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Hasselblad X2D first impressions

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
Well, there’s no auto-mode like doing magical things on every image individually. But you can setup some fixed corrections you like and apply them automatically while importing fff files. So you can create a setup for example for each lens or indoor an outdoor....

I don’t like it, because I want do start from a more or less uncorrected version.
The problem is that there is no such thing as an uncorrected version. There's only letting the camera do whatever it wants (and even setting everything to manual just reduces some of the more obvious things). But don't worry, I never leave an interesting photo un-messed with. It's usually "so that's what's in the shadows. How much of that do I want to keep and where?"

Like any workflow, practice removes most annoyances. I just never got beyond the "Ugh. I don't know what it can do and I don't know where anything is" stage with Phocus. When I was in my 20's, I would learn a new tool until I could reassemble it blindfolded. I've gotten lazy, and computers are fast, so I let them do some of the lifting, heavy or not. Without Scott Kelby's books, I would never have gotten anywhere with PS. Now THAT environment is a mess - it's like one of those ultra-powerful amalgams of aliens who have gone insane over the millennia.

So here I am, looking seriously at Phocus because the X2D is taking over my photographic life, and I'm considering searching YouTube for tips and tricks. How low is that? :cool:

Matt

PS. The focus aid in live view is absolutely brilliant. Now we just need live view....
 

Geoff

Well-known member
I share your frustration. The little bit I've used Phocus, it provides really nice tonal control, seems more delicate in its handling of colors than LR (not a lot, but noticeable). But try maintaining both BW and color versions (done in C1 simply by using cloning), its a total mystery in Phocus. Some larger organizational approaches have to be understood (someone once tried to explain them...) and they just boggle the mind. Haven't seen more complicated software in a long time - it makes sense, if one only looks at one step and then another, in an odd way. When all together, however, the working environment is mind-boggling, with a big up front learning curve, just to understand where things are and how to work them.... oh what one would do for a major rewrite.
 

usm

Active member
Check out the Adjustment Browser. Normally it records each step, but you can use it differently. When turning off, you can manually save an image state (let’s say a bw version) and recall it later.

After two years of learning, it is a way off being perfect. But it is straight forward when working with an image. It has less tools and functionality then others, but this is what makes it better and faster in my eyes.
Changing the environment or let’s say the perspective always helps!
 

DavidJA

Member
I’ve had my X2D for a few weeks now. Between work and travel I haven’t done a deep dive yet but I have some initial impressions. So here comes a lengthy ramble.

First of all - I don’t expect this to be a mirrorless camera. I will not grumble about the lack of eye AF or tracking. But do I want it? - oh hell yeah. I bought this for portraits and those are amazing tools. I hope they come soon.

I plan to use this for portraits shooting tethered. And other stuff of course, but that’s the main thing.

- I’m left eye dominant. Using the touch screen to move the focus point while shoving my thumb knuckle up my nose is not ideal. If I move the camera away from my face to move the AF point it switches screens, yes I can turn that off and just use the viewfinder. I’m still getting used to this. Eye and tracking AF would remedy this nicely.
- The door to the USB port should be removable. For hand held portrait shooting while tethered it will be a hindrance. Or get broken.
- While tethered shooting I would like to save to camera and computer, it’s too bad Phocus doesn’t allow that. AFAIK anyway. Please tell me I’m wrong on that.
- I don’t care it doesn’t have a remote trigger. I haven’t used one for years. (Except on an 8x10) The timer is fine for me. But I get why people do.
- I don’t care about GPS - but understand why some do.

