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Author Topic: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions  (Read 19949 times)

Juanito

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Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« on: March 27, 2017, 12:42:09 PM »

I was going to post this as an answer to another thread, but the I figured it might be worthwhile on its own. I've had possession of my X1D for all of five days now so I'm still at the early stages of understanding the capabilities of this camera and its operation. I've shot with it on the streets of NYC, the beachfront in San Diego and for a variety of environmental portraits along the way.

Before deciding on the X1D, I looked at the GFX in the store. I picked it up and then put it down never to consider it again. First, the low sync speed is a real issue for me. I regularly use strobes to overpower sunlight so I need the higher sync speed. Second, to the eye and to the hand, the Hasselblad is a Ferrari and the Fuji is a Ford Pinto. While I'll grant you aesthetics are on their own no reason to drop a stack of cash on a camera, if you are going to spend the money, better to spend it on something that just looks and feels amazing - which the X1D is and does.

The X1D is the most elegantly designed camera I've ever held in my 27 years of professional experience. It feels great in the hand. You just want to pick it up and shoot with it. More than that though its compact and sleek size makes it a capable daily shooter. My H5 generally stays in my bag unless I'm doing a setup shot where weight isn't an issue. (I've tried doing environmental projects with it, but you've really got to want it and be prepared to make some sacrifices.) The X1D can do double duty: it will handle the pro work and the street shooting. Put a camera strap on it and head out the door. In looking at the GFX, while I'm sure you can use it like you might a smaller format camera, its boxy, oversized shape makes it unlikely that you'll want to.

I weighed my Fuji XT2 with an 18mm lens, Nikon D810 with 28mm f1.8 and the X1D with 45mm lens. The Fuji was a full pound lighter than both of the other two. The X1D weighed in two ounces less than the Nikon! (Two pounds, eight ounces for the X1D.) For the most part, the X1D acts less like a traditional MF camera and more like a small format camera, albeit a slower one. The AF is much faster than the H series though slow by DSLR standards. 6400 ISO is highly usable. A 6400 ISO test print at 11x14 looked great. The soft clicking of the leaf shutter is both quiet and doesn't sound like a traditional shutter - a big plus for working unobtrusively.

For my walking around images, I found myself using the Aperture priority mode - which was generally spot on even in backlit situations. I haven't dug too deeply into the files themselves. Overall, they look like what I expect - sharp, good color, plenty of highlight and shadow detail.

In the things-I-don't-like category, I'm having an issue with the shutter release that needs to be resolved. Also, when shooting with polarized sunglasses, the viewfinder is completely unviewable in landscape orientation (works fine when leaned over to vertical). There's some odds and ends bugginess as well that I hope will be cleaned up in future firmware upgrades. The camera itself takes some effort to learn and adapt to its ways. The viewfinder blackout took me back at first, but now I'm used to it and it doesn't unduly slow me down. A thorough reading of the user manual is essential.

What I love about the X1D is that for the first time, I can truly embrace medium format as a viable format for my daily photographic needs. I can use it for my studio work, street work, landscapes, and even tourist snaps (if I'm so inclined). It will become my primary camera. If I need more speed and even less weight, I can turn to my Fuji XT2. The loser in all of this is my Nikon because it's in the middle getting squeezed. The day may soon come when I sell it off and stick with mirrorless formats.

The final question to be answered is: Will the X1D offer results that you can't get with cameras costing a fraction of the price? Excepting for possibilities offered by high sync speeds working with a flash (which for me is big), I'll say no. Though I shot with MF film cameras and have owned the Hasselblad H series now for almost 10 years, I don't subscribe to the whole MF "look" thing. I just don't see much difference between formats in the final images anymore. If you've got the money, the X1D is a great camera just like a Ferrari is a great car. If you don't have one though, don't worry, you'll still get to where you're going.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 01:41:52 AM by Juanito »
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Christopher

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2017, 05:35:48 PM »

I really didn't want to, but I couldn't resist with your car comparison.

If Ferrari would sell me such a unfinished product they would be in trouble. But the X1D is more like a tesla. Super stylish super fun, with its quirks.

The most important part is that it's fun to use for you. As in the end that's the most important part.


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siddhaarta

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2017, 05:54:12 PM »

Love your galleries Raymond ....

In practice, how would you say the EVF is in every day use, for example compared to your Fuji X-T1?
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Juanito

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2017, 06:01:09 PM »

I really didn't want to, but I couldn't resist with your car comparison.

If Ferrari would sell me such a unfinished product they would be in trouble. But the X1D is more like a tesla. Super stylish super fun, with its quirks.

LOL. Yes, a Tesla. It's definitely a Tesla.

John

Juanito

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2017, 06:42:07 PM »

Love your galleries Raymond ....

In practice, how would you say the EVF is in every day use, for example compared to your Fuji X-T1?
EVF is great. I don't think twice about it. It's bright. Excellent detail. Shadows hold up well. It doesn't refresh as fast as the XT2 so if you're moving quickly, you'll notice a little hesitation. I only noticed it though when doing a comparison between the two cameras. In practical use, I don't think you'll notice it.

John

TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2017, 08:13:46 AM »

The sunglasses issue is an evf thing.  That's happened to many on various evf based cameras. 

Can you speak a bit of your hand holding experience?  I can't hand hold my H in ambient light under 1/250 and expect a really sharp image.  My V i am lucky at 1/250 handheld and usually need 500 to have something that remotely is tripod sharp.  And this is with a long normal to short tele length.

