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Hasselblad X2D first impressions

glennedens

Active member
Some first impressions of the X2D, FWIW and FYI and YMMV, actually YMWV :) I ordered mine on announcement day and received it on November 7th, after a multi-day FedEx delay. I didn't order any of the new XCDV lenses as of yet. First impression are that I really like it so far.

The EVF is a very nice improvement, the IBIS is excellent, the PDAF focusing and overall operation is "snappy" compared to the X1Dii. A few small things that stood out:
  • the brightness of the EVF can now be adjusted (yay) and it overcomes the super bright Santa Fe, NM Sun
  • manual focusing is far easier for me with the higher resolution EVF (some of you know my eyesight is terrible)
  • the tilting rear screen is great for tripod use
  • the internal storage is a bigger change than I would have imagined - just pick the camera up and go (I bought a CFexpress card but haven't even put it in the camera yet)
  • the top screen is way more useful than I originally thought would be the case (originally I thought I would miss the mode dial, haven't even thought about it once)
  • AWB and colors are great (as is the X1Dii, 907x/CF50cii and H3D39ii)
  • the upload time via USB-c connection is super fast, the camera charges when plugged into the MacPro even during uploading (not so on a PC for some reason) and the USB-c charging is very fast
  • battery life seems about the same as the X1Dii (black band higher capacity batteries)
  • the X2D is a bit bigger and heavier than the X1Dii, not really noticeable in use
  • works well with the existing XCD lenses I tested it with (21, 30, 45p, 65, 90, 120, 135+1.7x and 35-75) - blackout time is marginally less than X1Dii, 120 is slow and it was slow before, 35-75 is great and noticeable quicker (I still have the X1Dii and have tested side-by-side)
  • the IBIS is excellent and has brought new life to my array of old V lenses
I am still waiting for an L-bracket - ordered the Peipro L-bracket for X2D from Alibaba ($130) and it should arrive in two weeks.

A few things that didn't stand out, nothing new here, move along.....
  • I really miss the they didn't include the embedded GPS :(
  • focus peaking is sorely missing, the assist-indicator is okay but not great
  • I really miss the cable release, sigh - hopefully a USB-c based release will arrive
  • focus stacking will hopefully arrive via FW update
  • blinkies are either on/off - it would be better to have it be one of the scrollable view modes on playback
  • lossless compressed RAW would be nice
  • the XY electronic spirit level is not a great user interface or I'm just not stable enough to get it reliably level handheld, works fine with tripod and either ball or geared head
  • really miss the crop framing bars for various formats (especially square and Xpan)
  • wish the focus distance indicator also showed DoF
  • a joystick for focus point setting would have been very welcome (like the 907x grip)
  • yeah, auto-ISO in manual and a live histogram would be welcome
I kept the GFX100s and lenses to compare side-by-side before making the final decision and for me it was quick, way quicker than I thought it would be - the GFX100s and lenses have found new homes with loving owners :) Yes the GFX100s has more advanced focus modes and is certainly more refined and feature-rich, lenses cost less ALTHOUGH I never particularly liked using it, plus it is heavier and bulkier to me than the X1Dii or X2D. GFX image quality is excellent although I'll easily give the nod to the X2D and in my style of use they are virtually the same speed of operation and focus (although blackout time is lower on the GFX) - I just didn't use the GFX beyond the basics. Haven't missed it once.

I used the Leica S007 heavily from 2015 to 2021 with 10,000's of images - so I can't compare it side-by-side with the X2D today - it is an incredible system with fantastic lenses. For me it became too heavy and bulky and the used value was still good in early 2021 so it was great timing for me to move to the X1Dii. I have looked at images taken in the same location, time of year and similar lighting (an estimate at best) and for my work the X2D is providing better results with less effort (PaulS and MGrayson have already discussed this). So while I loved the S I do not miss it at all.

The S was traded in for a full Leica SL system with zooms and a some incredible prime SL Summicrons (which are astonishing). So if I need fast operation with IBIS and tracking it's a nice compliment to the X2D.

Now I need to relearn how to scale and upload photos to getDPI to share a few samples

Kind regards, Glenn
 
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PapaJoe

New member
I am still waiting for an L-bracket - ordered the Peipro L-bracket for X2D from Alibaba ($130) and it should arrive in two weeks.
I can't find the Peipro L-bracket that you ordered. Can you provide a link?

A few things that didn't stand out, nothing new here, move along.....
  • I really miss the they didn't include the embedded GPS :(
  • focus peaking is sorely missing, the assist-indicator is okay but not great
  • I really miss the cable release, sigh - hopefully a USB-c based release will arrive
  • focus stacking will hopefully arrive via FW update
  • blinkies are either on/off - it would be better to have it be one of the scrollable view modes on playback
  • lossless compressed RAW would be nice
  • the XY electronic spirit level is not a great user interface or I'm just not stable enough to get it reliably level handheld, works fine with tripod and either ball or geared head
  • really miss the crop framing bars for various formats (especially square and Xpan)
  • wish the focus distance indicator also showed DoF
  • a joystick for focus point setting would have been very welcome (like the 907x grip)
  • yeah, auto-ISO in manual and a live histogram would be welcome
Glenn, my mileage doesn't vary from yours. 😀 I totally agree. As I use the camera more, I'm more and more impressed.

