Rolleiflex Hy6 / Sinar Hy6 / Leaf AFi



The Rolleiflex Hy6 is a next-generation medium format camera body, based on the long experience Franke & Heidecke acquired with the successful Rolleiflex 6000 series. The new system is based on a cooperation between Braunschweig, Germany based Franke & Heidecke and Feuerthalen, Switzerland based Sinar AG (owned by Jena, Germany based Jenoptik). The Hy6 embodies the technological know-how, precision engineering and manufacturing of three world-renowned companies whose single objective was to create a medium-format camera system that is intuitive in design and second to none in performance. F&H and Sinar were joined by Tel Aviv, Israel based Leaf (owned by Kodak), who sells the camera under the name "AFi" together with its Aptus digital backs.

Most of the development was financed by Jenoptik/Sinar (about 4 mio €), who provided the electronics while Franke & Heidecke developed the mechanics. The camera's parts are constructed by F&H and by German sub-assembly companies. Whatever the camera's name, all are assembled by F&H in its Braunschweig factory before they are delivered to Sinar and Leaf for final adjustments with their respective digital backs.

Hy6 prototypes were presented at Photokina 2006 and received the Photokina Star 2006 award for most outstanding new product. Designed to capture images using both digital and conventional film backs, the Hy6 offers photographers a true 6×6 cm medium-format size with the flexibility of a 4.5×6 cm camera. In mid-2007 the first cameras were delivered to Sinar and Leaf for final testing. They became available to customers towards the end of 2007. The Hy6 received the TIPA award 2008 for "best medium-format digital system".

In contrast to Hasselblad's decision to turn its H line, starting with the H3D, into a closed system connecting only to its proprietary Hasselblad/Imacon digital backs, the Hy6 is opened to both Sinar and Leaf digital backs. However, as PhaseOne does not participate in the joint project, its digital backs do not connect to the Hy6. Instead, PhaseOne combined efforts with Mamiya, another medium format camera company.

The Hy6 ("Hy" for "hybrid") is based on an “open system” design and can easily adapt to advancements in future chip technology by allowing the insertion of larger (higher-resolution) image sensors of up to 56×56 mm, which is physically impossible with the 645-type of medium format cameras such as Hasselblad H or Mamiya/PhaseOne 645.

It is an evolutionary extension of the 6008 AF, but with new features such as the open system user interface, a new focus detector, which is able to focus under difficult lighting conditions, and a lithium-ion battery that can be recharged without having to worry about memory loss. The height of the Hy6 is lower than the 6008 AF since the motor-drive is removed from the body and the new battery is located in the hand grip. This makes the system both more compact and lighter.

Both Sinar and Leaf offer the capability of turning digital backs from horizontal into vertical position. This is also possible with the Rolleiflex 4560 film back. The advantage is that the camera can be held in the same position regardless of whether one is making horizontal or vertical shots, unlike with typical 645-type medium format cameras. The 6008 AF offers the same capability with the Rolleiflex 4560 film back and Sinar eMotion digital backs with revolving adapter.

Differences between the Rolleiflex 6008 AF and the Hy6 / AFi

  • no built-in motor drive, which reduces size and saves weight. Instead, the necessary motor drives are integrated in the film backs (not needed with digital backs)
  • an autofocus system with improved sensitivity (cross-type sensor instead of H-sensor), including with infrared beam in low light; focus-trap and focus-bracketing
  • a rechargeable power supply: a stock lithium-ion instead of a proprietary and more expensive NiCad battery
  • a permanent handgrip containing the battery and LCD screen, instead of a removable one. It can be clicked in 4 different positions for optimal use with different viewfinders
  • an LCD screen displaying the essential information
  • an integrated RGB sensor for automatic white balance in connection with digital backs
  • a better integration with digital backs (including EXIF data)
  • the ability to use Schneider AFD lenses in addition to Schneider AF and non-AF Schneider and Zeiss lenses. The 6008 AF cannot use AFD lenses as these do not have an aperture ring (the 6008 AF requires the aperture to be set on the lens instead of on the body)

