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  #1  
Old October 8th, 2010, 12:38 PM
Alex Koloskov Alex Koloskov is offline
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Default Hasselblad H4D-50 against Canon 1Ds MarkIII: what do we get for the money?

Hope this comparison I did about a week ago will be interesting for the community:

I had a great opportunity to test-drive a new Hasselbald H4d camera with its huge 50 Megapixel digital back, thank to John Williams from Hotwire-digital.com. Knowing specification of the Hasselblad, I did not want to simply compare those 2 cameras: they are very different animals, with different purpose… besides the fact they both capture images :-)

Ease of use, camera controls, weight, focus speed and other “external” parameters is not interesting for me, as all of this parameters is highly subjective, both cameras has a big list of fans among professional photographers.

What I was curious to see is an actual difference in the image quality, especially in macro and around macro world: this is most important for me as a product photographer.

Hasselblad had 120mm F4 HC macro lens, Canon was wearing 100mm F2.8L IS macro.
test setup:


Two very different object were photographed: one high contrast, high reflective jewelry piece and a live flower, it’s full of pollen stamen in particular. Exactly the same lighting and shooting distance were used for both cameras.

First, we shoot a sequence of different apertures to see how DOF is changed, but most important, how diffraction started to become an issue. This is very interesting to me, as many times I have go with as deep as possible DOF while working with various products, and knowing how much sharpness and details I will lose when closing aperture down is quite important to know.

Obviously, this was more like a lens test, as lens plays the main role in fighting (or helping) with a diffraction, but this is what I need as well: both cameras had best mainstream macro lens on them, and moist likely I would use the same HC 120mm lens on Hasselblad when (if) I decide to switch over to a Hasselblad system.

BTW, the super shallow DOF because of a larger physical sensor size, which always refers as an advantage of the medium format systems over 35mm ones, is not an advantage for me: Working about 5 years as a product photographer, I’ve never needed a super-shallow DOF. Instead, in most cases I need as super-deep DOF, and quite often I do a focus-stacking to get that desired deepness.

Second test was done by shooting both overexposed and underexposed images of that jewelry: high contrast, deep dark areas and bright silver makes already complicated shoot even more harder job for a camera to capture when under/overexposed.

For Hasselblad I was using Phocus 2.5.2 software to convert, adjust and generate lossless TIFF files, which was cut in Photoshop for this article. I found that Phocus works better in recovering dark or bright areas then Photoshop.

For Canon, all image manipulations were done in Photoshop CS5 and it’s RAW converter. No other editing were applied: sharpness was set to “high” for Hasselblad, default sharpening for Canon files in Adobe RAW converter. This settings seem to match Hasselblad’s “high” by the amount of sharpening. White balance was set to match flash color: K5700. No other white balancing was done: I want to use a default color from a camera RAW to see the color difference as well. But definitely, this test was not about the color reproduction.

Test results, conclusion and the video from even is on the blog post:

http://www.akelstudio.com/blog/hasse...for-the-money/

The video : http://vimeo.com/15308467

I can't really re-post the whole thing here as it will loose the mouse-over functionality, which works great for 'recovery" images.

Enjoy:-)
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  #2  
Old October 8th, 2010, 06:18 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Alex,

I'm impressed by your look at the new Hassy. It's not far to compare it to the 1Ds III, but you show there's a smidgin better highlight recovery in underexposed mages with the Hassy compared to the 1DSIII. However it's with shadows that the Hassy money really justifies it's cost.

I also have a feeling that the extra blur of the filter to get rid of Moiré might give the 1DS Mark III a disadvantage. I wonder if there's good testing there.

Asher
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  #3  
Old October 9th, 2010, 11:55 AM
scott kirkpatrick scott kirkpatrick is offline
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Default 50 MPx of Hassy -- how portable?

