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Sharpening Flexcolor Vs C1 Pro


New Member
This is my first post. Hi Everyone.

I have been comparing files shot by an H3D-31 (not the II) vs. a P30+, and it seems to me that each app has it's own interpretation of sharpening. Flexcolor (v4.8.1) uses an amount slider ranging from 0 to 999, whereas C1 Pro ranges from 0 to 400.

I am trying to compare amount of capture detail between the 2 digital backs, so I processed files without any sharpening from both backs.

My observations tell me that the P30+ seems to yield a sharper image than the H3D-31. Not sure why, but does anyone feel their H3D not providing a sharp enough CAPTURE?

I realize any image-editor like Photoshop (including the many sharpening plug-ins for it), Lightroom, and Aperture can sharpen files, but my gut feeling tells me that H3D files should not undergo so much sharpening filter just to make it sharp (or to match Phase).

I experienced similar issues 3 years ago when comparing an Imacon 22MP back against a Phase H25 on my V series Hasselblad. The Imacon was soooo much softer that it made the H25 a clear winner, so I bought it. Now I am looking to upgrade and a I like the H3D-31 but this sharpness issue still seems to stick around.

Your comments much appreciated - thanks!

How are you shooting this comparison? Is it a constant with the only variable being the back used?

I have so little issue with HD3/39 and H3D/31 files that when I skip Flexcolor, just convert to DNGs and process in Lightroom I often need very little, to no, sharpening added.

I also shoot an Aptus 75s, and have frequently used a rented Phase One P-45 (not the Plus version) as well have demo shot a Leaf AFi (Hy6) with Schneider 80/2.8 (so called digitally optimized lens).

I find the Phase One on a Hasselblad 503CW and Leaf AFi w/Schneider a touch "clinical" for my tastes. The Phase and Hasselblad back comparison was also done on a 6X7 view cameras using Rodenstock digital lenses. When comparing the H3D/31 I used the H3 camera with Zeiss CFi 100/3.5 via a CF adapter, and the P-45 on a 503CW with the same lens ... so different cameras/backs but the same lens, lighting, and subject in studio lit with Profoto strobes ... which means everything is exactly repeatable and constant.

IMO, the differences between backs are subtile and subjective. Your perception may have to do with what back on which camera with what lenses.

For ex&le, I find the Leaf 75s back seems to do better to my eye on a Mamiya RZ Pro-II with RZ optics than it does on the new Leaf AFi with the Schneider lens ... which is good news for me since the Hy6 is the most horrifyingly expensive MF digital choice I've yet reviewed ... where the Mamiya RZ Pro-II and Aptus75s cost half me as much .
Marc wrote

> since the Hy6 is the most horrifyingly expensive MF digital choice I've yet reviewed . . <

To be fair , we should know , that the Hy6 is not horrifyingly expensive because of the product beeing that expensive , but because of the exchange rate between Dollar and Euro .
That is also valid for other european products sold in the U.S.

Not to be debating you every time Jurgen ... but the title of being the most "horrifying expensive" is based on an "apples to apples" comparison of MF systems sold in the US. It is by far THE most expensive so far relatively speaking. Horrifyingly expensive IMO.

The Leaf AFi body and Aptus 75s back WITHOUT a lens or a prism finder is $36,000. With 80/2.8 and prism finder it is $ 40,400. !!!

Lenses are half again as much as their H/C counterparts ... topping out @ $7,000. for the Schneider 60-140. ... with the 180 a close second @ $5,864.

For less money I can get a H3D/39-II Multi-Shot kit.

On the subject of "sharpness" ...

H3D/39 @ ISO 50 ... with H/C 100 @ f/6.3 ( see next post ).


Thanks for your interesting figures . I am in fact , very surprised .
How can the AFi/Hy6 then compete under these circumstances ? ? ?
Time to give the Hy6 a friendly wave good bye .

I was VERY disappointed Jurgen. Very, very disappointed.

I had hoped to move from the RZ studio system to this camera system.

But it absolutely is not going to happen.

Fortunately, I was not that impressed with the files we shot in the studio ... which is at best subjective ... but when it comes to my work, it's my subjectivity that counts : -)

This frees me up to get the ALPA now ... maybe.