I have found that I need a second camera to photograph people, namely our granddaughter, because the X2D lacks Face Detect AF, Eye Detect AF and AF-C. I'm using a Sony a1 for that use case.

Papa Joe
 

glennedens

Active member
Here is the link to the Alibaba X2D L-bracket by Peipro:


EDIT: I see that Glaiben already posted the link :)

I can't find the Peipro L-bracket that you ordered. Can you provide a link?


Glenn, my mileage doesn't vary from yours. 😀 I totally agree. As I use the camera more, I'm more and more impressed.

I have found that I need a second camera to photograph people, namely our granddaughter, because the X2D lacks Face Detect AF, Eye Detect AF and AF-C. I'm using a Sony a1 for that use case.

Papa Joe
 
I kept the GFX100s and lenses to compare side-by-side before making the final decision and for me it was quick, way quicker than I thought it would be - the GFX100s and lenses have found new homes with loving owners :) Yes the GFX100s has more advanced focus modes and is certainly more refined and feature-rich, lenses cost less ALTHOUGH I never particularly liked using it, plus it is heavier and bulkier to me than the X1Dii or X2D. GFX image quality is excellent although I'll easily give the nod to the X2D
Thanks for your comments. I'm curious what it is about the X2D's image quality that you prefer over the GFX? (I'm currently a GFX100S user but interested in the X2D).

If anyone else has direct comparisons between the X2D and GFX100(S) and has some thoughts specifically about the respective image qualities, please chime in!

From my perspective, my first lens for the GFX100S was the 63mm, and I was OK'ish about the image quality, but since getting the GF 50mm lens I've been a happier with the output (the 50mm lens seems less aggressively sharp and arguably less "digital" in its rendering, but with no sacrifice of recording fine detail, and with less field curvature too).
 
Last edited:

PeterA

Well-known member
Some first impressions of the X2D, FWIW and FYI and YMMV, actually YMWV :) I ordered mine on announcement day and received it on November 7th, after a multi-day FedEx delay. I didn't order any of the new XCDV lenses as of yet. First impression are that I really like it so far.

The EVF is a very nice improvement, the IBIS is excellent, the PDAF focusing and overall operation is "snappy" compared to the X1Dii. A few small things that stood out:
  • the brightness of the EVF can now be adjusted (yay) and it overcomes the super bright Santa Fe, NM Sun
  • manual focusing is far easier for me with the higher resolution EVF (some of you know my eyesight is terrible)
  • the tilting rear screen is great for tripod use
  • the internal storage is a bigger change than I would have imagined - just pick the camera up and go (I bought a CFexpress card but haven't even put it in the camera yet)
  • the top screen is way more useful than I originally thought would be the case (originally I thought I would miss the mode dial, haven't even thought about it once)
  • AWB and colors are great (as is the X1Dii, 907x/CF50cii and H3D39ii)
  • the upload time via USB-c connection is super fast, the camera charges when plugged into the MacPro even during uploading (not so on a PC for some reason) and the USB-c charging is very fast
  • battery life seems about the same as the X1Dii (black band higher capacity batteries)
  • the X2D is a bit bigger and heavier than the X1Dii, not really noticeable in use
  • works well with the existing XCD lenses I tested it with (21, 30, 45p, 65, 90, 120, 135+1.7x and 35-75) - blackout time is marginally less than X1Dii, 120 is slow and it was slow before, 35-75 is great and noticeable quicker (I still have the X1Dii and have tested side-by-side)
  • the IBIS is excellent and has brought new life to my array of old V lenses
I am still waiting for an L-bracket - ordered the Peipro L-bracket for X2D from Alibaba ($130) and it should arrive in two weeks.

A few things that didn't stand out, nothing new here, move along.....
  • I really miss the they didn't include the embedded GPS :(
  • focus peaking is sorely missing, the assist-indicator is okay but not great
  • I really miss the cable release, sigh - hopefully a USB-c based release will arrive
  • focus stacking will hopefully arrive via FW update
  • blinkies are either on/off - it would be better to have it be one of the scrollable view modes on playback
  • lossless compressed RAW would be nice
  • the XY electronic spirit level is not a great user interface or I'm just not stable enough to get it reliably level handheld, works fine with tripod and either ball or geared head
  • really miss the crop framing bars for various formats (especially square and Xpan)
  • wish the focus distance indicator also showed DoF
  • a joystick for focus point setting would have been very welcome (like the 907x grip)
  • yeah, auto-ISO in manual and a live histogram would be welcome
I kept the GFX100s and lenses to compare side-by-side before making the final decision and for me it was quick, way quicker than I thought it would be - the GFX100s and lenses have found new homes with loving owners :) Yes the GFX100s has more advanced focus modes and is certainly more refined and feature-rich, lenses cost less ALTHOUGH I never particularly liked using it, plus it is heavier and bulkier to me than the X1Dii or X2D. GFX image quality is excellent although I'll easily give the nod to the X2D and in my style of use they are virtually the same speed of operation and focus (although blackout time is lower on the GFX) - I just didn't use the GFX beyond the basics. Haven't missed it once.

I used the Leica S007 heavily from 2015 to 2021 with 10,000's of images - so I can't compare it side-by-side with the X2D today - it is an incredible system with fantastic lenses. For me it became too heavy and bulky and the used value was still good in early 2021 so it was great timing for me to move to the X1Dii. I have looked at images taken in the same location, time of year and similar lighting (an estimate at best) and for my work the X2D is providing better results with less effort (PaulS and MGrayson have already discussed this). So while I loved the S I do not miss it at all.

