Dec 092014
 

Hot Deal of the Day and Rip off of the Day!

The HOT Deal of the day…

Hey guys! It’s only around 2 weeks until Christmas (give or take a day or two) and today Amazon is having a “deal of the day’ in the camera department, and it’s a great little Olympus that can be had for a song, or $189 with a 16GB memory card! Damn, I remember when a 1GB memory card cost $399, now you can get a 16GB card with a nice Olympus compact XZ-2 camera for $189 with free shipping if you are an Amazon prime member!

Click here for this “Gold Box Deal of the Day” from Amazon, while supplies last.

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The RIP OFF of the day…

Now for the rip off of the day. Even though B&H Photo cleared out the Hasselblad Stellar for $999, Wiloughby’s is still selling the same kit for $3,595! Yep, the same orange SE kit that I purchased (along with over 40 of you here who snagged the Orange before they sold out) for $999 can be had on Amazon for $3595! RIP OFF!! The Stellar SE is absolutely worth the $999 and I adore my Orange version. Not only is it made with better materials it is also Made in Japan unlike the Sony RX100 that is made in China, so they are made in different factories. The initial batch of RX100’s were made in Japan as well, then Sony switched it up to China which is when some people had issues with Quality Control. So the SE stellar at $999 is a great buy for a fantastic camera with unbelievable IQ for the size. Fast, gorgeous IQ, superb video, fit in you pocket design, exotic wood grip, Italian leather neck and wrist strap, real wooden storage box and of course the Hasselblad name which will be a good thing for resale.

But if you buy one, AVOID the RIP OFF at Amazon for $3595 and buy it here at B&H while they have a couple left (white or black).  I have two more I bought and will be reselling them on Amazon soon (one orange sold already) for $1500 each which will be the lowest price offered on Amazon (current lowest from a third-party is $2490 making mine the best deal on Amazon). When B&H Sells out, there will be no more of these deals to be found with shipping from the USA. When I sell the other, that will have paid for my own Stellar. Win/Win as this means I will have gotten a spectacular camera for free :) Similar to when people buy a $25k Leica special edition and sell it a few years later for $3-$5k profit. No difference. But to be clear, I love the Stellar, it is a pretty awesome little camera.

Can’t do that with the RX100 V1 as the resale is at around $240-$250.

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Stellar SE vs RX100 V1

  • Stellar uses premium materials 
  • Stellar has unique design (better for resale)
  • Stellar has the Hasselblad name (resale)
  • Stellar has a real exotic wood grip (makes a big difference in handling)
  • Stellar is made in Japan, RX100 in China
  • Stellar comes with Italian Leather neck strap and wrists strap that matches the camera colors
  • Stellar seems to have better color (firmware? Imagination? Fluke?) 
  • Stellar has real wooden storage case/box. It’s beautiful. (not needed but nice to have)
  • Resale Value of Stellar SE will most likely be a little more than $999 within 6 months. RX100 – $250
  • Both fit in any front jeans pocket. It’s tiny. 

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Of course there is the new RX100 V3 for less than the $999 Stellar, and this camera gives you a pop up EVF which is brilliant, but very small. It is thicker, and has a fold out LCD (which makes it thicker) and personally, I prefer the V1 sensor AND lens. The RX100 V3 will give you a wider lens at 24 (vs 28) but you lose out on the reach (V3 is only 70mm). Some say the V3 lens is sharper but my Stellar lens is as sharp as I could want, even in the corners. The Stellar II is on its way which will be an RX100 II souped up. Will go for $2500 in a NON SE version! Again, making this one a good buy.

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All from the Stellar – 1st one at ISO 3200

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TO THE BITTER FEW:

To those who are uninformed and making comments about me buying a couple of stellar SE’s and reselling them for a small profit, well, I suggest you read what I wrote when I 1st announced this deal. I stated up front I would do this, and suggested others do the same..I even said “mark my words” in one post about being able to sell for more than paid. Now it appears some of you feel this was done “behind the scenes” and secretly and are attacking me for it (two of you). Well, this just shows you did not read my original post, my original intent and my suggestion that others should and could do the same as me, making the Stellar SE a WIN/WIN situation when buying it. Problem is that not many believed me and now they are mad that they look foolish after publicly stating the camera is worth $200. There are so many bitter, hateful and any people in the internet world. Those who attack and hate just for the fun of it. It’s sad.

If I find a good deal I will always pass it on to you guys, I do not hold back and always share info with you guys when it is valuable information. I do find it funny that I was attacked for even posting the deal in the 1st place with a couple of others saying “it’s worth $200″ – “You are stupid for buying that” and my personal fave “how retarded are you for falling for that so called deal”? None of those comments were approved of course but goes to show how wrong they all were.

BOTTOM LINE FACT: The Stellar SE is a FABULOUS camera that offers quite a bit more than the standard RX100 V1 and for ME and many others it is well worth the $999 (especially counting resale value which can be up to $1500). I mentioned it all above as well as in my very 1st post on this blowout last week (where I stated I would buy more and resell and make some money). Nothing wrong at all with that, in fact, it’s 100% right and how life works. You either act or you do not. I act. I think MAKING money is always better than LOSING money as so many do every day in this crazy world of digital photography.

So to those bitching and moaning that I did what I originally said I would do, get over yourself and move on. No one controls what I do, this site or what I say but myself. Been like this since day one. I live life in an open way and just as I shared this deal and the benefits of the deal (reselling later for more than you paid which is a rarity) I will always tell it like it is. Two years ago I started a NO TOLERANCE policy when it comes to attacks in comments – and anyone who is attacking, degrading, name calling, or accusing will be banned. Period. Educate yourself before making any accusations or starting any conspiracy theories. (as in, read what I wrote a week ago). If you do not like the rules then do not come  here.

Thank you all! Again, this was aimed at the couple of guys who were making silly accusations without being educated on the matter before they spoke, not everyone else. I only posted it here as they failed to read the comments where I explained all of this already so it had to be placed here in hopes they would actually READ before they SPEAK. If anyone still wants a Stellar SE for $999, you can still get one in white or black HERE. Once they are gone is when the resale will spike a little. Consider that a tip :)

Steve

Dec 042014
 

Quick (not so crazy) Comparison! X100T, LX100, Stellar (RX100)

JUST FOR FUN!!!

A few asked me for one of these but I have been busy most of the day with personal things. Even so, I had time to shoot THREE JPEGS with each camera wide open, letting the camera choose exposure (just as most of use would shoot these in the real world, letting the camera choose exposure).