Or nothing, and see if they come to their senses.
Ooooooh Marc

Alpa is my absolute dream , but I believe it will never happen .
The guy who sold me his historic HASSELBLAD SW showed me his ALPA . That gear will water your mouth and make you want one .
For me , it is the finest gear , I ever had in my hands .
Jürgen , stop dreaming ! ! !
Ughh... what are the MF digital guys thinking? That kind of money not even a pro (well, almost none of them) can justify.

I know I can't justify it Wilko ... I'd have to dump everything to get it ... and that is NOT going to happen. I depend on my Hasselblad stuff to much for the work I do. It's proven to deliver.
Plus, I can't afford to have just one solution in case something goes down on a job.

Oh well.
Looks like marketing the Hy6 is not very succesfull.
The poor Dollar exchange rate does not help but at these prices
I doubt the Hy6 will find many buyers.
It seems to me Hasselblad will be the winner in this battle.
Michael I believe your observation of the sharpness between a P30+ and H3D31 is backwards in terms of the benefits. One of the biggest problems with Capture One is that you cannot turn sharpening off. Even with sharpening completely disabled the software is still sharpening the image.
These 2 backs use the same chip. I much prefer Flexcolor in terms of being able to turn sharpening off, if I so desire. Also I've never been a fan of Cap. One sharpening- it's just not as good as other converters, or Smart Sharpen. Flexcolor to me offers a more natural looking, evolved sharpening look.
I recently tested my P30+ vs. the H3DII31, and all in all preferred the H3DII31 imagery.
Thanks for everyones responses so far.

Marc Williams: Your image of the vase looks much sharper than mine - it could be a sharper lens or simply the fact you were using a different DB with a different sensor. But the bottom line is it looks sharper than mine set at 50.

John Kraus: Thanks for your different insight. Let's look at a typical scenario for me: shooting product in studio tethered to computer. Critical focus is very important to me (and probably to most) at this point. C1 Pro allowed me to assess this during this stage easily, but Flexcolor is not. Am I supposed to force the sharpening higher at this stage to properly check focus?

You *could* have a back that has the sensor alignment not perfectly matched to the body. That would make it soft too.

Michael you should be able to easily check focus by using the closeup tool in Flexcolor. Click on the magnifying glass, resize the window to whatever size you want, then click within the image wherever you want.
Another Flexcolor advantage is you can open multiple closeup windows. Click the '+' button in the closeup window border and a 2nd,3rd, or 4th window opens. This is great for checking sharpness/DOF concerns, for ex&le.
A starting suggestion to me was 150/1. Often shooting people I use 75/1, and then if needed, sharpen a tad more in Smart Sharpen.
Yep, I use the close-up tool all the time in Flex, exactly the way John describes above ...particularly for checking critical DOF while shooting tethered.

I do have an issue with the large Flex preview being low res, but that's been getting better and is suppose to be fixed in Phocus due early next year.

By chance you aren't evaluating the sharpness with this Flexcolor preview are you Michael?
It's just a blow up of the embedded jpg for fast loading ... which was a stupid move on their part IMO. The close-up detail window is a better tool for looking at sharpness while in Flex.

I am using the Detail window like you mentioned. I still can't believe your vase shot was only set at 50. I would be using at least 250.

P.S. I haven't purchased this camera yet, but I will if/when I can resolve this issue. Then again I don't even know if this is indeed an issue. ARGHHH!!!


As usual, splendid!

Marc and Jurgen:

I was very content this morning until you guys mentioned ALPA! 8 - )

Marc, I wouldn't be surprised if Jurgen had one by Christmas!

Happy Holiday's Gentlemen and ahh Good Shopping!



I am sorry to say , but I do have to blame Marc putting that flea into my ear .
I have forgotten about ALPA since a long time , and I was happy about that .
Now , Marc , why did you do that , where ever I look I can only see 4 letters . A L P A
And their factory is not far away from my place . Oh no , I don't understand , that this temptation comes up again . Marc , that was not very kind of you .
Well Juergen... I see that ALPA word every day a couple of times.. It happens to be an acronym in the computer storage world. So I am sure there is a way to resist the urge to buy. At least I could ;-)