• Please use real names.

    Greetings to all who have registered to OPF and those guests taking a look around. Please use real names. Registrations with fictitious names will not be processed. REAL NAMES ONLY will be processed

    Firstname Lastname

    Register

    We are a courteous and supportive community. No need to hide behind an alia. If you have a genuine need for privacy/secrecy then let me know!
  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Review: Hasselblad HTS 1.5

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
HTS stands for Hasselblad Tilt and Shift. As the name says, it is an adapter to allow tilt and shift on the Hasselblad H system.

Physically, it is a relatively clumsy contraption that attaches between your Hasselblad body (H system, not the V system that went on the moon) and lens. I said "clumsy", because it precludes the use of the H integrated dovetail tripod mount (Hasselblad gives you a silly adapter in the box). Still: it is probably flat enough to fit in a side pocket of the typical MF gear bag.


Native H lenses can be used. Now, I can almost hear the optical engineers wondering how that can be possible without breaking some fundamental laws of optics. The answer is that Hasselblad used a trick and that trick is in the full name: HTS 1.5
The 1.5 part comes from the fact that the adapter uses a 1.5 focal extender. So your HCD 28mm lens becomes a 42mm lens. Interestingly, there is also about a 1.5 factor between the medium format and its "35mm equivalent", so your HCD 28mm lens has the field of view of a 28mm in 35mm terms (it is more like a 21mm natively). The extender is used to increase register distance (so that your lens still focusses to infinity) and increase the image circle of the lenses (so that you can actually shift). Nice trick but with the usual drawbacks: your super-wide is less wide and optics are degraded a little bit (for pixel peepers only... it is a well corrected focal extender with 6 elements). You also lose about a stop of aperture.

On the mechanics: the adapter allows for ±10° of tilt and ±18mm of shift. The axes are orthogonal. The two can be rotated, but together only. This is nice for product photography (shift allows you to compensate for the change in framing due to tilt), less so for architecture. Shifted panos are possible, but not really useful: you get almost the same pano by using the lens natively and cropping (but you are better using a pano head anyway).

Mechanically, the HTS is relatively well built, but it is not an impressive piece of mechanics like a technical camera. The slides are pieces of tubing, not dovetails for example. The scales are not high precision. But Hasselblad have a card up their sleeve: there are encoders in the device which send the exact position to the camera to display (shift and tilt). That is very accurate and is even recorded in the exifs. Phocus (Hasselblad's software) uses the values to apply lens corrections (shading, chromatic aberrations, etc…). That is very clever, since the corrections depend on shift and tilt.

H cameras have autofocus, but AF and AF confirmation do not work with the HTS. Focussing is a real pain on the tiny ground glass of what is a 645 camera, not a view camera. It is best to shoot tethered and control focus on the computer screen.

The adapter can be used with most H lenses, except the zooms, macro and tele above and including 150mm, so with the 24, 28, 35, 50, 80 and 100mm lenses (also with extension tubes).

Conclusion:
Pro:
-it can be used with many lenses
-IQ is excellent, considering it includes a 1.5 focal converter
-it solves many of the problems of product photographers who often fight against the limited DOF of medium format
-it is cheaper than a technical camera
-it is well integrated in phocus, everything works automatically

Against:
-shift and tilt axes are fixed to each other (orthogonal), even if they can be rotated together
-1.5 focal conversion is a drawback for wide angles
-not much gain for shifted pano
-focus is difficult, best to shoot tethered.


Technical data (pdf)
A review from the British Journal of Photography (pdf)
 

Michael Nagel

Active member
Hi Jerome,

Thanks for that interesting read.
Looks like that this will fill the gap the Fuji GX680 left.

Best regards,
Michael
 
This may sound provocative, but I feel this system will have a strong competition by Sony's new mirrorless Alpha7 and Alpha7R systems that may even outperform it at less than the cost of the adapter itself!

Let me explain... The new Alpha 7/7R Sony FF (24x36mm image area) have no mirror box and hence the imaging area depth from the mount is minimal, this favours movements a lot! For instance, one can buy a S/H bellows with movements or a S/H view camera and use the Sony (via an adapter) for imaging area with LV and video capabilities!
More so, one doesn't have to buy expensive LF glass for it, but S/H inexpensive Mamiya RB, Mamiya RZ, older Mamiya 645 with mechanical aperture, older (and absolutely superb) Rollei SL66 glass, CZJ glass for the P6 mount and even (ridiculously cheap) Russian glass for that P6 mount and even ALL Hasselblad V glass will work just perfect...
Even the Novoflex full movement bellows will work perfectly well with the new Sony cameras and if one has some basic Engineering knowledge, he can get a damaged Fuji GX680 for almost nothing worth mentioning in cost (or even the Mamyia or Contax 645 bellows with movements) and convert them to adapt the Sony on one end of the bellows and the lens (or lenses) he desires at the other...

If materials and lenses are wisely selected, the kit should be more effective in still life/studio/architectural photography at a fraction of the cost than the 1.5 adapter... and at least of 90% the performance of any modern view camera fitted with MFDB and with LF digital glass on it!
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Theodoros,

This may sound provocative, but I feel this system will have a strong competition by Sony's new mirrorless Alpha7 and Alpha7R systems that may even outperform it at less than the cost of the adapter itself!
Very interesting outlook.

