Rolleiflex Hy6 (also Sinar Hy6 & Leaf AFi) - first impressions report

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by erik scanhancer, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. Today I went to the Photokina, because I could no longer resist to find out more about the new
    Rolleiflex Hy6 MF camera. Well, my visit was certainly worthwhile! Before I get into details, I suggest you
    take a look at Michael Reichmann's videoblog here, featuring the Hy6:

    I have had the opportunity to have extensive discussions with the technical product manager of Franke
    & Heidecke as well as some other key people involved in the development of this new camera. They
    have shown me the camera in detail and of course I was able to play with it as well.

    The Hy6 ("Hy" from "hybrid") is technically an evolutional development of the famous Rolleiflex 6008AF
    concept, while the outer design and the user interface should be called a more revolutionary
    development. Actually, all typical 6008AF functions are there. An improvement is the new focus
    detector (now a cross CCD) and the infrared light to focus under difficult lighting conditions. Also new
    is the battery: it's now a widely available Lithium-ion brick that can be recharged without risking
    memory-effects. The model I found in the Hy6 was from Varta and looked like a camcorder battery.

    The reason that the new design could be so radically different from the 6008 series is because the
    motordrive is removed from the body and the new battery is located in the hand grip, thus lowering the
    body height significantly. This means that the Hy6 can only take film magazines that have their own
    motor built in, like Rollei's 4560 rotating magazine. I was told that a self-driven 6x6 magazine is under
    development. Here lies the great news of this camera: it will take all kinds of high-end digital backs,
    but also 6x4.5 and 6x6 framed film. This, while the whole package is very light and compact. To me it
    looked and felt a whole lot more compact than the Hasselblad H3 (which does only 4x4.5 max). In
    contrast to the Hasselblad the handgrip of the Hy6 is rotatable, like we know from the 6008 series,
    although this one cannot be removed because it carries vital controls (and the battery of course).

    The Hy6 works with all lenses that work on the 6008 series as well, so the investment in Zeiss and
    Schneider glass will be well protected (and not force you into buying Fuji lenses for example). The
    functionality as we know it from the 6008AF is all there: leaf shutters with full flash sync up to
    1/1000sec; mirror-blocked multi-exposure, full metering functionality regardless of the viewfinder
    used; et cetera. The ground glass in the Hy6 is the same as in the 6008AF. Only the viewfinders and
    6x6 backs are different because these are lower in order to further save on the camera's height. A new
    90 degree viewfinder will be introduced as well.

    While the technical reality of this camera is designed by F&H, the looks and user interface are designed
    outside the Braunschweiger factory. An extensive survey under photographers has been done in order
    to define the look and feel of the Hy6. If they were asked to choose between "BMW", "Volvo" and
    "Mercedes" most voted for Volvo. For this reason it will be no coincidence that this camera looks more
    like a totally modernised version of a 500CM than a traditional Rolleiflex. Something like Victor
    Hasselblad's wet dream (which cannot be said about the H3).

    Holding the Hy6 is amazingly comfortable due to the rotatable handgrip on the right and the very well
    placed controls on the left, mostly predestined to be operated by thumb. So your left hand can support
    the camera continuously while changing settings with that same hand. Wonderful concept. The
    handgrip has two control wheels to change shutter speed and aperture or other settings when you go
    deeper into the menu. (For those worried about endless sub-menu layers: you can rest assured because
    all vital controls are directly driven by the buttons on the left and the extra buttons on the hand grip for
    mirror lockup and such. Deeper menu layers can also be accessed directly by moving the controls to
    "red dot settings", bringing you right under the hood of the camera. And for real geeks the camera can
    also be programmed by hooking it up to a PC with the USB connection.)

    Some other interesting functions of the Hy6 are: white balance sensor on top of the camera; a new built
    in quick release plate (much bigger than the old one); a large LCD on the hand grip showing important
    data such as shutter speed and aperture settings, battery condition, correction values and such.

    Asked about the price level I was told it would be about the price of a 6008AF. Also, for people pre-
    ordering it with a Jenoptik back there will be a step-up program: first they will receive their back with a
    6008AF body and by the time the Hy6 becomes available it will be swapped out. Digital backs that
    work on the 6008 will also work on this camera.

