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Hasselblad X2D first impressions

jng

Well-known member
I thought I'd start a new thread for people to share their first impressions of the new X2D. Example images would be great as well. But please, let's refrain from the whole DJI/Hasselblad debate and stick to actual user experiences.

I just received my X2D last week and haven't had time to do anything serious with it, but from casual shooting around the house, I think Hasselblad has come up with a real winner here. For me, at least, it has been worth the wait. The new camera is immeasurably more responsive than my X1D 4116 (granted, a low bar), and with IBIS it opens up a whole new world for me of shooting hand-held again. I'm working to re-build my skills in this departmet, and may have to give up coffee if I don't see improvement soon. In any case, I have yet to mount the A/S plate that I had purchased in anticipation of the new baby.

A few observations:

The X2D is noticeably heavier in the hand than the X1D and also has a somewhat larger grip, but is still very well balanced overall.

While the user interface is similar to the X1D's, it’s just different enough to not be fully intuitive yet. I still find myself looking for certain functions by trial and error, but this should pass with time and experience.

Focus speed with the new 55 is blazingly fast (and silent). General responsiveness is also better with the old 3.2/90, which feels slow in comparison to the 55 and tends to hunt a bit more. Otherwise the 3.2/90 is a gem, so I'm undecided whether to switch to the new XCD 2.5/90 V when it comes out.

I discovered that I can set the camera to autofocus and still use the back button to hit and lock focus. So far I prefer this to using back button focus when in MF mode as you get the smaller focus square vs the larger focusing circle, which I think allows you to more precisely target what you're focusing on. But releasing the back button and pressing the shutter will screw things up by changing focus to wherever the focusing square is aimed.

I find it much easier to manually focus the lens using the viewfinder - which is very crisp and bright - than the rear LCD screen (in both cases zoomed in to 100%). And as I mentioned in another post, image stabilization is great for manually focusing a long telephoto lens - the image no longer jumps all over the screen.

I've also discovered a few quirks. For example, when I go to pick up the camera after setting it down for a while, I've found that the white balance was reset to "manual" at some weird color temp (close to tungsten). Not sure if this is a bug or I just managed to inadvertantly and repeatedly brush some button somewhere.

Here's a cat pic, minimally processed in Phocus and exported as a jpeg. @MGrayson - Soup, meet Harriet. Harriet, meet Soup.

11-11-22_X2D_0161-FrameShop.jpg
X2D | XCD90 | f/3.2 | 1/90s | ISO1600​
John
 
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PapaJoe

Member
John, thanks for starting this thread.

I received my X2D from B&H on October 2. I'm a self-confessed early adopter and have a soft spot for the Hasselblad X-series. I still have the 907X CFV II 50C Moon Landing Edition (as a collectible) but no longer own the X1D. My first impressions are not strict comparisons to the X1D.

My first impressions:
  • IBIS is outstanding; I'm an old guy and can hand hold the camera using long-ish shutter speeds; I haven't used a tripod yet.
  • 1 TB internal SSD is all I'll need for most shooting situations; I haven't used a CFe card yet.
  • Ergonomics feel familiar and the iconic menu is very easy to navigate, quite a change from other cameras I've owned.
  • 38mm V and 55mm V lenses are outstanding, lightweight, and easy to use for manual focus; they're also fast focusing when using AF.
  • Hasselblad's colors are very true to the scene in most lighting situations I've photographed; I don't use flash.
  • Generally, the camera seems very responsive - fast startup, fast focusing, responsive rear LCD touchscreen.
  • Top LCD display is very nice, as is the tilting rear LCD display.
Things I miss from other mirrorless cameras:
  • AF-C and Face Detect AF; once you've used a camera (or smartphone) with AF-C and Face Detect AF, you're spoiled for life.
  • Live histogram; I'm not begging for a live RAW histogram, just a histogram. ANY histogram.
Things I'd love to have in a future hardware upgrade (X2D II ;)):
  • Remote shutter release without using Phocus Mobile.
  • Joystick or control pad to move focus point or navigate settings.
  • GPS; the little GPS module I used with the X1D was fun and eliminated the need to sync the camera with my smartphone.
None of the things I miss are essential for my landscape photography. I can work around them. After all, I happily used film and DSLRs for years without them.

The lack of a remote shutter release is puzzling.

I'm not a video shooter, so I don't miss video at all. If I want video, I can use my iPhone or Sony a1. I can't comment on the lack of focus bracketing since I don't routinely use it on any camera.

Papa Joe

Colson_221007_B0000068-FrameShop.jpg
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
Soup, meet Harriet. Harriet, meet Soup.