Compatibility with the Rolleiflex 6000 series system

  • the Schneider AF lenses, as well as non-AF Schneider and Zeiss lenses, can be used on condition they are of the PQ (Professional Quality) or PQS type (allowing 1/1000 sec shutter speed with the DirectDrive mechanism)
  • the 600X series 4560 film back can be used as it has a built-in motordrive, but a new adaptor is needed
  • the interchangeable screens for the ground glass can be used
  • the extension tubes, the extension bellows and retro-adaptor can be used
  • the 1.4X and 2X teleconvertors can be used
  • the 600X series prism finders and waist level finders cannot be used (but prism finders can be converted) - Hy6 specific models exist
  • the 600X series release cables and other electronic units cannot be used - Hy6 specific models exist
  • the 600X series 6060 film back cannot be used as it lacks a built-in motordrive

Differences between the Hy6 / AFi variants

  • the Rolleiflex Hy6 is standard equiped with a film back (4560 or the newly developed 6060 model) and can be fitted with Sinar and Leaf digital backs. The Sinar and Leaf models are sold in bundles with their respective digital backs (but can also be used with the Rollei film backs). The Sinar and Leaf backs can be used on all Hy6 variants.
  • a different power management. The Hy6 and AFi use different types of batteries, which are mechanically different and thus not interchangeable: the Hy6 uses connector pins, while the AFi has flat contacts. The Sinar batteries match the Sinar digital backs, and the Leaf batteries match the Leaf digital backs. However, the Sinar back is powered through its own battery, while the Leaf AFi back can be operated from a single battery in the camera body, or with dual batteries for more autonomy (body+back).
  • The digital back on the Leaf AFi is switched on and off through the main switch on the camera body. Sinar digital backs are less integrated and need to be switched on and off in addition to the main switch on the camera body.
  • Sinar offers an optional revolving adapter, which enables the digital back to be turned from landscape into portrait mode without unmounting. Earlier Leaf backs (such as first AFi series as well as the AFi-II 6) need to be unmounted and turned. The latest Leaf digital backs (AFi-II 7 and 10) offer a built-in Verto internal sensor rotation without unmounting the back. The 4560 film magazine needs to be unmounted and turned. A built-in protection only enables this to be carried out when the laminar drawslide is closed.
  • The Leaf Capture software is available in both Macintosh and Windows versions, while Sinar CaptureShop and eXposure are only available for Macintosh. The Leaf AFi is also supported by PhaseOne CaptureOne software as from v.5 (Macintosh and Windows versions), as well as by the Leaf Raw Convertor (Macintosh and Windows versions) for those using other imaging programs that do not recognize the Leaf Raw format.

Available versions

  • Rolleiflex Hy6 with 6045 or 6060 film back
  • Sinar Hy6 65 and s65r - 31 Megapixel (Kodak sensor 44x33 mm with microlenses) with 3" display
    Sinar Hy6-e75 - 33 Megapixel (Dalsa sensor 48x36 mm) with 2,2" display
    Sinar Hy6-e54 - 21 Megapixel (Dalsa sensor 48x36 mm) with 2,2" display
    Sinar Hy6-m54 - 22 Megapixel (Dalsa sensor 48x36,7 mm) without display
  • Leaf AFi 10 - 56 Megapixel (Dalsa sensor 56x36 mm) and AFi-II 10 with tilting LCD touch screen
    Leaf AFi 7 - 33 Megapixel (Dalsa sensor 48x36 mm) and AFi-II 7 with tilting LCD touch screen
    Leaf AFi 6 - 28 Megapixel (Dalsa sensor 44x33 mm) and AFi-II 6 with tilting LCD touch screen
    Leaf AFi 5 - 22 Megapixel (Dalsa sensor 48x36 mm)
    All Leaf digital backs come with a 3,5" display

