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High Definition Backs


New Member
Just a thought in case the latest Digital back may be the 45MP
that is rumoured to be released.

Has anyone given thought to a High Definition back being released similar to Digital Video
production cameras?

Any line of new technology for still cameras? cheers, Carl


Active Member
Where is that "rumored to be released" information from Carl?

I ask because I am currently considering another MF digital back for my 503CW that provides more wide angle coverage than the CFV. All makers are on the shopping list.

45 meg is a number that's been bandied about as being the theoretical limit of the 645 sensors given the ability of the other existing components like optics. The difference between 39 meg and 45 meg is probably negligible to the human eye. The only thing it may do is lessen the sensor size crop factor. The current 39 meg sensors are a 1.1X

Current developments in MF backs appear to be focusing on improving software/firmware solutions and increasing the higher ISO performance and shooting speed.

Hasselblad's most recent H3D/31 has employed micro-lens to increase the ISO to 800. Hasselblad has provided me with an ISO 400 and 800 file from that camera to study, and it is a positive step forward in image quality at those ISOs. The draw back is that the lens crop factor is 1.3X.

The Phase One P-30+ now offers ISOs up to 1600 and is also a 1.3X crop factor sensor. I've been told by my re-seller who handles Phase One that it achieves ISO 1600 by reducing the file size somewhat. I really would like to see one of those files to evaluate.

Last but not least are the Leaf offerings with their new Aptus 65s and 75s. My current Aptus 75 already shoots very nice ISO 800 files and supposedly the 75s upgrade I'll be getting soon will increase the shooting times considerably.

Sinar is not out of the question either.

As a side note: With Leaf's current promotion where an Aptus back purchased today will be even swapped for a dedicated back for their version of the Rollei Hy6 called the AFi, I am seriously leaning in that direction. So, I am exploring the possibility of the Leaf AFi with three of the Schneider AF lenses to start with: 50/2.8, 80/2.8 and 180/2.8.

Lots of stuff percolating. Good for MF photography.


"New technology"?
You forgot how electronic still imaging started as "still video imaging" a couple of decades ago?


Active Member

Just to satisfy my curiosity: given that you already have a considerable set of equipment, what is it that makes you consider the Rollei Hy6?

Or in other words: what unique capabilities does the Rollei have for your work?



Active Member
Don, found it through the Leaf link on the Kodak site. Kodak owns Leaf.

Wilco, the Hy6 (AKA AFi) is of interest for multiple reasons:

1) Fast aperture 6X6 lenses, (f/2.8) which I only have with the Hasselblad 203FE ... which none of these high-end, untethered backs will work on except the CFV ... which isn't wide enough for all of my commercial applications.

2) Schneider lenses made for digital capture. While the current Rollie glass will work on the Hy6, it is recommended to use the Schneider glass for optimal images, which I am assuming are like their digital lenses for view cameras).

3) AF and fast shutter speed sync ( up to 1/1000).

4) Open architecture camera design. Although this is less of an incentive compared to the lenses.

This camera and it's base three lenses would most likely replace my 203FE system, and possibly the Mamiya stuff also. I'd keep the Hasselblad 503CW/CFV 'cause I love it, and most certainly the H3D/39 because it's relatively small, very fast and I can use all the CF lenses on it.

I'm getting to the point that if the ISO performance increases continue ... a lot of 35mm DSLR stuff will also go bye-bye. After you shoot MF digital, the 35mm stuff becomes less satisifying : -)


New Member
Not forgoton, this is why this was put up on the forum, are we going to start seeing HD digital backs as the next step? The ex&le for this is that we have a Cannon Digital Video camera, this is superceded by the High Definition model. How long will it be before we have a HD back?

With regards to rumour, this came from a discussion about the progress of digital backs when he purchased a few. He felt is was the next step with regards to medium format, there is there already a 'Sinar back with this capability is it the Sinar 45 or 54?

cheers, Carl


Active Member
Hi Marc,

Sounds like Imacon would have you as a customer for a full 56x56mm back? No multiplication factor ;)

Do I understand correctly you want to glass good enough to shoot wide-open, say at f2.8?