The results posted in the blog are pretty awesome. But this is a contest of a moose against a bison. What are the sizes and weights of the two cameras, each set up with its 100+ mm lens for macro work? I understand that your bread and butter work is in the studio, but would you use the Hassy outside?

scott
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  #4  
Old October 9th, 2010, 12:18 PM
Alex Koloskov Alex Koloskov is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Alex,

I'm impressed by your look at the new Hassy. It's not far to compare it to the 1Ds III, but you show there's a smidgin better highlight recovery in underexposed mages with the Hassy compared to the 1DSIII. However it's with shadows that the Hassy money really justifies it's cost.

I also have a feeling that the extra blur of the filter to get rid of Moiré might give the 1DS Mark III a disadvantage. I wonder if there's good testing there.

Asher
Asher,
So far there is no company which can remove AA filter on 1DsMKII, probably because AA filter also works as dust removal thing: it vibrates with ultrasonic speed + electrostatic charged.. so no easy way to "fix' this.
BTW, i do not see much blur on canon's images: the only problem, IMO is a dynamic range (14bit sensor) and a resolution.

Thank you!

P.S BTW, I am going to run similar test with canon and PhaseOne 45+ and 65+ camera systems.. hopefully next week:-)
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  #5  
Old October 9th, 2010, 12:22 PM
Alex Koloskov Alex Koloskov is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
The results posted in the blog are pretty awesome. But this is a contest of a moose against a bison. What are the sizes and weights of the two cameras, each set up with its 100+ mm lens for macro work? I understand that your bread and butter work is in the studio, but would you use the Hassy outside?

scott
Scott,

Well, Hassy is bigger, and because of it's shooting frame rate it is not for a sport.. As for the rest, I'll be completely fine carry the camera whole day long: with 120mm attached it has similar weight to my 1Ds + 70-200 F2.8 IS + Speedlite flash on it.
Should not be a problem for a well trained man;-)

Alex
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  #6  
Old October 9th, 2010, 12:29 PM
Will Thompson Will Thompson is offline
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The Canon EF 100mm F2.8L IS USM macro is not a fair comparison since it is just an upgraded consumer lens with IS added.

A fair comparison would be the Canon EF 180mm F3.5L USM macro.
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  #7  
Old October 9th, 2010, 01:16 PM
Alex Koloskov Alex Koloskov is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Thompson View Post
The Canon EF 100mm F2.8L IS USM macro is not a fair comparison since it is just an upgraded consumer lens with IS added.

A fair comparison would be the Canon EF 180mm F3.5L USM macro.
Will,
Never heard before that 100mm F2.8L IS macro is upgraded consumer lens. Why you think so? (Any link to some info will be highly appreciated)

I do have 180mm f3.5L, but with canon's crop-factor (comparing to Hassy 120mm), it will be too much difference in focal length, which I was trying to avoid.
In any case, the main idea see the sensor performance.

I may use 180mm for a comparo with PhaseOne camera...
Thanks!

Last edited by Alex Koloskov; October 9th, 2010 at 06:30 PM.
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  #8  
Old October 9th, 2010, 04:40 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Koloskov View Post
Hope this comparison I did about a week ago will be interesting for the community:

I had a great opportunity to test-drive a new Hasselbald H4d camera with its huge 50 Megapixel digital back, thank to John Williams from Hotwire-digital.com. Knowing specification of the Hasselblad, I did not want to simply compare those 2 cameras: they are very different animals, with different purpose… besides the fact they both capture images :-)

Ease of use, camera controls, weight, focus speed and other “external” parameters is not interesting for me, as all of this parameters is highly subjective, both cameras has a big list of fans among professional photographers.

What I was curious to see is an actual difference in the image quality, especially in macro and around macro world: this is most important for me as a product photographer.
Hi Alex,

Thanks for sharing this interesting comparison. Also thanks for joining OPF, we don't have too many product photographers here so everybody can learn something from each other.

Obviously, one would expect the Hasselblad to outperform the Canon. For that amount of money it had better outperform the 1Ds3! Nevertheless I have some concerns about the test/comparison.