    Historical note: at Photokina 2008 Sinar and Leaf announced an agreement to expand their technological cooperation whereby Sinar was also offering Leaf's latest and technologically more advanced AFi-II digital backs with ultra wide sensors to its customers. However, this agreement became moot due to later developments (see further below).
  • The Leaf Aptus-II 12 - 80 Megapixel (Dalsa sensor 53,7x40,3 mm) digital back is also available in a Hy6/AFi mount. This back is identical to the AFi-II series backs (rotating sensor and tilting LCD touch screen) with the exception of the higher resolution sensor.
  • Leaf is offering its latest Credo digital back series also in Hy6/AFi mount. However, this back does not have the internal rotating sensor or the tilting screen of the AFi-II series. On the plus side, it supports live view. It exists in three variants:
    Leaf Credo 40 Megapixel variant (Dalsa sensor 43,9x32,9 mm)
    Leaf Credo 60 Megapixel variant (Dalsa sensor 53x40,4 mm)
    Leaf Credo 80 Megapixel variant (Dalsa sensor 53,7x40,4 mm)

The new Hy6 Mod 2 announced at Photokina 2012

At Photokina 2012 DHW Fototechnik announced that the legal uncertainty surrounding the ownership of the Hy6/AFi camera had been settled with Leaf Imaging Ltd. (see below under history of development and production for more background). As a result DHW now has obtained the legal rights to further production and development of the camera system. It has immediately announced a Model 2 version of the Hy6 (note that the name "AFi" is no longer used for future products as this name was linked to Leaf). The new Hy6 Mod 2 will be completely in black (note: this is only for newly built cameras. Upgrades to existing camera bodies will not include replacing the existing colored body parts). The new camera model offers a number of small improvements to the original Hy6 both in terms of hard- and software (see below under Firmware updates). At the same time, however, only digital backs supplied by Leaf will be compatible with the Hy6 Mod 2.

Further history of production of the Hy6/AFi camera - a story of ups and downs

Jenoptik specializes in photonics and mechatronics technologies. The company's core competency is putting light to use as an industrial tool. Jenoptik is active in the four areas of lasers, optics, sensors and mechatronics. Beyond its expertise in professional photography, Jenoptik is also active in the area of scientific photography. Through its subsidiary Robot Visual Systems, based near Düsseldorf (Germany), Jenoptik has been instrumental in successfully implementing the transition from wet film to digital technology for traffic safety technology. Thanks to its state-of-the-art digital cameras developed for use in traffic safety, Jenoptik has become one of the world's leading providers of this technology. Jenoptik acquired 100% of Sinar AG shares in 2007.

Franke & Heidecke GmbH Feinmechanik und Optik developed, manufactured and distributed the Rolleiflex brand of professional camera systems as well as Rolleivision slide projectors. Additional fields of activity of the Braunschweig (Germany) company were the production of precision-mechanical and optical components, high-performance lenses and prototypes, as well as the development of custom-tailored optical solutions. In the fall of 2005, Franke & Heidecke became the successor to Rollei Produktion GmbH. The name of the company went back to the inventors of the legendary twin-lens “Rolleiflex,” Paul Franke and Reinhold Heidecke. As a surprise and notwithstanding the strong demand for its products (in particular the Hy6 / AFi camera), Franke & Heidecke filed for insolvency on 27 February 2009. Though several investments had been made it appeared impossible to cope with historic liabilities. Production continued till the end of April 2009. In order to further cut costs, many employees were sent on temporary leave of absence. All 131 employees received their letter of termination on 30 June 2009. However, a number of employees remained at the factory throughout October 2009, in particular those responsible for back-orders and servicing. On 22 November 2009 a successor company, DHW Fototechnik, was created (read article in German and in English) with fewer staff but at the same location in the Salzdahlumer Strasse 196 in Braunschweig. The new company started with 30 staff but steadily increased its staff over the next years. Most production related to slide projectors and twin-lens Rolleiflex cameras, as well as the classic Rollei 35 camera on demand (read article in German). DHW Fototechnik continued to sell the Hy6 camera from existing stock, as well as the Hy6/AFi system components, and has been working on further developments including new lenses and accessories. New production of the Hy6 could not take place given uncertainty over the intellectual property rights on the camera design, which apparently belonged to Leaf Imaging Ltd. (read article in German). It was the stated goal of DHW to obtain the intellectual property rights over the Hy6 camera design, which would enable further fine-tuning and development of the system, as well as new production of the camera body. See this article in the British Journal of Photography for positive news on DHW Fototechnik at the time of Photokina 2010. This article in the German photo magazine Fotomagazin of November 2010 shares some interesting information on the new company DHW Fototechnik, including a number of images of the people involved in it (in German). The initials DHW stand for the names of the company's three board members: Rolf Daus (head of lens assembly), Katharina Hartje (head of sales and personnel), and Frank Will (head of camera assembly). Hans Hartje is the company's CEO. In a breakthrough DHW Fototechnik was able to settle the intellection property ownership issue with Leaf in time for Photokina 2012 and now detains the legal rights to further production and development of the camera body. It has immediately announced production of an updated model of the Hy6, the Hy6 Mod 2, with a number of hard- and software improvements. The good news is also that current Hy6 / AFi owners can update their camera body to Mod 2 specifications as well. The techically probably most advanced medium format camera system has thus been given a fresh rebirth.

