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Thread: Hasselblad H4D-50 or 60 for Landscape Photography?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    South Africa
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    Hasselblad H4D-50 or 60 for Landscape Photography?

    Hi all,

    In the light of the recently announced price discounts on new Hasselblad H4D cameras, I’m considering trading in my H4D-31 to get either an H4D-50 or 60. However, looking in their online catalogue:

    on page 5 the details of both cameras are presented, and I noticed that the 50 is described as being “for studio and location photography” whereas the 60 is described as being “for controlled lighting studio photography”.

    My use is mainly landscape, usually in reasonable to strong sunlight, with occasional use indoors with flash. From the above it sounds like the 50 is better for this type of use. They have quite different sensors, the 60 being bigger, which initially led me to believe that it would be better in general, but perhaps the sensors have different characteristics in terms of performance in different lighting situations.

    So I wonder which might be better for my use. What comments would any users of these two systems have in this regard?

    Thank you in advance for any guidance.

    All the best.

    Richard Naismith

  2. #2
    Super Duper
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    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
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    Re: Hasselblad H4D-50 or 60 for Landscape Photography?

    Hi Richard,

    I'm using the H4D/60. It is not restricted to studio. I even use it for walk around shooting hand-held. At that level of resolution, good technique is a given. Either the 50 or the 60 will be more demanding than your 31.

    The 50 uses a Kodak sensor, and the 60 uses a Dalsa sensor. Both are ISO 50 to 800.

    The only real performance difference is the 50 can be shot 128 seconds, and the 60 meg does 32 seconds max. If you like doing long exposures up to 2 minutes, then the 50 may be what you need.

    The 60's larger sensor size is slightly cropped to 54 meg when used with the HCD lenses ... 28mm and 35-90. All remaining HC lenses are full frame coverage.

    I like the way the Dalsa sensor renders skin tones a bit more than the Kodak sensor. As a point of reference, all of the new Phase One IQ backs and all Leaf backs use Dalsa sensors.

    If you don't need 2 minute exposures, I'd go for the 60.


    Hasselblad's trade program has always been a bit wacky. If you study the Trade-in/Upgrade PDF on the website, you may be able to construct a better deal for yourself.

    For example, H4D/31 to H4D/60 is $19,600. But a competitive back of at least 16 meg to a H4D/60 is $21,700. Only $2,100 difference.

    You could trade your H4D/31 with someone that has an old Kodak ProBack, or some ancient Valeo back plus $6,100 and instantly save $4,000 ... the other party gets a new technology H4D camera with 31 meg for $6,100 and gets rid of a back that is all but unsellable these days. Win Win.

    When I moved from H4D/40 to H4D/60 ... I traded-in an older back mounted to a 15 year old Mamiya RZ camera, and sold the H4D/40 outright. I cut the trade up cost almost in half.

    I've had my eye on a H4D/200 Multi-Shot for some time.

    So, I may try and find someone with a H4D/31 or H3DX-XX ... trade my pristine, low shutter count H4D/60 for their camera and $13,000. They save $6,600. I then trade their camera in for a 200MS (H4D/31 to H4D/200MS is $26,700 less the $13,000 cash = $13,700 upgrade cost verse directly trading my 60 to the 200 which is $21,000, a savings of $7,300. Win win.

    The other thing to consider is that this promo runs thru the Summer ... leading to Photokina in September. Who knows what Hasselblad may have up their sleeve. It is always a tough call on what to do and when. Regardless of what is coming, these are good deals IF something like a H4D/60 fits your needs ... then it doesn't matter what may be coming, that won't change.


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