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Thread: MF RANT

  1. #1
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    MF RANT

    Well I just need to blow some steam.

    I really am thinking about going back to my 35mm DSLR system. Do not get me wrong, I really love the image quality I get from Hasselblad H3DII but every time there is a problem, there are huge and long delays getting my camera fixed. Moreover, I had my Hasselblad in some cold weather a couple weeks back and even a very small amount of snow, and somehow there was some moisture that got into the camera and fried some circuit board. But the camera has to go back to Europe. A few months back I cleaned the sensor and made a small scratch (somehow) on the filter plate and it had to go to Europe. I was told it would take 3 to 4 weeks but it took 6. This time I have no idea what the cost is going to be.

    The point is that I had my old canons in a lot worse weather and never had a problem. In fact, I never have had to send anything to canon to get it fixed in all the years (one exception-- something was dropped by a relative in my room by accident) from the time I owned a D30 over a decade ago.

    Anyway, I am starting to wonder is it really worth it anymore. Again, I just love the system per se except for the long range repairs and having to get things repaired.

    Anyway, i am just really frustrated and really thinking through my options at this point.

  2. #2
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    Re: MF RANT

    What?
    Seriously, go Nikon!

  3. #3
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    Re: MF RANT

    Isn't this more of a Hasselblad rant than a MF rant? Phase One backs are supposed to be quite sturdy and weather proof.

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    Re: MF RANT

    Well i have no experience with Phase ... Maybe i should switch

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    Re: MF RANT

    easy - Just get a backup body so you have allways one in EUrope and one with you for working

    Seriously: I would try to clarify through phone how things can be speeded up.

    In my case I once had a problem with a Rollei lens, I called F&H and asked how to proceed and to which person to sned etc. Even though it was running on Sinar guarantee I could directly send it to F&H (which saved time) and got it back pretty fast.
    Same when I sent in some Leica lenses, I called before and the service job was done pretty fast.
    Maybe there are also local repair shops which are certified/qualified to do some repairs so that you dont have to ship the camera to Europe.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: MF RANT

    Just to play devil's advocate - I once waited 6 weeks for Canon to adjust AF on a body, and that was at a local Canon workshop. Just hopeless.

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    Member Chris Barrett's Avatar
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    Re: MF RANT

    I was working with a P45+ that developed some issues in it's first month of use. Capture Integration made sure I got a loaner the next day and Phase One made the fix and got it back to me from Denmark in about a week.

    I think the Phase 3 year Value Added Warranty is easily worth the money.

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: MF RANT

    Sorry to hear that.

    But I think, naaaw, do not let this experience rush you into a bad decision. Give it a good thought and let the frustration settle first. As you see here, even if you shoot with DSLR you might face such problems as well.

    I am with you though, I would LOVE a fully weather sealed MFDB, body, lenses, and back, dust and splashwater proof to norm. The anticipated S2 is probably the first that offers such outdoor qualities if I am not mistaken.

    I really miss that quality form my Olympus gear, I did not need to spend a single thought on weather ever, flash floods, sand, dust, snow, it never let me down. I even cleaned it under the tap for 30 seconds after beach exposures (salt). This is what I would love to have in MF in deed. Technically absolutely no problem, if they just would consider and add the flippin rubber seals in construction. The pahse one back is contrusted to a ridiculously high standard, I remember the clips in their site. Outrageously good. LOL

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    Re: MF RANT

    I had asked about a loaner and they said they do not do this anymore. The difference with Chris is that his was bad from the beginning where mine is out of warranty. I admit i had some problems in the beginning that were fixed via warranty and it went smoothly but the problem did not involve having to send it back to Europe. I cannot afford a second body at this point. I am traveling to some great landscape locations and for the first one I will have to take my canon.... the second one is going to be dependent on how long it takes to get it back. Six weeks will be too late

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: MF RANT

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    Well i have no experience with Phase ... Maybe i should switch
    Mark,

    As you know, I like Phase and one of the reasons is due to the support I get from my dealer. If Hassy isn't servicing their customers properly any more, then perhaps it is time to find a better system and/or dealer for whatever system you want to shoot...

