E-shutter firmware for the Hasselblad X1D

X1D5_B0001422bw copy

A 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 we are still limited by the underlying sensor hardware*, there are significant increases to the shooting envelope afforded by an electronic shutter that is both completely silent and completely vibration free. Used within limitations, it can be a very useful tool. The above image was shot at a performance (without disrupting it) – on the X1D, and Zeiss 1.4/85 Otus APO-Planar**, with focus peaking on. Hit rate for critical sharpness was about 70-80% – which is to say, possibly higher and easier than focusing it on a native Nikon DSLR.

*The total sensor readout time remains at 300ms; if there is motion in the frame, you may see rolling shutter artefacts regardless of the shutter speed, especially under phased lighting such as LED or fluorescent. Similarly, flash is disabled as there is no way to sync with a 300ms rolling shutter. High ISO is limited to 3200 for the moment (sensor native).

**Yes, you read that correctly. I also used the 55 Otus and 2/135 APO.

The firmware also improves stability adds resizable focus points (35, 63 or 117 boxes) and can be downloaded immediately on the Hasselblad website here. Happy to answer any questions in the comments below, and a list of compatible lenses and a rough assessment of performance on 44x33mm – as so far tested by me – follows. MT

Nikon F mount lenses tested so far on Hasselblad X1D, with rough performance assessment

  • Zeiss Otus 28/1.4 APO Distagon ZF.2: Does not cover at any aperture; centre 135 format area remains very good but corners are not. 
  • Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 APO Distagon ZF.2: Covers at all apertures but heavy vignetting that does not improve much even on stopping down. Pronounced field curvature outside the 135 format area, and some focus shift. Centre area remains excellent.
  • Zeiss Otus 85/1.4 APO Planar ZF.2: Covers at all apertures with correctable vignetting at larger apertures. Edges perform much better than expected. Recommended
  • Zeiss 2/135 APO Sonnar ZF.2 (and Milvus): Covers at all apertures with minor correctable vignetting at larger apertures. Excellent across the frame but tricky to focus due to DOF. Recommended
  • Zeiss Milvus 1.4/50 Distagon ZF.2: Surprisingly, better coverage than the Otus 55 with less vignetting at the edges, somewhat lower field curvature. Decent centre performance wide open comes close to but not surpasses the Otus 55; edge performance is a little lower but still usable even wide open. For the moment, I actually prefer this to the Otus 55 because cross-frame consistency seems a bit better, but more testing is required.
  • Zeiss Milvus 1.4/85 Planar ZF.2: Much like the Otus 85: Performs pretty much as it does on smaller formats. Recommended.
  • Zeiss Contax Yashica 2.8/85 MMG (Leitax modified mount): Surprisingly, this one punches above its weight class. Smooth/lower contrast rendition at f2.8, but really excellent by f5.6. And the tiny size is something else.
  • Nikon PCE (19, 24, 45, 85) series: All excellent, but you have no aperture control other than to preset aperture with a Nikon body, use the stop down button, unmount and then remount the lens. You’ll even have some shift ability left with all lenses. The 19 and 85 are particularly good.
  • Nikon AI 45/2.8 P: Full coverage, minor vignetting, a little bit soft at infinity; good for portraits and decent by f5.6.
  • Sigma 20/1.4 Art: Here’s a curious one: no aperture control again, but I suspect if you cut the built in hood off, it will cover the full image circle or very close to it.
  • Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanthar: A hidden gem – excellent at all apertures, with microcontrast increasing as you stop down (resolution is already extremely high). Just like a 250 Superachromat, only a little shorter and faster (but much smaller).


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


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  1. Old tread but would like to ask: has anyone tried Schneider PC TS Makro-Symmar 90mm f/4.5 with Nikon F mount on X1D?
    The image circle diameter is 88 mm and should cover the sensor with enough clearance except for potential shading from the adapter.

    • It wasn’t great on the D810; I suspect it’s going to be worse on the larger sensor.

      • You reviewed the Schneider PC TS Makro-Symmar 90mm f/4.5 back in a day on D800E and rather liked it. Are you sure you are not confusing it with the PC-TS 2.8/50 Super Angulon which is rather pathetic? Or was it performing somehow drastically different on the D810? I have the 90mm and like it a lot with D800E, but worry about the adapter blocking corners on X1D. Also why would lens performance necessarily degrade with the larger sensor?

        • It was decent but not spectacular, and not better than the 85 PCE which was half the price at the time. There is always going to be quality degradation at the edges of the image circle; the difference is with a larger sensor you’re going to see it sooner for the same lens since you need more of the image circle even without using movements. Also, the pixel density is not that different between 36MP FF (4.9um or so) and 50MP 44×33 (5.3um or so) so resolving power required from the lenses and diffraction limits should be similar. One other thing: the micro lenses in the sensor’s filter pack will play a big part in the corner performance especially with movements (less so straight on, since a 90mm should be pretty telecentric anyway).

          • Thank you for your insights, Ming. Do you know if anyone tried to mount this lens on X1D and what was the outcome?