What I found is that the Stellar (Sony RX100) is sharpest, has pleasing Bokeh and rich color. The LX100 is the most accurate for the colors and the Fuji is the softest as the lens at f/2 is known to be a bit soft. The Fuji also has the most shallow DOF due to the APS-C sensor. The Stellar has a 1″ sensor, the LX100 a Micro 4/3 sensor and the Fuji, APS-C. Fastest to AF is a tie between the LX100 and Stellar with Fuji coming in last for AF speed AND accuracy.

Goes to show that these days, any camera can provide very pleasing and nice looking results.

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Smallest camera is the Stellar by far as it can fit in my front jeans pocket without an issue. The LX100 is next but it is a bit thick and large du to the body and lens and the Fuji is the largest of the lot.

Take a look at the quick shots below and click them for a larger 1800 pixel wide version! Tomorrow I will have my 1st look video on the new Sony A7 Mark II, so see ya then!

LX100 can be purchased at Amazon or B&H Photo.

The Fuji X100T can be bought at Amazon or B&H Photo

The Hasselblad Stellar can be found here for 70% off (while supplies last)

Steve

Images are out of camera JPEGS resized. Just meant to show DOF differences wide open as well as color/sharpness out of camera. Each camera was shot wide open and each camera was allowed to choose exposure as this is how most of us use these types of cameras. So what you see is what you get. 

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and a couple more comparisons

Below I see the Stellar capturing the most OOC detail – all at f/4 (which is Fuji’s sweet spot)

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Below I see the Stellar once again capturing the most detail (see the dirt on the bucket on the left side blue patch) – The Fuji is the smoothest and I prefer the color from the LX100

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…and by request, a few more quick snaps from the Stellar (will not be reviewing it as it is the same as the RX100 HERE)

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and size comparisons

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Dec 022014
 

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Hasselblad Stellar Special Edition Video & Samples!

**B&H Photo has a few of these left, blowing them out at 70% off at $999**

Many of you e-mailed me asking for an update once I had the Hasselblad Stellar SE in hand. Well, mine did arrive and it is a beautiful little camera. If course we all know it is a Sony RX100 V1 in a Hasselblad disguise but the cameras high end extras, design, wooden grip and sturdier controls as well as offering Adobe Lightroom software makes it stand out from the standard (now $500) RX100 V1. Much like the Leica D-Lux is the same camera as the LX100 yet $400 more expensive. Same concept.

My quick look video is below!

It has become the “thing to do” in the photo world to trash this Hasselblad, but this was well deserved as Hasselblad went insane with the pricing out of the gate at $3500 for this SE model. I will tell you now that this camera is in no way worth $3500. So since its launch it was laughed at, trash talked and made fun of (though not as much as the LUNAR which is even more insane with pricing and has an ugly design) ONLY due to price and the fact that it is an RX100 with some new cosmetics and sturdier dials, etc.

Leica has been doing this for years with Panasonic cameras and raising the price, but they kept it in check, sticking with a $400-$600 price premium, not a $3000 price premium as Hasselblad attempted. Now that we can obtain one for $999 instead of $4000, it makes it MUCH easier to swallow and the reality is that this camera is nothing to balk at , laugh at or out down. It is a VER capable and beautiful camera.

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After snapping some images with it I was reminded how lovely the original RX100 renders an image (slightly different and more organic than the II and III) and while the III has the most nag for the buck with the pop up EVF, the Stellar SE, now that it is 70% off ($2300 OFF) it makes for a special buy. B&H Photo have sold out of one color but have a few left of the others and once they are gone they are gone for good. Other shops did not reduce the cost of this camera so stores like Amazon are still selling it for $3500-$4200. Other shops who carry this camera are sticking with the $3500- price tag which means when B&H Sells out, there could be a possible resale on eBay profit so I will buy a couple more to do just that ;)

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In the flesh the camera looks killer (IMO) and I bought the orange as for me, it sticks out and screams “what the hell is that”?!?!? The main thing I prefer over the standard version is the wooden grip, it is perfectly placed for maximum gripe and comfort.

To those who say “you are buying old tech, and it is just GAS” well..I say those who chase the latest tech are the most guilty of gas! This camera, the RX100 V1 is highly capable of gorgeous and stunning results. Just see this post here for proof of that.

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It will take gorgeous images today and in 5 years it will as well. Cameras made in trees last 2-3 years are mostly all fantastic today just as they were years ago. Look at the Nikon DF using the old D4 sensor. Amazing camera.

Differences of the Stellar SE over the standard Sony RX100?

  • Different cosmetics
  • Hasselblad name
  • Italian Leather Strap & Wrist Strap included
  • Wooden Storage/Display box Included
  • Exotic Wooden Grip
  • Metal parts and sturdier dials
  • Adobe Lightroom Included

Now 2X the cost instead of 8X the cost of the RX100 V1 ;) 

In any case, I recommend either the RX100 V1 for under $500 or this Hasselblad version of it for $999. Either would make an awesome X-Mas gift for the special photo enthusiast in your life.  Other great options are the new Panasonic LX100 or even Fuji X100T. 

PS – Oh! Before I forget...For those of you who are angry, bitter, full of negativity and hate about me posting the deal on this camera, get over it. Your negative remarks will not be approved if that is what you decide to leave. Cameras are PERSONAL CHOICE and we buy what we enjoy, like, use and cameras that can be fun, inspirational and ones that get the job done. If someone wants to buy a Leica M for $8000, so be it! If someone wants a Canon Rebel, then good for them. If someone wants a Leica D-Lux over an LX100, more power to them. If someone wants a 70% off Stellar over an RX100 then that is cool as well. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and to me this camera is gorgeous. It was just insanely priced before and that is what made it the laughing stock that it was. At $999 it is a great buy, and again, one that can be resold later for more (mark my words), so nothing to lose :) I may buy 3 more just to sell later!

UPDATE Dec 3rd 2014: Some stats..over the past three days nearly 30 of these have been sold from my link to B&H Photo here. This means that 30 of you bought one after reading this. The interesting thing? Orange has been the top color with over 22 sold! White sold 5 and black sold 3. I figured most would go for the classic black but it appears many of you have the same taste as me  and went for the orange! My guess is that B&H has about 20 of each color and it started with two orange combos, one sold out. For those who asked, I will be doing a just for fun crazy compare between this camera, the X100T and the Lx100 soon! 

UPDATE Dec 5th 2014: I just re-read an article I wrote about the Stellar SE when it was announced and it is funny as I said “I would pay $1000 for one” and here we are, at $999. Priced just right. You can see that article here. 

 

You can buy the RX100 V1 HERE or the Hasselblad Stellar SE HERE. 

