Hasselblad H1 or Rollei 6008AF

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by steven_stolar, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. H1 isn't selling well, if they drop it, there goes the lenses, magazines and other accessories.

    Go with the Rollei or the Contax.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

    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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. "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.
  11. If I was buying into a new format my priorities would be (in order)

    a) Reliability & Optical Quality - Superb optics but poor mechanics are just as useless as great mechanics but rubbish optics
    b) Service and Backup
    c) Functionality
    d) Expandibility
    e) Longevity
    f) Price

    The brand is actually quite unimportant to me in as much as if the system I am buying into meets these criteria, who actually made it becomes less significant. Hasselblad, Rollei, Fuji, Contax, Pentax, Mamiya, Bronica et al all make very fine cameras and lenses. I can say with reasonable confidence that none of the above currently make a bad camera. Certain features of one brand will be more appealing than another. Therefore in the final analysis it does not really matter whose name is on the camera. Work out what you really want in a system and how badly you want it then go from there.

  12. I've just lived with my new H1 for a week having chopped some of my 6x6 Hassy gear for it. I love it, it's lighter, faster, sharper and more instinctive to use than a 203FE. Sure it's a new toy, but first impressions are that it focuses as fast (if not faster)than my Canon EOS.

    However if you're shooting buildings or landscape go for a 6x6 that will take a hood finder rather than a prism. I believe the Rollei has that.
  13. I recently sold my Hasselblad 503 kit to buy the Rollei 6008AF. What a GREAT DECISION!!! This camera is so intuitive, well thought out, built like a tank, and just a joy to use! And best of all, it has Schneider optics which are the best - sorry to the Zeiss guys, I like the lenses too but Schneider is just remarkable.

    I had looked seriously at the H1 and it's autofocus is incredibly fast. But you know, it is still a 645 negative. I got into medium format for the larger negative and I like to compose in the square, so I went for the Rollei and have zero regrets.

    One thing to consider though. If you really want 645 and don't mind tiltling the camera to compose vertical shots, you might want to consider the Fuji GX645. It is the Japan only version of the H1. I live in Hong Kong and have held one. It is identical to the H1 in all respects except for two things. The name on the front of the prism reads "GX645" - the body still says Hasselblad. The second difference is the colour. It is two-tone black - much cooler looking than the H1. And the price is about $4,200 vs the H1 at $5,400.
  14. Go with the ROLLEI, I love them and they are treated like crap on my shoots
    by my assistants and they still keep ticking. Actually, a lot of my regular
    assistants over the years now own Rollei's because of me.
    And YES, you get focus confirmation with the ROLLEI's on all lenses.
    Plus Phase One and Imacon Express make digital backs for them, wicked
    As I have said on other postings the service is great if you know where to go.
    I honestly haven't had any problems in the last 8 years except for a lazy
    shutter on an 80mm, $135 to get repaired.
    These things are tanks and yet are light and all have built in motor drives.
    I heard a rumour through a very reliable scource and put it this way, I wouldn't
    buy Hassy right now and I used them for years.
    Also, I've spent $20,000 on ROLLEI and never regretted a moment.
    Call Ctrades to get the best prices if your interested.


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