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Hasselblad H6D-100c Review and Test

I know that many people are interested in the fact that the photo industry can offer the best, even if this is not the best for everyone. And today we look at the “Porsche” among the cameras – Hasselblad H6D-100c.

Intro about formats
The names “Large format”, “medium format”, “narrow format” are arbitrary. Many years ago, the 4 × 5 ″ frame format (9 × 12 cm in the metric system) was considered the medium format, and the large format was 8 × 10 ″ (20 × 25 cm) or more. But a lot of time passed, it was advantageous to reduce the frame format to have a large number of frames, and we came to the conclusion that 4 × 5 ″ is already a large format, and 36 × 24 mm is the “full format”. At the same time, a huge number of camera models with a frame format appeared even smaller than 36 × 24, we consider them to be “cameras with crop factor”. Although in fact, when compared with the end of the 19th century, we have all the cameras with a huge crop factor 🙂

small format (“narrow”) – 24 × 36 mm (film type 135, digital sensor 24 × 36 mm and sensor options with crop factor from 35 mm),
medium format – 6 × 4.5 cm, 6 × 6 cm, 6 × 7 cm, 6 × 9 cm, etc. (film type 120 and 220, the corresponding size of the sensors and their options with crop),
large format – 9 × 12 cm, 4 × 5 inches, 13 × 18 cm, 8 × 10 inches, etc. (sheet film, scanning digital backs).

What is a digital “SLR” medium format camera
Due to the development of the “narrow format”, the medium format market is undergoing major changes. I will talk about the real advantages of a medium format system today, and not about the advantages that were previously.

Enlarged sensor with a relatively high pixel density. 100 Mpix for a 53.4 × 40.0 mm sensor is a 4.6 μm photosensitive element (sensor), which is close to 4.14 μm for the Canon 5DsR. Since it’s close in pixel density, then we will have the same restrictions on handheld shooting. In addition, there is no “silent” mode and the mirror is large, but the sensor (a single photosensitive element) is still slightly larger than the Canon 5DsR, so the rule of hand shooting is approximately the same as “shutter speed = 1 / 1.5 focal”

Due to the relatively small sensor (4.6 μm), the diaphragm is not particularly tightly clamped. It follows from the calculation that the maximum clamped aperture without loss of resolution (after all, I want to get all 100 megapixels) will be f8-f11, which is not enough for a sensor of this size.

Diffraction affects gradually, so that you can close the diaphragm further if necessary. The farther you close it for f11, the more the image becomes “blurred”.

The potential resolution that a camera with a large entrance pupil can reach is greater. A camera with a large aperture is less susceptible to diffraction, and we know that all resolution optics are limited by diffraction on one side (if the aperture is small) and aberrations on the other (large aperture, the optics are far from perfect). At the moment, in the Hasselblad H line there are no lenses that would exceed the “narrow” format in aperture, but with the release of new lenses it is quite realistic (a small pixel is easier to resolve in a medium format than in a “narrow” one).

Large and bright viewfinder.

Compared to 35 mm cameras, the viewfinder is better. You no longer need to press your eye into the “mouse eye” of the 35 mm camera viewfinder. Everything is visible well and clearly. It’s just brighter there! Not only is the Hasselblad H6D-100c a medium format camera, but Hasselblad has always been famous for its especially bright viewfinders and focusing screens. I once tried the Hassel 6 × 6 format and was surprised how bright the matte screen is.

For a “SLR” camera, there is the advantage that we see the picture with our eyes as it is, all the subtlest transitions and semitones of the blue sky and the pale green colors of the grass where they are. But you will not see this in the LCD viewfinder of a mirrorless camera, the technologies of liquid crystal screens are still very far from high-quality color reproduction. There, even the work of a polarizing filter is poorly visible. There is either pale blue or rough dark blue in the sky in polarization mode, but not all of these delicate cyan gradients between which you choose by twisting the polarizing filter on a “SLR” camera.

A medium format camera is immediately conceived as a professional, there are not all gradations of a narrow format. She’s just professional and point. Because she has a bunch of high-quality accessories and this is not just a camera, but a whole system. Focusing screens are interchangeable, viewfinders are interchangeable, tilt-shift adapter, etc.

Hasselblad H6D-100c is the new generation of Hasselblad cameras, so the case is more delicate than the old Hassels of the 500th series.

What do you lose when changing the camera from 35 mm to medium format
1. The first and most tangible is money. Medium format cameras cost significantly more than 35 mm cameras. Medium format cameras are larger, all elements of these cameras are also larger and, accordingly, more expensive. Hasselblad H6D-100c is not just a camera, but a camera plus a digital back, and it is he who accounts for the lion’s share of the price of this top-end camera.

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