My 1st three snaps with the Hasselblad Stellar SE at home!

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For reference, Amazon has one listed for $4,250 as of December 2nd 2014 – $999 at BH is a great buy.

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Nov 282014
 

BLOWOUT Hasselblad Stellar SPECIAL EDITION $2299 (70%) OFF!

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UPDATE: I bought one of these in Orange and it is GORGEOUS, HEFTY and feels amazing in the hand. This is indeed a special version of a special camera and $999 is a more than fair price. I handled  the standard stellar 1-2 years ago and was impressed but this one takes it up a notch in looks and style. $3500? NO WAY. $999, YES SIR! Will I keep it for a long time? Maybe but I also may list it for sale in 6 months on e-bay for $1500 when they are sold out at $999 and others are still trying to get $4k for them. :) Others can trash talk it all they want, but this is a GREAT buy right now so if you are on the fence about it and love the RX100 camera, this is better in all ways (besides IQ which is the same) to the standard Sony version in build, materials, feel, accessories, and uniqueness. Much like the Leica D-Lux which is the exact same camera as the Panasonic LX100, made in the same factory side by side yet the Leica costs $400 more and does not include these kind of extras (as the Stellar SE does).

Video review soon just because. 

WOW! I knew this day would come as it was only a matter of time. I know 95% of the photo community made fun of the Hasselblad Stellar, which in reality is just a Sony RX100 with a premium cosmetic upgrade. But B&H Photo just took stock of several SPECIAL EDITION versions and are unloading them for $999! 70% off for this luxury edition of the Sony RX100 camera.

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These cameras are running $2,795 – $4,250 at Amazon and did run for $3299.00 originally. With the new “Stellar II” coming (and it will be full price) the original Stellar Special Edition can now be had for what I feel is actually a great price, $999.

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The Special Edition Stellar comes in unique colors, with special edition leather straps and a wooden case. Also has a special edition writs strap that comes with it. The fact is, the Sony RX100 (see my review here) is a superb camera, and IQ wise, may be slightly better than the II and III (many say so). You can buy an original Sony RX100 for $500 or so but for $500 more, you can have something special while having a great camera. A camera that will start many conversations, I guarantee it. A chance to own the most controversial camera release in years at $2400 off the normal price.

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I was able to handle the original plain (non SE) stellar a while back and loved the wooden grip, sturdier feel and metal buttons and dials, but refused to even think about paying $3000 for one. With the SE editions now at $999 at B&H Photo, I went ahead and ordered the orange one just to have a pimped out RX100 on hand and to hold onto so later in life I can tell my grandkids about the days when Hasselblad was the laughing stock of the camera community for releasing a camera like this (Sony RX100 for $2500 more than the RX100) at $3300 ;)

I have liked the looks of the Stellar but would never ever pay the original prices. At $999, I find this to be a deal worthy of going for if you want a small compact camera with high IQ and a design that is different from 100% of other cameras out there. Some will hate it of course, some will love it. But if you are one of those who liked the design of the stellar and was waiting for the big discount unloading day, well, the is it!

The Hasselblad Stellar SE is now at a reasonable price ($500 + for the design, uniqueness, rarity, name, strap, exotic wood grip, wooden case, more robust build, firmware, etc) and B&H has a few of each color color combo so click below To see what they have to offer. They even have a few of the carbon fiber black SE’s left, which was the one that sold the most, even at normal price.

CLICK HERE TO SEE OR ORDER THE STELLAR SPECIAL EDITION FOR $999 – ALL COLORS AVAILABLE

DETAILS ON THE STELLAR SE

A camera to match those autumn afternoons strolling the Champs-Élysées or a late summer’s final respite to the beaches of Dubai, the Stellar Special Edition pairs Hasselblad’s refined Swedish design with Italian opulence. A true objet d’art, the champagne-colored aluminum body features a wenge wood grip with orange accents, along with hand and neck straps crafted of vegetable-tanned Italian leather. Its air of elegance is further reinforced with the inclusion of a custom wood display box that would not seem out of place at the Metropolitan Museum, let alone as the prized item in your home collection. Chromed hardware and a lacquered finish serve as the understated backdrop to the inlaid Hasselblad emblem that signifies both historical relevance and timeless design.

The Stellar combines the size of a point-and-shoot camera with the craftsmanship and attention to detail that one would expect from Hasselblad. Along with its attractive hand grip, it also features all metal operation controls, a 20.2MP 1″ Exmor CMOS sensor to produce high-resolution still imagery and full HD 1080i/p video, and an f/1.8 10.4-37.1mm Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens.

The lens has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 28-100mm, which covers both wide-angle and telephoto perspectives, allowing you the versatility to shoot in many situations. The wide aperture of f/1.8 enables the camera to shoot in difficult lighting, and can isolate your subject from the background. Optical SteadyShot image stabilization helps minimize the appearance of camera shake when shooting with slow shutter speeds or long zoom magnifications. The T* coating on the lens is an anti-reflective coating that helps reduce reflections, lens flare, and ghosting, providing sharp, high-contrast imagery.

On the back of the camera is a 1229K-dot 3″ LCD screen to compose and review your images and videos, and to navigate through the camera’s menu. The display screen has auto and manual controls to adjust the brightness, from -2 to +2, as well as a sunny weather mode, which is important when shooting outdoors in sunny conditions. The screen also displays all info, and has a virtual horizon for leveling your shots. Included with the Stellar is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software to edit your images, an 8 GB SD memory card, anti-dust bags for the camera and neck strap, and a microfiber cleaning cloth.

Special Edition
This special edition kit includes a custom-fit lacquered wooden camera box, and Italian leather wrist and neck straps with signature stitching. There are also two anti-dust bags to protect the camera and the neck strap, and a faux velvet cover to protect the wooden box’s finish.
Shooting Modes for Video & Stills
Choose from standard program, aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual modes, or additional iAuto, iAuto+, or sweep panorama modes. There are also thirteen pre-programmed scene modes to choose from.
Built-In Flash
The built-in pop-up flash aids in shooting in difficult lighting, and has five flash modes, with a +/- 2.0 EV compensation.
Shutter
A leaf shutter allows for shutter speeds between 30 seconds and 1/2000 sec, as well as a bulb mode.
Drive Modes
Shoot in single-shot, continuous, speed priority continuous, self-timer, self-timer continuous, or bracketing modes.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Included with the camera is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to incorporate into your workflow.

Oct 242014
 

Bicycling to Spain, an account with Hasselblad Xpan shots

By Dirk Dom

This is the Hasselblad Xpan, sorry, it’s a bit dirty

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Today I looked again at the Xpan shots I took on my bicycle ride from Antwerp to Spain from two years ago, not that I ever got there.

