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Managing Hasselblad X-System files

davidrm

New member
Hi all

I'm interested in hearing how X-System owners handle file management, as the workflow has some peculiarities.

First, there's the question of converting to FFF or not. The advantage of this is smaller file size, but then the only way to achieve ii is via Phocus. And Phocus seems to have no serious tools at all for file ingestion. There is no way to dynamically set folders /sub-folders for ingestion, no series renaming tools... nothing. I can't understand how Pros live with this.

At the moment I'm importing 3FRs in Phocus, saving the FFFs into a flat folder, from where I then import them into a managed structure. I do further processing in Lightroom, but even Lightroom has some limitations (for me) on file ingestion. So, at the moment I'm using PhotoSupreme to import the FFFs and insert them into my catalog structure. Probably if I was using just the X1D it would be less of an issue, but I'm using several cameras and I want a common catalog.

PhotoSupreme in theory serves well as a central hub / DAM / Manager, but it is slow and has a horribly cryptic UI. Unlike other DAM applications (MediaPro RIP for example), it isn't fleet enough to make it fun to use, and so to play around and discover relationships between photos. But it DOES work with .FFF and .3FR files, which some others (especially Photo Mechanic) do not.

In fact that's a side issue - Camera Bits Support insists that Hasselblad files do not include JPEG previews. From what I've seen I have my doubts on that - not only PhotoSupreme, but others, e.g. FastRawViewer display previews which certainly seem to have X1D colour profiles baked in, and I don't know they could do that without embedded JPEGs.

But anyway, I'd be interested to hear about other strategies for managing X-System files. Maybe I'm missing something with Phocus? Maybe there is another way to convert .3FR to .FFF? Maybe DNG via Adobe DNG Converter is the way to go (does it "know" about Hasselblad colour calibration?)

So many questions... so little time.

David.
 

darr

Well-known member
I directly import my .3FR files into Lightroom (LR) without issue. My personal LR catalog is approaching 77k files, and I have a different catalog for commercial work stored on a seperate drive that I can easily call up and work on; I find LR's cataloging system very versatile for my needs.

I post process all my images in LR and Photoshop (PS) and use Phocus only for tethering when necessary, but I avoid using it because I learned a long time ago to keep things simple. I was an original beta tester for LR in its early days, and taught it in the classroom for years and find it quick and easy to use for all my camera file needs including digitizing film. I occasionally read on this forum where members experience problems with LR. Maybe because I taught LR and saw the repeated mistakes users encounter from lack of experience, I tend to feel LR users do not spend enough time learning a good workflow. Skipping around to various programs can be part of a learning process, but at a valuable cost of lost time and confusion IMO. If you want to learn LR, spend a solid month using it daily for at least an hour or two. Find a good set of tutorial videos and make friends with it as IMO it will be well worth the time and expense.

There is no other easier, cleaner and quicker way to maintain, organize, search/find, process, import/export, print, keyword, web process, and store my files other than LR.

Best to you,
Darr
 

davidrm

New member
Thanks for your reply, Darr.

I agree with you about the qualities of Lr, it's the core of my workflow and I think I pretty much know it inside out. I've been using since the early public Beta, although I don't use it exclusively. I'm afraid I used That Other Application until it got abandoned. It was even better than Lr at pretty much all those things :cool:

But there's about 20% size difference between 3FRs and FFFs, and although disk space isn't that much of an issue these days, it does still mount up. So I'm a little reluctant to import 3FRs direct into Lr. On top of that I have some Raw files that Lr does not support, so to maintain a fully integrated catalog I have to look elsewhere.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
I keep it simple like Darr: LR holds everything and is the center of my image processing workflow. I also taught LR use and image management in the now-distant past. The file size issue simply isn't much, although you could if you wanted process your files through Phocus if you value the FFF format's slightly smaller footprint. With a 6T drive costing now barely more than a 100Mbyte SD card did a decade ago, I haven't worried about file size in quite a while.

I have been learning Phocus and think there are some situations where it does a slightly better job than LR. But as a practical matter, I get so much done so efficiently with LR it is very very difficult to find something that can compete with it across the board.

