Site Sponsors
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 51 to 97 of 97

Thread: Considering the H3DII-31

  1. #51
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Oh, just remembered on emore thing.

    Very gentle mirrorslap on the Contax. Someone wrote about that here, and it is really true. Remarkably less vibration and that means the camera can be handheld at slower speeds.

    Anders

  2. #52
    Senior Member yaya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    1,168
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    38

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Great report Anders and I'm glad I was able to help!

    Maybe getting an S back on a used H2 is the way to go. The H2 is still supported and gives you the ergonomics (personally not my favourite) and the faster sync speed compared to the Contax (1/125 on a good day going downhill with a tail wind). We (CAV) may be able to help in sourcing an H2 for you.

    IMO the 28MP Dalsa gives sharper results compared to the 31MP and the speed gain if you shoot people is a big advantage.

    Sorry if I'm stirring the pot even more than you originally planned:-)

    Yair
    Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Phase One | Mamiya Leaf
    e: [email protected] | m: +44(0)77 8992 8199 | yaya's blog

  3. #53
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Hi Yair.

    Stirring at this point is a good thing. I think it is very easy to make the purchase 'in your mind' before acutally trying the different options out. I have been looking at the files some more and I think another factor at play are the very lovely Zeiss lenses. I have shot some wonderful images at f2.0- f2.8 today, manual focus, handheld and they are in focus. So I have been looking at the amount of second hand Contax gear around and the offerings sort of change the 'buying' strategies a little bit. I would need to put more effort into sourcing equipment. The lenses available in the Contax system speaks in favor of the A75s. The speed is fast enough I think. One of the things that brought me to consider a MFDB in the first place was the 'resistance' from the camera, in the sense that my shooting style tends to get a little 'loose' with the Canon and that is not necessarily a good thing :-)

    Anders

  4. #54
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Oh and there is a battery grip for the Contax that might help the ergonomics a bit...

    Anders

  5. #55
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Anders, you can specify a Leaf Aptus back for any of the three cameras ... Hasselblad H1/H2, Contax 645 or a Mamiya 645AFD. Same for the Phase One backs.

    Prior to my H3D-II/31 & H3D-II/39, I used a Contax 645 with a Kodak ProBack, and later also used a Mamiya 645AFD-II with a Leaf Aptus 75s.

    A few points of interest you may have not had an opportunity to discover:

    The Leaf Aptus files are beautiful, and I can say that the resolution differences between 28 meg and 31 meg are virtually undetectable.

    The large screen of the Aptus backs is very difficult to see outdoors ... a consideration since the settings are done on a touch screen rather than analog buttons. IMO, one of the most intuitive and swift setting ergonomics are those of Phase backs.

    The Aptus backs require a clip on battery off the base that can be irritating, the Phase One battery is seamlessly integrated into the back, and the H3D camera and back are powered by the single grip battery.

    On the H3D camera, you can select a menu item that allows you to set a mirror delay of various milliseconds that allows longer hand-held shutter speeds.

    I loved the Contax 645, but could not stand the AF one more minute after experiencing the H camera's AF. Hasselblad makes a fully automatic aperture CF adapter that allows use of all the manual focusing Zeiss CFi & CFE leaf shutter lenses: 30mm, 40mm, 50mm, 65mm, 80mm, 100mm, 120mm, 150mm, 180mm, 350mm, 500mm. This is not the same as "dumb" adapters for using Zeiss lenses on a contax or Mamiya that require stopped down metering and shooting.

    The Contax 55/3.5 is one of the best in that focal range I've ever used. Same for the manual focus 120 Macro.

    There are rechargable 2CR5 batteries that I am fairly sure can be used in the Contax 645 Grip. The ones I have are 600 mAh.

  6. #56
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Jupiter, Fla.
    Posts
    1,967
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Anders, FWIW, I shot with the Contax 645 and Aptus 75S for many years and was extremely happy with the files. Despite it's limitations I love that camera and, being a lens guy, felt I was using some of the best optics ever made... especially considering the ability to shoot some of the great Hassy glass via the MAM-1 adapter, i.e. Hassy 110 2.0 FE. I've now moved on to the Sinar Hy6 and the marvelous Rollei lenses but have still kept my Contax 645 kit which is useable via adapter on the Sinar e75LV back. There are more than a few Contax 645 fans around here. Sorry I can't help you with repair times since mine has never gone down Also, the battery grip is a must if you do decide to go with the Contax and I use rechargeables in the grip all the time.

  7. #57
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    80
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Happy to offer any advice, just send an email if you have any questions.

    Rodney

  8. #58
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Hi fotografz, David K and hobbsr.

    Thank you very much for your valuable input and offer of advice, it is much appreciated. The Leaf dealer in Copenhagen has very kindly offered that I can hang on to the A75s and Contax kit for a few days. He has also told me that Yair (thanks again Yair) has shipped some more Contax equipment to Copenhagen, in particular the bits that I was interested in, the 55, 80, and the battery grip. The dealer is still looking for a 120mm. I must say I am very impressed with the level of service I am getting from the various dealers and back makers. All this equipment is underway to Copenhagen just so that I can try it out.

    The more I handle the Contax the more I enjoy the handling of the camera. I think I would end up using it primarily as a manual focus camera. Which I think I could get used to.

    fotografs, how do you find the Hasselblad files vs the Leaf files. The Leaf files are a little bit smaller than the HB counterparts and the Leaf backs are a bit more expensive, you probably have a lot more experience with these files than I have from my limited amount of testing. I would be happy about any input if any users have comments about this.