The reason I looked was that I shot Kodak Ektar on that trip and Matthias, my Australian friend, has discovered Ektar and he told me this film was so special. Two years ago I wasn’t very experienced with shooting digital and I had forgotten how Ektar looked. Well, it looks different. I like it.

Looking back at the eighty shots I took then, the film indeed captured very nicely, I think you couldn’t emulate these with digital.

The Xpan is an extraordinary camera, it’s the most fun camera I have, as much fun as my digital Olympus PEN. It shoots 24 x 65 mm panorama’s on 35mm film. I have the 45mm lens, which is about equivalent to 24mm on full frame.

Well, here goes:

I left home, fifth of July, at about 8.30. my friend Hugo had called me half an hour before to wish me all the best. The secret for such a trip is not to think about the 2,500 kms ahead, but be relaxed and just start. Ten minutes into the trip a woman on a bicycle pulled up to me: “What an nice Koga!” And I told her I was on my way to Spain. It was the first of countless contacts which made the trip so worthwhile.

Namur, the river Meuse, start of the Ardennes.

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I did between eighty and a hundred kilometers a day, three days riding and one day of rest. The days of rest were boring, I’ll not do that again on my next trip.

The very big advantage is that you can stop anywhere, any time and you have NO parking problems. The Xpan was in a 8mm thick neoprene sleeve which I had cut out of an old diving suit, in a box on the handlebar. I had forty Ektar films with me, 20 shots to a film. During the trip I shot 19 films, so that was more than plenty.

Poppies. Didn’t look through the viewfinder for this. Meuse valley.

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This was my first ever field of poppies, just entered into France. I had this shot scanned at 8,000PPI on a Hasselblad Imacon, that was 150 megapixel. It just resolved the grain, but the shot was’t sharp enough to go for enlargement beyond 1.5 meters. That’s the limit you run into when you shoot handheld.

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My Koga. I had 29 kilograms of luggage with me. That was ridiculous. Next time I’ll take twelve kilo’s max. I had a pair of wirecutter pliers with me which weighed over a kilo to cut the cable to the brakes should I replace it! Imagine! Stupid. The weight made me walk uphill a lot but I didn’t mind.

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Of course I took some artisty shots, too:

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I had driven through France by car countless times, on the highway. I had always longed to stop at a sunflower field and shoot it extensively. That was not possible. Now, I could take my time.

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Here, I just left my bike and walked into the field for half an hour until the composition was to my liking:

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A ray of sun on these geraniums, I postprocessed this image.

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Biking, the most beautiful thing is perhaps the ever changing skies.

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I didn’t make it to Spain; my 29 kilograms of luggage got the better of me in the Massif Central. Also, I was insufficiently trained to do the Cols in Spain. So I stopped near Avignon. It was marvelous.

Next summer I’m bicycling from Antwerp to Santiago de Compostella, 3,000 kms in six weeks. I’m taking the Xpan with me again.

Bye,

Dirk.

Aug 022014
 

A special Hasselblad 503CW on E-Bay..beautiful!

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Hey! Hope everyone is having a GREAT Saturday! I am going to head out today and shoot some but had to share this e-bay listing with you guys…it’s gorgeous.

Back when Hasselblad really MADE beautiful and meaningful cameras they also would release special editions, much like Leica. I remember seeing one special edition, limited to 500 pieces worldwide many years ago and I lusted after that camera in a big time way. Just no way I could have afforded it then, and at the prices this piece commands today, it’s the same story.

Since I can not own it, maybe there is someone out there who also lusts after this model, and if so, there is an amazing one on e-bay right now. It is the Hasselblad 503CW limited edition Gold Supreme with 80 2.8 and all accessories, new in box, never used and get this..#500 of 500. This #500 was never sold, but given away back in the day and it was never used. So now it sits in its box waiting for a new owner.

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Sure it is flashy, sure it will even be a bit gaudy to some, but to others…they will see the beauty in it. The 503Cw is a GORGEOUS camera in its black or black/silver versions but this one is over the top. A true collectible that also begs to be used. If I bought it, I would use it on occasion for special portrait sessions. The Hasselblad 503CW is one of those rare cameras that has it all..beauty, build, feel and performance. Yes it is film, but remember..you can even add the new digital back to this guy as well ;) Also know that you can buy a 503CW in its standard configuration for much less, around $2500-$3500 for a kit.

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But this one is a special piece and I knew there would be a few out there who felt the same as me. You can see the listing HERE.  The seller has over 2100 100% feedback.

Jul 222014
 

The new Hasselblad CFV-50c CMOS Digital Back. 

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The new CFV-50c from Hasselblad. A 50 MP CMOS digital back with ISO up to 6400 for the iconic V system. Hasselblad is promising amazing IQ and colors in any light, which is unheard of when it comes to Medium Format as they have always been very limited in this area. While not cheap, the new CFV-50c is not nearly as expensive as I expected it to be, coming in at $14,900 US. Now yes, that is insanely expensive but I expected Hasselblad to come in with this at $25,000. With their Stellar and Lunar Sony bodies coming in at such insane prices, the thought of a full on Hasselblad NEW CMOS 50MP digital back for such an Iconic camera line had me thinking $25-$35k. So $15k, that is about the cost of a Leica M and a 1-2 lenses. ;) Add in a used V series camera setup with lens and you will have a classic, iconic and gorgeous modern day masterpiece. Old with the new. Modern meets classic. I love it. So who makes this sensor? Well, the one company who keeps pushing the limits..SONY. There are even rumors that Sony will be releasing a Medium Format fixed lens MIRRORLESS camera soon. ;) 

You know, there was a time when Hasselblad stood for many things including quality, precision, build, design, soul, magic and originality. Their classic V series of medium format film cameras have always been the gold standard for MF shooting. I have lusted over a 501CM camera for many years, and have only shot with one for one day of my life. It was a very nice experience. The negatives that came back from that camera were gorgeous as there really is nothing quite like a medium format negative. Rich, full of texture, full of soul and life. Using the camera was an exercise in slow, steady and using my brain. Looking through the finder was a very cool experience that felt natural to me.

Sadly, over the years the Hasselblad system started to fade as digital came into play and soon, many of these classic systems started to appear on e-bay for peanuts. Many dropped the system as they no longer used film. Some tried out the digital back that was released a while back, the CFV 50 (minus the C) with good results, but it was limited to ISO 800 and CCD.

