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Thread: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them.

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    Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them.

    Interested in peoples thoughts on this.

    In Japan there are tens of thousands of photographers who are retired and own a Hasselblad V camera. They bought them when they retired before digital took a hold. It use to be the thing to have. They would be in there seventies or older now. Which in Japan is regarded as still quite young ! They have money and would be able to spend around 900,000 Yen ( 11,550 US ) on their hobby. But unfortunately the Hasselblad CFV-39 was priced around 2,000,000 Yen (25,000 US) in Japan. Way too much... and way different from the price in other countries. If it would have been priced around 900,000 Yen and made available in the usual camera stores, Hasselblad would have sold thousands of CFV 39 digital backs.

    There is something selling like hot cakes in Japan ( well sort of ) and that is a device called a Pentax 645D medium format camera. That is because they got the price right. Street price around 700,000 Yen. The camera is sold in normal camera shops and they got the target audience correct.

    While walking around the usual camera stores in Tokyo last week, I saw something very interesting in at least three of the camera stores. Phase One P30+ in Hasselblad V mount priced around 950,000 Yen. Available over the counter at the shop. Only trouble is it does not say Hasselblad on it and not sure how the devoted Hasselblad owners are going to feel about that, but you never know it just might catch on and Phase might just sell thousands of them. I think Phase One found the market and priced something appropriately here. They could do very well.

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    In the US the price for a new P30+ digital back is still $17K, completely unrealistic, especially with refurbished backs with warranty available for around $8-9K. The price in Japan, around $12K if I have calculated correctly, sounds like a much more realistic and appropriate price.

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Simple answer is that NONE of the MFD companies understood that the real market to go for was MASS market- in effect they have ALWAYS been snobs in consumer terms.

    The business model was based on smaller quantities (maybe 10K units world wide p.a) and a constant upgrade cycle - maintaining unrealistic high margins able to pay for the clip the ticket geographic based dealer network employed.

    I can remember numerous posts made in forums - where I was literally laughed at by the 'professional photographers' for saying that the market would end up being run by well heeled amateur or enthusiasts.

    This forum is n excellent example of where the market really is and I guess Phase One's PODAS ting directly addresses this segment.

    Pentax is a consumer based company and if it had enough MF lenses available would be enjoying even more success than it is today.

    Hasselblad really goofed - they have the NAME and the exiting user base in mass market - they just IGNORED it in price terms - really sad and stupid management and strategy actually - funny even.

    Now Leica will capture slowly and inexorably the high end consumer market - and Phase One and the rest can fight over the (relatively) small pro market and the enthusiast market.

    However only the Japanese companies have the consumer / mass market culture to bring this tech to the market- and they are limited by no lens platform and teh need t be able to make chips that talk to out of date camera bodies.

    Pete

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Funny, I have four lenses for my Pentax and a whole bunch more I can buy. And the Pentax body is as up to date as any modern DSLR.

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Funny, I have four lenses for my Pentax and a whole bunch more I can buy. And the Pentax body is as up to date as any modern DSLR.
    I am sure the Pentax is not only as up to date as any DSLR body - but no doubt better than anything else anyone could buy - sadly your obviously correct and immaculatey conceived point of view is rather irrelevant to the OP question.

    However sisnce every thread is about YOU and YOUR Pentax - please tell me exactly how many lenses Pentax has released so far for this body? - I am figuring it adds up to one - I could be wrong though.

    Of course you can use older lenses of the Pentax - wonderful!!

    Have a nice day

    Pete

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Has Pentax shipped their new "super wide" lens for sale yet? That would make two "digital" lenses. The 645D looks brilliant but everyone I know who owns one or has used one is crying out for lenses that meet the demands of the sensor. The second hand market seems to be hit and miss?

    Back to the topic of the OP, Hasselblad seem to be between a rock and a hard place. If memory serves me correctly, Zeiss is not interested in building lenses for them anymore and the lenses that are available second had are often found to be getting rather sloppy – same story with Pentax here. I firmly believe if they had of made their CFV backs rotatable they would have captured a heck of a lot more customers who are hanging on to old kit, even if modern systems offer more in the way of AF, integration, etc.

    And to be honest, I think 12K USD is way too much for a new P30+. It may be a great back and sensor, but it's a bit long in the tooth to justify that price point don't you think? At $10K it'd tempt more people, I'm sure. Package it for $12K with a body and lens and it's still way more that the Pentax but comparable to the current street price Hasselblad's H4D-31.

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I am sure the Pentax is not only as up to date as any DSLR body

    Pete
    You are so right! I don't have sweep panorama nor those neat art filters! What am I to do to be a creative photographer?

    And you are wrong. Pentax has released two new lenses with a third coming next year. Funny how no one complains about all the "old" lenses Mamiya still sells for their cameras nor the fact the Hasselblad keeps using higher resolution sensors, but never updates its lens line--putting "Digital" on them does not always make them new. I guess the old lenses that are really sharp on 645D really aren't sharp because the Pentax did not put "Digital" on the barrel--seeing I guess is not believing, got to have the marketing dept. chime in. And 6um pixels are so small only superduper lenses could work.

    You have a great evening, champ.

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Has Pentax shipped their new "super wide" lens for sale yet? That would make two "digital" lenses. The 645D looks brilliant but everyone I know who owns one or has used one is crying out for lenses that meet the demands of the sensor. The second hand market seems to be hit and miss?
    I own and use a 645D. I am not crying out for more lenses and have not found a bad copy of a lens yet and they meet the demands of the sensor. And I know of a number of people using the new 25mm lens.

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    The idea you drop prices and increase sale to make up the loss or better does not always work. Pricing for photographic equipment is harder than basing it on material/production costs. Sure companies make mistakes, but they also understand the business better than those on the outside.

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    The discussion was about Hasselblad's missed opportunity with the CFV line of backs in Japan (in case you have forgotten - again)

    I am glad Pentax is bringing out lenses that its client base is wanting - it is a company well capable of delivering what a larger market wants - 40 megapixels, a decent body and a range of lenses. Congratulations on your camera and I am happy that you are happy with your lenses.

