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Old Nov 30, 2012, 02:09 PM   #1
guzhogi
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Where to Get Lenses for Hasselblad H4D Cameras

Hello, all. I'm thinking about getting into photography and selling my pics. I definitely can't afford it now, but a goal of mine is to eventually buy a Hasselblad DSLR, maybe an H4D-60. My question is, where can I get compatible lenses? Hasselblad's selection seems rather limited. I would like a few good zoom lenses with a wide range just so I don't have to carry around a whole bunch of lenses and then switch them out. FWIW, I'm more interested in nature pics & spur of the moment kinds of photography.

As I said, I can't afford a Hasselblad camera right now, but something to keep at the back of my mind so I know how much to save up. Thanks!
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 03:48 PM   #2
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Try Capture Integration, in the US. But... wow.... that is a highly sophisticated system. It's not where I would start if I was just getting started. It takes a lot of technical knowledge and experience to get the best out of a medium format system. Plus money. Lots of money. An extra battery alone will set you back $250.

But if you can swing it.... good on you.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 04:12 PM   #3
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Hi guzhogi. I currently use an H3DII-39 for my commercial work. It is a great camera for this kind of work but not suited to every kind of photography. If you are interested in spur of the moment kinds of things then it probably isn't the system for you. It is a very manual system ideal for the situations where you have full control of the lighting. In those situations it does provide the ultimate quality. The cameras have a huge amount of custom settings so you can set it up just how you like it.

When it comes to lenses only the Hasselblad H lenses will fit. There is a reasonable range but it isn't as wide as that from Canon or Nikon. It is wide enough for most uses though. They are all exceptional quality. Many owners just use a standard 80mm lens and hire whatever else they need based on the project as they are pretty expensive. You don't say where in the world you are but many pros buy through their local Hasselblad representative who will often come to your studio with samples to let you have a go with the gear. The customer commitment is very impressive but then it should be at these prices.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 04:38 PM   #4
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Like Steve said, the Hasse is a studio camera and most of these puppies never leave their tripods and are doomed to a life of snapping high end fashion models. At $15,000 to $35,000 you just don't take it out on a street shoot...

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Old Nov 30, 2012, 05:41 PM   #5
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Listen to Designer Dale. As much as I love Hasselblad's images (I eventually want to get one for portraits and studio work) it is definitely not ideal for nature and spur of the moment type shooting. It can do it, but I'd recommend something much more compact, rugged, and much, much faster (1.2fps is way too slow when trying to capture action shots). If you're goal is to spend big bucks then take a good look at the Canon 1DX or Nikon D800.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 08:25 AM   #6
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While I'll disagree that a Hassy is a studio-only camera, unless you're shooting landscapes, it's not a nature camera. I've shot plenty of nature and spontaneous photographs with much slower medium format film cameras like the Mamiya C330 TLR, Mamiya 645 and Pentax 67 and I've shot nature images with 4x5 and 5x7 view cameras including the occasional Great Blue Heron.

However, if your nature photography regularly includes fauna, then the lens ranges available are much, much less than ideal. As far as the D800 is concerned, that's not really "big bucks[1]," but the real money is going to be in the lenses unless you go for a pro flagship Nikon or Canon body. For instance, an 600mm f/4 is around $10k on Nikon and $12k on Canon.

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Old Dec 1, 2012, 08:41 AM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. As I've said, I'm just starting out with photography so I'm not sure what kinds/brands of camera are best for what. I've heard many good things about Hasselblads.

Right now, I have a Sony Alpha 65 with one of Sony's 18-250mm lenses and a Tamron 200-500mm lens. I'm considering going to an Alpha 99 camera when my budget can afford due to it being a full frame camera so hopefully better quality pics for nature & spur of the moment shots. Also thinking about a Tamron 10-24mm as well as its 18-270mm lens. Thoughts? I'd also like to get an A-mount lens that's >500mm that also autofocuses. Any ideas where I can get one? Thanks in advance!
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 05:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guzhogi View Post
Right now, I have a Sony Alpha 65 with one of Sony's 18-250mm lenses and a Tamron 200-500mm lens. I'm considering going to an Alpha 99 camera when my budget can afford due to it being a full frame camera so hopefully better quality pics for nature & spur of the moment shots.
Unless you're printing 5' or so on a side, you're not likely to notice much difference between a good FF camera and a good APS-C camera.

