Medium Format Forum

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

CF2239 Backs on a V camera

Recently I began thinking that a CF22 back might be more advantageous for my 501CM than the CFV back, especially concerning the lens factor difference, and wanting to utilize my recent 40mm Distagon purchase. Since most of my shooting is horizontal landscapes, I'm not too concerned about having to rotate the body vertical on occasion.
However, I am completely confused on a few issues concerning the CF22/39 backs:
1. I presume they will fit a V body (won't they?).
2. The PDF file I downloaded shows the needed adapter with a square opening. Is this the entire 6x6 opening, or will I end up with a square file, or is it just a bad drawing?
3. I cannot find anything on pricing of this back. B&H lists the HD3/22 kit @ $19,995 USD. Elsewhere I found the back alone for the same price. I don't get it?
Can anyone shed some light on these issues?
Hi Michael. Your reasoning is sound if you wish to take advantage of wide angle optics for your 501CM.

However, just because your camera is a Hasselblad, it doesn't mean you are restricted to a Hasselblad digital back. In fact, IMO, the grey colored Hasselblad backs designed for the grey H cameras are less than desirable cosmetically on a 501CM ... but that may just be me.

You can choose from just about any major digital back maker ... because virtually all of them offer mounts to fit a Hasselblad 500 series camera. So Phase One is a possibility, Leaf Aptus and Sinar are also possibilities. All of them, including the Hasselblad CF/22 will require a sync cord from the lens to the digital back. The only back that doesn't require a sync cord is the CFV.

1) I believe they will by using a Hasselblad i-Adapter.

2) that's just the adapter and not the opening for the sensor which is inside the opening dimensions.

3) This has been true for some time. In many cases you get the camera virtually for free when it's part of a bundle. Phase One has a promo that provides a free Mamiya 645AFD-II with their Plus backs.

If you are in the United States and are serious about getting a Phase One back or a Hasselblad back let me know ... I will recommend a stellar dealer that will provide the support you will need in getting the utmost quality from your equipment.
Marc, thank you for the information.
Noting from Leaf's website, the "free camera" deal is also true of them as well as Phase One. Your choice of the Mamiya 645AFDII or a Toyo 23 mini view camera.
Also, if the back is virtually the same price as a "kit," then it would behoove me to buy the H3D/22 kit @ $20,000, and then a separate V lens adapter. Assuming I had $20,000+ of course. Use of my V lenses is the real issue here. Otherwise, I'd probably opt for the Mamiya 645ZD package, and buy a few Mamiya used lenses from Ebay - an option that I'm still not ruling out.

As for the Leaf or Phase One backs, the prices for their 22mp backs seems to be in the $25,000 range. Is that right? If so, it makes them significantly higher than the CF22.

My real desire to go MF digital over film is to utilize some of the newest tools in PS - working with multiple files for HDR, focusing DOF, and stitching. Not being able to align film exactly for each scan makes working with multiple film files difficult at best.
But, ironically, after I posted this thread this afternoon, I ordered a brick of the new Fuji Velvia 50 film, so I'm set for a while one way or the other.
Michael, you don't have to align filmmscans to work with them in photoshop.

Photoshop can do it for you.

There are a few ways to do this: one is to scan a frame for the shadows and scan again for the highlights and merge them in PS. Another is to take two or more shots on a locked down tripod and merge those. There are also techniques and programs to shoot multiple frames at slightly different focus points and merge.

Multiple merges are easier with digital because there is no scanning involved, but the techniques are the same.

The Leaf and Phase backs are in that price range ... IF you buy them new. There are many used units with warranty that are considerably less expensive. People buy these backs, barely break them in and trade them in for the next model because the back makers have usually provided generious allowances for their old backs.

If you decide to use only a square from the CF22 the number of pixels drops to 16 Mega.
It is not influenced by what body you use to take the picture.
If you intend to use the square format you may just as well decide to use a CFV digital back.
"Multiple merges are easier with digital because there is no scanning involved, but the techniques are the same." (Marc Williams)

Marc, my apologies for not being clearer, but it is the "scan" that is the problem: With digital cameras, files all come out of the camera, and load, with exactly the same alignment, pixel for pixel. So simply holding down the shift key while dragging one over the other will do the job. Not so with mismatched aligned film scans. I have spent many frustrating hours trying to align two scans with no success. On my scanner (a Nikon LS9000), no two sheets of film ever go in with exactly the same alignment, no matter how diligent I am. It has been impossible to date for me to match them as layers in PS. That said, I also just purchased CS3, specifically because it has a new tool -"Auto Align," which I have yet to use, but hopefully this may eliminate any past problems I have with file alignment.
As for the CF22, and no disrespect meant here, I could care less about it being gray on a black camera. And everyone is correct - a 22mp rectangle file is simply an extension of a 16mp square. But the big difference (for me) again, is the lens factor of the CF22 (1.1) compared to the CFV (1.5). If you do much wide angle photography, there's simply no choice but to consider the CF22 over the CFV.
Another concern I have is that maximum resolution of both the CF22 and CFV are right on the cuspus of minimum resolution needed for me. Since I own an Epson 7600 printer, which will print 24" paper, my needs are dictated in increments of 24". Either digital back will give me a 24" side @ 170 ppi, meaning I can either accept that, or interpolate up by 10 more pixels per inch to equal 180 ppi, which is Epson's recommended minimum fine art print resolution. This will then yield a 24x32" print with the CF22, and a 24x24" print with the CFV.
However, and very important...these figures assume there is 0% cropping of the original file - something I'd rather not be limited to.

