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Phase One XT

Greg Haag

Well-known member
I scanned the threads for discussion on Phase One's XT and I had a hard time find much. Is this because it is so new or has the response not been good? Have there been any good unbiased reviews someone might point me to.
Thanks in advance,
Greg
 

Mexecutioner

Active member
I scanned the threads for discussion on Phase One's XT and I had a hard time find much. Is this because it is so new or has the response not been good? Have there been any good unbiased reviews someone might point me to.
Thanks in advance,
Greg
My guess is not many have pulled the trigger on it as they already had tech cameras satisfying their needs. I'd like one but I went kinda crazy this year already so I'm gonna wait a bit.
 

kdphotography

Well-known member
I think the XT is still too new for any actual user reports beyond the anecdotal "I tried/saw it" at a Phase/Dealer event/exhibit. I'm not sure if anyone has had their XT order fulfilled yet??

I like that the XT is lighter than my Cambo WRS 1600. The x-shutter is really the big item of note. I'm happy with my WRS1600. But that Cambo WRS 72|50 sure is pretty...

Are you considering transitioning to the Phase XT, Greg?

ken
 

dchew

Well-known member
Greg,
There are the two original threads from CI and DT:
https://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium...one-xt-camera-revelations-considerations.html

https://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium...dern-field-camera-x-shutter-new-firmware.html

The second thread veers into the weeds, but there is some good info in both. In general, I agree with Ken's post. It is a young system that currently lacks a few things:
  • A range of lenses. There are currently only three: the 23hr, 32hr and 70hr. Obviously they will build that out. I expect the 90hrsw to be next on the list, then either the 50hr or the 138 float.
  • No tilt.
  • 12mm shift range.

Because of the list above, I think the current primary target market is not existing technical camera users due to the shift/tilt limitations. Instead, I think it is XF users who want the option for a lighter system and who have stayed away from technical cameras in light of their "idiosyncrasies." The XT does a nice job solving a few things:
  1. LCC correction can be baked in.
  2. Tilt and shift mm are stored in exif data.
  3. The dark frame process is easier.
  4. In addition to ISO, you can change shutter speed and f-stop from the LV screen. {grrrrr...}
Also, as Ken mentioned, the shutter looks really nice. Speaking from experience, it would be nice to have a shutter handle the dark frame process vs. covering the lens with a cap or some other device. However, the IQ4 150 has gone a long way in itself eliminating the need for LCC's and dark frames. If you are a Cambo WRS shooter already, you can use your existing lenses. But, you loose some of the auto benefits mentioned above since you don't have the e-shutter. I do expect they will solve the tilt limitation sometime in the future.

Dave
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
I think the XT is still too new for any actual user reports beyond the anecdotal "I tried/saw it" at a Phase/Dealer event/exhibit. I'm not sure if anyone has had their XT order fulfilled yet??

I like that the XT is lighter than my Cambo WRS 1600. The x-shutter is really the big item of note. I'm happy with my WRS1600. But that Cambo WRS 72|50 sure is pretty...

Are you considering transitioning to the Phase XT, Greg?

ken
Ken, at this point, maybe casually exploring might be more accurate. There are some things that appear to be exclusive to the XT that are tempting. That being said I love my IQ3 100/Cambo WRS 1600, it has worked flawlessly, so I would probably be slow to change.
 

lance_schad

Workshop Member
The units we have delivered the feedback has been great. A good number of them have been to owners of existing tech cameras and they are very impressed with everything about the system especially the seamless experience , compactness and simplicity its lack cables and clean user interface.

Some of the Cambo adopters of the XT went into it purchasing only one lens of a focal length they did not own already and figured they would just use their existing Cambo panels in the traditional way they have been shooting, but most have come back and ordered an additional lens or two because they enjoyed the integration of the X-shutter lenses.

They are beginning to get out there in the field so I would expect some reviews from those users to start appearing shortly

If you are in the NY or LA area please feel free to schedule an appointment to see it for yourself and we are also offering them for short term rentals of which you can apply the fee paid towards your purchase if you decide the XT is for you. Please email for details.

Here is a shot of a client accepting delivery of his XT and testing it out in Times Square last evening.




