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Thread: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

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    Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Good day everyone,

    I have been looking this forum for a few days now and thought that I would join hoping that I could find some guidance. I know this subject has been discussed on other forums/threads and comparisons have been made yet I would like to appeal to your kindness and have some of you give me your honest opinion.

    I have been shooting with a Nikon D2X for the past five years and have heavily invested in some lighting equipment i.e. Profoto Pro-8 packs, light modifiers, etc. and I absolutely love them.
    I am mainly a portrait photographer when time comes to make money. However I have had the opportunity to shoot landscape and macro photography for my own pleasure and have made a few bucks selling my images on stock sites such as Alamy.

    I am now at a stage of my photography life where I want better quality and be able to raise the bar. I am looking at both systems (Hasselblad and Phase One) and though I have some ideas as to what system offers what benefit over the other, I am turning to this forum in the hope some of you could share their own experience.

    Since I have a blank page, I am wondering which system is the most appealing for someone with my future plans. I desire to shoot more landscape and macro photography yet use it in my studio for portraits. I also love twilight\night photography. I love to process my images and sometimes heavily. I need files that can take heavy Photoshop tweaking and produce as less noise and artifacts as possible.

    I have tried to book a demo with both Hasselblad and Phase One and none of them ever contacted me back! I have tried the Hasselblad H3D-39 in a store but nothing serious. I must say though that I was very impressed by the file it generated.

    Would some of you please share your experience and opinions.

    Thank you very much to all those who will take the time to answer .

    Laurent

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Hi Laurent and welcome to GetDPI. If you do a search inside this forum, you will find several threads detailing the differences between Hassy H and Phase DF from owners and users of both.

    Bottom line is this: BOTH systems are quite capable of fulfilling your needs and you will find a balance of users pleased with both systems on this site. But is should be pointed out that NONE of us are 100% pleased with either system LOL! And virtually everyone here is going to tell you to do whatever you have to do to demo both systems AND use their processing software before you make your purchase -- as that is really the only way for you to decide which best suits you.

    What might be of more help is finding you a dealer to demo the gear -- where are you located?
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    I am located in Montreal Canada. The only dealer in Montreal that holds Hassy is not the most helpful one sadly! I will be in Toronto for the Christmas season and I am planing on going to Vistek which holds Phase Ones. I must say that the Hassleblad promotions until Dec 31 in North America put some kind of pressure as I would like o take advantage of them should I decide to go with Hasselblad. I don't want to be rushed though as this is major money!

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Laurent, Headshots in Toronto is the best place demo or rent a Hasselblad system, and just across the street from them (on Dundas) is B3K Digital, the distributer for Phase One.
    B3K is a small office, but they have gear available to look at and probably demo, Walter is the owner.

    David K. (Toronto)

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    Good day everyone,

    I have been looking this forum for a few days now and thought that I would join hoping that I could find some guidance. I know this subject has been discussed on other forums/threads and comparisons have been made yet I would like to appeal to your kindness and have some of you give me your honest opinion.

    I have been shooting with a Nikon D2X for the past five years and have heavily invested in some lighting equipment i.e. Profoto Pro-8 packs, light modifiers, etc. and I absolutely love them.
    I am mainly a portrait photographer when time comes to make money. However I have had the opportunity to shoot landscape and macro photography for my own pleasure and have made a few bucks selling my images on stock sites such as Alamy.

    I am now at a stage of my photography life where I want better quality and be able to raise the bar. I am looking at both systems (Hasselblad and Phase One) and though I have some ideas as to what system offers what benefit over the other, I am turning to this forum in the hope some of you could share their own experience.

    Since I have a blank page, I am wondering which system is the most appealing for someone with my future plans. I desire to shoot more landscape and macro photography yet use it in my studio for portraits. I also love twilight\night photography. I love to process my images and sometimes heavily. I need files that can take heavy Photoshop tweaking and produce as less noise and artifacts as possible.

    I have tried to book a demo with both Hasselblad and Phase One and none of them ever contacted me back! I have tried the Hasselblad H3D-39 in a store but nothing serious. I must say though that I was very impressed by the file it generated.

    Would some of you please share your experience and opinions.

    Thank you very much to all those who will take the time to answer .

    Laurent
    Some sporatic thoughts that aren't normally covered in the threads you'll find on DF vs H...

    Because the DF body has a built in shutter and because the back has a built-in battery you can use it with a huge variety of strange gear which might be helpful and enjoyable to your personal work.

