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Author Topic: Phase One XT reviewed  (Read 11153 times)

Steve Hendrix

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2021, 03:46:09 pm »

While the X Shutter is necessary, of course, having just the X Shutter and no XT (or, using the X Shutter on different brands, when available) would still leave you with:

- The need to use cables;
- Therefore, the impossibility to use a remote with the IQ4;
- No EXIF info for shift;


Best regards,

Vieri


Yes, although the cables appear very robust, much more so than the previous sync cables.

No remote cable solution (for now), but with the expected release of capture One Mobile (this Spring?), remote trigger can be accomplished without a remote cable.

Those for whom shift info in metadata is critical will miss that feature. However, that must be weighed against expanded shift capability.

You also lose the blue shutter button on the XT.

It's nice to have more options. XT is great because of complete integration and size/weight. Democratic X Shutter now provides 90+% of those features, but with more cameras of choice.


Steve Hendrix/CI

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Vieri Bottazzini

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2021, 03:03:19 am »


Yes, although the cables appear very robust, much more so than the previous sync cables.

No remote cable solution (for now), but with the expected release of capture One Mobile (this Spring?), remote trigger can be accomplished without a remote cable.

Those for whom shift info in metadata is critical will miss that feature. However, that must be weighed against expanded shift capability.

You also lose the blue shutter button on the XT.

It's nice to have more options. XT is great because of complete integration and size/weight. Democratic X Shutter now provides 90+% of those features, but with more cameras of choice.


Steve Hendrix/CI

I totally agree with you on the last point - we live in great times for digital + tech cameras, and the more options, the better :)

- About the X Shutter's cable, for me the point is not the cable's robustness, is operational cumbersomeness; you'll need to attach / remove cables every time you change lenses, you set your camera up, you put your camera back in the bag, etc. This will make you lose time, as well as making the whole thing more difficult to operate when working in precarious balance, on unsteady ground, on a cliff edge, in the water, with bad weather, and so on.

- About Capture One Mobile vs cable release, I personally am really looking forward to C1 Mobile, and I personally would use that over a cable release; however, for many that's not the case, and generally speaking having the ability to use a cable vs an app would be useful for those situations where recharging your phones is difficult and you want to save phone battery, or when you simply run out of phone battery; on the camera side, even though I didn't test it, I am pretty sure that the IQ4's batteries will last much less if you use Wi-Fi, and probably dramatically so if you use it all the time;

- As you said, the shift conundrum (metadata vs more shift) will depend on each photographer's specific requirements; personally, for my work and for my lens lineup (23, 32, 50 and 90mm, all Rodenstock HR), had I choose to go for a 20mm-shifting camera I would only really use the extra shift on the 90mm, which is a lens I use less than others, so for me the XT's smaller size / lighter weight / better integration won against having the extra shift. Of course, for people using larger format lenses, lenses with larger images circles, longer lenses, and so on, and for people doing different genres of photography than what I do, that might be more critical;

- About the shutter, I believe that it is actually pretty useful to have it, makes it quicker to work in the field versus using the screen all the time.

As you perfectly put it, it's great to have many options, in fact the more the better. Camera choice is extremely personal, depending not only on what kind of photography one does, but on how much one values certain features over others, and so on. Choosing our gear is always a matter of compromises; there rarely is a perfect solution, one where you wouldn't change anything, add anything or remove anything from a camera. I try to be as analytical and purpose-oriented in my choices, and while I know perfectly well what I miss not having the extra shift, or not having the built-in tilt of the Arca-Swiss Rm3di, or the zoom lenses of smaller formats, or the longer lenses of smaller formats, and so on, for me and my work the XT's advantages win over other solutions' advantages - today, that is, since things change and there always are new options and new solutions to consider :) More generally, will I miss some shots by going with the XT versus other systems, smaller formats, and so on? Very likely so. On the other hand, going with the XT will make me get shots that i.e. my previous Hasselblads wouldn't let me get; most importantly, going with the XT will provide me with image quality that any of my previous cameras would only dream of (or any other system on the market today, for that matter). So, in the balance I am happy with the pros and cons of my system - other photographers' mileage might vary, of course :)

Best regards,

Vieri
« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 03:37:54 am by Vieri Bottazzini »
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matted

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2021, 01:06:57 pm »

I don't see real advantage for the X-shutter.
How would it affect my architectural photography?
Am I missing something?

