Spent a pleasant afternoon in Liverpool today, along with my good friend Tony. Calumet were hosting a Hasselblad road-show to exult the quality of their camera systems. The set up consisted of a Profoto head attached to a Pro-8a 2400 Air and Giant Silver 210 Reflector, a Storm Grey background paper, a Hasselblad H3DII-31 tethered to an Apple MacBookPro and an attractive model, it wasn't to long before we had a chance to get our hands on the kit and start putting the camera through it's paces. The camera feels good and not to heavy (though we were only using the 80mm lens) in the hand, the viewfinder is huge, at least it is after squinting through a Canon 1Ds MkII, only one focus point slap bag in the middle, not a problem just a different way of working, manual focusing is easy. The auto focus does hunt occasionally but locks on quickly enough. We were running tethered to a MacBookPro using the Phocus software, which is actually quite a bit better than I thought it would be after reading some of the slatings it's had on some forums, the latest version will be released shortly, which has some major refinement in it, plus Hasselblad have signed a deal with Adobe, not sure yet what that's going to mean as Paul Waterworth (Hasselblad Area Sales Manager) wasn't able to give to much away about it. I'm sure we'll see some interesting developments soon on that front.
I cracked on shooting about 90 images while Tony ran Paul over the coals about the closed system, in the end I think they came to a truce on that point. It was great then running through the software with Paul, as well as having coffee made and served by our model. Nothing I like better than a nice cup of coffee when talking shop. I've got to say, now having had a play with the software on my own MacPro and with the images in Photoshop, that I'm really impressed with the ease of adjusting the images in Phocus and with the image quality of the final results. I've really changed my opinion of digital backs and yes if I could warrant the expense in these difficult times I'd have a Hasselblad kit tomorrow. Probably going for the H3DII-39, which can also be hung on the back of a technical View Camera, the 31 wont cut the mustard for that application. I think I'm seriously going to be looking at this kit, if and when finances permit. I'll be keeping an eye on it........