Behind The Lens Of HasselbladFebruary 22, 2019
Thanks to cell phone technology, many of us consider ourselves photographers. But for the real photographers, there’s Hasselblad.
Today, we’re chatting with Ove Bengtsson, Hasselblad’s product manager, about Hasselblad, founded in 1941 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and regarded as one of the finest cameras on the planet.
A year ago, the X1D earned the highest grade for a camera from DXO. What did that distinction mean to Hasselblad, and what did it mean for sales?
For Hasselblad, this was a proof that our relentless work on best possible image quality was appreciated.
Your cameras aren’t for the everyday person. Describe the range of users of Hasselblad cameras.
With the V System Cameras, we at some point in time had about 50 percent of the user base that were amateurs, and 50 percent were professionals. When digital photography took over, for us in 2002-2003, cameras became too expensive for amateurs and basically 100 percent was professionals working in many different fields. Product, landscape, fashion, portraits, etc. Since 2016 when the mirrorless X1D was introduced at a lower price point, we have seen an increasing number of amateurs getting back to Hasselblad.
We’re intrigued with how museums have used Hasselblad cameras. Can you describe how they use them and any other interesting industries known to use Hasselblad?
Many of the top museums in the world use Hasselblad Cameras today. There are several reasons for using cameras, but in most cases the main objective is to preserve invaluable objects. To get a result that is as good as possible, they use our high-end H system Cameras with resolutions up to 400 megapixels. Another important reason is that most museums today want to make their assets more available to people, and therefore they publish their collections on the web.
When you’re known for being among the best of the best, how difficult is it to continue pushing the envelope and living up to that reputation?
It is of course difficult to stay on top for a small company like Hasselblad, but for us, the absolute highest possible image quality is and has always been our goal. For us “good enough” is not good enough! With the increasing image quality of smaller cameras, we will have to work even harder. With our extensive experience in image processing and lens/camera design, we are confident that we can stay ahead in the future.
Some of the most iconic photos have been shot with Hasselblad cameras. Can you give us a rundown of some of them and any of your personal favorites?
I really like the image of The Beatles crossing Abbey Road. The photographer is on a small ladder and The Beatles had to walk back and forth over the street. That would have been a nice sight to see! Also, the fact that the owner of the VW in the background could get a premium price for his car after the Abbey Road album was released, is a cool fact.
What’s next for Hasselblad?
As most other companies, we don’t disclose our future plans, but we can promise that we will continue supplying the best and innovative cameras. Hopefully, we will be able to again surprise with new cameras in the same way as we did when launching the world’s first Medium Format Mirrorless Camera, the X1D.
Keep scrolling for more photos shot with a Hasselblad camera.