I wonder if the x1d without a mirror allows for a much slower handhold.
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elundqvist_photo

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2017, 09:34:03 AM »

Profoto and Elinchrom are both working on HSS/HS support for Fuji.
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Pablovi

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2017, 11:32:56 AM »

Profoto and Elinchrom are both working on HSS/HS support for Fuji.

And so is Cactus, that will work with most strobe brands, and even with TTL.
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Juanito

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2017, 02:24:45 PM »

The sunglasses issue is an evf thing.  That's happened to many on various evf based cameras. 

Can you speak a bit of your hand holding experience?  I can't hand hold my H in ambient light under 1/250 and expect a really sharp image.  My V i am lucky at 1/250 handheld and usually need 500 to have something that remotely is tripod sharp.  And this is with a long normal to short tele length.

I wonder if the x1d without a mirror allows for a much slower handhold.

No problem with handholding. Here's a test I did at ISO 1600, f3.5, 1/15 sec. The image has softened through the jpeg compression. No sharpening added.



John

Michael Erlewine

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2017, 03:20:02 PM »

I got my X1D, and I will report on it in a day or so, but I need an extra battery. No one has them. If anyone has an extra battery or know where I can buyone, on either side of the Atlantic, please let me know by a message here. I could pay more than list, since I need a backup. Thanks for listening, and my first impression of the X1D is that is is way better than I thought.  More soon.
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Michael Erlewine
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Juanito

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2017, 03:50:28 PM »

I got my X1D, and I will report on it in a day or so, but I need an extra battery. No one has them. If anyone has an extra battery or know where I can buyone, on either side of the Atlantic, please let me know by a message here. I could pay more than list, since I need a backup. Thanks for listening, and my first impression of the X1D is that is is way better than I thought.  More soon.

The word is that the batteries must be shipped by boat since airline regulations don't allow lithium batteries to be shipped by air anymore. So we have to weight for a slow boat to cross the ocean.

John

Michael Erlewine

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2017, 04:33:08 PM »

I am starting to get into the menus, etc. I have one crucial question:

I shoot with LiveView in the D810, where I turn one dial to change the shutter speed and see the change reflected in LiveView, and with the other dial I change the aperture and see it get darker or lighter in LiveView. Can we do this in the X1D, and how?
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Michael Erlewine
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hcubell

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2017, 04:50:13 PM »

I am starting to get into the menus, etc. I have one crucial question:

I shoot with LiveView in the D810, where I turn one dial to change the shutter speed and see the change reflected in LiveView, and with the other dial I change the aperture and see it get darker or lighter in LiveView. Can we do this in the X1D, and how?

Sure, in the menu system, go to General Settings/Display and check Exposure Simulation for all exposure modes.
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2017, 06:01:32 PM »

Sure, in the menu system, go to General Settings/Display and check Exposure Simulation for all exposure modes.

Thanks! Another question I have is how to I move the focus point around the screen so that I can zoom in on it. I can't seem to find how that is done?
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Michael Erlewine
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hcubell

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2017, 06:20:30 PM »

Thanks! Another question I have is how to I move the focus point around the screen so that I can zoom in on it. I can't seem to find how that is done?

Hold down the AF/MF button on top of the camera for 2 seconds and the AF point grid will appear in both the EVF and  the rear LCD. You can move the AF point on the rear LCD either by pressing on the desired AF point on the screen or by using the front and rear dials. If you are looking through the EVF, you have to use the front and rear dials. In Manual Focus mode, you can use back button autofocus by pressing the AF-D button on the back of the camera.
One glitchy thing is that it is easy to accidentally switch from MF to AF when you press  the AF/MF button for two seconds. Hasselblad should come up with a menu item that lets you completely turn off AF that is triggered by the shutter button.
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Christopher

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2017, 06:21:05 PM »

Touchscreen


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Juanito

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2017, 06:44:33 PM »

Thanks! Another question I have is how to I move the focus point around the screen so that I can zoom in on it. I can't seem to find how that is done?

The easy way is to double tap the screen where you'd like to zoom in. Double tap to zoom out. It's instantaneous.

John

JeffS

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2017, 07:36:59 PM »

Too bad a FW upgrade can't add a small joystick.   
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2017, 07:57:17 PM »

First day with the X1D and the 90mm, as so far it relates to my personal workflow, which is all about close-ups, stacking, and mini-dioramas/landscapes. At first feel, I can say that the haptics are better than any camera I have ever used, so far. Indeed, it is very elegant.

And I (thanks to some help here) managed to wrestle myself into being able to get a little of what I want out of the camera today. I did some focus-stacking with the X1D and results are very promising. I can say a little. The BLACKS are not as good IMO as those in the D810 (ISO 64), but they just fine. What so far is most amazing to me is the roll-off for the WHITES/highlights. There is (much like a long focus-throw, to use an analogy) a very wide bandwidth to pull down the highlights, much better than the D810, IMO. This is good news because harsh highlights are hard to “make pretty.” In fact, this is VERY good news for my work.

And the sharpness (90mm lens) is fine, good enough to satisfy my demands, which was a big worry for me. And the color is as I like it, gentle, not too saturated and with no trace of the HDR look about it.

In short, I have satisfied my worst fears and doubt that I will be sending it back, as I have many other systems, except the Nikon D810. It has some quirks and something that I just can’t like at all (like the lack of a 4-way controller), but I tell myself to be grateful and heaven knows I am used to suffering all kinds of bad design for the sake of a good image. And the X1D has that, and better than I even hoped.
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Michael Erlewine
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Hasselblad X1D - First Impressions
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2017, 08:10:50 PM »

Hi Michael,

Congrats on the new camera and glad to read that you like it!

I was 99% sure you would wait for the D820, so it comes as an interesting surprise.

Cheers,
Bernard
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