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Used HI


I was just wondering what the thoughts of this learned group are about purchasing a used H1. They are getting afordable in the UK. The obvious issues are really how compatible will it be with future upgrades and will newer digital backs work with it? Clearly an H1 can be upgraded to H2 software, but I suspect that that is as far as it goes. is that enough? Im not imminently planning to go medium format digital, but would like to keep all options open.

Best wishes

Richard Marks
If you want to keep all options open it is not a good idea to buy an
H1 camera.
The H1 is a great camera but will not accept later digital backs.
Hasselblad clearly does not support this camera for use with future digital developments.
The new H3 is a better option but is not available at friendly prices yet.
Many thanks Paul
As I suspected that is why they are becoming more "friendly" financially speeking.
best wishes
Richard Marks

There is no H3 camera alone. It is a H3D or H3D-II ... both of which come with digital backs, prism finder and 80mm lens.

The H3D will accept a H film back ... the H3D-II will not.

The only current H film camera is a H2F. It will not accept a digital H back. No one knows if it will accept other manufactures' backs because it's too new.

The H1 accepts film backs, and will accept many brands of digital backs such as Phase One P+ or Leaf Aptus ... it remains to be seen if that will continue into the future, but for now it is true.

The H2 also accepts a film back IF it is not a H2D model. I had a H2 with a CFH digital back ... which means it wasn't a dedicated camera body so it could take a separate back of any kind if availabe with a H mount ... and it also takes a H film back.

If you get the H1, check that you can upgrade it to an H2. The H2 has a better grip battery so it can run the digital backs like the CFH. And the fimware can be updated. If the H1 comes with a lens, check that the mount screws are silver or black. Silver are the older lenses and need to be updated by Hasselblad to work with newer cameras.

I have two H3Ds. Even if they continue to upgrade(?) the cameras like they did with the H3D-II, I will always keep one of the H3D cameras so I can shoot film.

If the H1 is a good price, get it after checking that it can be upgraded to a H2. This will still allow you to select from a number of back makers rather than just Hasselblad.
Marc many thanks as always
I will ask about the mount screws and also a quick call to hasselblad UK regarding the H2 upgrade. I have found one for £1500 including 80mm lens and all. I reckon this is pretty good price. (less than 3,000 US).
Best wishes
Richard Marks
Hx is almost 10 years old. And, like X-pan, the Fuji-Hasselblad top camera maybe discontinued for foolish reason in few years.
The X-pan won the Tipa award in 2003 and other prizes but became obsolet few years after anyway.
Hasselblad upgrades the H1 to H2 for apprx. $500 US. No real reason to do so unless you plan on using a Hassie digital back. They give you the newer rechargeable 7.2 volt battery and charger as part of this upgrade.
IMO, the reason to upgrade, even if you do not get a Hasselblad Digital back in the near future, is to protect your investment. H2s are already becoming more desirable because, comparatively speaking, there wasn't that many of them that weren't H2Ds ... and H3s are a closed system.

H2s take a H film back, CFH digital backs, and are also of extended interest to professionals using Hasselblad CFH multi-shot backs. It is not clear how long Hasselblad will perform the H1 to H2 upgrade ... at least at that price. I'm fairly sure it will not go down in price.

I think there may be more advantages than just a better battery capacity and charger ... like firmware upgrades ... but I'm not sure.

One thing I do know is that it is desirable to be able to use a film back even if the camera is primarily for digital work ... because all these digital back makers publish specs that say the operating temperature starts at 32 degrees F ... they are not recommended for cold weather work. People do it, but it's tempting fate IMO ... they don't publish those spec's for nothing.