    Best regards,
    Anders

  9. #59
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Quote Originally Posted by andershald View Post
    Hi fotografz, David K and hobbsr.

    Thank you very much for your valuable input and offer of advice, it is much appreciated. The Leaf dealer in Copenhagen has very kindly offered that I can hang on to the A75s and Contax kit for a few days. He has also told me that Yair (thanks again Yair) has shipped some more Contax equipment to Copenhagen, in particular the bits that I was interested in, the 55, 80, and the battery grip. The dealer is still looking for a 120mm. I must say I am very impressed with the level of service I am getting from the various dealers and back makers. All this equipment is underway to Copenhagen just so that I can try it out.

    The more I handle the Contax the more I enjoy the handling of the camera. I think I would end up using it primarily as a manual focus camera. Which I think I could get used to.

    fotografs, how do you find the Hasselblad files vs the Leaf files. The Leaf files are a little bit smaller than the HB counterparts and the Leaf backs are a bit more expensive, you probably have a lot more experience with these files than I have from my limited amount of testing. I would be happy about any input if any users have comments about this.

    Best regards,
    Anders
    Anders, IMHO they are all the same. Lots of makers try to make out that they aren't ... but in my experience the files are so similar it's literally splitting hairs. I not only deal with my own photographs, but also as an Art Director work with those from many other photographers using all of the different backs.

    Some DBs have different feature sets ... like the Phase One + models offer longer exposures for those who need it. But honestly, once you learn the propritary software, and the characeristics of the files ... you can achive anything you want with any one of them ... they are all great, and absolutely kill any 35mm DSLR.

    So for me, it came down to replacing my Canon 1DsMKII with a MFD camera that could come close to it in speed and ease of use for shooting weddings and fast paced people work, (especially in challenging light) ... while giving me the flash control and high sync speeds I needed. For me, that was the H3D-II/31. I also have the entire collection of the Zeiss Leaf Shutter lenses that I use on that same camera.

    But again, that's me ... and other folks have different criteria.

    IMO, if you decide on a Contax 645 as the camera you prefer ... I think the Phase One is the ticket. My close friend Irakly Shanidze uses that combo, and the back seems custom made for that camera. He loves it for the people work he does. But like I once did, he has shot Contax 645 for many, many years and knows the strengths and drawbacks of the system.

    http://www.shanidze.com/en/index.php

  10. #60
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    fotografz,

    Again good input. I think it might be worth having another look at the Phase One backs again, now that I feel very attracted to the Contax.

    A MFDB for me is a supplement to the 1DS2, so I would still use the Canon for the fast action work.

    I just checked the Hasselblad/Phase dealers website and the Phase prices have just been given a good whack in the right direction (i.e. down) also the dealer is selling a lot of demo backs, so that could be an indication that there could be more back news at Photokina, but that is just me guessing.

    Anders

  11. #61
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Anders just remember the Contax is a dead system so whatever you buy in there lineup might want to consider a extra body and a lot of batteries. There still around new and used but someday that ship will maybe dry up more. It's a nice system but just keep that in the back of your head. I personally went Phase/Mamiya all the way because it is still being made and actually expanded on with new glass and bodies. Not saying don't buy the Contax but your elbow room is limited to what is current today with no new path. So cover yourself with extra's at some point. The new back news for Phase is the new P65 so you will see more P45's hitting the market in used and demo gear. Again look around and try everything in MF and se what fits your needs and style the best. It is a heavy investment and you just want to be sure of yourself. Somedays i wish i bought the P30 plus instead of the P25 plus but I am real happy overall with my choice and it works for me. If Contax is what you want than Phase , Leaf and Sinar are the backs for it. Hassy is out of the picture than. Now you can always get a back remounted for a different body not necessarily the cheapest route unless you get a back with a warranty that has a replace the mount built into it. Value added warranty of Phase has this and Yair can give you the info for leaf since i don't know there warranty policy and such. Sinar has adapters already available to switch even that day. Leaf and Phase would have to go back to the factory to make a mount change
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  12. #62
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    2,077
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Guy

    I think if you want Hassy that the CF backs are adaptable to Contax. I know lots of people have very positive experiences with the Phase backs on the Contax so i am not advocating the Hassy CF backs, only stating their compatibility with the Contax system.

  13. #63
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Thanks Woody . i always forget one of these babies. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  14. #64
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    545
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Guy:
    I'm planning on finally purchasing my first dback. I've been expecting P25 prices to come down. They had indeed, but interestingly the P45 has come down even more. Now these 2 backs are close in price in the used market, or so it seems to me.
    I will match it to my 500Cm and 4 CF lenses. My usual shooting sessions are always on tripod either studio or location. I love landscape photography as my personal expression. So the P45 sounds like a dream.
    Could you give me an extended explanation of your quote?
    Thanks, Eduardo

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Somedays i wish i bought the P30 plus instead of the P25 plus but I am real happy overall with my choice and it works for me.

  15. #65
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    I think Lance can give you some good prices . Last recall on a refurb P45 plus with warranty was around 23 K or so. But don't quote me. I would give him a call or send a PM to him. He has all that pricing stuff right there at CI. Mine was over 21 or so , honestly I forgot immediately. My mode of operation, here is the check now don't remind me. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  16. #66
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    180
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    I have recently upgraded to a Hasselblad H3DII-39 camera, which I like a lot, and have followed this thread with great interest. I have read the Flexcolor manual, and used the program, but on the recommendation of many above posts, have decided to send my images from Flexcolor to Photoshop.
    On my first attempt I selected all my images, and went to the 'Save' function, and it asked me to save as normal or DNG, and I selected DNG.
    Next I chose the target to save to as Photoshop Bridge, and hit the save button. The program worked for a few minutes saving all the images, but the are nowhere to be found now in either Bridge or Flexcolor!!

