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Thread: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

  1. #1
    soap199
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    How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    Hi everyone, I just have a quick question regarding this thread. My father doesn't know any English and wants me to ask some of the pros here regarding 503CW with the CFV 50. I myself have no idea when it comes to cameras of this level, but just trying to help my dad out because he was thinking of getting the CFV 50 for his 503CW. So I was wondering if someone can tell me the pro and cons on this and I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks in advance!

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    Member nightfire's Avatar
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    Re: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    I can't comment on back specifics. However, having formerly used a 501CM with a P45+, some of my observations might apply to your combination nonetheless:

    + Relatively light weight and compact form factor, needs only one battery for the back
    + Fail-safe operation: if the back fails or all batteries are empty, you can still attach a backup film magazine and keep on going

    - not weather sealed; I once ruined my acute-matte focus screen with a few raindrops
    - some current Hasselblad lenses (and most of the old ones) not up to par with full resolution of the back
    - more difficult to focus accurately than with film; even the slightest focus error means you're giving away much of the digital resolution you bought
    - needs external light meter or PME viewfinder (heavy) if you don't want to repeatedly expose the back by trial-and-error until the histogram is right

    In the end, I feel that any high-resolution MF digital back is best used in conjunction with a modern body and lens line-up that matches its capabilities. Even with the 39MP of my P45+ (far less than the CFV-50), I felt that I was really stretching it.
    Last edited by nightfire; 1st June 2011 at 00:13.

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    Re: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    The CFV50 works very nicely with the 503 as this digital back has been designed with these cameras in mind.

    There is no cable connection from digital back to camera (unlike other solutions) so it is a very neat package.

    Simple to use, just select your ISO and White Balance and shoot!

    Images can be processed in our own software or you can choose to go down the route of Aperture or Lightroom. Our software though does offer an image quality benefit and we also have automatic lens corrections for the Zeiss range.

    i.e. We automatically correct for distortion, vignetting and Chromatic Abberation. You will have to punch in a couple of things though, like aperture and approximate shooting distance.

    Otherwise it is a nice simple lightweight unit to use.

    David

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    Super Duper
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    Re: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    The CFV is a terrific back for the 503CW. Unlike any other digital back, it matches the camera and looks like a Hasselblad film back with chrome edging and everything.

    It is the ONLY digital back for the 503CW that doesn't require a sync cord from the lens to the digital back (sync cords can contribute to misfires).

    If your father is used to the square format of the Hasselblad V cameras, it should be noted that the images can be shot and processed as a square which yields a high-resolution 38 meg digital file ... or as a full 50 meg rectangle.

    The lenses are fine even at 50 meg ... using the Hasselblad Phocus software, each Zeiss lens is highly corrected using the DAC corrections function that David mentioned above. Quite amazing actually.

    Your father is most likely familiar with focusing the 503CW, and any of the many focusing aids and finders that Hasselblad has produced in the past also work to achieve critical focus when using a digital back.

    Personally, I would choose a CFV back for a 503CW over anything else out there. It is a blast to use and very simple.

    -Marc

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    Re: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    Marc says:
    > The lenses are fine even at 50 meg ... using the Hasselblad Phocus software, each Zeiss lens is highly corrected using the DAC corrections function that David mentioned above. Quite amazing actually.

    ***
    Does Phocus work with TIFF files from other back? e.g. Phase One P30? I have been using LR3 but if Phocus is "better..."

    Thanks

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    Senior Member routlaw's Avatar
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    Re: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    Quote Originally Posted by nightfire View Post
    - not weather sealed; I once ruined my acute-matte focus screen with a few raindrops
    Curious, how would water ruin a focusing screen? I have never owned a Hasselblad camera so perhaps there is something special about these focus screens I don't understand.

    Thanks

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    Re: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    The lurking issue here is not the technical coordination between the back and camera, but rather the alignment and tolerance issues of the camera. Basically put, the 503 is a fine older mechanical camera, and these new high-res digital backs are highly precise. Any slight out of alignment in focus or back mounting will telegraph through the images. Unlike film, the tolerances for this are much tighter with MFDB.

    Focus is critical, very much so. Also stability - the mirror movement (usually not a factor in hand held film work) can be an issue with digital. Is he hand holding, or tripod? If handholding, many suggest 2 x focal length (or even 3x) for the shutter speed, unlike film (that is, 1/160 for an 80 mm lens).

    That said, the small form factor of the combination is very attractive. Just make sure it works for you.

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    Re: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    and these new high-res digital backs are highly precise...

    not precise enough... if you mount two different P45+ on a technical camera, you will find differences !

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    Re: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    Quote Originally Posted by routlaw View Post
    Curious, how would water ruin a focusing screen? I have never owned a Hasselblad camera so perhaps there is something special about these focus screens I don't understand.
    The Hasselblad focus screen is composed of a glass plate and a plastic plate (with a fresnel pattern), sandwiched together and held in place by a spring-loaded metal frame. The whole assembly isn't waterproof - a drop at the edge or corner may work its way beneath the frame, only to be sucked into the space between the plates by capillary force. Depending on how well you've read the forum posts over at photo.net, you might be able to remove the resulting water stain from the disassembled sensitive fresnel screen. Otherwise, you'll end up with a scratched or hazy screen instead, which is what I decided to do...

  10. #10
    soap199
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    Re: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    Thank you all for the replies!

    I think he is using a tripod when he takes photo with it. So from what everyone is saying here, the CFV 50 goes good with the 503CW right? Just gotta make sure that he is using a tripod while taking photos with it.

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    Re: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    I had a CFV16 and loved it. You do not necessarily need to use a tripod. Handheld worked for me. Focus was a little fussy, but no more so than with film.

    Greg

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    Re: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    in my humble opinion, if i have to use a tripod, then a camera with movements makes more sense...

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    Re: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    Quote Originally Posted by soap199 View Post
    I think he is using a tripod when he takes photo with it. So from what everyone is saying here, the CFV 50 goes good with the 503CW right? Just gotta make sure that he is using a tripod while taking photos with it.
    As with any MFDB you have to use faster shutter speeds than the usual "inverse of the focal length" rule when using the camera handheld, to achieve good sharpness. When I use the 80mm lens handheld, I try always to shoot at least at 1/250s. Going slower can work but it is a bit "hit and miss". With the 180 lens, it's best to stay at 1/400s. Surprisingly I now often use the "P" mode on the Hy6 when using it hand held, after decades of thinking that real men use "A" only. Means of course that you will often be shooting with the aperture close to wide open and AF definitely helps there, given the thin DOF, which is bad news if you use the 503CW. So, the conclusion probably is that you will want to use the tripod most of the time with this particular camera / back combination as the lack of AF will not allow you to easily shoot handheld with an acceptable ratio of good captures.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: How is 503CW with the CFV 50?

    Quote Originally Posted by soap199 View Post
    Thank you all for the replies!

    I think he is using a tripod when he takes photo with it. So from what everyone is saying here, the CFV 50 goes good with the 503CW right? Just gotta make sure that he is using a tripod while taking photos with it.
    Yes, it goes good.

    Whether you can shoot it hand held is all relative. I use an even higher resolution digital back and shoot it hand-held all the time .... with faster aperture lenses.

    I'd also suggest a monopod which is more mobile than a tripod, and faster to use.

    Focusing with the 503CW isn't easy hand held, but very doable with practice. I also equipped every Hasselblad 500 series camera I had with a flip magnifier used on a prism finder, and shot wedding photography with it ... including candids.

    - Marc

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