (very similiar to my Nikon D3). I really don't need to go into the menu system on the back. Mirror shake seems less on the Hassy, but may be equal with the new AFDIII body coming out. Build quality goes to the Hassy without any question as it is virtually all metal, including the covers or the card slots, etc... One pet peeve I had on the Phase back was the difficulty of extracting the card with my large fingers, since it did not pop out far enough. This is fine on the Hassy. LCD screen on the back of the digital back is also a complete world better on the Hassy. The Phase screen was improved on the plus backs vs. the original, but is still lacking compared to the Hassy. Basically, I have to give the nod to the Hassy as winning by a large margin in ergonomics and use of the camera body.

    Focal vs. Leaf shutter. The Mamiya is a focal plane with leaf shutters to come. The Hassy is leaf shutter only. I set up strobes yesterday and did a lot of shooting in the late afternoon using my wife as a model and also did some shooting in the studio. I MUST have the faster flash sync of the leaf shutter system. That decision comes down to the option of Hassy now, or Mamiya with both in the future.

    Lenses are slightly larger on the Hassy, but not to the extent which I expected. The files which I am seeing using the Hassy lenses are better than the older level of Mamiya glass. Will this be true, evened out, or reversed with the new Mamiya glass just being released? I don't know but that is a factor to consider. I have decided that a 120 Macro is not for me on either system. The depth of field is so narrow in the Macro range that the Nikon works better for what I shoot and the size it gets printed. In either system, my first two lenses based on focal length preference and size are going to be 80 & 150. The 80 seems to work out well for the way I see things in the world and also what I shoot for product. The 150 will work out for a mild telephoto and portraits.

    Software is another mixed bag. For a lot of things, I like programs like Aperture and Lightroom. Aperture and preview read the Hassy files but not the Phase files. Lightroom reads the Phase files and not the Hassy files. Phocus and Capture One do not read their competitors files. My other cameras are the M8 and D3. I do want to restrict the number of convertors which I am using. My preference to date has been to abandon lightroom as I don't like how it renders color or detail when compared to Capture One or Aperture. Nikon Capture NX has also been abandoned as it only works on my Nikon files. To date with the M8 & D3, Aperture and Capture One have been the preference. This gives me experience with those over Phocus. Aperture is going to stay in the mix, which covers the M8/D3/Hassy but not Phase. That would be ok, as I will probably do the majority of conversion for the MFDB in its software be it Capture One or Phocus. Now between Capture One and Phocus, I have to say that I am probably biased to Capture One since I have used it for the last 1 1/2 years with the M8. On another thead about the Hassy firmware and software, I posted a few things which I really miss or don't get about Phocus. At this point in the game, I would say that Capture One wins hands down.

    Financials also come into play. This is where Hassy would normally loose, but is actually the same as the Phase system due to discounts from both vendors and then the $4000 trade-in of my backup D300 body promotion with Hassy. For a classic to classic system, they are identical once you pull out what I can sell my D300 for from the $4000 trade-in value. My second lens of the 150 is also a few hundred dollars less in the Hassy system. I have decided to stay with a classic vs. value added/extended warranty system basically to just save some upfront money on the system. Both Lance and Sean offered to help out, if I am in a bind and need something during a repair.

    So now, I have a few more days to play and figure these two different systems out in my head.

    Best,

    Ray

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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Ray,

    Thanks very much for taking the time to write and post this. It's very helpful to benefit from the observations and experiences of others as we sort through this process.

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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Hi Ray. This is a very nice analysis. I do have one question related to the IQ. Perhaps you did not "measure" this but I am curious about your findings on fine detail. There was an article a few months back claiming the Phase back was better in terms of fine detail when compared to the Hassy system and I was wondering about your findings. I realize that the lenses are not equal. I think the Phocus will get better as you have to realize that only the beta version is available. The fact is that I am impressed that Hassy is really trying to integrate their system from the glass to the final software conversion on the computer. So over time I suspect this is only going to get better.

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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    ... and another one bites the dust Ray, seems like you've given this some serious thought which a purchase of this magnitude warrants. What's your feeling about the images from these two contenders... does either of them get the nod on that score?? What about higher ISO images from each??