    The OP asked for opinions - I gave mine. Rather than start another one of your polemics - perhaps you can stick to the topic. As for business advice - mate I can assure you I don't need yours I do rather well myself and have done so for quite some time

    Cheers
    Pete

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    The OP definitely makes a good point: pricing, in the DMF world like in any other, is of the essence if you want to earn market shares and/or increase the ones you already have. Digital backs are priced interestingly according to which area of the world you are in, but I find that most camera & photo related goods are - being an expatriate, I can easily compare prices in my adoptive country with those in my home country, plus there is the net allowing easy comparisons with US & Japanese prices for instance, and the result of such comparisons show a schizophrenic approach so to speak from manufacturers when it comes to pricing stuff

    However, back to the case in point, where I really think Hasselblad has screwed up in their CFV line is their decision of using a non-revolving sensor as well as not allowing for the back to be mounted both horizontally and vertically. When one thinks that it supposedly is a back made for the V cameras, with which the use of a WLF is one of the core features, one wonders what were they thinking - either they think that the V customer base never shoots portraits, or they think that 100% of the V customer base use a prism finder, or they simply messed it up. This is why, in my personal situation, I will be getting an Aptus II 12R to use with my Tech camera and with my V system; way too many pixels for my need, 50-60 Mp would have been fine, but compared to the CFV-50 (among other features and stuff I don't particularly need):
    - Rotating sensor, very useful on the Tech camera and fundamental on the V;
    - Price not much higher than the CFV-50 once taking into account that Leaf offer competitive upgrades with old DMF gear while Hassy does not (get a Mamiya ZD camera for a song & trade it in for 22% of the Aptus price is a very interesting option);
    - Much better UI than the Hassy, much better screen;
    - etc.

    I really think that Hasselblad would already have a winner if they made a back with rotating sensor and price it just right (the CFV is not priced bad here, actually); but, even better: I think they'd really sell like hot cakes if they'd make a back with a 56x56 mm square sensor, 40-50 Mp (no need for more), priced around 12K euro or 15K US.
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    I think that Hasselblad did this the way they did because they don't want all this success with the CFV line. They want to sell a few units, keep some people happy, but they want the success to belong to the H line, partly because they still sell the bodies and lenses, and partly because if you make a new camera and the old one sells better, you look bad.
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I think that Hasselblad did this the way they did because they don't want all this success with the CFV line. They want to sell a few units, keep some people happy, but they want the success to belong to the H line, partly because they still sell the bodies and lenses, and partly because if you make a new camera and the old one sells better, you look bad.
    Possible - however, if so it doesn't really sound like a sound business strategy to me, both in general and in particular; I might be the only one in the world that ended up buying neither the CFV nor their H line, but I don't think I am; instead, I think that they lost many customers like me, either to a different brand back with the V or to a different brand altogether: I mean, if a customer has to give up to his or her old system completely, he or she might as well go with Phase or maybe recently with Pentax, and this is what I think appears most people did; hence the success Phase is enjoying and the not-so-hot times Hasselblad is living in. The transition from film to digital left a lot of players dead or drastically downsized, and saw the emerging of new players (Phase/Leaf specifically in the MF arena); IMO lack of vision on some manufacturers' part and a good vision on the part of some others is what brought to today's scenario. See for instance Hasselblad's dance with open system/close system/partially open system again/CFV yes, no, not fully exploited/etc. versus Phase's very clear strategy and very determined pursuing of that strategy - please note that I am not a Phase fanboy, in fact I just sold all my Phase gear (and I had a pretty large investment in that) to use a Leaf back in V mount on my tech camera and on my V system, and I would have bought an Hassy competitive back in a second if they had revolving sensor (or even a back that could be mounted in both directions, at least!). I surely hope Hasselblad will get their act together soon - the more successful players in the DMF arena, the better for everybody
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    I know what you mean, I had the same feeling with the CFV line, but Hasselblad, like all these companies, is not really set up for large-scale success of anything, and for better or for worse, Hasselblad has chosen to focus narrowly and deeply on the 645 form factor. Realistically, that probably doesn't lose them a lot of business compared to working closer with tech cameras, and so on.

    W.r.t. the CFV backs, these companies just have a few people working on these backs, and if they started selling tens of thousands, they would have to change things around a lot to even be able to keep up. And then after a couple of years of this, it would peter out completely as they caught up with demand, and then they would have to ramp down again.

    A completely different strategy is needed on Hasselblad's part, and Phase One/Leaf/Sinar as well, if they want a larger scale business, but these companies are so deeply invested in their current systems that I cannot even imagine when they would bring out the replacement systems, never mind re-thinking the complete business.

    While there may have been an initial move from Hasselblad to Phase, I think those days are long gone, and while Phase has more compelling backs, the lenses and the rest of the Hasselblad system is stronger, and many pros still choose Hasselblad. I don't know exactly why, but it seems that hobbyists tend to go for the Phase cameras. Maybe hobbyists are more concerned with the colour of the camera

    Personally, if I get back into MFD, I would either pick up a Phase back for my Contax, or a Hy6 and a Leaf back.
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    ...

    Personally, if I get back into MFD, I would either pick up a Phase back for my Contax, or a Hy6 and a Leaf back.
    So you see, not a Hasselblad H Seriously, I was considering getting a back for the Contax as well, to side my tech camera, but I decided to keep my V instead due to different reasons: both being dead systems, and I not needing particularly AF capabilities, my reasoning has been that the V definitely has a lot more support both in terms of repairing facilities, availability of spares/bodies/lenses, the V is a much better developed system, Hassy is still around and might some day decide to give us a new WA or something for the V (dreaming is free, isn't it) while with Contax that is not even a dream, etc etc. Plus, I'd have to buy a Contax system from scratch - easy enough, but it's still money that I don't need to spend staying with the V.

    As far as Hassy H being a better system than Phase, well I find it debatable; both have strength and weaknesses. Phase has the better backs, Hassy the better AF; the lens lineup, well, Hassy is weaker on the WA (that 28 working only on crop was really a genius move), better on the portrait side, but Phase is picking up speed with all the Schneider lenses; Hassy has more lenses, but Phase has enough for a pro to be able to work anyway, plus a higher flash sync for those interested. Plus, Phase is developing forward at a faster pace than Hassy, and the more the revenue scale will pend in their direction, the more this will be true and so on. So, I think if it's true that more pros are still using Hasselblad, I think it's due to the rental channels being more rich in Hasselblad equipment (historical reasons, maybe), but this might and probably will change as well.
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    So why did you bring up Pentax?

    BTW, I was nOt commenting on your business, but the camera industry which the OP was discussing.

    Cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    The discussion was about Hasselblad's missed opportunity with the CFV line of backs in Japan (in case you have forgotten - again)

    I am glad Pentax is bringing out lenses that its client base is wanting - it is a company well capable of delivering what a larger market wants - 40 megapixels, a decent body and a range of lenses. Congratulations on your camera and I am happy that you are happy with your lenses.

    The OP asked for opinions - I gave mine. Rather than start another one of your polemics - perhaps you can stick to the topic. As for business advice - mate I can assure you I don't need yours I do rather well myself and have done so for quite some time

    Cheers
    Pete

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    You are so right! I don't have sweep panorama nor those neat art filters! What am I to do to be a creative photographer?

    And you are wrong. Pentax has released two new lenses with a third coming next year. Funny how no one complains about all the "old" lenses Mamiya still sells for their cameras nor the fact the Hasselblad keeps using higher resolution sensors, but never updates its lens line--putting "Digital" on them does not always make them new. I guess the old lenses that are really sharp on 645D really aren't sharp because the Pentax did not put "Digital" on the barrel--seeing I guess is not believing, got to have the marketing dept. chime in. And 6um pixels are so small only superduper lenses could work.

    You have a great evening, champ.
    Well, Hassey released totally new lenses optimized for digital: the high performance HCD28 and HCD 35-90 (which wasn't adding a "D" to some existing lens) ... and has re-done the HC50-II, 120-II and 150N ... (the 100 and 210 do not need redone). One look at the MTFs for the 50-II shows the obvious improvement, which is born out in using one on a H4D/60. The lens left in need of a make-over is the HC35.

    So you are 95% incorrect in your statement

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    The CFV is an extension of the CF line of Hasselblad backs that fit almost anything with an iAdapter ... all of which are now discontinued.

    The CFV was designed to be the only back not needing a sync cord, instead using the advance mechanism in the V camera bodies to activate the back ... making it impossible to rotate. (The CF backs could be rotated on a V with the proper iAdapter).

    I think the CFV was originally intended to placate square V shooters with the CFV/16, and that was the last production square sensor. Adding the 39 and 50 with the auto crop to a square was a way to still shoot the square, and increase resolution. Dedicated V users are used to cropping a portrait from a square.

    If you wanted to use Zeiss, but wanted to easily shoot a rectangle in portrait mode, they made the CF adapter for the H camera. IMO, that helped those with Zeiss V lenses migrate to the H and eventually get the AF H lenses.

    I think Hasselblad will concentrate on the H and ride out the CFV as is as long as there is any demand, but hoping demand remains limited so as to not take the production eye off the "H ball" ... maintaining prices is one way to do that. I think when new CVF prices start falling it'll be to liquidate stocks and discontinue it for something else, if anything else.

    I disagree that Hassey is weaker on the W/A ... the 28mm is a D lens but works on a 1.1X and only reduces the H4D/60 by a sliver ... but all the wides are leaf shutter which many prefer. The new HC 50-II is a spectacular update, and now one of the best lenses in the set.

    The rest of the P1 Hassey debate is moot. It is what it is, until the next round. This was about the CFV, and that's what I addressed above with a few observations and opinions.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    That is a good point that Hasselblad may not be geared up to produce thousands of v mount digital backs. They will be aiming the manpower resources at the H system.

    What surprised me about these companies is that they really are quiet small.
    I am guessing, but probably less than one hundred factory employees.
    A few wrong long term strategic decisions and that could be the end of the company.

    In hasselblads case it seems that the xpan camera got them through some difficult times and then the H camera saved the company. Took around five years to develop.
    That's a long time to pay for research and development before any money comes in the door.

    I hope Hasselblad can do more with the historical brand name and get some more products for v system to sell. The high end hobby market in Asia can be quite nostalgic. That is why Leica sells so well in Asia. Hasselblad also have that name power so they need a product that can sell to that market.

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by neil View Post
    That is a good point that Hasselblad may not be geared up to produce thousands of v mount digital backs. They will be aiming the manpower resources at the H system.

    What surprised me about these companies is that they really are quiet small.
    I am guessing, but probably less than one hundred factory employees.
    A few wrong long term strategic decisions and that could be the end of the company.

    In hasselblads case it seems that the xpan camera got them through some difficult times and then the H camera saved the company. Took around five years to develop.
    That's a long time to pay for research and development before any money comes in the door.

    I hope Hasselblad can do more with the historical brand name and get some more products for v system to sell. The high end hobby market in Asia can be quite nostalgic. That is why Leica sells so well in Asia. Hasselblad also have that name power so they need a product that can sell to that market.
    Apparently that is quite true. In the most recent issue of LFI, the owner of Leica stated that very fact ... China is a major growth market for them and much emphasis is being placed on expansion there.

    I think the absolutely perfect way that Hasselblad made the CFV back to nostalgically match the V camera was ingenious. However, the price point to get a 50 meg CFV became a cross-roads for many users. For the same price, users could move to a H4D and pick-up a CF adapter for their Zeiss lenses and gain a TTL meter and focus confirmation.

    Personally, I couldn't hack supporting two systems with the same basic form factor and sensor, nostalgic cosmetics or not. I then opted to swing all Hassey efforts to a H4D/60, and moved to the Leica S2 for a truly different form factor.

    If there ever was a 56 X 56, 40-50 meg sensor in a CFV, I'd probably regret that decision immediately. Not going to happen. 645 is the digital machine, and that hasn't maxed out yet ... theoretically 100 meg is possible in a single shot ... and who knows what is on the drawing boards in terms of sensors, LCDs, in-camera engines, speed, elimination of mirrors, wifi, and all that Si-Fi stuff.

    I think the HY6 spelled it out ... arguably one of the best MFD cameras ever designed ... but was still born, and never had the chance to be all it could be.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    The Hy6 is still trickling out, so I hope that isn't the end of that story yet, but unfortunately it looks like Phase One is in charge of that decision and may not let it happen, so at some point in the future it may grind to a halt. I hope I am wrong, but there are no indications yet.
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    The Hy6 is still trickling out, so I hope that isn't the end of that story yet, but unfortunately it looks like Phase One is in charge of that decision and may not let it happen, so at some point in the future it may grind to a halt. I hope I am wrong, but there are no indications yet.
    If, as Marc said, the HY6 is the best MFD ever designed (I certainly respect his judgement) AND "Phase One is in charge of that decision", why would Phase One need to design a new camera (as rumor has it)? Why, oh why, do they not use that camera? There must be something I am missing here.

