This will be a bit of a shift for anyone used to the traditional metal and textured leatherette finish of traditional Hasselblads. It won’t become as hot in the summer or as cold in the winter.Let’s face it: as much as traditionalists enjoy the beautiful machined finish of camera designs from the 1960’s, plastic camera body finishes are what we get today, saving both weight and manufacturing costs._______________________________________________________ This has now changed forever. At Photokina in September 2002 Hasselblad announced the H1, the first in a new series of medium format cameras. The main ones are that it is Hasselblad’s first 645 format camera, and it features autofocus lenses.In addition it is in large part manufactured by Fuji and it features Fuji made lenses.Focusing in low light appears to be good, with little hunting, and while the number of sensors and absolute focus speed are not on a par with the top 35mm cameras, it’s as good if not better than any other medium format camera that I’ve used.
While this is no bad thing (Fuji’s medium and large format lenses carry truly excellent reputations), there are some who will bemoan the departure of Zeiss glass — a hallmark of Hasselblad cameras since the 1950’s.When you first pick up the H1, your first impression is that the handling is going to be great, and two hours of almost constant use showed this to be true. The design is in the current idiom, with a right-handed grip on which is the majority of the controls as well as a large monochrome LCD display.When I first brought the camera up to my eye I was immediately taken with how bright and clear the viewfinder is.Since there were no manuals available, and time was short, this was an excellent opportunity to become familiar with operational issues and to ask a few questions. _______________________________________________________ The following are my impressions of the Hasselblad H1, based on about 2 hours of concentrated shooting and examination. I worked mainly with the HC 50-110mm f/3.5 – f.4.5 zoom, though for a while I also used the standard HC 80mm f/2.8.We were then turned loose inside and outside the gardens (the inside part was welcome because it was a blustery N. I shot with Fuji Provia 100F, Provia 400F and Astia.Manual focus feel is excellent, with none of the “looseness” that is found in some other similar lens systems.