Quirky Behavior: H1 with P25?

Questions, comments and suggestions regarding Phase One P+ series and P series digital camera backs.

Quirky Behavior: H1 with P25?

Postby Mark 3 » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:30 pm

I am testing a P25 on my H1. I shot a pretty large job with it last week, and had these error messages below; probably happened twenty times over a two-day job. Also, yesterday, I took it out, nontethered, shooting to CF cards, and experienced more error messages. I am wondering if I have a defective H1 body now, because the errors happen so much. I'm wondering if you guys see these issues:



3. And then, on the P25 LCD screen, an error message that says something like \"CANNOT WRITE CAPTURE FILE. ERROR\".

4. I called this one the \"KLUNK BEHAVIOR\". The camera would fire, but the strobe would never fire, and the camera acted like it was dead, with this ugly klunking sound, and you'd wait maybe five seconds, and miraculously, the camera would come back to life. It almost seemed like the sound of batteries that had finally died, but then, for no reason, the camera would be fine again.


In the studio job, we were shooting tethered to a G5, using 3.7RC. I was shooting kids, so I know I was shooting very fast, and was probably pushing the camera to its limit, but I did not expect nearly this many error messages. Luckily, my digital tech that day, Von Thomas, was able to quickly deal with the REATTACH MAGAZINE and REATTACH LENS error messages. But again, they happened quite often, in a studio, which I thought would be a pretty stable place to be shooting.

In the other test, yesterday, I thought it would be no problem, since I was keeping it simple, and was walking around, shooting to CF cards, with a friend of mine. I shot only two cards, within the span of an hour or so, and got TWO error messages just in that span of time:

1. REATTACH LENS. (Camera dies).

2. \"CANNOT WRITE CAPTURE FILE\". I got this message, right at the end of the session, and just said Screw It, and put the camera away, disgusted.


I want to buy a camera/back that i TRUST, and I do not trust this combination. Every time I see it now, just in the bag, I feel nothing but DOUBT. Will it work the next time I use it?

Am considering switching to the Contax and the P25, thinking that the H1 just might not be talking to the P25 very well. Maybe the H1 is just too complicated? Maybe the Contax, with its 1975 frame of mind, is a better match for the P25? Less StarTrek? Less going on, to go wrong? I wish I could turn off some of the functions of the H1 maybe, just to make it more stable.

Is anyone here shooting the P25 to the Contax without error messages? I love the H1 more than anything, but I cannot stand for a camera that I cannot trust. There's just too much money on the table, and too much pressure in other areas, to be doubting the camera.

Any thoughts on this, from either H1 or Contax users, with P25?

Thank you.

Mark Tucker
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Postby damienlovegrove » Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:08 pm

Hi Mark,

H1- P25

I'm only 7000 frames in but the error messages I had at the start are all but gone now. I have only had the 'cannot write capture to card' once and I swapped cards for that job and reformatted the CF card after backing up the data and all has been well since (Lexar 80x 2Gb). I had the same problem with the S2. On the S2 it just hangs and locks the camera. You have to take all the batteries out of the S2 to switch the camera off.

My main H1 error was 'No lens' or 'lens problem' when there was a lens without problems on the camera. I cleaned the contacts on the viewfinder, back and lenses with isopropyl alcahol and have had no problems since. It was unsettling at first and like you I wondered weather I had made the right choice. It does get better. honest.

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Postby matt21 » Sun May 01, 2005 12:47 pm

Hi Mark

I've had an H1 & P25 since last November & it's virtually error free.

I'd check that the firmware on both is up to date. Otherwise it sounds like something is faulty.

Don't give up on the H1 just yet.


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Postby Michael Grøn » Sun May 01, 2005 1:41 pm

Hi Mark

I have shot with H1 first with H101 and for the last 7-8 months with the P25.

I rarely encounter any problems, but whenever I do it is almost always helps changing the battery - especially the H1 battery.

I have noticed that when shooting tethered, communication between the back and the computer may be lost if you browser through previous captures.

Restarting C1 Pro always does the trick.

I have just completed an assignment over four days with more that 3,500 shots (a dance company) and only a few times did I encounter any problems.

I have read somewhere that the first H1 cameras had some issues with their firmware and that updating this firmware helped kill off these issues.