    By the way, I do not have a dog in this fight, I am just curious. But I am interested, because I want Hasselblad to succeed as I do with all MFD manufacturers.

    Greg

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Because they also own Mamiya and have a much larger established user base using Mamiya based cameras and lenses. The Hy6 is great -- I had one. But the S2 is a much better dedicated MFD camera in my opinion. I also think the Hy6 was primarily geared towards WLF use (although it does have 45 and 90 finders), which most users no longer desire. That combined with the fact that it is a 6x6 camera with only 645 backs, expensive third party lenses, and the fairly unreliable company producing it (gone bankrupt several times in the last few years) led Phase to buy it out along with Leaf to kill it before it had a chance to develop. It is a superb camera in some ways, but it is an oddball in several senses, and it simply did not make sense for Phase to embrace it wholeheartedly as a compliment or replacement for the DF.
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    The Hy6 does have some real advantages over the Mamiya system though:

    - Waist level finder as an option.
    - It is possible to rotate the sensor and keep the camera in the same orientation.
    - You can shoot 6x6 film on it (as well as 645 of course).
    - Access to the excellent Zeiss and Schneider lenses.
    - A mature system with many system components, such as electronically connected bellows and tubes.
    - Focus bracketing.

    I am probably missing some here, since it is late and I want to go to bed. Anyway, the point is that Phase could decide to develop it and flank their competition with two systems I think if I re-entered digital medium format (which I am obviously thinking about if I hang out here), then it would be the Hy6. The S2 is nice, but a bit limited (no tech camera option) and much more expensive. It works for some, for me I am less sure.
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    The S2 is nice, but a bit limited (no tech camera option) and much more expensive. It works for some, for me I am less sure.
    Sorry for the but I see the tech camera limitation come up quite often. I would presume that in many cases if you can afford a complete S2 outfit and the required technical camera & lenses, then it wouldn't be a quantum financial leap these days to have a separate 28mp+ back just for the tech camera.

    I know it's nice to be able to use the same back for both DSLR and the tech but maybe, just maybe, it's artificially restrictive to think that you have to do it.

    Just saying ...
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    DOES LEAF OWN A PERENNIAL PATENT ON REVOLVING SENSORS?
    Otherwise I don't understand why aren't they more common in digital backs. I swear that revolving sensors were the first thing that came to my mind since the first time I gave them a good though about 15 years ago.

    Hasseblad has missed so many opportunities regarding the V system, it's not even funny. Twice Hasselblad missed to implement a rotating sensor in the rectangular CFV backs. Just as it was possible to manufacture one horizontal 645 and one vertical 645 film backs, I see no reason for Hasselblad to put a revolving mechanism inside the CFV's and lose the connection with the camera.

    The biggest asset ever known to mankind regarding medium format photography was owned by Hasselblad with the hundreds of thousands of V cameras in good working condition all around the globe just waiting for the right back at the right price. Never happened. In the meantime, all those owners that didn't have the economic possibilities (most of them) to jump to digital medium format opted for FF dslr's and that treasure started to vanish in their own bare hands.

    The Hy6 is the best MF camera ever. Releasing a camera with 3 different names was a really bad idea. The economy didn't help either. This partial failure doesn't prove that square bodies that never flip for orientation and with interchangeable finders that allow multiple forms and positions for shooting are out of fashion.
    Leica has proven with the M9 that superior designs are timeless. Who really thinks that autofocus is totally necessary when working with a big mate screen? I don't. Those awesome CF Zeiss lenses may be a little old and not for today's demanding standards but I'm sure this glass is up to the demands of a 48X36 sensor with 40 or even 50 megapixels. Perhaps even more. Of course, the bigger the sensor the less demand on the glass (till they become real FF).

    Companies sometimes must let some of their products to compete against each other. Kodak failed to take their digital technology to real commercial success for fear of risking their film manufacturing. Well, Nikon and Canon took care of that.
    Hasselblad's fate is not so dreadful. Hasselblad still is a real powerhouse of photography and the commercial leader in digital medium format. Too bad they failed to see this treasure and decided to put all the eggs in one mediocre basket. I say mediocre and I haven't even shot once with an H camera but I think that 30+ years shooting as a pro should be enough to know this. I believe that the V system is a higher form of photographic practice.

    It was supposed to be easier to make the jump to digital with a camera that I already owned and with the lenses I already owned but unluckily for me and many many others this was not the case.
    Thanks for reading my little rant. (once again).
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    Last edited by Uaiomex; 28th December 2011 at 18:53.

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    Because they also own Mamiya and have a much larger established user base using Mamiya based cameras and lenses. The Hy6 is great -- I had one. But the S2 is a much better dedicated MFD camera in my opinion. I also think the Hy6 was primarily geared towards WLF use (although it does have 45 and 90 finders), which most users no longer desire. That combined with the fact that it is a 6x6 camera with only 645 backs, expensive third party lenses, and the fairly unreliable company producing it (gone bankrupt several times in the last few years) led Phase to buy it out along with Leaf to kill it before it had a chance to develop. It is a superb camera in some ways, but it is an oddball in several senses, and it simply did not make sense for Phase to embrace it wholeheartedly as a compliment or replacement for the DF.
    Stewart, you have some good and compelling points. However, how hard would it be to re-engineer the lens mount as an alternative to the cost involved in building a totally new camera from scratch? Slap a Mamiya nameplate on it and call it good. They do not have to be built by the company that went bankrupt. I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I remain unconvinced. If it is pride that keeps them from accepting the HY6, then I can understand that (however stupid that may be), but it simply sounds like bad business practice to dump it. Maybe the new Phase One camera will have some engineering adopted from the HY6. That may be a very good outcome.

    Greg

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by BANKER1 View Post
    Stewart, you have some good and compelling points. However, how hard would it be to re-engineer the lens mount as an alternative to the cost involved in building a totally new camera from scratch? Slap a Mamiya nameplate on it and call it good. They do not have to be built by the company that went bankrupt. I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I remain unconvinced. If it is pride that keeps them from accepting the HY6, then I can understand that (however stupid that may be), but it simply sounds like bad business practice to dump it. Maybe the new Phase One camera will have some engineering adopted from the HY6. That may be a very good outcome.

    Greg
    Greg, I think the issue is the same for the Hasselblad V cameras (including one of my all time favorite cameras the 203FE), as well as the 6X7 cameras ... the whole system is geared toward the square format in an age when sensors are 645, or a crop of 645. 6X6 and 6X7 Prism finders and all that get pretty bulky. The removable prism finder for the 645 H camera is much smaller and pretty low profile in comparison.