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Originally Posted by guzhogi View Post
Also thinking about a Tamron 10-24mm as well as its 18-270mm lens. Thoughts? I'd also like to get an A-mount lens that's >500mm that also autofocuses. Any ideas where I can get one? Thanks in advance!
Not many good super-telephoto options outside the Nikon/Canon duopoly. Switch systems now, before you invest in many more lenses if you want to shoot with a fast big gun. Otherwise, you're pretty-much relegated to Sigma. At the moment, Nikon's large teles are cheaper than Canon's- the difference is normally almost enough to pay for the body.

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Old Dec 2, 2012, 07:03 AM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. As I've said, I'm just starting out with photography so I'm not sure what kinds/brands of camera are best for what. I've heard many good things about Hasselblads.
If you have the budget to try out a MF camera try and old Hasselblad film camera. I shoot on a 500C/M and it's absolutely beautiful!

The problem with buying lenses for hasselblad is that you need lenses with an image circle which will cover the MF film plane.

You'll find that your current FF lenses will render as circles on a MF camera as they don't fill the film plane.

What do you find limiting about the Hasselblad lens selection? It's been adequate for pro photographers for 40 years+!
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 05:54 PM   #10
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If you have the budget to try out a MF camera try and old Hasselblad film camera. I shoot on a 500C/M and it's absolutely beautiful!

The problem with buying lenses for hasselblad is that you need lenses with an image circle which will cover the MF film plane.

You'll find that your current FF lenses will render as circles on a MF camera as they don't fill the film plane.

What do you find limiting about the Hasselblad lens selection? It's been adequate for pro photographers for 40 years+!
That's some good advice!

Pretty sure he wasn't saying Hasselblad's lens options were necessarily bad. There's nothing wrong with it, but compare it to Nikon and Canon's selection. There are a lot more lenses to choose from, particularly in the zoom / telephoto category. This would be handy for the OP since he mentioned wildlife photography.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 07:39 AM   #11
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That's some good advice!

Pretty sure he wasn't saying Hasselblad's lens options were necessarily bad. There's nothing wrong with it, but compare it to Nikon and Canon's selection. There are a lot more lenses to choose from, particularly in the zoom / telephoto category. This would be handy for the OP since he mentioned wildlife photography.
Well there is your problem. The Hasselblads aren't wildlife cameras. They lack the reach, high iso performance, frame rate and swift autofocus that is often required.

They also don't deal too well with the elements.

With Hasselblads it's all about utmost quality and you get sharper images with primes rather than zooms and since Hasselblads are normally used in controlled environments then it makes sense to focus on primes.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by guzhogi View Post
Hello, all. I'm thinking about getting into photography and selling my pics. I definitely can't afford it now, but a goal of mine is to eventually buy a Hasselblad DSLR, maybe an H4D-60. My question is, where can I get compatible lenses? Hasselblad's selection seems rather limited. I would like a few good zoom lenses with a wide range just so I don't have to carry around a whole bunch of lenses and then switch them out. FWIW, I'm more interested in nature pics & spur of the moment kinds of photography.

As I said, I can't afford a Hasselblad camera right now, but something to keep at the back of my mind so I know how much to save up. Thanks!
Unless you make at least 500,000 a year and have your pictures on best selling magazines, don't buy a hasselblad for a starter DSLR.


Plus, by the questions you ask, you seem pretty young and obviously don't know anything about cameras. No offense but its just not a question professionals ask.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:46 PM   #13
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Unless you make at least 500,000 a year and have your pictures on best selling magazines, don't buy a hasselblad for a starter DSLR.


Plus, by the questions you ask, you seem pretty young and obviously don't know anything about cameras. No offense but its just not a question professionals ask.
As I said, I'm just starting into photography so of course I wouldn't know all the ins & outs yet. Besides, I've heard Hasselblads are pretty high end and getting one was more of a daydream, back of the mind kind of thought like "What would I do if I won the lottery?" kinds of things. If I seem overwhelmingly ignorant/na´ve, forgive me.

As far as "limited," I meant that with Nikon, Sony, etc., there seem to be dozens of different lenses on their sites of different focal lengths, zooms, etc. while Hasselblad has far less, and especially zooms. I also saw few lenses for other brands made by Tamron. But from what people have said in this thread, looks like Hasselblads are mainly for studio cameras. Am I understanding this correctly?