            • Nope, sorry.

              • I just got myself an X1d-II-50c and a Novoflex X1D to Nikon adapter and was able to experiment with some of my lenses firsthand.
                The first remarkable result is with the Zeiss Distagon 15mm zf.2 lens: It looks like the only shading is from the lens hood (Pic 1). Ming, can you confirm this if you are able to see the clear vertical edges in the first picture in the shared album? While not trivial, the hood is removable on this lens. The second remarkable discovery is the strong vignetting from Schneider PC TS Makro-Symmar 90mm f/4.5. While some vignetting might be expected with full upward shift (Pict 2), the same happens even without any shift.(Pic. 3). This is very strange considering the size of the image circle of this lens. Also, because the vignetting pattern changes between the shift and no shift images, this is clearly not due to any adapter induced shading.
                Do you think it is sensible to pursue this a little further and to try adapting the 15mm lens to the X1D? The Schneider is clearly not usable. Thank you.

                • I actually reported ed vignetting on the Schneider already when tested on a Nikon FF body; no surprises it performs poorly on the X1D. The 85 PC (non-E) is probably your best bet in that FL range for movements on camera.

                  15mm: I see hard edges not just from the hood but the limits of the image circle. Wouldn’t bother with this personally. That lens was not designed for anything larger than a 35mm image circle.

  2. MatthewC says:

    I have been extensively experimenting w/ Leica M lenses and other interesting lenses on the X1D. Thought others may find the experience useful:

    Leica M lenses
    Summilux 75/1.4 – v1 works great. Corners good. Minor vignetting easily correctable. Portraits look very natural. Highly recommended. Interestingly v3 (German made) version has some cut-out at the far corners.
    APO-Summicron 75/2 – works great. Minor vignetting at long end, easily correctable. Highly recommended, especially given the small size and all-round optical performance.
    Noctilux 75/1.25 – Amazing. Best of both APO-Summicron and Summilux (weights about the same too). Some minor vignetting, easily corrected. Focus peaking works rather well, but perfect focus still need a bit or effort wide open (that’s a given). Heavy but balance ok one the X1D.

    Noctilux 50 – heavy vignetting, cut-out corners, all versions. Not really usable.

    APO-Summicron 50/2 – Again, amazing. Some minor vignetting, easily correctable. Sharp across frame. Some previous posts focusing on flat targets didn’t do it justice (due to some field curvature I think…)

    Summicron 35/2 ASPH – Both previous and current versions works quite well at short-medium distance. Minor vignetting and easily correctable. At long end color shift at the corners. Quite usable for indoor.

    Overall the above 35/50/75 combo with X1D can fit in a Billingham Hadley Pro Shoulder Bag (except the 75 Noct).

    Contax 55/1.2 Planar 100 Jahre – At wide-open, maybe center 1/3 of frame usable. The corners collapsed.

    • Thanks for sharing this – any experience with the 90 Summarits or 135s?

      • MatthewC says:

        Sorry no. Did briefly try the thambar and the 85mm Summarex. The Summarex did cover the sensor. On the longer focal length ones, can also report that the R180/3.4APO works extremely well.

        For shorter than 50mm, across R and M lenses, only the 50/2 APO works (very very) well. The 28/1.4 has some corner cut out but otherwise excellent. Tried almost all the R and M lenses <= 50mm, nothing stands out.

        • I’d add the 50 Summilux ASPH to that list too 🙂

          • *red faced*
            Of course!
            Must say, M lenses on X1D is so much fun. If we can get auto iso in manual mode on the next firmware…..that would solve the banding under artifical light probme then i can take my m lenses at night as well!

            • Actually, that’s much simpler – artificial light flickers at 50 or 60 HZ. If you keep your shutter speed to clean multiples of that – 1/50, 1/100, 1/200 etc. – flickering goes away. 🙂

              • That is exactly what I did, works ok. But now shutter speed is fixed, and I would like to be able to choose the aperture. If the camera can auto ISO, then all is perfect!

    • How did you find Contax 55/1.2 Planar 100 Jahre when stopping down? Saying f/4 or f/8. I am very interested in this lens. Thanks.

      • MatthewC says:

        Hi Jason,

        I did try stopping down but while usable coverage improves some what, I found most of the frame to be unsatisfactory. It may be just that sample, but this lense is not exactly easy to come by.

        Sorry I can’t be more helpful…..

  3. Super useful post. Thank you.

    I’m happy with:
    – Leica ELMARIT-R 90mm f/2.8 MF
    – Voightlander Nokton 50 f/1.5
    Minimal vignetting and correctable, I prefer the manual (non-fly-by-wire) focus, and small / lightweight.

    Also found following to be marginally usable:
    – Nikon 20 f/1.8
    Noticeable vignetting in corners and requires some cropping or photoshopping, but small / lightweight form also makes this a nice matchup for X1D. Requires lens hood to be removed.

