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Thread: Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

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    Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

    Hi all,

    I'm researching options for digital backs to use on my Linhof Techno platform. Although I want to use the back primarily on my Linhof, it'd be advantageous if I could also use it on a SLR. I really like the H system and feel most comfortable with Hasselblad because of local support.

    Anyway, I don't want to debate the relative strengths and weaknesses of each platform, rather ask if people could please share some pictures of their H setup on a tech camera being powered by an external battery solution. I've read a little bit about such solutions, but I have no idea how cumbersome they might be when used in the field.

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

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    Senior Member stngoldberg's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

    I believe the H4d50 accepts the battery adapter which facilitates power from a Sony Clip on battery. There a practically no weight to this setup and the rechargeable battery powers the unit for over an hour. I have this working an my H5D50, but can't send you a picture because My cameras are in transit to another location
    Stanley
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    Re: Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

    Thanks Stanley,
    I wasn't aware that the H4D-50 accepted this adaptor. I thought it was just the H4d-60 that took it. How do you find using this solution in practice?
    Thanks again,
    Tim

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    Re: Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

    Unfortunately the H4D-50 requires external power such as the Silvestri solution. It's only the H4D-60 that supports the battery adapter in the H4D range, while all H5D models support it. I shall see if I manage to find the link...

    Edit: the link http://www.hasselbladbulletin.com/uk...amera-use.aspx

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    Re: Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

    Bummer,
    Perhaps I misunderstood what power solution Stanley is using? If he could clarify, that would be great.
    Thanks again, all!
    Tim

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    Re: Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

    Stanley has the H5D-50 which has the battery clip adapter:



    which unfortunately only works with the H4D-60 in the H4D series, at least according to the bulletin.

    With the H4D-50 and H3DII-50 you need external power, there are a few options Silvestri is one:

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    Re: Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

    Looking at the picture above I'm thinking that the stiff firewire cable is making the external battery solution a lot messier than it needs to be. I don't like spaghetti, and I think the sync cable to the shutter is bad enough.

    What I'd like to have is a tight L-firewire plug and then an easily separated contact on the middle of a soft cable to the battery, so when you accidentally pull the cable it'll split rather than pull in the firewire input in the back.

    I had been thinking that nhe battery is small enough to make a pocket and tape it to the free space on my Linhof sliding back too, so you would have left-to-right: digital back, ground glass, battery. But I just realized that that doesn't work as the sliding part is only two sections of course...



    you could tape the battery to the opposite side still but then the cable would not be of constant length. I'd very much like to avoid having an extra cable to attach when I set up the system (in fleeing light one needs to work fast!).

    A third alternative would be to have the battery in your jacket pocket (great in the winter!) and have such a split-cable for safety. I don't think there's split cables available though, one would have to make one.

    I don't think it's a good idea to always insert/remove the cable from the back, it would be unnecessary wear to the digital back firewire contact. Better to have a short cable permanently attached with a easily slide-apart plug which you then attach to the camera battery cable.

    Of course there's the CFV-50 too if one can get it, then this external battery mess is avoided. However the H4D-50 has a little bit better screen. After seeing photos of it compared to the H3DII-50 screen (which I believe is the same as CFV-50) I'm not so sure that the H4D-50 is significantly better and not sure that the H3DII-50/CFV-50 screen really is unusable for focus check. I'm a master of interpreting bad screens, so maybe I can make sense out of it. It would be great to test, but buying seems to be the only way to test in my part of the world.

    It seems to me that the key problem of the Hasselblad screens is that pixels are not square, there's some special type of subpixel arrangement that make the pixels look fuzzy and thus it's harder to interpret the 100% view.

    In this post at Lula you can see a photo of the H3D-II 50 vs H4D-50 screen:
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/fo...3349#msg763349
    It's hard to figure out from a picture how it looks in reality though. On the H4D-50 screen you do see jaggies in the grass, and jaggies = sharp, so that indicates that you can see if something is sharp. I'm not sure from that image if the H3DII 50 screen makes those jaggies visible.

