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Hasselblad H1 or Rollei 6008AF

steven stolar , Aug 31, 2003; 06:52 p.m.

I am getting into Medium Format. I am seeking opinions on the Hasselblad H1 vs. the Rollei 6008AF. The controversy with the Hasselblad is the lenses. With the Rollei, one can use all of their lenses, Af or not. Thank you for your responses.


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Dale Dickerson , Aug 31, 2003; 07:17 p.m.

If using Zeiss optics is important, your choice is Rolleiflex 6008AF or a Contax.

If you want a Fuji camera relabled with the Hasselblad name because the name Hasselblad is more important then Zeiss optics get one. I have nothing against Fuji optics, but the reason I look at Contax, Rollei and Hasselblad is the optics. They could call the camera "ice cream" I do not care as long as I can use the best in German optics.

The 6008AF will let you use a 645 back and it will turn for vertical or horizonal 645. It also is 6x6. You also get Zeiss and Schneider optics.

Chris Henry , Aug 31, 2003; 07:55 p.m.

Well jump right in the deep end!

Good luck getting service locally on Rollei if you live in the USA. Better yet, good luck finding a dealer that even bothers to carry their gear even in a larger city (New York excepted). Rollei's service and dealer network has not kept pace with their innovativeness in design.

The H1 has been reviewed at www.luminouslandscape.com. You might read that review. Have you considered the Contax 645? The controversy regarding the lenses is only that they are made by Fuji, not that they aren't of the very best quality.

Costwise, the Rollei 6008AF and the Hasselblad H1 are probably close, if you consider a package of 3 lenses, body and two backs. The advantage to Rollei is backward compatibility with the non-AF Rollei lenses while preserving focus assist.

steven stolar , Aug 31, 2003; 08:40 p.m.

The service does seem to be a problem. I live in Los Angeles and none of the major stores carry the Rollei. However, I have heard that Rollei's service has gotten better in the U.S. and that in Europe it is quite good. The Rollei does have backward compatibility with metering and focus confirmation. The Hasselblad will not have use of the metering with V lenses. The Hasselblad is supposed to have great service and future use with digital. The Hasselblad seems to have better ergonomics and does have a built in fill flash that might be useful on occassion. But as one responder has summed up, it is the lenses. The Zeiss and Schneider lenses are unquestionably good. I wonder about the Fuji lenses, although I have heard very good things about them. To answer the question above, I did consider the Contax, however the Zeiss lenses there are Japan made and the autofocus is supposed to be slow. Also, you do not have the extensive line up of lenses that are available to the Rollei. I am used to the quick focus of an F5 and the quality lenses of Leica. I do not want this thread to turn into a forum for Contax, as I am only considering the Rollei and Hasselblad. I know that the Contax is a great system, especially considering the price is about $2,000.00 less with an 80mm 2.8 lens.

Shawn Kearney , Aug 31, 2003; 08:50 p.m.

H1 isn't selling well, if they drop it, there goes the lenses, magazines and other accessories.

Go with the Rollei or the Contax.

Michael Kravit , Aug 31, 2003; 09:07 p.m.

Rollei service here in the US is handled by a company I believe called Marflex. I have had to send them one of my lenses to be adjusted as the focussing ring was jamed. I also had to send then a 6008i as the meter went out of adjustment and was overexposing by 3 stops.

In both cases I received the items back within 1-1/2 weels depending on what day I sent them out.

I have had equally fine service from Hasselblad on my 203Fe.

I will say that I like the Rollei much more so than my Hassy. The meter is superb, the camera is easy to use, and the motor drive is very convenient. My ne w 6008 AF is incredible. I have an AF80/2.8 abd I am awaiting a AF 180/2.8.

My personal preference is for the 6x6 format over the 645. Much more for compositional reasons, but it is very convenient not having to turn the camera when shooting.

Chris Henry , Aug 31, 2003; 11:41 p.m.

I have to believe that part of the problem is that service isn't being handled by a company called Rollei. Hasselblad sees fit to service their branded goods in the major North American market and does a good job of making the connection with the buyers and users of their products here. Rollei has strangely never applied this philosophy.

If I were a professional and was sinking $14-20,000 into medium format gear, quality and digital applicability aside, I would want access to a dealer network that could provide advice and product support and the opportunity to rent gear that was compatible with whatever I bought. I see that possibility with Hasselblad, not with Rollei. Rollei is bigger in Europe because they service Europe better.

Jay . , Sep 01, 2003; 12:14 p.m.

Neither Hasselblad, Contax or Rollei are still under the ownership which made the names legendary. Basically the names have been sold. So buy the camera whose features meet your needs most closely.

Raymond Wong , Sep 01, 2003; 10:58 p.m.

I have been shooting with the H1 for a few weeks now and I like the results I am getting. I have also use the 501 series and the Zeiss lenses before. There definitely is a difference in the look and the feel of the pictures. I think it depends on what qualities are important to you. I like the pictures from the H1 they are tact sharp and colors are more vivid than my 501 with Zeiss lenses... On the other hand I like the pictures from my 501 and zeiss also, they are not as pinpoint sharp or as vivid but they have a lovely softer very natural quality.

Some have said that the contrast on the H1 is not as good as the 501 Zeiss combo but I have to say that it is really different and its a matter of opinion which you will like more. For me the H1 is seeing more time lately its a new toy and its so much easier to travel and shoot with then the older 501 body and zeiss lenses I have. Autofocus is not as fast as a Nikon F5 but its faster than my Nikon D100. For ease of use and travelling I have to say I would prefer my H1 for that studio portrait shot my older rig is a bit more flattering on the older crowd and my H1 is a bit more reveiling of their age...of course all that can be fixed with a softar filters.

As for Bokeh the 501CM and the Zeiss is a bit softer than the H1 I'll leave it at that cause its such a matter of personal taste.

As for the Rollei I have never use one and cannot comment on it.

Robin Smith , Sep 02, 2003; 10:21 a.m.

"H1 isn't selling well, if they drop it, there goes the lenses, magazines and other accessories."

In NYC, according to Jeff HIrsch, it is selling very well. I guess it depends who you talk to.

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