Hasselblad? Looking For a Prosumer Grade Review from Users

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by SneakyP, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. SneakyP

    SneakyP Guest

    I am relatively new to the 'best' of cameras to be had in this world.
    Seems to be a wide range of answers to debate between what a Hasselblad is
    built to replicate vs. what another pro-sumer camera, like Nikon or Canon,
    can offer in the same market for a reasonable price.

    The joke on me?

    Seems a Hasselblad was built to go beyond what a "hobbyist" camera does and
    gets down to the real art of capturing a technically superior image to a
    sensor capable of recording the same field in stunningly accurate detail.
    If I'm reading the price-ranges quoted for each camera body type rightly
    (Hasselblad) they all seem to be far above the class of cameras expected to
    do only so much (depending upon the constraints given to the 'lesser'
    capable cameras).

    So my question is...

    Does the madness of buying a camera (only because of a name-brand stuck on
    it) actually co-orelates to the quality expected out of such camera?

    If so, my $40,000 mortgage may have yet to be attached to something of
    permanent stature (usually a house). Cameras aren't so attached, so it
    seems that taking a loan out to get one is *really* taken as the serious
    matter it deserves.

    Am I off-base here? $400 vs $30,000 should bring a huge leap of
    possibilities, and needs justification for being so expensive that it takes
    a small mortgage attached to a house to justify buying it.


    Canon's Rebel XS, as a starter is fine for tinkering, and learning about
    basic relationships, but the Hasselblad seems to have all the other factors
    of photographing down to a science not yet attainable by any but the
    highest end and most serious camera buffs - rightly professionals who make
    money off their picures.

    Anybody selling these neat professional grade instruments.
    My Canon looks like a cheap toy, by comparison. Photoshop only goes so
    far.


    --
    __
    SneakyP
    To email me, you know what to do.

    Supernews, if you get a complaint from a Jamie Baillie, please see:
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    SneakyP, Jun 2, 2011
    #1
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  2. SneakyP

    Alan Browne Guest

    Was it J.P. Morgan who said, "If you have to ask the price, you can't
    afford it."?

    A Hassy digital camera is, mainly, a tool for advertising and editorial
    photographers and a narrower field of photographers documenting art of
    various kind in exceptional detail. Then an even narrower field of
    photographers producing art for their own sake.

    Almost all of them pay off the camera based on sales and contracts
    related to photography within 2 years. While making a profit and a
    living. The exception being museums and such which depreciate the
    camera over a period of 5 years or so (depending on local accounting
    practices).

    If you have to talk about buying a camera in personal terms related to a
    mortgage then do the following:

    - go to the Hassy page on B&H.
    - fill out the online order without committing
    - once that's done look at it.
    - take a deep breath and hold it for 20 seconds while reading all that

    Then get on with your real life.
     
    Alan Browne, Jun 2, 2011
    #2
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  3. SneakyP

    Bruce Guest



    If you need to ask other people what a Hasselblad would offer you,
    it's almost certain that you have no need for one.

    Instead, you should start by writing down what kind of subjects you
    shoot, and why, and what income you earn (or hope to earn) from doing
    it. Then write down what features and performance you need to achieve
    your current or target future income. Not what features you want, but
    what you need.

    If you haven't already done this, it's almost certain that you have no
    need for a Hasselblad.

    The vast majority of amateur photographers have no need for a
    Hasselblad. Only a very small proportion of professional
    photographers use that brand. When there is such a wide range of
    cheaper equipment that is capable of producing outstanding image
    quality in the right hands - the hands of someone who knows exactly
    what they are doing - there is only a small demand for Hasselblad.

    It would be better to spend a small fraction of the cost of a
    Hasselblad on one of those cheaper cameras - and some tuition that
    will help you get the very best out of it.
     
    Bruce, Jun 2, 2011
    #3
  4. Perhaps. You're comparing two different film formats (or sensor
    sizes, if you're looking at the digital versions).