Meanwhile, after the demise at Franke & Heidecke and the start of DHW Fototechnik the situation at Leaf had drastically changed. On 25 June 2009 PhaseOne and senior Leaf management agreed to set up a joint company, Leaf Imaging Ltd, taking over most of the Leaf assets (parent company Kodak had already for some time been looking at options to sell off Leaf). The longer term effects of this new development were unclear for a number of years and while the new company stated that it was further considering its options regarding the AFi, it was obvious that its heart was no longer with it. As PhaseOne already had a strategic alliance with Mamiya, the AFi would have constituted an additional platform. Many users called upon Leaf Imaging to continue the AFi line through a petition on the web. However, the new Leaf Imaging Ltd company is offering its digital Aptus-II 12 back in an Hy6/AFi mount retaining the AFi-II typical rotating sensor and tilting LCD screen, and also takes orders for its latest Credo digital backs with a Hy6/AFi mount. Rather than continuing itself the further development of the AFi system Leaf Imaging Ltd. decided to grant a number of legal rights to DHW Fototechnik in 2012, thus allowing for a revival of the Hy6 platform. Note that the name AFi is no longer used for new production and only refers to the older production by Franke & Heidecke for Leaf. In January 2012 Leaf Imaging Ltd merged with Mamiya Digital Imaging (both brands belonging to the PhaseOne group) and became known as Mamiya Leaf.

Concurrent with the demise of Franke & Heidecke and the events at Leaf, the Hy6 system remained a significant line of business for Sinar. After the decision by parent company Jenoptik to withdraw from medium-format photography in August 2009, Sinar Photography AG announced it was taking over development, sales, service and support divisions for the Sinar brand products. Service and support, including for the Sinar Hy6 and Leaf AFi models, continued to be performed by Sinar, in addition to DHW. Since Leica Camera's acquisition of Sinar in 2013, however, this arrangement has ended. Servicing on Hy6 and AFi cameras (not the digital backs) continues to be performed by DHW Fototechnik.

Somewhat unexpectedly, DHW Fototechnik filed for insolvency on 15 August 2014. The company's tools were auctioned by the end of April 2015, with the exception of know-how and semi-finished products, which are sold separately. These would enable another smaller production startup, as well as servicing of Rolleiflex products.

A new company called DW Photo GmbH was set up in May 2015 by a number of former staff from DHW Fototechnik, and will be continuing to sell new cameras, lenses and accessories from stock. It also has the intention of further producing the Hy6 and Twin Lens Reflex camera systems (but no longer the legendary Rollei 35 compact camera and the Rollei 35mm and 6x6 slide projectors, for which demand has greatly subsided). Information about the new DW Photo in German can be found here as well as here. A major marketing challenge is the fact that the legal rights to the name "Rollei" and "Rolleiflex" are detained by the Hamburg-based Rollei GmbH & Co KG (former RCP-Technik GmbH) and the demanded name licensing fee would allegedly be steep. The latter company, while presenting itself with references to the historic Rollei legacy, is selling digital photo equipment for the consumer segment manufactured in the Far East, which bears no product relation with the traditional 35mm and medium-format camera systems.


Technical Data

Camera type
Single-lens reflex autofocus camera with multiple automatic exposure control, variable metering pattern, TTL autoflash (SCA-3000) and motorized film advance in conjunction with type 4560 or 6060 magazine.