    Unlike what Michael Reichmann says in his videoblog the 6000 series aren't planned to be phased out.
    Mostly because it is a camera line well under control of F&H's production plant, so they could do some
    production runs whenever needed. F&H is an extremely flexible company when it comes to production.
    So it will merely be decided by demand from the market if and for how long those cameras will live on
    to be produced.

    All in all I was very impressed by this camera, because it seems to have gained on a number of crucial
    points compared to the 6008 series, while the trade-off's aren't really apparent (if there are any). Given
    the fact that it allows to work with several high-end digital backs (Sinar and Leaf will even sell the same
    camera under their own brand names and I am pretty sure Phase One will follow soon, since Hasselblad
    has made the H3 for Hasselblad backs only.) Basically I don't see any serious competition in the MF
    camera world for this new design marvel. The only question that remains will be if the MF digiback
    market as a whole will survive the current developments in 35mm chipcams. That is where the real
    competition lies.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, because I have a technical data sheet of the Hy6 as
  2. Thanks for the effort you put into typing all that Erik.
    I too was very interested by this "open source" camera that has been made and it certainly seems like a more beneficial step from the photographer's point-of-view than what Hasselblad is doing. What would really like to see is, since different back makers are releasing it with their brand, they should at least be able to send information to the hand grip like a histogram or something. or am i mistaken and it already does this?
  3. hello erik,
    thank you for the info. There is one thing which is unclear to me . In this digital configuration
    is the camera has a square image or a rectangular one .and what is the size of the sensor. To
    me I am addicted to the square image and there is no interest in a rectangular sensor even if
    you can do square images on film
    Thank you for letting me know
  4. And the delivery date is when? I heard 2008 today. Hopefully it will be a lot sooner than that.
    I also saw the flier on the new H'blad 28mm f/4.
  5. Any competition will be welcome in this space - especially by the MF digi back makers - sad to see hasselblad trying to 'close' the system to alternative digi backs. I am definately interested in this new body.
  6. I'm confused. You said the new, smaller body was made possible by removing the motor, so film magazines must have their own. Certainly there must still be a motor in the body to cock the spring mechanism that operates the reflex mirror. Am I correct? If so, where did they hide that motor?

    Bob Shell
  7. Thanks Erik, you've made that very clear.
  8. "What would really like to see is, since different back makers are releasing it with their
    brand, they should at least be able to send information to the hand grip like a histogram
    or something. or am i mistaken and it already does this?"

    I don't think it will be useful to send histogram info to the hand grip as the dot matrix
    B&W LCD there is not suitable for that type of graphical info. Digibacks are supposed to
    have their own high resolution color LCD on their back where this kind of info can be
    shown. There is however clearly an exchange of info between the camera and the back,
    given the fact that the camera itself collects white balance info and hands it over to the
    back. I expect it to be possible to exchange more info with the camera. The camera's
    firmware can also be updated through the USB connection.

    "In this digital configuration is the camera has a square image or a rectangular one? And
    what is the size of the sensor?"

    Basically this will depend on the back you will be mounting. F&H will offer it with a
    Jenoptik/Sinar eMotion75 back, which is effectively 48 x 36mm. In the future this may
    change as other CCD sizes come up.

    "And the delivery date is when? I heard 2008 today."

    I heard early 2007, which would make sense, given the amount of working prototypes
    available at the Photokina.

    "Any competition will be welcome in this space - especially by the MF digi back makers -
    sad to see hasselblad trying to 'close' the system to alternative digi backs."

    Yes, it turns out the Hasselblad H-route is going to be a terribly expensive trap into their
    own backs. This Hy6 must be quite a shock to them now that they just were thinking to
    have rolled up the entire competition. I have always disliked the Hasselblad attitude ("we
    went to the moon") while there was little to substantiate it in terms of ultimate
    performance. Even today they have their "moon cameras" on display in their Photokina
    booth. (F&H had three twin lens reflexes on display as a lead to the past, but the
    difference is that they actually make these new. And on a side-note: the new Tele-
    Rolleiflex was also lovely to hold.)

