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Thread: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

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    Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    I am considering a digital back for my 205TCC Hasselblad. I know almost nothing about them. I'm interested in the most economical way to get into MF digital.

    TIA for any advice!

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    You will probably hear several reasons why you should go with this or that system. However, only Hasselblad has a back that works without cables (I'm pretty sure). You can get a CFV16 on the used market for a very good price. They also make the CFV39 and CFV50 (the number following CFV being the megapixel count), but finding those two on the used market may be problematic. Additionally, the esthetics of the new back are much better with the CFV's since their construction corresponds with the V bodies. I had the CFV16 and the files were stunning; nice big pixels and wonderful rendering.

    These backs works with all the V bodies, and I am not completely sure about this, but the 205TCC may have to be slightly altered in order to work with the CFV.

    Greg

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    If you are new to this, you should probably do a little research to understand the different sensor sizes and the impact they will have on your lenses and style of shooting. Almost all backs come in a Hasselblad V mount, although there may be some differences in the electrical interfaces and compatibility issues with different Hasselblad bodies. Most backs don't have square sensors either so find out how the backs switch between portrait and landscape modes. I don't envy you - there's lots to research!

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerik View Post
    I am considering a digital back for my 205TCC Hasselblad. I know almost nothing about them. I'm interested in the most economical way to get into MF digital.

    TIA for any advice!
    "Economical" is in the eyes of the beholder. The least hassle and economical option would be a used CFV or CFVII, 16 MP square sensor. Even though only 16 MP and several generations "out of date", the back still produces excellent files. The 205 will need minor modification by Hasselblad in NJ to deactivate the electrical interface between the body and film magazine. (IIRC about $400.) If you don't mind having a cable connection between the lens and digital back then there are a lot of options compatible with the "V" series bodies. I find the cable connection annoying but many don't consider it an issue.

    Steve

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Thanks for the input so far. I understand the sensor size issue WRT my lenses. Economical for me means the cheapest that will give good results. 16mp is plenty for my purposes. I also have a 201F which doesn't have the electric connection with the back, so I guess that would be the body to use. And, since I'm on a budget, I could probably deal with the cable issue.

    So, with all that in mind, any other suggestions to go with the CFV and CFVII?

    Thanks again.

    -Kerik
    www.kerik.com

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Square or rectangular format? The Phase One P20 and P25 backs would be worth a look.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...irstlook.shtml

    I have the CFV-16 II back myself.

    Gary

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Thanks for the info. I love square, so the P20 would be one to look for. Any thoughts about Phase one vs CFV?

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    With the 205TCC, the Hasselblad CFV backs are your only choice. I asked the Phase people several years ago about using the 200 series and their back and was told it was not possible. This may have changed, you may want to check with a dealer like Capture Integration or Digital Transitions to see if it is now possible.

    Now if you want to change to a 500 series, then your options to use other brands, albeit cabled, open up.
    Al Tanabe my website https://www.altanabe.com

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Quote Originally Posted by atanabe View Post
    With the 205TCC, the Hasselblad CFV backs are your only choice. I asked the Phase people several years ago about using the 200 series and their back and was told it was not possible. This may have changed, you may want to check with a dealer like Capture Integration or Digital Transitions to see if it is now possible.

    Now if you want to change to a 500 series, then your options to use other brands, albeit cabled, open up.

    The above is correct.
    Other info suggesting Phase One or other backs with cabling can be used on a focal plane V camera is incorrect. It may be possible to use a 200 series camera with C leaf shutter lenses mounted using the sync port connection, but I am not sure of that.

    I am sure that the CFV backs are the ONLY digital backs that work on a 200 series focal plane V camera and F lenses with full functionality ... just as if there was a film back on the camera ... they also look like a V film back.

    The 200 series camera has to be sent to Hasselblad service for a minor modification, and they usually place a sticker to indicate it is a modified camera for use with the CFV. You can still use film backs after the modification.

    The CFV backs do NOT require electronic connections between back and 200 or 500 V body. The digital back is activated by the mechanical winding system. So both of your 200 focal plane cameras could be used. However, I'd contact Hasselblad technical services to confirm that the 201F can be modified to be 100% sure.

    The CFV can be used on any modified 200 camera, any 500 series camera without modification, and any technical/view camera with a V mount. Which camera is being used is accessed via the LCD menu where you can select 200, 500, pinhole, or sync (which requires a sync cord from a view lens to the sync input port on the CFV). There is also a flash sync port on the CFV.

    The back is powered by a common Sony L camcorder battery, which is available in various sizes, including a double sized version for extended shooting.

    The 16 meg CFV produces a 1.5X crop factor for any given focal length, so a Zeiss 50/2.8FE gives you the field of view equivalent on a 75/2.8 ... which visually is actually still pretty wide for norman shooting. A 40 CFE set to the F lock would provide a 60mm FOV. Most CFVs come with a new focusing screen with the crop area etched on it.

    The CFV16 and CFV-II/16 is a magical combination that matches so called "fat" 9 micron pixels with the Zeiss optics to produce results that defy the logical mathematics ... easily producing an IQ that's visually stunning even compared to the latest FF 25 meg 35mm DSLRs.

    An early write up I did on the CVF can be located on the Hasselblad website here:

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

    While there check out the whole Planet V site.

    -Marc

    P.S., be aware that on the "old" review linked above I reference use of Flexclor software ... since then Phocus has been introduced and many improvements made. The CFV RAW files now can also be processed in Lightroom and Aperture.

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    didn't see this mentioned, but only the P20 and CV16 have native sq format, The Cv39 nd CV 590 are rectangular. Something to consider with the V series blad. As portrait orientation was not on the table when it was designed, flipping it sideways has its ergonomic problems

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Here's a past thread which answers these questions: http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1823

    Seems that other backs such as a Sinar eMotion can be made to work, but at very limited shutter speeds.