1. Cross-type autofocus sensor
2. Integral red-light grid projector for automatic focusing in low light
3. Non-AF Rolleiflex-6008-compatible lenses can be used with focus indicator

Analog negative sizes
4.5x6 cm and 6x6 cm (the latter under development)

Film sizes
Size 120 and 220 roll film for 16 or 32 exposures in 4.5 x 6cm format

Film speed
ISO 25/15° to 6400/39° can be set in 1/3 increments on interchangeable magazine

Electronically controlled between-the-lens shutter with speeds from 1/1000 s (with PQS lenses) to 32 s plus B

Exposure-metering modes
1. Multi-zone metering
2. Center-weighted multi-zone metering
3. Spot metering via central photodiode (approx. 1% of 6 x 6cm format)
4. Automatic compensation of extraneous light during metering
5. Integral RGB sensor for automatic white balance in digital photography

Exposure modes
1. Shutter-speed priority AE
2. Aperture-priority AE
3. Programmed AE biased for high speeds
4. Metered manual in 1/3 increments

Operating ranges
1. Exposure metering: EV 0 to EV 19 at ISO 100/21° with 80mm f/2.8 lens
2. Autofocusing: EV 1 to EV 19 at ISO 100/21° with 80mm f/2.8 lens
3. TTL flash ISO 25 – 1600

AE lock
1. Operational in all automatic modes
2. Locks exposure value (EV) of shutter speed and aperture

Exposure compensation
1. Manual in 1/3 increments from -5 to +5 EV
2. Via auto bracketing in 1/3, 2/3 and 1EV increments

1. TTL flash metering in film or sensor plane
2. Flash-ready display in viewfinder
3. Optional automatic flash firing with Metz flash units in low light
4. Additive fill flash
5. TTL flash metering with studio flash units

Flash synchronization
1. At any shutter speed from 1/1000 s to 32 s
2. Hot shoe with center contact and contacts for Metz flash units
3. SCA-3002 interface via Rollei SCA-3562 Adapter

Multiple exposures
By electronic suppression of film advance, without image viewing when used with film magazine

Reflex mirror
Prelockable instant-return mirror with motorized direct drive, with partially transmitting multicoating

Viewfinder system
1. Standard folding finderhood with collapsible magnifier
2. Interchangeable for telescopic 90° high-eyepoint viewfinder or 45° prism finder
3. Interchangeable focusing screen
Super-bright High-D screen (standard equipment)

Viewfinder information
1. Illuminated viewfinder LCD for focusing status, shutter speed and aperture (1/3 increments)
2. Manual metering
3. Exposure compensation
4. Metering mode
5. Flash readiness
6. Film speed
7. Custom functions
8. Frame counter
9. Horizontal or vertical format with 4.5 x 6 cm
10. Battery status

Film advance
1. Automatic film advance by high-performance motor in film magazine
2. Single frames and continuous shooting with up to 1.5 fps
3. Automatic film prewinding to first frame
4. Automatic film winding after exposure of last frame

Power supply
Rechargeable high-performance lithium-ion battery, 7.2 V, 2200 mAh.

Handgrip with LC display
1. With four click stops (for use with folding finderhood, 45° or 90° viewfinder)
2. Detachable leather wrist strap

Interchangeable film magazines
1. Type 4560 film magazine for 4.5 x 6 cm with integral laminar drawslide, frame counter, film-speed setting, film-type display and preloadable film insert
2. Type 6060 film magazine for 6 x 6 cm with the same characteristics as the 4560 film magazine

Custom functions and basic menu settings
1. Leading or trailing sync
2. Self-timer
3. Auto bracketing
4. Frame-counter display vertical/horizontal with type 4560 film magazine

1. Digital-back interface
2. Screw-type 8-pole universal connector for electrical cable release and other electronic accessories
3. Mini-USB port for firmware updates and servicing

Tripod quick-release adapter (for Novoflex Q-Base)
With 1/4” and 3/8” tripod sockets.