    Interesting accessories to use with your DF:
    Cambo X-2 (view camera like movements with your DF body with TTL focus)
    Auto Bellows for TTL composing/focus for high-magnification macro work
    - Any Hasselblad 500 or 200 series lens including the 100mm f/2 gem
    - Any Pentacon 6 lens
    - Any traditional Mamiya lens including the oddballs like the fisheye, the soft-focus portrait lens, and the 500mm

    Other than the DF
    - Nearly any tech camera or view camera
    - RZ Pro IID (all leaf shutter lenses) including the highly regarded 110/2.8

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
    __________________

    Head of Technical Services, Capture Integration
    Phase One Partner of the Year
    Leaf, Leica, Cambo, Arca Swiss, Canon, Apple, Profoto, Broncolor, Eizo & More

    National: 877.217.9870 *| *Cell: 740.707.2183
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    Buy Capture One 6 at 10% off
    Last edited by dougpeterson; 6th December 2010 at 09:23.

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Another option to try some gear (since you have an interest in landscape photography) is to go out on one of Jack and Guy's workshops. Try to get a workshop that includes a tour of Jack's secured warehouse facility.

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    Good day everyone,

    ... have some of you give me your honest opinion.

    I have been shooting with a Nikon D2X for the past five years and have heavily invested in some lighting equipment i.e. Profoto Pro-8 packs, light modifiers, etc. and I absolutely love them.
    I am mainly a portrait photographer when time comes to make money. However I have had the opportunity to shoot landscape and macro photography for my own pleasure and have made a few bucks selling my images on stock sites such as Alamy.

    ... in the hope some of you could share their own experience.

    Since I have a blank page, I am wondering which system is the most appealing for someone with my future plans. I desire to shoot more landscape and macro photography yet use it in my studio for portraits. I also love twilight\night photography. I love to process my images and sometimes heavily. I need files that can take heavy Photoshop tweaking and produce as less noise and artifacts as possible ...

    Laurent
    Welcome Laurent! (Sorry for the paraphrasing of your post).

    As Jack said, both systems are great, and neither is perfect. All we can do is share our experiences and try to relate those experiences to your requests.

    I also shoot portraits in studio and on location ... (plus weddings), and do a lot of macro work in studio and outdoors both commercially and personally. Also use Profoto lighting and light modifiers. I don't do landscapes much ... but I do shoot environmental portraits in landscape scenarios : -)

    Over the years, I've used a number of different cameras and digital backs. I've come to prefer the Hasselblad system for my work for a number of reasons ... again, it's personal preference based on my specific requirements and experiences.

    Since I use strobes for a lot of work in studio and outdoors, I prefer that all of my lenses be Leaf shutter. Plus, Hassey has a 35-90 digital zoom that is astounding in quality and versatility.

    I like having the option of using a waist level finder from time-to-time.

    While I have a Rollie Xact-2 view camera that my Hassey back fits on, it's a bit of a pain to set up and use in rush commercial situations, or to lug out on location ... the HTS/1.5 Tilt Shift is now used for a lot of those type shoots. While it doesn't feature full movements, it works wonders for increasing DOF with macro work ... and it's very cool when shooting portraits with selective areas of focus ... and I use it to do huge stitched panoramics. The HTS/1.5 is quite small, takes 5 different HC lenses from 28mm to 100mm and fits in a side pocket of by camera bag ... so I usually have it with me all the time.

    The newer H4 camera with True Focus is without a doubt a feature that has to be experienced first hand. I can focus on a subject at the far side of the frame, recompose, and the camera instantly adjusts focus to keep the edge subject sharp. Amazing.

    MY H4D/40 can be used for night shooting up to 4-minute exposures which I've never had to use ... the champ for really long exposures is the Phase One P45+.

    Software is a big subject on this forum, and rightly so. I have no problem using Phocus2 for some critical works, and LightRoom 3.2 for heavy processing situations like a wedding or big portrait session. Aperture, Lightroom and Bridge all directly recognize the Hasselblad files. I like LR because of all the very sophisticated tools and ability to access PS, and various other processing aids and plug-ins.

    -Marc

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Hi Laurent,

    As already mentioned, both systems are capable of stunning image quality. So, the differences that will cause you to choose one over the other will be due to the camera features that you desire most.