As a 1Ds3 owner myself, and I'm not trying to defend it (I probably know its limitations better than most users), I've come to the conclusion that Capture One Pro 5.x is the best Raw converter for this camera. I also need to say that I've not put Photoshop ACR 6.x to the same rigorous tests yet, but based on past experience it wasn't the best converter for the 1Ds3 (certainly the colors need calibration). So let's say you might want to test C1 for the 1Ds3 as well, to take away any doubts that you are not getting the most out of your Raws. You have nothing to lose, you can only gain quality or peace of mind.

Another reason to try C1 is that your upcoming test of Phase One backs will also use Capture One software, which is optimized for their backs (C1 does significant processing on the Phase One Raws).

The Phocus software obviously is tailored to get the most out of the Hasselblad files, and you had some help making sure it did, so there is the issue. You may have partially compared the Raw conversion quality differences, on top of the hardware differences (which probably are there).

Unfortunately the H4D 50 has not been objectively tested by the DxOmark guys yet. However, if the H3DII 50 is a predictor of what will eventually be measured, we should expect a similar dynamic range (click dynamic range) in the H4D 50 Raw data, especially around the lowest meaningful ISO (nominally ISO 100 for the 1Ds3). Whether H4D actually delivers, remains to be seen. Frankly, I was a bit surprised to see that the DxOmark score for color sensitivity of the 1Ds3 was better than of the H3DII 50.

Quote:
Obviously, this was more like a lens test, as lens plays the main role in fighting (or helping) with a diffraction, but this is what I need as well: both cameras had best mainstream macro lens on them, and most likely I would use the same HC 120mm lens on Hasselblad when (if) I decide to switch over to a Hasselblad system.
The lens choice seems fair enough, similar types of lenses, although their design differences also became clear. I was a bit surprised by the obvious longitudinal Chromatic Aberration of the 120mm, although the Canon 100mm IS macro also has it's issues (mostly with specular highlights, especially in the front bokeh) as I know from personal (nit picking) experience.

Quote:
BTW, the super shallow DOF because of a larger physical sensor size, which always refers as an advantage of the medium format systems over 35mm ones, is not an advantage for me: Working about 5 years as a product photographer, I’ve never needed a super-shallow DOF. Instead, in most cases I need as super-deep DOF, and quite often I do a focus-stacking to get that desired deepness.
Indeed, close-up or macro photography requires to balance the DOF requirements between stopping down and getting diffraction deterioration at the pixel level, and the extra work from focus stacking (although Helicon Focus does help to streamline the postprocessing a lot).

Quote:
Second test was done by shooting both overexposed and underexposed images of that jewelry: high contrast, deep dark areas and bright silver makes already complicated shoot even more harder job for a camera to capture when under/overexposed.
The Raw converter can make quite a bit of difference also in getting the most out of highlight recovery. ACR does an impressive job, but the highlights do suffer in their contrast. Images tend to get dull from highlight recovery. Capture One does a reasonable job, but one needs to start with a linear tone curve, not a film curve. That allows to use perhaps 2/3rds more actual exposure which also helps the shadow detail with actual photons, rather than boosting noise.

Again thanks for sharing the results sofar, they will be helpful for others who need to consider their gear output quality versus investment options. I'm looking forward to the Phase One Back tests.

Cheers,
Bart
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  #9  
Old October 9th, 2010, 07:56 PM
Will Thompson Will Thompson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Koloskov View Post
Will,
Never heard before that 100mm F2.8L IS macro is upgraded consumer lens. Why you think so? (Any link to some info will be highly appreciated)
Alex,

I have had both but wish I had kept the 180. I still have the 100 for the IS.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:40 PM
Alex Koloskov Alex Koloskov is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Thompson View Post
Alex,

I have had both but wish I had kept the 180. I still have the 100 for the IS.
I have both and I never see any superiority of 180mm over 100mm: both giving amazingly sharp images.
However, I never compared them apple-to-apple, so may be there will be a slight difference.

Actually.. while writing this post, I looked at MFT charts for both lenses:

100mm:


180mm:


So... 180mm looks much better:-)
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Old October 9th, 2010, 09:01 PM
Alex Koloskov Alex Koloskov is offline
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@Bart,
I was playing with C1 pro 4 for a 30 day sometime ago, and I did not find it better then PS in RAW conversion: C1 images were sharper, but had less details, and some very soft gradient highlights were looking really bad in C1, when i was trying to squeeze a maximum from camera's RAW while working on HDR landscapes.