If that 56x56mm back would be available and it could work together with my wonderful Zeiss lenses and the V-SYSTEM gear , I shurely could not resist the temptation and would not mind what it costs .
I am so surprised of the image quality of my CFV back now , that i have forgotten all pain of the past weeks . All I now need is a color management for my workflow , as i have only worked in B/W in the past .
Color photography is a new dimension for me now .



New Member
Marc A. Williams (Fotografz) wrote:
>I've been told by my re-seller who handles Phase One that it achieves ISO 1600 by reducing the file size somewhat. I really would like to see one of those files to evaluate.

Mark, it happens with DSLR like Canon 5D I have (fullframe), problably with all DSLR and other cameras.

the higher ISO = the noise is more visible, but also due to that sharpness looks like contrast boost but only between edges. digital noise is something totally different from what we know as grain from negative/film. less informations on highier ISO = smaller file size. lower ISO = more detailed picture. probably even RAW files have a loseless compression or something like that.




New Member
Wilko Bulte (Wbulte) wrote:
>Do I understand correctly you want to glass good enough to shoot wide-open, say at f2.8?

to be honest 80mm CF Zeiss @ f2.8 with my 553ELX seems to be good enough. the DOF is very narrow, but workable. very nice bokeh will soften the image opposite to sharp area - very usable with low light condition when you won't use flash.

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my wife's grandma, film delta400 @f2.8, CF80mm.


Active Member
Yes Wilko, 54X54 or so would do it for me. And yes, faster glass is atractive to me. I like the 50/2.8FE and the faster longer FE lenses to get the shutter speed up a bit. So these new lenses are of interest because of the additional benefit of AF for the mobile work I do.

We'll see. I will most likely get a Leaf Aptus back for the 503CW, and will worry about the new stuff later.

I agree Jurgen. Once you start shooting with a MF back it is difficult to use the 35 DSLRs.


New Member
Marc A. Williams (Fotografz) wrote:
>Once you start shooting with a MF back it is difficult to use the 35 DSLRs.

Once you start shooting with MF (not only digital) its difficult to use anything below.

same comes when you have a fullframe DSLR and have to shoot with x1.6 factor.

to be honest - AF is worth sin when is fast and precise. when I had H2D for tests, AF was misunderstanding. to slow to much mistakes. had to go manual. so my point to dealer was: if AF not works as I need and I have to go manual, there is still place for my V system and digital back. If anyone can compare AF accuracy in H2D and H3D it will be great for me.

DSLR will be fine as long they are the size and speed the photographers want to. fast action need fast catching. ie 8fps for which MF? fashion and commercial works = fine for MF DB. but anything below like sport for newspapers and magazines, action etc. = DSLR. weight. size. speed.

BTW. fullframe digital back MF will be milestone in digital picture quality as it will deliver true 1:1 image size from optic to sensor.



New Member
@ Carl,

Compared to video cameras digital backs as used in MF photography are already extreme very ultra HD backs.

The lowest resolution MF back now available is about three times better in resolution than HD video.

So I think you have fallen into the trap of commercial hypes when you suggest HD improvements for MF backs.



Active Member
"AF was misunderstanding. to slow to much mistakes".

How long did you use the H2D in test? Like anything else, it takes practice and learned craftmanship based on experience. While not as swift as a 35mm DSLR, it's a bolt of lightening compared to a manual Hasselblad using a wide lens in low light.

In fact, after practice, I've found the H camera AF very accurate, and a LOT faster than my previous Contax 645 that hunted more than it locked on. I have learned how to best apply the H AF in a variety of lighting conditions which becomes "automatic" on my part from having practiced. The idea that automation does everything is the mistake many make. It's an aid, but the photographer is still the one making the call ... it's just a new set of skills that have to be mastered.

I don't care about 8 fps from any camera, least of all a MF camera ... but I agree, "Horses for Courses". If shooting a fast sport, I'll revert to my Canon series 1 DSLR. Other than that kind of application, the H has proven to be plenty fast and accurate.