I shoot normally between 4s and 1/250s at F11.
The Copals are lightweight and precise enough, for me in any case.
The diaphragm of the X-Shutter still has only 5 blades!
Can somebody tell me why?

For me it's not important to see the aperture in the Exif.
I'm interested in the picture.

Regards,
Ben

The copal shutters are indeed "good enough" in a lot of cases if you are ok with the workflow (which may or may not include cables, waking up your back, etc, depending on the back in use). Frankly I think the main advantage of x-shutter vs copal shutter is speed and accessibility of the controls, which is important when using hoods/filters/gloves. My copal shutters can be a PITA to access sometimes, and having to open/close/cock the shutter multiple times per exposure when doing LCCs eats up time, although this is largely irrelevant for me now that I have a back with ES. Is it worth it to me to spend $5k per lens for these advantages? No, it's not, but I would like to upgrade my 32mm Rodie to x-shutter so I can stop treating it like a precious family heirloom.

When you start to look at acquiring new lenses or repairing your shutter is when the waters get muddy as you can no longer purchase a new lens with a copal shutter in it. So then it becomes a comparison of the x-shutter vs ES + aperture mount, which I think nets some clear advantages in favour of the x-shutter; flash sync, no rolling shutter artefacts, dark frame subtraction process automated, control from one place, etc. I can't tell you why it only has 5 blades, though!

With regards to seeing the aperture in the EXIF, at least on the IQ4-150, you can manually enter the aperture on the back if you choose, so it is in the EXIF. This works with any shutter/lens that can't communicate with the back...
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 01:10:50 pm by matted »
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Peter Brentlinger

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2021, 06:29:27 pm »

The back doesn't shift, only the lens. Not good for stitching. Major design failure!
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Paul2660

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2021, 06:46:43 pm »

Are you referring to the XT?  I can’t imagine that Phase 1 designed it not to allow the back to shift.  All tech cameras for MF  by Arca, Alpa, and Cambo allow for shifting the back. Cambo/Phase One partnered on the design and I would have assumed Cambo would have back shifting. In the pictures I have seen the shift indicator is on the XT frame. Not the lens mount.

If you want tilt or swing you have to use the Cambo T/S mount which is put on each lens. No tilt or swing on the XT camera body.

Paul C
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Vieri Bottazzini

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2021, 05:19:24 am »

The back doesn't shift, only the lens. Not good for stitching. Major design failure!

Are you referring to the XT?  I can’t imagine that Phase 1 designed it not to allow the back to shift.  All tech cameras for MF  by Arca, Alpa, and Cambo allow for shifting the back. Cambo/Phase One partnered on the design and I would have assumed Cambo would have back shifting. In the pictures I have seen the shift indicator is on the XT frame. Not the lens mount.

...

On the Phase One XT, if that is what Peter is referring to, is the back that moves, not the lens. The lens / camera body stays still with shifting, and that is true both with shift and rise/fall. Hope this helps, best regards

Vieri
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Peter Brentlinger

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2021, 12:27:19 pm »

I guess I stand corrected, I was under the impression that the lens shifted not the back. Apologies...
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JaapD

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2021, 04:44:41 am »

This is by all means a great camera and camera concept. However there is absolutely nothing revolutionary here. For being revolutionary, new or non existing technologies should be applied. That’s not the case here as all applied technologies already exist for quite some time, as implemented by Sony, Nikon, Canon, and others. Scaling up and combining technologies between small and large format camera’s is also not revolutionary.

Therefore it’s an evolutionary camera.

Cheers,
Jaap.
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Vieri Bottazzini

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2021, 10:14:54 am »

This is by all means a great camera and camera concept. However there is absolutely nothing revolutionary here. For being revolutionary, new or non existing technologies should be applied. That’s not the case here as all applied technologies already exist for quite some time, as implemented by Sony, Nikon, Canon, and others. Scaling up and combining technologies between small and large format camera’s is also not revolutionary.

Therefore it’s an evolutionary camera.

Cheers,
Jaap.

Hello Jaap,

I am sorry but your definition of revolutionary is just that - yours :) Let's have a look at the dictionary's one, which you'll concede is a bit more generally accepted than your own:

revolutionary
adjective
adjective: revolutionary
1.
involving or causing a complete or dramatic change.

Nothing is said in the definition of revolutionary about "new or non existing technologies should be applied". Applying whatever technologies, existing or otherwise, in a way "causing dramatic change" would qualify. The Phase One XT applied existing technology to a family of product where no change was effectively applied for many decades, and in a way that nobody else though of - despite, as you pointed out, the technologies were in existence. That is indeed revolutionary.

Best regards,

Vieri
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chrismuc

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2021, 10:51:20 pm »

Undeniably a good product.
But ... <revolutionary> is a word on <amazing> level, just ambassador marketing blabla, in my opinion counterproductive in the effort to achieve a positive promotional effect.
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Vieri Bottazzini

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2021, 02:41:17 am »

Undeniably a good product.
But ... <revolutionary> is a word on <amazing> level, just ambassador marketing blabla, in my opinion counterproductive in the effort to achieve a positive promotional effect.

I started using tech cameras with digital backs in 2010, when the technology was in its infancy. In 2013, I stopped using digital backs with tech cameras due to the technical limitations and cumbersome workflow and moved back to 35mm and medium format DSLR or mirrorless cameras. The Phase One IQ3 brought some improvements, but I still decided not to move back to digital backs & tech cameras - nothing had really changed in the technology to make me change my mind. In 2019, when the XT came out, I was immediately interested again: that camera, together with the IQ4, was finally breaking barriers and bringing tech cameras in the digital age. So, in late 2020, I moved to Phase One XT and IQ4, which I found revolutionary enough for me to move back to using tech cameras & digital backs in my workflow.

So, marketing blabla in my case has nothing to do with it - my history speaks for itself. I simply find the technology revolutionary in the world of tech cameras, and therefore that's how I describe it in my article. People who know me know that I am not ambassador of products that I don't use or that I don't believe in, despite all the offers I get; as well, people that know me know that I always write what I think, regardless of whether I am ambassador for a given brand or not. My intent is not to achieve any promotional effect, it is to share my thoughts about the gear I use, hoping my thoughts are of interest for other photographers.

Best regards,

Vieri
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JaapD

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2021, 11:02:56 am »

Hi Vieri,

Thanks for replying. In the scope of product development (here you and I may see things differently!) there is no such thing as "causing dramatic change" when applying existing technologies. Re-using widely implemented design concepts from others even merely evolutionary.

Let me give you two examples:
- Going from film- or tube cameras to CCD cameras can be seen as revolutionary.
- Going from CCD to CMOS cameras can be seen as evolutionary.

Now that I think more about this great XT camera I cannot even declare it as being evolutionary (re-used technologies from others, nothing new from Phase-one).

Regards,
Jaap.
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Vieri Bottazzini

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2021, 11:09:52 am »

Hi Vieri,

Thanks for replying. In the scope of product development (here you and I may see things differently!) there is no such thing as "causing dramatic change" when applying existing technologies. Re-using widely implemented design concepts from others even merely evolutionary.

Let me give you two examples:
- Going from film- or tube cameras to CCD cameras can be seen as revolutionary.
- Going from CCD to CMOS cameras can be seen as evolutionary.

Now that I think more about this great XT camera I cannot even declare it as being evolutionary (re-used technologies from others, nothing new from Phase-one).

Regards,
Jaap.

Hello Jaap,

I am sorry you can't see how the Phase One XT dramatically changed the scene of tech cameras, and I am even more sorry to see how you cannot see how applying existing technologies to a different thing can cause dramatic changes to the field where such technologies are applied anew. It seems that we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

A question for you: which tech camera with a digital back combination have you used, and when in time?

Best regards,

Vieri
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2021, 04:37:34 pm »

I would argue that the XT is similar in positioning to the GFX100, the Nikon D1,...

It combines existing technologies in a product that significantly expands the ease of use/range of applications/... that can be achieved by the devices of a given segment.

And that’s great! Well done P1. It’s for sure a notable innovation and one important marker along the history of tech cameras.

Now, at the same time, the XT with it’s lack of tilt capability and the technical rationale thereof (impossible to make zero tilt accurate enough not to impact image quality when not tilting) does in fact kill the romantic vision of how a « large format » should be used. A subtle but very real, and dramatic, change in its own right. I know, there are now emerging workarounds but they clash with the intent and feel a bit like « do it at your own risk ». Do we want to invest this much and end up going against the intent of the designers?

Additionally, the XT lacks the focus stacking capability of the XF (and most other modern high res cameras besides the Sonys) meaning that it limits the range of achievable images to those with limited DoF or to manual DoF stacking which isn’t very reliable nor time efficient in the field. Of course this is intrinsic to the tech camera manual focusing nature... except that the XT also tells us we shouldn’t tilt...

So... ok... let’s not have everything in focus... a bit of bokeh won’t kill us... But then even if one accepts this limitation, it immediately raises the question of the look of bokeh... which, for leaf shutter lenses immediately raises the question of the look/number of blades of the shutter... and that doesn’t look too good, at least in theory.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: March 01, 2021, 04:45:17 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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Vieri Bottazzini

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2021, 02:47:05 am »

I would argue that the XT is similar in positioning to the GFX100, the Nikon D1,...

It combines existing technologies in a product that significantly expands the ease of use/range of applications/... that can be achieved by the devices of a given segment.

And that’s great! Well done P1. It’s for sure a notable innovation and one important marker along the history of tech cameras.

Now, at the same time, the XT with it’s lack of tilt capability and the technical rationale thereof (impossible to make zero tilt accurate enough not to impact image quality when not tilting) does in fact kill the romantic vision of how a « large format » should be used. A subtle but very real, and dramatic, change in its own right. I know, there are now emerging workarounds but they clash with the intent and feel a bit like « do it at your own risk ». Do we want to invest this much and end up going against the intent of the designers?

Additionally, the XT lacks the focus stacking capability of the XF (and most other modern high res cameras besides the Sonys) meaning that it limits the range of achievable images to those with limited DoF or to manual DoF stacking which isn’t very reliable nor time efficient in the field. Of course this is intrinsic to the tech camera manual focusing nature... except that the XT also tells us we shouldn’t tilt...

So... ok... let’s not have everything in focus... a bit of bokeh won’t kill us... But then even if one accepts this limitation, it immediately raises the question of the look of bokeh... which, for leaf shutter lenses immediately raises the question of the look/number of blades of the shutter... and that doesn’t look too good, at least in theory.

Cheers,
Bernard

Hello Bernard,

you can use tilt via the Cambo mount, as you can do with all Cambo tech cameras. That will retain EXIF information except for shift / tilt degrees (for now, at least). I think that with such high resolution lenses and such high MP backs, the risk of losing IQ due to not having zero tilt as zero is real, even though perhaps not as dramatically impacting image quality all the time as one might think (it would depend on how off-zero it is, of course, combined with focal length, chosen aperture, subject distance, etc).

In practical use, the importance of tilt is very "genre dependent", so to speak. For the kind of landscape I do, the lack of tilt isn't a show stopper; for others, it might be. If it is, there are many other solutions out there in the tech camera world offering tilt (again, including Cambo's own mount), albeit without all the digital integration of the XT. Gear choice is always a matter of compromises, and is great to have all these choices - even in the tech camera world, traditionally an extremely slowly evolving field :)

Best regards,

Vieri
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adammork

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2021, 10:23:41 am »

The XT is a system in the right direction with many good features - but - as a professionel architectural photographer the 12mm of shift is a personal show-stopper.

It's sufficient for most interior images, but almost evenly insufficient for many exterior images.

I'm using Alpa's with all the modern Rodenstock's from 23mm and up - I'm using on almost every assignment shits of 18mm or more on maybe half of the images - the graphs may show that this is not possible, but it is in reality - yes, the corners of the 32 will start suffering from around 20mm of shift, but can still produce stunning images. And from the 40mm lens and up it's only when I'm shifting like 18-20mm up combined with large latteral movement that the lens is giving up in the far corner - if that's in the sky or in a low detail area it's seldom a problem.

So, give me a heads up when there is an XT with a propper amount of shift ;)

/adam
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Vieri Bottazzini

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2021, 12:36:56 pm »

The XT is a system in the right direction with many good features - but - as a professionel architectural photographer the 12mm of shift is a personal show-stopper.

It's sufficient for most interior images, but almost evenly insufficient for many exterior images.

I'm using Alpa's with all the modern Rodenstock's from 23mm and up - I'm using on almost every assignment shits of 18mm or more on maybe half of the images - the graphs may show that this is not possible, but it is in reality - yes, the corners of the 32 will start suffering from around 20mm of shift, but can still produce stunning images. And from the 40mm lens and up it's only when I'm shifting like 18-20mm up combined with large latteral movement that the lens is giving up in the far corner - if that's in the sky or in a low detail area it's seldom a problem.

So, give me a heads up when there is an XT with a propper amount of shift ;)

/adam

Hello Adam,

are you using the Rodenstock 23mm with 18mm of shift? Which digital back are you using (sensor size)? Mine hardly get 2/3 mm with a IQ4.

Best regards,

Vieri
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Paul2660

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2021, 01:37:23 pm »

23mm will be limited to 5mm of horizontal shift in one direction on a full sized P1 sensor. After that you hit the IC indicator and hard vignetting due to 70mm IC.

But his points on the 32mm and 40mm are valid. Both lenses in good versions can shift well past 12mm in one direction. And the 50mm and 70mm Rodenstock  should do the same. 60mm Schneider can get 20mm to 22mm. And 90mm Rodenstock HR-SW 25mm of shift.

This is shift in one direction.

As pointed out tilt can be obtained with a Cambo T/S mount to each lens which just adds cost.

My point is P1 limited themselves to one company, Cambo.  They had a chance to take design ideas from many companies and make a truly revolutionary camera. They didn’t.

X shutter is just one part of the camera. Yes it’s the best tech camera shutter that’s been developed and greatly exceeds the Rodenstock, Sinar and Arca. But the shutter is just one aspect of the total solution.

Paul C

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JaapD

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #38 on: March 02, 2021, 01:54:39 pm »

Hello Jaap,

I am sorry you can't see how the Phase One XT dramatically changed the scene of tech cameras, and I am even more sorry to see how you cannot see how applying existing technologies to a different thing can cause dramatic changes to the field where such technologies are applied anew. It seems that we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

A question for you: which tech camera with a digital back combination have you used, and when in time?

Best regards,

Vieri

Hi Vieri,
Interesting that you ask about ‘tech cameras’. In my book a tech camera is able to provide SUFFICIENT shift as well as tilt. Something that the P1 XT is incapable of.

What I used? A Mamiya RZ pro IID with a P1 back combined with a bunch of APO and ULD glass. In several aspects the RZ provides more functionality (focusing, metering, cable-less electronic connection between leaf shutter and the back, limited T/S functionality, to name a few) than the P1 XT.

Let me repeat by saying that I find the XT a great camera, however neither revolutionary nor evolutionary.

Regards,
Jaap.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2021, 02:06:11 pm by JaapD »
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Vieri Bottazzini

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Re: Phase One XT reviewed
« Reply #39 on: March 03, 2021, 02:37:24 am »

23mm will be limited to 5mm of horizontal shift in one direction on a full sized P1 sensor. After that you hit the IC indicator and hard vignetting due to 70mm IC.

But his points on the 32mm and 40mm are valid. Both lenses in good versions can shift well past 12mm in one direction. And the 50mm and 70mm Rodenstock  should do the same. 60mm Schneider can get 20mm to 22mm. And 90mm Rodenstock HR-SW 25mm of shift.

This is shift in one direction.

As pointed out tilt can be obtained with a Cambo T/S mount to each lens which just adds cost.

My point is P1 limited themselves to one company, Cambo.  They had a chance to take design ideas from many companies and make a truly revolutionary camera. They didn’t.

X shutter is just one part of the camera. Yes it’s the best tech camera shutter that’s been developed and greatly exceeds the Rodenstock, Sinar and Arca. But the shutter is just one aspect of the total solution.

Paul C

Hello Paul,

please see the graphics in my review here: https://www.vieribottazzini.com/2021/02/simply-revolutionary-phase-one-xt-review.html

On a full-frame P1 sensor, the 23mm is limited to 2/3mm in each direction, 5/6 mm total. Lenses with a 90mm image circle will shift 13mm / 16mm, not a dramatic difference over the 12mm the XT provides. The only lenses where there is a dramatic difference are the 70mm and 90mm Rodenstock. This is, of course, if you consider Rodenstock HR lenses and a full-frame P1 sensor. Schneider lenses are discontinued, and due to their design have other limitations; non-HR Rodenstock lenses, while offering a larger image circle, do not perform as well on the modern, high-resolution digital back.

Gear choice is always a matter of compromises, but if you want the best image quality available (i.e., IQ4 backs and Rodenstock HR lenses), then there isn't much advantage in having over 12mm of shift.

Best regards,

Vieri

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