    Any specific recommendation or pointers about how to save images from Flexcolor over to Photoshop CS3 or Photoshop bridge? Thank you very much from a new member on the forum!!

  17. #67
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Quote Originally Posted by Smoothjazz View Post
    I have recently upgraded to a Hasselblad H3DII-39 camera, which I like a lot, and have followed this thread with great interest. I have read the Flexcolor manual, and used the program, but on the recommendation of many above posts, have decided to send my images from Flexcolor to Photoshop.
    On my first attempt I selected all my images, and went to the 'Save' function, and it asked me to save as normal or DNG, and I selected DNG.
    Next I chose the target to save to as Photoshop Bridge, and hit the save button. The program worked for a few minutes saving all the images, but the are nowhere to be found now in either Bridge or Flexcolor!!

    Any specific recommendation or pointers about how to save images from Flexcolor over to Photoshop CS3 or Photoshop bridge? Thank you very much from a new member on the forum!!
    Bridge isn't a folder, it's a browser program.

    Make a folder on your desktop to send the DNGs from Flexcolor.

    Then open Bridge and select that folder.

  18. #68
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Hi Everyone.

    I have now had the Contax for a week with the a75s Leaf back on it. I haven't had a chance to do a proper test shoot yet, but this will happen on Sunday where I have set up a proper shoot situation with 4 kids models, this will determine if this combination is right for me.

    I have acouple of questions for the Contax users out there. I have borrowed a 55mm f3.5 which is a focal length that I really like. But unlike the 80, the 35 and the 45 that I have seen, this lens has a yellow cast to it. I have seen this before in a really old Pentax 67 lens. I wonder if the 55mm f3.5 is an older type of lens, or if there are examples without this cast. It could be a coating thing. I found a Contax website: http://www.contaxcameras.co.uk/ the range of lenses does not show the 55'er. Can anyone explain this?

    Also I didn't think that the external battery on the Leaf back would be an issue until I put the batterygrip on the Contax and realized the the Leaf battery renders the vertical grip unuseable...hmm, not sure yet is this is really an issue, but it does speak in favor of the Phase back that someone suggested was a perfect match for the Contax.

    With regards to the Contax being a dead system, it does concern me. On the other hand, I am not a gearhead, I am a three lenses and a body, type of photographer. There is a lot of good used Contax gear around and at the price I can probably afford to buy two of the bits I use the most. I was very pleased to see that Calumet at Drummond street in London has Contax in rental. Obviously the back will be a problem, as noone rents out backs with Contax fittings. That is my main concern.

    I guess I have will to make enough money with the first system I buy, to be able to afford another back in the near future :-)

    I will post my findings on the Leaf Contax combination early next week.

    Best regards,
    Anders

  19. #69
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Quote Originally Posted by andershald View Post
    Hi Everyone.

    I have now had the Contax for a week with the a75s Leaf back on it. I haven't had a chance to do a proper test shoot yet, but this will happen on Sunday where I have set up a proper shoot situation with 4 kids models, this will determine if this combination is right for me.

    I have acouple of questions for the Contax users out there. I have borrowed a 55mm f3.5 which is a focal length that I really like. But unlike the 80, the 35 and the 45 that I have seen, this lens has a yellow cast to it. I have seen this before in a really old Pentax 67 lens. I wonder if the 55mm f3.5 is an older type of lens, or if there are examples without this cast. It could be a coating thing. I found a Contax website: http://www.contaxcameras.co.uk/ the range of lenses does not show the 55'er. Can anyone explain this?

    Also I didn't think that the external battery on the Leaf back would be an issue until I put the batterygrip on the Contax and realized the the Leaf battery renders the vertical grip unuseable...hmm, not sure yet is this is really an issue, but it does speak in favor of the Phase back that someone suggested was a perfect match for the Contax.

    With regards to the Contax being a dead system, it does concern me. On the other hand, I am not a gearhead, I am a three lenses and a body, type of photographer. There is a lot of good used Contax gear around and at the price I can probably afford to buy two of the bits I use the most. I was very pleased to see that Calumet at Drummond street in London has Contax in rental. Obviously the back will be a problem, as noone rents out backs with Contax fittings. That is my main concern.

    I guess I have will to make enough money with the first system I buy, to be able to afford another back in the near future :-)

    I will post my findings on the Leaf Contax combination early next week.

    Best regards,
    Anders
    The Contax 55mm is the last lens in the line-up to be designed/produced. It is not an older lens. The one I had did not produce a color cast ... I recall it being the same as all my other Contax 645 AF lenses.

    Are you comparing apples-to-apples? Meaning, are you shooting with the 55 and another lens side-by-side and seeing the difference? If not, then it may be the set up for the digital back that's creating the color cast, or something else in the processing chain.

  20. #70
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Hi fotografz.

    Thanks for the quick reply. I am comparing while looking through the finder. The finder is obviously less bright, as it is an f3.5 not and f2 lens, but I haven't actually compared the files, I will do that now. Sorry, maybe it was an assumtion made too quick :-)

    Anders

  21. #71
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    I am sorry.
    Colourwise the two lenses are completely identical.