The S was traded in for a full Leica SL system with zooms and a some incredible prime SL Summicrons (which are astonishing). So if I need fast operation with IBIS and tracking it's a nice compliment to the X2D.

Now I need to relearn how to scale and upload photos to getDPI to share a few samples

Kind regards, Glenn
Quite a long list of missing features - thanks for taking the trouble of listing them .

I'm happy to wait for a few of the essential misses to emerge and functioning - if they ever do or just keep my X1D11 nd pick up a few soon to be much cheaper XCD lenses.

Cheers
Pete
 

glennedens

Active member
Jon, It is hard to separate the lenses/rendering from the camera/sensor/processing and then it all get transposed by the RAW processor, and of course it is personal and subjective - now with the disclaimers out of the way :) ........

These days I mostly shoot landscape, urban landscape, a bit of product and a bit of client work around scientific industrial - 80%+ personal work "fine art" (whatever that is :) and 20%- client, the client work is more random and more of a long standing relationship with scientific labs. I don't do portraits, wildlife, sports, "real" street or events. So hopefully that helps where my experience is framed from.

When I print I print big 40" x 30" and up is common.

I used the GFX50s and later GFX100S from 2019 to 2022 (unitl the X2D arrived) with a variety of GF lenses = 23, 45, 110 the most, the 50 was added for portability and I used a few of the zooms, the 32-64 the most, the rest not so much. The 250 is stellar, however I rarely used it. The GFX is a fine system and the GFX100s is a landmark camera. The 110 was the standout lens of the primes and the 50 was also very nice. The 23 and 45 were okay - corner fall-off and field curvature, etc. were not to my liking. Each GFX lens has a difference character, which some would see as a benefit, for me it gets in the way, slightly different color and micro-contrast, falloff, etc. I never used the Fuji film simulations so processing the RAWs in LRc and then printing with ImagePrint. The color of the GFX100S captures often surprised me, not that it was bad, rather just a surprise and most often the sky color was wrong. So it takes more work in post-processing with the GFX than the X2D.

Prior to the GFX the digital medium format journey was X1Dii and prior to that Leica S007 and long ago Hasselblad H3Dii - to help frame my bias.

The colors on the X2D are wonderful, the character of the XCD lenses are very "flat" - they all behave very similar to each other and to my sensibilities they have better micro contrast, are all great wide open or stopped down and the prints just have a snap that is hard to describe. Since each lens has its own shutter you theoretically can get minor variations in exposure, my set are all so close its not an issue. The black out time on the X2D with the XCD lenses is longer than the GFX with GF lenses - the leaf shutter sequencing is just longer - this might drive some folks crazy, doesn't bother me. I spent most of my photographic life with a 4x5 view camera or a Hasselblad 500 series or Flexbody.

Depending on the lens the GFX100S can focus a bit faster in some situations than the X2D, but not by much and not always, in some cases they are equal - UNLESS you need AF-c, subject tracking or eye tracking in which case the GFX wins period, however I usually turn off face tracking since the GFX finds faces all over the place when there are no humans in the scene.

The auto white balance on the X2D is stellar, in the scientific industrial settings illumination color temperature is all over the place and for some reason everyone wants science to be lit up blue :) The GFX had a really hard time with AWB and so more work in post. You don't get a lot of time to use a grey card in a lab usually.

The X2D gets where I want to go with less work - I like the colors better, the lens renditions better, the micro-contrast better and tonal separation, or maybe its graduation, better. The resolution/sharpness is a wash, although my personal view is the Hasselblad lenses are better. There is a difference between Phocus and LRc, it's subtle and it's similar to what folks observe about CaptureOne vs LRc. I get good results with LRc and superior results with Phocus. I use a fully calibrated workflow from monitor to printer to workroom lighting.

Then we get to ergonomics and usability - the X2D is clearly immature feature-wise and it will hopefully improve as the X1Dii diid over its life time. I really like the operation, menus, simplicity and design of the X2D body and XCD lenses. It is usable today for images I am trying to create just as it is. I look forward to trying the XCDV lenses at some point.

The GFX lens line up is broad and getting broader, especially with tilt-shift on the horizon. Speaking of lenses though I like the Hasselblad XCD prime progression of 21, 30, 45, 90, 135+1.7 (35mm full-frame equivalent of approx. 17, 24, 35, 70, 105, 180, which is very close to my 35mm kits of nearly half a Century of 19, 24, 35, 90, 180 and I'll bet some old-timers will guess what system that was).

The 35-75 XCD zoom is phenomenal at every focal length and aperture giving approx. 28-60, although it would have been nice to get 28-70 to really feel at home :) I do like the XCD 77mm filter size for most everything.

WRT bulk and weight, the two systems are close, however the X2D and XCD kit take up less volume and fit into a smaller bag.

With the X2D-XCD leaf shutter blackout time and sometimes slower autofocus you get a general experience that really feels like the H3dii, not as slow as a 501c, a tad slower than the S007, its not Sony, Nikon or Canon.

PeterA, yes it's a list that is longer than it should be, although the time was well spent for the manufacturer - they do know very well what is on the list :) I am glad they decided to ship since I can use it just as it is today. I enjoy using the X2D a lot.