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    Here's a past thread which answers these questions: http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1823

    Seems that other backs such as a Sinar eMotion can be made to work, but at very limited shutter speeds.
    Yes, but only up 1/90th ... which is the top sync speed of the focal plane 200 series cameras. Very limiting ... worthless actually, unless using strobes in studio and already own a Sinar back.

    Kapture Group also makes a $400. One shot Cable Release for 200 and 2000 bodies that allows use of Hasselblad and Imacon backs. Also semi-worthless IMHO, unless you already owned one of those backs.

    The OP is just starting out and wants to keep it simple and less expensive ... best bet is to find a no-brainer CFV/16 and skip all the monkeying around with work-abouts.

    -Marc

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Kerik, it looks like I'll be following in your footsteps again at some point. I was thinking of trying this route for digital instead of going with a Sony setup as I already have the 110mm f/2 (though F, not FE). It'll just take me longer to save up the pennies :-)

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Wow, thanks for all the great info. I also have a 501C and an SWC. But, it sounds like the CFV or CFV-II would be a great place to start. Now, just need to find one...

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The 200 series camera has to be sent to Hasselblad service for a minor modification, and they usually place a sticker to indicate it is a modified camera for use with the CFV. You can still use film backs after the modification.

    The CFV backs do NOT require electronic connections between back and 200 or 500 V body. The digital back is activated by the mechanical winding system. So both of your 200 focal plane cameras could be used. However, I'd contact Hasselblad technical services to confirm that the 201F can be modified to be 100% sure .
    http://www.hasselblad.com/planet-v/w...-williams.aspx

    While there check out the whole Planet V site.

    -Marc
    The 201F , which is a very reliable camera , can NOT be modified to use the focal plane shutter in conjunction with the F/FE lenses . There are no electronic contacts available on the 201F body .
    Please have a look to the connectivity chart here on page 3 :

    http://www.hasselbladusa.com/media/1...tasheet_v5.pdf

    The 201F is a purely mechanical camera , except for the shutter control , which is electronic . You can use any CFV back with C-Type lenses on the 201F , but you will need a flash sync input cable which you will not need when using a 501CM or 503CW body . (for example) .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    It's true... I have the CFV16 on my 503CW. While it might be "only 16MP" the files are unbelievable, especially with the Zeiss glass. The files are very rich indeed and defy the math. There's magic in those fat pixels! Probably my favorite output of any of my digital cameras, even the M9.

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Same, I have H20 with 500EL/M, great output, no need more.

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    If one day i have the money, i will go with P45+, because it has long exposure, i think this back can be used on my 2 MF cameras [Hassy 501CM and RZ ProII]
    Tareq

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    I have a question about sync cables between P65 and 503CW: are they all the same or are some better than others? (e.g. Kapture Group, P1 etc.)

    I tried asking at the "other" MF forum but didn't get a helpful reply.

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    I have recently purchased a P45 refurbished Phase One back for use with my 503CW camera, and the results are fabulous.

    Phase One takes older backs as trade-ins for new products, and does a full factory refurbish to new condition, complete with a 1 year warrantee.

    Excellent value, and a great performer

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Quote Originally Posted by cng View Post
    I have a question about sync cables between P65 and 503CW: are they all the same or are some better than others? (e.g. Kapture Group, P1 etc.)

    I tried asking at the "other" MF forum but didn't get a helpful reply.
    Actually yes there is The Gold tipped sync cords seem to be more reliable. I believe Paramount Cords carries a selection of them (while you're at it, buy a tip conditioner tool, it'll save a lot of time and headaches in future) :

    www.paramountcords.com

    -Marc

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Actually yes there is The Gold tipped sync cords seem to be more reliable. I believe Paramount Cords carries a selection of them (while you're at it, buy a tip conditioner tool, it'll save a lot of time and headaches in future) :

    www.paramountcords.com

    -Marc
    Thanks Marc. This is what I was after.

    A "tip conditioner tool"? Are you kidding me? (I'm not being sarcastic, I'm just ... )

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    IMHO, there are quite a few reasons to go with a digital back for the Hassy V. First is cost - I got a P30 back (through GetDPI!) for a very reasonable cost and I got a very nice condition 503CW and 3 lens (50, 80, and 120) all for less than the body of a 645D. I normally shoot with an XPanII and the M9, and the digital back excels in one area that I am most interested in that the other two systems are weak on - long exposure night photography. Actually, the M9 would do OK, but since it is going to be on a tripod, the 30 megapixel back can come in handy. Just a couple shots to demonstrate:



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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    Quote Originally Posted by cng View Post
    Thanks Marc. This is what I was after.

    A "tip conditioner tool"? Are you kidding me? (I'm not being sarcastic, I'm just ... )
    I know, it sounds painful ... Actually, they are inexpensive and can be quite useful as the tip connections on sync cords can get slightly distorted or out of round so they don't fit correctly or don't make a good electrical connection.

    Also, if you go this route be aware that older Zeiss V lenses had a fair degree of issues with the sync port especially with short depth sync cord tips ... you will sometimes see sync cords that say they are the longer style tip which are for the V lenses. Hasselblad improved the sync port on the V lenses with the CFi/CFE lenses which had a release collar ... however, I had a couple of problems with those also.

    -Marc

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    Re: Digital backs for Hasselblad V

    For anyone else who is interested, the Paramount website has good explanations of the conditioning tool and why the sync ports on V lenses can be problematic (as well as suggesting products to potentially help avoid these problems). Nice to see considered, empirical thought going into something as fundamental as sync cords.

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