Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

The Hasselblad CFV II 50C is an upgraded version of the original CFV 50C digital back that was launched in 2014. This new model though comes, I assume, with the benefits of the speed improvements in the X1D II 50C that make operation quicker, and that it will provide large JPEGs as well as general improved quality in JPEG files.

The back is exciting in as much as it is designed to work with V-system film camera bodies to bring them into the modern age: even some of the earliest Hasselblad models from the 1950s.

What makes this version much more exciting though is that is also designed to couple with a new 907X body that accepts the X-series lenses – so the CFV II 50C back is a gateway not only to digitizing older classic bodies, but also to using the new X lenses in a smaller, classic-style format. Here the CFV II 50C back is married to the 907X body and mounted with the XCD 65mm F2.8 lens.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

The back is designed very much in the classic Hasselblad style, and the 907X body is made to match. The black textured finish and chrome trim is straight from the first mainstream Hasselblad medium format film bodies.

This side of the 907X body features only the strap lugs, while the CFV II 50C has its USB-C socket disguised as something like a frame counter window on the A12 film back. It is all quite minimalist this side.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

Underneath we have a collection of screw mounts and sockets. On the left are the connections that will allow the 907X to communicate with the optional grip that Hasselblad will introduce with the camera. In videos shown of the system the grip has a shutter release and a collection of control points for directing the operation of the body.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

Below the rear screen is a flap that conceals another series of connection ports. Sockets for microphone, headphone, HDMI, two sizes of flash connections (in and out) and Hasselblad’s ELX socket.

The flash sockets allow short cables to be used to connect wireless triggers and standard PC flash cables. It isn’t certain yet if the HDMI socket will survive into the final production model, I was told, so don’t count on it until the camera comes out.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

The CFV II 50C has a neat flip-out screen that allows viewing from three positions: folded flat to the back and slightly raised are just two of them. The screen has a collection of buttons for controlling the back and camera’s functions, and the buttons come up with the screen when it is angled away from the body.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

Here the screen is flipped up fully. It provides something of the waist-level finder experience of the classic V system bodies. Someone will probably invent a chimney-finder hood before the CFV II 50C even arrives on the market.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

The front of the 907X with the lens removed shows that there’s no body shutter so we see straight through to the sensor of the CFV II 50C. As all Hasselblad lenses use a lens shutter there’s no need for one in this little camera.

The body carries the contacts that allow it to communicate with the lens to drive the AF, aperture and shutter commands.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

This new version of the CFV has an internal battery compartment so we no longer have to attach a battery to the outside of the body. The back accepts the same battery that is used in both X1D models. You can see too that there are dual SD card slots: most likely UHS-II, as with the new X1D II 50C.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

To access the battery compartment and the SD card slots, a panel on the side of the CFV II 50C is pulled backwards to reveal the hinge. Once this is done the compartment door springs open. It is a very neat design.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

The CFV II 50C digital back and the 907X camera body clip together in exactly the same way a film back mounts on the back of a V series camera. Guiding prongs at the bottom slide in first and then we just clip the top edges together.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

Away from the CFV II 50C the 907X body is very skinny. It really is more than just a mount adapter though, as it offers controls for the user as well as running functions like AF, aperture etc that you wouldn’t expect to be able to control from a digital back.

The 907X name comes from the SWC 9xx series that saw the 903 and 905 bodies designed to be used with super wide-angle lenses.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

The shutter release button on the 907X is positioned exactly where you would expect it to be on a classic Hasselblad, so that it can be operated with the same hand that cradles the body. Around the shutter release is a dial that can be used to adjust exposure settings.

Next to the dial, on the side of the camera, is a small button that can be used to toggle the dial’s function when the camera is used in manual mode. I guess it will also deal with exposure compensation in the semi-auto modes.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

The CFV II 50C is also fitted with a USB-C socket for tethered shooting and for downloading images from the memory cards. The socket can also be used for charging the battery, though I’m not sure whether it can be used to power the back while it is in use as well.

The CFV II 50C has a whole new row of contacts that the original version didn’t have. These are to allow the back to interface with the 907X.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

In Hasselblad’s publicity the CFV II 50C and 907X set up is shown with an optical viewfinder mounted on the top of the camera section, just as the SWC models had.

I couldn’t see how this could be done on the pre-production example I was using as there is no hot shoe or obvious mounting area. There is chance that Hasselblad name plate will flip up to allow accessories to be mounted. This one though was firmly rooted in place.

Hands-on with the Hasselblad CFV II 50C and 907X

Here’s the CFV II 50C mounted on the back of a Hasselblad 503 CX – a model made between 1989 and 1994. This is a relatively modern model that still fetches just under $2000 with an A12 back and a good 80mm F2.8 standard lens. The CFV II 50C looks completely at home on it, and there is little to tell us that it wasn’t made at the same time as the camera.

Hasselblad bodies don’t have too much trouble holding their value on the second-hand market, but we should expect rising prices over the next few months as interest in these models is peaked and the V-system comes back to life once again.

Original source: http://www.dpreview.com/articles/1158727149/hands-on-with-the-hasselblad-cfv-ii-50c-and-907x

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