Work in progress


Whilst both images in this post are themselves work in progress – parenting probably never ends, even if at some point you are less involved in the day to day operation of things and are more of a board member than an executive, and the golf ball building is undergoing renovation – that’s not specifically what’s going on here. To be honest, I’ve not been shooting as much as I would like of late, because the majority of my time has been allocated to five projects this year, some very early results of which are in this post. The Mirrorless Bag and Travel Duffel you’ve seen already. Another project will go live in a couple of weeks or so (and there’ll be a photography related post on that later, though the project itself is not photography related), and the other two you’ll probably see either at the end of this year or early next – those are somewhat moving targets due to the complexity of what’s involved (and yes, they are photography hardware related).


Both of the images in this post were shot with a Hasselblad X1D body. Those of you with eagle eyes will notice that the fields of view and rendition do not correspond with any currently existing native lens for the system, and no, I didn’t use something H with the HX adaptor. I shall leave you to come to your own conclusions. 🙂 It’s satisfying to finally be able to deploy the results of things put in motion several months ago – even if that means some hiccups and a lot of beta test experimentation along the way. Anybody who’s been involved in beta testing anything electronic or software based will know that there’s a huge degree of instability and unreliability along the way; this of course means that you can’t use such hardware in a production environment where deliverables are critical.

This is the biggest conflict I always face: we need to test under production conditions, but we also can’t afford the risk. The only solution is to use the gear as much as possible in experiments and personal work (good excuse to do some of that, actually) and see if issues manifest. It’s also important to fully understanding the operating envelope so appropriate information can be passed on. As such  – both images were shot under typical conditions under which the hardware would be used; the first to check practicality, and the second also to check color reproduction (which is one of Hasselblad’s hallmarks).

In short: I’m testing a few things related to the X1D that’ll be of interest to quite a lot of people. And some of them will be available quite soon.

Lastly – the Mirrorless Bag and Folding Travel Duffel came back in stock and sold out again – the next batch will be in 8/8 (next Tuesday) but all outstanding orders from the last week will be shipped out today and tomorrow – please get in touch if you haven’t received a tracking number. 🙂 MT


More info on Hasselblad cameras and lenses can be found here.


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  1. I had to log in here just to say that before this photo, I had zero interest in medium format. Now…

    I mean, I’m still backpacking and budgeting and poor haha – but that OOF rendering is something other-worldly. I think I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.

    As usual Ming, photography to aspire towards! (Btw, I’ve been backpacking through Malaysia these past few weeks and it is beautiful! Awesome for street photography as well.)

  2. I am surprised that no one has suggested that this may be the XCD 65mm getting its first public showing. I am crossing my fingers that it is the case as the characteristics of the lens used are very attractive indeed, not to mention that 65mm corresponds to my most used and loved field of view. Thank you for this post Ming!

  3. I don’t suppose you can make M lenses work? Noctilux?

  4. Electronic shutter…

  5. I see the effect of the Scheimpflug principle in the first picture here…

  6. Irrespective of the specific lens … although looks like Otus 55 rendering to me … it will be nice to
    have the addition of this gorgeous OOF rendering on the X1D.

    Fun to see if the adapter has a shutter or if the electronic shutter in the chip has been activated via firmware.

    Whatever the implementation … congratulations … it will be highly sought after by us X1D owners.

    Very nice. And thanks in advance.

  7. the first picture, base on the distance between the subjects, relative size of the subjects and DOF has to be a tele lens around 90 to120mm F3 to 4. The way that it renders its a zoom. So the 35-90 is coming soon. But, second thought, Your daughters head is sharp from front to back which somehow reminds me of a tilt shift lens, i don’t know. But again, the strange thing is that i don’t know where that extra clarity of the edges of front blured subjects coming from. That is odd from Hasselblad lenses, so as you said, it has to be a prototype lens or there might be clarity applied in camera (i don’t think so) or post process. Color rendition is great as we all know. cheers,…

    • Not a zoom, and some strange angles involved – it’s a normal orthogonal plane lens.

      • Interesting Ming, that’s why there is almost no perspective in the picture, look at the tissue box or the laptop … good for product shots. I would definitely get that for my work ;-). So, you don’t have to verify this … i guess (or hope) then maybe a dedicated TS lens,?!… Lets see,

  8. Hello Ming, If it’s a kind of riddle i would say something like 55mm 2.8, depending how you streched your arms :p, Considering the bokeh, look at the frontier between your treasure’s elbow and the purple glass, promising, the foreground is really “subjectively” nice, though i found the background somewhat classical. Btw, good luck for your projects.

  9. A wider, fast lens? I like the first photo. The in-focus subject, effectively encircled by an out of focus area, works well.

  10. New lens(es) for the X1D…
    Two beautiful pictures. Your daughter as the center of attention works perfectly for me in this composition. The colour study nicely combines Mondriaan and Escher. Love it!

  11. Hmm, no exif so manual focus lens adapted. Zeiss?

  12. Jos Martens says:

    Hello Ming family,
    The subject of the first picture :the classic and very recognisable mother or father/child internonplay :
    child,bored,that is not what I want,anyhow I do not know what I want,maybe I am just tired,
    and mother tired, I do my best to amuse you, what the hell can I do to get your attention.
    What I regret in the picture is the inequality in the focusing : your ( lovely ) daughter is in perfect
    focus while your wife is in perfect unfocus. From previous posts I know she is lovely too, here I just
    have to guess.
    All this to come back to the problem of depth of field management in today’s camera systems. The
    extremely limited depth of field and the lack of technical to manage it is putting severe limits on
    creativity. Why no program where hyperfocal or maximum depth is the rule that photographer can
    overrule if he chooses to.
    Keep on thinking, keep on creating.
    Kind regards, Jos

    • One man’s regret is another person’s intent or test protocol. Even f16 won’t be enough to get sufficient DOF in this case, and all you’d have is a mushy diffracted mess (and the need for ISO6400).

    • Interesting take Jos. Ming has certainly been one of the few photoblog voices to express the limits of shallow depth of field in a fastglass obsessed community. Is there a way that shallow dof can be deployed without limiting the creativity as you have expressed?

      One might instead see an interplay between Sophie who’s rubbing her eyes as if crying in response to a movie. This could be implied by the laptop and tissue box. The shallow depth of field then is isolating the subject compositionally, but also from a storytelling perspective. For any who have been around young kids with a screen in front of their face has seen how captivated one can become by these devices.

      Anyhow nice work, Ming.

      • Actually, she was tired from too much screen, focusing entirely there and ignoring her parents…which I think fits with the presentation, actually.

        • How is your wife’s back ‘sharp’, yet everything else at the same distance is out of focus?

          • She’s sitting at an angle and slightly overlapping Sophie, so the focal plane cuts through both. I’m also sitting at an angle.


  1. […] couple of you guessed correctly in the comments of my earlier post – we’ve been working on an electronic shutter firmware for the Hasselblad X1D. Whilst […]

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