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British Journal of Photography news on V series


Active Member
I saw the Hasselblad news story on the latest BJP web site. While commenting on the cessation of XPan manufacturing - principally due to the new EC regulations' requirements of enviro-friendly components which could not justify an Xpan re-design (lead free soldering etc) - it included comments about the V series support plans.

It seems a sensible scaling down based on planning future commercially viable support for V series gear. Hopefully Hasselblad attributes much value to its customer 6x6 legacy and sees support for that gear as a key business role.

I think we are all sure that Fuji's cessation of MF camera manufacturing (tightening of its own belts) added pressure for Hasselblad to stimulate higher volumes of XPan orders which was likely to have been impossible - so the XPan got caught between a "rock and a hard place".

Here is the link:
Very interesting in deed .

I wonder what the shift/tilt gear will be . As nobody knows yet , i will give it a name in my imagination . H-FLERX-D .
H for HASSELBLAD and H-SYSTEM , FLERX for a combination of FLEX and ARC-BODY and D for digital .
It will shurely not be related to the V-SYSTEM , as the imagecircle of the ZEISS lenses would not be sufficient enough and ZEISS will shurely not build any new lenses for HASSELBLAD .
A cooperation of HASSELBLAD and ZEISS , thats history .

I have got the feeling , that the V-SYSTEM will die down completely , very slow , over a longer period of time . That makes me believe , that the CFV digiback is just a lolly for the V-SYSTEM lovers .

Part production is completely outsourced . Where are HASSELBLAD cameras assembled then ? ? If PRC can produce the parts , they can also produce the camera . It is all only a question of time .
They were working on a tilt & shift digital camera (with motorized view camera motions) before the USB investment group that then bought the company decided there was no quick money (i.e. within the 5 years or so they planned to 'use' Hasselblad as a money making machine) in such a thing, and in 1997 set work on the H1 in motion instead.
The project's name was 'Crystal Ball'.

Apropos outsourcing:
Though not nice for the people left in Gothenburg, if the Hasselblad cameras are made and assembled to the same high standards as before, does it really matter where and by whom the work is done...?

Zeiss will build lenses for Hasselblad, if Hasselblad pays for them.
Same as always.
Now if Hasselblad decides that some east Asian company (might be Fuji) does the same job for less money, then, i think, Zeiss will not be making new lenses for Hasselblad.
That's how business is conducted, right?

I was hoping you would answer to my contribution . Thank you .

Your first paragraph reminds me of efforts of SINAR or ARCASWISS , (can't remember exactly which company) to control shift and tilt motions by electronic controlled stepping motors . And , as far as i know , it was also on production , at least on request . It was obviously no economic hit , as production figures could not have been very high , due to the enormous price .

Your other two parts are , and i know that very well , actually no contributions for a HASSELBLAD forum . I have initiated them , and therefore , just blame me for doing so .

They are actually of (social) political contents and do not really belong into this forum . Globalizing is a topic , which concerns us all . And . . . . i just dare to say , i have come to a point where i say , addressed to all companies , if you kill jobs here , sell your products to those , who produce them . Sorry , that had to get out of me . And i will never come back to this . Promised .
puuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhh .
It is also how respected brand names become devalued badges - would a BMW made by Hyundai be as desirable, even if cheaper?
What intrigued me most in that story was reference to compatability with large format - tilt and shift. Secondly was the intention to move towards specifically designed sensors to Hasselblad specs. And then reference to finding a partner to enable such specific design - isn't the partner Imacon?.... I suppose not at the sensor raw material product stage.

Jurgen, I doubt the tilt and shift reference is to V series but moreover to digital backs themselves and compatability with LF systems too - he used the term large format (I would expect he chose his words exactly). So, possibly these will be series independent through the back's design - movements on an H or V camera (and maybe I could put it on my 4x5 too!).

Finally I was very interested in his language about the digi rush taking the focus away from top quality and now Hassy sees this quality focus as the key financial opportunity.

All round promising news.

