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555 ELD vs H1


New Member
Hey guys, i have been dealing with 35mm manual and auto cameras for years and thinking about learning some medium format. most my works are Portrait, close up product shoot, studio, some time outdoor. I also want a camera that can accept digital back, so there is a room for expand. 555ELD vs. H1 i can't really make up my mind, any body have an opinion?? (i was gonna choose H1, because it is auto focus (gray color?? will it looks unpro?) , but i really love the classic body hasselblad has.)

You're not seriously letting the color of the camera affect your choice? ;-)

The H1 and ELD are completely different beasts.
The H1 is an automatic AF camera like the 35 mm ones you are used to handle. The ELD is a excellent camera, but rather more suited to a leisurely pace of photography.

So the choice is (forget about the brand and colour) between a full-automatic autofocus 6x4.5 cm camera, and a non-automatic manual focus 6x6 cm camera. Both can be fitted with digital backs.
What would suit you more?

(Apropos colour: the H1 is available in black. It's then called Fujifilm GX645AF and you will have to be in Japan to find one. (see ))
William, these are really two quite different choices you are considering.

The 555ELD is much more of a studio camera with a proven history of rugged reliability and durability. It provides a larger overall film size, and accesss to the fabulous range of Zeiss lenses. It can be taken into the field, but certainly not as easily as the H1. The 555ELD is digital ready, but for non studio work must be thethered to at least a power source for the digital back ( Kodak ProBack Plus) or even to a computer (most other digital back choices).
Plus, with all current digital back choices the sensor is smaller than the 6X6 coverage of the Hassy V system lenses...which means there is a lens X factor to contend with.

The H1 is much closer to the 35mm gear you are use to in terms of handiling. The film size is smaller than the 555ELD if you use the full square 6X6 ability of the 555ELD verses the H1's 645 size films. Digital backs are also available for this 645 camera and in most cases the Lens X factor (due to a smaller sensor than 645) is not as great as with the 555ELD. There are now a few full 645 sized sensors showing up on the market (horribly expensive) which means in a few years they will be commonly available for the H1 ( they will be available for use on the 555ELD also).

The 555ELD is a more proven camera with a long history of performance behind it. The lenses and accessories are extensive in choice and application with most being readily available on the used market for reasonable prices.

The H1 is less proven (time will tell) and the lenses are Fuji as opposed to being Zeiss. This is not to knock the Fuji glass, but only to point out that the signature is different than the Zeiss designs (some prefer the Bokeh of Zeiss glass to that of Fuji). Obviously, used accessories and lenses for the H1 are more rare, meaning in most cases having to buy new (nothing about the H1 is less expensive than the 555ELD). Color wise the finish of the H1 should have no bearing on it's professional status in the eyes of clients. I also would have prefered a pro black finish (which is available in Japan where Fuji markets the camera for themselves not Hasselblad).

If you are looking for a work horse with lots of lenses and accesories, go with the 555ELD (which is what I did)

If you really wish to upgrade from the 35mm gear you are use to, and crave portability and excellent AF go with the H1 (I didn't need to as I already had chosen a Contax 645 AF for the reason of the Zeiss lenses in that system).
thanks to Bakker and Williams for good suggestion. After reading both response, my heart is set on 555ELD. For both quality of lens and also for studio purp. We all know no one can beat Hasselblad in meccanical area but as auto focus, Mamiya, Contax, pentax have longer history and asking for cheaper price. I think it is a good idea to learn and play medium format with 555ELD, and back to old school that every have to set by myself. If I really do need a auto focus, i will get a possiblely a H2, H3 later model of Hasselblad auto.