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.



New Member
For those of us that utilise H1D through to H3D, how about starting our own new thread.
I personally have no interest in any other Hasselblad model but the new Digital series.

I am about to upgrade my H1D to a new H3D 39mp and I would be keen to hear from users about this series.

No disrespect but I am a fulltime pro interested in the now - not the film days or the old lens days but new technology with new lenses (whether they are better or not).

Hi Bruce.

Let's make this the new thread until the forum moderators decide to add a digital listing to the MF forum.

I'm commercially using a H2D/CFH22 and a H3D/39 (which was an upgrade from a H2D/22 upgraded to a H2D/39, then to the H3D/39 ... so I'm on my 3rd upgrade). I have H/C lenses from 35mm to 300 and 1.7X (except the zoom and the 210). I'm contemplating an addition of the 28mm. I also ocassionally use CF, CFi and CFE Zeiss lenses on the HD cameras via the CF adapter. I use Flexcolor and the DAC corrections now availble with the H3D. Have the new viewfinder as well as the original one.

I shoot a broad variety of assignments as a part time pro. I am a full time Executive Creative Director for an Ad Agency, but started a small photo studio on the side. Tabletop work including food, jewelry, industrial products ... situational lifestyle, location work, and a lot of comp layout work for proposed ads for my ad agency. I also shoot about 20 high-end weddings a year:

What's your question?
Hi Marc,

A question on the H3D...can it be used with either a film or digital back? If so, does it take the ISO from the back, either film or digital?


Hi Austin.

Yes, film or digital back can be used. For a short while the H2D was digital only, but they saw the error of their ways : -) When my H2D/39 was upgraded to a H3D/39 it then was also film capable, and the upgraded digital back could be used on a view camera.

I also use a H2D/CFH22 which takes a film back or the digital back.

I now have 2 film backs to use on the H3D and H2D ... one came with the H2D that I bought used, and the other was part of a promotion where you got a new HVD90X finder, a new film back and got to keep your original finder ... for considerably less than the price of a filmback alone.

Yes the ISO is set on the back and transfered to the camera, film or digital.

Curiosity triggered: what is the exact advantage of using the "digital" viewfinder? I imagine it shows you exactly what the sensor will see, but a mask on the "film" viewfinder would also achieve that? Or does the digiback need the "digifinder" ?

I once played a bit with H series camera but I do not recall what finder it had. Nice bright finder is what I recall ;-)

Hi Marc,

Thank you very much for the info. I’d believe the H cameras are designed by Fuji, and they have real EEs doing the circuit design...and as Q.G. pointed out, the V series guys probably aren’t EEs, but mechanical guys electronic elegance isn’t in their toolbox :-/

Now, to solve the mystery of the 2nd contacts on the CVF back. I’m reasonably convinced why they did what they did with respect to the dedicated trigger...having to do with the implementation in the 555ELD, and they had to match that in the 203.


How do you , who use any HASSELBLAD digital back , organize your image backup ? ? ?
Do you backup 3FR , 3f , or DNG / TIFF files ? ? ?
According to Hasselblad: "The 3F format may be the more practical option for archiving images, considering all the extra data contained in the file....."

I backup 3F files, since they contain history of all actions and the quality status of the Instant Approval Architecture.

The only downside about a 3F file is that file size is large and it is bound by FlexColor software only.
" ... what is the exact advantage of using the "digital" viewfinder?"

It is a more magnified finder Wilko. It does not mask the digital taking area ( which would make it unusable for film photography). The 1.1X digital crop is still an etched area on the screen.

One of the other changes is that the new finder has replaced the Averaging meter selection with a Center-Weighted Averaging.

A digital back does not require a digifinder ... it requires a screen with the taking area shown.

Jurgen, when I am shooting a lot of images I use Flexcolor to edit, then transfer the remaining "keeper" files to DNGs and do RAW corrections in Adobe Camera RAW or Lightroom.

Here's why: for a wedding I may be shooting with the Hasselblad, a Leica M8, and/or my Canon IDsMKII & 5D. Each camera is time sync'ed prior to the shoot. After all of the 3FR keeper files are converted to DNGs, I then place all files from all cameras into one file and sort by time shot. The entire wedding is now in the order it was shot regardless of camera used. I then batch renumber prior to adding corrections to the RAW files. It is those RAW files with embedded corrections that I archive prior to using the "Image Processor" function in Adobe Bridge to make the final tiffs for final retouching in PhotoShop if needed and printing.

When doing a commercial job involving a lot of images I shoot to the computer using Flexcolor, then also convert to DNGs because neither the Art Director nor retouchers have Flexcolor ... the universal commercial editor/processor is Adobe Camera RAW, Bridge, and PhotoShop for direct inport into Adobe In-Design.

If I am shooting more selectively, commercially or personally, I use Flexcolor to process to "Modified" 3f files and archive those.

That's a very complex workflow indeed and requires much precaution not to loose any of your images .

The CFV 3FR is about 24 to 27 MB in size . The 3f is 40,1 MB and as i do not use DNG but TIFF , that turns out to be 95,4 MB .