G
 

P. Chong

Well-known member
I convert the files from 3FR to FFF in Phocus, export as either TIFF for print or JPEG for web. The files are then worked on Bridge and Photoshop.

I prefer the raw conversion in Phocus as the optical corrections are way better than in Br or Lr. And I would imagine any third party converter.
 

spb

Well-known member
I am using Phocus and export as TIFF to print or to open in Affinity Photo or JPG (for web)
 

davidrm

New member
I convert the files from 3FR to FFF in Phocus, export as either TIFF for print or JPEG for web. The files are then worked on Bridge and Photoshop.

I prefer the raw conversion in Phocus as the optical corrections are way better than in Br or Lr. And I would imagine any third party converter.
Are the optical corrections applied to the FFF files? I guess probably not... What other corrections would you apply in Phocus?
 

FloatingLens

Active member
I prefer the raw conversion in Phocus as the optical corrections are way better than in Br or Lr. And I would imagine any third party converter.
I second that. Especially because Phocus gives you all those corrections even for the most exotic V system glass, should you ever need it.
 

fmueller

Member
I came from a Fuji and I was a Capture One user and I really wish I could continue with Capture One. They just lost me as a loyal customer, that did every upgrade, for their lack of support for my 907x. I'm not mad, just irked. Truth is, I can process to identical results in LR although sometimes the approach is a little different and I have had to bring myself back up to speed with LR processing. I have always run LR parallel with Capture One because of the more robust DAM in LR, so when I started using the Hasselblad I needed to make a choice. Would I go through a more complicated, but doable, process to get my files into Capture One or just stay in Lightroom. I chose the more streamlined process and keep it in Lightroom. If I can't make the image work starting in Lightroom, the problem is the image, not the software. Keep it simple.

I played with Phocus, it's really very capable software, but of course has no DAM capabilities, so the files still need to be organized elsewhere. A viable strategy is to do a first run through Phocus and output the results into a folder that serves as the starting point where you ingest into Lightroom for asset management, finishing, printing, etc..
 
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Godfrey

Well-known member
I second that. Especially because Phocus gives you all those corrections even for the most exotic V system glass, should you ever need it.
Yes: That's one reason why I want to learn Phocus ... when I'm shooting with the back fitted to a 500CM, or fitted via the XV Adapter. The corrections, while not huge, do help.

G
 

davidrm

New member
If I can't make the image work starting in Lightroom, the problem is the image, not the software.
That is an extremely good point :). Differences, although they exist, are very rarely make or break except in specific circumstances (e.g ultra high ISO)

I played with Phocus, it's really very capable software, but of course has no DAM capabilities, so the files still need to be organized elsewhere. A viable strategy is to do a first run through Phocus and output the results into a folder that serves as the starting point where you ingest into Lightroom for asset management, finishing, printing, etc..
Yep. This is more or less what I'm doing, but at present only to convert 3FR to FFF, so maintaining Raw format in Lr. I suppose 16 bit TIFFs, with any shadow/highlight recovery done in Phocus, could offer some small quality boost. But.... see your point above :)
 

scho

Well-known member
Yes: That's one reason why I want to learn Phocus ... when I'm shooting with the back fitted to a 500CM, or fitted via the XV Adapter. The corrections, while not huge, do help.

G
Just curious, why are Hasselblad V lens profiles not available in Lightroom? The H and XCD profiles are there.
 

hcubell

Active member
I use LR for my DAM, and process images for export to PS in both Phocus and LR. I first open a Folder on my external HD for storing the images I want to download off a card and label it based upon location and date. I load the card, and then I use Phocus to import the files into the desired Folder .fff files. Then, I go to LR and import the folder into my Catalog, leaving the image files where they are. Finally, I will evaluate them in LR. If I like an image enough to work on it, which rarely happens, I will process it in LR. However, I often try Phocus as well. This works for me as I don't really do heavy work on that many images. Just what I may want to add to my portfolio and possibly print for sale. I can't really say whether the conversions in Phocus are discernibly better than LR, but LR does have more features like color and luminosity range masks that are very useful to me. I find LR very easy to use.
 
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