This week, Hasselblad has launched the new CMOS digital back for the V system…

Lately it seems Hasselblad has been focusing their energy and time on silliness such as the Lunar and Stellar cameras, which are rebranded high prices Sony bodies that are now out of date. Many have lost faith in the once mighty Hasselblad, writing  them off as a company who would soon be history, or become a spoof of its once former self. Now it seems they are giving something back to all of those who own and use the classic V system. Well, not GIVING, but making it available…at a price.

YEP, this week Hasselblad has announced the CFV-50, which is a new digital medium format back that can be used on all classic V system cameras. Yes, that 501 you have in your closet? You can now add a state of the art digital back to it and use it once again, just as you did in the glory days of film. :) OMG, I so want one. In fact, I would love to have the system just as shown below. This is a new CMOS sensor guys, so much more usable than the CCD sensors in previous digital backs.

The stock image of the new CFV-50 on a 501CM. What a combo!! 

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Unfortunately for me, I do not have a spare $20k or so lying around to create something like that but maybe..one day. For me, something like what you see above is sort of a “Holy Grail” setup. Modern Medium Format Digital connected to the most gorgeous and classic medium format FILM camera ever made. It is a thing of beauty and while not a camera for daily use, it would be one for SPECIAL use. I can not wait to see examples that come from this beauty. Hasselblad will NOT be recreating the camera body of course , so you must have a classic V model to use the back. I think this may just drive up prices on the used market for them. You can see a list of compatible models HERE.

From Hasselblad CEO Ian Rawcliffeon the new CFV-50 Back:

“We have experienced a substantial resurgence of interest in our iconic V cameras – users love the traditional ergonomics and the unique appearance. Our research has shown that although we no longer manufacture V models, there is a big demand from our dedicated V System users who want to be able to continue to use their classic cameras but also desire access to our latest technology.”

Research:

See more at the Hasselblad site HERE.  Compatibility page is HERE and Planet V page is HERE. 

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Tech Specs:

Sensor type: CMOS
Sensor size: 50 Mpixels (8272 x 6200 pixels)
Sensor dimensions: 43.8 x 32.9 mm
Image size: RAW 3FR capture 65 MB on average. Tiff 8 bit 154 MB
Capture rate: 1.5 capture/sec. 35 captures/ minute (based on a SanDisk Extreme UDMA7 120 MB/s)
Single shot
16 bit colour
ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 & 6400
Longest shutter speed: 12 minutes
Image storage: CF card type II (write speed >20 MB/sec) or tethered to Mac or PC
Color management: Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution – One generic profile
Storage capacity: On average 60 images on a 4GB CF card

Battery type: Sony™ InfoLithium L NP-F series
Colour display: 3.0 inch TFT type, 24 bit colour
Histogram feedback: Yes
IR filter: Mounted on sensor
Feedback: IAA – Instant Approval Architecture: provides acoustic and visual feedback
File format: Lossless compressed Hasselblad 3F RAW
Software: Phocus for Mac and PC (included)
3FR files are also supported directly in Apple and Adobe environments
Macintosh: OSX version 10.5 or later. PC: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit), Windows 8
Camera support: Hasselblad V System cameras manufactured since 1957. 2000 series cameras and 201F with C lenses only. 202FA / 203FE and 205FCC camera models need a minor camera modification to use F/FE lenses. All other cameras with Hasselblad V interface.

Host connection type: FireWire 800 (IEEE1394b)
Battery capacity: Sony™ InfoLithium L, up to 8 hours of shooting capacity
Operating temperature: 0 – 45 °C / 32 – 113 °F
Dimensions: 90 x 92 x 57 mm [W x H x D]
Weight: 530 g (Excluding battery and CF card)
Package contents: Hasselblad CFV digital back with protective cover, adapter cables, rechargeable battery with charger, EL camera battery adapter, FireWire cable and 8 GB CF card. Focusing Screen (Split image / Micro Prism) with dual format markings.

Jun 112014
 

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So who owns a Hasselblad Stellar? C’mon, be honest!

UPDATE: According to the poll below almost 50 of my readers here have purchased and bought the Stellar. Guess that they have been selling as this poll only represents the readers HERE. Thanks for voting!

So I was going through e-mails today and someone I know purchased an orange special edition Hasselblad Stellar. You know, the Sony RX100 clone made by Hasselblad for 4X the cost of the Sony RX100. Well, the RX100 can be had for $500 today and the standard Stellar goes for $1995.00 yet it is the SAME exact camera with some added bling and flash and pizazz. Believe it or not, some do care about these things as when you have a good-looking cameras that also performs well, it does indeed inspire confidence in those who like this kind of stuff. No, it does not create better photos than a Sony RX100 as it is the exact same camera on the inside and besides, it is the photographer than makes the photos and creates the images, NOT the camera.

I was remembering my time with the original Sony RX100 and thinking back to how great of a camera that it is. Now with the RX100 III coming out, I am excited to see the latest evolution of the model. The new RX100 III will feature the integrated EVF and other new features and it will come in at $798. If it lives up to the RX100 1, then it will be well worth the cost for those who want a high quality pocket rocket of a camera. The original RX100 is a HUGELY capable camera that some dismiss due to size yet it does so many things so well…I expect the III to be amazing.

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Which leads me back to Hasselblad and the Stellar. I was in NYC a while ago and was able to go into a shop and handle and examine the Stellar. At $2000 I was having a HARD time understating it and trying to figure out WHO would buy one and why. I asked the shop owner if he sold many and he said that yes indeed, it was much more successful than even Hasselblad had hoped. Well, I called BS and chalked it up to sales talk.

To put things into perspective Leica has the X2 which is $2000 new yet I prefer the Sony RX100 to the X2 for the speed, size, low light ability and overall versatility (video , macro, etc)  – so if I had $2000 and had to choose between only a Leica X2 or Stellar, I would take the stellar and I would have just as handsome of a camera with an equal build, more solid feel, faster AF, video capability, better lowlight, closer focusing ability and better resale.

Back to my handling with the Stellar…The shop owner pulled out the black carbon fiber version and the camera was housed in a glossy all wooden box. Had to be the fanciest packaging I have come across to date, even putting to shame Leica packaging. When I opened this box, the camera was perfectly nestled in its location with a luxurious and soft leather strap attached. I picked it up, turned it on and saw the “HASSELBLAD” logo pop on the screen. I have to admit, it felt much nicer than the Sony version. It was more solid and hefty and the grip was quite handsome. Still, 4X the cost of the RX100 (at the time it was 3X the cost) was overboard and I was not getting it. Sure we have the fancy luxury packaging. Sure we have the Hasselblad name and logo and yes we had the much more solid buttons and a better tactile feel to them. The fancy choice in wooden grips was also very cool. Wait.. now I was getting it.