    Regarding Nikon 19mm PCE (Tilt), I rented one and dark vignetting present in corners even with no tilt or shift. I was surprised by this since image circle is larger than standard lens. I can’t see using this on X1D. It’s big and heavy (by X1D standards), and can’t really take advantage of the lens’ primary function which to tilt and shift.

    • Result on the 19mm is surprising as I definitely didn’t see any corner issues with mine, but you may need to stop down…

      The 20/1.8 was somewhat borderline in the corners even on FF, but again might be down to sample variation.

      • I stopped down to f11 and a small amount of dark vignetting is present in corners with no tilt or shift dialed into the lens, but it’s an improvement over as shot wide open. I didn’t try stopping down further because I simply can’t see using this lens on X1D — even if I were to already own a copy so didn’t want to spend more time experimenting. The lens is hefty which I’d be OK with if I could get the full benefit of tilt and shift; the lack of aperture control makes it impractical IMO.

        For somebody wanting an UWA option while waiting to get their hands on XCD 21 (or as a low cost alternative) I’d suggest trying the Nikon 20 f/1.8. Vignetting is present and requires correction or cropping but marginalbly useable IMO; lens hood must be removed. On the plus side, the 20 f/1.8 is small, light, relatively inexpensive, and works with aperture ring on Novoflex HAX/NIK adapter. I’m all ears for suggestions on better option as there’s no end in sight for when my XCD 21 pre-order will materialize and I purchased the X1D as a landscape camera to replace my GFX. I absolutely love the camera apart from not having an UWA lens option.

        • It takes some time to completely fill out a system – yes, we’re working on the 21mm back orders, but you can still make landscapes with longer lenses (I tend to personally favour the 90 and Voigt 180 APO-Lanthar on an adaptor). 🙂

          • Agreed landscapes not limited to UWA is sorely missing from my X1D kit nonetheless. Getting by with panos for time being where I need wide angle.

            Thanks again Ming. Really appreciate your commitment to the system. I wouldn’t have purchased X1D had it not been for this post, and I am super happy with my decision. Image quality is second to none, and the user interaction model makes the camera a real joy to use.

      • Hi Ming, I’m curious what adapter you used when trying out the Nikon 19mm PCE on X1D. The reason I’m asking is because I rented a Schneider 28mm PC-TS and it also produces dark vignetting in the corners (similar to the Nikon lens) — despite having a very large 72mm image circle. Again, even with no tilt or shift dialed into the adapter. Changing aperture has no effect whatsoever. I’m wondering if might be artifact of adapter I’m using since you reported no issues with the Nikon 19mm PCE where I had definite vignetting issues. I’m using the Novoflex Nikon to XCD mount adapter.

        • Hmm, this is a good point: it may well be an internal baffle in the adaptor causing vignetting. I was using the Novoflex too, though.

          • Exactly my thinking. The 28mm PC-TS shouldn’t have issue providing full sensor coverage — 72mm image circle, and supposedly designed for MF. I’m not an optics expert by any means, but the internal design of the Novoflex adapter steps up to XCD mount diameter, with thick inner ring for housing the aperture control mechanism. I wonder if this is somehow interfering with projection off the rear element and onto the sensor. Obviously, the same lens as mounted to DSLR would have the open space of a mirror box.

            I have Fotodiox pro adapter arriving tomorrow to see if it makes any difference. I returned the Schneider 28mm PC-TS because I was unhappy with the lens irrespective of vignetting issues on X1D, but I will try again with Nik 19mm. I’m more or less just curious, so none of this is a big or urgent issue for me.

            • Completely inexplicable. Having said that – the Novoflex I have is a late proto I think; there may be differences. All of my PCEs (19, 24, 45, 85) cover the X1D just fine, and have varying degrees of usable shift by subject distance and aperture.

  4. Just wished to mention in passing – really enjoy that image…

  5. One thing I do not understand. Electronical shutter 1/10.000 but still sensor scanning 300ms(1/30). So what is the point to have 1/10.000 shutterspeed if you actually shooting at 1/30 any way?

    • Exposure time at any given location is 1/10,000s. 300ms is 1/3.3s. 1/3.3s at location that needs 1/10,000s would be dramatically overexposed. It is useful for bright but relatively static subjects.

  6. Hi Ming,

    it was interesting reading your tests about the Nikon-F-Mount-lenses. I have tried several of those too and can tell that there are some gems which can be used -or not- on the X 1D.

