The Hasselblad "X" cameras
Updated: Jun 24
Made for Photographer!
The Hasselblad X1D-II 50c is what I wished the first X series camera should be. What missed on the original X1D-50c has been mostly improved, making the shooting with the camera a much more pleasing experience; however, that is probably also true for most successive cameras each replaced.
The X1D-II retains the original design and three-part construction of the model released in 2016, precision milling from solid aluminum billet, provides the sense of assurance worthy of the Hasselblad name. The smart-looking and meticulously finished Hasselblad X camera with its new space grey finish remains to be the best representation of the modern digital camera, all formats and brands included, as far as industrial design is concerned. However, this is a person's subjective opinion. The classic and practical Leica M cameras, the simplicity of the Alpa 12, the supremacy of the Phase One XF camera, and some other great cameras are not challenged as each has stood out by the individual character of its own, well-proven by time. The Hasselblad X series camera is a camera of 2020 and one that those guests who attend The Oscars would carry!
The most significant improvement of the X1D II 50c is the smoothness it operates, which is the result of all the upgrades of components made to work in higher integration, like a well-oiled machine. The X1D II 50c is more efficient to acquire focus; 3.6" intuitive touch-screen works as toggle control of focus points and quick access to the well-layout menu, making shot to shot sequence more adapted to the preference of a photographer, as a camera should. The 3.69MP OLED EVF further erases any questions that the photographer who used to optical VF might have, as it is as close to one can see the real file display on a device or computer monitor as possible. Those who make a living from digital content creation, still or motion will appreciate its accuracy, efficiency, and convenience. Hasselblad X1D cameras probably have the best handling, size/proportion, and weight that allows a shot with high stability. However, image stabilization is still one of the features that will make the X1D camera even better with potentially multi-shot function a bonus.
Hasselblad X1D is not a perfect camera, probably none is. But if a question of "what is your dream camera" made to a photographer ten years ago, then the Hasselblad X1D II 50c today may be well beyond most of their dreams.
Photo industries have changed a lot; photography is not.
Hasselblad XCD 80/1.9 is not an inexpensive lens and is built, finished, and with optical performance to meet the bill. It is an exceptionally bright lens with the leaf shutter that can sync up to 1/2000s and warranty to 1,000,000 exposures. The XCD 80/1.9 feels solid, substantial, but well balanced on the X1D II 50c thanks to its well texturize over-size hand grip. I closed down the lens to f/4 so I can have enough depth of field on the lovely Anastasia while keeping the background blur for visual isolation. The new touch screen is intuitive and allows me to use my thumb to move the focusing spot to where I would like to focus while keeping my eyes on the EVF, fantastic for portraiture work.
I started to use the original X1D-50c since late 2016, and I found myself use the camera with XCD 45/3.5 most resembles the way I shoot with a Leica M camera with either a 35mm or 50mm lens which accounts 80% of my shots for location portraits.
The X1D camera with a compact lens such as the XCD 45/3.5 or the new XCD 45/4P measures up well with my go-to Leica M10-D mounted with Summicron-M 35/2 ASPH in term of size, weight and portability as a one-lens-camera situation. Yes, it is a bit bigger in overall size, but in a few hours, you won't tell the difference, says a veteran.
The development and release of XCD 80/1.9 is an answer to Fujifilm's GF 110/2 R LM WR, an excellent lens indeed, and the XCD 80/1.9 is nothing less in any way. It is also an answer to the general public that Hasselblad and its optical manufacturer partner are capable of designing and delivering a fast lens, a benchmark lens of its class.
The XCD 80/1.9 has excellent fidelity quality with the minimum distortion, which makes location portraiture with great flexibility. This image of Anastasia is an example of a very natural rendering of the face and body with a high definition between the focused zone and the out-of-focus background for excellent subject separation.
The compact size and solidly built of Hasselblad X1D camera make it an ideal choice for location works. I made some images with the lovely Lithuanian girl, Goda Paulavičiūtė, at the Bangkok Railway Station for my first location shoot with X1D 50c and instantly fell in love with it.
In the studio, the original X1D 50c performed acceptably; autofocus is useful, accurate a bit slow, but gets the work done.
The XCD 90/3.2, as one of the first batch of lenses released along with the original X1D 50c is an excellent lens; the new XCD 80/1.9 is better in every way except heavier.
The modern digital system has the lens perfectly matched optically, through the lens design, digital optimization, and advanced lens coating. The best example here that the Hasselblad XCD 45/3.5 is shot wide open against light and still able to deliver extremely sharp images and free of any flare with high contrast.
From my series of Tomato Republic
The Hasselblad XCD 35-75/3.5-4.5 is a very sharp lens that sits among the top of all the great zoom lenses I have ever used. It is the lens that can easily rival the primes! Any prime! The lens weighs 1,115g, feels dense, but well balanced when mounted on the X1D camera. Focusing is quiet, but the acquisition of focus is slow; those who want to use this for the spontaneous shoot will probably need to spend time to get acquainted with the lens, then to master the lens. Those who shoot stationery portraiture, landscape, abstract, or sill objects will find this lens indispensable.
May 20, 2020
Zara Dragon, at week 34