Lance
 

kdphotography

Well-known member
Ken, at this point, maybe casually exploring might be more accurate. There are some things that appear to be exclusive to the XT that are tempting. That being said I love my IQ3 100/Cambo WRS 1600, it has worked flawlessly, so I would probably be slow to change.
I think the IQ4150 offers more to you as a WRS 1600 tech cam user (better ES than IQ3, frame averaging, etc) at least until the the XT matures as a system to make a better assessment. Granted the IQ3 is a much more mature "flagship" than the IQ4 platform is at the moment, but I have absolutely no regrets moving from the IQ3 to the IQ4. I find the IQ4 much better on the tech camera. I'm not so sure, as a Cambo WRS 1600 user, I could say the same about the XT system at this early stage in its development.

But it is shiny. :thumbup:

Ken
 

Paul2660

Well-known member
The X shutter only works on the IQ4 as I understand it, so for the "vast" majority of Tech camera users, the KEY selling point of the XT won't work. If I have that incorrect, I apologize.

Limited lens support, (*edit, I forgot the 23mm) 32mm, 70mm, at announce. There has been some mention of future support for the 90mm Rodenstock, but nothing firm, and really no mention for anything past that as all of the following:

90mm, HR-SW, 120mm Schneider, (I realize Cambo has a non back extension mount), 180mm Rodenstock, 210mm Rodenstock

All need a back extension to reach infinity. No mention so far for any form of a communicating back extension to allow longer glass.

There has been talk for the 138 Rodenstock, but that lens has such a narrow DOF, and huge cost (13K to 15K) I really don't consider it in the normal lens range for consideration but I am sure there are those out there who will own one. I believe Phase mentioned that the 138mm will work sometime in the future.

With the longer glass, if ever implemented, from 90mm and out the lack of shift any greater than 12mm, is a big limiting factor, as the 90mm can easily get to 18mm and the 120mm Schneider 20mm.

For anyone other than a current Cambo user, IMO the cost to switch is excessive, just too much for the gain of the X shutter, and implementation/integration from Phase. Are you going to sell off your current system? or are you going to risk shipping 6K lenses back to Rodenstock/Phase to have the X shutter mounted and hope that they come back centered and in the same condition there were when they left? The tech glass IMO is much more fragile than a standard 35mm or MF lens, and once out of alignment, good luck getting it back to where it was.

And to be honest, based on current performance of firmware delivery on the IQ4, and IMO a failure for Phase to even understand all of the issues (it's been over a year now), I do have to wonder if the XT will suffer similar issues.

I am sure they will sell as there are always customers out there who can justify such a product. But all the ads, and pro literature IMO are totally unrealistic as they constantly attempt to show a photographer using the XT hand held. Sure maybe with the X shutter you can hand hold it, but attempting to focus a tech camera with IQ Live View IMO is a totally non productive experience. Net, you can't begin to determine critical focus as the image is constantly moving, has to be on a tripod. And if you are able to some how determine focus hand held, shooting a ES hand held is again a pretty tough assignment, even in the 1/125 to 1/250 as it's too easy to create a rolling shutter effect due to movement.

*2nd Edit, after reviewing the entire camera again, I personally can't see the justification for 18K just to get into the XT and 32mm. There has been no mention since announce to the price to switch a lens to the mount, but as has been shown in another post, just shipping these lenses around is risky, and you run the chance of having your lens knocked out of alignment. It's best to get a new lens, that your dealer will back up. So the current owners like myself of considerable tech camera solutions non Cambo, would take a huge loss on the used market to clear out of one brand (Acra) to move to the XT. For my photography style and the market I am am to sell to with finished prints too,and my age, it's really impossible to consider this solution. Would I consider it if I was just starting out with no tech investment? still not sure due to the fact that in 2016 I paid right at $7.5K to obtain a 32 HR in Acra mount, the cost in XT mount is 12K, I realize the cost for a new lens in Arca mount is more now also. The cost to gain entry into the tech line for me has reached a point of no return.

Paul C
 
Last edited:

Greg Haag

Well-known member
Paul, thank you for your insight! I think the hardest thing for me in seriously thinking about switching is that my current system works really well, it has (at least so far) never let me down. I currently only have 2 lenses, but love both of them. I guess I just wanted to explore everyones thoughts on this before going further down the road I am currently on.
Thanks again,
Greg


The X shutter only works on the IQ4 as I understand it, so for the "vast" majority of Tech camera users, the KEY selling point of the XT won't work. If I have that incorrect, I apologize.

Limited lens support, 32mm, 50mm, 70mm, at announce. There has been some mention of future support for the 90mm Rodenstock, but nothing firm, and really no mention for anything past that as all of the following:

90mm, HR-SW, 120mm Schneider, (I realize Cambo has a non back extension mount), 180mm Rodenstock, 210mm Rodenstock

All need a back extension to reach infinity. No mention so far for any form of a communicating back extension to allow longer glass.

