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Well-Known Member
I have finally decided to go digital in parallel to film processing .
My CFV will arrive next week . Now , i have read , that , if you buy a complete set (503CWD) , this set will hold a mask (put on screen ? ? ?) to show you , what your imagesize will be like , due to the crop factor . I could not find anything about a mask , when you buy the CFV seperate . Does the CFV package have a mask ?

the Hasselblad specification does not seem to be clear on this point, but in the product box contents photo I have seen, the package includes not a mask but a complete screen with the frame outline marked on it -

What the package does not include seems to be the battery anad charger.

Hello John

Your answer is very helpful . Thanks a lot . I thought , i would take the grid screen out of my 203FE , which has a grid pattern also for 40x40mm .
And . . . sad enough , but true , the set does not hold a battery and also no charger . It is quite an insolence , regarding the price of the back .
By the way
The screen seems to be a special ACUTE MATTE . I have discovered the 2 little notches on the picture , the typical sign for an ACUTE MATTE D .

at the price of the CFV, I would hope for a box full of batteries! I shall be interested to hear how you get on with yours, please keep us posted. I am sure the image quality will be terrific, but I would be very worried by the crop factor - I use my 50mm lens a lot for architectural work, if I used the CFV, suddenly I no longer have a wide-angle lens. For me, that is a real problem.


I am not worried by the crop factor , but i am shure i will have get used to it .
I intend to use the back also with my 905SWC , and if the angle then should not be wide enough , i decided to use film instead of pixel . Also i will attach the back to my ARCASWISS F-LINE METRIC 6x9 and use my APO-GRANDAGON 45mm . I do hope this will work .
The CFV back has arrived and i have made myself familiar with the toogle switches and have already taken my first shots . My first impression is just great .

Yes , the set comes with a new screen , with an engraved square , to show the image according to the crop factor . Also , there is a special battery adapter ( in angle form ) which not only attaches to the 500EL/*** cameras but must also be used with the SWC cameras .
This is not described anywhere . When using a quick tripod coupling , you must use any of the short types . The older and longer type can not be used .

The documentation for the 503CWD and for CFV (as standalone package) is rather good , although some hints are missing .

The FLEXCOLOR description is lousy and not according to the newest level , which i think is 4.6.5 . So "downloading" from the HASSELBLAD WEBPAGE is required .
Also , i could not find a hint , if i have to upgrade the FIRMWARE Level and how that is done . The current level in my CFV is 166 , but i have seen a higher level in the readme pages .
Any hints
V 4.6.5 comes with firmware update 179
Be happy if you got your CFV WITH the battery adapter.
In an earlier US kit it was not included and after
struggling with Hasselblad Germany more than 3 month
they didn't compromised and charges 260Euro :-(((
including checking an error they couldn't detect,
but the back came return with an higher firmware
The firmware updates are included in the flexcolor
software. If you start flexcolor with your back connected
flexcolor checks the firmware version in your back.
It download automaticly the newest firmware version if
your back has installed an older one. You see a window
''checking firmware'' and the firmwaredownload starts.
Yes Lutz

Thanks for your update .

In the meantime i have got my CFV BACK and i have gone through all these procedures .
I have now FLEXCOLOR 4.6.5 and FIRMWARE 179 .

An additional problem came up in the last 3 days . If you want to use a CARD READER , because you do not want to plug in the firewire cable into the back , you can not just use a USB card reader . My back came with a SANDISK EXTREME III and i have 2 additional EXTREME IV cards . What you need in this case is a SANDISK FIRE WIRE reader of the type SDDRX4CF902
or SDDRX4-CF-902 . Not knowing this , i just wasted the money for the USB reader .

If you use a USB card reader , you can only offload your images once . Then your back will not be able to write further images to that card any more , after you formatted the card .
Hi Joergen,

This does not compute for me: the interconnect (USB2.0 / Firewire) of the reader used to read the images off the card should not influence whatever is on the card. So why do you say "only offload your images once"?

I also think that "after you formatted the card" should read as "until after you formatted the card" ?