If one is utility-decision driven then the GFX has tremendous value, if one is experience-decision driven then the X2D has a lot going for it - its all very personal, of course, and both systems can make beautiful images - these are small distinctions.

I'm hoping to post some images soon (traveling for a few more weeks).

Kind regards, Glenn
 
Last edited:

byanto49

New member
Jon, It is hard to separate the lenses/rendering from the camera/sensor/processing and then it all get transposed by the RAW processor, and of course it is personal and subjective - now with the disclaimers out of the way :) ........

These days I mostly shoot landscape, urban landscape, a bit of product and a bit of client work around scientific industrial - 80%+ personal work "fine art" (whatever that is :) and 20%- client, the client work is more random and more of a long standing relationship with scientific labs. I don't do portraits, wildlife, sports, "real" street or events. So hopefully that helps where my experience is framed from.

When I print I print big 40" x 30" and up is common.

I used the GFX100S from 2019 to 2022 (unitl the X2D arrived) with a variety of GF lenses = 23, 45, 110 the most, the 50 was added for portability and I used a few of the zooms, the 32-64 the most, the rest not so much. The 250 is stellar, however I rarely used it. The GFX is a fine system and the GFX100s is a landmark camera. The 110 was the standout lens of the primes and the 50 was also very nice. The 23 and 45 were okay - corner fall-off and field curvature, etc. were not to my liking. Each GFX lens has a difference character, which some would see as a benefit, for me it gets in the way, slightly different color and micro-contrast, falloff, etc. I never used the Fuji film simulations so processing the RAWs in LRc and then printing with ImagePrint. The color of the GFX100S captures often surprised me, not that it was bad, rather just a surprise and most often the sky color was wrong. So it takes more work in post-processing with the GFX than the X2D.

Prior to the GFX the digital medium format journey was X1Dii and prior to that Leica S007 and long ago Hasselblad H3Dii - to help frame my bias.

The colors on the X2D are wonderful, the character of the XCD lenses are very "flat" - they all behave very similar to each other and to my sensibilities they have better micro contrast, are all great wide open or stopped down and the prints just have a snap that is hard to describe. Since each lens has its own shutter you theoretically can get minor variations in exposure, my set are all so close its not an issue. The black out time on the X2D with the XCD lenses is longer than the GFX with GF lenses - the leaf shutter sequencing is just longer - this might drive some folks crazy, doesn't bother me. I spent most of my photographic life with a 4x5 view camera or a Hasselblad 500 series or Flexbody.

Depending on the lens the GFX100S can focus a bit faster in some situations than the X2D, but not by much and not always, in some cases they are equal - UNLESS you need AF-c, subject tracking or eye tracking in which case the GFX wins period, however I usually turn off face tracking since the GFX finds faces all over the place when there are no humans in the scene.

The auto white balance on the X2D is stellar, in the scientific industrial settings illumination color temperature is all over the place and for some reason everyone wants science to be lit up blue :) The GFX had a really hard time with AWB and so more work in post. You don't get a lot of time to use a grey card in a lab usually.

The X2D gets where I want to go with less work - I like the colors better, the lens renditions better, the micro-contrast better and tonal separation, or maybe its graduation, better. The resolution/sharpness is a wash, although my personal view is the Hasselblad lenses are better. There is a difference between Phocus and LRc, it's subtle and it's similar to what folks observe about CaptureOne vs LRc. I get good results with LRc and superior results with Phocus. I use a fully calibrated workflow from monitor to printer to workroom lighting.

Then we get to ergonomics and usability - the X2D is clearly immature feature-wise and it will hopefully improve as the X1Dii diid over its life time. I really like the operation, menus, simplicity and design of the X2D body and XCD lenses. It is usable today for images I am trying to create just as it is. I look forward to trying the XCDV lenses at some point.

The GFX lens line up is broad and getting broader, especially with tilt-shift on the horizon. Speaking of lenses though I like the Hasselblad XCD prime progression of 21, 30, 45, 90, 135+1.7 (35mm full-frame equivalent of approx. 17, 24, 35, 70, 105, 180, which is very close to my 35mm kits of nearly half a Century of 19, 24, 35, 90, 180 and I'll bet some old-timers will guess what system that was).

The 35-75 XCD zoom is phenomenal at every focal length and aperture giving approx. 28-60, although it would have been nice to get 28-70 to really feel at home :) I do like the XCD 77mm filter size for most everything.

WRT bulk and weight, the two systems are close, however the X2D and XCD kit take up less volume and fit into a smaller bag.

With the X2D-XCD leaf shutter blackout time and sometimes slower autofocus you get a general experience that really feels like the H3dii, not as slow as a 501c, a tad slower than the S007, its not Sony, Nikon or Canon.

PeterA, yes it's a list that is longer than it should be, although the time was well spent for the manufacturer - they do know very well what is on the list :) I am glad they decided to ship since I can use it just as it is today. I enjoy using the X2D a lot.

If one is utility-decision driven then the GFX has tremendous value, if one is experience-decision driven then the X2D has a lot going for it - its all very personal, of course, and both systems can make beautiful images - these are small distinctions.

I'm hoping to post some images soon (traveling for a few more weeks).

