Feeds
85%
Hasselblad H4D-40

Hasselblad H4D-40 Stainless Steel 40Mp camera

Shiny special edition for the pros

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Optical profusion

Currently, Hasselblad has 11 focal lengths in the H series and they are all beautifully built, precision optics. During tests I used the standard HC 80mm f2.8, a wide-angle HCD 28mm f4, and a portrait HC 150mm f3.2. Compared to 35mm or Leica S lenses Hasselblad’s optics are massive and heavy but they are incredibly sharp and have very little distortion.

Hasselblad H4D-40

Lens line-up

Even the 28mm, currently the widest lens available for medium format, displayed virtually no loss of sharpness in the corners. The standard 80mm also performed very well with great colour reproduction and consistent output. The 150mm lens was easy to handle, with a moderate telephoto effect that is perfect for portraits. I was also given an HTS 1.5 Tilt and Shift Adapter to play with. This clever little tool is Hasselblad's attempt to steer photographers away from the need to use large format cameras and towards an all-encompassing system.

Hasselblad Phocus 2.6

Phocus software features lens corrections and professional retouching

I’m still partial to Leica lenses over Hasselblad ones but when I compared the final images produced with the Leica S2 and the H4D-40, the latter had the most calibrated and detailed results. This is almost certainly due to the images being processed through Phocus, which contains the exact parameters of each individual lens and can apply to automatically apply correction of chromatic aberrations, distortion and vignetting. This level of enhancement goes beyond what Adobe's Lightroom or any other non-proprietary software can do. The final processed files are razor-sharp, have rich colour and tonal gradation and a complete lack of optical flaws.

ISO performance is in line with what I expected from a classic medium format system but still not near as good as the Leica S2 or the Pentax D645, which actually uses exactly the same Kodak sensor. Phocus controls, but cannot remove the noise present at 800 ISO and above.

Hasselblad H4D-40

The CF lens adapter enables the use of V-series optics

I was quite pleased to find instead that the H4D-40 carried off handheld shooting in available light quite well despite not being engineered for that. The sheer weight of the camera together with the well balanced and ergonomically designed body helped steady my hand producing acceptable, if occasionally blurred results. White Balance was not always spot on though. For example, the creamy white walls inside the British Museum had an obvious blue/green cast in my H4D-40 shots, which I never had when I photographed it before with my Nikon. This can, of course, be very easily corrected in Phocus.

Hasselblad H4D-40

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Field labour

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.