View attachment 198416
X2D | XCD90 | f/3.2 | 1/90s | ISO1600​
John
Nice to meet you, Harriet. Aren't you a beautiful kitty!

Soup is sulking. As the X2D hasn't arrived (next week or two?), he's stuck with an X1D (not even mark II), and a Zeiss 110/2, poorly focused by the camera operator. He's visibly disgusted.



(I actually *do* have the 90/3.2, but it wasn't on the camera.)

Matt
 
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Photon42

Well-known member
The new focus indicator does not really work for me. My issue is that I do not really know what the indicator picks for displaying its sharpness info. That is different to a split screen, which may also go across different parts of the image being at different instances, but you then actually see it. The best focus indicator so far for me happened to be the zoom (loupe) function, even though I have to say the focus peaking on my Z7 is actually pretty good. And that camera is from 2018.
 

PapaJoe

Member
One more thing that I miss from other mirrorless cameras is the ability to use Auto ISO in M mode. Hasselblad has considered that a very low priority since the original X1D. I'd like to be able to set the aperture and shutter speed and let the ISO float.

Papa Joe
 

Photon42

Well-known member
I agree it would be practical. No idea why this is an issue for Hasselblad. It is not even taking away from minimalist design.

It would be great they could iron out some odd behaviour regarding the HC adapted lenses, as with some lenses/lens combinations IBIS gives an error currently. No reason for that. IBIS works even with E-shutter and any adapted lens. And, of course: make tethering great again!
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
You have only yourselves to blame. :LOL: I post cat pictures and what happens? Encouragement! Well, the X2D, ordered September 7, arrived today. Aaaand... here's Soup smelling the coffee table, which, to my low DR nose, smells the same every time.
X2D, XCD 90/3.2 wide open ISO 6400. Cropped, levels, vignetting, but no brushes. Camera Standard profile (whatever that means).



Matt

BTW, the stabilization and electronic shutter mean I can actually use the thing with V-mount lenses. It's just what I hoped for!
 

MartinN

Well-known member
Aaaand... here's Soup smelling the coffee table, which, to my low DR nose, smells the same every time.
Checking the DR of Agfa APX 100 expired 2005 AND at the same time acceptable circle of confusion usin Sekor Z 50mm W. Pictures out of my balcony, in snowing weather, and those pictures are certainly more boring than cat pics ! I really promise I won’t post them.
 

hcubell

Well-known member
You have only yourselves to blame. :LOL: I post cat pictures and what happens? Encouragement! Well, the X2D, ordered September 7, arrived today. Aaaand... here's Soup smelling the coffee table, which, to my low DR nose, smells the same every time.
X2D, XCD 90/3.2 wide open ISO 6400. Cropped, levels, vignetting, but no brushes. Camera Standard profile (whatever that means).



Matt

BTW, the stabilization and electronic shutter mean I can actually use the thing with V-mount lenses. It's just what I hoped for!
The Camera Standard profile in LR and ACR is reportedly the profile for files from Hasselblad digital cameras and backs that Hasselblad developed in collaboration with Adobe in order to produce the best match in color and tonal response to what the Hasselblad files would look like if they were processed in Phocus. That is also consistent with my experience in working on Hasselblad files in both LR and Phocus. Generally, a very good (but not perfect) match.
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
The Camera Standard profile in LR and ACR is reportedly the profile for files from Hasselblad digital cameras and backs that Hasselblad developed in collaboration with Adobe in order to produce the best match in color and tonal response to what the Hasselblad files would look like if they were processed in Phocus. That is also consistent with my experience in working on Hasselblad files in both LR and Phocus. Generally, a very good (but not perfect) match.
Ah. Thanks!

I wonder if I should try the Cobalt profiles. Their Leica S profiles are really good.
 
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MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
The new focus indicator does not really work for me. My issue is that I do not really know what the indicator picks for displaying its sharpness info. That is different to a split screen, which may also go across different parts of the image being at different instances, but you then actually see it. The best focus indicator so far for me happened to be the zoom (loupe) function, even though I have to say the focus peaking on my Z7 is actually pretty good. And that camera is from 2018.
Today's messing around showed the focus indicator pretty useless. Maybe for landscape? The zoom function worked very well, thanks to IBIS, although I miss peaking.
 

hcubell

Well-known member
Ah. Thanks!