If you go back to page 2 of this thread , you can read , that i believe , the shift/tilt gear will shurely NOT be related to the V-SYSTEM . None of the ZEISS lenses will have an image circle big enough to do shift and tilt operations .

So we will have to listen to all rumors and wait , what that "large format" thing will be .

I was just about to order a CFV Digital back , but now i will wait and see , where the journey goes to .

Using the small sensors of today, the Zeiss V-System lenses will do very well... (who said anything about "large format"? Poulsen promised us something "much more advanced" than large format .)

Company policies and "the market" are very much a factor in what we, mere photographers, can expect to get from a company.
So i don't think it's that off-topic (and besides, this section is titled "Off Topic", isn't it?

ZEISS lenses for HASSELBLAD where never designed for shift and tilt operations . They were designed with an image circle just good enough
(or even a bit bigger ! ! !) to cover the MF 6x6 . Here they have an enormous power , and thats good .

As i do not have a digital back of any pixelsize or make , i do not think with crop factors of any value . My thinking is in the normal MF size .

Now , and yes , of course here you open a new point of view for me , the crop factor .
Regarding a PLANAR 80mm , but a sensor size of APS or 36,7 x36,7mm , this lens can shurely be used for a shift operation , even when in limits , in comparison to a APO SIRONAR S 150mm , for ex&le .

So , what stands behind "much more advanced" than large format ? ? I have absolutely no idea . In the moment , i could not think of a ZEISS lens nor of any "cheating" digital interpolation .

Might be , that i am reading often a bit too fast through articles , like the one , this topic refers to , but then you turn me into more "diplomatic views" , and that calms my feelings down .
Thats exactly what i like with your comments .

If i would have to use a V96C or CFV digiback , i could use it on my ARCASWISS , because i have a HASSELBLAD adapter . I could use all benefits of that system and doing shifts and tilts as much as i want .

But the HASSELBLAD projekt , whose codename you gave , obviously is more intelligent . So , please go ahead , and give us more details , and make us longing for what could come along .
Yes, Jurgen, time will tell. But, overall I liked the language this guy from Hasselblad used and the direction of its content - seems Hasselblad's legacy of taking the high ground is alive and well even if it involves some departures from what we've become "attached to" - 6x6 full frame and Zeiss optics. Like some say "have faith"!

QG, what I found interesting was the guy's inclusion of the words "large format" - but, I should resit temptations to read too much into that.

Jurgen, do tell us how you feel about the new back when you first get to use it.
He was "asked about large format solutions".

In his reply as quoted by BJP, he doesn't use the words "large format", except in saying the new Hasselblad "solution will be something more complex than its existing digital back offering compatibility with large format systems."

Remember that Poulsen's thinking is centered about, and originating from, the world of digital sensors and the things you can do with those.
Current MF cameras are too large for the sensors we have now, and in the forseeable future, already.
So why build an even larger Large Format solution?

But time will tell...
Two points:
Why on earth should anyone get excited by the proposed production of a camera with movements by (new) Hasselblad? If that's what I wanted all those years ago I would have gone for Linhof. (Just as now, if I wanted a digital 645 I would not pay through the nose for something with a Hasselblad badge and no Zeiss lenses.)
I don't know where the idea of Hasselblad taking the high ground came from. I quote Christian Poulsen from his BJP interview:-
"It's more profitable to sell digital cameras than analogue. There are higher margins. And we have outsourced a lot of the production of products. We source that in from low-cost countries and we just assemble. That has given us a lot of flexibility to scale up and down. We can steer our costs according to our ability to sell products, instead of having a big cost base [and then having to sell a certain amount of products to pay for it]. And it's also clear that just putting a great name, Hasselblad, on our [Imacon's] products is helping a lot."

In fairness, he held out some hope for the V system:

"We will concentrate on high-end professionals on the digital side, plus that part of the advanced amateur market that is prepared to pay for the [V-system] solutions. They are still expensive, but they are more reasonable than the other high-end products, and we still get the same image quality. We are pushing our own margins, so we are not making the same amount of money with them. We are deliberately pricing them so that they are affordable to at least some amateurs."}