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Ray good post . Remember Phase is coming with a new body also and new D lenses and also leaf shutters this year. getting in the door is actually cheaper with Phase because of the glass you can buy today used for very cheap like less than 2k you can get 3 or 4 lenses and than upgrade as the new D lenses come out which the New 80 D comes with the new Phase. i am getting the new 150 2.8 D when it comes actually have the money waiting for it . So getting in is a little cheaper the Hassy lenses are already at the higher level so no cheaper glass unless you use the adapters and such but remember also they are using the same Kodak sensors so that won't be a difference but software will of course. But like you I wanted a no hassle turn key system with back,body and software to work together. It's your call at the end of the day and what you want to do and i don't know enough about the Hassy system to make a real comment either way . They both produce and produce well but you need to factor the prices of the entire system in too . Pick your four favorite lenses and add it up. Also you maybe gaining a 4 k savings but you are losing a 1800 camera so the net on that is 2200.00 in total savings. Get your final true costs in there. Good luck with your decision , I am very happy with mine myself and if i need to flip around I can do that, Hassy makes that a little tougher to do.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Ray if you want to shoot them side by side you know where i am and more than welcome to try the Mamiya again . My new back should be here Tuesday unless Fed X delivers on memorial day. Big decision , big money take your time and digest it all
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Out of curiosity, if leaf shutters are important to you then why not consider the Hy6?

    Then your raw files are in DNG format and you can use both Aperture and Lightroom. Plenty of other interesting features too.

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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Mark - I don't have identical files. However, here are a few points. They both use the same sensor. Phocus to Capture One, the difference is almost impossible to tell. Apeture (Hassy) to Lightroom (Phase), Aperture wins as always. This leads me to assume two things based on prior work with the M8 & D3. The lens may is resolving better on the Hassy, but Capture One is still king in its rendering of fine detail. We will have to see what happens with the new Mamiya lenses and also with an actual release of Phocus vs. the beta to do a better comparison. Neither one is objectionable in any form or fashion.

    David - Yes, another one bites the dust. Its still early for me to say definitively which file I like better. I've had a week to see how to work the file on the Phase and only a day on the Hassy. ISO performance is about the same. However, Phase goes to 800 and the Hassy only to 400. Since they are the same sensor and Hassy seems to be promising a firmware upgrade to 800 also, I am assuming that will be a mute point.

    Guy - I took that factor into account. I can sell the D300 for $1400 so only included $2600 dollars of credit from the $4000 promotion into the pricing. The base systems are literally within $50. Relative to lenses, I'm interested in the 150 next, then possibly the 210 & 35. The 150 is actually cheaper in the Hassy system by several hundred dollars compared to the new Mamiya lens. The other unknown is what the price of the leaf shutter Mamiya lenses will cost. (I assume more than the new focal shutter lenses.)

    Graham - My issue with the Hy6 is really what I saw with David using it in Puerto Rico. I do realize that some of the issue was unfamiliarity, but I'm looking for quick/easy support (hopefully no need for it) and the availability of loaner equipment. I don't think that really exists yet in the US for the Sinar option. Ergonomics on the Hy6 with controls on the left side of the camera body did not seem ideal to me, vs. either the Mamiya or Hassy layout. I prefer the Hassy ergonomics the best. Last and definitely not least is that the LCD on the Sinar was horrible. In my mind any of the MFDB options have files so superior to 35 mm, that it is really going to come down to ergonomics, and ease of use throughout the entire workflow.

    Guy - Lets try and shoot them together somewhere on Tuesday.

    -------------

    One more point of reference, using Live View on product shots. I'm only going by my memory of what Lance demoed with the older version of Capture One Pro. Both are a little slow, but both worked. To actually see what you are going to get, you really need a lot light so that you can see the working aperture stopped down. This really was a software decision between Capture One and Phocus, but here I would give the edge to Phocus. In the Phocus control panel, I can control the complete camera. (Metering, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and even adjust focus from within the control panel of Phocus) I don't remember that ability on Capture One Pro, but may be wrong.