    – AI-S 24mm f2,0: heavy vignetting, not realy correctable, almost not useable,
    – AF-S 24-70mm f2,8: heavy vignetting not useable
    – AI-S 28mm f2,8: little vignetting, correctabel, sharp and useable,
    – AF 35-70 f2,8 D: little vignetting at 35mm, 50mm an 70mm. Correctale an useable,
    – Zeiss ZF 35mm f2,0: Little vignetting, correctable, very sharp and useable,
    – H-Nikkor 50mm f2,0: little vignetting, useable
    – Series-E-Nikkor 50mm f1,8: very little vignetting, usable
    – AI-S 50mm f1,2: heavy vigneting, not useable,
    – Ai-S 55mm f1,2: heavy vignetting, not useable,
    – AF-D 50mm f1,8: very little vignettning, useable
    – AF-S 50mm f1,4: vignetting, not realy correctable, not useable
    – Sigma 50mm f1,4 Art: Little vignetting, easily correctable, very sharp and useable,
    – Hartblei Super-Rotator 80mm f2,8 T/S: Vignetting without tilting (surprisingly) so not realy useable,
    – AI-S 85mm f2,0: very Little vignetting, very useable,
    – AF-D 85mm f1,8: little vignetting, correctabel, useble,
    – AF-S 85mm f1,4: Little vigentting, correctable and useable,
    – AF-S Micro 105mm f2,8: heavy vignetting, not useble.
    – AF-DC 135mm f2,0: some vignetting, correctable, useable
    – AI-S 200mm f4,0: very Little vignetting, easily correctable very good useable,
    – AI-S 300mm f4,5: Heavy vignetting, not useable, just the sweet spot,

    All Tests were made with wide open aperture, as I want all my lenses to work wide open. What I found out, is that the AI-S 28mm, Zeiss 35mm, AFD-50mm f1,8, Sigma 50mm Art, AI-S 85mm f2,0 and the AI-S 200mm f4.0 perform with almost no vigentting and are useable very good.

    Best regards, Frank

    • Thanks Frank! Interesting – surprising the Hartblei has issue given it’s a TS with larger image circle to begin with…

      • My Hartblei is an older one, so maybe at that time they didn´t have the larger image-circle, maybe.

        You wrote, the Sigma 20mm f1,4 Art might cover the image-circle of the X 1D when cutting of the hood. Are you serious or did you try that? If yes, that might be the best offer for ultra-wide you can get so far. But I won´t buy one just for the chance 😉

        • I’m serious – the edges which the hood does not cover are covered, and even with the hood the vignetting is hard and matching the hood shape rather than the edges of a circle cutting a rectangle. That said: I have not tried cutting the hood myself.

          • It woud be interesting to find a craftsmen dismanteling the hood without cutting so it can be put back in place when the lens isn´t covering the wohle image-circle. I will see whteter I find a good used lens, I know a superb craftsmen who might be able to dismantle the hood…

            • The hood looks like part of the external housing – I don’t think you can remove this and still have the lens held together…

              • Hi, now I got a Sigma Art 20mm f1,4 and did some tests with it -without “shaving” the hood. It is showing a heavy vignetting but it seems like the shadow of the hood. When you go to the edges of the hood with your fingertip it is showing that and maybe the shadow will disappear, when the hood ha gotten its “shaving”. That will be the next issue, cutting off part of the hooe without ruinig the lens. I will report how that works and how the results are.

                • Hi, ok, finaly the Sigma 20mm f1,4 has been shaved almost down to the front-element. There is still vignetting in the corners. That means, it isn´t covering the sensor fully . Myst busted 🙂

  7. Very interesting article. I am a Zeiss Otus fan and will be interested by the combo you have tested here aspecially the Otus 85mm. I could not find in the article (sorry if i have missed it) the type of adaptor that you have used to fit the Otus ZF.2 on the X1D body. Could you please help me with this? Same question for the Nikon native lenses (i would assume the same adapter)?

    One additional question about the Nikon 200mm f2: would such combination make sense on X1D and have you had the opportunity to test it?

    Thank you for all the very interesting information all around your blog that i am regularly checking.

    • I used something knocked together quickly by the prototyping department, though Novoflex now has a G-compatible adaptor that will give aperture control for lenses without an aperture ring.

      Haven’t tested the 200/2, sorry – not exactly an easy lens to get hold of, and this is something you’d want to be very sure of coverage before buying one just for this purpose! It would also be a tripod-only proposition – far too heavy to handhold. It’s not as long, but if you want that kind of rendering – I would lean towards the Zeiss ZF.2 2/135 APO-Sonnar instead.

      • Thank you for your reply. The reason i am asking is because i am looking into upgrading my long time camera (the first CANON 5D series) that served me very well (and still does after 12 years!). Over the past years i have traded my CANON glass for Nikon lenses anticipating the next camera upgrade. So, oddly enough, i am using today Nikon mount lenses (Zeiss Otus ZF.2 series, ZF.2 2/135 APO-Sonnar and the Nikon 200/2) on my Canon 5D body.

        As looking for my next camera i am hesitating between the excellent D850 and the Sony Alpha RIII (in body vibration reduction looks a good fit for the Zeiss lenses or full manual Voightlander SL). Your article and the match between the Otus 85mm and the X1D got my attention therefore my previous question.

        I know that there is not such thing as perfect camera or perfect body/lenses match but i am trying the make a good choice. I am mostly interested in portraits and closeups (Voightlander 125/2.5 and 180/4 are also great choices here).

        Your advise on this matter would be very much appreciated.

