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.

How much bigger can the sensor be for the Hasselblad H system


For H3D 31 the size of the sensor is 33X44, for H3D 39 it is 36X48. The limiting factor is within the lenses. How big can the lenses support ? Are there any possibilities for the H system lenses to support a sensor bigger than 36X48 ?
I think so. The camera is a 645, and 645 film can be shot with all the H cameras using the correct non-cropped viewfinder. I have both finders and can use film or a 39 meg back on the H3D camera.

The current crop factor of the largest sensor is 1.1X, so a true full frame 645 would be miniscule practical improvement in image resolution.

To take advantage of the lenses entire circle of coverage area, I think the camera would have to be completely redesigned from the bottom up.
To take advantage of the lenses entire circle of coverage area, I think the camera would have to be completely redesigned from the bottom up.

I don't think that would be the case.
I think that the diagonal of the 6x4.5 format is just about all the lenses cover, so, like film, a full frame 6x4.5 sensor would already take advantage of the entire image circle.
Remember that these lenses were designed for that format, not for anything larger (the 28 mm even for something smaller).
The H3D cameras can also use MF film backs . The negative size is called 4.5x6 but the actual negative size is only 42x56 mm . Using the equation of Pythagoras we receive a diagonal line of 70mm . This corresponds to the required minimum image circle , the lens should have , to fully cover that format .
Therefore , in theory , those lenses , which can also be used for film shooting with the H3D cameras , could also be used for a sensor of 42x56 mm . In theory .

Marc , yes again , you are right , a 48x48 sensor would not work on a H-SYSTEM camera .
Not only the camera need to be re-designed to take advantage of the full circle image of the lens but the lens has to be re-designed to accommodate the new design of the camera.
> a 48x48 sensor would not work on a > H-SYSTEM camera

Of course not, at least if you expected the full size of the sensor to be used. The film gate would prohibit this before you bump up against any other issues.



My last sentence was pointing to a mistake i made in an other thread .

Marc's comment for the Hy6 makes me curious . I will have a detailed look to that machine .
Therefore , in theory , those lenses , which can also be used for film shooting with the H3D cameras , could also be used for a sensor of 42x56 mm . In theory .

Just so this is clear: the "in theory" bit refers to the hypothetical nature of a 42x56 mm sensor. Not to the lenses covering that format.
Tell us what you learn Jurgen.

It's a very interesting proposition for many of us square lovers that's based on the Rollie 6X6. The rotating back, Zeiss or Schneider lenses including some new, fast AF leaf shutter glass... 50/2.8, 80/2.8 and 180/2.8. I guess Hybred means Film or Digital... at least for now.

I've inquired about moving my Aptus 75 into the Leaf version of that system called the AFi, and the conversion will be $2,000. plus the cost of the camera and lenses ( no pricing as of yet ) ... but I'd expect it to be competitive with the H system in the marketplace. Leaf's version won't be available until Fall (which probably means next winter)

Right now I'm pretty happy where I'm at with the Hasselblad systems. The CFV is great since I don't use many wide lenses for a lot of people shooting that I do with the 503CW. The H system is in place, and today I am securing a Rollie Xact MF view camera with a couple of Rodenstock lenses including a 35mm W/A that will make more versatile use of the 39 meg back.

There is a technique involving the movement of the rear standards from one extreme to the other and making two exposures of a static subject ( as in interior work or studio shots ) then merging in PS ... effectively making nearly a double sized RAW file around 70 meg!

I have been reading a lot about the Hy6 now , have seen images of the camera in a wonderful black finish , and i believe the quality will be very good . SCHNEIDER LENSES are extremely good as well as RODENSTOCK .
If that camera will really be able to use the format 56x56mm for 120/220 film (even motorized magazines , still under development) , then the design is also open for a bigger square sensor up to 56x56mm . I now see this possibility not too far away . This , in combination with the new lenses sounds absolutely great . The H3D system is bound to the maximum format of 42x56mm and might look rather old in the near future .
Conclusion: Of what i read and saw about the Hy6 , its going to be a great camera .
I think , it definately was a big failure of HASSELBLAD to switch to 45x60mm format with the H-SYSTEM instead of developing an "AF V-SYSTEM" with 60x60mm format .

