© Tom Oldham
WHAT IS HASSELBLAD MEDIUM FORMAT?
In photography, medium format simply refers to a camera that has a larger sensor than a 35mm (24x36mm), or full frame DSLR camera. But once you dig into the details, Hasselblad medium format photography is defined by so much more. This includes larger pixel size and meticulously calibrated sensors, a wide dynamic range of colour tones, the Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution, leaf shutter lenses with superb flash synchronization, and even more creative freedom in post-production.
SENSOR SIZE AND PIXELS
It all starts with the sensor. The CMOS sensors built inside Hasselblad medium format cameras deliver the best in image quality, resolution, and detail capture possible. More importantly, it’s the size of the pixels that makes the biggest difference in image quality. The bigger a pixel is, the more light-gathering capability it possesses. With greater light gathering power, finer and more detailed tonal information can be produced, delivering more information in the final file. Essentially, this gives a photographer more choice and creative freedom in post-production and retouching.
Hasselblad camera sensors are individually calibrated to ensure maximum performance in any given situation. A massive amount of data is gathered for each unit in the production stage in order to study the variations that can occur and see how the sensor performs under different circumstances. Through Hasselblad’s rigorous sensor testing, all irregularities are corrected automatically when shooting with any Hasselblad.
Camera: H6D-400c MS
© Swee Oh
Dynamic range, measured in stops, refers to the range of light intensities present in a photo, from the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights. Larger sensors with larger pixels, in comparison to the traditional 24x36mm sensor size, offer a wider dynamic range that preserve the details that can get lost in shadows and highlights. Hasselblad’s ecosystem of high quality hardware and brilliant software solutions can deliver up to 15 stops of dynamic range, as opposed to the standard 10-12 stops expected from most full frame cameras. The deep shadows and bright highlights that can be captured by a Hasselblad camera in a single exposure reduce the need to exposure bracket or shoot multiple images for high dynamic range image processing afterwards.
© Karl Taylor
MEDIUM FORMAT COMPARISON
Karl Taylor compares Medium format to 35mm format
HASSELBLAD NATURAL COLOUR SOLUTION (HNCS)
Thanks to the HNCS, selecting a specific colour profile in order to capture accurate colours correctly becomes unnecessary. Combining the wide colour spectrum of the sensor’s 16-bit colour data and the Hasselblad sensor’s wide dynamic range, the HNCS produces images that are delivered with accurate, natural colours. This universal profile produces consistent and tonally correct colour matching to what the human eye sees without needing to set up multiple colour presets. The HNCS is designed to deliver an accurate reproduction of the scene being photographed. This generates a smoother, analogue, film-like output compared to more saturated, contrasted captures by other systems.
LEAF SHUTTER LENSES
Leaf shutter or central-type shutters, integrated into the lens rather than the camera, provide a major advantage to photographers. The construction minimizes vibration and ensures a lifetime of accurate performance as well as the ability to build a smaller camera body compared to having used a focal plane shutter. Leaf shutters synchronize with flash up to 1/2000th of a second without any specialty equipment, providing immense creative control in the studio and outdoors. When combined with Hasselblad’s excellence in optical design, the results are lenses from 21mm to 300mm with excellent image rendition offering the best experience in photography and are further grown with unique accessories such as the HTS 1,5 Tilt and Shift Adapter or Macro Converter that allow users to expand the capabilities of their lenses into specialty feature sets.
Hasselblad Medium Format Advantages
To help you learn more about the image quality and handling of Hasselblad products, we have collected tutorials, sample images and guides.