    I seriously doubt Phase will use the Hy6 as a base for a new camera ... maybe some of the tech, but the form factor would seem problematic.

    The real loss in the burn-off of MF cameras was the demise of the Contax 645. If that had kept going in the same innovative manner that it started, I wonder who would still be standing today?

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Sorry for the but I see the tech camera limitation come up quite often. I would presume that in many cases if you can afford a complete S2 outfit and the required technical camera & lenses, then it wouldn't be a quantum financial leap these days to have a separate 28mp+ back just for the tech camera.

    I know it's nice to be able to use the same back for both DSLR and the tech but maybe, just maybe, it's artificially restrictive to think that you have to do it.

    Just saying ...
    Just a matter of time before someone adapts the S2 to a view camera and works out the issues like those versions that took a Canon or Nikon camera ... David Farkas and the boys down in Florida are already on the case with a Arca Swiss 6X9. Looks promising.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Kodak didn't fear losing their film manufacturing, they didn't want to lose all their sensor business to Dalsa by making digital backs that competed with Imacon and Phase One ... who until recently used Kodak sensors. In the end, it didn't help.

    Hasselblad has always priced the CF and CFV backs to high IMO ... at least for V owners. Adding a rotating sensor would have made them even more expensive, and I'm not sure the mechanical trigger for the CFV back would work then, but I'm not an engineer.

    Maybe a new low profile 90 prism finder could have been designed that allowed the back to be removed.

    30 years working doesn't mean squat if you've never even tried the H camera for any extended period of time. Or a Phase One system for that matter. I loved the V cameras ... but I don't miss them one bit. All the stuff you can do with the new Hs and P1s is a refreshing, and opens whole new worlds of working relationships with the tools. However, I guess it depends on the way one works.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Really?
    Eduardo

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    30 years working doesn't mean squat if you've never even tried the H camera for any extended period of time.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by Uaiomex View Post
    Really?
    Eduardo
    Yes, Really ... at least when it comes to today's systems cameras. I think comparative pronouncements are valid opinions when one has actually worked with a kit for a while, especially now.

    I used a V system pretty steadily for over 40 years and was stubbornly convinced that about it, even when digital started taking over. My first move actually was reluctantly adding a Contax 645 while still shooting film, and then onto digital with the Contax and the V kit. Wasn't until a studio owner friend of mine convinced me to at least try the H that I started realizing my stubbornness was ill founded.

    That doesn't mean anyone's mind will necessariiy be changed, nor that one has to even try something new if they are comfortable as is ... Nostalgia and Ludditism aside, I just think one can over-estimate their entrenched comparative opinion without trying something first.

    Just My Opinion, YMMV.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    If we step back and assess the marketing landscape, I wonder how wise it really would be to continue supporting legacy systems, or even to update legacy systems? Conceptually it seems like "Hit the digital ball, and drag the old system."

    I honestly think the zillion V cameras are in the hands of film users more than digital, or at least more are used with older digital backs. It's a great kit for not a lot of money ... but when it comes to shelling out $25K to $35K for a new back ... ????

    Perhaps the Vs and Hy6s and that sort, have seen their day in the sun, and the sun has moved on? Falling back on such past glories seems like jumping the shark, and is a signal of an impending demise.

    Hasselblad is sure to bring forth a H5D, and Phase One has revealed development of a new camera ... Leica already introduced a new paradigm, and Pentax moved into the low price/ high value position.

    As 35mm DSLRs move up in IQ (debatable to some, not to others), the MFD systems must become more high value ... smaller, faster, more diverse or more dedicated, even more "familiar", while maintaining absolute IQ superiority in every measure.

    For luddites, die-hards and lovers of the simple life, there will always be the Vs, Rolleis, and Mamiya RZs to satisfy their working needs and passions for that type of shooting experience ... but I seriously doubt that is where growth and advancement in photographic tools will come from.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    I generally agree with your judgement of H and V and so on, but I do disagree with your statements about the Hy6 belonging with the V. The only thing they have in common is the 6x6cm negative. The Hy6 is more advanced than even some of the surviving 645 digital systems, and has quite a large system around it, including some great Zeiss and Schneider lenses, manual and autofocus, built-in metering and a modern operational scheme, electronic support for digital backs from the start, and so on. The main problem with that camera is and has been its lack of a financially solid, sensible company with good marketing, and distribution.

    Btw, I am not sure that Phase One owns all the right to it. I think they own some of them, but not all of it. For example, I do believe that DHW retains the rights to make and sell the camera with film backs. I am not sure how to find out the truth about this though.

    I think that Phase's reason for not wanting to push the Hy6 comes down to a mix of not controlling the whole ecosystem, pride and stubbornness. They have done good work with the Mamiya system, but at the time that they started it was the weakest system of them all. Only the DF body and the new Mamiya and Schneider lenses have started to add some parity.
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    They have done good work with the Mamiya system, but at the time that they started it was the weakest system of them all. Only the DF body and the new Mamiya and Schneider lenses have started to add some parity.
    I think that's a fair assessment. In some ways they've taken leadership (sync at 1/1600th, built in flash trigger, legacy AF lens support, both LS and FP options etc), in other ways they're still a step behind (no WLF, no very-wide or super-wide LS lens, etc), in a few ways they are very far behind (very funky order of operations to use Live View with the DF).

    But notably it's been less than 3 years since Phase One took over leadership of Mamiya's R+D. That is a huge amount of progress in 3 years (at least relative to other medium format ventures in the past decade).

    Projecting forward the next 3 years "Team Phase One" (Mamiya, Phase, Schneider, Leaf) things look bright indeed.

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I generally agree with your judgement of H and V and so on, but I do disagree with your statements about the Hy6 belonging with the V. The only thing they have in common is the 6x6cm negative. The Hy6 is more advanced than even some of the surviving 645 digital systems, and has quite a large system around it, including some great Zeiss and Schneider lenses, manual and autofocus, built-in metering and a modern operational scheme, electronic support for digital backs from the start, and so on. The main problem with that camera is and has been its lack of a financially solid, sensible company with good marketing, and distribution.

    Btw, I am not sure that Phase One owns all the right to it. I think they own some of them, but not all of it. For example, I do believe that DHW retains the rights to make and sell the camera with film backs. I am not sure how to find out the truth about this though.

