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H3D22 vs H3D39


New Member
How big of a difference is 22 than 39? If I was planning on keeping my print size to 20" x 24" as my largest size, would it really matter?
Depends on what you are primarily shooting... and when printed to 20"X24" how close the image will be viewed ... and finally whether you shoot exactly framed or tend to crop.

The 39 meg backs produce more minute detail and therefore record fabric texture better and with less chance of moiré. If shooting more controlled scenes where framing is pretty much on the money, and the 24" print will be viewed at a normal viewing distance, it'd be hard to see any huge difference between the 22 meg back and the 39 ... a bit better sense of depth with the 39 meg back maybe.

I shoot people, and use both a 39 meg back and a 31 meg back because I crop ... sometimes severely. IMO, you can't have enough resolution.

My shooting partner and I recently shot a group of over 200 people and made a 6' wide print from a 39 meg file ... the file held up well when enlarging ... to the point that we could've made a 5" X 7" print from every face in the file.
The subject matter is primarily landscapes and on occasion I will take people. I tend not to crop. I spend more time composing what I want in the print.

I agree that 39 will be better than the 22. I guess I'm looking for assurance that I can still get a great print at a "big" size without having to pay another $10k. I could always use that money for the 28mm lens and some extra batteries when I go backpacking.
I started with the H2D/22 Mark ... trust me, for the way you shoot, and the print size you want, it'll be fine.

Get the H3D/22 and the 28 ... the lens is great !!! You can always upgrade later if you want ... maybe to a H4D/54 : -) I upgraded from a H2D/22 to a H3D/39. An extra battery or two is a good idea if you go out for a long day of landscape work.

If you don't have a source for a reseller I can enthusiastically recommend Jim Arnosky at City Lights Digital ... best after sales support I've ever experienced ... even at night and on Holidays via cell phone. He is a photographer at City Lights Stage so he really knows what he's doing as well as being well connected at Hasselbald. Tell him Marc Williams sent you.

BTW, if you shoot landscapes during winter, you may want to get a film back also ... none of these digital backs made by anyone are recommended (or actually work) in really, really cold conditions. I have an extra mint H film back for sale if you decide you need one.

These backs can also be used on a view camera ... I use mine on a Rollie Xact with digital lenses ... now that is spending time composing and sweating the details like the days of old.
Hey Mark,

Look in your mail for the new Calumet brochure. H3D-39 for 699/month for 36 months/$1 buyout. At that price, you can buy the 28mm as well. I have the H3D-39, and I think that the advantage of more pixels is well worth the price. Best of luck....ak
H3D-39 for 699/month for 36 months/$1 buyout.>

I received that notice today, too. I am glad I not a professional, I'd have trouble overcoming the thought of $700.00 a month payment: as it reminds me of a house payment!

Good Luck Indeed:

That deal sounds great except for the part where it says "Simply trade in your existing 18MP, or larger medium format back". I don't have an existing back. Otherwise, I would rather stomach the payments than dropping $30k all at once.
Can anyone suggest a plan? The only thing I can think of is picking up a Phase One P 21 at for $11,990. then trading it in. After all is said and done, I would be looking at the H3D's total cost to be around $37,200.

More pixels does sound like more fun.
> Gilbert,

Pros don't rely on luck! Even converted to NZ$, $700.00 is only half a days work with a 12mp let alone 3 hours with a 39mp Sounds like a good deal to me!

You need to be in to win.

Pros don't rely on luck!>


I think you took my reference out of context with the rest of the thread for one, and I never made any implication that anyone relied on "luck". As for the RTI for a professional may be excellent, not everyone is an established professional. Here in America it is not unusual that many are struggling to get established and work in camera stores, or as assistant s trying to earn enough to as you say to get "in". Others contend they don't need to be in on the bleeding edge of technology. Also, during the slow times established pros teach, offer workshops, or seminars.


Can anyone suggest a plan?>


Perhaps you can purchase the used back, and use it to make some money, and take up the offer in late August. Or, keep your eye out for a cheaper back, but I am sure there will be some competition for those during this offer.


Nevermind the Calumet deal. That is for people who have been in business for at least two years. My profession is not photography. It's just a hobby. Oh well.
I've purchased an H3D-22 with the 28 and 120 lenses.
Now I can utilize this forum for tips, tricks, and improving my skills instead of wasting my time deciding what to buy.

Marc, I'll keep the H film back in mind. Thanks.