Using a Phase One H20 with a 2015 model iMac

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Using a Phase One H20 with a 2015 model iMac

Postby NNN637417382614084103 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:52 pm

I've purchased a used H20 as my first ever entry into using digital medium backs and Phase One gear. I'm really looking forward to using it! And I'm hoping you guys can help me out with some more information.

I plan on using the H20 back on a Hasselblad 500 EL/M camera, and connect it to my 2015 model 27" iMac currently running macOS Catalina 10.15.7. I've read every forum-post I could find on the internet regarding the H20 and am aware of the problems with tethering and the increased power required for the back to work.

So right now I'm waiting for a refurbished Belkin Thunderbolt 2 dock, which should solve my power issues. My connection line would be:
iMac > Thunderbolt 2 cable > Belkin Thunderbolt 2 dock > Firewire 800 to Firewire 400 6 pin adapter > Phase One Firewire cable > Phase One H20 back

I believe this should get the hardware side of my equation working. If you think I'm doing something wrong, please tell me!

Now I'm looking into the software side. I'm finding some conflicting information online about which version of Capture One should work, as I read reports that support for FW400/FW800 backs has been dropped in a previous version because it was no longer possible to keep those drivers up to date. On the other hand, I also still see H20 noted in the list of supported cameras in a current list:
https://support.captureone.com/hc/en-us/articles/360002718118-Camera-models-and-RAW-files-support-in-Capture-One-#h_ddd0dc1a-39f3-4847-bd8b-af31eab516a4

Does someone know what the latest Mac version of Capture One was that still supports shooting tethered with this old H20 back? If it's an older version, do you know which version of macOS that could run on? And if the newest version of Capture One does support it, is it known if tethered shooting has any issues under macOS Big Sur? I have not upgraded yet but I will do so in the near future and would hate for that to break something.
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Re: Using a Phase One H20 with a 2015 model iMac

Postby Ulf » Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:27 pm

Hi

Latest Capture One does support all Phase One one-shot camera backs which Phase One has ever produced.
So that should not be an issue.
It is true that some old Leaf camera backs are not supported anymore but this does not apply to Phase One.
Your setup should work even it it would be easier to have a firewire cable which is 800 in one end and 400 in the other instead of using a converter. But this should not matter.
If you need assistance you can always contact support http://support.phaseone.com
Ulf
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Re: Using a Phase One H20 with a 2015 model iMac

Postby NNN637417382614084103 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:25 pm

Thank you so much ulf! I figured a convertor would mean I could use the proper cable supplied with the back, but will look into a quality fw800-fw400 cable.
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Re: Using a Phase One H20 with a 2015 model iMac

Postby NNN637417382614084103 » Mon Dec 21, 2020 12:13 pm

Thanks for your help again Ulf. I've gotten my back to work, and I'm very happy with the results so far, but I believe there may still be something not quite right.

From videos I've seen of the H20 on YouTube and from reading the H20 getting started manual, I believe that that the H20 should work in single-shot mode when used on a Hasselblad V camera. I.e. you press the shutter release, and the back should instantly wake up and take a picture in one go.

The behavior I'm getting with my H20 on a Hasselblad 500EL/M is different. It matches what the manual says about using the H20 on large format cameras, which is a two-shot mode. If I press the shutter release once, the back does not take a picture but it does wake up (green lights start flashing). If I press the shutter release again, it will take a picture and send it to Capture One.

If, on the other hand, I wake up the back first using the Capture button in Capture One, it will then take the picture immediately when I press the shutter release button. And if I plug in the motor cable, I can take pictures with one click of the Capture button and not have to deal with waking up.

Still, I also want to use this back on non-motordrive Hasselblad cameras like the 500C/M, so it would be great if I could get it to work in single-shot mode. Does anyone have an idea of what I'm doing wrong?
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Re: Using a Phase One H20 with a 2015 model iMac

Postby Ulf » Mon Dec 21, 2020 1:08 pm

Hi
Two things:

First read this knowledge base article:
https://www.phaseone.com/en/Search/Article?articleid=2180&languageid=1

This shows the pin which enables this. It has to go out far enough and also be "shiny" enough for the optical sensor to read it.

Second thing is that if you push the button too fast (normally only mechanical release) it can cause the same error.
Ulf
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Re: Using a Phase One H20 with a 2015 model iMac

Postby NNN637417382614084103 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:04 pm

Ulf wrote:Hi
First read this knowledge base article:
https://www.phaseone.com/en/Search/Article?articleid=2180&languageid=1
This shows the pin which enables this. It has to go out far enough and also be "shiny" enough for the optical sensor to read it.
Second thing is that if you push the button too fast (normally only mechanical release) it can cause the same error.


Thank you again Ulf! This was very educational. I now finally understand how single-shot mode can work on the Hasselblad bodies :)

So if I understand correctly, the pin wakes up the H20 back, then the signal through the flash sync cable makes it take the photo? If I were to disconnect the flash synchronization cable and then fire the shutter, the pin should should still wake up the back and the green lights on the back should still flash - even though it would then fail to take a pic?

Because I've tried cleaning the pin with water and paper towels, cleaning it with a scouring pad, and finally giving it a new reflective layer with a Sharpie silver metallic marker. But none of these solutions appear to be working. The H20 still works in two-shot mode and doesn't seem to detect the pin. I've measured the extension and the pin extends a full 3mm.

I've also tried to 'manually' trigger the same behavior of the pin by inserting reflective aluminium foil into the gap, but the back just ignores this. Does this mean the optical sensor in the back isn't working, or is it not possible to fake the back into thinking the pin is extending?
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Re: Using a Phase One H20 with a 2015 model iMac

Postby Ulf » Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:25 pm

HI

All your assumptions are correct and your troubleshooting is spot on.
In this case it sounds like it is the optical sensor which does not functioning.
Ulf
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