    And the Hasselblad is by no means an "ultimate"; it's just a different
    compromise. It was the darling of wedding photographers because it
    was one of the smaller and quicker to use of the "medium-format" (120
    roll film) cameras. But it had a smaller negative than say the Mamiya
    RZ series; or of course than any of the sheet-film cameras (common
    sizes there were 4x5 inches and 8x10 inches).

    Different kinds of cameras are better for different kinds of
    photography. A DSLR can be carried around relatively easily and shot
    quickly, and can take a wide range of lenses (and a single person can
    carry several lenses plus the camera all by themselves). They're good
    for photojournalism, and for trips to places so hard to get to that
    the total weight of the equipment matters a lot, and for work that
    requires extreme lenses (the smaller sensor makes it easier to make a
    wide range of focal lengths of lens for them). A sheet-film camera is
    much much slower to use, benefits a lot more from a tripod, you can't
    get as wide a range of lenses for it -- but it captures more
    resolution on the big film, and you can make bigger prints before the
    grain becomes obvious, and they generally support "movements" useful
    for controlling perspective and placing depth of field where you need
    it. Each will do things that the other can't match. And the various
    intermediate designs have different sets of tradeoffs.
    The nice thing about buying by brand name is that you always get
    exactly what you pay for -- you get the brand name. :)
    As you enter the upper reaches of any range of products, you get less
    and less extra for each increment of extra money. And when we're
    talking about serious tools like cameras, you need a lot of skills
    yourself to actually achieve what the cameras are capable of. They're
    often considerably harder to get even ordinary results from; they're
    not user-friendly. They're optimized for use by experts.

    I think what I'm saying here is that if it isn't entirely obvious to
    you, in photographic terms, why you might buy a $30,000 camera, then
    you nearly certainly would be making a mistake buying a $30,000
    camera. You can almost never spend your way to significantly better
    pictures -- unless you're really reaching the limits of your current
    equipment, and are prepared to exploit the additional capabilities of
    better equipment.
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jun 2, 2011
    #4
  5. The best camera is the one you have with you.
    You could buy 75 $400 cameras, for example.
    But unless you have positively outgrown $400 cameras and $4,000
    cameras (and another $6,000 in lenses) --- and you know exactly
    what is missing that you need --- you don't even want a $30,000
    camera.

    As to the huge leap: Look at computers. Look at the high end
    how a few percent increase in power cost you 100% more money.

    The hugest leap is from all-auto to manual. The next leap is
    from a P&S to a larger format where you have more than 2
    aperture settings and interchangeable lenses. The next leap
    (already quite expensive) would be extreme lenses (very long,
    very short and very fast) or a larger sensor.
    From then on you're paying more and more for less and less extra.
    Going from a Rebel (any Rebel) to a Hasselblad is like going
    straight from a smaller city-car with (just) enough space for
    the weekly shopping to a formula one race car: much faster, much
    more specialized, no cargo space at all, needs a large team to
    keep it running, needs specialized training, needs special roads,
    needs lots of wheel changes, etc. etc.

    Unless --- see above --- you use your city-car for races, you
    won't win much from switching to a formula one car, and I'd start
    with the much cheaper, though slower, go-cart.
    In which way do you hope to improve your results with a
    better camera? Where is the XS lacking *for you*?
    What lenses do you have? Where do you feel them lacking?
    Try producing mostly finished shots, not ones you need to
    process much in Photoshop.

    -Wolfgang
     
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Jun 3, 2011
    #5
  6. SneakyP

    tcroyer Guest

    Back in the early 70's (film era) I was doing a lot of 35mm photography.
    First with a Praktika and then, when I got serious, with a Minolta SRT-101.
    That camera, outfitted with the kit 58mm f/1.4 and a 28mm and a 135mm took
    great pictures and taught me a lot about photography, including framing,
    color balancing, film choice, etc.