Not that I have CFV :-( but I would like to understand this a bit better.

thanks Wilko
Hi Wilko

Me too , i would like to understand this better . What i reported , is just what i found .
If i took images on a virgin card (just formatted in CFV) , i can offload the images using the USB card reader . No problem .
(The other way is to offload , using the firewire cable) .

When i reinsert the card (offloaded via USB card reader) and do a "format card" in CFV , the next images can not be written onto that card anymore . The busy indicator flahes for ever and the back ends up with an alarm .

If i offloaded via firewire , i can reformat the card , and all next shots are written onto the card , as wanted .

That means to me , that obviously some control information is written into the control section of the card , preventing any further "write operation" .

I could recover from this situation somehow from the FLEXCOLOR program . Dont ask me how , but i managed .

Searching the net , i found , that for the SANDISK EXTREME III and IV cards , an other card reader is recommended . The USB reader i have , is marked for CF I and CF II cards .

I do hope , that my conclusions come to be true and that the fire wire reader will cure the problem .

Sounds like the learning curve is steep as Marc stated. You seem to be moving along. I hope you are enjoying the experience. Are you downloading your card to Flexcolor? If you use your CVF as the card reader is there a problem?


Yes Gilbert

The learning curve is steep .To attach a digital back , is not like just replaceing a film back by an other . You attach a complex machine .

When i download the images via FIRE WIRE , that is , as you say , using the back as card reader , then i can reformat the card , and new images can be written onto the card . Reformatting the card is faster than deleting the images one by one . This is also the recommended way to "clean up" the contents of the card .
Hi Jurgen,

I assume the offloading was done using Flexcolor for both the USB and the FW reader? If you just copy the data off the card using the computer's operating system, so without Flexcolor, does the problem then also show itself?

To me this sounds that Flexcolor is doing different things dependent on the type of interconnect used for the card reader. Different as in: it is doing something very wrong with a USB interconnect.

Given that USB is quite a bit more common than FW our friends at Imacon better go and fix this bug.

CF I and CF II are not electrically different, CF II just means you can stick a slightly thicker card in the slot. CF II size is for CF cards that use real diskdrives (rotating platters I mean), IBM Microdrives and things like Seagate ST1 drives come to mind. So CF II is purely a mechanical thing.


Thanks for your contribution .

First of all , i would like to point out , why i want to use a card reader .
The FIREWIRE cable supplied with the CFV back is very stiff and has a very big plug on the CFV side . I think , the connector to any digital device , is a critical point . (mechanical)
I prefer to carefully replace a CF card than plugging in that big plug into the back .

With the problem i described , it is , as in many cases , where you try to fix a problem , you do a lot of things and sometimes you can't remember all the things you did .

For offloading the images , i used FLEXCOLOR for both , USB and FIREWIRE connections .
As you assumed at the beginning of your contribution .

I also did an offload using the operating system . And also threw the contents into trash .
That's leaving an empty CF card , but it is still formatted .

But in all cases , i reformatted the disk in the back . Therefore i can not answer that
question . But it is a good idea and i will try that and report the results .

Yes to me too , it looks as if FLEXCOLOR does different things to the CF card , when the images were unloaded by USB card reader or by FIREWIRE .

I will get the SANDISK FIREWIRE card reader , as mentioned above , on monday .......
If that turns out to be running as desired , what i do hope , then i will report the problem to HASSELBLAD .

Independant to the above , FLEXCOLOR does not behave stable on an OSX10.4.8 system running on an INTEL DUAL CORE CPU . I got many undefined FLEXCOLOR shut downs .

If HASSELBLAD people already know that ? ? ?
Hi Jurgen,

You are absolutely right, connectors can be 'pulled' from printed circuit boards if a long/stiff etc cable forces them.

Especially when SMD (surface mounted) connectors are used, which is probably the case given the need to make the whole CFV a compact device. These days SMD electronic components are the defacto standard.

Does the CFV use a special cable, or is it (maybe you are lucky) standard FW cable? If so, you could maybe find a more flexible cable.