    I think that Phase's reason for not wanting to push the Hy6 comes down to a mix of not controlling the whole ecosystem, pride and stubbornness. They have done good work with the Mamiya system, but at the time that they started it was the weakest system of them all. Only the DF body and the new Mamiya and Schneider lenses have started to add some parity.
    Don't disagree regarding the Hy6 in theory, except I think they absolutely shot themselves in the foot when that kit was introduced. At the time I was shooting a Mamiya and almost brand new Leaf Aptus7s, (RZ and AFD-III mount). I demoed the Leaf AFi, and my existing back could not be used on it or the mount changed, and Leaf basically refused to take a trade, or make an allowance the wasn't an insult to their own product value. Then there were no film backs, no rotating back, hard to find or fit a prism finder, and prisms were gigantic anyway. It all seemed quite a patch work.

    I just don't think that's the path MFD is heading. More streamlined less bulky, more diverse, faster, new technologies, probably all new bodies for Hasselblad and Phase One.

    I'll tell you one massive error that Hasselblad has made with the H4D IMO ... and hopefully they'll rectify it with a H5D. Every H users already has full coverage in LS lenses from 28mm to 300mm ... all they had to do is make the H a dual shutter camera. THAT is the big opportunity they missed, not making a more reasonably priced high meg CFV back with a rotating sensor which I think are mutually exclusive concepts anyway.

    Just my 2.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ...not making a more reasonably priced high meg CFV back with a rotating sensor which I think are mutually exclusive concepts anyway.

    Just my 2.

    -Marc
    Marc, I have to disagree with you. Wanting support for the V system has nothing to do with being a luddite or against technology's development; just makes a lot of business sense, whilst Hasselblad's choices since they got digital apparently didn't, if one sees their results compared to those of Phamiya; think about their position on open vs closed system and the various turns on that issue, not last the H4X (finally!) but with the bizarre decision to sell it only to H1/H2 updaters (why oh why!?!?), the development of the 28 for cropped sensors not foreseeing that sensors would get bigger (no Einstein needed to figure that one out), etc. This has nothing to do with the quality of their cameras and products, which are great; it has everything to do with their management and business decisions.
    So, back to the OP's point, making the existing CFV 50 a rotating back, leaving the trigger mechanism where it is (or getting rid of it, a cable solution works better anyway in practice - though less elegant aesthetically - than the one they have now), and keeping it at the same price the CFV sells now would make for almost no R&D costs and would sell a ton - even if for some years only as you say, maybe, which is however debatable IMO. With that money, develop whatever technology you like for the H, while keeping two different lines of cameras alive in the meantime. The V system per se - I mean, a simple box with various prisms/backs/etc - is still a very competitive one IMHO for a lot of application where AF is not needed; plus, it's a fact that the V is the most popular MF system out there as far as units sold historically and bodies/lenses available on the market.
    Not supporting it completely? Of course I see your point on that, in fact I think that not supporting it completely and just moving on would have been an acceptable choice, a poor one IMHO but a sound choice compare to what they actually did (look at what Leica did with the R, not dissimilar, and how it did end after the Module R: lot of unhappy users there); to keep supporting it as they are doing now, on the other end, with a back that is basically unusable on the very camera it has been designed to work with (unless you only shoot in landscape all the time!), makes no sense at all.

    One last thing worth thinking about: if what I said above wouldn't make any sense, why do you think Leaf invested in developing and building the R backs in V mount? Well, for me personally the answer is very simple, I have one on order which is supposed to get here next week. I would have got an Hasselblad back instead, but alas there wasn't one properly designed; and I am pretty sure I am not the only one. That's lot of money that Hasselblad is not collecting, while others reap the benefits of poor business & development decisions.
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    I have to think that just as there was always support for different size systems and different form factors, that would continue today. The slow exclusion of everything but the 645 form factor is a loss of richness in the eco system. I much prefer the form factor of 6x6cm systems to the 645 systems, for example, and I know of people who prefer the 6x7cm cameras. Why does everything have to be so damn uniform?
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    making the existing CFV 50 a rotating back, leaving the trigger mechanism where it is (or getting rid of it, a cable solution works better anyway in practice - though less elegant aesthetically - than the one they have now), and keeping it at the same price the CFV sells now would make for almost no R&D costs and would sell a ton - even if for some years only as you say, maybe, which is however debatable IMO.
    Vieri, while I generally agree with you, I find it a bit bizarre to want more but not to want to pay for more. I think it is entirely reasonable for such a back to cost somewhat more, because it can't be free to develop a rotating mechanism which is strong, accurate, lasts long, and maintains flatness in a sensor of this resolution.
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    I've been following this conversation with a bit of interest, as I have been considering the V platform for my upcoming back purchase. Primarily I am buying a new back for a tech cam, and keeping the dslr for longer work. It seems like for a smallish outlay for the v system (I already have a 50 cfi) I can have the ability to do slower, considered work with a back with longer lenses when needed.

    I'm starting to wonder if the v mount is the wrong choice, and I should be considering the mamiya 645. I owned an H3D and though the h series lenses were great, that is not a camera for me.

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    all hassey (0r any user, since H does suggest this) had to do was crop the 50 sensor to sq, reducing the sq size to 40 or so. much more res that that would stretch the C lens ability anyway. no need for cables, rotation, etc. Then price the CV50 at a reasonable point. doing this to the CV39 was losing to much, but the 50...

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Vieri, while I generally agree with you, I find it a bit bizarre to want more but not to want to pay for more. I think it is entirely reasonable for such a back to cost somewhat more, because it can't be free to develop a rotating mechanism which is strong, accurate, lasts long, and maintains flatness in a sensor of this resolution.
    Carsten, I am ready to spend more if need be and if the extra money will go into something worth - however, what I was talking about was a general business idea in order to sell better, not what "I" specifically want Plus, Leaf - after selling the R backs for a little bit more than their non-R counterparts for a time - now sells the Aptus II 10R & 12R for exactly the same price as the non-R backs. Imagine if Hasselblad will announce the CFV-50 Revolving back: "Now with a revolving sensor, and for the same price as the old back", that would make it instantly appealing, add a trade-in program where you can exchange your CFV-50 for the new one for say 1-2K euro and you got a winner.
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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Fair enough. If you found the H is better for your kind of work and your particular way of shooting by all means, dump the V. For me, regarding both, I'm sure I'd still be better served with the V system. I always shot on a tripod when using the V camera. For on tripod photography, the manual "everything" camera works better. The H camera is pretty much an auto everything camera. I know that you can set everything to manual, but this is the problem. You have to do the extra step and remember what mode you are, adjust accordingly, etc. On-tripod photography not necessarily means slow. That's why you have to physically feel the controls and operate them always in the same manner. Only a full manual camera can provide this. As in cars, feedback is very important.