    Then I decided that I needed a larger format. First I bought a Yashica MAT
    124G and shot a fair amount of 120 and 220 film. I got so taken by the
    large format that I wanted more. So I bought a Mamiya M645 for $850 (one
    hell of a lot of money in the early 70s). Then I hit the wall. The 645 was
    just too big to carry for the kind of photography I did (so, by the way, was
    the 124G), so it languished.

    I went back to 35mm. In fact, I nearly abandonded the SRT-101, too. Most
    of my shooting was done with a Minolta ALF. And I really learned a lot with
    it. Since the only thing it did for me was be reliable and provide an
    accurate meter reading; I had to do all the rest of the work.

    An that's the way things stood for nearly thirty years. When the ALF
    finally gave out, I moved to digital, but was careful not to get too carried
    a way with features I didn't need. I currently use a Sony A550 and put,
    maybe, 1000 frames a month through it. But, because I learned to do most of
    the work with my SRT101 and ALF, the only adjustments I usually have to do
    now is straighten the horizon (I must walk and stand leaning left) -- unless
    I want to get really wacko or avant garde.

    Bottom line -- don't get carried away with featuritis. List what you really
    need (not what you think you need) and make sure that you prioritize those
    features -- list the deal breakers. For example, I don't hesitate to take
    my A550 just about everywhere I go. If I lose it, it can be replaced for
    about $1000. I'd never carry a $40,000 large format camera around like
    that. First, it's far too heavy, and, second, if I lost it both I and my
    insurance company would be royally pissed. Hell, I'd hesitate to carry a
    $4000 full frame camera around like that, although I probably would.
    Remember, if you're worrying about carrying a heavy camera around, or you're
    concerned with damage or loss, you're not paying enough attention to your
    subject.
     
    tcroyer, Jun 5, 2011
    #6
  7. SneakyP

    Robert Coe Guest

    On Jun 2, 2:18am, SneakyP <>
    : wrote:
    : > Am I off-base here? $400 vs $30,000 should bring a huge leap of
    : > possibilities, and needs justification for being so expensive that
    : > it takes a small mortgage attached to a house to justify buying it.
    :
    : As you enter the upper reaches of any range of products, you get less
    : and less extra for each increment of extra money. And when we're
    : talking about serious tools like cameras, you need a lot of skills
    : yourself to actually achieve what the cameras are capable of. They're
    : often considerably harder to get even ordinary results from; they're
    : not user-friendly. They're optimized for use by experts.
    :
    : I think what I'm saying here is that if it isn't entirely obvious to
    : you, in photographic terms, why you might buy a $30,000 camera, then
    : you nearly certainly would be making a mistake buying a $30,000
    : camera. You can almost never spend your way to significantly better
    : pictures -- unless you're really reaching the limits of your current
    : equipment, and are prepared to exploit the additional capabilities of
    : better equipment.

    I agree.

    Better equipment will make almost anyone a better photographer. But the better
    photographer you already are, the more difference better equipment makes. If
    you're a newbie with limited photographic skills, very expensive equipment is
    a waste of money.

    And you have to know what "better equipment" means in a given context. A
    camera that constitutes a major improvement for a journalist or event
    photographer may be nearly useless to a portrait photographer, and vice-versa.

    I think most photographers upgrade along an incremental path, generally
    staying with what they know and understand. In my case, for example, it was G5
    to XTi to 50D to 7D. Each upgrade was a significant step, but each camera
    built on the strengths of its predecessor, and none presented a sudden steep
    learning curve.

    Suppose you were learning to play the violin and realized that you had
    outgrown your $400 starter instrument. Would you go straight to a $30,000
    violin? Probably not, unless you were a certified prodigy; the upgrade would
    simply not be worth the money at that stage. It's the same with cameras. Get a
    better camera if you need one, but skip the big bucks purchases until you're a
    working professional and understand the specific requirements of your trade.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Jun 11, 2011
    #7
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