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Old May 22, 2011, 10:26 AM   #1
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Default Hasselblad H4D-50 Photo Shoot Experience Review

Hasselblad H4D-50 Hand Held and Tethered Review

I rarely use Medium Format Digital Camera's when I shoot, as I find them overkill for most of what I do. That is fashion spreads in magazines like Harper's BAZAAR, VOGUE etc. Generally 14-16 megapixel are more than enough. However, as I was asked to shoot images that would be used for very large billboards etc. I decided that I would like to try out the Hasselblad H4D-50.

As you all know and if you don't, I hate using tripods and for this shoot it was no exception. I was tethered to a Mac Pro and a couple of 24" screens, one for the operator of the workstation and the other just in front of me and to my left, so I could monitor every image I shot in real time. I decided to use the Hasselblad HC 50-110 Zoom f/3.5-4.5 Lens for H Series Camera Bodies for the whole shoot, giving me maximum latitude for movement. I would hand hold the camera for the whole shoot which went till 7:00 PM.

Although a rather heavy beast, I found the experience a lot more pleasant than I would have imagined. I did have a tendency of resting it on my lap between lengthly takes or when I wanted to study the images more closely. I did have a special work table next to me to place the camera when breaks were required.

Although only center focus auto focus capable, I had no problem focusing on the eyes and then recomposing. Although I would have preferred at least 5 focus points, in a star shaped configuration.

I found using the the Hasselblad HC 50-110 f/3.5-4.5 zoom lens a real pleasure and could not imagine getting stuck with a fixed focal length lens for this shoot, as that would require my moving away from the monitor, which I didn't wish to do. The zoom lens mechanism was incredibly smooth and the auto focus worked surprisingly fast, faster than I expected, thus a very pleasant surprise to say the least.

I shot at 100 iso for the whole shot at between f /11 and f/16 at a shutter speed of 1/15th to 1/30th of a second, as I mixed HMI cinema lights and flash and wanted to blend the two in my special way.

The quality of the images were exceptional. The skin tones were nicely rendered. I found the zoom lens to be extremely sharp and with 50 megapixels to play with, there was a lot a room for the Art Director to crop in if need be, in case the client decided that they wanted a completely different layout a month or so in to their campaign. One good reason to use lots of pixels. For my magazine spreads, as I do all of the cropping, I am not confronted with that issue.

Each images was huge and if you don't have a really powerful computer with tons of hard drive space, stay away from this beast, as it eats Hard Drives for Breakfast.

As to the ergonomics of the Blad, it has sure come long way since the 500 series, which for me is all that matters, as I found the 500 series cumbersome and totally user unfriendly. I found the layout intuitive and simple, as it should be. Everything was where you would expect it to be. It was sparse, utilitarian and workman like. In other words, a camera that you don't want to think about when using it. Transparent and discreet are the words I would would choose.

So, would I recommend the Hasselblad H4D series of camera's? An unequivocal YES. Would I buy one? NO, as I would use this beast so infrequently, that it wouldn't make any financial sense to me, unless of course Hasselblad decided to give me one and a few of their lenses, I would have to relent.

My Rating…Geez, I never do ratings! Oh well, I will this time,

It gets 5 Stars

More Info: http://www.benjaminkanarekblog.com/nnlHasselblad H4D-50 Hand Held and Tethered Review

I rarely use Medium Format Digital Camera's when I shoot, as I find them overkill for most of what I do. That is fashion spreads in magazines like Harper's BAZAAR, VOGUE etc. Generally 14-16 megapixel are more than enough. However, as I was asked to shoot images that would be used for very large billboards etc. I decided that I would like to try out the Hasselblad H4D-50.

As you all know and if you don't, I hate using tripods and for this shoot it was no exception. I was tethered to a Mac Pro and a couple of 24" screens, one for the operator of the workstation and the other just in front of me and to my left, so I could monitor every image I shot in real time. I decided to use the Hasselblad HC 50-110 Zoom f/3.5-4.5 Lens for H Series Camera Bodies for the whole shoot, giving me maximum latitude for movement. I would hand hold the camera for the whole shoot which went till 7:00 PM.

Although a rather heavy beast, I found the experience a lot more pleasant than I would have imagined. I did have a tendency of resting it on my lap between lengthly takes or when I wanted to study the images more closely. I did have a special work table next to me to place the camera when breaks were required.

Although only center focus auto focus capable, I had no problem focusing on the eyes and then recomposing. Although I would have preferred at least 5 focus points, in a star shaped configuration.

I found using the the Hasselblad HC 50-110 f/3.5-4.5 zoom lens a real pleasure and could not imagine getting stuck with a fixed focal length lens for this shoot, as that would require my moving away from the monitor, which I didn't wish to do. The zoom lens mechanism was incredibly smooth and the auto focus worked surprisingly fast, faster than I expected, thus a very pleasant surprise to say the least.

I shot at 100 iso for the whole shot at between f /11 and f/16 at a shutter speed of 1/15th to 1/30th of a second, as I mixed HMI cinema lights and flash and wanted to blend the two in my special way.

The quality of the images were exceptional. The skin tones were nicely rendered. I found the zoom lens to be extremely sharp and with 50 megapixels to play with, there was a lot a room for the Art Director to crop in if need be, in case the client decided that they wanted a completely different layout a month or so in to their campaign. One good reason to use lots of pixels. For my magazine spreads, as I do all of the cropping, I am not confronted with that issue.

Each images was huge and if you don't have a really powerful computer with tons of hard drive space, stay away from this beast, as it eats Hard Drives for Breakfast.

As to the ergonomics of the Blad, it has sure come long way since the 500 series, which for me is all that matters, as I found the 500 series cumbersome and totally user unfriendly. I found the layout intuitive and simple, as it should be. Everything was where you would expect it to be. It was sparse, utilitarian and workman like. In other words, a camera that you don't want to think about when using it. Transparent and discreet are the words I would would choose.

So, would I recommend the Hasselblad H4D series of camera's? An unequivocal YES. Would I buy one? NO, as I would use this beast so infrequently, that it wouldn't make any financial sense to me, unless of course Hasselblad decided to give me one and a few of their lenses, I would have to relent.

My Rating…Geez, I never do ratings! Oh well, I will this time,

It gets 5 Stars

More Info: http://www.benjaminkanarekblog.com/nnl
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Last edited by benjikan; May 22, 2011 at 10:51 AM.
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Old Jun 1, 2011, 2:17 PM   #2
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