There has been talk for the 138 Rodenstock, but that lens has such a narrow DOF, and huge cost (13K to 15K) I really don't consider it in the normal lens range for consideration but I am sure there are those out there who will own one. I believe Phase mentioned that the 138mm will work sometime in the future.

With the longer glass, if ever implemented, from 90mm and out the lack of shift any greater than 12mm, is a big limiting factor, as the 90mm can easily get to 18mm and the 120mm Schneider 20mm.

For anyone other than a current Cambo user, IMO the cost to switch is excessive, just too much for the gain of the X shutter, and implementation/integration from Phase. Are you going to sell off your current system? or are you going to risk shipping 6K lenses back to Rodenstock/Phase to have the X shutter mounted and hope that they come back centered and in the same condition there were when they left? The tech glass IMO is much more fragile than a standard 35mm or MF lens, and once out of alignment, good luck getting it back to where it was.

And to be honest, based on current performance of firmware delivery on the IQ4, and IMO a failure for Phase to even understand all of the issues (it's been over a year now), I do have to wonder if the XT will suffer similar issues.

I am sure they will sell as there are always customers out there who can justify such a product. But all the ads, and pro literature IMO are totally unrealistic as they constantly attempt to show a photographer using the XT hand held. Sure maybe with the X shutter you can hand hold it, but attempting to focus a tech camera with IQ Live View IMO is a totally non productive experience. Net, you can't begin to determine critical focus as the image is constantly moving, has to be on a tripod. And if you are able to some how determine focus hand held, shooting a ES hand held is again a pretty tough assignment, even in the 1/125 to 1/250 as it's too easy to create a rolling shutter effect due to movement.

Paul C
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
Dave,
As always, thank you for your insight! Thanks to the guidance you and others here gave me on selecting my current system, I love my setup. I thought it might be good to some feedback on the XT before I go further down the current road I am on.
Thanks again,
Greg


Greg,
There are the two original threads from CI and DT:
https://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium...one-xt-camera-revelations-considerations.html

https://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium...dern-field-camera-x-shutter-new-firmware.html

The second thread veers into the weeds, but there is some good info in both. In general, I agree with Ken's post. It is a young system that currently lacks a few things:
  • A range of lenses. There are currently only three: the 23hr, 32hr and 70hr. Obviously they will build that out. I expect the 90hrsw to be next on the list, then either the 50hr or the 138 float.
  • No tilt.
  • 12mm shift range.

Because of the list above, I think the current primary target market is not existing technical camera users due to the shift/tilt limitations. Instead, I think it is XF users who want the option for a lighter system and who have stayed away from technical cameras in light of their "idiosyncrasies." The XT does a nice job solving a few things:
  1. LCC correction can be baked in.
  2. Tilt and shift mm are stored in exif data.
  3. The dark frame process is easier.
  4. In addition to ISO, you can change shutter speed and f-stop from the LV screen. {grrrrr...}
Also, as Ken mentioned, the shutter looks really nice. Speaking from experience, it would be nice to have a shutter handle the dark frame process vs. covering the lens with a cap or some other device. However, the IQ4 150 has gone a long way in itself eliminating the need for LCC's and dark frames. If you are a Cambo WRS shooter already, you can use your existing lenses. But, you loose some of the auto benefits mentioned above since you don't have the e-shutter. I do expect they will solve the tilt limitation sometime in the future.

Dave
 

rsinclair

Member
I've had an XT, 23/32*/70 since early October. I've not had opportunities to fully immerse under the pressure of work-shots, but have been working with it a great deal to run it through the paces and recently limited my kit for a week outing to the XT, 23, 70 and Leica Q2. I thought some insights into the purchase rationale and impressions about the system thus might be of value in response to the OP.

Background...

The pre-XT and ongoing kit includes:
1) 3 Arca's (Rm3di, Factum, Universalis) and 4 Roden lenses for those (40,90,135,180)
2) IQ3100 Achro & IQ4150. The IQ3 is for my RZ67 and the IQ4 for the XF and plenty of lenses for both systems
3) I've had P1systems for over 10 years, starting w/ the P45+ on a Linhof 679cs

NOTE: I added the IQ4150 Achro with the purchase of the XT. Having become enamored with the results from the IQ3100 Achro, I'm not sure I'll ever convert another color image to b&w again and all my b&w's going forward will be true monochromes :)

The XT accomplishes 2 primary objectives for me...