    "Certainly there must still be a motor in the body to cock the spring mechanism that
    operates the reflex mirror. Am I correct? If so, where did they hide that motor?"

    The Hy6 uses a direct drive motor to operate the mirror. As you know from the Rollei
    lenses such a motor can be very compact (and ultra fast). Each lens has two of them: one
    for the shutter and one for the aperture.
  9. Bob, I'm no EE but the type of motor needed for moving a mirror could be a lot smaller and more easily packaged than the one need for a film transport. A servo like used in a hard drive (for the actuator arm) or something like a solenoid could be used.
  10. Some links to German articles about the Hy6: (with some pics) (press release with general specs.)
  11. I'm glad to hear that they've upgraded from 9 pin serial to USB. Is there any chance that they included a bluetooth transciever? Those things are cheap and useful.
  12. Erik, you're clearly well informed about the Hy6. Maybe you can answer a few questions.

    I currently use the Hasselblad V system with a Phase One back. It covers most of my needs but not quite all, in particular I'd like a really wide lens (wider than 38mm), TTL flash capability, better hand-holding ergonomics, and no more lens to back cabling!

    However, I'd struggle to relinquish the V system advantages of the distortion free 38mm Biogon, the shift and tilt capabilities of the Flexbody, and that great Hasselblad viewfinder experience where it's the back that rotates and not the camera!

    I'll pass over the 39MP Phase One back and stay with my 22MP back, but I'll probably trade up with the next generation of digital backs that goes beyond 39MP. And that would be the time to review my camera system. Given my shopping list should I start saving for the Hy6?
  13. Gary,

    You'd better start saving money for the Hy6, considering your wish list. An S-Flektogon
    2,8/35 mm was recently announced, amongst some other new lenses for the 6000/Hy6
    cameras. (The S-Flektogon is designed to be especially distortion free.) I suppose these
    designs will be used to create a new line of lighter, more compact lenses for the Hy6
    under the D-AF label. However, this series will not come out immediately, because
    currently all production energy will be directed towards the planned release date of the
    Hy6 in May 2007.

    All the other things on your wish list (TTL flash capability, better hand-holding
    ergonomics, no more lens to back cabling, rotating back) will be served on a platter in
    the Hy6. Plus a lot more that you never asked for but of which you will soon wonder how
    you ever did without.

    Your shift and tilt needs could be taken care of by the Rollei X-act2, which will take the
    same magazines, digibacks and lenses. (And on a side-note: PhaseOne has teamed up
    with Rollei to further develop and market the Rollei Metric system, which has the same
    backside as the 6000 series cameras. So I expect to see a PhaseOne solution for the Hy6
    as well in the near future. Rollei has already offered a bundle of the 6008AF with PhaseOne
    back, so the adaptation itself is a fact already.)
  14. Dear Erik,

    Many thanks for this nice article about Rollei Hy6 system!
    In addition to that one could found these large and detailed pictures of new MF system from Rollei interesting too (the first row):
    Rollei equipment
    Kind regards,
    Oleg (aka oMoses)
    oMoses online portfolio
  15. Thanks for the summary Erik. I had not really paid attention to the Hy6 (I just bought a
    6008AF and have been really happy with it), but I suppose it is worth paying attention to. I
    am glad that they are keeping the pricing in line with the 6008AF...the price of the H series
    cameras is just insane, and while the 6008AF is too, it is a more reasonable level of insanity. I
    must say I am not enamored of the styling choices they have made though. The red and grey
    and silver just don't do it for me at all. It looks like a kids toy. Anyone ever play laser tag?
    That is what it looks like..but that would not make a difference to me if the camera was good
    enough. Hopefully it will keep the 6000 series lenses and the rest of F&H alive and well for
    years to come.
  16. Stuart, the color scheme of the Hy6 is still open for changes. The way it is presented now is
    how Sinar will sell them. F&H has the intention to at least change the color of the buttons and
    perhaps other parts as well before they come out with the final version.
  17. Good to know! Thanks Erik. My dealer told me that they are coming out with a 150mm f/2.8,
    have you heard about this? It will be in addition to the 150/4 Tele-Xenar AF. He did not tell
    me any more than that.
  18. Stuart, the list of newly announced lenses consists out of the following:

    S-Flektogon 2,8/35 mm

    Flektogon 2,8/50 mm

    Biometar 2,8/80 mm

    Tele-Biometar 4,0/150 mm

    Tele-Biometar 2,8/150 mm

    Vario-Biometar 4,6/60-140 mm

    I am not sure there is a typo here, seeing the two 150mm models. These design names
    were owned by Zeiss Jena, and are now probably owned by Jenoptik. I don't know anything
    about these lenses, but it is likely that they are derived from the cooperation with Jenoptik.
    How they fit in the Schneider/Zeiss series is unclear to me. Perhaps they have a limited
    image circle or some other optimisation especially for the digibacks, but this is purely
    speculation from my side. These lenses are supposed to have a new Schneider SCS
    coating, but who builds them is unknown to me. F&H has officially announced to come up
    with a new series of more compact lenses to match the smaller body. It could be these.
  19. I forgot to add a link to the previous post:

    It's in German. The image of the lenses shown there has no relation to the lenses announced.
    Also, the article does not say that the SCS coating is from Schneider, but suggests it is from
    F&H itself. My info that it is from Schneider is probably wrong, so please disregard it. The
    article says the new lenses are specifically calculated and coated for digiback use, but doesn't
    mention anything about image circle.
  20. Do you know if Leica will offer lenses for this new Hy6 system?
  21. Ruben, Leica taking over came as a complete surprise to anyone involved. (See this thread
    for my more detailed explanation: )

    At this time there is apparently no plan from F&H's side to license their mount to Leica. But
    part of their agreement with Sinar might now fall under Leica's estate (unless it was a deal
    with Jenoptik only). I don't know any details of these contracts. A lot will depend on what
    Leica has in mind too. They are saying they want to become a major player in the high end
    imaging market. Well, which company doesn't want to be a major player? Right now their
    plans with Sinar are completely behind the curtains. So we'll have to wait and see how
    things develop.
  22. Erik,

    Can the camera comfortably be held vertically (e.g., for shooting portraits)? I realize the
    backs will rotate, but my understanding is that it's not a "push a button then turnt he
    back" operation, but rather a "remove, rotate, reattach" operation. I find that when
    shooting portraits, I turn the camera quite frequently, and removing the back and putting
    back on wouldn't be very practical.

    Also, does anyone have any insights on the eMotion versus the Leaf Aptus (new versions)?
    Both the eMotion 75 and the Aptus 75 cost roughly the same. (Unfortunately, there's no
    eMotion equivalent of the reduced-frame and much cheaper Aptus 65). Both have very
    large buffers for continuous shooting and both use Dalsa chips. I believe the ISO on the
    new Leaf backs (Aptus S series) is up to 800, while the eMotion is up to 400. Also, I think
    that the Aptus can shoot in DNG RAW format, while the eMotion uses a proprietary RAW
    format that can only be read by Sinar software, correct? (I'd much prefer to have a RAW
    file that can be read by Lightroom/Camera Raw, which is why I'm asking. Of course, it's
    possible that even if the eMotion uses a proprietary RAW format rather than DNG, the
    eMotion RAW file could be readable by Lightroom/Camera Raw, which would work equally
    well for me).

    Any other thoughts on the eMotion v. the Aptus?
  23. William, when handholded the Hy6 can be extremely comfortably turned vertically (with a
    prism finder mounted). The left hand can support the camera even better then when kept
    straight up in conjunction with the prism finder. Thanks to the rim that protects the
    switches against unwanted changes when placing the camera on its side on a table it also
    gives that type of support to the left hand. The grip is very firm and supports the full right
    hand. It is longer than the camera is high (which is why it can also be turned to near
    horizontal position in order to allow you to place the camera on a flat surface). The Hy6
    doesn't feel like it is going to slip out of your hands when you don't pay attention. There is
    even a removable leather sling going over your right hand for those situations that you
    want to feel really secure (like when hanging out of helicopters and such).