Kind regards, Glenn
Hi Glenn, thanks for your valuable information ... could you please let us know your workflow of X2D files from camera to pc / mac? Do you download them from the camera with Phocus or with Lightroom? If you download them with Phocus, then do you process them with LR or directly with Photoshop? Thank you
Antonio
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
Jon, It is hard to separate the lenses/rendering from the camera/sensor/processing and then it all get transposed by the RAW processor, and of course it is personal and subjective - now with the disclaimers out of the way :) ........

These days I mostly shoot landscape, urban landscape, a bit of product and a bit of client work around scientific industrial - 80%+ personal work "fine art" (whatever that is :) and 20%- client, the client work is more random and more of a long standing relationship with scientific labs. I don't do portraits, wildlife, sports, "real" street or events. So hopefully that helps where my experience is framed from.

When I print I print big 40" x 30" and up is common.

I used the GFX100S from 2019 to 2022 (unitl the X2D arrived) with a variety of GF lenses = 23, 45, 110 the most, the 50 was added for portability and I used a few of the zooms, the 32-64 the most, the rest not so much. The 250 is stellar, however I rarely used it. The GFX is a fine system and the GFX100s is a landmark camera. The 110 was the standout lens of the primes and the 50 was also very nice. The 23 and 45 were okay - corner fall-off and field curvature, etc. were not to my liking. Each GFX lens has a difference character, which some would see as a benefit, for me it gets in the way, slightly different color and micro-contrast, falloff, etc. I never used the Fuji film simulations so processing the RAWs in LRc and then printing with ImagePrint. The color of the GFX100S captures often surprised me, not that it was bad, rather just a surprise and most often the sky color was wrong. So it takes more work in post-processing with the GFX than the X2D.

Prior to the GFX the digital medium format journey was X1Dii and prior to that Leica S007 and long ago Hasselblad H3Dii - to help frame my bias.

The colors on the X2D are wonderful, the character of the XCD lenses are very "flat" - they all behave very similar to each other and to my sensibilities they have better micro contrast, are all great wide open or stopped down and the prints just have a snap that is hard to describe. Since each lens has its own shutter you theoretically can get minor variations in exposure, my set are all so close its not an issue. The black out time on the X2D with the XCD lenses is longer than the GFX with GF lenses - the leaf shutter sequencing is just longer - this might drive some folks crazy, doesn't bother me. I spent most of my photographic life with a 4x5 view camera or a Hasselblad 500 series or Flexbody.

Depending on the lens the GFX100S can focus a bit faster in some situations than the X2D, but not by much and not always, in some cases they are equal - UNLESS you need AF-c, subject tracking or eye tracking in which case the GFX wins period, however I usually turn off face tracking since the GFX finds faces all over the place when there are no humans in the scene.

The auto white balance on the X2D is stellar, in the scientific industrial settings illumination color temperature is all over the place and for some reason everyone wants science to be lit up blue :) The GFX had a really hard time with AWB and so more work in post. You don't get a lot of time to use a grey card in a lab usually.

The X2D gets where I want to go with less work - I like the colors better, the lens renditions better, the micro-contrast better and tonal separation, or maybe its graduation, better. The resolution/sharpness is a wash, although my personal view is the Hasselblad lenses are better. There is a difference between Phocus and LRc, it's subtle and it's similar to what folks observe about CaptureOne vs LRc. I get good results with LRc and superior results with Phocus. I use a fully calibrated workflow from monitor to printer to workroom lighting.

Then we get to ergonomics and usability - the X2D is clearly immature feature-wise and it will hopefully improve as the X1Dii diid over its life time. I really like the operation, menus, simplicity and design of the X2D body and XCD lenses. It is usable today for images I am trying to create just as it is. I look forward to trying the XCDV lenses at some point.

The GFX lens line up is broad and getting broader, especially with tilt-shift on the horizon. Speaking of lenses though I like the Hasselblad XCD prime progression of 21, 30, 45, 90, 135+1.7 (35mm full-frame equivalent of approx. 17, 24, 35, 70, 105, 180, which is very close to my 35mm kits of nearly half a Century of 19, 24, 35, 90, 180 and I'll bet some old-timers will guess what system that was).

The 35-75 XCD zoom is phenomenal at every focal length and aperture giving approx. 28-60, although it would have been nice to get 28-70 to really feel at home :) I do like the XCD 77mm filter size for most everything.

WRT bulk and weight, the two systems are close, however the X2D and XCD kit take up less volume and fit into a smaller bag.

With the X2D-XCD leaf shutter blackout time and sometimes slower autofocus you get a general experience that really feels like the H3dii, not as slow as a 501c, a tad slower than the S007, its not Sony, Nikon or Canon.

PeterA, yes it's a list that is longer than it should be, although the time was well spent for the manufacturer - they do know very well what is on the list :) I am glad they decided to ship since I can use it just as it is today. I enjoy using the X2D a lot.

If one is utility-decision driven then the GFX has tremendous value, if one is experience-decision driven then the X2D has a lot going for it - its all very personal, of course, and both systems can make beautiful images - these are small distinctions.

I'm hoping to post some images soon (traveling for a few more weeks).

Kind regards, Glenn
Glenn,

You saved me a lot of typing! I agree 100%, although I haven't tried as many XCD lenses as you have. I'd throw in that I liked the Leica S(007) colors better than the Fuji, but the X2D and Leica S3 colors are very close in their ability to please. I still love the S lens rendering, but there's not much to complain about with the XCD's.