Compatible digital backs
◆ Sinarback eSprit 65
◆ Sinarback eMotion 22 / 54 / 75
◆ Sinarback eVolution 75 H
◆ Sinarback 54 MC / M
◆ Leaf AFi backs

Compatible lenses
1. Schneider Digital AFD 50, 80, 150, 180, Zoom 60 – 140 as well as AFD-Flektogon 35
2. All PQ/PQS lenses compatible with Rolleiflex 6000 cameras

Dimensions (mm)
◆ Camera body: 157 x 112 x 78
◆ 80mm f/2.8 lens: 67 x 90
◆ Type 4560 film magazine: 88 x 86 x 50
◆ Digital backs: See manufacturer’s data

Weight (g)
◆ Camera body incl. battery: 990
◆ 80mm f/2.8 lens: 500
◆ Type 4560 film magazine: 330
◆ Digital backs: See manufacturer’s data

Product gallery

Different views on prototypes of the Rolleiflex Hy6 system
Front view on the prototype body with opened waist level finder and Sinar digital back
Left side view on the prototype body with 4560 film back. The main control elements are on the left side
Prototype Hy6 with waist level finder and Schneider AF-Super-Angulon 50mm lens. The handgrip is permanently connected to the body
Prototype Rolleiflex Hy6 with waistlevel finder and Sinar digital back attached, Schneider AF-Xenotar 80mm, AF-Super-Angulon 50mm, AF-Tele-Xenar 180mm, 4560 film back and adaptor
Sinar Hy6 with 45° prism viewfinder and system lenses
Sinar Hy6 with Schneider AFD-Xenotar 80mm
Sinar Hy6 with Schneider AFD-Xenotar 80mm, opened waist level finder and eMotion digital back
Sinar Hy6 with Schneider AFD-Xenotar 80mm and eMotion digital back, left side view
Sinar Hy6 with Schneider AFD-Xenotar 80mm and eMotion digital back, right side view
Sinar Hy6 with Schneider AF-Xenotar 80mm, eMotion digital back and revolving adaptor
Sinar Hy6 with Schneider AFD-Xenotar 80mm, eSprit 65 digital back and revolving adaptor - optically a perfect match with the Hy6
Leaf AFi-II with its different viewfinders (waist level viewfinder, 90° viewfinder, 45° prism viewfinder)
Leaf AFi-II with Schneider AFD-Xenotar 80mm, 45° prism viewfinder and digital back (equivalent to the Aptus-II back)
Leaf AFi-II with Schneider AFD-Xenotar 80mm, waist level viewfinder and tilting digital back (equivalent to the Aptus-II back)
Leaf AFi-II 10 with 45° prism viewfinder and its 56 Megapixel 56x36 mm Dalsa sensor, and comparison with coverage of the biggest sensors currently offered by digital back competitors PhaseOne and Hasselblad (January 2010)
Comparison between the sensor sizes of compact cameras, FourThirds system, DX-format, full-frame 35mm format, and the current top-of-the line medium format digital backs (December 2009) - as with film, the clear advantage of medium format is evident. Most MF digital backs give a 4:3 image ratio, while 35mm digital systems give a 3:2 image ratio. Together with the Leica S2 and S, the Leaf AFi-II 10 is the only MF system giving a 3:2 image ratio. Most typical medium format users prefer the traditional square (6×6 film) or 4:3 image ratio but the 3:2 image ratio offers advantages in wider landscape photography.
Rolleiflex Hy6 Mod 2
Rolleiflex Hy6 Mod 2 with film magazin 4560 in matching black color version
Rolleiflex Hy6 Mod 2 with Leaf Credo digital back
Rolleiflex Hy6 Mod 2 with Leaf Credo digital back