The good stuff
- this camera feels amazing, it makes me want to grab it and take pictures. I love the menu, or should I say the lack of menu. The elegance and simplicity is fantastic.
- The size is perfect. I also shoot with Canons, so to compare my R5 with 50mm f1.2 to the X2D with 55mm - the Hassy is fantastic. Well balanced and a pleasure to shoot with.
- The image quality is fantastic. But truth be told, so many cameras have amazing image quality now and our tools for post production are amazing as well. I do think I will spend less time in post with these files than I do with my Canon files.
- I have followed other posts in setting it up for back button AF. More than moving the AF I have been focusing and recomposing. Shooting wide open with the 80 f1.9 I occasionally got eyeglasses or the further eye sharp instead of the forward eye. Not ideal but to be expected from any AF that doesn’t have eye AF. For assigned work I will shoot with more depth of field and based on my testing so far I think the results will be acceptable.
- Tethered shooting is quandary. I will likely go back and forth between Canon and Hassy (for architecture I shoot Phase on Cambo). I use Capture One. Capture One and the Canon do not get along as well as I’d like, I get frequent drops. But I like it better than Camranger which gets very frequent drops or seems to always need something set up in such a particular way to function. So I suppose I will shoot tethered with Phocus and C1 open to accommodate both cameras. Or I will decide which is primary and shoot the other untethered. Having both running will drive my assistant a little nuts, he has no experience with Phocus but all it’s for is checking focus and exposure so it should be fine.

All in all I like it very much. The tactile experience from my camera is important to me. The ease of menus, The simplicity of design. All factors I love. I had Sony for a bit but the menus were frustrating, my Canon R5 is an amazing tool but in the hand it does not bring the same feeling as the Hassy.

______________________
David Agnello Photography
307 690 9291
www.davidagnello.com
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
So far, the only thing I've identified where Phocus seems too far behind LR for my use is BW conversion. I rely heavily on the LR's 8 channel color response to selectively mangle a beautiful color image into a badly over-processed B&W one. I wonder if one could perform a combination of color range selection and B&W conversion.
(I just tried it and don't see a way... But for color, doing color stuff and Luma curve in Phocus and then exporting to LR does, indeed, beat the pants off starting in LR. But 600MB TIFF files. Aaaargh....)

I also didn't realize that pre-firmware 18 HC lenses could never AF with the X2D. Oops. Once again, a reason to stick with native lenses, even if the adapted lens is made by the same manufacturer. Sadly, I've NEVER seen an XCD 135+1.7x on the used market. Just got a 120 macro, as that was my second most used focal length on the Leica S.
 
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Thorkil

Well-known member
I’ve had my X2D for a few weeks now. Between work and travel I haven’t done a deep dive yet but I have some initial impressions. So here comes a lengthy ramble.

First of all - I don’t expect this to be a mirrorless camera. I will not grumble about the lack of eye AF or tracking. But do I want it? - oh hell yeah. I bought this for portraits and those are amazing tools. I hope they come soon.

I plan to use this for portraits shooting tethered. And other stuff of course, but that’s the main thing.

- I’m left eye dominant. Using the touch screen to move the focus point while shoving my thumb knuckle up my nose is not ideal. If I move the camera away from my face to move the AF point it switches screens, yes I can turn that off and just use the viewfinder. I’m still getting used to this. Eye and tracking AF would remedy this nicely.
- The door to the USB port should be removable. For hand held portrait shooting while tethered it will be a hindrance. Or get broken.
- While tethered shooting I would like to save to camera and computer, it’s too bad Phocus doesn’t allow that. AFAIK anyway. Please tell me I’m wrong on that.
- I don’t care it doesn’t have a remote trigger. I haven’t used one for years. (Except on an 8x10) The timer is fine for me. But I get why people do.
- I don’t care about GPS - but understand why some do.