If Nick T is following this thread, perhaps he could elaborate more knowledgeably and correct any misconceptions.
I will give Hasselblad UK a call and armed with your information will see wht they say.
Best wishes
Hi Isidor, the Xpan was not discontinued for a "foolish reason" but because it contained materials, which under EU legislation are considered environmentally dangerous and thus banned from being further manufactured/sold. At that time Hasselblad (and Fuji I suppose) did not want to re-invest money into this project, re-designing some of its materials, since they thought that the sales of this film-based camera would no longer justify the investment, in an era where the majority of people seem to go digital. The camera was thus dropped. A regrettable decision in my humble opinion.
Marc and others:
regarding the update from H1 and H2, I would be curious to know what the real benefits are other than for allowing better integration with digital backs (the latter doesn't really matter for me, since I prefer film -- not even to mention the astronomical prices of those digital backs).
Also, it would appear that the H3D does take film backs, but no longer the H3D II, which has been a decision beyond my understanding. In this sense, buying into the current Hasselblad H series would also seem to be a dead-end for film-based photographers. One body should be able to deal with both film and digital, I don't want to schlep two different bodies around.
Maybe the Rollei 6008 AF or upcoming Hy6 are the better options in the end. Both do/will take both film and digital backs ...
I believe the H3DII continues to accept the film back. In the latest operations manual for the H3DII:
"Film-rewind button – reassignment
The film-rewind button continues to provide its assigned function when a film magazine is attached. Now, however, when the sensor unit is attached, the button is automatically reassigned to provide instant CF-card re-format."
Hi John, this would be great news if it is true. I had been led to believe by another contributer to this board (under a separate thread on this issue that I had posted a couple of days ago) that the H3D II did no longer allow for film backs. Also, this compatibility is not mentioned by Hasselblad on the H3D II spec sheets I have seen...
Could this be further clarified please? It believe it is an important issue. Thanks.
Yes, I said in the above posts that that the H3D does accept a film back where the H3D-II does not. Which is why, even if I upgrade one of my H3Ds, I will keep the other H3D as is ... so I can use film backs.

Hasselblad, right or wrong, is heading toward a totally integrated DSLR system more like a Canon 1 series system than a V camera. The H most likely will remain modular for flexibility of components and ability to change to newer digital backs. This may be because they see the digital 645 competition as the Canons of the world rather than the Hy6.

It also would not surprise me if Hasselblad had a 6X6 digital camera on the drawing board.
They do have some experience at it ; -) Thus offering a full range of MF solutions in digital, just like with film MF.

One recent reviewer of the Hy6 in comparison to the H3D system ... likened the Hy6 as appealing to to Hasselblad V and Mamiya RZ crowd, where the Hasselblad represented a place for Canon type users to go to in the quest for better image quality ... while retaining a familiar shooting experience.

That's exactly how I see it also.
Mystery upon mystery. The Hasselblad technical sheet from their website says there is no film compatibility... Would anyone have tried out whether the H3D II actually works with film backs?
I am probably the one that mentioned lack of film back use for the H3D-II ... which was based on the tech sheet mentioned above ... and confirmed by a re-seller.

Well this has proved a more intersting thread than I expected.
I have contacted Hasselblad UK. To updgrade a H1 to H2 costs £350. However after December this service will no longer be available in the UK. I did not ask about anywhere else in the world (sorry).
Hasselblad said that the upgrade would improve the camera compatability for H2 system digital backs but as these are being discontinued, future hasselblad digital backs would definately not be compatible with H2 cameras (let alona an upgraded H1), so in short there is not a lot of enthusiasm to upgrade.Clearly third party digital backs may remain available, or who knows in the future what might happen, but I suspect spending £350 on a used H1 just in case one day one might fancy a digital back might not be worth it. Im pretty tempted by a 75 lux for my M8 instead!

Best wishes and thanks for useful discussion.

Richard Marks

That is correct, current max speed is 32 seconds. Phocus release promised for October/November/December 2007 was said to include firmware update to up it to 64 seconds with ISO speed of 800 (I think); it's almost March, no Phocus.

This aspect alone made it a very difficult decision for me but I did switch from film H2 to H3DII. Coupled with the fact that the H3DII doesn't accept film backs, it was difficult... But I could not deal with the film any longer, I just could not.

FYI: The H3DII is an amazing camera. I'm glad I moved into it.

Kind regards,