It shouldn't be difficult to alligh two film scans of images taken from the same point, regardless of the scan position.

Open the first scan on its Layer and expand the canvas.

Open the second scan and drag it over the top to position it on its new Layer.

Change the Blending Mode to Difference and use the Move Tool to drag it into position and the Transform Tool to spin it around.

The Difference Blend Mode turns the screen all black and you can seee the edges where they are not in place. When in place turn the Blend Mode back to Normal.

For two identical images this will take much less than five minutes, perhaps only one.

If the images are not identical, perhaps part of a panorama, the same technique can be used, but the canvas needs to be extended to the side and the black-out overlap will only ocur at the mating edge. Transform is usually needed to distort the edge to get a fit and sometimes a little St& Tool is necessary.

Forgive me if you've laboured with this and failed, but I've always found this technique to be quicker and more accurate than PhotoShop's automatic tools.

I've also aligned Hasselblad film shots may times in order to extend the dynamic range and tonal spread of an image. It's easy ... and most certainly does not involve trying to scan images with exactly the same alignment in the holder or the scanner.

Two or more scans, ... use a base scan, layer another scan over it, enlarge to feature a key alignment element (at least at 100%) , use the Layer Pallet dialog box to fade the top layer and then the move tool to drag the layer into place. Done. Repeat with as any many layers as desired. Fade or history brush used to reveal various areas to taste.

If they are two separate shots or more, using the same focal length, and there was slight movement between the two, use the Transform > Rotate to realign them.

Do it all the time.

If your scanner produces different sets of focal points due to film not being flat, then that's a different issue. I never have that issue becasue of the scanner I'm using.
FYI, I've recently seen Hasselblad V mount 39 meg Phase One P45 backs with 12 month warranties for $17,990. offered by a very reputable dealer.

And they are black with chrome accents like the V cameras, : -)
These prices for digital backs really are insane, aren't they. I can't see how they can possibly cost anything like that amount to manufacture. For £1,000 (say $2,000) you can buy a really cracking laptop PC, with oodles of RAM, extremely complex motherboard, red-hot graphics chip, big fast hard drive, and a top-notch LCD display. That is a whole load more electronics and components than a digital back, complete with battery, charger, and mains adapter with a decent carry case as well. Digital back prices just don't make sense. You have to be mad to buy one, in my opinion

"You have to be mad to buy one, in my opinion."

I have four... looking at a 5th.


If you can't make money with them, then they are an extravagant purchase driven by a consuming passion to make images.

Obviously some pro photographers like Marc can justify the digibacks from their business models. For a lot of pro's it does not compute, so they go Canon or Nikon, maybe fullframe 35mm and otherwise a smaller sensor.

Even with the design costs factored in I estimate the cost price of a high-end digiback in the $5000-7000 range. The rest is profit. (in high-end electronics computer stuff margins of ~ 60% are common too.. High-volume PC stuff is a different league compared to that, also a different league compared to low-volume, high-margin MF digibacks).

But given that we do not have inside pricing info from the manufacturers we will never find out, and the discussion really is moot.

Heh Marc... we knew you are bonkers... you have to be to hang out with the lot of us ;-) ;-)

Hi Wilko,

> High-volume PC stuff is a different league compared to that

When I was at Digital/Compaq, involved intimately with their PC business unit, the margins on the regular PCs were in the single digits. The only reason why anyone made regular PCs was to get the volume of certain components up to be able to buy them inexpensively for servers, which, at that time, was where any profits were to be made.

In the small market like digibacks, I've made quite a few products for similar markets. The general costing is the item is sold to distributors in a "hardware" market for %100 markup from cost of manufactured goods. And distributors typically mark them up between %50 and %100. So, for a product that costs me $500 ready to go, I'd sell it to a distributor for $1000, and sell direct to customers for $1500. That, of course, all depends on the market and the competition's pricing.

But, when you're HasselCon, and you have a captive market, I believe you gouge. So, I'd believe cost of goods for these backs is probably well under $2000, if even bordering $1000. They do have significant software development and marketing and new BMWs yearly they need to pay for, so it wouldn't surprise me that they have a much higher COG to sell price ratio.


From what I've heard, the CCD (Kodak or Dalsa) for the 22MP backs costs abo ut $5k, which may explain the fact that these backs go for about $20k. It m ay be that manufacturing efficiencies will reduce CCD costs in the future.