The good stuff
- this camera feels amazing, it makes me want to grab it and take pictures. I love the menu, or should I say the lack of menu. The elegance and simplicity is fantastic.
- The size is perfect. I also shoot with Canons, so to compare my R5 with 50mm f1.2 to the X2D with 55mm - the Hassy is fantastic. Well balanced and a pleasure to shoot with.
- The image quality is fantastic. But truth be told, so many cameras have amazing image quality now and our tools for post production are amazing as well. I do think I will spend less time in post with these files than I do with my Canon files.
- I have followed other posts in setting it up for back button AF. More than moving the AF I have been focusing and recomposing. Shooting wide open with the 80 f1.9 I occasionally got eyeglasses or the further eye sharp instead of the forward eye. Not ideal but to be expected from any AF that doesn’t have eye AF. For assigned work I will shoot with more depth of field and based on my testing so far I think the results will be acceptable.
- Tethered shooting is quandary. I will likely go back and forth between Canon and Hassy (for architecture I shoot Phase on Cambo). I use Capture One. Capture One and the Canon do not get along as well as I’d like, I get frequent drops. But I like it better than Camranger which gets very frequent drops or seems to always need something set up in such a particular way to function. So I suppose I will shoot tethered with Phocus and C1 open to accommodate both cameras. Or I will decide which is primary and shoot the other untethered. Having both running will drive my assistant a little nuts, he has no experience with Phocus but all it’s for is checking focus and exposure so it should be fine.

All in all I like it very much. The tactile experience from my camera is important to me. The ease of menus, The simplicity of design. All factors I love. I had Sony for a bit but the menus were frustrating, my Canon R5 is an amazing tool but in the hand it does not bring the same feeling as the Hassy.

______________________
David Agnello Photography
307 690 9291
www.davidagnello.com
Thank you, the subjective viewpoint and conclusion are of huge importance
KR Thorkil
 

PapaJoe

Member
Sadly, I've NEVER seen an XCD 135+1.7x on the used market. Just got a 120 macro, as that was my second most used focal length on the Leica S.
I bought a used XCD 135mm recently on the Fred Miranda site. Then I bought a used 1.7x teleconverter from Roberts Camera that had been advertised on eBay. Some XCD lenses seem as scarce as moon rocks (135mm, 21mm) and some are plentiful (45P, 45mm, 65mm, 90mm). I've been looking for a good copy of the 21mm for some time and haven't found one yet.

Papa Joe
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
I bought a used XCD 135mm recently on the Fred Miranda site. Then I bought a used 1.7x teleconverter from Roberts Camera that had been advertised on eBay. Some XCD lenses seem as scarce as moon rocks (135mm, 21mm) and some are plentiful (45P, 45mm, 65mm, 90mm). I've been looking for a good copy of the 21mm for some time and haven't found one yet.

Papa Joe
There's a 21mm on eBay right now for $3500.
 

tcdeveau

Well-known member
FWIW I've found the best time to buy used XCD lenses to be when Hasselblad "doom and gloom" chatter starts to build steam around the internet. . .give it a few months and the X2D excitement will die down and the doom and gloom news cycle will return - along with more used XCD lenses and bodies :)

I've been debating if I need the 21mm (again) and the 135/TC myself for a trip I have planned in May. . .
 

Photon42

Well-known member
The problem is that there is no such thing as an uncorrected version. There's only letting the camera do whatever it wants (and even setting everything to manual just reduces some of the more obvious things). But don't worry, I never leave an interesting photo un-messed with. It's usually "so that's what's in the shadows. How much of that do I want to keep and where?"

Like any workflow, practice removes most annoyances. I just never got beyond the "Ugh. I don't know what it can do and I don't know where anything is" stage with Phocus. When I was in my 20's, I would learn a new tool until I could reassemble it blindfolded. I've gotten lazy, and computers are fast, so I let them do some of the lifting, heavy or not. Without Scott Kelby's books, I would never have gotten anywhere with PS. Now THAT environment is a mess - it's like one of those ultra-powerful amalgams of aliens who have gone insane over the millennia.

So here I am, looking seriously at Phocus because the X2D is taking over my photographic life, and I'm considering searching YouTube for tips and tricks. How low is that? :cool:

Matt

PS. The focus aid in live view is absolutely brilliant. Now we just need live view....
Have a look here:

Anything specific you want to know?
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
Have a look here:

Anything specific you want to know?
Thank you for the link. So far, the only thing I can't see how to do is B&W conversion that isn't stuck in 2003. I tried layers, but B&W isn't included. I suppose I could process the colors themselves and then convert. I'll have to experiment. (Oh, the BW conversion is good for portrait photographers. Now it makes sense. Doesn't help me, though.)