    Anders

  22. #72
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Quote Originally Posted by andershald View Post
    I am sorry.
    Colourwise the two lenses are completely identical.

    Anders

  23. #73
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Anyone with any experience using the Mutar 1.4x extender on the 45, making it a 63mm? That would close the gap between the 55 and the 80.

    Anders

  24. #74
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Quote Originally Posted by andershald View Post
    Anyone with any experience using the Mutar 1.4x extender on the 45, making it a 63mm? That would close the gap between the 55 and the 80.

    Anders
    First I'd check to make sure if the 1.4X Mutar can be used with the 45mm.
    I can't remember ever doing that.

  25. #75
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Wow, thanks for the heads up.
    I assumed that the Mutar could be used with any lens, same as an extension tube. I'll see if I can find the information anywhere.

    Thanks,
    Anders

  26. #76
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Okay, it would appear that the Mutar works with lenses from the 140mm and up, but possibly on the 120mm with an extension tube.

    http://www.photographyreview.com/cat...2_3113crx.aspx

    Dang, I thought for a minute I was clever...



    Anders

  27. #77
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Great news for Sunday!

    I have just spoken to the Phase/Hasselblad dealer and he will lend me a Mamiya III with an 80mm and a P30+ back for my test shoot on Sunday. That means that I can shoot the A75s on the Contax 80mm side by side with the P30+ and the Mamiya 80mm. This test is primarily to test the files, there will obviouly be a slight difference due to the different lenses, but it is as close as it can get to a comparison in a 'real' shoot situation.

    I am really amazed at the helpfulness of these dealers they are truly quality.

    They are:
    www.goecker.dk for Hasselblad and Phase One, rep is Carsten
    www.cav.dk for Leaf (and in my case Contax), Rep is Kenneth

    I will post my findings next week.

    Best regards,
    Anders

  28. #78
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Quote Originally Posted by andershald View Post
    Okay, it would appear that the Mutar works with lenses from the 140mm and up, but possibly on the 120mm with an extension tube.

    http://www.photographyreview.com/cat...2_3113crx.aspx

    Dang, I thought for a minute I was clever...



    Anders
    The 1.4X Mutar was specially formulated and optimized for the Contax 350/4 APO. This combination is spectacular. I loved that lens very much, and only recently replaced it with the 350/4FE for my Hasselblad 203FE.

    I did use the 1.4X Mutar with the 140/2.8 quite often because it was a small and versatile solution. IQ was maintained quite well because the 1.4X Mutar is so good.

  29. #79
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    OK, so it is probably not for me. I never shoot the longer lenses. On the Canon the longest I ever shoot is the 85mm. I used to own a 105 for my Nikon f4 and I never used it, well virtually never, and I haven't once wished for it i the 10 years since I had it...

    But it is nice to know that such a thing exists, should I ever need it. Since the system is 'dead' I might pick these pieces up along the way, just to have them.

    Thanks for the info, once again.

    Best regards,
    Anders

  30. #80
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    I have just returned from the Hasselblad/Phase dealer and my test shoot Sunday is taking 'Reichmann-esque' proportions I now have the Leaf/Contax, the Mamiya/P30+ AND the Hasselblad H3DII-31 systems to shoot side by side. The last two only with 80mm lenses, but the comparisons will primarily be on the files, as I am really liking the Contax.

    More on this early next week.

    Anders

  31. #81
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Attachment 7448
    My Sunday line-up.

    Anders

  32. #82
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31 (Nearly there!)

    The Sunday shoot.

    Busy week, so it has taken me a while to find time to write about my experiences with the three systems lent to me for testing. First of all I feel really priviledged to have been able to test these systems out as thoroughly as I have, I know some of you guys would have to travel far just to be able to handle these cameras.

    Below are some notes on my experiences and on my decisionmaking process when choosing a back. I am not a professional reviewer, nor is it my business to declare one system better than another. I am relating a real life experience with these backs relative to my way of shooting and my particular needs. You could find that another back suits you better and I cannot stress enough the importance of testing the equipment before buying, if at all possible.

    I did a shoot with four kids modelling, a make-up artist, a stylist and an assistant, exactly as I would do on a job. We shot outdoors in perfect shooting weather, almost no wind and a slightly overcast sky with occasional rays of sun.

    Handling three camera systems at once was only slightly confusing and I had decided that rather than 'test', I would 'shoot' with the cameras. All the cameras and backs are very intuitive, I had set them up in advance, so it was really just a matter of shooting away. Once in a while a back stopped and I had to figure out why. On most occasions (see below) it was a matter of feeding the back a new CF card or a fresh battery. Not being familiar with the back, I needed to stop and look at the backs to figure out which it was, but that is just a matter of knowing the camera.

    The only actual problem that I had was with the Leaf back ‘freezing’. Twice in a 2˝ hour shoot it just froze. I couldn’t turn it on or off and had to remove the battery and restart the back, at which point it worked fine again. I asked the dealer about it and he knew of the problem but suggested that it didn’t happen very often, it was easily fixed (by removing the battery and restarting the back) and that Leaf would probably fix this in a firmware update in the future. He suggested that it probably happened when shooting too fast. I must say that this rocked my impression of the Leaf back somewhat. Anyone with A75s experience who recognize this, or is it this specific back? I have heard before that shooting too fast can corrupt files, from someone shooting with a P30+, but all my files from the day were fine. And I shot fast!

