Last week, Leica unveiled a new accessory that will allow Leica S2 owners to use Hasselblad's 11 H-system lenses with focal lengths of 28 to 300mm, while retaining all lens funstions such as autofocus, central shutter control and automatic diaphragm.
The launch comes as Leica is trying to expand the attractiveness of its medium format camera system, adding that "the versatility of Hasselblad H lenses is expanded considerably when they are used in combination with an S2. For instance, thanks to the dual shutter system of the Leica S2, H lenses can be now used with the focal plane shutter at speeds of up to 1/4000 of a second. In combination with the Leica Maestro high-performance image processor, the camera's image sensor enables perfect, noise-free exposures up to ISO 1250."
Now, Hasselblad has responded, welcoming the launch. "We are delighted with Leica's decision to launch an adapter that provides their customers with a compelling opportunity to embrace the acknowledged ultimate superiority of our medium format H System lenses," says Dr. Larry Hansen, Hasselblad chairman and CEO.
He adds: "Every Hasselblad lens has been designed and produced to the most exacting and meticulous standards and discerning photographers worldwide are well aware that the image quality of any camera is only as good as the lens that forms the image."
Speaking to BJP last week, Leica's Stephan Schulz, who is in charge of the S-System, explained that his company had tried to reach Hasselblad for help developing the adapter, but had not heard back. "We had to reverse-engineering this product. This adapter translate the Leica language to Hasselblad language, and vice-versa. In order to achieve this, we had to do some detective work. Basically, we used logic analysers and looked at what would happen to the lens when you gave it a specific command. For example, we would look at the message being transmitted by the lens when you put it at a certain shutter speed or aperture. We recorded that information and studied it. It involved a lot of trial and errors, but after sometime you know how it works."
It took Leica more than a year to develop the adapter, which will be released this month with a retail price of £1350.
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