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The more I held it and thought about it, the more I started to understand why some would choose to buy such a camera. It looked the part, it felt the part and it had the name that many associate with incredible cameras and optics. It was a much better feeling and looking RX100 and it gave a sense of pride. Of course, I did not buy one but I did try to get a discount offering to review it for the shop if he sold it to me at a discounted price. He offered me $22 off the price, and of course I declined. :) I was hoping for 50% off which I knew would never happen.

While I do not think I could or would ever spend 4X the cost of the RX100 for a “Stellar”, especially since the improved RX100 III is almost here for $798 I do understand it more after handling it and seeing what it was all about. I would pay about $1000 for one personally, as I did love the look and feel of the black one. The RX100, even Version 1 is still a pretty “stellar” camera as it is and capable of fantastic IQ. To have one in a more hefty and better made body wold be nice, and the grip felt great.

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I mean, would we expect Hassleblad to release it at $500? No! $1000? No, as it would not be worth it to them due to the added expense of the wood grip, packaging and the fact that they pay Sony to be able to use the body. Their price of $2000 is a little much IMO but about right for what you get. Those who DO buy it will value things like exclusivity and style and NAME. Leica does the same with some of their cameras. Models like the D-Lux are rebranded Panasonic models that go for a few hundred more than the Panasonic version. Leica offers a better warranty, lightroom software and better design and they charge $400-$500 for this. Hasselblad is charging a $1500 premium but there is a MUCH smaller market for the Hasselblad Stellar than there is the Leica D-Lux 6, so they will never sell as many which means they have to price it higher.

Now the new “Special Edition” stellar is here and comes in at $3300! Insane.

This takes me back to the start of this article. A guy I know and respect bought one and LOVES it. He had the RX100 and has a Leica M as well. He was thrilled with the orange SE stellar and had zero buyers remorse. He is not a rich guy, just an average guy who really loves to shoot. He loves his Sony RX100 so much he decided to splurge for one in his favorite color of orange. He is as happy as a man can be.

The bottom line is that when we use and shoot with what makes us happy then WE are at our happiest and most positive. This helps to motivate and the result CAN BE better photos. So nothing wrong with someone buying what they want and what they enjoy as long as it makes them happy. Many love to bash these cameras but there is no point to that really. Those who bash it are NOT the target market for the camera. Just as those who bash Leica will never buy one or own one. The fact is that there are those who do buy them and do love them and even if that number is very small in the grand scheme of things it just adds to the value of the item, even if it is a rip off of a dated camera :)

BTW, I will be reviewing the RX100 III and A7s soon and am looking forward to it.

So my question is to the readers out there:

WHO HERE HAS BOUGHT A STELLAR? Hasselblad says it has been a huge success, so who has bought one? Anyone here? If so, answer the poll below with a yes or no! 

Mar 072014
 

Respect Bali. Protect Bali.

By Nikko Karki

www.nikkokarki.com

http://blog.nikkokarki.com

The Balinese believe they were given the choice to live in paradise in exchange for supervising the spiritual world – a task requiring constant ceremonies and offerings to appease the Gods. Life goes on as it has for hundreds of years amidst sandy beaches and a turquoise ocean. With some areas suffering from disenfranchisement from cultural traditions, it is evermore important to respect the island and the Balinese people.

Respect Bali. Protect Bali.

Photographer’s note:

I focus on traditional aspects of life on the island that have remained unchanged despite the huge influx of tourism on our beloved island over the past years. In parts, it’s hard to tell the island has changed for hundreds of years, although that is all being constantly threatened by development. If you look hard enough, the island’s soul is still in tact. It’s important for me to address change from a positive standpoint instead of criticizing it. It’s important to focus on the good that we see and embrace it, respect it and protect it.

Hasselblad 500c Carl Zeiss 150mm f/4

Kodak Portra film

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Feb 062014
 

The $11,500 Hasselblad HV! Oops, I mean Sony A99! 

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The new Hasselblad HV. A DSLR that offers no compromises with tough as nails build, jaw dropping beauty and is already a proven winner because it is indeed a Sony A99! All for $11,500! Woohoo!

Yes, this was announced 3-4 days ago or so but I had to wrap my head around this one and decide if I even wanted to give it exposure. Then I figured..well..why not, not many, if any, will buy one of these anyway! I mean, restyling a NEX-7 could have been cool as the NEX-7 is a cool camera. Restyling the mighty mite RX100 could also have been cool, as it is one hell of a pocket camera. Hasselblad accomplished to screw both of those up and turned the “could have been” into “Damn..we screwed up”.  The slow selling Lunar and Stellar prove that one.

But fear not, Hasselblad is forging on with the Sony morphs with the new Hasselblad HV 99 mainly because they had to as it has been in the works for a long while already.

I call this new Hasselblad the “HPV 99″ (there really is no 99 in the name, nor a “P”) because it is the Sony A99 with a new coat of paint and cosmetics at an almost $9000 premium, which to me sounds like a big old genital wart on the camera industry. Yep, should be called the HPV 99.

Yes, that is correct… the now older A99 that sells for $2700 can be had for $11,500 featuring the same shape, sensor, image quality, speed, and using the same Sony lenses for $11,500 US. Basically, we get a wooden case and fancy styling for our $9k and nothing more. Oh yea, “tough as nails” build quality.

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Someone at Hasselblad has either lost their minds or they are trying to only sell 50 of these worldwide. 

Like I said, I can see them blinging out the small and cool and capable mirror less cameras. Hell, even I held the Lunar and Stellar and liked the Stellar (RX100) quite a bit but could not bring myself to pay $3500 for a $600 camera, no matter how cool it looked and how good it felt.

The HPV 99 comes with a pelican style case because Hasselblad KNOWS that us photographers always like to carry our camera not in a bag or with a strap, but in a suitcase. 

hassycase

But why is Hasselblad giving this treatment to a fat bulky DSLR that will use the same fat bulky Sony DSLR lenses? I mean, who here would pay $11,500 for a Sony A99 with a new coat of paint when you can get a standard black A99 for $2700?!?!? This is not the same as Leica with their special editions as Leica is not taking an OM-D E-M1 that sells for $1600 and pimping it out with a Leica logo, blinging it out and charging $8,000 for it. Leica does not take a Fuji X-E2 and throw a coat on it and charge $7500. Leica takes their own premium M design and puts out a special edition here and there with very few units being made. What they do with Panasonic does not count as even when they give this treatment to the Panasonic P&S cameras they come in at a $200-$300 premium yet offer longer warranty, better software and better aesthetics.