    The Contax camera felt good, most of my images were sharp using manual focus. I also missed a few, but so does my Canon autofocus. I didn’t run out of battery once and I used the battery grip. Whether I ‘dare’ to invest in and base my MFDB choice on an obsolete system, I haven’t quite decided yet, but it did feel great. The battery’s position under the Leaf back rendered the vertical grip useless, stealing the place where the base of the hand would sit, only slightly annoying, but one up for the P30+.

    The Hasselblad H3DII-31 was the camera that felt the most effortless to use. It just works. It shoots fast and makes no fuss. This is in MY case both good and bad. Ofcourse it is great that everything works so well, and it really does, but what I wanted from a medium format camera is a little ‘resistance’. I feel that I have lost a bit of my shooting style with the Canon, simply because the camera runs away with me during the shoot. This may sound a little silly, but that’s how I feel. If Hasselblad’s intention was to build a camera that works as well as a DSLR they have been very succesful. The user interface on the Hasselblad back is also by far the fastest, nicest and most intuitive to use.

    The PhaseOne back on Mamiya made it clear that the Mamiya camera system is not for me. It doesn’t feel as nice as either the Contax or the Hasselblad and it suffers from one terrible design flaw that I hope Mamiya/PhaseOne will fix in the first possible firmware update. In between shots the display in both finder and top LCD flashed DB BUSY, which means that in the 1.25 seconds between each shot, I can’t see the camera settings. If I wish to use that 1.25 seconds to change aperture and be ready to shoot when the back is ready, I have to do it blind or count clicks on the wheel. There is no aperture ring on the lens that I could look at. This feature was surely designed by an engineer whos concern was to prevent the photographer from shooting to fast and corrupting files, not by a photographer. The P30+ back worked a treat although I find it a little fiddly to check focus, using the alternating directional buttons. Hasselblads solution is far superior for this. The leaf back zooms in via taps on the screen, but it is my impression that it is a lot slower than the Hasselblad at zooming (the files are also slightly larger).

    Reviewing the files from the shoot was a bit of a headache, using three different pieces of software. I am a pc user (and a happy one), I like to process files in ACR, I use Iview Media Pro on the shoot to review files as I load them onto the laptop from the cards. The reviewing of files is

    a) to make sure I have what I need
    b) to see what works and what doesn’t and
    c) to show the client that we are good.

    Iview (or Microsoft Expression Media as it is now called) is really good and fast for that. The Leaf files crashed my Iview Media Pro. I downloaded Expression and got a preview without a crash, so I would need to upgrade to Expression Media ($200). With the Phase files I got a preview in Iview but the Hasselblad files didn’t even load into Iview. The Leaf and Phase files I can process in ACR but not the Hasselblad files (unless I first turn them into DNG files, but I am a working pro, not an occasional snapper, I often produce 1-2000 files a day on my Canon, so one less step is a BIG step ahead).

    I processed similar shots from all three backs in their proprietary software (Leaf Capture, Capture One 4 and Flexcolor…Hasselblad offered that I can try Phocus at the dealers place or wait until Photokina and get the full version software for free).

    I really like the Leaf files straight out of the back. The colours are really soft and smooth. The Phase files were a bit too crisp at the default settings, much nicer when the default sharpening was switched off. The Hasselblad files had some of the softness that I like about the Leaf files. Now, I am not a digital tech guru or a pixel expert. I printed all my own work for 15 years, so I know what I like, and that is what I base my findings on. It is quite possible that you might hate the Leaf files and love the Phase files. BUT and here it comes: Once I had processed the files, with no sharpening, pulled them into Photoshop, adjusted them to my liking and sharpened them…there was virtually no difference. Even while working on them I had to check the metadata to remind myself which back I had shot the image on. The Leaf files were slightly larger being a 33 megapixel back, but the difference is very, very small. So fotografz (Mark) was absolutely right, when he commented, that there is really not much difference in the quality of the files the backs can produce.

    Choosing a back has more to do with preferences in user interface, software and camera system, than with file quality. I am not saying there is no difference...I am saying that it is the least important factor, in my opinion.

    ...continued below...

  33. #83
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    ...continued from above...

    I still haven’t chosen a system, and I still intend to wait until Photokina. There is exciting news, with the new Leaf backs and Sinar systems and who knows what will happen to prices in the next two weeks.

    But to sum up the pros and cons FOR ME:

    H3DII-31 - is a super competent camera, works a treat, is available in rental most places, is very much alive and kicking, is the lowest priced contender although the system components evens that out some. But it might be too much like an oversized DSLR for my requirements. I need a little resistance. The dependence on proprietary software is annoying and not knowing Phocus, this could be the deciding factor against this system, once I do get to test the software. Particularly the review speed in the shooting situation that I now get from Iview will be sorely missed if Phocus can not match it.

    The Contax/Leaf A75s – I have really fallen for the Contax. In the first post in this thread I list all the reasons why the Contax is not for me, but love moves in mysterious ways and sometimes it is right to follow your heart (and sometimes wrong, I don’t know which yet). The Contax is not perfect, the ergonomics aren’t perfect, the hand grip is slightly too small, but the batterygrip helps. The vertical grip, even without the Leaf battery in the way, is still a far cry from the vertical grip on my 1dsII, but it’s a solidly built manual camera, no LCD, but a real aperture ring with a nice clicking sound and properly dampened focussing. The Leaf back performed well, apart from the freezing issue. The files are lovely and it has slightly more resolution, being a bigger chip, and is also more expensive being a bigger chip. The user interface is better than Phase Ones, but not as good as Hasselblads. The back has a very sophisticated system for entering metadata and presettings of all sorts. The Leaf Capture software is far better than Flexcolour (it doesn’t take much) but lacks a lot of the sophistication of ACR and is still a little behind Capture One I think. BUT the files can be opened in ACR which I like a lot. I am not sure, and perhaps Yair can clarify, the speed of the A75s is faster when the files are compressed (in which case they must be opened in Leaf Capture)? I got the feeling that when shooting uncompressed the back was a little slower, but I am not sure. The fact that I can continue to use both ACR and Iview (or Expression) is a big bonus. In Iview/Expression I can only see a low resolution file, where as with the Canon files I get full resolution so I can check sharpness. The same goes for the Phase One files.

