One of my friends who is a *busy* portrait photographer sold their half-dozen RB's and couple RZ's to get a Canon D60. Of course, they kept one RB and one RZ. Their biggest complaint since going digital is the post production time. "It used to be: shoot (1 hour), drop film in bag & send to lab (5 min), get proofs back & prepare to show client (15 minutes), show clients and get orders (15 min), send to lab for final (10 min). Now, it is shoot (1.5 hours...the overall urge to preview every shot), download/correct/crop/etc (1 hour), send to lab (5 min), handle lab complaint/questions about inconsistency between lab system & studio system (10 minutes...even though it was calibrated with a Spyder), etc."
So, the urge to get digital was actually a downgrade in efficency for them. The H1 (to me) is a "downgrade" in efficency. I don't want a camera to "anticipate" what I want (it can't see what I see...). I like my 503's, I get to control every aspect and I can usually focus faster than AF MF lenses (hunt...hunt...tick...tick)
Automation, to me (after spending 17 years in the computer industry) is a backwards flow of progress. "Hell, I don't have to know what DOF, HFD, COF, etc is...the camera knows for me..." I feel that instead of educating the user, excessive automation allows dumber users to *Think* they can produce images better than others who had to learn the hard way.
To me, starting with an RB and going to Hasselblad, was an improvement of my own skills, forcing me to learn speed and precision. To me, the H1 is a way of allowing my skills to rust, to regress in my learning. Who cares if I can mount a digital back on it? Who cares if I can use my "V-system" lenses on it? If I was out for sports photography, I might get an F5 with everything. But, I had read that the head photog for the NBA actually shoots with a slew of 555ELD/ELX w/70mm backs strategically mounted all over the arena for his images!
I think every company has to be lead by a marketing department...and too keep up with the times, HB had to go somewhat "mainstream". They promise that us "V-system" users won't be left behind. But, now that they've sold to that Asian company, who knows what us "old-timers" are going to be left with!
The main things that drew me to HB was 1) Zeiss glass (real Zeiss glass), 2) backwards compatibility throughout the system, 3) real metal, 4) few to no batteries (even the 200 series can be used w/o!, 5) history, and 6) reliability. I think they were hoping that those of us who are name-brand-loyal (are any of us?) would run right out and get an H1 because it has "the H" on it. I won't. Now, if it was a 207AF or something, maybe...
Sorry folks for the rant, I just wished I could get a 203S and the full compliment of lenses...
Interesting point about the automation. I myself find that I learn more using my old Crown Graphic than I do with my F80. The F80 for me is for those situations where I need TTL flash (useful automation when you are outside the studio) and I need to shoot right away. Even then I find myself keeping it in aperture mode and being much more thoughtful with my shots. I have never used the program modes, in fact I probably use a fraction of the automation on it. Automation is not all that.
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Automation, which doesn't have to be digital, can be great. Slide duping to an image recorder, machine proof prints, spotting and CC'ing scans once and print many etc...
Having clients look over your shoulder at the last/every frame shot by your digital camera may not be one of them.
I do product shots for a client. They are down and dirty shots for ebay. I usually use a Canon AE1, but this last batch were shot with an EOS. What a pain in a** this camera is. It took me 10min's just to turn every thing to manual. I did try the auto focus but I was not convinced it was focusing on the correct part of the product (a third in instead of the leading edge). I was constantly nudging the twirly thing on the back which caused me to have to stop and check that the apreture hadn't changed. And to top it off this sucker is as big as my mamiya 6 and all it produces is a postage stamp.
Sorry for the rant
I am not a big fan of MF SLR's. But I do believe that a good photographer is smarter than anything yet produced. The only time I think this this type of automation is needed is when you need something that can focus, bracket and advance film faster than a good photographer (as in sports and maybe journalism) and MF AF camera's don't focus that fast.
On the flip side everything I've read or heard about fuji glass is good. I don't like the feel of their MF RF's, but this isn't an RF. I also suspect that the Blad engineers had a thing or two to say about all aspects of this camera
My final comment/question, however meaningful, is why 6x4.5? Are 3 extra frames that important? The glass has to cover 6x6 anyway and I can not imagine it would impact the design that much. Who wants to rotate a an MF SLR for a horizontal.
OK I'm done ranting... for now.