    If one gets a H4D-50 for the sake of the screen one need to make sure that one gets a "real" H4D-50, there are also versions that are upgraded H3DII-50 and those have the old screen. One also needs a late firmware for the H4D-50 to enable the higher resolution.

    Unfortunately I use 100% view extensively on my Aptus 75 today so I'm not so sure I can live without it. It's not so much for checking that I hit focus but it's for things like checking if the background is "suitably out of focus", or checking for suitable focus compromise in complicated tilt/swing closeups (where Alpa/Arca style HPF focus ring would not work either). Sometimes in really difficult light conditions I'm also lazy and guess-focus and adjust after looking at 100% view, with discipline I could solve that otherwise but it is indeed nice to have the option to check sharpness with good precision. The Aptus 75 has certainly not a great screen either, but pixels are square and the demosaicer is sharp(ish) so you can differ between super-sharp and very-slightly-out-of-focus, not with as good precision as you can when pixel peeping on a good computer screen, but good enough to be very usable in the field.

    I guess that you that are used to shooting film should have less desire of having a working sharpness check on the back?
    Last edited by torger; 13th October 2014 at 23:39.
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    Re: Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

    Tim, check to see if the H4D/50 with current firmware will work with the Hasselblad Image Bank-II.

    I know the H4D/60 would not work with it because it was the only H4D camera that came with the connections for a clip-on battery which wasn't enabled until H5Ds came out after I had sold my H4D/60.

    The Image Bank II is a small, high capacity FW800 capture hard drive with a Sony L Battery that also powers the back while the grip battery powers the camera. If I recall correctly, it also allowed capture to the CF card and the IB-II. I used to use it for field work with a H3D-II/39 and kept the IB-II in an inner jacket pocket when shooting in cold conditions. The FW cord is thin and flexible and easily managed.

    If you find it works, I think I still may have one around here somewhere that I'll sell cheap with multiple batteries and a charger.

    -Marc
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    Re: Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

    The firewire power specs are actually relatively simple to meet. Basically, anyone with a soldering iron should be able to cut a cheap firewire cable open and add a connector to a 12V battery. Cheap, compact and light 12V batteries are readily available. This is all what it takes, really.

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    Re: Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

    Another fairly simple and elegant solution would be the Hasselblad AC Adapter Battery Grip plugged into a battery like Paul C Buffs Vagabond Mini Lithium clamped to the tripod.

    It's exactly the same design as the H battery grip except is has an cord to a converter with a common AC household plug. One cord powers everything. Done.

    - Marc

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    Re: Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    What I'd like to have is a tight L-firewire plug and then an easily separated contact on the middle of a soft cable to the battery, so when you accidentally pull the cable it'll split rather than pull in the firewire input in the back.
    You mean something like this one:
    Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Phase One | Mamiya Leaf
    e: [email protected] | m: +44(0)77 8992 8199 | yaya's blog
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    Re: Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

    I use a quantum turbo 3 battery on my H3D 39. I get at the very least 2 days shooting. You need one battery and one charge. Period. I use it with the firewire adaptor that Yair posted. It's by far the best solution BUT a friend who's getting started informed me that Quantum no longer make the cable that goes from the battery to the adaptor and was proving very difficult to source last time I checked. I'm including slink for the part number. I think Quantum got into trouble financially and there was some restructuring. The cable probable wasn't selling much so they knocked it on the head. One thing to note is that the Leaf adaptor is slightly larger than the recess for the Firewire connection in the Hasselblad backs (at least on the H3D backs) A bit of DIY paring of the plastic with a blade or a very sharp knife sorts it out though! Quantum Instruments SD16 Power Cable SD16 B&H Photo Video

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    Re: Help with Hasselblad H4D-50 external power solution

    Thanks all, that's awesome information. Although I'm one to try and avoid cables and extra "stuff" when out shooting, I don't think the extra battery pack would be to bad a deal for me. Not ideal, but not a deal breaker. H4D-50 camera and back can be bought for a very attractive price now, plus the sensor plays very well with technical cameras. Seems a win, win to me.

    Marc – Thanks for your offer, I will certainly be in contact if the "bank manager" gives me the green light.

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