    The Mamiya PhaseOne p30+ - I wasn’t so impressed with the Mamiya camera, in particular the design blip with the LCD blank out. But the P30+ back would be a good alternative to the Leaf back, if I went for the Contax solution. Also the battery integration in the P30+ makes the vertical grip more useful. The files from the P30+ are also lovely when the default sharpening in C1 or ACR is removed and I can use the files in my current workflow, same as Leaf. I think there is a Pro version of Capture One 4 on the way, and it will be interesting to see what they come up with, with a little luck it is introduced at Photokina? It could also influence the decision.

    All the systems have pros and cons. I haven’t decided on one over the other yet. Price is a factor and I still have concerns about Contax being obsolete. But when I do make my decision, around the time of Photokina, I will post my decision and what swayed me one way or the other.

    Thanks for bearing over with my endless ramblings about choosing a camera, even my loving and very very patient wife has started saying “just buy the darned thing and get on with it”…

    Best regards,
    Anders
    www.andershald.com

  34. #84
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Jupiter, Fla.
    Posts
    1,967
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Anders,
    That's one heck of a review you've written there I shot the Contax 645/Leaf 75S combination for several years following the lead of my friend and mentor, Chuck Jones. The issue of the back freezing up on occasion is not specific to the back you used. IIRC, it's an issue ONLY with the Leaf and Contax combo, and, while annoying, was not a major inconvenience for me. You can release the battery and click it back in place in a second. The only real delay is waiting for the back to power up again... and, while it happens from time to time, it didn't happen often enough (for me) to consider it a major issue. BTW, if you haven't checked out the gear for sale forum, Chuck is selling his Aptus 75S and Contax kit right now and probably has any glass you would be looking for, including the Contax 55mm.

  35. #85
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Hi David.

    Thanks for the additional info, I am glad to hear that it's a known problem (and not just me). If I decide on the Contax solution I'll be sure to check it out. Part of me like the 'easiness' of the Hasselblad, but I also love the Contax lenses. I am going to let the issue 'bake' until Photokina and all the news have been announced and then make whatever decision feels right at the time.

    When I do make a choice I feel confident that I get it right, I certainly feel that I have done my homework he he.

    Anders

  36. #86
    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Studio City, CA
    Posts
    700
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    18

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Great review Anders! You didn't miss much, though I will toss in a couple of my own observations from shooting these systems myself also. No question the Hassy is the best integrated system. Should be, as it is all made by the same manufacturer. I don't personally like the Fujiblad lenses nearly as much as I like the Zeiss glass on the Contax though. I also detest the mirror slap in that Hassy beast when trying to shoot in lowered light or slow shutter speed for effect. Like to drove me nuts the one time I tried it, and I swore then and there never again. The Hassy control positions are also a bit strange to my hands, but as you say, that could just be a lack of experience shooting it.

    Build and finish quality on the Hassy always seemed good to me, as does the Contax. Both feel like a solidly built platform that should hold up under hard use. I know the Contax is built like a tank. Over five years shooting my system with multiple bodies, and not a single failure. Sure took the worry out of them no longer making new bodies for me, as I imagine my two remaining bodies will likely still be going strong when I am long gone and in the box. Same with the lenses, they are large and heavy, but also built to take the rigors of hard daily use, something my own have never had, but having seen many a rental they truly are up to the roughest task.

    The Contax system has been a real sweetheart for me. It has the largest number of available components of any offering today. With my NAM-1, I constantly also use the best of the Hassy glass lineup, in addition to the extensive and excellent glass made for the Contax itself. I also even have the Auto-Bellows, which does work as a poor man's view camera setup with full movements. Integration with digital backs does work well, though the Contax has some quirks that show up occasionally. Like your freezing up problem with the Aptus. Mine did this as well. It is caused by the Contax body going into "sleep" mode, which it does way too quickly for my taste to conserve on battery power. If you try and expose a frame before waiting the second or so for the body to "wake-up" you will get the freeze. I've also had it happen by overshooting the frame rate before the beep is heard, though you do get used to a nice working rhythm after a sort time using it. Since the Contax is no longer made, and really does not need any blasted firmware "updates" this problem is just something you learn to work around. Having that battery hanging down below the back does make it real quick to change out when necessary, or pull and reset the whole mess when needed. Never proved to be more than a minor annoyance for myself, and I am known to shoot it pretty darn hard at times <Smile>. If you go the Contax route, do be sure and buy high capacity rechargeable batteries for the optional grip. Makes life a LOT easier.

    As for the Mamiya system, I never owned one, at least not yet. It is a whole lot lighter than either of the other two, so for me today that would be a large advantage. I sure would miss the wonderful controls and their tactile feel on the Contax though. Having shot one recently, I did find the glass quality acceptable, if the range is a bit limited. Again, and adapter and you are all set using Hassy V glass. My only major concern was the overall build quality being inferior to the other two systems, but there sure are a lot of them out there I know of, and not many reported problems, so guess this is not a concern.

