Germano-Ukrainian specialist lens maker Hartblei has announced a medium format camera designed with a 35mm lens mount. The Hartblei CAM can mount any digital or film medium format back up to 4.5x6cm and will be available in Canon EF, Nikon F or Sony Alpha mounts. The company is working to develop the EF-mount version so that it can electronically control the apertures on Canon EOS lenses including the latest 17mm and 24mm TS-E lenses. Mounting the Nikkor 14-24mm F2.8, either on the native Nikon version on the EF mount version with an adapter, gives a viewing angle of 135°.

Focusing can be conducted via live view, the built-in TTL prism finder, using a focusing screen or by fitting an optional external viewfinder to a second accessory shoe that will be mounted above the optical axis of the lens (not featured on the pictured camera).

The camera is designed to offer an inexpensive studio system that allows the use of a vast range of lenses. Many lenses designed for DSLRs, including the Zeiss 100mm F/2 Macro, Nikkor 17-35mm ED and 14-24mm G-ED produce large enough image circles to illuminate larger format sensors (though their performance will only have been optimized for their native formats). The system is particularly useful for wide-angle shooting and with Hartblei's own medium-format-derived tilt-shift lenses.

The company also plans to introduce other lens boards (front plates), with medium format mounts, allowing adapters for Mamiya 645, Contax or Hasselblad lenses. CEO Stefan Steib says he sees it as 'a lifesaver for old backs that lose their systems - but not a one-way street - as we'll offer a later rebuild to a new back if needed.'

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Press Release (partially anglicized by dpreview.com):

Hartblei CAM

Munich/Kiev, September 2009: German-Ukrainian manufacturer Hartblei presents the revolutionary  Medium Format Camera "Hartblei CAM". For the first time on the world market we offer a 35mm mount (Canon EF or Nikon F) on this kind of camera. You can adapt ALL Medium Format Back on the market - no matter if Analogue or Digital. Combined with the built in Blade shutter which offers shutter speeds from 30sec to 1/2000sec (and Bulb), this offers usage of many lenses on the world market, no matter if 35mm or MF.

Especially designed for super-wideangle lenses, the Hartblei CAM extends the range of short focal length lenses down to 14mm (Giving an angle-of-view of about 135° with a Phase One p65+ back). Many other lens types not available MF, such as large aperture super-teles, Fisheyes or other specialty lenses (Canon's new 17+24mm TS-E for example) can now be used with high quality professional backs. (Hartblei recommends Adapters made by Novoflex e.g. Hasselblad to Canon, Leica to Canon, Contax to Canon etc.)

Used with our well-known Hartblei TS Superrotators "Optics by Carl Zeiss" and using our new tripod collar for the 2,8/80mm and 4/120mm Makro, or with the built in Collar on the 4/40mm IF, the camera is capable of parallax-free stitching by offering a freely moving camera. For this application, Hartblei and Novoflex have co-developed the micro-geared "Hartblei Support-Stand" for precise and ergonomic operation.

Additionally the electronic interface of the camera, either by foil keyboard or or remote computer usage is available without any extra accessories.

The camera-back is moved back and forth by a motor slider with electronic position-sensor, a Spot TTL Prism Finder is included in the package.

In co-operation with German software company Nurizon, Hartblei has worked on the new Acolens image correction software version 2.0 Supershift, available directly from Hartblei. This is a relief for usage of super-wideangle lenses doing small wonders, also on the Hartblei CAM. Additionally we have new profiles for our 80mm and 40mm lenses, Hartblei also offers a profiling service for 3rd party lenses on the Hartblei-CAM.

Hartblei CAM with all its features is nearly 70% less expensive than any comparable competitor (if there is such a thing). This saving may even be increased, the more lenses you need to adapt.

The camera is available immediately and will be sold for €4985 net + shipping and taxes. All prices, information, image materials and creative hints will be available through our dealers, on our website and during the Canon Promotion Tour 2009 in Germany, which will showcase new products in 8 cities in Germany and Austria that runs from 27.10.09 to 19.11.09.

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