1) Extends my lens range below/wider from the 40mm on the Arca's and fills in between the 40 and 90 w/ the 70
2) I shoot outdoors and more so these days in sometimes ghastly conditions. I have an upcoming full month in the winter in the Arctic. This location is not friendly towards the thoughtful processes associated with many tech systems; cables, wake-ups, LV focusing, etc.

With the XT and a mounted lens I can 1) easily and quickly set the focus distance on the ring, 2) determine and quickly set ALL the exposure settings, 3) and use the BoB cable or shutter button to release (or use a delay if the wind ain't blowing 40mph), and then put the gear back in the secure packaging compartment (after having stuffed the battery back in my clothing). I'm headed to cold climes over the holidays to better field test in sub-zero temps, but that's more about working in the cold and getting the appropriate clothing determined rather than the ease of use of the system - I've already determined its quick and easy. For those that note it, Yes, I could set focus on the Arca's ring, but that requires looking at a table on my phone, and I wouldn't have the wider lenses. And using the Copal requires the multi-step process (I'm not an e-shutter user unless required to do so).

Cons and Problems:

*1) Upon arrival, the 32mm had serious problems on the edges. I returned it to my dealer who returned it to P1. They determined the lens was damaged in shipping and replaced it with a new one. The new one is the lens that will largely live on the body. That said, the 23 was a late decision for me and after having used it in lieu of the 32 that was being replaced I'm glad to have it.

2) As great as the 23 is, there's no room for movement, but that's simply a sensor size issue. More so, ANY on-lens filter will vignette on this lens. I've gone to putting a step-up ring to 105 for any on-lens needs like an UV/IR cut when using the Achro. Using the Lee SW150 system and the 105 step-up allows for additional filtering, but there is some vignetting with it as well due to the ring. Thankfully I'm finding this is easily remedied in C1.

3) The no tilt thing is certainly not ideal for the landscaper accustomed to that, but my goal was the need for wider lenses and I'm finding the 23 and 32 don't need it - hyperlocal works fine and the focus ring solves that.

Pluses and Happy Thoughts...

1) It is probably, as suggested, somewhat of a field substitute for the heavy XF system, but that wasn't my goal. The wider lens capabilities I needed was accomplished, and then I got the added benefits of being the smallest and lightest tech body I have other than the Factum. But the Factum is limited in its movements and doesn't work as efficiently or smoothly.

2) The 32mm and 70 get the full range of movements.

3) The rotating mount ring to change from landscape to portrait becomes so natural or second nature that I notice it not being available with any other camera I have. And, when unmounted and handheld, I find I rotate it to serve as a handle for my left hand, in a position that suits the image. I can see using this as a handheld in limited circumstances, but certainly more so than the other tech cams.

4) I mostly work out of a backpack and I can put the entire system in w/ plenty of room to spare, and its much lighter than any other comparable kit.

Final Thoughts...

1) I would not buy this system if I didn't have the others and wanted a complete tech system for my needs. As others have noted, the lens range is limited, but my needs are 90mm or wider 95% of the time. The lack of tilt would be a deal-killer, but that will keep my other systems in play. But as mentioned, this was not a replacement system for me, but rather an expansion AND efficiency improvement and thus far it has not disappointed on either front.

2) I suspect that of the items in my kit that this will replace, its the Factum simply due to its limitations and the near equal size and weight when comparing the two.

My $2 cents...

_Robert
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
Robert,
Thank you so much for taking the time to give such detailed insight, it is really helpful! I hope you have a great Arctic trip!
Thanks again,
Greg


I've had an XT, 23/32*/70 since early October. I've not had opportunities to fully immerse under the pressure of work-shots, but have been working with it a great deal to run it through the paces and recently limited my kit for a week outing to the XT, 23, 70 and Leica Q2. I thought some insights into the purchase rationale and impressions about the system thus might be of value in response to the OP.

Background...

The pre-XT and ongoing kit includes:
1) 3 Arca's (Rm3di, Factum, Universalis) and 4 Roden lenses for those (40,90,135,180)
2) IQ3100 Achro & IQ4150. The IQ3 is for my RZ67 and the IQ4 for the XF and plenty of lenses for both systems
3) I've had P1systems for over 10 years, starting w/ the P45+ on a Linhof 679cs

NOTE: I added the IQ4150 Achro with the purchase of the XT. Having become enamored with the results from the IQ3100 Achro, I'm not sure I'll ever convert another color image to b&w again and all my b&w's going forward will be true monochromes :)

The XT accomplishes 2 primary objectives for me...