    When I needed speed, mobility and convenience over the other things, that's when I went "auto-everything" with the auto slr. Using 2 really different systems (I believe) provided me with 2 different perspectives and workflows that helped refresh my photography morning to evening, day to day.
    The H camera operation philosophy is more akin to an SLR than to the traditional medium format camera which by the way, is more akin to operating a large format. I understand that if you strive for top IQ from weddings and documentation, the H, the S2 and the Pentax is the way to go. My market is not there. Dslr's provide me with excellent quality at a lower cost.

    These days I only shoot with a dslr. I missed the difference of the V system. I don't mean the IQ, I mean the workflow and the difference in the results. In the studio I found that nothing beats the natural ease for communicating with the sitter when working with the waist level finder. There's some magic there. Across more than two decades many sitters mentioned this without me mentioning it first.

    Happy holidays
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Yes, Really ... at least when it comes to today's systems cameras. I think comparative pronouncements are valid opinions when one has actually worked with a kit for a while, especially now.

    I used a V system pretty steadily for over 40 years and was stubbornly convinced that about it, even when digital started taking over. My first move actually was reluctantly adding a Contax 645 while still shooting film, and then onto digital with the Contax and the V kit. Wasn't until a studio owner friend of mine convinced me to at least try the H that I started realizing my stubbornness was ill founded.

    That doesn't mean anyone's mind will necessariiy be changed, nor that one has to even try something new if they are comfortable as is ... Nostalgia and Ludditism aside, I just think one can over-estimate their entrenched comparative opinion without trying something first.

    Just My Opinion, YMMV.

    -Marc
    Last edited by Uaiomex; 29th December 2011 at 11:08.

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by Uaiomex View Post
    I'm sure I'd still be better served with the V system.
    I loved my V series cameras, loved the format and used them for more years than I care to remember. I sold the lot within a week or two of first using the H series.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uaiomex View Post
    I always shot on a tripod when using the V camera.
    My V and H series cameras were/are permanently bolted to a tripod.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uaiomex View Post
    For on tripod photography, the manual "everything" camera works better. The H camera is pretty much an auto everything camera.
    That's strange, mine is pretty much a manual everything camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uaiomex View Post
    I know that you can set everything to manual, but this is the problem. You have to do the extra step and remember what mode you are, adjust accordingly, etc.
    It's simple, just leave it set how you want it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uaiomex View Post
    The H camera operation philosophy is more akin to an SLR than to the traditional medium format camera which by the way, is more akin to operating a large format.
    Funny, when last I looked both the V and H series were SLRs. Neither the V series or the H series are anything like akin to operating a large format camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uaiomex View Post
    My market is not there.
    Neither is mine.

    Three years on from changing to the H series and I still haven't had a moments regret; simply the most versatile and rewarding system I've ever used.
    Last edited by KeithL; 29th December 2011 at 14:57.

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    Carsten, I am ready to spend more if need be and if the extra money will go into something worth - however, what I was talking about was a general business idea in order to sell better, not what "I" specifically want Plus, Leaf - after selling the R backs for a little bit more than their non-R counterparts for a time - now sells the Aptus II 10R & 12R for exactly the same price as the non-R backs. Imagine if Hasselblad will announce the CFV-50 Revolving back: "Now with a revolving sensor, and for the same price as the old back", that would make it instantly appealing, add a trade-in program where you can exchange your CFV-50 for the new one for say 1-2K euro and you got a winner.
    Hey, maybe they will do that ... who knows? I doubt it.

    How much is a Leaf Aptus-IIR V mount in the 50 meg range? How does it compare to the Price of a CFV/50?

    BTW, it would take a bit to engineer that new CFV, and you can't leave the LCD as it is either. All for the same price?

    It seems ill advised to chase after a large base comprised of a few dedicated and well heeled old-school users that may spring for a $25K to $30K back. I seriously doubt there are herds of Hasselblad V users that picked up their camera for $800 that are clamoring for a $25K to $30K digital back.

    Meanwhile, those resources that were spent on the past, deplete those ear-marked for the future.

    The R&D spent on the CFV was probably negligible in comparison ... The CFV/16 and 39 were simply a revamped CF and CF-II backs ... and the CFV/50 used the sensor from the H3D/50. So it isn't quite the same as Leica needing to cut the R altogether.

    The difference now is that with the end of the CF backs, there are no models to spread the CFV R&D over.

    Besides, if there was such a driving need to rotate the back on the V camera, why didn't the CF-II backs sell like hotcakes? .... they could be rotated.

    Oddly, Leica has become the poster child for looking to the future and letting go of the past. Seems to be working.

    Frankly, I saw where this seemed to all be going, only one V camera, less and less lenses available, and no new ones in the pipeline. No AF, No meter, The death of the excellent 200 series, discontinued CF line of DBs, etc.

    Of course it will retain it's devotees, just like the Contax 645 did ... but for me it was time to wake up and smell the Vs burning ... it's a dead-end system for what the future begs for ... and will get.

    But that's just me ... an ex-devotee that's now glad he got out while the getting was good. But the money all went to a good home ... in Solms Germany

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I have to think that just as there was always support for different size systems and different form factors, that would continue today. The slow exclusion of everything but the 645 form factor is a loss of richness in the eco system. I much prefer the form factor of 6x6cm systems to the 645 systems, for example, and I know of people who prefer the 6x7cm cameras. Why does everything have to be so damn uniform?
    You are right. I agree, they shouldn't be so uniform.

    What drove 645 format was the increased ability of a smaller media to perform at a larger scale. Now its 80 meg. and still 645.

    I'm most certainly FOR a broad base of selections and form factors. What I question is holding onto old designs made for the film era. They are big and bulky, and everything for them is big and bulky.

    The only reason one would want a rotating sensor is for old square or 6X7 formats that are simply to damned big to rotate. Or cameras that weren't designed to be rotated like the V.

    I actually support the notion of different form factors for choice ... which is why I now have a S2 rather than a V system. The H4D/60 stays mostly locked down on a tripod, and 80% of the work is commercial assignments, like product and industrial, and is shot tethered.