I wonder if I should try the Cobalt profiles. Their Leica S profiles are really good.
I am not familiar with the Cobalt profiles, but I personally find that the Adobe Camera Standard works very well in combination with the AWB setting in the X2D and X1D cameras. Of all the digital cameras I have used over the years, Hasselblad's AWB setting with the X-Series cameras has been the very best. I am not a color scientist, by any means. I judge color and tone by my eye. Whatever is under the hood of Hasselblad's Natural Color Science, the AWB works amazingly well for most scenes. I just leave t he cameras on AWB and never bother with gray cards. I want what I consider pleasing color, which is not necessarily accurate color by the numbers.
 

jng

Well-known member
You have only yourselves to blame. :LOL: I post cat pictures and what happens? Encouragement! Well, the X2D, ordered September 7, arrived today. Aaaand... here's Soup smelling the coffee table, which, to my low DR nose, smells the same every time.
X2D, XCD 90/3.2 wide open ISO 6400. Cropped, levels, vignetting, but no brushes. Camera Standard profile (whatever that means).



Matt

BTW, the stabilization and electronic shutter mean I can actually use the thing with V-mount lenses. It's just what I hoped for!
You finally got the X2D! Soup looks happier now! Also: I'm using every ounce of self-control that I can muster to resist the temptation to post more cat pics, which is all I've managed to accomplish since acquiring the X2D. Hopefully I'll manage something more creative over the Thanksgiving weekend.

John
 

jng

Well-known member
I am not familiar with the Cobalt profiles, but I personally find that the Adobe Camera Standard works very well in combination with the AWB setting in the X2D and X1D cameras. Of all the digital cameras I have used over the years, Hasselblad's AWB setting with the X-Series cameras has been the very best. I am not a color scientist, by any means. I judge color and tone by my eye. Whatever is under the hood of Hasselblad's Natural Color Science, the AWB works amazingly well for most scenes. I just leave t he cameras on AWB and never bother with gray cards. I want what I consider pleasing color, which is not necessarily accurate color by the numbers.
Same here. At a minimum, Hasselblad's AWB provides a good starting point should I feel the need to adjust the white balance. It's usually quite pleasing to the eye from the start.

The one frustration I've been having with the X2D is that it spontaneously switches from auto white balance to a seemingly random manual white balance that's not at all appropriate for what's in front of the camera. Reading the manual (yes, I did read the manual), it seems that this is normal behavior when the camera senses that the white balance conditions are out of range, whatever that means. I'm not doing anything special here, I've basically just been walking around the house. Has anyone here experienced something similar?

John
 
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MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
Same here. At a minimum, Hasselblad's AWB provides a good starting point should I feel the need to adjust the white balance. It's usually quite pleasing to the eye from the start.

The one frustration I've been having with the X2D is that it spontaneously switches from auto white balance to a seemingly random manual white balance that's not at all appropriate for what it's in front of the camera. Reading the manual (yes, I did read the manual), it seems that this is normal behavior when the camera senses that the white balance conditions are out of range, whatever that means. I'm not doing anything special here, I've basically just been walking around the house. Has anyone here experienced something similar?

John
No problems with white balance. Or profiles, for that matter. The color is pretty much perfect. This is mixed lighting. The LED panel is a few hundred degrees higher than the floods. Color is spot on. (Just checking that the XCD 21/4 would AF on the X2D. No problem.)



Matt

PS. I wouldn't have chosen that color for the walls. I blame the idiot interior designer (two owners ago) who put glass bottoms in the kitchen drawers. I am not making that up.

PPS. I wanted a standing lamp. But everything I saw looked like a gerbil could topple it ... unintentionally. A c-stand with sandbags, however - that will move sideways if you hit it, but it will NOT fall over!
 
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jng

Well-known member
Sorry, I just couldn't help myself. Another cat pic. But I'm posting to show how well the X2D does with white balance (shot with auto white balance in my home office using window light) and high ISO. Minimal adjustments in Phocus before finishing in Photoshop. Soup, meet Daisy.

11-22-22_X2D_0269-1-FrameShop.jpg
X2D | XCD 3.2/90 | f/3.2 | 1/70s | ISO 3200​

John
 

jng

Well-known member
OK, I finally got out with the new X2D to do a proper shoot with my muse: San Francisco, the City by the Bay. Conditions were interesting with fog developing over the coastline, but the somewhat warmer weather today created a bit of haze and convection over the bay. While not as crisp as I'd like, a median blend of 12 images in Photoshop (vs the much easier frame averaging in the IQ4) followed by a minor touch-up in Topaz Sharpen cleaned things up to respectable levels. In any case, I think the X2D and I will someday make great music together.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

John

Thanksgiving Eve 2022 by John Ngai, on Flickr
X2D | Zeiss 5.6/350 Tele-Superachromat | f/11 | ISO 64 | 12-image median blend​
 
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