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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Ray,
    I winced when I read Graham's question because I saw your answer coming. I am quite sure you realize that I am not the poster boy for Sinar. Actually, I've heard rumors that they have pictures of me on the gun range at the home office Seriously though, you should not place too much weight on my difficulties in Puerto Rico. Not only was the back new to me, so was the camera. When I got home and put the back on my Contax 645 I had a much easier time of it. I could focus on the back alone. I do agree completely about the Sinar screen but I'm sure you know that the new backs that are shipping now have an improved screen and updated internal electronic boards. Thierry's post of the ISO 800 shots has me on the edge of my chair waiting for the new back. Having been there when I went thru my learning curve, it will come as no surprise to you that I considered returning the back and going with Phase or Hasselblad. Those options were, ultimately, not appealing because what I really, really wanted in a back was the ability to shoot on more than one platform and to have the choice of both leaf and focal plane shutter capabilities. Anyway, enough about me, this is about what works for you. Whichever back you choose I'm sure it will give you years of good service and great captures... as well as a much lighter wallet

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Quote Originally Posted by harmsr View Post
    One more point of reference, using Live View on product shots. I'm only going by my memory of what Lance demoed with the older version of Capture One Pro. Both are a little slow, but both worked. To actually see what you are going to get, you really need a lot light so that you can see the working aperture stopped down. This really was a software decision between Capture One and Phocus, but here I would give the edge to Phocus. In the Phocus control panel, I can control the complete camera. (Metering, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and even adjust focus from within the control panel of Phocus) I don't remember that ability on Capture One Pro, but may be wrong.
    Ray, I believe in Phocus beta 21, you will also be able to control the mirror from the software as well (I think Marc had mentioned this).

    Steve Hendrix
    www.ppratlanta.com/digital.php

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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    What is amazing to me is how the MFD market is developing as more and more people can buy into the siren call of IQ.

    3 years ago - the whole market was totally different. Now each back maker has to present a total working system as well as cater for 35mm type shooting experience expectations form users.

    If Hasselblad knew that the market would open up to candid type shooting expectations - I am sure that they perhaps would not have been so quick to remove their 203 system and lenses from their supported system inventory.

    if you are using H series - I must recommend that you try the HC 100/2.2 WOW! is all I can say.

    my ONLY beef with the H series body is that I woudl love to have a grip that was half an inch longer that woudl have been perfect - I have recently added a RRS L bracket and all of a sudden find shooting hand held at lower speeds a LOT easier - especially if you use the mirror up delay function with a H3D series body functionality.

    Still camera nut that I am - I will probably ad a Phase One back tas a second system - just because I love that back as much as the 39. All I need to do is sell another pile of 35mm gear I don't use anymore. LOL

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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Ray,

    If you go with the Hassy, why not pick up a used 10.2 mpix D40x for $400 to get the same rebate rather than taking more of a loss trading the D300?

    Greg

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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Ray, If high iso is important to you --- you should consider the H3DII-31. The iso 800 images are better than any DSLR I have tried. They are promising 1600 as they are 800 on the H3DII-39.

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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Seitz View Post
    Ray,

    If you go with the Hassy, why not pick up a used 10.2 mpix D40x for $400 to get the same rebate rather than taking more of a loss trading the D300?

    Greg
    I was thinking about this as well. Canon's Rebel Xti/400D is about the same.

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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Steve - Thanks for the heads up. I would like to see the mirror control also in there.

    David - I understand what you are saying about Puerto Rico. I just really feel either the Phase or Hassy system integration is going to get me where I want to be and they have more support in the US. (Plus demo gear to keep me going if I need help during a repair.) Unfortunately, no matter what way I go your prediction is spot on relative to my wallet.

    Gregg & Dale - Not a bad thought. It would save me money and I could sell the D300.

    Mark - My issue with either the Phase or Hassy 31 MP backs are the micro lenses. They help me out with one stop of ISO, but take away my ability to use a view camera with the back for product shots. On some of the firearms shots that I do, I just can't get everything in focus without using tilt and swing.

    Peter - Is the RRS bracket the same with the H3DII as with the H1, H2, H3 cameras? Their website doesn't say anything about the H3DII. I have changed my mind on going down to the 35mm lens on either system and think that the 50 would be a better option for my shooting on either system. I was thinking 50, 80, & 150. The 100 you mention that you mention might actually fit that line-up better. Can you tell me how it compares size wise to the 80 and why you think it is such a great lens? What does it have over the 80?