Ya I agree, why 645?? Seems weird to me. It constantly amazes me that photo newbies with lots of bucks walk into my local camera store and pluck down a wheel barrow of green backs to buy the latest HB system. Every weekend I have been in there trying to figure out how to shave a few more bucks off the purchase of some 4x5 film a couple will come in and just ask for the best camera system they have..period. Major bucks later they walk out with the latest and greatest blad, telephoto, wideangle, metered head and several backs.
Mind you I live in a town known for it's abundance of disposible income, but geez. So it stands to reason that the well heeled bunch will look at this new blad and marvel at it's new lines and cute format so will have to have one. And besides it fits so well into the Gucci purse. I don't think serious photogs will consider this camera for an instant, unless they are out to impress someone.
If HB goes by way of BMW and concentrates more on pleasing the money rather than the serious driver, well there's always Rollei.
There's also all the old and barely used Hasselblads out there on the used market.
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ya I just got a good deal on a used 50mm HB lens. It's a bit of a beast size and weight wise but I really needed a WA. Since I take it all over the world with me I am very aware of weight. Use a 2X teleconverter for the odd time I need to go tele.
I will defend the 6x4.5 format, but only for MY use. I really have trouble framing 6x6. I just tend to go to the rectangle. Plus, I got into the Bronica ETR system which is low cost and a bit more portable than a comprable 6x6 system. It fits my needs well.
That said, I see no reason why anybody would say 6x4.5 is better than 6x6 outside of some personal preference.
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I always look at formats in the way that they are like tools...some are better than others. For most work, 6x7 is the "ideal" format. Enough about that. In weddings, modeling, and portraits: squares are great because 1) you don't have to make a detemination on the orientation at shooting time 2) you don't have to adjust your flash on bracket (rotate) because of orientation, 3) you don't have ridiculous devices such as the Bronica "rotating prism", 4) some wedding pictures benefit greatly by "being square" in the album (more foreground...etc), 5) the lens hoods/bellows can be more "optimally" placed: there isn't any wasted "dark space" because you have to adjust for the long side of the frame.
I shot an RB67 Pro-S at weddings, for formals and candids for years. It wasn't bad, but sometimes, having to stop for 2 seconds, rotate the back and recomposing came close to missing the shot.
645 is a good format for lighter, higher speed work. You get more frames, lighter equipment (generally speaking), and the equipment can be smaller & faster (less distance to move hardware around). On my Hassy's, I have a "crop mask" printed from a color laser on transparency with the lines for the equivalent 6x7, 645, and meter patterns printed on it so that I can "prepare" for later cropping. I use this quite often during weddings so that I can shoot quickly and prepare my editing for ease of use. I can keep my camera in one orientation and shoot away.
BTW, ever tried using a WLF on a 645? or any camera without a rotating back with a RECT format? Uh, up is down and ...
I'm not "defending" the square. I'm just point out why the square is more "efficient" in a fast paced production environment. Yes, the auto-metering and lens transfer on the 20x series Hassy's are great, AF can be great in low light or for candids at weddings, having a winder can also be nice. But, one can get just as good as the automation without it.
I started out shooting a C220, so I got used to the square. When I went to the RB's, I had to "relearn" composition for the RECT. Now that I have all square cameras again, I had to "relearn" then square again. Plus, there's just something about having 20x20's framed 24x24 on the wall. They command space like no other.
So there are times when 645 is great, sometimes when 6x6 is great, and sometimes when I want to use a 4x10 Wisner. Just as I feel that there are times when AF or auto-metering is appropriate. Other times, I want the camera to do NOTHING for me and let me "see my own vision".
HeHe, anybody here ever played with a Rolleiflex 3003? That is one camera that makes you want to scream and buy a P&S
Well this seems to be a "blad" thread so I want to announce to the world I just received my 150mm Blad lens via FedEx. Am I impressed, well to say the least! Boy what a beautiful piece of glass. The feel of it is sturdy, the focusing smooth as silk, and the shutter sounds so sweet. And you know I don't think there is any plastic in it anywhere. I can't wait to take it out this weekend. Gee do I feel a sick day coming on?????
Hi, I'm harry, long time listener and first time caller.
EricR, I've seen it, too. Even though I *know* it's not always the case I've never known anyone who bought a Hasselblad who didn't have more money than sense. I know what it's like, and I have the F5 to prove it. I can't blame HB for selling them, though. I wouldn't get too worried until they start selling the Hassylux $8,000 APS point & shoot though.