What do you mean by "modified" 3f files . Is that a modification in Flexcolor and then you archive these as a kind of "alpha-image" , and when you have to reprint these image , there is no need to modify them again ? ? ?
Actually Jugen, it is mostly an automated workflow. It isn't necessarily complex at all. Plus, processing adjusted DNGs to Tiffs via PS Image Processor is much faster than converting 3FR files to Tiffs in Flexcolor. For my work, time is money.

I'm not sure what you mean by "much precaution not to lose any images". I've processed maybe 50,000+ shots in this manner with no loss to date.

Besides, it's impossible to lose images if you transfer CF files to a desktop folder and keep the CF cards intact until you're done processing. The only caveat to that is a currupt CF card, but that has nothing to do with processing work flow.

"Modify" must be used if you make corrections in Flexcolor or the corrections will be lost.
Hello Marc,

Thanks for the explanation of the "new H finder". I only invented the word "digifinder" to distinguish from the other one. Obviously some lines for the crop area should do it. With a crop factor of 1.1x there is not much point in doing anything else than to indicate it.

If it were a 1.5x that might be different. On the other hand, being able to see moving objects wander into your 'crop box' might be useful in some situations.

The point of center weighted metering is well taken, I am even a bit surprised the original was averaging to be honest.

Wilko said: <<being>

An interesting point Wilko, which is one of the key advantages of shooting with a rangefinder camera - you can see the broader contex as well as the image frame (albeit in this case with only the extra view from a 1.1x factor). Interestingly Hasselblad (unlike Mamiya and Fuji) never made a 120 rangefinder camera.

Maybe it's for that type of shooting that Marc uses the M8 - like inside the church and among the guests - the only pro-grade (relatively speaking) digital rangefinder camera (and relatively quiet and discrete as well)?
...oops, I have no idea of what went wrong with posting Wliko's comment. Try again..

Wilko said: <being>..... please read on above.
Well I will try again:

Wliko said: "being able to see moving objects wander into your 'crop box' might be useful in some situations"......
That observation is true for some lenses on a Leica Rangefinder (as well as others). It does aid in what I call "emotional anticipation" ... that 6th sense that tells you some human action worth photographing is about to take place. I've been photographing some static things when noticing something out of the corner of my eye in M viewfinder ... and by waiting a split second longer to shoot ... resulted in a better shot than I had planned for.

The slight amount of extra view allowed in the H3D finder isn't really the same as this, nor does it happen in M finders when wider lenses with framing indicators near the edge.

Wilko, the "averaging metering on the original finder was actually very accurate ... so I suspect it was center weighted to some degree ... the new one is just more "center weighted" perhaps.

Actually, I've found the metering on every Hasselblad finder prism or in-camera meter to be accurate, and have come to trust them quite a bit. Every time I've double checked them with a well calibrated handheld incident meter the reading has been the same.
"Averaging metering on the original finder": I imagine you are right Marc in assuming that one was also center weighted.

As for the metering accuracy: I have the same experience with my old first generation PME. Accuracy is fine.

OK, it is off 1 stop because I have an AM installed but that is easily compensated for. Sofar I did not bother to have it adjusted for the AM.

My only gripe is the weight the PME adds. But hey, you can't have everything for free :)

Gentlemen, you may be interested to read the link below. It is Erwin Puts' further chapter in his ongoing review of the Leica M8. Interestingly he devotes this chapter to a comparison between the image quality of M8's sensor and the Hasselblad 39MP sensor - an interesting approach to take to evaluating a 1.33 cropped 35mm size sensor!

I generally like Erwin's style and have found his writings on Leica M optics to be quite sensible and useful. But of late he has taken something of a strange position on some issues. However, this is all the same, an interesting read.

I'll be keen to see what Marc thinks since he has both products.
This has been discussed on the Leica Users Forum, and the general reaction is somewhat mixed. Most photographers with a reasonable level of experience and no agenda in favor of either camera/lens system to justify their purchase are skeptical. Based on a great deal of shooting with both, my opinion isn't skeptical nor mixed ...

A CFV back will murder the Leica hands down, let alone the H3D/39. The difference isn't small as Putts says, it's a quantum leap. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison ... it's an apples-to-watermelons one : -)

I love my M8s, they provide the same rangefinder experience and shooting capabilities one buys a rangfinder for ... excellent small format quality in a fast, highly mobile system ... but for ultimate image quality ... 39 meg, true 16 bit 1.1X 645 sized Kodak sensor against 10 meg, 8 bit 1.3X cropped APS sized Kodak sensor? Pleeeeease!

I don't know what it is about Leicaphiles ... perhaps it's some form of delusional mental illness : -)
This mental illness is easy to explain.
For Leica people it is the attraction to proove that image quality from a small negative can be very good.
The same applies now to the small sensor that is used in the M8.

The size of the recordable medium is not important only the quality of the print counts.

A few years ago a Leica salesmen showed me pictures made with a Minox
camera. Horrible quality, disgusting.
He kept telling how good they were for such a small negative.
I think these guys have got it all wrong.