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I am just confused as to what Hasselblad are doing but maybe I am cranky because I did not have my morning cup of coffee. One one hand Hasselblad seem to want to be like Leica yet at the same time they have no clue how to go about it. But I am here to offer my help to them.

Hasselblad..DESIGN YOUR OWN MASTERPIECE OF A CAMERA that lives up to the Hasselblad name. When you do that you will have something special. 

I am sure the HV will be beautiful, solid and extremely well made. But it is still an A99 any way you slice it. My question for you is..who here will be ordering the Hasselblad HV? $11,500 can buy you an amazing camera and a few lenses  – say a Sony A99 with $9k left for glass ;)

Vote in the poll below and feel free to comment!

Steve

Dec 302013
 

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User Report: Shooting Portraits with the Hasselblad 501cm

By Brett Price

Hey Steve,

I thought I’d write up an article after somewhat rediscovering a camera that I’ve always had but not necessarily always shot with, the Hasselblad 501cm.

I started shooting medium format after purchasing a 500cm several years ago and the format has always been one of my favorites. I’ve owned almost every single medium format camera that exists minus a few but the Hasselblad has always stayed in my setup due to its versatility and the excellent images it can produce. It has always been the one camera I return to after experimenting with other formats and negative sizes. 6×6 has always been my favorite shooting ratio although I know it’s not the best for every situation. I’ve always found 645 to be too close to 35mm to be worth it and 6×7 cameras are typically too large and heavy to carry around for on-the-go usage. (Minus the Mamiya 7, which is fabulous but a little clinical for portrait work).

I primarily shoot people. I love the reactions and images this camera can produce for portraits as the Zeiss lenses are fantastically sharp but also offer a 3D look and separation for OOF backgrounds that looks extremely pleasing. Its a relatively small camera in a basic setup and without a prism it is relatively lightweight meaning you can take it with you just about anywhere if you’d like. I think the only camera that comes close in category would be a Rolleiflex, which is much smaller and lighter but not nearly as versatile as it has a fixed lens and no film backs which means no switching lenses or films mid roll if you’d like to, which can come in handy if you like shooting a mixture of B&W films along with Color Negative (or even chromes).

I quite like the sound of it too. People usually crack up when I fire a shot off. It’s a big shotgun cocking of a sound, which usually comes up in conversation. I think the reason I’ve settled on this camera and the Leica system I have is because out of all cameras out there, people react very differently when being shot with them. With a Leica its so small and unobtrusive that they rarely change their attitude to it or pay attention, with the Hasselblad its so loud they have to make mention of it somehow which starts a conversation and ultimately leads to some excellent fun and good shooting.

I used to own 7 or so systems but recently narrowed down and sold everything except my Leica M7, my Leica M typ 240, and my Hasselblad 501cm with a couple of lenses for both. I’m probably in the market soon for some sort of backup system for the Hasselblad, probably a Mamiya 7 or Rollei depending on what I ultimately decide. It can be frustrating because there really is no perfect system out there for this format. I think the Mamiya 7 would be it if the lenses were faster but alas, they are not. I think the experimentation with different systems and different formats, ultimately buying and selling them over the years and finally filtering them down to my dream setup really makes this camera special to me. Its how I first learned medium format, its what I’m most comfortable with, what I’ve found most reliable. It excellent for almost any situation and full mechanical, needs no batteries and rarely needs service due to the fantastic build quality. Hasselblad’s have barely changed over the years so you can find them at extremely low costs nowadays. If you’ve ever wanted to shoot film and medium format I would highly recommend them to anyone.

I don’t think ill ever part with this camera. It’s easily my favorite. It’s my desert island camera, the one I could use and grow bored with and then rediscover over and over again.

Anyways, I hope you like my photos!

Technical details for the gear heads:

All images shot with a Hasselblad 501cm w/ Zeiss planar 80mm f2.8CB and Zeiss 60mm f3.5CB

On Kodak Portra 400/800 & Kodak Tri-x 400 (developed in Rodinal 1+25)

Scanned on a Fuji Frontier Scanner.

 

I also post regularly to my website:

www.iambrettprice.com

 

As well as my tumblr account:

brettprice.tumblr.com

 

And not to forget flickr:

www.flickr.com/photos/brettprice

 

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Jul 252013
 

Using The Hasselblad X-Pan by Brett Price

Hey Steve,

I recently purchased a Hasselblad Xpan with the 45mm f4 lens and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on it for your website. Thanks again for making a site where people can do this. In light of their recent (laughable) offerings as a company I’m still optimistic they can change course and still make excellent cameras like they used to. Hopefully this semi-review/experience can breathe a bit of hope back into people, even if now its only nostalgia. I’m still hoping for a digital Xpan!

This camera has a cool story, I bought it from a teacher of mine who happens to be the Cinematographer of some excellent films such as Anchorman, Beetlejuice, and Jumanji and it was actually originally purchased while filming Anchorman. I believe he shot around 6 rolls through it total and has pretty much sat inside the original packaging until I purchased it from him. It’s as mint as it gets :)

I started shooting the camera as soon as I received it and I must say, in terms of build quality and feel, it’s as solid as a Leica. I honestly didn’t expect this only seeing photos of it online. For some reason the exterior looks very plastic-y which seems to throw off the conception of weight and build quality. Its pretty heavy for a camera its size but handles extremely well. I personally love shooting with it and its been my go to camera lately. I love cinema and movies and for some reason nothing makes a shot more cinematic looking that being in a near 3:1 aspect ratio. I don’t feel like my photos are all that different from what I typical shoot but this camera gives them a look that is extremely interesting and cinematic.

If you are interested in one of these cameras there are a few things I learned upon receiving it that I didn’t know (good and bad). There is actually a way to make the camera shoot normal 35mm aspect ratio as well as panoramic. There is a switch on the back that opens and closes a set of “blinders” inside the camera. I don’t really understand why this was done or why anyone would want to use it but ok, it’s there. The camera loads the entire roll into the take up reel when you first put the film in, this means if you accidentally open the camera, you probably just flashed most of your roll. I see this as good and bad, the good news is the shots you’ve taken are protected, the bad news is that you might loose a whole roll of film if opened. I doubt this will happen I just found it interested due to the fact it works almost totally opposite of any other 35mm camera I’ve used. There is no shutter speed indicator in the viewfinder (only on the first model is this a problem). So if you shoot on auto you have readouts as to what is being properly exposed and what is over and under. Much like a Leica you have — O + near the bottom of the viewfinder but this is always the case rather than on an M7 it would tell you the exact shutter speed.