    See pictures in this thread too:

    Regarding the backs you mention: I can't say much about them as I haven't worked with
    them. I just noticed that Leaf claims to have the fastest shooting backs of the industry
    now. The Hy6 is ready to shoot at extremely short intervals as it can fire some ten/twelve
    frames per second in high-speed mirror-up mode, when shutterspeed allows. I wonder
    which back maker will be the first to match this ability to shoot really fast.
  24. Erik,

    Thanks for your detailed response. Another question: you said that "Also, for people pre-
    ordering it with a Jenoptik back there will be a step-up program: first they will receive
    their back with a 6008AF body and by the time the Hy6 becomes available it will be
    swapped out." I would love to wait for the Hy6, and will get one eventually, but have qite
    a bit of upcoming work for which I'd need medium format digital. So, this step-up
    program would be ideal. Do you have any idea of whom one would contact regarding this,
    i.e., Jenoptik or Rollei? In other words, I want to buy the eMotion w. the 6008AF body and
    step-up to the Hy6 when it's available, but I want to make sure I'm doing it thru the
    correct channel and process.
  25. William, F&H is currently taking orders from pros for this bundle offering. Contact them
    directly or through your local Rollei dealer.
  26. Again, thanks. But it's not clear to me how I contact F&H, since (a) I don't speak German and
    therefore can't read their website and (b) I'm not in a major market like NYC or LA and
    therefore don't have a local Rollei dealer. And further thoughts?

  27. Go to > Kontakt > Anschrift. Use the email adress or the
    phone/fax numbers to be found there. They speak English if strictly needed.
  28. Thank you. I emailed them and will report back here when I get an answer (hopefully in English).
  29. Please allow me to supplement a bit information on new lenses from Rolleiflex, provided by Erik few topics above. According to my sources, the wide-angle lens "Flektogon" should be 35mm/f 3.5 HFT AF lens, not f2.8 (however, there might be a typo as well, time will prove this up?). The Flektogon will be a PQS lens and available in the first quarter of 2007.

    Rollei (F&H) will optimize the current line of AF lenses for digital and there will be a "D" behind the lens name. It is planned to deliver these lenses with a black bayonet mount instead chrome. Availability: IV quarter.
    Kind regards,
    Oleg (aka oMoses)
    oMoses online portfolio
  30. Erik & Oleg,
    Thank you very much for the information posted.
    What is the status of the Rollei electronic shutters for view camera lenses, along with the Lens
    Control S? Now that the Hy6 has a USB interface, will there be a new Lens Control (hopefully
  31. BJ, the USB interface on the Hy6 will be for communication between the camera and the
    computer (keyboard control and firmware updating). Next to it there is an 8 pin universal
    bus for use with normal remote cables and other portable control devices. The Rollei Lens
    Control S has little to do with this and needs special cabling with low resistance between
    unit and shutter because the current is directly opening and closing the shutter. I don't
    expect that cable to be changed. Theoretically it would be possible to change the remote
    controlling of the Lens Control S. However, at the Photokina it was still presented as we
    know it and I heard nothing about any changes to it. I'm pretty sure highest F&H priority is
    with the Hy6 at the moment and changes of the kind that you propose will only get their
    attention after they have made the big news a physical reality.
  32. </bold> Bold off?
  33. Thank you again Erik,
    I've been sending Michael Guthmann @ Jenoptik my suggestions. Do you have another
    contact at F&H?

    It would be great if the grip/handle with LCD and battery could detach and become the new
    version of Lens Control S for Rollei's electronic shutters for Schneider Digitar lenses.
  34. BJ, why did you send your suggestions to Jenoptik? The X-act is an F&H product, so they
    would be the ones to implement any changes. Anyway, the grip of the Hy6 will not come
    off, because a detaching mechanism would take up too much space and call for detachable
    cabling as well. Anything that would jeopardize the Hy6's convenience and reliability
    should be avoided IMO. Also, part of the electronics are located in the Hy6 body, so I think
    this is not a realistic idea. This is not saying that a further development of the X-act
    couldn't profit of the Hy6 development. Who knows what surprises will be seen in the