Flexcolor not being stable is annoying, I would not assume anything, I would just report the problem to Hasselblad. I can tell you (I used to be a support engineer in the IT world) that more problem reports do draw attention. If everyone assumes someone else reports the problem support will not know of it, and development engineering will not fix it.

So, go and complain, you spent considerable amounts of (T)EURO's so you have a very valid reason to demand a good product!

Sounds like you are having problems with your back. I too have both Extreme 3 and Extreme 4 cards and the both work the same in the camera. I have both usb and firewire cardreaders and the only difference is the transfer speed. The Sandisk Extreme cardreader is 800mbs and my transfer speeds were cut almost in half compared to the usb reader. I can rewrite to all my CF cards without reformatting to both usb and firewire readers with no problems. I only use the camera connected to the computer when shooting in teathered mode, or update of the firmware.

I am also using a MacBook Pro with Flexcolor and no stability problems at all. Rock solid. I'm running 10.4.8 with 4.6.5 Maybe you don't have enough ram installed.

I just wanted to chime in and say maybe you should address your problems from a warranty repair standpoint. I don't think you should be having to deal with this card rewrite problem.

Just my .02

Michael Terry
How is the picture quality? Can you post any ex&les. Will the CFV fit on a 500 series? tks, howie
Many thanks to Wilko and Michael

I am using a POWER MAC G5 OSX 10.4.8 and FLEXCOLOR 4.6.5 . 2GB of RAM .
Here FLEXCOLOR runs stable .
On my MACBOOK i run MACOSX 10.4.8 and FLEXCOLOR 4.6.5 . 1GB of RAM .
FLEXCOLOR does not run stable here .


Can you please describe in detail , how you download your images using either USB or FIREWIRE readers . How do you erase the downloaded images (if at all) from the card
Is an erase and/or format neccessary or can existing images be overwritten .
I could not find very good information about this in the supplied documentation .

Before i send the CFV back for warranty inspection , i would like to be shure , that i do not make a fool out of myself . Therefore i want to make shure , that there is no wrong handling on my side .


Me too , i have been working 30 years in hard/software service for a very big computer company . That job forced me to accept technical problems , but also , never to give up .
Photography was only semi professional to me at that time , but now that has changed .

So , before i am not a 100% shure , that there is no wrong handling and/or bad equipment (except the back of course) on my side , i will not send the back to HASSELBLAD .

I am impatiently waiting for feedback .

Thanks. Jürgen
Hi Jurgen,

I just insert the card in the reader and after it mounts on the desktop, drag the camera files to a folder on my desktop or another attached drive. After transfer you must drag files on the card to the trash and empty trash. That's it. You must delete the files on the card. You cannot overwrite them. Is this your problem? Once the files are removed from the media it is ready for use again. The files must be erased.

You mention that you are using a MacBook? Not the Pro? The MacBook Pro has the firewire 800 connection, making the most of the Extreme firewire reader. I believe the MacBook just has the firewire 400 connection. The Extreme firewire reader comes with a 400 to 800 cable and with the 400 connection, is still much faster than the usb reader.

I am running 2 gb ram. Possibly that's it? I process on the laptop in Flexcolor, as well as export to DNG for Photoshop, and everything works very well. I too am using a G5 desktop machine configured like yours and other than greater drive storage, my notebook runs Flexcolor faster than the G5. I am sure that this is due to the universal binary 4.6.5 version being optomized for the Intel powered Mac.

Who did you purchase the back from? Possibly check with them as to the proper operation?

The money we pay for this equipment, we should demand nothing less than perfection as far as how it functions and operates (at least while under warranty - hell, even out of warranty). Are you here in the US? Hasselblad USA in Washington has been helpful with my sorting out some small issues. Per in tech support, as well as Victor in sales have been very helpful over the phone. You can also contact your Hasselblad sales manager for help if you are not getting anywhere with the dealer. I purchased my equipment from B&H in New York, and as many here know, B&H customer support ends with the sale. Best prices in the US though! My west coast sales manager, Jeff Payne in Denver told me to work with him if any support issues come up. Great guy to work with! I hope this helps! Good luck!