Hasselblad H2 Review
The Hasselblad H2 replaced my H3 which sadly died due to water damage. Here is a quick Hasselblad H2 review with sample photos + YouTube video. An amazing camera and reasonably affordable for a Hasselblad camera system.
What is a Hasselblad H2 camera?
The Hasselblad H2 was released in 2006 and followed the first Hasselblad H camera, the H1 announced four years earlier. The Hasselblad H system was the new camera design from Hasselblad and it replaced the classic 6×6 Hasselblad V series cameras (Hasselblad 500 system). Both the Hasselblad H1 and H2 cameras are basically the same with the H2 just having a firmware update. The H1 and H2 cameras are designed to take both digital backs and film backs and have more of an SLR camera design. At the time of the Hasselblad H2 release a film back is said to have cost $2000 and a digital back $20-30,000! Thankfully these cameras are now more affordable, reletively, in Hasselblad camera terms.
H Bodies: Hasselblad H3D-31 vs Hasselblad H2
You can see my reviews of my Hasselblad H3D-31 camera on the blog already so I won’t repeat myself too much. Using the Hasselblad H2 seems identical to using my H3D camera body. The only difference is on the H3D-31 I used a 31MP digital back and a film back. On the H2 I shoot only film now but I could buy a used digital back if I saw a need. Film is my preference so I’m loving the H2 as it is. It’s worth noting that I use the same Hasselblad HC 80mm lens and film back as I used on the H3D on the H2. The Hasselblad H prism viewfinder is the same model but replacement copy.
Hasselblad 500 vs Hasselblad H2
Common differences between a classic Hasselblad 500 series cameras and a Hasseblad H2:
- Film format – Hasselblad 500 cameras give us the classic 6×6 square images. The Hasselblad H film back is 6×4.5 format (“645”).
- Manual vs electronic – The 500 series cameras are fully manual but the Hasselblad H2 is electronic and battery operated/ battery dependant.
- Lenses – Hasselblad 500 system camera lenses are made by Zeiss. Hasselblad H camera lenses are made by Fuji.
- Lens focusing – The Zeiss lenses on Hasselblad 500 cameras are manual focus only. Hasselblad HC lenses as used on the H2 are autofocus lenses.
- Lightmeter – The Hasselblad 500cm and similar cameras have no in camera lightmeter. The Hasselblad H2 has a built in Lightmeter.
- Shutter speed – The maximum shutter speed on a Hasselblad 500 is 1/500. The Hasselblad HC 80 lens on a Hasselblad H2 has a maximum shutter speed of 1/800. Flash can sync at the maximum shutter speed on both cameras.
Similarities between a Hasselblad 500 series camera and the Hasselblad H2 are:
- Modular design – Both the Hasselblad 500 cameras and the Hasselblad H cameras are modular camera designs. This means the camera lens, viewfinder and film back can all be removed and swapped out. This gives great flexibility for a professional photographer using multiple lenses and film backs. It also allows for upgrades as lenses from your existing cameras can be used on the latest camera body release. It also means you can use digital backs on your existing film cameras (*But please check first for compatibility).
- Sharp lenses – Hasselblad HC lenses and the former Zeiss lenses used on Hasselblad 500 lenses are both stellar performers and offer amazing optics.
- Expensive – All Hasselblad cameras are expensive when compared to some other film camera options. The Hasselblad H cameras have become cheaper so now the cost is more comparable to a Hasselblad 500 series.
- High Quality – You do get what you pay for with Hasselblad. The image quality and functionality of Hasselblad cameras is exceptional (and a joy to use).
- Leaf shutter lenses – Hasselblad camera lenses whether for the Hasselblad 500 (Zeiss) or for the H system (Fuji) are leaf shutter lenses with the shutter built into the lens body.
Hasselblad H2 photoshoot – Portugal
The Hasselblad H2 camera arrived to me just in time to take to Portugal for a model photography trip. Below are some photos shot with the Hasselblad H2 camera in Faro using two lenses. The Hasselblad HC 80mm f2.8 kit lens and the older Zeiss Distagon 50mm f4 CF lens from my Hasselblad 500 camera system. I also included a few portraits taken in the UK using the Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 macro lens. Click on any photo for more details.
Lens adapter – Hasselblad V to H adapter
Are you tempted by a more modern Hasselblad H camera but already own a Hasselblad 500 system (aka. “Hasselblad V series”) model? Good news! You can use the amazing Zeiss glass from the Hasselblad V camera on a H body via an adapter. The Hasselblad V to H adapter lets you mount Hasselblad Zeiss glass on your H body. You can use any of the Hasselblad V lens lineup whether the C version, CF or otherwise. I enjoy the Zeiss Distagon 50mm f4 lens on the Hasselblad H2 for a wider lens setup particularly.
Hasselblad H2 portraits
More Hasselblad H2 sample photos
YouTube – Hasselblad H2 Review
Hasselblad H2 review – Summary
I’m loving the Hasselblad H2 camera right now. It is giving me most of what I ask from a film camera. Sharp images shot wide open. Easy and fun to operate. Reliable results (which becomes less easy when working with older film cameras) and the ability to use existing camera lenses. The 645 film format is perfect for my portraits and I prefer this to 6×6 for my model photography. The H2 is a fantastic 645 format SLR style camera that is fast and intuitive to use. A real gem and I would say as good as or better than the very popular Contax 645.
Hasselblad H2 wedding photography
For my analogue wedding photography bookings I can’t wait to treat the clients to some Hasselblad H2 film photos. I like to offer clients the best so I decided to invest in some new HC lenses for weddings (especially). I used to enjoy my Contax 645 wedding photography so here is a sample of what i’m talking about. The following photos were all captures with the Contax 80mm f2 Zeiss Planar lens. The lens I just got for the Hasselblad H2 should create the same look!
Contax 645 wedding photography – as a reference
Hasselblad HC lenses
My Hasselblad HC lens review post will follow once I have some more example images to share using each lens. I will link it back to here.
Hasselblad Camera Specific Posts
Hasselblad H articles
- Budapest Models – Hasselblad H3D-31
- Digital Hasselblad H3D-31 !!
- Leica / Hasselblad H3D-31 Wedding
- Hasselblad H3D
- Hasselblad H film back
More Hasselblad blog posts
- Hasselblad 500CM Examples
- Hasselblad 501C
- Classic Hasselblad 501C – Examples
- Hasselblad XPan – Examples
- Hasselblad SWC/M
- Super Wide Hasselblad SWC/M
- Hasselblad Focusing Issues
- Leica / Hasselblad Wedding Photography Gear
- Hasselblad Wedding Photography: Amy & Mike
- Hasselblad Film Wedding Photography: Alex & Lisa
- Hasselblad Portraits – Hamburg Models
- Hasselblad vs Mamiya 6
- Leica M6 vs Hasselblad 501c!
- Hasselblad XPan in NYC (II)
- Hasselblad Portraits – Colour (NYC I)
- Hasselblad Portraits – B&W (NYC I)
- Hasselblad XPan!
- 2015 Hasselblad Film Wedding Photography
- Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67
- Hasselblad Fashion Portraits – Poland
- Hasselblad Camera Cafe London
- Hasselblad Fashion / Ektar – Poland
- Hasselblad vs Kiev 88
- New! Hasselblad 501CM
- Hasselblad 500C – Camera PinUp