    If you want to send your suggestions to F&H use the info on their contact page, as
    described higher up in this thread. I know a few people there, but I am not going to
    exchange their names on the internet. Hope you can understand that.
  35. what i would like to see most is a motorised 6x6 film magazine (single magazine for both 120 and 220), which can be used both in the Hy6 and the X-act. but i am sure they are already considering it. Tak
  36. </B></B></B></B></B>off now too?
  37. </h5>Or now?
  38. Ah!<br>Correct HTML requires closing opened tags, oMoses. ;-)
  39. My fault, sorry guys!
  40. I think the new F&H Hy6 is a step in the right direction. I loved my 6003 and sold it thinking it was obsolete. Instead I now stuggle with a digital SLR that at best limits my creativity. I often find myself reaching for my TLR, just so I can remind myself that things were much better once. Now that Franke & Heidecke are finally showing they mean business, I'm looking forward to the day I can purchase one and get serious again. The new camera has all the features that made the 6000 series great but digital integration. With different backs, not just one like Hasselblad.
  41. Has anyone managed to pre-purchase this camera yet.
    If so please contact me.
    specially william carter who was going to try.
  42. There is no doubt that the Rolleiflex Hy6 in Sinar and in Leaf guise,
    will be a major contender against their main rival from the Hasselblad H-3. One important element in the Franke-Heidecke Sinar,Leaf and Rolleiflex Hy 6 is the fact that the digital backs offered surpass that of the H-3,in terms of mega-pixel count; 60 MP compared to 22-30 on the Hasselblad. The photographer of the Hy 6 system can transfer the file to Compact Flash Cards either to your MAC or PC, or insert CF Card into the camera and download it immediately after you have taken the shot.

    The major feature of this new camera is that it allows the photographer to choose either 6X45 or 6X6 format. With the Hy 6 it even allows you to shoot film as well as digital.

    Being an open system compared to the closed system of the Hasselblad H-3,this allows the photographer a choice of Leaf or Sinar digital back on each of the three cameras. With the H-3,it must use Hasselblad own digital back. Which is a bit of draw to anyone new to Hasselblad.

    Another nice feature for current 6008AF owners, is that the lenses can be interchanged with the Hy6,this would ultimately give you the fastest flash-sync.leaf-shutter system ever of 1/1000 sec.

    The price tag: The new Sinar Hy6/Sinarback eMotion 75LV medium-format digital camera system will begin shipping in the U.S. in mid-July with a suggested catalog price of $32,500. AnSinar Hy6/Sinarback eMotion 54LV will have a suggested catalog price of $30,500. The Sinar Hy6 System will be supported worldwide through authorized Sinar service centers.
  43. Simon, which back has 60 MP? This seems to be misinformation.

    Taking CF cards is hardly a new feature, and the Sinar backs have built-in memory which is even better (faster).

    The major features of this platform are fastest flash sync speed of any camera, ability to shoot portrait and landscape with WLF, white balance meter, fastest autofocus of MF world, USB port for firmware updates, and great ergonomics.

    I say this as someone who intends to buy a Hy6 but let's keep the facts straight.
  44. Well, not only is 6o meg non-existant, the camera's STILL not available over a year later
    from the original post date of this thread. I've been interested in the Leaf version for use
    with my Leaf Aptus 75s ... to replace my aging RZ Mamiya system. I wonder when the
    ceiling will be done??

    I've read that you have to remove the digital back to re-orient current 645 sensors for
    portrait orientation??? If true, what happened to the rotating back of the Rollei?

