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Hasseblad XD ll possible move from Sony A7r IV

Hello all, it’s been a while since I’ve been on the forum. I would love some feedback on my possibly getting rid of all my Sony gear and getting the Hasselblad XD ll. Here’s my thinking. First, I’m semi retired now and no longer shooting commercial work, so I don’t need lots of gear. 90% of my photography is nature related. I’ve been quite pleased with the Sony files but I’ve never liked the handling/ergonomics or the horrible menu system. I really want a camera that feels like a camera with a simplified menu. I shot a Pentax 67 film camera for years, so that’s where I am coming from. From all the many videos I’ve watched and articles I’ve read, the XD ll looks like it could fit the Bill. I really like the aspect ratio and 16 bit files this camera offers. I’m thinking only a couple of lenses to round out my system. I’ve probably lost my mind so tell me I have or offer some thoughts, and or experiences with this camera.
Thanks
J.Paul
 

0luke1

New member
I did this (a7r iii) and have been very happy. The X1D II interface is simple, camera ergonomics are outstanding and the images are beautiful. Frankly, the autofocus is no better than ok. It’s slow. If you’re shooting moving animals, you may not be happy. I keep it on manual focus, use the AF-D button on the back and am quite happy. (I couldn’t stand the Sony menus or the excessive number of button, wheels, etc.)

I bought the 21, 45P, 90 and 135, but use the 45 and 90 most of the time. The 45p is very compact and light.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
You've not lost your mind. :)

For me, any Hasselblad has always been a long term purchase. With the big sensor, 50 Mpixel, and a couple of XCD lenses, you have everything you need. The X1D II has an excellent shape and feel in the hand, the controls are easy to learn and remember, and the sensor is excellent quality. The XCD lenses are outstanding, every one of them.

My ideal system in this format includes an ultra wide, a wide-normal, and a modest tele. That's going to be, for me, the 21, 45, and 80 mm lenses. A longer lens option would be nice too, but is low priority (even the 80 is waiting until next year). I occasionally adapt a longer lens from my existing set of Leica R lenses (90/2, 135/2.8, 180/4, 180/4+2x Extender), most of which adapt nicely and cover the format reasonably well (a little corner darkening with some, unless I crop to square). (Note: I'm using the 907x body instead of the X1D II body, but the same comments apply to both with respect to format, lenses, control UI, and sensor quality.)

The XCD 45/4 P is the smallest, lightest native lens for the system, and is likely the most versatile general purpose lens you can have, just like a 35mm f/2.8 often is for a 35mm FF format camera. I would start with the X1D II body and that lens, and then consider what else you need.

G
 

KlausJH

Member
I made this move in February and didn't regret it a second. I sold a lot of my Sony gear and bought a never used X1D from a dealer, but kept the A7R II for which I wouldn't get much anyway. The 24-105 is still here, in case I needed some faster AF (which I didn't so far). While I was waiting for the 45p, I could use my lenses with a C/Y mount and a Novoflex adapter: Vario-Sonnar 3.4/35-70, Vario-Sonnar 4.5-5.6/100-300 and the awesome Voigtländer Macro Apo-Lanthar 125 f2.4. They all work very well with the 44x33 Sensor. Today I own the XCD 90 and 45p. Next year either the XCD 21 or XCD 30 will be added. I feel like being home after many years with a Rollei SL66 SE.
 

pegelli

Well-known member
Be ready to haul around more weight and volume for the same angle of view, but if it's a system that inspires you more it can be worth it.

If you like simple I don't understand your problem with the Sony menu system. Once you programmed the buttons and Fn menu to your liking there's no need to go into the menu anymore. I don't think it gets any simpler than that, at least for me it doesn't.

However once you decide you want something different I guess it's an itch that needs scratching and it's a decision where cold logic usually doesn't play a major role.
 
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Thanks for all this great input! This is very informative and helpful. I may need to keep my Canon 24mm TSE ll lens and use it with a Techart adapter initially for my architecture work. Anyone used the combo?
Thanks,
J. Paul
 

scho

Well-known member
I have a Techart EF to HBX adapter arriving this week and will try it on the 907x with my Canon 24mm TSE II lens. I also want to use it with a Canon 16-35/4 lens and a 135/2L. I'll report my experience with the TAP adapter here.
 

J. Paul

New member
I have a Techart EF to HBX adapter arriving this week and will try it on the 907x with my Canon 24mm TSE II lens. I also want to use it with a Canon 16-35/4 lens and a 135/2L. I'll report my experience with the TAP adapter here.
That would be great! Most appreciated!
J. Paul
 

Paratom

Active member
I have used Sony some years ago and use x1dii besides some other gear today.
For me the user interface of the x1dii works very well. I like the simplicity. Of course it doesnt offer the speed and all the AF options etc of the Sony. AF is not good for fast moving subjects, but it works ok also for taking images of my kids (not soccer but other things). AF is quite accurate in my experience. And the files are rewarding.
 
Thanks for this additional information. Speed is not a real issue for me since I’ll just be shooting nature and som architecture. It’s all about the handling experience and beautiful files. Looks like XD ll will be perfect for that. I haven’t really investigated sensor cleaning with this camera or medium format in general. Is it more difficult than a Sony?
Thanks
J. Paul
 

Photon42

Active member
I don't have any issues with sensor cleaning with the X1D2. The sensor is practically in your face. Blowing dust off is usually sufficient. Wet cleaning however is no issue either. You need larger swaps, ideally.
Just realise this camera, while being a real, real joy to use and to look at the files, does not have all these nice little helpers of modern Sony/Nikon/Canon offerings. It is not my only camera, as my interests probably exceed the comfortable shooting envelope of this camera and the lens offerings. It is sort of a specialist camera more than a Z7 or Sony is trying to be the one fits all thing.