As you can see in the other thread , I am going to use my CFV BACK also with my view camera . Now , as i have a good back , i am really surprised about the high qualitiy of the images . I do not regret the buy .
But i am also very much aware of the fact , that development in electronic gear is very fast . There might always be some better gear by tomorrow . But we all want to produce images now and not wait for next better gear to come along .

Which APO-SIRONAR DIGITAL are you going to use with your Xact ?
I assume you picked the HR version , because of your 39meg backs .

The APO-SIRONAR-DIGITAL can shift 29mmV and 25mmH for a 37x49 sensor . AOW is 111 degrees . 31mmV and 31mmH for the 37mm square sensor .
The APO-SIRONAR-DIGITAL HR is very limlited for shifting . Its only 6mmV and 5mmH for the same sensor . AOW is 90 degrees .

Your last sentence sounds very much like HDRI technique . Or do you means a kind of stiching ? Please explain in more detail .

Jurgen, it's using a stitching technique with the merge function in Photoshop. You shoot one shot with the rear standard all the way right, then move the standard all the way left for the second shot. Try it with your CFV. That should get you a nicely corrected wide panoramic shot at about 30 meg RAW total @ 36.7 X 70 ish. The tiff file should be about twice the size of a regular CFV file.

Now mind you, I haven't done this myself yet. I won't have the view camera for awhile, I'm just ordering it today from City Lights Digital. So you try it and let me know huh?

At first I was going to get the Kapture Group dual sliding back that allows 2 shots but the 6X9 camera's gate isn't big enough. That sliding gizmo is designed for 4X5 I think. There's also a quad-shot version. Can you imagine the size of those final Quad-files?

Jim Arnoski recommended against the HR series for the reasons you mention.

As far as continuing on with the endless development in digital, there's a point of dimminishing returns for the money spent. I'm where I need to be for now. If my output demands change then that's a different story. I'd like to see a larger sensor CFV for the V cameras to take advantage of what I already have. I doesn't have to be full frame, just something close. 48X48 would be good.

The H3D/39 camera is more than enough, and the development I'd like to see is improved firmware/software like they've been doing .... to improve the higher ISO response ... and a couple of tilt/shift lenses. I need that kind of stuff, not more megs.

I will try out the "stiching technique" as soon as i can .
We had heavy snowfall here (55cm in 36 hours) and you can't go anywhere .

As for the sliding adapter , make shure it can work with the 35mm APO-SIRONAR-DIGITAL .
You shurely will get the Rollei electronic shutter .

I ordered a RotaSlide Adapter for my ARCA * and after many phonecalls it turned out , that I can attach that beautiful adapter to my camera , but it won't work with the 35mm lens . It will work fine with all lenses from 47mm and above .
Why ? ? ? Very easy . The shorter the focal length , the nearer it has to be positioned to the film or sensor . As the adapter itself eats up a couple of millimeters , you encounter a problem with the bellow and with the rear of the lens . If the bellow is pressed together too much , it is difficult to do shifting . If the rear barrel of the lens has to be moved too much to towards the film plane or the sensor , the barrel might interfere with the sliding mechanism .
So , if you are going to buy any sliding adapter , make shure it will work with your desired lens and your view camera .

No prices for the Hy6 for Germany now , but the info i have so far made me wanting it .

* unfortunately ARCA has no Webpage . Nobody knows why .

Reards Jurgen
Jurgen, thanks for the input on the 35.

Your caution is why I purchase from City Lights Digital and specifically Jim Arnosky who is also a working studio photographer. The Rodenstock 35 will be fine, and I can even go to a 28mm (but no wider). Jim Brought the Rollie Xact to my studio for a demonstration along with 2 lenses including a Schneider 28.

It will work down to a 28 because he also ordered the special Rollie recessed lensboard that has it's own bellows attached.

I passed on the Rollie shutter for now. With all my other digital solutions including a tilt-shift mechanism for using the Short Barrel 75 and 180 lenses on a Mamiya RZ, and the Hasselblad PC Mutar on the H cameras via the CF adapter ... this Xact will not see heavy use, so the good old stock shutters will do for now.

If you do not have the PC MUtar for your Hassey, you may want to look into one. Most certainy NOT a view camera, but it can help out in everyday shooting. Another piece of interesting engineering from Victor's people.