The images you get from the camera are sharp. very sharp in my opinion. I don’t really see the tell tale 3D rendering I’m used to with my 501cm but its got a nice unique look to it regardless. Its stiffer to use than you would think, which is a plus in my opinion and its pretty easy to focus with the rangefinder patch being brighter than my M7.

Anyway I bought the camera on a whim and its quickly become one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy the photos. I constantly update my tumblr account with new work if you want to check out more in the future as I update. Its: BrettPrice.tumblr.com

Happy Shooting,

Brett Price

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Jul 232013
 

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The Hasselblad “Stellar” is announced! WooHoo!

Hasselblad has officially lost their minds. They have now taken a $649 Sony RX100, added a wood grip and are calling it “The Steller” and guess what? It will probably come in at $2500 if the pricing of their NEX-7 “Lunar” is of any indication.

Seems Haselblad are pulling a Leica stunt but in a much bolder way. While Leica takes a camera like the $300 Panasonic LX-7 and puts in in a Leica shell for $400 more you do get the Leica name, longer warranty and better software. The way Hasselblad is going about this one is pretty silly. They take an RX100, make it champaign in color and add a wood grip. I am sure you will get the fancy packaging and all but this is an RX100, plain and simple.

They have not yet announced the price but remember, their “Lunar” which is a NEX-7 sells for $7000 with the 18-55 Sony Kit Zoom.  Who will buy this? Has anyone here bought a Lunar? I just can not see any of these selling, especially if they come in at $2k and up. The RX100 is fantastic, as you can see in my full review, but c’mon. It is not $2k fantastic. :)

Hasselblad has lost it. While they used to be known for their amazing medium format film bodies and their compact X-Pan, today they are becoming sort of a joke in the photographic community. Sure, these cameras look..well..ummmm…”different” but they are still Sony NEX-7’s and RX100’s no matter what shell you throw over them.

You can see more at the new website for the Stellar HERE. 

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Jun 112013
 

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Get your Hasselblad Lunar now for only $6995!

Yes my friends, just when we thought the new Leica X Vario was over priced we now have the opportunity to buy the Hasselblad Lunar on Amazon RIGHT NOW! There are eight of them in stock at only $6995 with the 18-55 Made in Thailand Kit Zoom. Yes, THAT Hasselblad Lunar, you know, the one that is really a Sony NEX-7 with a fancy covering? Yes, this IS indeed a Sony NEX-7. Same sensor, same menus, same control, same kit zoom. But instead of $costing $1100 it is $7000. 

The same soft-ish Sony old school 18-55 on the same innards of the NEX-7 with a HUGE outer casing and grip.

Haseelblad must be smoking something really strong to even think they would profit from such a thing.

I wonder how many they will sell within one year? Should be interesting. I have yet to see anyone shoot with one, even for a review. There have been 1-2 reviews but no one has shot with it, they just visually saw and held it and wrote about its cheap plastic feel. No shooting.

In any case, I would never recommend the Lunar but had to post about it being available in case any of you here are feeling a little bit crazy. It comes in Titanium/Brown, Bronze/Mahogony and Titanium/Black. It does appear one of the Bronze ones sold, as I believe there were 3 of each when listed, now there are two of the Bronze, so SOMEONE bought one :)

If you want this camera without the bling you can buy the NEX-7 with the same lens for $1098, take that extra $6k and go on a kick ass vacation to use it, but the people targeted by Hasselblad for the Lunar have enough cash to buy the Lunar and a trip around the world anyway. Then again, the Leica M 240 is $7000 and I own one and am not rich! But the M 240 is not an OM-D E-M5 with a Leica shell. It is unique and there is nothing like it. The Lunar is the nuttiest camera release of the past 20 years.

 

Jun 102013
 

USER REPORT: The Noctilux of Hasselblad, the Zeiss 110 f/2 Planar by Jerry Bei

Hi Steve:

While I am waiting for the arrival of my Leica M typ 240 that I would like to share my recent experiences with a legendary Hasselblad lens, the Carl Zeiss 110mm F2.0 Planar lens. I am a big fan of super shallow Depth-of-field and bokehlicious images, I believe with the correct use of aperture that one can enhance the subject of the photo. The Hasselblad medium format film camera has been my companion for quite some time now, it is the “perfect” MF camera for me and part of this is due to the superb qualities of those Carl Zeiss lenses. After owning and shooting with a variety of these lenses, there is always a lens in back of my mind.

The Hasselblad 110mm F2.0 Planar lens is indeed a “dream” lens, just like the noctilux of Leica which outputs incredible bokeh and unique characteristics. I have been searching lens on the internet for quite a while since there are not too many of them available at once. There are basically two versions of the lens: the F and FE models of the lens. The F lens can only be used on focal plane Hasselblad bodies with built-in camera shutter and the FE version has some electronic parts specially designed for FE series Hasselblad bodies such as the 203FE, which demands a higher price tag for its more modern electronics. My lovely 2000 FC/M camera that I did my street photography work with has broken down due to focal plane failure so I upgraded to a more recent model, the 201F with a cloth focal plane shutter rather than fragile titanium ones in the 2000FC/M. It is the perfect match with the Hasselblad 110mm F2 lens and this combination works like a charm.

The first thing you notice when you are holding the lens is quite heavy, coming at 750 grams, which is significantly heavier than my Hasselblad 100mm F3.5 C lens. The F version of this lens were produced between 1991-1998 and the construction consists of 7 elements/5 groups with the aperture ranges from an insane F2 to F16 in 1/2 stop increments. Keep in mind that F2 in the Medium Format world is approximately similar to F1 in the 35mm format, which produces incredibly shallow paper-thin DOF. In practical use, the lens at the start was very challenging to use, especially for living subjects on the streets that I like to photograph but once you get used to it then everything becomes easier. Just as a side note, I would recommend for Hasselblad users to change their focusing screen to either Matte or Matte D with increased brightness/clarity when working with this lens, which helps significantly in practical use. The filter size for this particular lens is in bayonet mount (Bay 70) and I would recommend the 77mm UV size adapter since this is a much affordable option.

The performance of the Hasselblad 110mm F2.0 Planar lens is truly remarkable, it deserves to wear the crown of super-fast lenses in the Medium Format world. The rendering is typical Zeiss with tendency to the warm side with vivid colours and the out-of-focus areas are pleasing to the eye with smooth bokeh. The images coming out of this lens are very sharp, probably not as sharp as the Hasselblad 100mm F3.5 lens since that one is the sharpest but the 110mm lens possesses very unique and special characteristics. If you like super-fast lenses and looking for a unique lens in the medium format world then the Hasselblad 110mm lens cannot be missed.

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