Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shutterbug Article / Hasselblad H4D - 40 Impressions

This month's June issue of Shutterbug Magazine has a 6 page book excerpt of my book "The Changing Range of Light". They did a great job of reproducing the photos in a magazine format. The article is available in both the print and digital versions of the magazine. The print version is in almost every magazine rack in the country if you want to check it out.


 I had some time to head down to Big Sur a week or so ago and take my new Hasselblad H4D out for real world shooting. I was lucky to have some sunny weather since we were between April storms. Big Sur is one of my favorite places in the world - it is truly a photographer's paradise, especially this time of the year when the wildflowers are blooming. After reviewing my files from the new camera I can say that I am really delighted with the image quality and performance. The only problem I ran in to was an error message to restart the back when I used an off brand of CF card, so I think it is important to use the recommended Sandisk cards with this system - the problem was eliminated when I used the correct CF card brand. My unscientific analysis of the H4D files gives me the opinion that the image detail is better than the H3D - 39 - I find there is better detail in fine areas such as tree branches and leaves. The files also seem to accept sharpening better. The image below of the poppies along the coast in sunshine was shot at 800 iso due to the wind. This is an example of a shot I would not have been able to get with the H3D-39 since the poppies were blowing around and I needed to shoot the image at f22 for depth of field but at a high shutter speed to freeze motion. The flowers are tack sharp with no blur, and noise is minimal.  

Big Sur Poppies 

Here is another shot of one of my favorite places, McWay cove at sunset, shot with a split ND filter at 100 iso.

Mcway Falls at Sunset, Big Sur

All the files need to be processed in Phocus since Aperture and Lightroom do not support the files from this camera yet, but I am sure they will at some point. I also used the new Photoshop CS5 to do some post processing. CS5 is noticeably faster than CS4, and the content-aware fill tool is amazing. 

I also discovered that the Colorspace UDMA back up device will not accept files from the H4D (is does from the H3D). Colorspace needs to get with the program and update the firmware on this device. I called Hasselblad and they told me that they make the file formats available to all companies that request them so devices can be upgraded to accept the H4D files. Come on people get with it! 

I still have the H3D-39 kit available for sale, and an HC 35 mm lens, will consider all reasonable offers.




  1. Congrats on having your book featured, Elizabeth.

  2. Great work, especially at one of my favorite places along the coast (McWay cove). Hopefully this little gem will remain less traveled :)

  3. Beautiful shot! You really have amazing work! I hope I can get to that level soon.

  4. Amazing! These shots almost look like HDR, especially the McWay photo. So beautiful :)

  5. As all the posts before me - wonderful images - I have to say the poppies are my favorite of the two ;-)..
    I actually located you blog searching for a CF backup tool - I have upgraded to the H4d-60 (I followed the trade-in) and now got it (just yesterday) and it fills up my 32gb cards quite quickly so for back up I have counted on a device from vosonic - it doesn't recognize the file format but at least it copies the files - now after changing cf cards it made 2 backups and went bust (I think this is just bad luck).. But I wanted to check with you using the colorspace - did they get a firmware working for the H4d files? and what about reliability?