First hand experience with the Kodak DCS ProBack Plus and Hasselblad ELD 555.

FLAAR moves into testing medium format digital backs after seven years as beta tester for BetterLight large format scanning backs.

Within a few hours of the DCS ProBack Plus arriving we had university staff already at work beginning the evaluation. We do things a bit differently than commercial sites because FLAAR does not take money from camera manufacturers. FLAAR is a research institute devoted (for over 30 years) to professional photography of architectural history and art ( ). We also do landscape photography and flora and fauna, especially of tropical Guatemala and Belize.

This camera was taken on an expedition to the volcanic highlands of Central America along with a BetterLight and a Nikon D-100.

We thank BetterLight for providing a complete digital panoramia system. We thank Ries Tripods for providing their excellent wooden tripods. We thank Bogen Photo for providing the top of the line Gitzo, the Mack truck of metal tripods, as well as a BogenImaging-Gitzo carbon fiber tripod, the lightest weight available.

We appreciate MacDermid ColorSpan providing a 72" Mach 12 inkjet printer so we could print out the results. We thank Hewlett-Packard for sending a 60" HP 5000ps for the same purpose (we use the ColorSpan with 7 colors combined with quad black in dye inks; we use the HP for six color UV pigmented ink).

What medium format backs replace the discontinued Kodak?

Now that the Kodak backs are no longer made, we suggest you look at the Leaf Aptus , PhaseOne P-series , (Hasselblad) Imacon Ixpress , and MegaVision E-series .

Here are some samples of our test shoot in Guatemala.

Kodak DCS ProBack Plus experiences

Sample of the Kodak DCS ProBack Review of sample taked with Kodak DCS ProBack

Sample of the first picture taken with the Kodak DCS ProBack. The camera was as easy to use as a point and shoot (had to be, came with no instructions). Amazing, medium format 16 megapixel quality and so easy to use right out of the instruction book needed.


This is our team reviewing the first samples. Seder Burns (seated); Nicholas Hellmuth (standing). Later on we will print the results with the several large format printers.
Nicholas Hellmuth Testing the Kodak Proback in Antigua, Guatemala Sample shoot took with the Kodak Proback

FLAAR reviews are based on actually using the digital cameras in the field. Here Nicholas is photographing in Antigua, Guatemala to test drive the medium format Kodak ProBack Plus with Hasselblad ELD 555. In the background a Nikon D-100. FLAAR also has two large format digital scanning cameras as well as a Cruse reprographic digital camera from Germany.


Resulting 48 MB file from 16 megapixel Kodak medium format ProBack Plus.


Most recently updated August 1, 2005.
First posted Nov 22, 2002, updated Dec. 10, 2002.