    As to whether or not you "need" MF, I know you know how much nicer the files are -- so really only you can answer that question for yourself...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member eleanorbrown's Avatar
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    Re: MF RANT

    Hi Mark I'll share several experiences with my Hasselblad H2 and Phase P45+ combination. First was three years ago, Olympic Rain Forest....rained every day all day and I photographed in the rain every day using a rain cover but both H2 camera, lenses and Phase back got very very wet, continually wet. No problems. Then last summer in alaska the same outfit fell over while on my tripod. the H2 handle took the hit and my H2 was hopelessly broken. The Phase back was totally unaffected and to this day records images as flawlessly as ever. I had to send the camera back to Europe and it was out in between 5 and 6 weeks. They fixed it really really well tho! I used this combination in heavy snow conditions here in Colorado and also in Antarctica.......no problems.....so for what's it worth those are my experiences. Eleanor



    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Mark,

    As you know, I like Phase and one of the reasons is due to the support I get from my dealer. If Hassy isn't servicing their customers properly any more, then perhaps it is time to find a better system and/or dealer for whatever system you want to shoot...

    As to whether or not you "need" MF, I know you know how much nicer the files are -- so really only you can answer that question for yourself...

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    Re: MF RANT

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    Well I just need to blow some steam.

    I really am thinking about going back to my 35mm DSLR system. Do not get me wrong, I really love the image quality I get from Hasselblad H3DII but every time there is a problem, there are huge and long delays getting my camera fixed. Moreover, I had my Hasselblad in some cold weather a couple weeks back and even a very small amount of snow, and somehow there was some moisture that got into the camera and fried some circuit board. But the camera has to go back to Europe. A few months back I cleaned the sensor and made a small scratch (somehow) on the filter plate and it had to go to Europe. I was told it would take 3 to 4 weeks but it took 6. This time I have no idea what the cost is going to be.

    The point is that I had my old canons in a lot worse weather and never had a problem. In fact, I never have had to send anything to canon to get it fixed in all the years (one exception-- something was dropped by a relative in my room by accident) from the time I owned a D30 over a decade ago.

    Anyway, I am starting to wonder is it really worth it anymore. Again, I just love the system per se except for the long range repairs and having to get things repaired.

    Anyway, i am just really frustrated and really thinking through my options at this point.
    Quote Originally Posted by evgeny View Post
    What?
    Seriously, go Nikon!
    Couple thoughts.

    My senior thesis in college involved shooting thousands of images in sub-zero temperatures (star trail time lapses in Ohio winter). The D2X I used struggled continually when the temperature got too low. It was a absolutely hellish combination - hundreds of long exposures triggered by internal intervalometer in extreme cold. NOTHING is infallible.

    Decoupling the digital back and body makes the system much more robust. If something fails in the field it is almost always the body. While nothing is infallible I have seen very very few backs go down in the field. Of course I can only speak from my experience with Phase One which are extremely well built and durable.

    So with that in mind a backup body is not a bad idea. If you were on a Phase system you'd have two good and inexpensive options for a backup body. The general purpose backup would be a AFD1 body which would cost less than $1k. Depending on what you're shooting you may find a good backup in a Cambo Wide Compact travel rangefinder tech body. With a lens it would weigh about 2 pounds and is VERY small and has no circuit boards to fry.

    Phase One's guaranteed repair turnaround time is 10 business days from receipt-at-the-factory and the 3-year warranty comes with a loaner shipped to you priority overnight (or the fastest available shipping wherever you are in the world) that you keep during any repairs.