        • Please be aware of electronic shutter limitations as detailed above before electing to make this your only system choice. The X1D is one level in image quality above the D850 and A7RIII given the size of the sensor. As for the 35FF options, I suggest trying in person first as ergonomics etc. are subjective. Personally, despite having owned most of the Sony cameras – I have personally no love for them. They were clearly designed by engineers who do not actually use cameras and are ergonomically poor and frustrating to use in the field. The D850 is a bit anachronistic in size etc. however works flawlessly. Personal preference…

  8. Hi Ming, not sure you are still responding to comments here and if it was answered elsewhere, I apologize. Thank you for your coverage of the X1D, I am a happy owner. I have a favorite Zeiss lens which I have never been able to sell even though it currently fits no camera I own now! Can you let me know if you have tried the Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro with adapter on the X1D and if so, how much coverage is there? I am mostly interested in square format so not concerned if there is modest vignette, but curious if you have any experience. My X1D is happily resting in the great MF bag you designed…. Thanks very much.

  9. Haitong Yu says:

    Hi Ming. Thanks for the tips! Just tried Sigma 14/1.8 and found the conclusion very similar to the 20/1.4: the minor shading came from the fixed hood.

  10. Hi Ming, is there a setting on X1D to have a ‘click’ when the e-shutter opens and/or closes when using 3rd party adapted lenses? Is there a plan for this in a future firmware update if it does not do this now? Many thanks.

  11. Hi Ming,

    Thank you for this piece and my only reservation about the system was removed (lack of lenses). I went ahead and bought an X1D with a Leica-M adapter.

    While playing with the zoom in for manual focus, I noticed that I can move the zoomed in patch using the touch screen but there doesn’t seem to a way to do so while using the EVF. Am I missing something? If not, may I suggest the same feature that allows choice of focus point with the touch screen while using EVF be enhanced to allow for moving of the zoomed in patch/crop while manual focsing? That will be consitent with the AF point selection….. Does that make sense?

    Agian, thank you for the quality info provided!

    • Yes, thanks for the feedback.

      • If I may…..

        The following may already be implemented, but in any case if the mount’s electronic protocol would allow lenses that doesn’t have leaf shutter (i.e. requires e-shutter) to be identified as such, for the platform, I can see a few good things that can happen:

        1. For the short term, this allows “smart” adapters to be made such that when an adopted lense is used, the camera can automatically enable e-shutter, but otherwise when native lenses are used, remain on leaf shutter. This makes swapping between adopted and native leses almost seamless, especially if the above suggested enhancement to the touch screen zoom-in patch move while using EVF is also implemented.
        2. For the longer term, some native manual lenses such as tilt/shift, or “artisanal” manual focus lenses can be made for the X platform. While playing w/ the X1D, I can see a case of superlatively crafted lenses a la Leica M to be made natively for the platform, assuming the read-out time can be much reduced in the next version of the camera.

        Getting more excited about the platform the more I play with it….!

  12. Hey Ming 🙂 Are we ever likely to see an external shutter from Hasselblad for the X1D? I’ve just seen some samples of Otus on the X1D and utterly I am blown away. I want this in my life but given the rolling shutter and flouro/led light boundaries I’m never going to get away with this for my work which is really frustrating! It seems to me such a screaming obvious thing for Hasselblad to do at this point and there would be, I’m sure, a lot of people like me wanting to jump in on that alone.

  13. Thanks for a great blog Ming, you are a true inspiration.
    1.Does using the e-shutter with xcd lenses change the appearance of the widely discussed hexagonal bokeh artifacts? Someone guessed they are a result of the leaf shutter rather than the blades of the aperture. Personally I don’t mind the current look of the bokeh and this detail is according to me completely blown out of proportion in the general discussion on the X1D.

    2. Chasing compactness, what third party lenses would you choose that will make the X1D the most pocketable (whilst producing insanely good IQ). I guess a lot of people are wondering if there will be a combination making the X1D Plaubel Makina /Mamiya 6 kind of flat.

    BTW, There is an application from me on the Creative coordinator position. Holding my breath 😉

    • 1. No, but the latest lens FW solves it by opening the aperture blades beyond the fixed circular stop at max aperture.
      2. Everything has trade offs 😉
      3. HR is processing…

      • Thanks!
        1. Good job HBL! That is great news for the system, and should be yelled in all corners of the internet and photography community.

        2. I fully agree, but do think ultimate compactness will be important to many x1d users. And I am sure both lenses and adapters are comming from several directions in a near future.

        3. Ok, aiming my voodoo stick at HR.

  14. Ming, so glad to see your opinions on the X1D and your involvement with Hasselblad. One thing that I worry is, given DJI pumps out new models so often, I worry that Hasselblad will be pressured to come out with a X2D (whatever the next model may be named) instead of putting their full effort into improving the X1D. Am I over worrying? I see that the X1D firmware has improved gradually since its inception, it still seems quite a bit behind its main competitor in this space. Given you are the CSO, I wonder if you can shed some light into what Hasselblad’s position is regarding improving the X1D vs developing a X2D quickly…Thank you in advance.

