Hasselblad – damn the legacy

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    Topic: Hasselblad – damn the legacy Read 797 Times
  • Daniel Smith
    Daniel Smith
    Participant
    Posts: 60
    Medium Format
    on: November 14, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Hasselblad and the 2 1/4 square film format is a great tool. Used by many for decades to do the job. Absolutely wonderful for wedding work with the square 5 inch proof books. No worry about horizontal or vertical compositions – photograph and you can crop later if needed.

    An excellent professional tool with lenses well matched for most any demand.

    Then… they went digital and stepped on their legacy. Big Time.

    No more Square format. They went with a 645 rectangle rather than the Square ordained by God and blessed by Ernst Wildi.

    Probably an economic move due to sensor cost. That, or they hired former GM and Ford auto architects whose design philosophy is “make it – who cares if it is a pain in the ass to use”. At any rate the cost of Hasselblad gear is high enough they could have stayed the course and made the 2 1/4 square camera with the option for 645 via firmware or even the old fashioned mask in front of the back.

    Great tools. Excellent quality – but the legend tarnished.

    I’ll take Michael Kenna square images as the real thing using film and leave the crop cameras that cost more than both my pickups combined.

    "It's not what it is, it's how it looks". Paula Chamlee

    Kevin Raber
    Kevin Raber
    Keymaster
    Posts: 549
    Re: Hasselblad – damn the legacy
    Reply #1 on: November 14, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Coming from the Phase One side of things and having a lot of connections at HB, I’ll share that many dreamed (from both comapnies)  of a square sensor but the economics of it was just not possible.

     

    Kevin Raber
    CEO & Publisher of PhotoPXL.com and Rockhopperworkshops.com

    Vieri Bottazzini
    Vieri Bottazzini
    Participant
    Posts: 8
    Re: Hasselblad – damn the legacy
    Reply #2 on: December 16, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    I’ll take Michael Kenna square images as the real thing using film and leave the crop cameras that cost more than both my pickups combined.

    The new Hasselblad X1D Mark II costs about 6.000 euro. You must drive very worn out pickups 🙂

    Best regards,

    Vieri

    Vieri Bottazzini, photographer
    Website & blog: https://www.vieribottazzini.com | Workshops: https://www.vieribottazziniworkshops.com

    Paul Sokal
    Paul Sokal
    Participant
    Posts: 52
    Re: Hasselblad – damn the legacy
    Reply #3 on: December 23, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    <p><p>Here you go: digital medium format, square.</p></p>

    • This reply was modified 9 months ago by Paul Sokal.
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    Philip Flower
    Philip Flower
    Participant
    Posts: 1
    Re: Hasselblad – damn the legacy
    Reply #4 on: April 7, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    Hasselblad and the 2 1/4 square film format is a great tool. Used by many for decades to do the job. Absolutely wonderful for wedding work with the square 5 inch proof books. No worry about horizontal or vertical compositions – photograph and you can crop later if needed.

    An excellent professional tool with lenses well matched for most any demand.

    Then… they went digital and stepped on their legacy. Big Time.

    No more Square format. They went with a 645 rectangle rather than the Square ordained by God and blessed by Ernst Wildi.

    Probably an economic move due to sensor cost. That, or they hired former GM and Ford auto architects whose design philosophy is “make it – who cares if it is a pain in the ass to use”. At any rate the cost of Hasselblad gear is high enough they could have stayed the course and made the 2 1/4 square camera with the option for 645 via firmware or even the old fashioned mask in front of the back.

    Great tools. Excellent quality – but the legend tarnished.

    I’ll take Michael Kenna square images as the real thing using film and leave the crop cameras that cost more than both my pickups combined.

    Well that’s one way of looking at it.  But another way is that the 503 range of cameras were also cropped.  You can get 6×7 or even 6×9 or more from a roll of 120 film.  So reducing the film space to 6×6 was wasting space that could have been used.  Cropping the X1D to 1×1 can produce much larger and better detailed prints than you could ever get from a 6×6 negative from a V series camera.  I regularly print 16×20 prints from a 6×6 negative – and the look great.  I can print larger than that from my X1D and they look different but also great. If you want to emulate the classic film formats then there are lots of ways to distress them.If you want to stay with square formats then there is far more latitude in cropping from the current sensors than from using 120 film.  I have had a few prints made from my X1D in A0 and A1 sizes – admittedly not cropped and they look great.  Cropping is not a problem.

    Anyway all the prints I have ever seen from Michael Kenna are pretty small – mostly 8×8” or a bit bigger.  He doesn’t tend to print big.  Same with Gerry Johansson.  So I really don’t understand what you are complaining about.  They are both great photographers but the size of their film is irrelevant to what they produce.  The square format may be essential to their work but you can emulate that with pretty much any digital camera at the size they print at.  Of course neither you nor I, for that matter, can probably produce prints of that quality.  But that is not down to the camera.

    645 digital sensors are vastly better for detail and sharpness than 120 film.  They look different – so stick with film if you don’t like the way digital files look.  Or learn how to post process them.

    Daniel Smith
    Daniel Smith
    Participant
    Posts: 60
    Re: Hasselblad – damn the legacy
    Reply #5 on: April 18, 2020 at 9:20 am

    Philip, I don’t want to “emulate” anything. Full frame is what I want. Square full frame prints at whatever size I like.

    It is one reason I shoot and have shot 5×7, 8×10, 4×10, 7×17, 8×20, 12×20, 11×14, 16×20 and 20×24 film sizes. So I can contact print the image directly or enlarge it directly. I make the choice of format based on a lot of factors – one big one being what I can comfortably work with at the time.

    If I want to crop it is my decision. Not forced on me due to gear. The image below is from a contact print. A normal Silver print, not Pt/Pd or any Alt process.

     

    Baron Woolen Mills spools for yarn, Copr Daniel A Smith

    "It's not what it is, it's how it looks". Paula Chamlee

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