    Phase One and Mamiya bodies and lenses are serviced (in the US) in NYC and turnaround times are usually in the 2-4 day turnaround time with next-day turn-around-times not uncommon. In the two cases where NYC was not able to repair a lens that one of our customers sent in for repair they sent the customer a new lens rather than waiting the 2-4 weeks for the lens to go to and from Mamiya Japan.

    If you were my customer and it took 6 weeks to have a sensor filter replaced I would be on the phone with the president of the company finding out what they were going to do.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Re: MF RANT

    Doug, are you saying that everyone who buys from you automatically gets a free three year hot swap loaner? I don't think so! Fact is, Hasselblad also offers the option of an added cost three year hot swap loaner, and twice has given me a loaner overnight within 24 hours after notification. They did not even wait to get my H3D before they shipped the loaner. Last winter, I had a problem with my zoom. Hasselblad turned around the repair in New Jersey within 48 hours.
    For me, Hasselblad's service has been exemplary. However, I have the 3 year warranty. I would not buy a medium format digital camera/back without one. In fact, my warranty runs out in Dec. of this year and that, more than anything else, may motivate me to buy a new camera.

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    Re: MF RANT

    Opposite experiences Mark.

    I've shot a paying job with the H3D-II/39 in sub zero weather in a raging blizzard. The most it did was beep to tell me that the battery was freezing. Used a new battery from my pocket. Shot for hours. I gave out before the camera did.

    Shot a wedding with the H3D-II/31 ... a sudden Monsoon downpour soaked me, the Bride and Groom and blew the vented doorman's type umbrella inside out and ripped the cover off of it and blew it 200 feet away ... freaking trees were going down around us. Rain was coming down sidewards and you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Took almost 10 minutes to get back to the Limo. Didn't have time to protect the camera, we were trying to shield the Bride. My partner's Canon 1DsMKIII withstood it but it filled up the flash diffuser cup with a couple inches of water. Wiped off the Hassey and shot for 5 hours more.

    But, these are not recommended practices with any MF digital system ... just read the official operating guides for any of these backs ... they are all the same no matter what the marketing and internet chatter says. Since the S2 is a DSLR on steroids, it may be better since it isn't modular. If something is modular water can get in. Water can get in anywhere except if blocked by well maintained O rings.

    My dealer fixes most incidental stuff himself, if it has to go back, HE sends it back (warranty or not). He works to keep me as a future customer. If Hassey is slow he lights a fire under their asses.

    I have a regular warranty on the 31, but a 3 year hot swap on the 39 ... got another year to go on that. Hasselblad gave me the hot swap for free because of some issues I had with the ill conceived H2D/22 that shot DNGs before the world was ready for that.

    Canon service was always great, and I've found Nikon service even better. When a lens part I needed was slow coming from Japan, Nikon called me and sent a brand new lens overnight. I am NOT a member of either company's Pro service.

    The only service nightmares I've had in recent years has been with getting my M8 and M lenses fixed. Hope they have corrected that at Leica.

    Marc

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    Senior Member etrump's Avatar
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    Re: MF RANT

    Ouch, sorry you are having trouble Mark.

    This is another in a long list of experiences that make me glad I chose Phase, Capture Integration and Mamiya. Especially now that I shoot the Cambo about 80% of the time. All vendors and CI have exceeded my expectation and that includes MAC who has repaired two of my lenses (I'm clumsy) and had them returned the next week.

  16. #16
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    Re: MF RANT

    I would encourage Mark to stay with MF too (see my experiences above, tho with a Phase back with H2 camera system). Just because you have issues once doesn't mean they will happen again. I do think 6 weeks is a ridiculous down time however for a camera repair. My HC 100 lens quit on me in Antarctica and was able to be repaired in New Jersey with a week or so repair time. Just had my H2 firmware upgraded in New Jersey with only a few days out time. Sending my H2 for repair across the pond was another story however...5-6 weeks. Eleanor

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Opposite experiences Mark.