    • New hardware is required when we reach the limits of current hardware and cannot improve things anymore with software. Personally, I believe constant updates/fixes shouldn’t be necessary at all: the product should be mature at launch, not some time after it. It isn’t fair to ask customers to be beta testers.

      • Of course, I totally agree with you. In the case of the X1D, it would seem that the general consensus was that the initial release was ‘rushed’. Regardless, I was hoping that Hasselblad would be more like Fujifilm, who comes out with meaningful firmware upgrades, instead of say Sony, who comes out with new models so often…

  15. Hi Ming. Great blog. I have been contemplating purchasing the x1d and your results with the camera are quite inspiring. Question…is it feasible to implement continuous af through firmware or is it a hardware issue?

    • It’s a bit of both – MF lenses have to move much further to cover the same range of focal distances because the real focal lengths are longer. CDAF generally doesn’t track very well, either – so whilst we could implement it, it’s probably not going to be that useful with the current generation of hardware (both sensor and lens motors).

  16. I wish there was a cable release!

  17. Cambo is introducing two new products that support the Hasselblad X1D

    • 😉

      • Steve Gombosi says:

        Now all we need is that V-series adapter 😉

        • That I know is in the works.

          • Steve Gombosi says:

            Ideally, it would work like the V adapter on the H, so we could use the shutter in the CF/CFE lenses – but I’d settle for a “dumb tube”. It’s nice to know it’s in the works, after hearing “never, ever” from Hasselblad since the X1D was introduced. I’m really glad that Hasselblad is listening!

            • Peter Altrui says:

              Steve, they have no choice but to listen! This is 2017 & we are talking about manual focusing with electronic shutter on a 8k camera body??? Shame I really loved the compactness, inovative style the x1D body has but really this product was introduced to market with much too many problems, before it was ready. Shame on Hasselblad for ruining their rep by rushing this product to market. The other medium format cameras introduced at same time are blowing this item out of the water! This camera might be great in studio, on tripod in field but that is not what the body style, design portrays, it shouts compactness, portability, style, take any where and shoot! As far as this goes we all know that is frustrating experience (just read Nasm Mansurov’s review)

              • How would you implement AF and a leaf shutter on non-native lenses?

                • Steve Gombosi says:

                  To whom is that directed? I was just stating that a V-adapter that could trip the shutter would be nice – and Hasselblad obviously knows how to do *that*, since they did it for the H. But I completely understand if it just ends up being a “dumb tube” that requires use of the e-shutter for cost reasons. AF is obviously not an issue in that case. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever used AF in my life. Actually, that’s not true – I used my wife’s EOS once and I hated it.

                  I guess Peter wants AF, but I assume that’s with H lenses (he doesn’t say). I understand that’s in the works.

                  However, since you asked, Leica seems to have been able to implement third-party adapters that support autofocus (Contax 645 and Hasselblad H) and even leaf shutter operation (Hasselblad H). I’m not certain that’s turned out to be a winning strategy for them, though (there seem to be a lot of people using Contax and Hasselblad lenses on Leica S cameras, instead of the excellent but seemingly quite unreliable Leica lenses). I don’t think that’s a cost-effective thing for Hasselblad to be developing. Opening the mount spec was a good idea for those of us with unusual requirements (I look forward to seeing how well my Photars and Luminars do at 50MP). I’m not sure the e-shutter is going to work very well with my Apo-Tessar, though. 😉

                  The biggest problem Hasselblad has with the X platform long-term is to keep it from cannibalizing H sales, while making it appealing enough to keep people from buying Fuji. There’s a very thin line there: you don’t want people deciding they can get by with a $10k camera when they would happily have bought a $40k camera from you, but you don’t want them forsaking the brand because the capabilities aren’t competitive. I think they’ve realized it needs more capability than was originally planned because the competitive landscape has changed since the camera was introduced. The whole point of the X is to expand the medium format market beyond the studio-based full-time pro.

                  I am glad to see Hasselblad thinking like a camera company again, instead of a “luxury goods manufacturer”

                  • The CF-H adaptor is actually a pretty complex piece of mechanics because it has to mechanically and electrically synchronise the leaf shutter with the rest of the camera mechanics – unfortunately, that makes it rather expensive (and given the fairly small market for this application, not a very good business case).

                    Leica’s third party AF support works on lenses that already have AF through reverse engineered protocols. I don’t know how well they work in practice, though – AF on medium format is a different beast to 35mm because of the much longer helicoids required and heavier glass, for starters.

                    All I can say is the current product roadmap was developed far before I had any influence (or even contact) with the brand – new products take 18-24 months to develop. All I can do at the moment with the current lineup is figure out how to make it best fit what a wider range of photographers would need, whilst looking into the next generation – but there is still significant lead time involved in getting any of these changes to market.