    Anders, if you have any other specific questions, please feel free to direct them my way. I'll try and set you strait on anything I know about. And if you do decide to go the Aptus / Contax route, let me know. Mine is up for sale now, as David said.

  37. #87
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Hi Chuck.

    Great input.

    "I don't personally like the Fujiblad lenses nearly as much as I like the Zeiss glass on the Contax though." I couldn't agree more. The Hassy feels great and handles great, but there is something about the lenses that isn't all that exciting.

    I am glad to hear that you have such good experience with the durability of the Contax, that is also my impression, but there are no more being made, so a Contax investment would rely on cameras found second hand.

    I think the Mamiya is both a competent and solid enough system, but it doesn't appeal to me. I am sure the optics are good too. But I feel that a camera as a tool has to have something about it that is special to the user and I know that I would love showing up at work with a Contax kit in my bag...

    If I have more Contax related questions, I'll be sure to call on your expertise.

    Thanks a lot.

    Anders

  38. #88
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    2,077
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    I have no experience with the Contax lenses on MF (I did own all of the 35mm lenses having bought the original RTS in 1975 and still have the RTS III).BUt I must say that the V lenses made by Zeiss are more appealing to me than the Fujiblads. But the Fuji 28mm is a really great lens and the 100 2.2 as well. I don't own any other of the Fuji lenses since I have a whole portfolio of the V lenses and don't consider autofocus that important.

    I find the ergonomics of the Hassy to be very very good. In less than a day of shooting I found I did not have to take my eye from the finder to change settings. Also the readability of the top LCD display is very good, even in the brightest of sunlight so having the histogram available on that display works extremely well.

    I do agree that the mirror slap on the H3D is annoying (at least at first). However with the ability to put a programmable delay on the shutter firing relative to mirror up makes for a low level of shake. Hey at least the mirror slap is better than the old 500 series. The first time I shot with one of those I thought the camera was going to jump out of my hands. LOL!

    Just a few thoughts

    Woody

  39. #89
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Hi Woody.

    I agree with you on almost every point. The Ergonomics are really good and the histogram in the grip is a great design feature. I haven't tried the 28mm as it is outside my normal use, but the 100 is a great lens.

    The mirrorslap on the H3DII and on The Mamiya III are both a lot more noticeable than on the Contax which is incredibly smooth.

    Best regards,
    Anders

  40. #90
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    760
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    IN regards to mirror slap, on the H3DII there is an adjustment that allows you to set the mirror delay and shutter timing. This has been helpful with vibration effects on the image.

  41. #91
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Oh, I started a new thread with the conclusion to this thread, in spontaneous excitement over having finally made a decision. I guess I'd better post the conclusion here too, in case anyone comes looking for 'The End'.

    Here goes:

    The decision has finally been made, after much deliberation and lots of valuable input from you guys, I have decided to buy a P30+ on a Contax 645.

    It was a really close race between the various systems as they all produce great results, the dealers offer excellent service and the quality of the various backs is undeniable.

    The reasons for going with the P30+ is that the files will fit straight into the workflow I have now Iview Media (Expression Media) for reviewing on the shoot and ACR for processing. As an owner of the previous Capture One Pro I will get a free upgrade to the new version, so that is an option. I believe this version of the software will contain Digital Apo Correction-like functions for most of the Contax lenses.

    I decided against the Leaf system because I was slightly worried about the issue of freezing on the A75s. I decided against the Hasselblad because the system is moving towards a DSLR 'feel' which it does very well, but that is something that I wanted to move away from. When the Nordic sales manager told me about the huge market share they have and how everyone is buying Hasselblads, that actually also pushed me away from the system. I feel that I need to differentiate myself a bit from the competion. With the Canons for a while everyone were using the 1dsII and the same 3 or 4 lenses, no wonder there is a 'sameness' to the images.

    Both Leaf and Hasselblad are fine systems, I chose based on a gut feeling and what I felt was right for my type of work.

    The Contax system was love at first sight. I know it is no longer made, I know servicing will be slow, I know it is not perfect and the AF is slow, but I intend to manual focus most of the time, which works very well with those lenses. I love the lenses, the feel of the lenses AND the price of these wonderful Zeiss lenses on the second hand market.

    I am buying a near new Contax kit from Phase One with the P30+ back, the rest of the stuff I will start looking for second hand. I have found most of the lenses I need here in Copenhagen, and also a spare body in good condition. I plan on getting the 45, 55, 80 and either the 120 or the 140.

    Can any of the Contax users/experts here tell me weather I should go for the 120 or the 140? I used to have the 120 macro for the V system so I know the optical quality is great, but how does it compare to the 140. From looking at images it looks like the barrel extends by pulling it out, or is that just the barrel extension from turning the focus ring? The lens would be a portrait lens, more than a macro lens, I like low depth of field so perhaps the 140 is a better choice for me. Suggestions welcome...

    I think the news from Photokina about the alliance between Phase One and Leica are very interesting and shows good signs for the Phase One camera system in the future, but I need a system now. The Contax and P30+ is not at the very highest end in terms of price and should I decide to stick with the P30+ and switch to the Phase system in a few years time, I can have the mount changed...I guess.

    So, now it is just some paper work, and then wait for delivery.

    Thanks for all the input and suggestions and really valuable insights I have been given from this great forum. I'll stick around and return the favor.

    Best regards,
    Anders

  42. #92
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    211
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Anders,

    Thanks for the informative discussion. It sounds like you'll be very happy with the Contax.