    I've shot a paying job with the H3D-II/39 in sub zero weather in a raging blizzard. The most it did was beep to tell me that the battery was freezing. Used a new battery from my pocket. Shot for hours. I gave out before the camera did.

    Shot a wedding with the H3D-II/31 ... a sudden Monsoon downpour soaked me, the Bride and Groom and blew the vented doorman's type umbrella inside out and ripped the cover off of it and blew it 200 feet away ... freaking trees were going down around us. Rain was coming down sidewards and you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Took almost 10 minutes to get back to the Limo. Didn't have time to protect the camera, we were trying to shield the Bride. My partner's Canon 1DsMKIII withstood it but it filled up the flash diffuser cup with a couple inches of water. Wiped off the Hassey and shot for 5 hours more.

    But, these are not recommended practices with any MF digital system ... just read the official operating guides for any of these backs ... they are all the same no matter what the marketing and internet chatter says. Since the S2 is a DSLR on steroids, it may be better since it isn't modular. If something is modular water can get in. Water can get in anywhere except if blocked by well maintained O rings.

    My dealer fixes most incidental stuff himself, if it has to go back, HE sends it back (warranty or not). He works to keep me as a future customer. If Hassey is slow he lights a fire under their asses.

    I have a regular warranty on the 31, but a 3 year hot swap on the 39 ... got another year to go on that. Hasselblad gave me the hot swap for free because of some issues I had with the ill conceived H2D/22 that shot DNGs before the world was ready for that.

    Canon service was always great, and I've found Nikon service even better. When a lens part I needed was slow coming from Japan, Nikon called me and sent a brand new lens overnight. I am NOT a member of either company's Pro service.

    The only service nightmares I've had in recent years has been with getting my M8 and M lenses fixed. Hope they have corrected that at Leica.

    Marc

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    Re: MF RANT

    The question of manufacture aside, could this be yet another example of finding a good dealer?
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    Re: MF RANT

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Creek View Post
    The question of manufacture aside, could this be yet another example of finding a good dealer?
    I'd agree that this is as good an answer as there is for these kinds of issues. I've got a Hasselblad 203 FE, a Leica M7, and Rollei lens out for repair right now and the waiting periods are beyond reasonable. Any and all problems I've had with my Sinar kit have been resolved very quickly based on my relationship with the dealer/distributor. In any event, I'm sorry to hear you're having headaches.

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    Re: MF RANT

    The main issue for me in regards to dealers--- was that my old dealer --- Steve Hendrix.... has moved to work for Phase . As a result, I am dealerless.

    In terms of the repair time, it is much better if the repair can be done in the USA but some of their repairs require shipment back to Europe. The issue I guess is that this is about the 5th or 6th time I have had to send something in for repair-- whether it be a lens or the viewfinder etc. I am just disappointed that within reasonable elements of nature, the camera had problems. As I stated, I have had multiple element issues in the past with some of my canon stuff and no problems whatsoever. I do understand the design of the two are different but as Marc stated, he had no problems.

    Previous to the H3DII, i had an H2 with a leaf back. I had some problems from the beginning and Steve Hendrix who sold me the camera (back was purchased elsewhere and the support was worthless) talked with Leaf and Hasselblad and they each stated it was a problem with the other company. In the end, it was a malfunctioning circuit in the back and that did get fixed. I just hoped that with a closed system would not have to deal with these problems anymore. Perhaps just by chance, I have had my share of problems. I will admit that with the Hasselblad repairs being 6 or 7-- 2 of the repairs were based on things I did (e.g. scratch the sensor plate)-- or i suspect i must have during a cleaning. Anyway, I am just hoping to get it back before i got to ICeland end of July. For my upcoming Colorado return I will have to use my canon stuff

  20. #20
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    Re: MF RANT

    Good luck to you, Mark. A call once a week to hear how things are going might keep them focused on it. Sometimes that works. Other times they get annoyed
    Carsten - Website

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