    Here is an abbreviated list of the major differences between the Hasselblad H4D and Phase One DF camera systems:

    Hasselblad H4D
    -----------------------
    More engineering in camera for focusing precision (Ultrafocus / True Focus)
    Flash sync of 1/800 for all lenses (28mm - 300mm)
    Leaf shutter only (1/800 max shutter speed for all lenses)
    Optional Waist Level Finder
    Newer Leaf shutter 120mm Macro lens (leaf shutter = lower vibration)
    Newer generation 35-90 Zoom lens (HCD)
    More versatile tilt/shift capability with 28mm - 100mm lenses (HTS)
    50MP Multi-shot back availability (H4D-50MS)
    3-inch LCD Display

    Phase One DF
    --------------------
    Higher resolution single shot back availability (80MP)
    Higher flash sync capability of 1/1600 (with 55/80/110/150 lenses and P45+/P65+)
    Higher maximum shutter speed with all lenses using focal plane shutter (1/4000)
    Long exposure capability (60 minutes with P45+)
    Lower ISO capability (ISO 50)
    Higher ISO capability with reduced resolution (Sensor+ allows ISO 3200)
    New 120mm Schneider Tilt/Shift Macro lens (focal plane shutter only)
    2.2-inch LCD Display


    Good luck in your decision.

    David

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Has anyone had experience with the H4D-40 in cold weather? On the Phase One site they show videos of P30 backs in extreme cold and hot weather and high humidity. On the H4D-40 spec document I read that it can operate between 0 and 45 degrees Celsius. does it mean that in the winter I will not be able to use the Hasselblad outside? In Canada we have very cold winters and I want to go out with it. Is it possible or is it beyond its capability?

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    Has anyone had experience with the H4D-40 in cold weather? On the Phase One site they show videos of P30 backs in extreme cold and hot weather and high humidity. On the H4D-40 spec document I read that it can operate between 0 and 45 degrees Celsius. does it mean that in the winter I will not be able to use the Hasselblad outside? In Canada we have very cold winters and I want to go out with it. Is it possible or is it beyond its capability?
    I believe all backs officially publish the same or similar specifications for operating temperatures.

    I've used my H systems in ferocious heat all day, and shot in snow storms and freezing cold. Even was caught in a monsoon like downpour with howling wind ... all to no ill effect. But I wouldn't recommend it with any of these cameras.

    For clarity, the H4D/40 does ISO 100 to 1600 at full resolution, the H4D/50 and H4D/60 does ISO 50 to 800. The current 80 meg back is not a Phase One back, it is a Leaf back ... Leaf is now owned by Phase One, but the backs are different.

    -Marc

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Hasselblad or Phase One is a really tricky one

    I tested both, finally decided for the Blad, as I could get better prices and far better support in my country. Which already gives biggest part of my answer. Yes, I know all the nice words about one should buy the system which suits one best, but I can only say this is just half of the truth. First I had thought that Phase is the one to go and had almost skipped Blad from my preferred list, just because the Phase backs are really great and they work with C1 Pro.

    As things turned out I got a VERY attractive offer for a H3D39 and so I jumped in. With 2 lenses - 28 and 100 - and meanwhile also the HTS. And I just can say WOW. Using the Blad in combination with Phocus is the real show stopper in my mind for all other MFDBs. This system is orchestrated so perfectly over all components, that one has hard time to find another and better one.

    Meanwhile a year has passed and my favorite post SW is no longer C1 Pro, but LR3.3 - and yes, I have C1 Pro 6.0 - wonderfully praised SW package - but for my needs this is not what makes me fly. Especially I got really upset meanwhile about the lack of recent camera support, where C1 was always top - meanwhile is no longer. And if you really start to get used to LR3 again (as it was in my case) this is the SW to go - overall much more flexible. So my post processing is now done 50% in LR3, 30% in Phocus, 10% in C1 Pro and 10% in PS CS4.

    Why am I writin all this? Because a year ago I thought the only way to go is Phase, just because of the great backs and C1. The example described above shows how fast things can change for a vendor, as soon as users start (have to start) looking around, which in my case was because of a representation in Austria which is really not what one has to expect from such a brand plus the lack of camera support in C1 - funny, right?

    Now back to the question Blad vs. Phase. To be really honest, both systems are excellent and hard to top. Each of them brings certain advantages, and each of them will be able to cover your needs. It are the many thins around a system as support, SW etc, which really count.

    One other thing you should take into account - if you want (need) the always top of the range backs - then it might be Phase which you should choose, as history tells that they are always in front with new backs - just think about P65+ vs H4D60 or the soon to be expected 80MP back from Phase, where it is likely we need to wait another 2 years or so from Blad, given their history WRT the H4D60. Now is that bad? I think not because when Blad finally brings a product it is always very mature and perfect from the very beginning. And I am pretty sure for 95% of all applications some 60MP are MORE than enough.