Matt
 

hcubell

Well-known member
The X2D gets where I want to go with less work - I like the colors better, the lens renditions better, the micro-contrast better and tonal separation, or maybe its graduation, better. The resolution/sharpness is a wash, although my personal view is the Hasselblad lenses are better. There is a difference between Phocus and LRc, it's subtle and it's similar to what folks observe about CaptureOne vs LRc. I get good results with LRc and superior results with Phocus. I use a fully calibrated workflow from monitor to printer to workroom lighting.


Kind regards, Glenn
Thanks, an excellent summary of the tradeoffs between the X2d and the GFX. However, from my experience using the X1D, the X1DII and now the X2D since the original was released in 2017, I have generally found that the differences between using LR and Phocus have been quite subtle. For any photograph that I intend to print for commercial sale, I usually process it first in LR and then in Phocus before moving it to PS for sharpening, clean up and any further work. Whatever works best as a TIFF coming out of the raw converter, I stay with. Beginning in the Fall of 2021, things changed dramatically in favor of LR with the introduction of the new masking capabilities. It is just so easy now to make precise, selective adjustments of color and tone to a photograph in LR. The more I work with these new tools and expand my understanding of the various ways to use them, the more amazed I am with what I can accomplish now in LR. The term "game changer" is so overused, but in this case, I think it is appropriate. By comparison, the selective adjustment tools in Phocus are quite primitive.
 
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Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
The point about the S glass is that it strikes a cinematic balance between sharpness / clarity and smooth rendering + buttery smooth bokeh. The lenses have a certain something to them without being clinically perfect like the newest gen lenses. If you zoom in, all the clarity is there, but with a very nice fall-off IMHO.

The S3 was just an easy fix in the sense that technology-wise beside the sensor not much changed, but the S glass will have a timeless value due to its beautiful rendering. Thalia cinema lenses (re-housed S lenses) are available in larger rental houses and used for feature films to this day.

Clearly, in light of the newer mirrorless MFD systems, a bulky and weighty S body is not so attractive anymore and just generally overpriced; so the next mirrorless body will hopefully remedy this and I sincerley hope they stay below 15k.

I will keep every single S lens as they will be fully compatible and slowly add to that the new S4 lenses. I suspect one can expect class-leading performance at eye-watering price as soon as the new system comes in 24 ...

Peter Karbe's contract has been extended I hear in view of these remaining milestone lens projects: next-gen M lenses, next-gen S.

Don't forget that the S lenses were designed in the mirror-based age and this in combination with the SL optics is just a glimpse of what's to come with the S4.

Would expect 2.0 apertures, edge to edge sharpness with no trace of CA whatsoever, fast AF, etc. - but at a very high price and still some way off. Basically a marriage of the SL optics and the S optics ...

Exciting times ahead, especially if one can expect all Leica glass to be compatible with the S4 - M, SL, S, S4 glass ... in a premium build with Panasonic EVF / video tech in it on top. For persons invested in the Leica world the S4 will be the unifying system camera - which is something to look forward to.
 
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Jon, It is hard to separate the lenses/rendering from the camera/sensor/processing and then it all get transposed by the RAW processor, and of course it is personal and subjective - now with the disclaimers out of the way :) ........

These days I mostly shoot landscape, urban landscape, a bit of product and a bit of client work around scientific industrial - 80%+ personal work "fine art" (whatever that is :) and 20%- client, the client work is more random and more of a long standing relationship with scientific labs. I don't do portraits, wildlife, sports, "real" street or events. So hopefully that helps where my experience is framed from.

When I print I print big 40" x 30" and up is common.

I used the GFX100S from 2019 to 2022 (unitl the X2D arrived) with a variety of GF lenses = 23, 45, 110 the most, the 50 was added for portability and I used a few of the zooms, the 32-64 the most, the rest not so much. The 250 is stellar, however I rarely used it. The GFX is a fine system and the GFX100s is a landmark camera. The 110 was the standout lens of the primes and the 50 was also very nice. The 23 and 45 were okay - corner fall-off and field curvature, etc. were not to my liking. Each GFX lens has a difference character, which some would see as a benefit, for me it gets in the way, slightly different color and micro-contrast, falloff, etc. I never used the Fuji film simulations so processing the RAWs in LRc and then printing with ImagePrint. The color of the GFX100S captures often surprised me, not that it was bad, rather just a surprise and most often the sky color was wrong. So it takes more work in post-processing with the GFX than the X2D.

Prior to the GFX the digital medium format journey was X1Dii and prior to that Leica S007 and long ago Hasselblad H3Dii - to help frame my bias.

The colors on the X2D are wonderful, the character of the XCD lenses are very "flat" - they all behave very similar to each other and to my sensibilities they have better micro contrast, are all great wide open or stopped down and the prints just have a snap that is hard to describe. Since each lens has its own shutter you theoretically can get minor variations in exposure, my set are all so close its not an issue. The black out time on the X2D with the XCD lenses is longer than the GFX with GF lenses - the leaf shutter sequencing is just longer - this might drive some folks crazy, doesn't bother me. I spent most of my photographic life with a 4x5 view camera or a Hasselblad 500 series or Flexbody.