    I'm curious why you never considered the Hy6 65 at $18,000 US?

    Best,

    Mitchell

  43. #93
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Hi Mitchell.

    First of all I was slightly biased against the Hy6 as it is a first generation camera, there are bound to be some issues that will be sorted out in second and third genereation. The cost, when I started looking was much higher and even now the lenses are also very expensive.

    The few times I have been in touch with the local dealer (for other products) I have found them to be completely asleep. I have called them a few times to get prices in various bits of kit, they don't call back, when I call them they seem surprised at my impatience over not getting a simple list price on a stock item the day after calling about it and so on. I have very little patience for that. Particularly when I see how attentive the Hasselblad, Phase One and Leaf dealers have been the last few weeks.

    A friend of mine who had been looking at the Sinar said that he had never seen one with the battery charged...

    I am sure the Sinar is a fine system and I am sure the lenses are fabulous, Sinar was just not 'on the table' so to speak.

    I am sure I will be very happy with the Contax Zeiss glass.

    Best regards,
    Anders

  44. #94
    thsinar
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Dear Anders,

    ... and where are you based, respectively which dealer area where you have experienced this? I would like to take your experience seriously, but can't act if not informed about details.

    If you feel so you can PM me.

    Thanks and best regards,
    Thierry

    Quote Originally Posted by andershald View Post
    Hi Mitchell.

    First of all I was slightly biased against the Hy6 as it is a first generation camera, there are bound to be some issues that will be sorted out in second and third genereation. The cost, when I started looking was much higher and even now the lenses are also very expensive.

    The few times I have been in touch with the local dealer (for other products) I have found them to be completely asleep. I have called them a few times to get prices in various bits of kit, they don't call back, when I call them they seem surprised at my impatience over not getting a simple list price on a stock item the day after calling about it and so on. I have very little patience for that. Particularly when I see how attentive the Hasselblad, Phase One and Leaf dealers have been the last few weeks.

    A friend of mine who had been looking at the Sinar said that he had never seen one with the battery charged...

    I am sure the Sinar is a fine system and I am sure the lenses are fabulous, Sinar was just not 'on the table' so to speak.

    I am sure I will be very happy with the Contax Zeiss glass.

    Best regards,
    Anders

  45. #95
    andershald
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Hi Thierry.

    Well you are definately not asleep :-)

    I have been following the threads on this site for a while and I can see that you and Sinar are extremely dedicated to great service and great products.

    Let me be absolutely clear that I have not contacted the Copenhagen dealer about Sinar equipment. I have shopped with them a few times over the last 13 years. About a year ago I needed a new camera case, and as their website is absolutely useless (and hasn't been updated in what looks like a year) I called them up to get a price. They said they would check and call me back. As I hadn't heard from them the next day, I called them again and they sounded surprised to hear from me. Turns out they didn't have the product in stock, they knew I was in a hurry, they might have thought that it was a no sale, so didn't bother to call me...what do I know. I bought a bag from a different company (a golf bag actually...a great tip, but that's for another post...overweight luggage is expensive, but a golfbag is usually free or cheap to bring on flights).

    I decided not to approach this dealer simply because my impressions, not because I think the Sinar system is not a good system. That, and the fact that I percieved Sinar as being too expensive for me. So, my post is not to be taken as a knock against Sinar, I am sure your system is great, I just didn't feel enclined to approach this particular dealer.

    The Leaf dealer had shown me the AFI and early on in the process assured me that I could not afford it (more or less) when I asked about AFI prices relative to the new Hasselblad prices. This is a month ago, before Photokina.

    Best regards,
    Anders

  46. #96
    thsinar
    Guest

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Thanks Anders,

    I certainly did not take it against Sinar. I simply do not want to "sleep", as you put it, and try to improve things, whatever the reason for your decision to not contact as our distributor in Denmark was.

    I am "relieved" however, to read that it was another reason, because I know them having the right Sinar demo equipment.

    Have fun with your new equipment and best regards,
    Thierry

    Quote Originally Posted by andershald View Post
    Hi Thierry.

    Well you are definately not asleep :-)

    I have been following the threads on this site for a while and I can see that you and Sinar are extremely dedicated to great service and great products.

    Let me be absolutely clear that I have not contacted the Copenhagen dealer about Sinar equipment. I have shopped with them a few times over the last 13 years. About a year ago I needed a new camera case, and as their website is absolutely useless (and hasn't been updated in what looks like a year) I called them up to get a price. They said they would check and call me back. As I hadn't heard from them the next day, I called them again and they sounded surprised to hear from me. Turns out they didn't have the product in stock, they knew I was in a hurry, they might have thought that it was a no sale, so didn't bother to call me...what do I know. I bought a bag from a different company (a golf bag actually...a great tip, but that's for another post...overweight luggage is expensive, but a golfbag is usually free or cheap to bring on flights).

    I decided not to approach this dealer simply because my impressions, not because I think the Sinar system is not a good system. That, and the fact that I percieved Sinar as being too expensive for me. So, my post is not to be taken as a knock against Sinar, I am sure your system is great, I just didn't feel enclined to approach this particular dealer.

    The Leaf dealer had shown me the AFI and early on in the process assured me that I could not afford it (more or less) when I asked about AFI prices relative to the new Hasselblad prices. This is a month ago, before Photokina.

    Best regards,
    Anders

  47. #97
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    211
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Considering the H3DII-31

    Thanks Anders,

    Enjoy your Contax. I wish it was still being made.

    Best,

    Mitchell

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •