I think the new XF is a vast improvement over my much older DF and have found it works very well with my IQ180. The XF is a modular design allowing one to choose between the traditional 90 degreeviewfinder normally associated with Mamiya/Phase One and a new waist level viewfinder. All this is somewhat old news.
I’ve been using my XF now for some time and have developed one pet peeve. The 90° Prism can become partially unlatched from the body. There’s a simple pushlever that latches and unlatches the viewfinder and in some circumstances it can become partially unlatched. I was tempted to use the words “lock” and “unlocked” however I feel the latching mechanismon the 90° Prism falls short of any locking.
That’s the bad news. The better news is that since this is a modular design I’ve taken to removing the 90 degree viewfinder from the body before placing it in my bag. The removal makes for a much small footprint and helps protect the viewfinder. Removing the 90° Prism lead me to research a carrying/protective system for it while in the bag as I didn’t want to have it just laying loose.
I happened to remember having a bag which has turned out near perfect for protecting the 90°Prism when it’s removed and placing the protective plates in when it’s in place. I’ve got a bag from Nite Ize that’s a perfect fit for the 90° Prism (and the small plates) I have a feeling the waist levelwill also fit (but not both at the same time). The wait level should be small enough to keep on the XF and not create too large a foot print so one view finder can be stored in the bag at a time. The bag measures 6.5” x 3” x 2” on the interior. I also have tried a slightly larger bag from Kinesis that measures 8.5 x 3.25 x 3. While the NiteIze bag fits like a glove if I didn’t have it I’d have no problems using the larger Kinesis bag.
My recommendation to Phase One is to fix the latching mechanism by adding a lock similar to what we have on the backs. I’ve never had an issue with a back coming loose. My recommendation to those who have the XF is think about getting a bag similar to the above; it’ll reduce the packing footprint as well as protect the viewfinder.