Depending on the lens the GFX100S can focus a bit faster in some situations than the X2D, but not by much and not always, in some cases they are equal - UNLESS you need AF-c, subject tracking or eye tracking in which case the GFX wins period, however I usually turn off face tracking since the GFX finds faces all over the place when there are no humans in the scene.

The auto white balance on the X2D is stellar, in the scientific industrial settings illumination color temperature is all over the place and for some reason everyone wants science to be lit up blue :) The GFX had a really hard time with AWB and so more work in post. You don't get a lot of time to use a grey card in a lab usually.

The X2D gets where I want to go with less work - I like the colors better, the lens renditions better, the micro-contrast better and tonal separation, or maybe its graduation, better. The resolution/sharpness is a wash, although my personal view is the Hasselblad lenses are better. There is a difference between Phocus and LRc, it's subtle and it's similar to what folks observe about CaptureOne vs LRc. I get good results with LRc and superior results with Phocus. I use a fully calibrated workflow from monitor to printer to workroom lighting.

Then we get to ergonomics and usability - the X2D is clearly immature feature-wise and it will hopefully improve as the X1Dii diid over its life time. I really like the operation, menus, simplicity and design of the X2D body and XCD lenses. It is usable today for images I am trying to create just as it is. I look forward to trying the XCDV lenses at some point.

The GFX lens line up is broad and getting broader, especially with tilt-shift on the horizon. Speaking of lenses though I like the Hasselblad XCD prime progression of 21, 30, 45, 90, 135+1.7 (35mm full-frame equivalent of approx. 17, 24, 35, 70, 105, 180, which is very close to my 35mm kits of nearly half a Century of 19, 24, 35, 90, 180 and I'll bet some old-timers will guess what system that was).

The 35-75 XCD zoom is phenomenal at every focal length and aperture giving approx. 28-60, although it would have been nice to get 28-70 to really feel at home :) I do like the XCD 77mm filter size for most everything.

WRT bulk and weight, the two systems are close, however the X2D and XCD kit take up less volume and fit into a smaller bag.

With the X2D-XCD leaf shutter blackout time and sometimes slower autofocus you get a general experience that really feels like the H3dii, not as slow as a 501c, a tad slower than the S007, its not Sony, Nikon or Canon.

PeterA, yes it's a list that is longer than it should be, although the time was well spent for the manufacturer - they do know very well what is on the list :) I am glad they decided to ship since I can use it just as it is today. I enjoy using the X2D a lot.

If one is utility-decision driven then the GFX has tremendous value, if one is experience-decision driven then the X2D has a lot going for it - its all very personal, of course, and both systems can make beautiful images - these are small distinctions.

I'm hoping to post some images soon (traveling for a few more weeks).

Kind regards, Glenn
Hi Glenn,

Many thanks for your very comprehensive and helpful comment - it is much appreciated, and gives me plenty to consider.
 

glennedens

Active member
Antonio, my workflow continually evolves since the software keeps changing. I am Apple Mac-based. Back in the H3Dii-39 days LR didn't handle 3FR files, until around 2009 or so (memory is foggy on exact date) LR (ACR) could import the 3FR file but not apply the corrections that Phocus could, ultimately (around 2010 or maybe 2011, again I forget exactly) Hasselblad and Adobe worked together to add the ability for LR (ACR) to interpret the 3FR file AND the calibration meta-data and do a much better job of RAW conversion. Both Adobe and Hasselblad have continued to improve their RAW conversion algorithms with Hassy at Version 3 and LRc at Version 6 (or what?). So they are very close today. The days of 3FR to 3F to TIFF are behind us, and DNG was a dead-end detour at that time. It was a rough road, LR would do horrible things to sky or solid color areas (weird tiling patterns) and the CCD segment balancing could often get weird (green on one side and magenta on the other) - it all eventually got fixed and from what I remember by early 2013 it was fine (lucky since I had a large solo show at that time :)

My workflow most of the time is just to import 3FR files into LRc and usually stay in LRc until print or publish, with the odd trip to/from Photoshop (getting rare). I do use a number of plugins with LRc, Topaz and Nik are often useful.

However, not always, sometimes, and I seem to have developed a sixth sense for when, deciding that LRc is not working - then I go to Phocus, do as much as possible and then export TIFF to LRc for the final step. My observation is that Phocus can do a better job on the 3FR files - particularly on landscapes with a lot of subtle Earth tones and/or large deep shadow areas, even to this day, and I like the noise processing in the shadows better with Phocus.

While we know Hasselblad and Adobe collaborated, we don't know if Adobe just took Hasselblad's code for RAW conversion wholesale or if they implemented their own algorithms once they understood the 3FR file and calibration data structures. I've never been able to get a clear answer and at one time had a lot of inside access. For web presentation or typical print publishing the differences are irrelevant, for hand crafted prints and using ImagePrint and their carefully crafted paper profiles I can see a difference between LRc and Phocus, Phocus is usually better. I mostly print Bayrta and some Matte papers. Heck if you are printing Canvas then Apple Photos is fine :)

I haven't done any work with the X2D tethered yet. AND as a final disclaimer I just haven't had the X2D long enough yet to really know, a lot of this is maybe bias driven from my X1Dii and CFVii50c experience. Hope this is useful, kind regards, Glenn
 