Information for download

Sales brochure Rolleiflex Hy6 in English
Sales brochure Rolleiflex Hy6 in German
Sales brochure Rolleiflex Hy6 in Russian
Leaflet Rolleiflex Hy6 Mod 2 in German (2012)
Manual Rolleiflex Hy6 in English
Manual Rolleiflex Hy6 in German
System brochure Rolleiflex 6000 series in English
System brochure Rolleiflex 6000 series in German
System brochure Rolleiflex 6000 series in Russian
Sales brochure Sinar Hy6 in English
Sales brochure Sinar Hy6 in German
Sales brochure Sinar Hy6 65 in English
Sales brochure Sinar Hy6 65 in German
Sinar medium format system - industry and nature photography
Sinar medium format system - fashion and beauty photography
Manual Sinar Hy6 in English
Manual Sinar Hy6 in German
Sinarback eMotion 54LV / 75 / 75LV operating instructions
Sinarback eSprit 65LV operating instructions
Sinar and Jenoptik give the go-ahead for the sales of the Hy6 system (2007)
Sinar at Photokina 2008 review
Sales brochure Leaf AFi in English
Sales brochure Leaf AFi-II in English
Sales brochure Leaf AFi-II in German
Data sheet Leaf AFi-II in English
Leaf AFi user guide in English
Leaf AFi-II user guide in English

Service and support

Who is responsible for service and support

Service and support for Hy6 and AFi camera bodies and system parts is offered by DHW Fototechnik (since mid-2015 DW Photo), the successor company to manufacturer Franke & Heidecke. DHW Fototechnik, as the company retaining the expertise in manufacturing and development of the system, is also continuing to sell Hy6 / AFi bodies, lenses and accessories and is further developing the system, including new production of the Hy6 Mod 2 since 2012. At the same time, the new Sinar company -Sinar Photography AG- was also offering service and support for both Hy6 and AFi bodies (in agreements with Jenoptik and Kodak/Leaf, respectively) but that seems to have come to an end with the acquisition of Sinar by Leica Camera. Service and support for Sinar digital backs continues to be performed by Sinar Photography AG.

The situation for the Leaf AFi was a bit more complicated. The Leaf AFi digital backs continued to be supported by Kodak, as parent company of the "old" Leaf company, through the Leaf dealers. The new Leaf - Leaf Imaging Ltd- as part of PhaseOne was not involved anymore in the support of AFi systems but was assisting customers within certain limits. The situation changed to the better since 10 May 2010, when it was announced that, through an agreement with Kodak, the new Leaf will support all current and legacy Leaf digital backs, including the AFi camera system. The Leaf dealers had thus again become one-stop points of contact for servicing of both back and body. This changed again with the merging of Leaf Imaging Ltd and Mamiya Digital Imaging into the new company Mamiya Leaf in January 2012: the AFi digital backs remain supported by Mamiya Leaf but the camera bodies are serviced by DHW.

To cap a long story short: the digital backs are serviced by their manufacturer (Leaf, Sinar) or their successor companies, while the camera bodies are serviced by DHW (now DW Photo).

Serial numbers

The first number of Hy6 / AFi camera bodies serial number indicate the year of production, with the year 2005 as the base line on which the number has to be added. E.g. a serial number starting with 1 indicates a body manufactured in 2005 + 1 = 2006. A serial number starting with 2 indicates a body manufactured in 2005 + 2 = 2007.
The second and third number of Hy6 / AFi camera bodies serial number denote the index number. The most current index number is 04.
State of the art bodies should have a serial number starting with either 304... or 404... However, bodies can also be internally upgraded to the latest index while retaining their previous serial number (the plate with the serial number on the bottom is not removed in order not to inflict damage).

Firmware updates

Hy6 / AFi camera bodies with serial number starting with 1... and 2... (manufactured in 2006 and 2007) should be avoided. These were early production series and their firmware cannot be upgraded. Some of the early production series cameras were later exchanged by Franke & Heidecke. Camera bodies starting with 3... and 4... (manufactured in 2008 and 2009) are fine. Most camera bodies in circulation have a serial number starting with 3... (manufactured in 2008). Firmware updates for Hy6 and AFi camera bodies can be performed by DHW Fototechnik in Braunschweig.
The Hy6 firmware update version 2.11 (Macintosh) could be downloaded from the Sinar website and installed via computer and USB connection to the camera body (type A/mini-AB) but that has come to an end after the acquisition of Sinar by Leica Camera. Firmware updates beyond version 2.11 need to be performed by DHW.
Leaf AFi bodies and backs could be upgraded automatically up to version 2.13 when connected to Leaf Capture until version 11.2.4 (Macintosh and Windows). This feature was de-activated in later versions of Leaf Capture in order to avoid liability issues for the new Leaf Imaging Ltd. Firmware updates beyond version 2.13 need to be performed by DHW. However, Mamiya Leaf did a great service to owners of AFi digital backs by integrating a new firmware software for their backs into the last available version of Leaf Capture v. 11.5.3, which can be downloaded from their website for MacOS. The firmware 5.041 updates the Leaf AFi digital backs with the latest graphical user interface. Installation is automatic and activated from within Leaf Capture. This concerns the digital back only, not the camera body, for which firmware updates continue to be performed by DHW.