              • Santiago Martinez says:

                Peter A: I totally agree with your post. It is really frustrating to purchase $9K camera and than find out it is still in developmental stages. I own X1D for 6 months. After the latest firmware update, I am more-less happy with everything this camera has to offer – except for focusing. Focusing is a major let-down. It is like stepping 15 years backwards. It is slow, half of the time it doesn’t “stick”, and absence of continuous AF is simply inexcusable oversight. I shoot fashion. During my shoots, i always have to put my X1D down and finish my shoot with DSLR. Never had so many out of focus frames as I have with X1D. I think Hasselblad has to do something about it before it will start loosing its customer’s confidence. If Hasselblad plans on including continuous AF in second generation of cameras (X2D) , than that would be a complete total let-down for X1D owners. People will be very cautious about dropping another $9k for new X2D with features that should be included in X1D in first place. You cannot fool people out of $9K twice. I certainly hope Hasselblad will not leave X1D owners in the dark and that it will continue to upgrade X1D via firmware upgrades – including that so-much-needed continuous AF feature. Thank you

                • Continuous AF for CDAF systems is poor because of the way the whole system works – it only works well in LV-cameras that have hybrid PDAF locations on the sensor. (Remember what CDAF was like on a DSLR in LV without a hybrid sensor – unusable!) Such sensors do not exist yet. The short answer is we could implement CDAF, but it wouldn’t be useful – so no point.

        • Good news, I contacted Novoflex and they informed me that they already started to develop some adapters. They did not say which mounts though.

  18. Ming, you mentioned 180/4 APO-Lanthar, How about 125/2.5? I assume since these are all produced with the same concept and design they should be all good, what do you think?. Honestly, I am looking for an alternate macro lens and wish PCE 85 would work for me but, as you mentioned about aperture, it doesnt. Thank you,

    • It should work, but as I don’t have one – I can’t try it…

      The PC 85D has mechanical stop down and will work (but no flash sync as there isn’t a shutter, so continuous light only).

      • Yes, you are right. I didn’t pay attention to that part and I need to sync,…. Hope there be a dedicated tele-converter in future,
        Thank You,

        • If we do, it’s unlikely to be a universal design as the optical requirements for different types of lenses are quite specific. The tricky part is balancing optical performance with compatibility…

          • Seems Fujifilm will do it. They just announced the development of a 250mm tele with tailor-made 1,4 tele-converter for the GFX. I have to admit that I am a little envious because this is just what I need for my X1D.

  19. Hi Ming, Is that possible the X1D add a FF crop mode so that the iso of ES can be higher than 3200 and lower the 300 ms processing time? It will be a good new for the users with different type of lens switching from MF and FF format. Thanks.

  20. Hello Ming, is there any chance to see the wireless shutter release in future? Focus mobile is not very handy. How do you see the HC 120 macro (older) perform on X1D? thank you,

    • Wireless shutter release: not possible with current hardware.
      Haven’t tried the HC120 on the X1D. It should be optically identical to performance on H bodies though – flange distance with adaptor is the same, as is the sensor.

  21. Hi Ming, any initial thoughts on how the Otus 85 compares with the XCD 90? Thanks!

  22. Hi Ming, I work for Fowa, the Italian Hasselblad distributor. I’m very happy that Hasselblad can now count on a very competent person like you! One question, how do you physically connect the Nikon F lens mount to the X1D?

  23. Ohhhhh hellooooo. This makes things very interesting. Excited about the future for Hasselblad.

    • Yes , me too. Ming how are the sales of X1D ? How has Fuji’s GFX affected the X1D ?
      The first generation of mirrorless medium format are limited by sensor technology , the next generation is when the game really begins IMHO. gotta say though its getting harder and harder to resist the X1D with each firmware update…

  24. Electronic shutter seems to be a great enhancement but in my testing the shutter lag is huge.
    I consistently missed capturing a person walking past in front of me.
    So, while it has its uses, you need to be aware that it imposes other limitations.

    • Which we stated explicitly – rolling shutter is a sensor hardware limitation… 🙂

      • Mats Andren says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I like the improved possibilities, but I just wanted to mention that there is considerable lag, not just rolling shutter.
        Two different things although they affect each other.

  25. hi Ming
    Thank you for this interesting report. I would be very interested to learn how (if?) Zeiss ultrawides perform on the X1D, pertinently 15 f2.8, 21 f2.8 and 25 f2. Together with the 135 f2APO, I’ve invested in all these and use them with immense satisfaction on Nikon bodies.

    again, thanks very much for all the quality feedback and advice

    • Few (if any) of the ultrawides will have a big enough image circle – the Distagons tend to be not much larger than the format. Even the 28 Otus does not fully cover 44×33. However – that doesn’t mean you couldn’t crop to say 20x40mm or 31x31mm square – both of which can’t be done on a normal 35mm sensor…

      • Hi Ming thanks for the clarifications on these Zeiss – such wonderful glass!
        Last night, I stumbled across this snippet form the past. It leads one to ask how many of the other classic Nikkors (some still extant in updated models) began life with the design flexibility in their optical architecture to work in the 6×6 as well as 35mm formats:

        “The optical design of NIKKOR-H 300mm f/2.8 was made by Mr. SHIMIZU, Yoshiyuki introduced in Tale Five. Though it is not well known and to our surprise, this lens has the covering power enable to cover 6 x 6 cm format. It was originally designed so as to be switched to “Bronica Nikkor”.”