    "fastest autofocus of MF world" ??? Speaking of facts, I wonder if this is true given that the
    Hasselblad has just improved the AF on the H cameras?
  45. Marc,

    The camera should be available right now, because F&H is delivering to both Sinar and Leaf. As things are now Sinar is working on a truly rotating
    adapter for their backs (already for some time) and Leaf has officially announced to make a rotating adapter too in the future. Originally only a
    repositioning adapter was planned. The Rollei "rotating" film back was always a repositioning back anyway. How fast the autofocus is compared to
    the new Hassy I couldn't tell because I haven't had a chance yet to compare them. But the Hy6 is damn fast for an MF camera.
  46. It's coming up on mid-December, 2007--has anyone found a Rolleiflex Hy6 available for
    retail purchase anywhere in the world?
  47. Bradley, some people seem to have them already but I doubt they will be lying on shop shelfs so soon. Most likely they are being pre-ordered and picked up as soon as they arrive. Have you contacted your local dealer(s)?
  48. Rolleiflex branded Hy6 cameras are not shipping yet, but will soon. Sinar and Leaf models are
    shipping already. You can order them from their subsequent dealers. You can pre-order a
    Rolleiflex branded model from Rolleiflex dealers (mostly shops).
  49. Yes, it is the Rolleiflex version I'm curious about--it seems to be extra-hard to find... Now I
    know why. :(

    I'm interested in official US or Japanese pricing--any pointers would be much appreciated.

    Thanks, Erik. Any insights on when the R-Hy6 is expected to ship?

  50. For prices in the US or Japan you have to ask the official distributor in those areas: Direct
    Source Marketing, a joint venture between Komamura and Horseman. (US) (JP)

    The Rolleiflex Hy6 is expected to ship within Germany this month and will spread from
    there in January/February.
  51. The rollei version IS available now. I have just spoken to a rep for them. But does not yet
    have the 6x6 back. That will be out the first quarter of next year.
  52. Also there is no digital 6x6, you will have mask and crop to get square, which is very
    disappointing as I throught it was going to be square.
  53. Melinda,

    There are no 6x6 sensors available commercially yet. There are only two sensor producers
    for these sizes (Kodak and Dalsa) and they don't offer large square sensors currently. If
    you want square sensors, simply take the old Imacon and Phase backs that have
    undersized square sensors. (A Phase P20 on a Rollei 6008 might be interesting if you want
    the Zeiss and Schneider glass.) F&H will not offer a digiback anyway for the Hy6 as only
    Sinar and Leaf are allowed to sell the Hy6 with a digiback. Hopefully next year Phase will
    also offer some DB solution for te Hy6.
  54. Leaf based AFi is coming to Keeble and Shuchat (a Palo Alto, CA) store for rental soon. The camera was very nice to handhold. I played with it in the store. It felt better than the Hasselblad H3D. AF speeds were similar on both AFi and H3D, but _slower_ than the Mamiya ZD. In terms of build quality AFi was better than H3D -- which was better than ZD. It was reassuring that all the 6000 PQ/PQS lenses can work well on AFi. Prices of both AFi and H3D were of course astronomical. Compared to these two ZD definitely felt like a bargain ;-)
  55. Kurland in NYC is selling the basic kit, body, 80mm, back and wlf for $10,495. Thats with a
    FILM back not digital. Yikes.
  56. yes Yikes, considering in the beginning they were trying to go for a less exclusive market.
  57. "AF speeds were similar on both AFi and H3D, but _slower_ than the Mamiya ZD."

    Have to disagree on this. I own an H3D and a Mamiya AFD-II (ZD) ... and we had the AFi
    here in studio for a day, (not just at a camera store) ... my intent wasn't to compare
    cameras, but to consider the Hy6 to replace an aging Mamiya RZ studio system ... which I
    may still do when they come to their senses concerning price.

    The H3D was faster AF in more difficult light, but the AFi was close enough to not make
    that big a deal of it. The Mamiya was noticeably slower than both other cameras and
    hunted in poor light.

    While it looks a bit clunky, the AFi Hy6 was relatively comfortable to handle ...
    unfortunately the grip adjustment release has been repositioned from the original Rollei
    position forcing you to take the camera from your eye.

    Build Quality of the AFi and Hasselblad are a wash ... both are very well put together and
    the components go together with ease and security. The AFi has a bit of a plasticky feel
    over-all, but again ... no big deal.

    Where I and the other photographer ( a Rollei owner) felt the quality expectations fell
    short was the Schneider 80/2.8 AF lens. It was relatively noisy compared to the
    HC/80/2.8, and the look of it was more like the Mamiya lens than what a Rollei 80/2.8 is.
    Very disappointing considering the cost. The other photographer there thought it may just
    be the 80 that''s like that ... with the other Schneider focal lengths meeting expectations.