    IMO, what is needed are more NEW designs for the digital age ... ground up like the S2, only compatible with the new lenses and coming backs.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    all hassey (0r any user, since H does suggest this) had to do was crop the 50 sensor to sq, reducing the sq size to 40 or so. much more res that that would stretch the C lens ability anyway. no need for cables, rotation, etc. Then price the CV50 at a reasonable point. doing this to the CV39 was losing to much, but the 50...
    If they were to do anything, that would have been a decent idea. Also produce an optional focusing screen that had that taking area solidly blocked in.

    Naw, it'd just be something else for luddites to bitch about

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by NicholasRab View Post
    I've been following this conversation with a bit of interest, as I have been considering the V platform for my upcoming back purchase. Primarily I am buying a new back for a tech cam, and keeping the dslr for longer work. It seems like for a smallish outlay for the v system (I already have a 50 cfi) I can have the ability to do slower, considered work with a back with longer lenses when needed.

    I'm starting to wonder if the v mount is the wrong choice, and I should be considering the mamiya 645. I owned an H3D and though the h series lenses were great, that is not a camera for me.
    If you didn't care for the H3D (not the same as a H4D), then I'd be sure to try the Mamiya 645 before making any brash moves. Just sayin'

    However, IF I were looking for a back primarily for Tech camera use, I'd go straight for one of the Phase One IQs ... and get it in the mount for the SLR camera that best fits your needs.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by vieri View Post
    Marc, I have to disagree with you. Wanting support for the V system has nothing to do with being a luddite or against technology's development; just makes a lot of business sense, whilst Hasselblad's choices since they got digital apparently didn't, if one sees their results compared to those of Phamiya; think about their position on open vs closed system and the various turns on that issue, not last the H4X (finally!) but with the bizarre decision to sell it only to H1/H2 updaters (why oh why!?!?), the development of the 28 for cropped sensors not foreseeing that sensors would get bigger (no Einstein needed to figure that one out), etc. This has nothing to do with the quality of their cameras and products, which are great; it has everything to do with their management and business decisions.
    So, back to the OP's point, making the existing CFV 50 a rotating back, leaving the trigger mechanism where it is (or getting rid of it, a cable solution works better anyway in practice - though less elegant aesthetically - than the one they have now), and keeping it at the same price the CFV sells now would make for almost no R&D costs and would sell a ton - even if for some years only as you say, maybe, which is however debatable IMO. With that money, develop whatever technology you like for the H, while keeping two different lines of cameras alive in the meantime. The V system per se - I mean, a simple box with various prisms/backs/etc - is still a very competitive one IMHO for a lot of application where AF is not needed; plus, it's a fact that the V is the most popular MF system out there as far as units sold historically and bodies/lenses available on the market.
    Not supporting it completely? Of course I see your point on that, in fact I think that not supporting it completely and just moving on would have been an acceptable choice, a poor one IMHO but a sound choice compare to what they actually did (look at what Leica did with the R, not dissimilar, and how it did end after the Module R: lot of unhappy users there); to keep supporting it as they are doing now, on the other end, with a back that is basically unusable on the very camera it has been designed to work with (unless you only shoot in landscape all the time!), makes no sense at all.

    One last thing worth thinking about: if what I said above wouldn't make any sense, why do you think Leaf invested in developing and building the R backs in V mount? Well, for me personally the answer is very simple, I have one on order which is supposed to get here next week. I would have got an Hasselblad back instead, but alas there wasn't one properly designed; and I am pretty sure I am not the only one. That's lot of money that Hasselblad is not collecting, while others reap the benefits of poor business & development decisions.
    The Leaf backs can be ordered in almost any camera mount ... the CFV fits one. Economy of scale, you do the math.

    -Marc

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    Re: Hasselblad CFV-39 digital back and a missed opportunity to sell thousands of them

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The Leaf backs can be ordered in almost any camera mount ... the CFV fits one. Economy of scale, you do the math.
    Sadly not in Rolleiflex mount (the Leaf backs), at least not the newer, more interesting backs. I would be quite interested in getting a back for the 6008 system.

    You make some good points about the V system, and I am finally, finally ready to agree with you about the desirability of the V system as a basis for digital explorations. Some will want it, and I regret that Hasselblad was never able to make a nice, large square sensor back for fans, but I guess that is just the economics of a company getting out of one system nearly too late, and investing in a new one. The CFV16 will always be a classic, I guess, just too bad the sensor is so small. A 48x48mm sensor would have been great, even with only 30-40MP.

    I did for a while foster the notion that the 200-series could have been a good base for an alternative system, but having bought one, I was surprised how quirky it was, with metering only usable with the loupe up in the waist-level finder, a choice between ISO from a film back OR communication with a digital back (and a permanent choice at that), and that weird menu system, and difficult-to-read LCD. Throw in the off-centre strap lugs, and at some point it just dawned on me that this is not a modern 500C/M, but a quirky camera made quirkier by the addition of some features which didn't fit all that well. I have made the decision to sell it, as good as it is in its sweet spot.

    I have now bought a 6008i instead, and although it is a bit bulky and not as elegant, it is far more modern with a very intuitive control scheme and modern electronics. Too bad the company which brought it out had terrible marketing and international distributors, and worse financials. I hope that DHW can stay healthy and maybe nurse the Hy6 back to full viability. Hope, but don't expect. That is the system I wanted the V to grow into, but Rollei never had the marketing power or success of Hasselblad, so I guess there was no way from here to there, really.

    I like the Contax 645 rather a lot and just can't seem to part with mine, but other than that, I am not fond of any other 645 camera. The Mamiya just never appealed to me personally, although it has grown into a good system, and having had a good try at an H4D-40 recently, I had to accept that this camera is also not for me, although I can see that it is a very flexible and competent system, very strong for professional use. I don't love it though, it feels like a tool to me, but not a favorite tool, just a competent tool which does the job, yet doesn't earn my love. This is my personal reaction to it though, and is not really relevant to anyone else.

    That leaves me with very little choice. Hy6/AFi with Leaf back is one option, S2 is another, although that is just too much money for what is after all just a hobby for me. I could swing around ten grand, but not twenty or thirty, not with a good conscience. If I could just sell a few large photos, then maybe I could justify it, but that isn't the case, I am just not set up that way for now.

    Anyway, I am always watching this space with curiousity, it does have some of the characteristics of a soap opera
    Carsten - Website

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