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H1, 2 and 3


So, I've done a bit or reading but the more I find out the more I want to know.
What are the real differences between the 3 models? Which can accept both film and digi backs and what are the compatibility issues to watch for with regard to lenses, backs and accessories? It's all very confusing, so much so I'm thinking that Phase / Mamiya AFDIII is a better option.

Why not settle for a Holga?



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Decision based on frustration?

Not a good idea to decide like that..

H3DII does not use film back. It's digital only, with excellent results, because the software has DAC option, which is quite successful.

3DII uses HC lenses, and former V series Zeiss/Hasselblad lenses using a special adaptor. I have all the old lenses from my film Hasselblad days, and I use these with a (abt. EU1500) adaptor. But DAC does not work when the lenses are not HC series.

I'm not an expert but I think H2D uses also film backs, and is a flexible system, not like a total camera system as the H3DII series.

I user Mamiya equipment in the past. Very flexible, but I prefer the Hasselblad lenses, old or new, over Mamiya lenses.
The H2D and H3D accept the HM16-32 film magazine. The H3DII does not.

With each new model and/or firmware update the body or digital magazine Hasselblad seeks to improve the integration within the system. With the H3DII we implemented Ultrafocus level 1 and 2.
1. Focus compensation due to Protective glass and IR filter over CCD.
2. Aperture dependent focus compensation.

An example of firmware update would be:
Double click (1/2 press) on the shutter release button using the control wheels on the H hand grip you can navigate the menus on the digital magazine.

Paul Claesson
Hasselblad USA
The H2D and H3D accept the HM16-32 film magazine. The H3DII does not.

Tssss... Hasselblad is losing his soul : V system left on the side of the road, latest H body away from film... All of this is probably driven by your Marketing Department and your pro customers' requests but that makes me crying! :(
It is beyond me why the H3D-II does not take film back anymore. A real shame and a reason to stick with the H3D. Luckily the Leaf AFi / Sinar Hy6 / Rolleiflex Hy6 do take both digital and film backs.
Reality is H series will no longer support film in the future.
The H series has become the ideal line for digital backs.

Look at the film back for the H series:
A new one costs over 1500 euro.
You may be lucky to get 150 for a used one.
There is simply no demand from H users for film.

Want film stick with the V series and enjoy CZ lenses in the process.
Yes Polypal, that is probably the reality of where we are today. Regrettably! But I do not want to take two different camera and lens lines at the same time, only to be able to swap a digital back for a film back. Actually, the film back is very often the backup to the digital back, which is thus not an option anymore with the H3D-II.
It is really beyond me why the H3D-II cannot use something as simple as a film back while the H3D/H2/H1 can. Is it beyong the technical ability of Hasselblad to ensure this "simple" technology when its previous cameras could do it and when its competitor Leaf / Sinar / Rollei can do it?
I can not comment on the technical details because I do not have enough information.

If you want a system that allows both digital backs and film backs the V series is an excellent choice unless you want AF and TTL as well.

The V series is an open platform and offers a choice of film backs from Leaf, Sinar and Hasselblad to name a few.
That's precisely the point. If one wants a "modern", "state-of-the-art" medium format system (including such things as AF and TTL), which at the same time can work with digital and film back, the V series are not a choice, good as they may be. And the H series have terminated that compatibility with the latest H3D-II. It really is a pity. Luckily there are other options outside of Hasselblad.
The H2F will gives you the best of both worlds, film compatibility with HM16-32 and digital compatibility with the CF/CFII magazines.

The reality is very few film magazines are sold today whether it be the V or H system. The imaging world has gone through and continues to go through the transition to digital. The vast majority of questions and calls that i receive on a daily basis are specific to digital imaging; hardware and software.

Paul Claesson
Hasselblad USA
I know that this is a touchy subject on this forum. So, I will try to walk softly.

People keep saying the same thing over and over .... they do not understand why film was eliminated with the H3D-II. It has been explained over and over why ... and Paul just explained it again. More fully integrated functions and optimal auto focusing ability for digital sensors can be achieved. More and more functional improvements can be added to existing cameras as time passes without having to buy a new camera and digital back ... or sending everything in to be updated. Look at the T/S unit and newer lenses Hasselblad is offering to meet professional demands. Look at how Hasselblad has improved the features of the H3D-II in the past year.

The H2F was Hasselblad's nod to film users, it incorporated as much of the digital technology as possible, while still being a perfectly capable film camera. However, it cannot incorporate all of the digital advancements while maintaining that film ability. The H2F is an excellent 645 film camera, but as a digital solution is not as good as the H3D-II.

I have both. The H film backs for the H2F are cheap to buy used ... LN film backs for $150, to $200. I now have 3 of them and will get a fourth one. The camera rocks. I like it better than any other 645 camera currently available IMHO. I use all my 500 series V lens collection on it, or any of my H/C autofocus lenses. I'll eventually get a digital back for it. Any CF or CFH back will work. But as a digital system it will not be as good as my H3D-II.

Saying that Hasselblad's marketing department is making the decisions is stated as being a bad thing. Is it really? With the troubles faced by Rollei it is questionable whether there will be a Hy6 platform in future. As good as it is, the Hy6 did not take the industry by storm as predicted. Why is that?

Marketing departments can inform as to what will sell and what will not ... catering to a small segment of the market at the expense of advancing products demanded by the larger segment is "dumb" marketing.

This leaves discontinued MF platforms which were film based designs that cannot be fully integrated digitally unless they had been kept alive and further developed, and the Mamiya platform which is less modular and less integrated than the H3D-II camera/back.

The battle ground for survival is not in film. It is in digital capture. There are literally millions of excellent film cameras one can buy in the market place that will accept a less integrated digital back. Why would any company cater to a market segment where you can buy an excellent camera for a song, and add a less integrated digital back from literally every company that makes digital backs?

Right, wrong, or indifferent ... the fact is, what sells dictates what will be engineered and made, not the wishes of a small segment of purists who if catered to at the expense of what the larger market segment wants, would likely spell the demise of that company in short order.

Meanwhile the likes of Canon, Nikon, and now Sony and Leica are breathing down all of the MF makers necks. None of them are worried about maintaining any film ability. They are fully integrated digital systems ... and darned good ones I might add.
Hi Paul, thanks for the feedback. No wonder that a vast majority of calls for help relate to the digital offerings as these are much more complicated than the film-based ones :)