    I was prepared to go for the AFi until I found out that my Aptus 75s back cannot be used
    on a Hy6 ... Leaf's own latest, greatest back cannot be used on the Leaf AFi !!!!! No
    upgrade path has been announced.

    The last straw was the price for the AFi digital kit ... which is multi thousands more than a comparable H3D-II that comes with a prism finder which the AFi does not. The lenses are
    also extremely high priced ... total package for the AFI and 4 lenses is in excess of
    $50,000. My reply to the Leaf regional rep was "no thanks. I'll wait."
  58. Marc, the Non AF Schneider 80mm f/2.8 is much more solid compared to the 80mm AF variety (not just the one bundled with AFI). I have used both.

    The idea that a (Leaf) Digital Back on one camera is not mountable on another camera, is simply unacceptable, considering the high prices! And I do not point out just Leaf, but all the MF back manufactures.

    I hope the market can converge (and evolve) to an MF sensor-standard where the sensors can be
    plugged in from any company, pretty much like I can easily use a Kodak roll or a Fuji or Agfa roll. I hope this is not a naive hope, but the market forces take us there. Granted this is not a very large market, but why would a photographer buy multiple backs, each costing $25000+, when the sensor is identical (or of similar dimension)?
  59. Lakhinder, The Sinar backa ARE mountable on other cameras, via the use of adapters rather than a fixed mount. It is Leaf and Phase which have chosen not to do this for some reason.
  60. Hi guyz, regarding price note that the Hy6 body only costs (in EUR Ccy.) actually HALF as much as those crazy prices. BUT the value of USD went down to about HALF what is was 6 years ago (thanks to President Bush, Enron scandal, mortgage crisis ?).

    Hy6 is produced in a EUR currency land (Germany).

    greetings from Switzerland, rainer
  61. Clarification Graham ... isn't it that any Hy6 digital back can fit on a Sinar Hy6 camera. As I
    understand it, a Leaf Aptus 75s cannot fit on any Hy6 camera including a Sinar Hy6.

    Thanks Lakhinder. Is that non Schneider 80/2.8 an AF lens?

    Rainer, it doesn't matter what events out of my control have happened ... the fact is that
    the Leaf Hy6 and lenses are priced much higher than the Hasselblad or even the Phase equivalent ... and the Leaf AFi backs are no different than the Aptus backs.
  62. Marc, the lens I am referring to is also Schneider. But non-AF. Yes it is the f/2.8 lens. The lens having one of the highest ratings in MF category, on Thanks for your impressions on Hy6.
  63. @ Marc: The Sinar backs can be used on Hy6, Rollei 6008, Contax 645, Mamiya 645, Hasselblad H, Hasselblad V, maybe more. You just have to add the interface plates you need. This was the main selling point of Sinar for me.
  64. Thanks Graham ... Maybe a Sinar in my future ... but I think I'll wait until they fix the LCD on
    the back. I understand Sinar is addressing their software issues with a new version, which is
    good news. Graham, can the Sinar files be converted to DNGs or be opened in ACR or
  65. Hi Marc, yes the new software (called Exposure) will be out in a few months. It is still under beta testing and will use DNG as the native format.

    Until then you can still convert Sinar files into DNG using a free utility which is very simple to use - drag and drop.
  66. Graham, you seem in the know ... so any inkling as to Sinar addressing the LCD display?

    The Leaf Aptus has never been an issue, and Hasselblad has significantly improved their
    LCD preview ... which leaves Phase One and Sinar with the older less useful ones for
    unthethered shooting. I've been told that the Phase One P+ series has improved the
    resolution and color but the smaller size has remained ... but my interest lies with Sinar
    now to replace my RZ studio system.

    That I could also secure an additional adapter for my 503CWs is a bonus that tips the
    scales toward Sinar Hy6. But I do not want one only to have them launch a new back with
    an improved LCD like Hasselblad recently did.
  67. Sorry, I haven't heard anything. Perhaps you could ask a Sinar dealer and let us know the answer.

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