Perhaps our resident Hasselblad Gear Gurus can speak to this, and other lesser know Hasselblad acessories. I love this system and love that I can use a lot of the V stuff on my H camera.
I heard that the Schneider Digitar 28/2.8 is a dog since it is a retrofocus design (based on PC super angulon for 35mm cameras) that barely covers a 49x37 sensor. That is the reason it mounts to many cameras incapable of getting infinity focus with a symmetrical short lens. My own Silvestri camera takes a 45mm APO-Grandagon, but nothing shorter, unless I am willing to use the Scheider 28mm. The addition of a sliding back adapter moves the sensor even farther from the lens. I'd love to be able to get the 35mm APO-Grandagon to work with my system. I do have the PC Mutar, but since getting a Flexbody it has fallen into disuse.
Real WA photography with digital backs (as well as film backs) can not be achieved with cameras like V or H-SYSTEM or any other MF body .
There are a few alternatives on the market , like the HASSELBLAD 905SWC , ALPA 12SWA , ARCASWISS R-M3d and also the HORSEMAN SWD2 pro + some other candidates .
Except the SWC all others can take the APO-GRANDAGONS and SUPER-ANGULONS for analog but also the digital versions from APO-SIRONAR and the SCHNEIDER DIGITARS.

Have a look here : and click on the SWD2 pro button .

The interesting thing with the HORSEMAN SWD2 is , it can do vertical and lateral shifts as well as stiching with no special adapter , but can also use the HASSELBLAD groundglas and viewers the SWC can take . But it can also be used handheld .

And the camera is also open for backs with bigger sensors . (future music) Great .

I agree Jurgen, which is why I finally threw in the towel and opted for the Rollie Xact. It's difficult to do some of the commercial work I get without a view camera.

Back to the original post by Joseph concerning sensor size.

Yesterday, Jim Arnosky came by to finalize the Xact purchase, and deliver my new HVD-90 finder, focusing screen, and a H film back. He also brought a H3D/31 which has a slightly smaller sensor (33X44) which I was very interested in seeing to evaluate the performance @ ISO 800.

From what I can tell, it is nothing short of spectacular from this cursory examination. This is of interest because it illustrates the concept that other areas of development are of importance besides sensor size and meg count. Not only were the ISO 800 files excellent, the camera shoots at a ferocious rate for a MF digital camera. This expands the practical applications for some faster moving scenarios such as fashion and wedding candids.

I will be upgrading the bargin H2D-CFH/22 I just stumbled upon this week to a H3D/31...
No pricing available yet, but probably $3,000ish. So for a total of around $16,500. it'll be
a H3D/31, a savings of over $7,500 ... and Hasselblad will allow me to purchase a Hot swap 3 year warrany as if it were a new camera.

Here's a 100% crop from a H3D/31 ISO 800 file using the standard 80/2.8 lens:


Fantastic quality at a size of more than double lifesize . And that at ISO800 .
Regarding this quality , we could say , that there is no need for bigger sensors , except regarding tru WA photography . All above mentioned alternative cameras would suffer a limitation in their shift and sliding capabilities , and as for the APO-SIRONAR-DIGITAL HR , you could not use that lens for any other sensor , because of the image circle of 70mm .
The same would shurely be true for HASSELBLADS super wide angle lens for the H-SYSTEM .
Yes Jurgen, the quality of the higher ISOs on this camera is pretty good. This was from a shot processed at 8 bit ...16 bit might have produced a tad better detail. We think this specific back was actually operating at around ISO 1000.

This variety of digital back choices is really application specific I think. Higher ISO backs really come into their own for fashion and other faster applications, or obviously lower light work.

The HC-28/4 Super-Wide angle only works with the H3D camera, but does cover the 39 meg 1.1X sensor.

I suppose we all would wish for a nice big sensor CFV to make better use of our wonderful Zeiss wides.

However, for those not wanting to hold their breath waiting, a H1D/22 and CF Adapter is an immediate solution to employ all your Zeiss C, CF, CFi & CFE glass... a much broader range of focal lengths than the HC line, including the 30mm fisheye : -) It offers full aperture metering, and syncs to 1/500th. CFE lenses immediately communicate with the camera, while the others have to be entered in the grip menu as to what lens you are using.

Obviously it's not square being a 645 camera ... but at 1.1X it is wider, and no back rotation is necessary. A 40mm field of view is only reduced to 44 mm, and a 50mm to a 55mm for ex&le.

Here's a shot done with a H2D/22 and a Zeiss telephoto. (150/4CFi I think) I did a whole Spa/Salon shoot with just Zeiss glass on a H camera.