As I said, I have a Sony Alpha 65 which works pretty well. I also have a 24" HP Designjet z2100 at work that makes great posters. Again, this is just daydreaming at this point, but would love to seed how something like a Sony Alpha 99 and a 60" Designjet Z6200 would go together.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 03:21 PM   #14
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....buy a Hasselblad DSLR, maybe an H4D-60.... I'm more interested in nature pics & spur of the moment kinds of photography.....

I think you are looking at the wrong camera system for your chosen kind of photography. A zoom lens on a H4D just does not seem like something for "spur of the moment kinds of photography" For that even a much smaller Nikon dSLR is possibly to large.

What you should do is RENT a Hasselblad for a week and see for yourself.

Also much depends on what you intend to do with the photos. If they are only to be displayed on an electronic screen then even an entry-level dSLR has more pixels than you need as few screens are even 2K pixels wide. But if the goal is very large size prints, then yes, you need many pixels.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 04:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by guzhogi View Post
As I said, I'm just starting into photography so of course I wouldn't know all the ins & outs yet. Besides, I've heard Hasselblads are pretty high end and getting one was more of a daydream, back of the mind kind of thought like "What would I do if I won the lottery?" kinds of things. If I seem overwhelmingly ignorant/na´ve, forgive me.

As far as "limited," I meant that with Nikon, Sony, etc., there seem to be dozens of different lenses on their sites of different focal lengths, zooms, etc. while Hasselblad has far less, and especially zooms. I also saw few lenses for other brands made by Tamron. But from what people have said in this thread, looks like Hasselblads are mainly for studio cameras. Am I understanding this correctly?

As I said, I have a Sony Alpha 65 which works pretty well. I also have a 24" HP Designjet z2100 at work that makes great posters. Again, this is just daydreaming at this point, but would love to seed how something like a Sony Alpha 99 and a 60" Designjet Z6200 would go together.
Hey im sorry if it was pretty hateful and at the end of the day, its your money to spend.

Im just saying that, for the kind of photography you are going into, a hasselblad is definitely not what you need.

Dont forget, the Hasselblad is an MEDIUM FORMAT DSLR.

I hope you know what this means, but if you dont, it means that the sensor on its digital backs are about almost twice the size of a full frame DSLR.



The backs are interchangeable.

And yes its intention is a studio camera so the lens produced is very limited.

Like acerarchie said, a Hasselblad 500C/M is a beauty and you might want to try some film first.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 05:03 PM   #16
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Like acerarchie said, a Hasselblad 500C/M is a beauty and you might want to try some film first.
Just to add on top of this when shooting film, with the right back, you will get a beautiful 6x6 image even bigger than the digital backs!
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 06:57 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by guzhogi View Post
Hello, all. I'm thinking about getting into photography and selling my pics. I definitely can't afford it now, but a goal of mine is to eventually buy a Hasselblad DSLR, maybe an H4D-60. My question is, where can I get compatible lenses? Hasselblad's selection seems rather limited. I would like a few good zoom lenses with a wide range just so I don't have to carry around a whole bunch of lenses and then switch them out. FWIW, I'm more interested in nature pics & spur of the moment kinds of photography.

As I said, I can't afford a Hasselblad camera right now, but something to keep at the back of my mind so I know how much to save up. Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by guzhogi View Post
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. As I've said, I'm just starting out with photography so I'm not sure what kinds/brands of camera are best for what. I've heard many good things about Hasselblads.

Right now, I have a Sony Alpha 65 with one of Sony's 18-250mm lenses and a Tamron 200-500mm lens. I'm considering going to an Alpha 99 camera when my budget can afford due to it being a full frame camera so hopefully better quality pics for nature & spur of the moment shots. Also thinking about a Tamron 10-24mm as well as its 18-270mm lens. Thoughts? I'd also like to get an A-mount lens that's >500mm that also autofocuses. Any ideas where I can get one? Thanks in advance!
Quote:
Originally Posted by guzhogi View Post
As I said, I'm just starting into photography so of course I wouldn't know all the ins & outs yet. Besides, I've heard Hasselblads are pretty high end and getting one was more of a daydream, back of the mind kind of thought like "What would I do if I won the lottery?" kinds of things. If I seem overwhelmingly ignorant/na´ve, forgive me.

As far as "limited," I meant that with Nikon, Sony, etc., there seem to be dozens of different lenses on their sites of different focal lengths, zooms, etc. while Hasselblad has far less, and especially zooms. I also saw few lenses for other brands made by Tamron. But from what people have said in this thread, looks like Hasselblads are mainly for studio cameras. Am I understanding this correctly?

