April 7th, 2016

Hasselblad Introduces New H6D Medium Format System


Hasselblad has pulled back the curtain on a new line of medium format camera systems.

The H6D range has been completely rebuilt with new technical components and an all new electronic platform, the company says. It will be compatible with the firm’s H lenses.

The line will include the company’s first 100-megapixel CMOS back, the H6D-100c as well as a 50-megapixel CMOS back, the H6D-50c.

The 100c will offer 16-bit color and up to 16 stops of dynamic range. Native ISO range will be 64-12,800. (Hasselblad hasn’t yet indicated whether it’s using the same Sony CMOS sensor that was first introduced in the Phase One XF IQ3 100MP back, but the specs are identical so it stands to reason the sensor is the same.)

The 100c will also record 4K video at 3840 x 2160 in Hasselblad’s proprietary RAW video format, though frame rate and codec weren’t disclosed. Other highlights include:

* shutter speeds from 60 minutes to 1/2000, depending on lens

* dual card slots for CFast and SD cards

* 3-inch touch display w/ 30 fps live view

* histogram readout on rear display and camera grip display

* USB 3 (Type-C) and HDMI ports

* Wi-Fi

* AF metering with a passive central cross-type sensor, metering range from 1 EV to 19 (ISO 100)

The H6D 50c will share most of the same specs as the 100c only with a lower-resolution, 50-megapixel sensor. It will have less dynamic range, at 14 stops, and a native ISO range of 100-6400. The 50c will only record HD video, not 4K.

Hasselblad says the 50c will have a still photo capture rate of 1.7-2.3 fps. It has yet to publish the spec on the 100c’s capture rate.

Details on the updated camera body weren’t immediately available, but judging from the images released by Hasselblad, there’s a top display screen and a more pronounced handgrip.

Hasselblad is also releasing an updated line of lenses to support shutter speeds up to 1/2000 sec. The new, faster lenses will wear an orange marking to distinguish them from the older versions.

The H6D-50c will retail for $29,995 and the H6D-100c will retail for $32,995.

A video produced by Hasselblad debuting the camera is below.

Hasselblad-H6D-50c_right-side-shot_WH1 Hasselblad-H6D-50c_rear-side-shot_WH1

April 1st, 2016

Soon You Can Buy the First Telephoto Lens Used on the Moon

RR Auction

RR Auction

If you’ve got a few hundred thousand dollars lying around, why not consider investing it in a piece of photo history? RR Auction is auctioning off Dave Scott’s 500mm f/8 Zeiss lens which was on the Apollo 15 mission to the Moon in 1971

According to ARS Technica’s Eric Berger, RR Auction says the lens is one of the largest objects ever on the Moon to be auctioned off.

In a letter released by RR Auctions, Scott noted how the lens was an “integral part” of his 70mm Hasselblad Electric Data Camera.

“The camera with the 500mm lens was hand-held and was operated by pressing a single shutter button with automatic film advance,” Scott writes in a letter accompanying the auction. “However, without a view finder, a range finder, or a light meter, the astronaut had to point the camera, frame the scene, set the distance, and evaluate the lighting so as to manually set the f-stop, exposure time, and distance. Training for the mission required extensive practice in a spacesuit with pressurized gloves.”

Special tabs were fitted to the rotational segments in the center of the lens so it was easier to focus and change the aperture using pressured gloves. It’s nicked up, as you’d expect, and may also contain some lunar dust, RR Auction says.

The lens was used to record 293 high-resolution images from the Moon mission, which entailed three days on the lunar surface and two days in orbit. You can see images snapped with the lens from the moon below.

Scott was able to keep the lens after the mission as a memento. If you want it, however, expect to pay between $400,000 – $600,000. Bidding starts April 14.

Hat tip: ARS Technica

RR Auction

RR Auction

RR Auction

RR Auction





November 5th, 2015

DJI Buys “Strategic Minority Stake” in Hasselblad

DJI Phantom 3

Drone-maker DJI is buying a strategic minority stake in Hasselblad, the two companies announced today.

Just how much DJI paid was not disclosed, but the Chinese drone builder earns a place on Hasselblad’s Board of Directors.

According to a joint press release, the tie-up “will allow opportunities and new ways of combining the technical knowledge and inventive spirit of the two industry leaders in their respective fields.”

The companies “will each focus on their individual strategic directions and related growth opportunities, with marketing and branding platforms continuing to delineate the two companies,” the release stated.

As far as manufacturing, Hasselblad cameras and gear will still be produced in Sweden, and DJI will continue to make products in Shenzhen, China.

A DJI spokesperson told us that the two companies will not only continue to develop their own gear, they are also “exploring ways to combine the strengths of DJI and Hasselblad through joint projects.”

We can only speculate what that will mean. A 50-megapixel drone, perhaps?

November 7th, 2014

First Hasselblad Camera Used in Space Up for Auction

Atlas CameraYou can own a piece of photographic–and space–history next week when the first Hasselblad camera body and Zeiss Planar 80mm lens carried into orbit on the Mercury-Atlas 8 goes up for auction.

The Hasselblad 500c was purchased by astronaut Wally Schirra from a Houston photo shop in 1962. The camera was not blasted into space as-is. Schirra, fellow astronaut Gordon Cooper and the U.S. Air Force camera lab made their own tweaks, such as adding a 100-exposure film container, an aiming device on the side of the camera and a new paint job to minimize reflections.

The camera snapped multiple images of Earth from orbit as it travelled on what was America’s fifth manned mission to space.

The camera will be auctioned by Boston’s RR Auction on November 13. The terrestrial version of the 500c is fetching $400 on eBay. The celestial version, with the custom film container and lens, may command up to an astronomical $100,000 in auction.