Let me explain... The new Alpha 7/7R Sony FF (24x36mm image area) have no mirror box and hence the imaging area depth from the mount is minimal, this favours movements a lot!
Do we have any idea of roughly what the back flange distance (distance from the mount reference face to the focal plane) is for these Sony machines?

Do you mean that the combination of a short back flange distance and a fairly wide mount mouth means that shift movements can be done at a substantial distance forward of the mount face without vignetting by the mount mouth boundary?

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
Do we have any idea of roughly what the back flange distance (distance from the mount reference face to the focal plane) is for these Sony machines?
18mm

Do you mean that the combination of a short back flange distance and a fairly wide mount mouth means that shift movements can be done at a substantial distance forward of the mount face without vignetting by the mount mouth boundary?
The diameter of the mount is not that wide, actually. 38mm (35mm where the contacts are)
 
Hi, Theodoros,



Very interesting outlook.



Do we have any idea of roughly what the back flange distance (distance from the mount reference face to the focal plane) is for these Sony machines?

Do you mean that the combination of a short back flange distance and a fairly wide mount mouth means that shift movements can be done at a substantial distance forward of the mount face without vignetting by the mount mouth boundary?

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
Hi Doug,

1. I can measure the distance on one of my NEX mount Video cameras (we use Nikkor lenses on them) and tell you tomorrow... it's definitely less than 1cm though... Nex mount is even nearer to the imaging area than Leica M... The new cameras DO USE NEX mount (they turn to APS-c imaging area automatically when a NEX mount lens is fitted just like the VG-900 videocamera).
2.Yes...! Especially if an MF lens is used (which is designed to work at 4-5cm distance), this should be the case... and with no (significant) loss in resolution (since only the centre is used) or the need to buy a "digital" LF lens too (even for 6x9 image area)... No intermediate "teleconverter" (to degrade the IQ) is needed either like is the case with the Hassy.

I (strongly) believe that ALL future still life/architectural photography will be done with such cameras... I expect only the ones that have already invested in MFDBs/view camera combinations to retain what they now use and only because their investment will not be S/H value worth to justify turning it to FF mirror less... It will still be slightly better though IQ-wise - but not as flexible, or as efficient or as portable.

Mind you that on the Alpha 7R, Sony uses a sensor that is closely relative to the D800E's 36mp one... which in low ISO, as is required when still life or architectural photography is done, is of "little" IQ degradation than using an MFDB... although the post processing needed is more. OTOH, we are only to the "first generation" of such cameras... (meaning FF mirror less).
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Theodoros,

Hi Doug,

1. I can measure the distance on one of my NEX mount Video cameras (we use Nikkor lenses on them) and tell you tomorrow... it's definitely less than 1cm though..
Not critical but I was just curious.
(since only the centre is used)
I assume you mean "only the center of the image circle" not "only the center of the glass".

I (strongly) believe that ALL future still life/architectural photography will be done with such cameras...
Do you mean as against the use of, say, a Canon EOS DSLR with a 43 mm sensor and an indigenous tilt-shift lens?

Best regards,

Doug
 
18mm



The diameter of the mount is not that wide, actually. 38mm (35mm where the contacts are)
Are you sure it's 18mm Jerome? ...I've never measured it, but the figure you say does look a bit more than the sense I have... Did you find any Internet info on this? ...can you please share? (I am 12 miles away from my studio to go and measure it now).

But even if it is 18mm... this would only be less of 10% of cropping needed (1.1x cropping factor) by any experienced photographer (who allows for cropping anyway) and it still wouldn't affect significantly the WAs angle of view... not as much as the Hassy or the Fuji (which I now use with an MFDB) anyway.
 
Hi, Theodoros,



I assume you mean "only the center of the image circle" not "only the center of the glass".


Do you mean as against the use of, say, a Canon EOS DSLR with a 43 mm sensor and an indigenous tilt-shift lens?

Best regards,

Doug
1.You assume right, excuse my English not being my "mother" language.
2. The thing with FF sensors (of near 43mm diagonal) on DSLRs, is that the lens is still too far away... thus, they use the rear element as kind of the Hassy's 1.5 teleconverter... The abscence of mirror box (as you obviously know well) allows for future "symmetrical" lens designs like the dedicated ones used on view cameras... Also, how much an FF lens with movements costs and how do the limitations of movements/solutions/magnitude of movements compare with the use of a bellows with movements?
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
Are you sure it's 18mm Jerome? ...I've never measured it, but the figure you say does look a bit more than the sense I have... Did you find any Internet info on this? ...can you please share? (I am 12 miles away from my studio to go and measure it now).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_E-mount#Comparison_with_similar_lens_mounts

http://m43photo.blogspot.de/2010/04/register-distance.html

http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/~westin/misc/mounts-by-register.html
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
I predict that you will buy an Alpha 7r and complain that you get corner shading, fuzzies and color casts at the edge of the frame and even more when the lens is shifted.
 
I predict that you will buy an Alpha 7r and complain that you get corner shading, fuzzies and color casts at the edge of the frame and even more when the lens is shifted.
Actually, I won't buy one Jerome, or if I ever do, it won't be for the use I describe above... Others will and IMO they will be right to do so.... I will keep my Fuji GX680 and MFDB along with my Contax 645 system. Only reason for that, is that my MFDB is a multishot "true colour" one and I have this with both the MF cameras... I can't have multishot with the Sony, ...can I?
 
Top