As I said, I have a Sony Alpha 65 which works pretty well. I also have a 24" HP Designjet z2100 at work that makes great posters. Again, this is just daydreaming at this point, but would love to seed how something like a Sony Alpha 99 and a 60" Designjet Z6200 would go together.
You're getting waaaaay ahead of yourself.

If you're just starting out, you need to worry about buying one decent lens for what you've got and learning how to use that gear.

Super-expensive high-end cameras will not make you a better photographer, it will only highlight how much you still need to learn. (As someone who's been a pro and has been making photos since I was 10, I still learn something new every day.)

If you're serious about wildlife photography, you'll want a more capable camera system than anything that Sony offers (the bodies are fine, the lenses aren't). Nikon or Canon is the way to go. Get a decent (not a top of the line) body (a crop sensor is going to give you more "reach" with a long tele) and a fast telephoto zoom and a good fast prime. Master those, then add to the arsenal. (Stay away from full-auto and program, as well.)

A Hassy is a studio rig. You wouldn't drive nails with a sledgehammer, so why on Earth would you use a $35,000 studio body to photograph wildlife in the field? Cameras are tools. Use the right one to get the job done.

And remember: bodies are disposable; lenses are an investment.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 07:16 AM   #18
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Hasselblad cameras not suited for long-distance wildlife photography because of insufficient lens selection? No. You just don't have enough money. If you're not commissioning Zeiss to custom design and build you the lens you want, then you aren't doing it right.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2006/10/1/zeiss1700f4

I mean, if you're going to daydream about stuff none of us will ever own, may as well dream big.

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Old Dec 5, 2012, 10:13 AM   #19
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If you're serious about wildlife photography, you'll want a more capable camera system than anything that Sony offers (the bodies are fine, the lenses aren't). Nikon or Canon is the way to go. Get a decent (not a top of the line) body (a crop sensor is going to give you more "reach" with a long tele) and a fast telephoto zoom and a good fast prime. Master those, then add to the arsenal.
Just out of curiosity, why Nikon or Canon and not Sony? And are you referring to the body & lenses or just lenses? With my lack of experience, just wanting to learn.

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Hasselblad cameras not suited for long-distance wildlife photography because of insufficient lens selection? No. You just don't have enough money. If you're not commissioning Zeiss to custom design and build you the lens you want, then you aren't doing it right.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2006/10/1/zeiss1700f4

I mean, if you're going to daydream about stuff none of us will ever own, may as well dream big.

Sweet. What good is living if you can't dream big? As the saying goes: "Shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

Thanks for the advice guys. Sorry if my lack of experience/knowledge is annoying/offensive. As I said, I'm just starting in the photography business. I'm an IT guy at a public school right now looking for a side profession. As you know, public education is fun to work in, but pay isn't great plus a lot of bureaucracy.

There's a community college close to me I'm thinking about taking classes at. Might be a while as it is a little expensive and I just bought a car. However, I plan on learning more as I go by. I'll probably be lurking the digital photography forum to learn as much as I can so any advice is more than appreciated. When I have some more time, I'll see if I can post a few pics for feedback.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 10:29 AM   #20
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Just out of curiosity, why Nikon or Canon and not Sony? And are you referring to the body & lenses or just lenses? With my lack of experience, just wanting to learn.
The lenses, mostly, both in terms of optical quality and breadth of product range for fast glass. The higher-end sensors made by Nikon and Canon are arguably better than the best from Sony/Olympus, but at this point, you won't see it, in your photos. Five years from now, when you've spent more on glass than it costs to buy a Hyundai, you'll be happy that you switched to Nikon or Canon. (Until I bought my most recent car, last year -- I'd spent more on lenses than I'd spent, in total, to buy a cherry '65 Mustang, a classic/rare BMW coupe and to build a race car out of an '87 3-series.)

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As I said, I'm just starting in the photography business. I'm an IT guy at a public school right now looking for a side profession. As you know, public education is fun to work in, but pay isn't great plus a lot of bureaucracy.
Don't go into photography expecting big bucks -- the average professional photographer, in the U.S., made $19,000-25,000 in 2009 (the most recent year that I've seen data for). Sure, there are photographers who command $5,000/day rates, but that's not typical -- and they've worked very hard and for quite a while, to get to that point, both in terms of skill and reputation.
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