1) Extends my lens range below/wider from the 40mm on the Arca's and fills in between the 40 and 90 w/ the 70
2) I shoot outdoors and more so these days in sometimes ghastly conditions. I have an upcoming full month in the winter in the Arctic. This location is not friendly towards the thoughtful processes associated with many tech systems; cables, wake-ups, LV focusing, etc.

With the XT and a mounted lens I can 1) easily and quickly set the focus distance on the ring, 2) determine and quickly set ALL the exposure settings, 3) and use the BoB cable or shutter button to release (or use a delay if the wind ain't blowing 40mph), and then put the gear back in the secure packaging compartment (after having stuffed the battery back in my clothing). I'm headed to cold climes over the holidays to better field test in sub-zero temps, but that's more about working in the cold and getting the appropriate clothing determined rather than the ease of use of the system - I've already determined its quick and easy. For those that note it, Yes, I could set focus on the Arca's ring, but that requires looking at a table on my phone, and I wouldn't have the wider lenses. And using the Copal requires the multi-step process (I'm not an e-shutter user unless required to do so).

Cons and Problems:

*1) Upon arrival, the 32mm had serious problems on the edges. I returned it to my dealer who returned it to P1. They determined the lens was damaged in shipping and replaced it with a new one. The new one is the lens that will largely live on the body. That said, the 23 was a late decision for me and after having used it in lieu of the 32 that was being replaced I'm glad to have it.

2) As great as the 23 is, there's no room for movement, but that's simply a sensor size issue. More so, ANY on-lens filter will vignette on this lens. I've gone to putting a step-up ring to 105 for any on-lens needs like an UV/IR cut when using the Achro. Using the Lee SW150 system and the 105 step-up allows for additional filtering, but there is some vignetting with it as well due to the ring. Thankfully I'm finding this is easily remedied in C1.

3) The no tilt thing is certainly not ideal for the landscaper accustomed to that, but my goal was the need for wider lenses and I'm finding the 23 and 32 don't need it - hyperlocal works fine and the focus ring solves that.

Pluses and Happy Thoughts...

1) It is probably, as suggested, somewhat of a field substitute for the heavy XF system, but that wasn't my goal. The wider lens capabilities I needed was accomplished, and then I got the added benefits of being the smallest and lightest tech body I have other than the Factum. But the Factum is limited in its movements and doesn't work as efficiently or smoothly.

2) The 32mm and 70 get the full range of movements.

3) The rotating mount ring to change from landscape to portrait becomes so natural or second nature that I notice it not being available with any other camera I have. And, when unmounted and handheld, I find I rotate it to serve as a handle for my left hand, in a position that suits the image. I can see using this as a handheld in limited circumstances, but certainly more so than the other tech cams.

4) I mostly work out of a backpack and I can put the entire system in w/ plenty of room to spare, and its much lighter than any other comparable kit.

Final Thoughts...

1) I would not buy this system if I didn't have the others and wanted a complete tech system for my needs. As others have noted, the lens range is limited, but my needs are 90mm or wider 95% of the time. The lack of tilt would be a deal-killer, but that will keep my other systems in play. But as mentioned, this was not a replacement system for me, but rather an expansion AND efficiency improvement and thus far it has not disappointed on either front.

2) I suspect that of the items in my kit that this will replace, its the Factum simply due to its limitations and the near equal size and weight when comparing the two.

My $2 cents...

_Robert
 

kdphotography

Well-known member
Thank you for the great summary, Robert. I hope you'll share some images from your upcoming arctic trip from the XT, as well as lots of BTS shots.

:thumbup:

ken
 
....

The pre-XT and ongoing kit includes:
1) 3 Arca's (Rm3di, Factum, Universalis) and 4 Roden lenses for those (40,90,135,180)
2) IQ3100 Achro & IQ4150. The IQ3 is for my RZ67 and the IQ4 for the XF and plenty of lenses for both systems
3) I've had P1systems for over 10 years, starting w/ the P45+ on a Linhof 679cs

NOTE: I added the IQ4150 Achro with the purchase of the XT. ....

_Robert

I'm really liking this Robert guy.

Dante
 

rsinclair

Member
as well as lots of BTS shots.
Putting the ease and speed of the XT use to the test, a Front of the Sensor shot of the XT on a highway in the middle of nearly nowhere where vehicles travel at 85 MPH or get passed.

giant-2.jpg

And the end result:
"All hat, no cattle", Valentine, Texas 2019 (not final edit version)
IQ4150 Achro/XT Roden 70 + 486 UV/IR Cut

giant-3.jpg

_RS
 
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