In short: If you understand the limitations, you will be very happy (American: blown away) by the advantages of this system.
 

J. Paul

New member
I don't have any issues with sensor cleaning with the X1D2. The sensor is practically in your face. Blowing dust off is usually sufficient. Wet cleaning however is no issue either. You need larger swaps, ideally.
Just realise this camera, while being a real, real joy to use and to look at the files, does not have all these nice little helpers of modern Sony/Nikon/Canon offerings. It is not my only camera, as my interests probably exceed the comfortable shooting envelope of this camera and the lens offerings. It is sort of a specialist camera more than a Z7 or Sony is trying to be the one fits all thing.

In short: If you understand the limitations, you will be very happy (American: blown away) by the advantages of this system.
Just what I wanted to hear. Thanks!
J. Paul
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
...
Just realise this camera, while being a real, real joy to use and to look at the files, does not have all these nice little helpers of modern Sony/Nikon/Canon offerings. It is not my only camera, as my interests probably exceed the comfortable shooting envelope of this camera and the lens offerings. It is sort of a specialist camera more than a Z7 or Sony is trying to be the one fits all thing. ...
I'm not sure exactly what "nice little helpers" you are referring to. You mean, things like autofocus ...? :D

G
 

Photon42

Active member
I'm not sure exactly what "nice little helpers" you are referring to. You mean, things like autofocus ...? :D

G
IBIS, Continuous AF, Histogram in Viewfinder, direct bluetooth image download onto mobile phone, just to name a few. I am happy with the X1D2.
 

nameBrandon

Active member
Not to toot my own horn (too much).. but I do have an X1D II for sale in the buy/sell forums.

What Sony equipment are you looking to sell? Sony is my secondary system, I've kept my A9/A7R2 and a few select lenses (Tamron 28-75/70-200 and Sony 55 1.8) for shooting the family and fast AF needs. Might be interested in a potential lens trade depending on what you have. Feel free to PM, we probably don't need to hash it out in public if you're interested.

Either way, I would say X1D II is a fantastic camera, but IMO, I would hesitate for most people to be their only camera... but it sounds like if you're shooting 90% nature then it might be a very good fit. XCD lenses are amazing, and the colors out of this camera.. never seen anything like it!
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
IBIS, Continuous AF, Histogram in Viewfinder, direct bluetooth image download onto mobile phone, just to name a few. I am happy with the X1D2.
IBIS is useful to me with smaller formats and other cameras where I tend to use lenses that provide higher magnification, and that I use hand-held most of the time, but with the 907x (like with the 500 series V system) I tend to use these cameras with more wide lenses and on a tripod. I use manual focus about 90% of the time with all cameras. The BT download onto mobile phone seems a bit crazy when talking about a 50Mpixel raw image, but at least the Hassies do WiFi connection with Phocus Mobile 2 and will download to iPhone or iPad in the process if I'm tethering.

So it seems I'm not missing out on much. If I'm doing work that benefits substantively from such things as continuous AF, I'm probably using a different camera. The gods know I have more than enough to choose from...! :D
 

pflower

Member
You say your main interest is nature related. I'm not sure what that means. If wildlife etc. then the X1D is not really for you. If landscape, flora etc. then it could well serve as your only camera. I have and use both the X1D (21mm, 45mm + HCD 80mm with adapter) and an A7RIII (mostly native 35mm and 50mm sometimes a 21mm Voigtlander with adapter). When speed is not an issue the X1D is definitely my weapon of choice. But when travelling both are useful. Sadly since March travel is out of the window for the moment but looking back on trips through India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia with both cameras it was a pretty even split between the 2 cameras. The A7RIII is faster in operation and slightly less conspicuous - good for street and grab shots (which might not concern you) but then the X1D is certainly useable for that as well - indeed most of my urban landscapes/street shots are with the X1D and 45mm lens. I am happy with both but if I had to restrict myself to one system then I would unhesitatingly choose the Hasselblad. But that is just me.

I agree with you about the menu system for the Sony - it is a horrible mess which I still have not understood. But but after much confusion (and study of YouTube videos) I have set it up to work pretty much as the X1D - back button focus, iso changes are easy on both as are changing aperture and shutter - that's all I need so I don't need to dive into the Sony menu much, if at all.

The downside is that it is slower in operation and with AF, the lenses are expensive and some of the longer focal lengths are pretty huge. But I don't need any other focal lengths than the ones I have - the 45mm suits what I do 80% of the time (and were I to start afresh I would definitely buy the 45p instead of the original 45mm which I have) and in fact I use the HCD80mm very sparingly and so have resisted buying the 90mm. But if I wanted longer focal lengths I might well decide against the Hasselblad. I looked at both the new zoom and the 135mm and both were much too large and heavy for my taste and in any event not what I either wanted or needed or for which I could justify the expense.

Of course at the end of the day it is a matter of personal choice. The best way to answer your question is to suggest that you rent one for a weekend and see if you can see yourself living with it. I certainly can, but you may differ. Do you see a significant improvement in image quality and improvement in simplicity? Given the financial implications of the switch - testing before purchase seems to be really the only way to answer your question.
 
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