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byanto49

New member
Antonio, my workflow continually evolves since the software keeps changing. I am Apple Mac-based. Back in the H3Dii-39 days LR didn't handle 3FR files, until around 2009 or so (memory is foggy on exact date) LR (ACR) could import the 3FR file but not apply the corrections that Phocus could, ultimately (around 2010 or maybe 2011, again I forget exactly) Hasselblad and Adobe worked together to add the ability for LR (ACR) to interpret the 3FR file AND the calibration meta-data and do a much better job of RAW conversion. Both Adobe and Hasselblad have continued to improve their RAW conversion algorithms with Hassy at Version 3 and LRc at Version 6 (or what?). So they are very close today. The days of 3FR to 3F to TIFF are behind us, and DNG was a dead-end detour at that time. It was a rough road, LR would do horrible things to sky or solid color areas (weird tiling patterns) and the CCD segment balancing could often get weird (green on one side and magenta on the other) - it all eventually got fixed and from what I remember by early 2013 it was fine (lucky since I had a large solo show at that time :)

My workflow most of the time is just to import 3FR files into LRc and usually stay in LRc until print or publish, with the odd trip to/from Photoshop (getting rare). I do use a number of plugins with LRc, Topaz and Nik are often useful.

However, not always, sometimes, and I seem to have developed a sixth sense for when, deciding that LRc is not working - then I go to Phocus, do as much as possible and then export TIFF to LRc for the final step. My observation is that Phocus can do a better job on the 3FR files - particularly on landscapes with a lot of subtle Earth tones and/or large deep shadow areas, even to this day, and I like the noise processing in the shadows better with Phocus.

While we know Hasselblad and Adobe collaborated, we don't know if Adobe just took Hasselblad's code for RAW conversion wholesale or if they implemented their own algorithms once they understood the 3FR file and calibration data structures. I've never been able to get a clear answer and at one time had a lot of inside access. For web presentation or typical print publishing the differences are irrelevant, for hand crafted prints and using ImagePrint and their carefully crafted paper profiles I can see a difference between LRc and Phocus, Phocus is usually better. I mostly print Bayrta and some Matte papers. Heck if you are printing Canvas then Apple Photos is fine :)

I haven't done any work with the X2D tethered yet. AND as a final disclaimer I just haven't had the X2D long enough yet to really know, a lot of this is maybe bias driven from my X1Dii and CFVii50c experience. Hope this is useful, kind regards, Glenn
thank you very much for your kind reply...i recently switched to Hasselblad and have always used LR as the center of my workflow, but i saw that downloading the files with Phocus the size was smaller and this would be a good advantage
 

hcubell

Well-known member
thank you very much for your kind reply...i recently switched to Hasselblad and have always used LR as the center of my workflow, but i saw that downloading the files with Phocus the size was smaller and this would be a good advantage
Yes, and if you download X2D files off your memory card or the internal SSD using LR, they will be downloaded as 3FR files. Then, if there is a file in your LR catalog that you want to process in Phocus, you have to use Phocus to import that 3FR file as a new .fff file for Phocus, as Phocus will not process a 3FR file. You then end up with two large raw files, a 3FR file and a .fff file. The best practice, IMO, is to download files from your memory card or SSD to the desired folder using Phocus to import them, which will download the files as .fff files. You can then import them into your LR catalog. LR reads .fff files as well as as 3FR files. Phocus, OTOH, only processes .fff files.
 

glennedens

Active member
Yes, Howard brings up a critical point. The fff files are lossless compressed so you save a lot of disk space. Howard, do you know if ALL of the calibration data is maintained in the fff files? I've never tested that and I will when I'm back home. I would guess the answer is yes. LRc of course ignores the Phocus edit metadata that is stored in the fff file so if you make edits in Phocus they will not be carried over to LRc via the fff file. (which is why I do not use Howard's suggested workflow, I tend to forget what got edited where, although this has more to do with how I structure files in LRc, which is by folders by date by subject, i.e., "2022-10-30 Santa Fe National Forest" - of course everyone has their own methodology)

I'm lucky to not have to worry about disk space, yet :)
 

hcubell

Well-known member
I assume that all of the calibration data in the 3FR file is preserved in the .fff file, as Phocus, which is Hasselblad's own proprietary software for Hasselblad digital files, can only process a .fff file.
While LR can't read the edits made in Phocus, the same is true in the opposite direction. Phocus can't read LR edits. So, when I look at a certain file in LR, I know I am only looking at the file with LR edits, and vice versa. However, this means that you can't directly compare a Hasselblad raw file with LR edits and the same file with Phocus edits in LR or in Phocus. You either have to keep both programs open side by side, or you can convert the two versions into TIFFs to compare in PS. This workflow works for me, because, while I shoot a lot, I process relatively few files. Just what I think is worthy of print as fine art output.
I have never been able to get a clear answer as to what Phocus can do to "interpret" a Hasselblad raw file compared to LR. I only recall that Phocus may have more comprehensive lens calibration data
I also never sharpen for output in either LR or Phocus. I have been using Focus Magic on TIFF files exported to PS since 2005 or so, and more recently, Topaz Sharpen AI.
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
I just compared some Phocus imported fff files to LR processed 3FR files. After moving the LR settings and masks over, they were identical enough that I deleted the LR originals. But then I only used Phocus as an importer. 50MB savings per file adds up, why it's saves a TB in only ... twenty ... thousand ...🤔... er, never mind.

Seriously, I'm happy to see it.
 
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