However, I did not compare both programs in recovery of under/over exposed images, like I did with Hassy.. plus, that was C1 Pro 4.

Current 5.2 might be better, but my feeling that it will be better with PhaseOne backs only.

What I'll do is this: install C1 pro 5.2, and convert the same RAW image: will see what we'll get:-)


Thank you,
Alex
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  #12  
Old October 9th, 2010, 09:14 PM
Will Thompson Will Thompson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Koloskov View Post

100mm:


180mm:


So... 180mm looks much better:-)
Alex, It is in the fine detail.

The solid lines show contrast that is better in the 100, but the dashed lines that show micro detail are much better in the 180.

Remember that the Canon charts are only theoretical!
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Old October 9th, 2010, 09:41 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Will,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Thompson View Post
The solid lines show contrast that is better in the 100, but the dashed lines that show micro detail are much better in the 180.
I do not agree with that interpretation of the significance of the solid and dashed lines, which represent the response in the sagittal and meridional directions, respectively.

A common simplistic interpretation of the curves in this form is:

The heavy lines, which represent response at a low spatial frequency (10 lines/mm) can be thought of as indicating the contrast potential of the lens.

The light lines, which represent response at a higher spatial frequency (30 lines/mm) can be thought of as indicating in a very simplistic way the detail-handling potential of the lens. (We actually can't tell a lot about that with the curves in this form, with only two spatial frequencies represented).

Understanding the implications of the difference between the sagittal and meridional (solid and dashed) curves is more difficult. It is often said that the more these two curves diverge, the less "natural" is a blurred image.

The curves shown mainly suggest that, for the maximum apertures, for points more than about 10 mm from the center of the frame, the basic sharpness of the 180 mm lens is better than that of the 100 mm lens.

It also indicates that the degradation in the "blurred" portions of the image declines much more quickly, as we move from the center of the frame, in the 100 mm lens than the 180 mm lens.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old October 9th, 2010, 09:49 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Back to the Hassy. What do we know so far of the offerings by Leica, the S1 and new Pentax MF DSLR for this quality work? I'm interested in how far the prices might come down and whether or not the newcomers really alter the game between Phase One-Leaf and Hassleblad.

Asher
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  #15  
Old October 10th, 2010, 03:37 AM
scott kirkpatrick scott kirkpatrick is offline
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Another question for those of us who are intrigued with the promise of MFT digital, but not prepared to go to the limits of today's $50K for 50+ M pixel offerings -- which of these backs are offered to work on existing 6x6 or 645 film cameras?

In my case I have Hasselblad V500 C/M and SWC equipment and a few lenses, purchased on E-Bay at fire sale prices. With current black and white film, plus scanning, the results are very pleasing, but I am disappointed with the results of color positive or negative film and the hassle that is involved in each. Especially when compared with the color resulting from a Kodak CCD, 18Mpixels, and no AA filter in my M9.
A few checks of digital backs for sale on E-Bay suggests that 20-40 MPixel backs are coming into the used market, and some of these work on the Hasselblad V-series, but I don't know how many generations removed these are from the products under review, and what compromises in usability are involved in working with them.

scott
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Old October 14th, 2010, 09:26 PM
Will Thompson Will Thompson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Thompson View Post
The solid lines show contrast that is better in the 100, but the dashed lines that show micro detail are much better in the 180.
Doug, Sorry I must have been tired and did not type what I was thinking!

It should have been:

The thick lines show contrast that is better in the 100, but the thin lines that show micro detail are much better in the 180.
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Old October 15th, 2010, 06:16 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Will,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Thompson View Post
Doug, Sorry I must have been tired and did not type what I was thinking!

It should have been:

The thick lines show contrast that is better in the 100, but the thin lines that show micro detail are much better in the 180.
Sure.

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
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