Watching a tutorial and doing every step along with the video has helped a lot and I no longer feel lost. Capture One's advantage over Adobe was always color. And Phocus, for Hassy, is even better. So I'm serious about learning it.
 
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Steve Hendrix

Well-known member
Yeah, I saw that one and made an offer. They've been selling for $2,300-$2,750 on FM. As Todd suggested, I'll wait for a motivated seller.

Papa Joe

We do have a significant amount of Hasselblad Certified Pre-Owned Gear (mostly lenses, but a few bodies) at excellent prices. With full warranty, with CI Certification.

https://digitalback.com/collections/hasselblad-pre-owned

We also have more than the above link that we have scheduled for certification this week, including 907x, 21mm/30mm/45mm/65mm/80mm XCD Lenses that we recently took in trade. We should have prices and listings for those later today/tomorrow.

Oh! We also have a somewhat rare unicorn, the 1.7TC for XCD, which can only be purchased new at the same time one is purchasing the 135mm as one single sku. I have one of these in my demo inventory, standalone for $800.


Steve Hendrix/CI
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
Oh! We also have a somewhat rare unicorn, the 1.7TC for XCD, which can only be purchased new at the same time one is purchasing the 135mm as one single sku. I have one of these in my demo inventory, standalone for $800.

Steve Hendrix/CI
That would be great if there were a 135/2.8 to go with it. :) . Let me know if the combo shows up,

Matt
 

spb

Well-known member
Staff member
But try maintaining both BW and color versions (done in C1 simply by using cloning), its a total mystery in Phocus.
The only way I know to do that on my Mac is to drop into Finder and copy and paste the image to credit the duplicate. Then go back into Phocus and make changes to B & W. Not as neat as with C1 granted but equally doable.
 

mristuccia

Well-known member
I share your frustration. The little bit I've used Phocus, it provides really nice tonal control, seems more delicate in its handling of colors than LR (not a lot, but noticeable). But try maintaining both BW and color versions (done in C1 simply by using cloning), its a total mystery in Phocus. Some larger organizational approaches have to be understood (someone once tried to explain them...) and they just boggle the mind. Haven't seen more complicated software in a long time - it makes sense, if one only looks at one step and then another, in an odd way. When all together, however, the working environment is mind-boggling, with a big up front learning curve, just to understand where things are and how to work them.... oh what one would do for a major rewrite.
Check out the Adjustment Browser. Normally it records each step, but you can use it differently. When turning off, you can manually save an image state (let’s say a bw version) and recall it later.

After two years of learning, it is a way off being perfect. But it is straight forward when working with an image. It has less tools and functionality then others, but this is what makes it better and faster in my eyes.
Changing the environment or let’s say the perspective always helps!
The only way I know to do that on my Mac is to drop into Finder and copy and paste the image to credit the duplicate. Then go back into Phocus and make changes to B & W. Not as neat as with C1 granted but equally doable.
Here is a simple video showing the way I'm using for "kinda" having clones, like USM said.
The good thing is that all versions are saved inside the file, so you can carry the file onto other PCs and still have all versions along.


You'd need to set the "Save Adjustments" preference to either "Ask before saving" or "Manually" in order not to have each modification step automatically saved in the adjustments list. This way you save only when you want to freeze a version.
If you set the preference to "Manually" though, you'll need to remember to save the latest changes into the adjustment list before switching to another image or closing Phocus, otherwise you'll loose them.

Screenshot 2022-12-08 at 21.42.34.jpg

EDIT:
Apologies. In the original video the wrong list has been shown. Now I've corrected it. The right list of the Adjustments Browser is under the "Embedded" tab, not under the "User" one. The "User" list contains the global custom user adjustments, while the "Embedded" list contains the saved adjustments specific to one image.
 
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