Also beware that there is a new firmware release for the P25.

Regards Michael
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Postby Mark 3 » Sun May 01, 2005 2:03 pm

Thank you all for your prompt replies. I appreciate it.

Yes, friends warned me to make sure I had the latest 9.0 firmware on the H1, so Samy's pulled it out of the box before shipping, and verified. So I can check that off.

And the P25 came from the factory only last week, so I can't imagine it doesn't have the latest. On the About section of the P25:

S/N: C1000756
Count: 2566

FirmwareMain: 3.1
Boot: 1.1
FPGA: 1.0
CPLD: 3.0
PAVR: 1.0.7
UAVR: 1.0

Yes, I am paranoid about the H1 batteries too. They seem to fly through the camera. I am using \"normal\" batteries, but Von was using rechargeables in his H1.

But I hear that Contax is the same situation: you're blowing thru batteries at a high rate.

The more I think about this, the more it seems that I might have a defective H1. Yes, people whisper, out of the corner of their mouth that the H1/P25 might be more problematic than the Contax/P25, but no one that I'm talking to is having nearly as many Error Messages as I'm seeing. Especially when shooting, simply, to a CF card.
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Postby Josef1 » Sun May 01, 2005 6:06 pm

Hi Mark

I use a Contax with P20 for about one week and not one error so far.

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Postby Mark 3 » Mon May 02, 2005 10:30 pm

Long phone call with great guy at Hasselblad today, Paul Chaesson, in Jersey. Turns out, my lenses are the \"old style\", thus might be the source of the error messages.

Make sure and check your H1 lenses, on the back cap, and inspect around the bayonet mount, which is silver. YOu will see four small Phillips screws that hold that silver bayonet in place. And then, you will see four more similar screws in between those original four.

If all eight of those screws are BLACK, you're OK, and have the latest. If you see four silver screws, and four black, then you're out of date.

The lens must go to Hasselblad for new Firmware upgrade.
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Postby riolok » Tue May 03, 2005 2:40 am

We are having the same exact problems with our P25 H1 combination. All of our scrwes are black though, so that doesn't solve our problem. marktrucker, do you think I could call Paul Chaesson at Hasselblad? Would he mind getting a call out of no where?
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Postby Keith Carpenter » Tue May 03, 2005 11:54 pm

Here are a few more issues to look into:

The Shutter latency setting should be set to Short.
Examine the pins on the back. Be sure they appear fine and that none are recessed.
Clean the contacts between back and body with an alcohol pad.

Be sure P25 or P20 and the H1 all contain the most recent firmware.
P series has current firmware version of 3.10

H1 camera body must have at least the following firmware releases:
Body firmware version 8.1.4
Lens has firmware version 9.0.0

Finally, we find Paul C. to be a great support person to work with. He has always been helpful to Phase One Support.


k c
Keith Carpenter

Postby Mark 3 » Wed May 04, 2005 12:42 am

Paul Claesson is indeed a valuable asset, and we all need to take care of him.

On the phone, he also mentioned these contacts, and the importance of keeping them clean. He also mentioned particular pins that are crucial: as you have the body cap off, looking into the front of the body, Pin #2 and #3 are very important; count from the left. Make sure that they are not stuck in any way, or recessed backwards.


Also I notice on B&H site that Hasselblad is introducing a newer rechargeable battery grip that's 9.6 volts instead of 7.2 (?). B&H is \"accepting orders\" on this item now. After that first job, I am now super paranoid about the batteries being at sufficient charge in the grip as well. I ordered that 9.6v grip, in hopes of being able to chill out a bit more, and having one less thing to go wrong.
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Postby damienlovegrove » Fri May 06, 2005 8:48 pm

I find the CR123A battery carrier is great for a whole days shooting. The three cells provide a nominal 9V and a massive 4,500mAh (3 x 1500).
There are rechargable Li-ion versions coming onto the market at about $8 each but the rating is typically just 700mAh. Does anyone know of a higher power rechargable CR123A?
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Postby damienlovegrove » Fri May 06, 2005 11:15 pm