    Best,

    Ray

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Lenses for the Mamiya what I have discovered the 55mm 2.8 is extremely good Used 550.00. the new 80 mm D comes with the new body . If any better than the current 80 than it is killer because this cheap lens is extremely sharp. The current 150mm 4.5 is very very nice and i shot many extremely sharp images with it just look at most of the threads I started with the ZD and Phase. For again used at 550 dollars hard to beat. I am still getting the new one 150mm 2.8 D and I think it will be be 1999.00 from what I seen listed in Canada but still waiting on a price. The hassy glass is built better than some of the current plastic Mamiya glass but seriously don't let the image quality fool you with it's price which far exceeds the price by a mile. I would never have dropped over 20 k on the Phase stuff if it was crap as some would say when it comes to the glass . I know glass

    But you have to buy a system that fits you. I'm not here to promote either one and had to make these choices myself and it is not easy. All I know is what i have in my hands is satisfying my needs in a big way.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    Quote Originally Posted by harmsr View Post
    Steve - Thanks for the heads up. I would like to see the mirror control also in there.



    Peter - Is the RRS bracket the same with the H3DII as with the H1, H2, H3 cameras? Their website doesn't say anything about the H3DII. I have changed my mind on going down to the 35mm lens on either system and think that the 50 would be a better option for my shooting on either system. I was thinking 50, 80, & 150. The 100 you mention that you mention might actually fit that line-up better. Can you tell me how it compares size wise to the 80 and why you think it is such a great lens? What does it have over the 80?

    Best,

    Ray
    Yes H series bracket works just fine and doesn't get in the way of using cables either

    I don't own and have never used the 50 so I cant comment. teh 35 is a very nice lens - I sold it recently along with 80 with my Leaf back and H1 body.

    A lot of people prefer the 50- 110 zoom.

    I have this kit so far

    28 - outstanding lens for digi only shooting excellent corrections provided by Phocus
    80/2.8 - very good all rounder
    100 - outstanding fast lens @ 2.2 - prefer this one to the 80 2.8 gives a tad more reach and has lovely OOF rendition
    150 - outstanding lens
    1.7X converter - used it for first time on the weekend on the 150..really good results.

    i also bought the external drive so that I can use my H3d11-39 on my Alpa or any other similar system including view cameras when out in field - stores 100 gigs worth of files and is powered by Sony lithiums.


    You have a difficult decision to make between Hasselblad and Phase One/Mamiya

    Both systems are fantastic packages...Phase is better IMHO for use off H camera body - because battery is in the Phase One body. Mamiya lenses are at the margin faster if you want that and the body offers future flexibility regarding Leaf shutter...



    Go with who is supporting you after sales - that is my call so decision varies from place to place.


    Also Guy posted as i was typing..I have to say that I have never encountered an issue with MF glass from any maker - they all make good glass. Price is an issue with blad..but then again it isnt liek 35mm land - you dont need a lot of glass with a 39 megapixel back - just 3-4 great lenses...dont forgt you will probably end up with an Alpa or Horseman or Cambo as a stitching machine..and there you only want to choose one out of 3 lenses in wide. then you want to be be able to use a view camera..for movements..so take care thinking through total use and purposes for system - no need to get everythign ..Phase deal with Horseman or Cambo shoudl not be ignored lightly..

    Pete
    Last edited by PeterA; 25th May 2008 at 17:50.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: First impressions on the Hassy vs. Phase decision

    I agree the Horseman SWDII is a treat and there are great deals on them with Phase . Take your time and as Pete said there all good and need to sit down and figure out what works best for you, I have no doubt the Hassy is wonderful so it is not about who is best , I could care less but i do care what is best for me and that is the line you should take. We can only give you good advice as everyone has done here in this thread and on the forum but obviously you have to sleep with it. LOL

    BTW on the issue with batteries on the Phase you can buy the Canon BP-519 at 40 dollars each . i bought two and i believe on the Hassy you can use Sony video camera batteries which are also cheap to get . So your not stuck with having to buy OEM batteries at a much higher rate. Keep that a secret. Actually Phase even recommended the Canon batteries in a PDF
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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