UPDATE: It did much better than $100,000. The camera sold for $275,000!

September 16th, 2014

Photokina 2014: Hasselblad Adds Wi-Fi to H5D-50c


Hasselblad will bring a Wi-Fi-equipped version of its H5D-50c medium format camera to market later this month, the company announced at Photokina.

Building off the existing 50c, the new  model uses Wi-Fi to enable remote control and viewfinding through iOS devices.

There will be a few more enhancements to the 50c beyond Wi-Fi including a live view mode when the camera is untethered, an increased capture rate of 50 images per minute and longer exposure times of up to 34 minutes.

The updated 50c will also now accept film magazines and features a spirit level which can be used in tethered mode. ISO and white balance will now be displayed in the viewfinder as well.

Current 50c owners will be gain access to all the new features except Wi-Fi via a firmware upgrade later this month.

The Wi-Fi version of the H5D-50c will command a $1,000 premium over the standard 50c ($27,500, body only) .

H5D-50c owners who want Wi-Fi will be able to upgrade their current camera for the Wi-Fi version for about $650 between January and March 2015, at least in Europe.

March 5th, 2014

New Pro Cameras and Lighting Gear Debut at WPPI Show in Las Vegas

Nikon-D4S-1I’ve been pounding the WPPI show floor in Las Vegas this week for our sister publication, Rangefinder magazine, covering what’s new in the world of photography gear. Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights from WPPI, which saw quite a few new pro cameras debut in the U.S. at the show.

Follow the links for the full posts on Rangefinder’s blog, Photoforward.


February 11th, 2014

New Hasselblad H5D-50c Medium Format Camera with CMOS Sensor to Debut This Week

Hasselblad-rumorsRemember the forthcoming Hasselblad H5D-50c medium-format camera system we told you about in January? The camera, which will use a 50-megapixel CMOS sensor, will makes its official debut at the CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show in Japan this week, Hasselblad revealed today.

The H5D-50c will then go on display in the U.S. at the WPPI show in Las Vegas, before officially going on sale in March. Pricing has not been revealed for the medium format camera yet.

“We are delighted to provide CP+ visitors with a unique preview opportunity – a chance to get to grips with our superb new medium format option before its official launch at the beginning of March,” Hasselblad CEO Ian Rawcliffe said in a press release.

The Hasselblad H5D-50c is one of three new medium format camera systems to use a new CMOS imaging sensor. Last month, we did a hands-on test of the new Phase One IQ250 digital back, which uses a 50MP CMOS chip made by Sony. We found that the sensor in the IQ250 did an excellent job of producing relatively low noise images shot at high ISOs.

Earlier this month, Pentax announced that it will unveil a new 645D medium format camera with a CMOS sensor at the CP+ show this week as well.

February 3rd, 2014

BREAKING: Hasselblad Launches HV, a High-End DSLR Based on Sony A99

Hasselblad-HV_front_wHasselblad has just announced the new HV, a 24.3-megapixel, full-frame digital SLR that appears to be based on the Sony A99 from 2012. According to a press release posted on Hasselblad’s website, the HV camera will sell as a kit with a Carl Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for for 8,500 Euros, or $11,500 USD. (The Sony A99 retails for $2,800, body only.)

Hasselblad, which is known primarily as a manufacturer of medium-format camera systems, has collaborated with Sony in the past for its Lunar, and Stellar mirrorless digital cameras, which are based on Sony’s NEX models, but revamped as luxury items and sell at much steeper prices.

In describing the Hasselblad HV, Hasselblad’s CEO Ian Rawcliffe said the new camera is designed to be stylish, ergonomic, and rugged, and is built with “premium materials like titanium, high-grade aluminium and latest ‘tough as nails’ PVD coatings.”

“This camera is aimed squarely at people who don’t just love taking pictures – but love taking them in real style,” Rawcliffe said in the press release. “And the HV doesn’t just look good; it feels good to hold too.”

Check out some more photos of the Hasselblad HV after the jump. More info on the new camera at Hasselblad’s website.


January 21st, 2014

Hasselblad Says It Will Launch Medium Format Camera with CMOS Sensor in March

Hasselblad_logoHasselblad announced this morning it will launch a new digital medium format camera that will use a CMOS sensor. The new camera, to be called the H5D-50c, will go on sale in March.

Hasselblad is claiming the forthcoming H5D-50c will be “the world’s first 50MP medium format camera using CMOS sensor technology.”

The benefits of using a CMOS sensor in a medium format camera system include “a faster capture rate; longer shutter speed capability and much greater ISO performance,” according to Hasselblad product manager Ove Bengston. (Medium format cameras typically use CCD image sensors.)

More information, including pricing, for the H5D-50c will be announced in March 2014, Hasselblad said.

Read more in the Hasselblad press release here.


July 23rd, 2013

Hasselblad Announces ‘Stellar’ Large-Sensor Compact

Hasselblad StellarHasselblad has announced their new, large-sensor compact camera, the Stellar. Like the Sony NEX 7 “inspired” Hasselblad Luna announced at the photokina trade show last year, the Stellar is a close cousin of the Sony RX100 large-sensor compact camera (20.2-megapixel 1-inch sensor, 3.6x (28-100mm) f/1.8 Zeiss-branded lens). In fact, it would appear that the only significant difference is the rather unique hand grip which is available in your choice of six different wood choices (Padouk, Olive, Zebra, Mahogany, Wenge and Walnut) or carbon fiber.

Something interesting? Or a marketing gimmick on the same level as all those “special edition” M cameras that Leica used to put out?

Hard to say. But you can make up your own mind at the dedicated Stellar website.