Mod 2
  • Hardware:
    • Modifications of the handhold detent for improved handling
    • Reinforcement of the handhold's fitting to the body, to guarantee maximized protection for the camera body in case of dropping or collision
    • Bottom plate revised for a better protection of the autofocus module from damage when inserting long tripod screws
    • Modification of the mirror movement, in order to reduce mirror vibration and ensure a quieter operation

  • Firmware:
    • The lens register for the AF-Offset has been widely extended
    • Possibility to individually save the AF-Offset of registered lenses
    • Improved control of the battery capacity through a symbol in the operation center on the viewfinder display or in percentage shown on the handhold display
    • Fault management improvements
  • The most recent firmware, with substantially improved autofocus performance. This update does not only concern the software but also hardware parts readjustment and replacement, and is highly recommended if you want the camera to be state-of-the-art
  • Support for the Sinar Hy6 65 and Sinarback eSprit 65LV
  • In order to operate with a Sinar Hy6 with firmware 2.11, a Sinarback eMotion must be equipped with firmware version 5.08 or higher
  • The exposure bracketing is now also supported when using the SCA flash interface
  • Long time exposures are no longer aborted by pressing the exposure release button a second time. Instead, the camera has to be switched off to abort long time exposures
  • The "flash ready" information on the focusing screen display has changed:
    • A TTL flash is attached to the camera and is ready
    • A TTL flash is attached to the camera and is not ready
  • The autofocus process has been improved
  • A new option "capture delay" allows defining a minimum delay time between two shots, e.g. when a flash pack is not recharging fast enough. This function is effective in Single, Continuous, and Bracketing modes. Delay times available are 1 to 15 seconds
  • The camera release is disabled when an SCA flash reports not to be ready
  • The current lens type is now displayed in the "firmware info"
  • On the camera display, below the hourglass symbol, different texts are displayed informing about the reason why the camera is waiting
  • Various error displays and image abort conditions have been added:
    • Mirror timeouts will be displayed as error
    • If the dark slide is closed when shooting with a film magazine an error message will be displayed
    • Film end will be displayed as error
    • Turning off the camera aborts pending captures/-sequences
    • "Disk full", "film end" or "dark slide closed" aborts pending sequences
  • Only Sinar V290 batteries are supported (Varta V290 batteries are no longer supported as exceeding current can lead to a switch-off of the battery)
  • The function of the soft key B5 can be defined by the user
  • Multi-shot captures are now supported (the mirror is kept up until the back signals it is ready)
  • TTL flash now always fires on early flash
  • Exposure bracketing is now performing correctly
  • Aperture values of lenses with manual focus and a maximum aperture not corresponding to a full EV value (e.g. f/3.5) are now read correctly
  • Known bug: cameras with index 000 to 003 cannot correctly detect the shutter type (PQS/PQ) of lenses with manual focus, meaning that manual PQS lenses do not expose at 1/1000 second
  • Internal version, not published
  • After a continuous capturing series of about 20 images continuous shooting is limited to 1 frame/second
  • Capturing is inhibited while the lens is unlocked
  • "Lens unlocked" is displayed when the lens is not locked properly
  • Support of the film back's image counter has been added
  • The "no flash" option has been removed, and the flash options "early flash" / "late flash" were renamed to "norm sync" / "rear sync"
  • A problem which caused the flash not to fire the first time after power-on has been fixed

All Hy6 / AFi camera bodies have been manufactured and tested for at least 500.000 actuations. The actual number of actuations can only be verified by DHW. This should not be confused with the actuations for the digital backs, which can be found on the menus of the respective digital backs.