I've just noticed on the B&H site that there is an optional grip that takes 8 AAA batteries for the H1. It is not on the Hasselblad website so I will have to investigate further. AAA cells are reliable, cheap, charge very fast, and have a high capacity. 8 x 900 mAh rather than just 750 mAh of the new Hasselblad rechargable cell. There has to be a catch but I can't see one. We use NiMh cells in all our other cameras so I cant see why not in the H1.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/control ... sku=264709
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Postby Lucas12 » Sun May 15, 2005 7:45 am

This is more in response to the earlier post by Mark, I've been using my H1/P25 combo since last December and was sometimes having similar problems with body and back not communicating perfectly, but it always just needed a press of the ok button on the body and all was well again. I have all the new firmware, new lenses etc, and the errors do happen, but they do seem to be coming less frequently. I had different problems (which I've mentioned in another string) and have had to send my P25 back off to get looked at. My local supplier has sent me a loan back, which had shot 10 frames before I got it, and I have just come from a fashion shoot last week where I was shooting tethered to my G4 Powerbook and started having problems with the previews not loading and a scroll bar coming up saying \"capture not received\" and \"transferring lost data\", which were taking 60 secs or so to come through. I then restarted C1 pro (3.6.1) and turned off the camera. Then I started getting the messages Mark was getting on the P25 display, saying \"unable to write file/capture image\" and then it finally let one image through as a preview, which was corrupt, with half of it black and green! I did what Damian suggested and used a new card, I also changed my firewire cable over, put a new battery in the P25 and restarted both camera and software. All was well again.. phew.
I wonder whether there is some issue with my Powerbook simply not having enough puff to shoot tethered comfortably? I find the previews are so painfully slow to load from a card reader, that it is best for me to shoot tethered wherever possible.
I'm hoping the new version 3.7 will possibly address some of these issues! It really is embarassing having all the latest everything and still having problems in front of clients.
Sorry to not be suggesting any solutions and only more problems, but it would be great for Phase One to be acting on what seems to be general instability in the generally fantastic H1/P25 combination.
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Postby Mark 3 » Sun May 15, 2005 1:07 pm

lucasallen wrote:but it would be great for Phase One to be acting on what seems to be general instability in the generally fantastic H1/P25 combination.

1. My error messages have almost completely gone away since getting my lenses back from Hasselblad, and having the firmware upgraded. I have gotten one error message total; "Reattach Magazine". I did it, and was back in business in ten seconds. Knock on wood.

I have also learned to chill out on the shooting speed, and stay off the shutter release until I hear the recycle beep of the camera.

2. I agree about Phase One and Capture One. Personally, I'd love to see no new features now, and just let them concentrate on eliminating the bugs in the current feature set.

3. Also, a general note: After using Capture One with this new P25 for a month or so, each time I use it, I discover new and interesting features in the software. I know it's not only me, because about a zillion other people share their frustration in getting to know the actual use of Capture One, but again, I feel that if Phase could/would hire someone to write a MUCH better Tutorial, or General Use PDF, I think many more people could get over the hump with it. Yes, I've viewed the CD Tutorial, but all these things seem to be written by a SOFTWARE ENGINEER, not a PHOTOGRAPHER. My suggestion would be for them to get a Photographer to write something, for HIS point of view, of exactly what steps he takes when he walks into a new job with the Powerbook, and how he sets up his machine. The way it is now, it's most definitely "trial by fire", in that, you've just gotta get in there and totally stumble your way through, but once you get to the end of the tunnel and see the light, you think, "Why the hell didn't PhaseOne TELL ME THIS in a tutorial? No wonder everybody hates this software. But it's unnecessary. It's good, but it's just hard to learn". It's just a shame when you have, what turns out to be a fine product, but it's so dense, that only one photographer out of ten could actually find their way through the maze, to actually learn it and get comfortable with it.

Again, it must be through the eyes of a Photographer. NOT a software guy.
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Postby Lucas12 » Mon May 16, 2005 1:10 am

I totally agree, Mark. Although I don't agree that people hate this software, speak to people who are using Leaf and Sinar and you'll get hate! However, did take me 3 months to discover things like that if I turn on custom target colours in the levels tab, you can clip the highlights in real time and also in any colour channel. They definitely need a real photographer to write some real world info, not some guy who does the testing in the back room.
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