    And BTW - I never ever had any temperature or climate issue - even with my "old" H3D39 - even in cold winters in Austria, minus 20 Celsius and continued working, only thing are batteries but this is true for all MFDBs. So temperature is not the show stopper for Hasselblad!

    Just my 5c - its obviously your choice and decision which will make you happy!

    Enjoy

    Peter
    Last edited by ptomsu; 6th December 2010 at 23:04.

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    To reinforce Peter's post ... Light Room 3.3 is just out of Beta, and available for download ... including Camera RAW 6.3

    Support for another list of new cameras, plus performance improvements. Adobe is relentless in updating its software.

    -Marc

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Here's an interesting "mistake" I discovered while processing a recent shoot.

    I was shooting the H4D/40 and 100/2.2 lens hand-held in aperture priority outside, and after returning indoors I did a quick grab shot of the client's dog forgetting to change the exposure mode back to manual.

    The result was a cull shot which I was about to delete when I realized the eyes looked pretty crisp ... still not a keeper ... however, what was sort of remarkable was that the aperture was 3.2 which has next to zero DOF this close with the 100/2.2, and even more remarkably, the shutter speed was 1/10th of a second ... hand-held!

    Two features on this camera combined to overcome my stupidity ... I had used True Focus/Focus Lock on the camera-left eye of the dog, and then recomposed ... and I have the mirror delay on the H4D/40 set to be a nano-second longer than the default to take advantage of the leaf shutter's lack of vibration ... because I hand hold a lot, and drink gallons of coffee.

    This is not the first time I've posted a shot from this camera at unheard of shutter speeds for a MF-DSLR, and been shocked at the decent results.

    Here's the original crop, the actual cropped photo, and a big enlargement of the focus point. I still trashed the image, but I thought it was interesting.

    -Marc

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Hasselblad or Phase One is a really tricky one
    ...when Blad finally brings a product it is always very mature and perfect from the very beginning.
    Peter
    Nice theory, but the H3D11-50 did not have live video for about six months after launch, and the H4d-60 has no live video yet.

    I was very glad to upgrade to Hasselblad and get rid of my Mamiya, but that was in the 1970s (C330), and I think Phase/Mamiya have made some progress since.

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Wow!

    This site is incredible. As I mentioned in my first post I asked for a demo from Phase One last May and no one ever called me back...Until today! The Phase One reps must be reading this site.

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurent View Post
    The Phase One reps must be reading this site.
    Actually, we are very lucky to have excellent reps from Phase, Leaf and Hassy all regularly reading AND contributing here at GetDPI -- it's a win-win for everyone for sure!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Laurent,

    As said, you can't go wrong with either at this point. David listed the differences pretty well.

    I ended up with Mamiya because it "felt" better in my hands than the Hassy. Price also was a consideration when made my decision.

    Best is to try both if you can and see for yourself and what you like.

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Marc,

    this is really an impressive example of

    1) what the H4D can do with TF

    2) what a H camera can achieve when one uses pre mirror release wisely!

    I am usually hand helding 1/20 - 1/10 without much problems on my H3D39 with 2.2/100 when I set mirror pre release accordingly.

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    What are you guys setting the pre-release to? What value? I haven't played around much with it, but i'm going to start investigating now that we are slowing down for winter.

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    The default is 50ms for the H4D-60, and I think most people who have experimented find that this is satisfactory.

    It makes most difference on a sloppy tripod, eliminating hand shake.

    Do not make the mistake of looking at the vibration of the camera - this happens when the mirror flips back up, after the exposure.

    Motion blur depends on:
    the ergonomics of the camera, and the hand-hold used
    the inertia of a camera/lens combination
    the focal length of the lens
    the skill/health/luck of the photographer.

    Once I took a picture of a sunset, hand held at 1 sec, and then set up a bracket and took another, and I could never tell the difference between the pictures (on a Practika LLC, 1973, when I was younger).

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Have mine set to 50ms and this is what I am really happy with. Makes the whole operation (reaction of the camera) not really slower, but helps significantly in getting sharper images.

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Great, thanks guys. I'll give it a shot.

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    Re: Need Help For New System Hasselblad or Phase One?

    Marc I hate to say this but the crop image shows some strange interpolation pattern errors reminding me of some old scans. I'm talking about the sort of criss-cross pattern that's pretty much over the whole frame

    Maybe it's scaling/ sharpening/ NR that is causing it but it looks weird

    IMO

    Yair

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