        Tale 11 : https://web.archive.org/web/20131016141521/http://imaging.nikon.com:80/history/nikkor/11/index.htm

        • Most of the teles cover >35mm – there are no constraints on the image circle as the designs can be symmetric (unlike wides, which have to be corrected to telecentricity to have sufficient flange distance and edge performance properties).

  26. Steve Gombosi says:

    The cautionary notes about the “rolling shutter” effect from using the e-shutter are very familiar to those of us who have experimented with the focal plane shutter on old Speed Graphic press cameras. My grandfather’s 1952 copy of Aaron Sussman’s The Amateur Photographer’s Handbook has a lengthy chapter on dealing with this problem (as well as some rather amusing examples of the distortion this can cause – particularly in sports photography). At least I won’t have to compute shutter speeds from spring tension numbers and slit widths (both of which were independently adjustable in the older Speed focal plane shutters) on the x1d. The same book features a discussion of a revolutionary new camera from Sweden in the recommended cameras section, by the way. 😉 It’s in the “miniature cameras” section.

    History really does repeat itself, it would seem.

  27. Hi Ming
    Do you think It would be possible to get the option to have the e-shutter as soon the camerea needs a shutter faster then 1/2000 to get a proper exposure?
    I believe my Leica Q or SL had that option

    One more thing: do you know how far we are from getting the XCD 65mn ?
    Do you know how fast will be?
    PersonaI hope not slower then 2.8
    I am really looking forward to get my favorite standard focal length on the X1D 🙂

    Thank you

    • I think I already explained why we didn’t do this in a previous comment – it’s because whilst 1/2000 with a leaf shutter definitely freezes motion, 1/2000 with e-shutter won’t because of the sensor readout time and rolling shutter – this is very dangerous as you may think you have more stopping power than you actually do.

      The X65 is in development but I of course cannot comment on spec…

  28. That’s a great news 🙂

    Can’t wait to try it out.

    Ming is there any chance to get this promotion ?

    I bought my gear few days ago. If I knew something like that would happened I would have waited 😥

  29. Hi, Ming
    Is there any visible rolling shutter distortion when shooting a moving object handheld with ES? (not fast moving objects, but objects like the singer above)

  30. Steve Gombosi says:

    I’m looking forward to having a migration path from the V-series to the x1d! I’m currently using a Leica S as a “lightweight travel body”.

    Ming, have you used the e-shutter handheld? If you have, did you experience any issues with camera motion?

    • The above image (and more to come) were all shot handheld. No issues so long as you are relatively stationary; basically, if you have sufficient shot discipline to handhold and achieve critical sharpness at 1/2x or so with the normal shutter, you’ll be fine here. Hold the camera for a beat longer than you usually would at the end of the exposure as the sensor is still reading out, too.

  31. Any chance we will something similar for the CFV-50c Digital Back?

  32. Sounds exciting to be ale to use my favorite Voigtlander APO Lanther ! I hope they make a k-mount to XCD! Leica R as well I could use my Super Angulon !!!!

  33. With the e-shutter working, are there any plans that Hasselblad will offer in the near future an adapter from V-lenses to X-mount? This would be very welcome!!

  34. When I shoot with the electronic shutter, it seems like my Fuji mirrorless gears down from 14 bit to 12 bit, which means that there is much less shadow/higlight recovery in the raw files. Do you know if the Hasselblad does the same thing?

    • Not as far as I know; my highlight recovery looks much the same. However: the Fuji’s tonal response is tuned more ‘linearly’ than ours by default (we have a highlight shoulder) so it’s also possible this may be hiding it. For the X1D, file sizes are the same for normal and E shutter, though.

  35. Dear Ming,
    a complete silent operation of the shutter works indeed in Mq mode.
    But this mode does not support Lifeview nor AutoFocus.
    So you are not able to focus anything. How has this been meant to be used then?
    Thanks to Hasselblad for implementing this together with the increased number of AF points, you are listening to your clients!
    IMO, the next big step will be the implementation of AF for HC lenses.
    Cheers from Germany
    John Goerten

    • Mq is not the same thing. A leaf shutter is open during viewing, and has to close, open for exposure and close again to end exposure then open again for viewing – i.e. cycling four times. Mq mode pre-closes the leaf shutter and reduces lag to about 5ms for critical timing applications – it’s the same as mirror up on a DSLR, during which you can’t see anything either.

      E shutter mode works in all exposure modes and is also lag free as the leaf shutter does not fire, but you can’t sync flash and there are some limitations on moving subjects or phased lighting as the sensor takes 300ms to read out (this is a hardware limitation). It isn’t the same thing as Mq.

  36. Sony has left its mark indelibly on photography as much for being adaptable as for leading the mirrorless charge. Nice to see Hassy following suit with these adapted lenses. Hopefully rock solid adapters will be available soon … from say Novoflex or Metabones. Shooting an Otus on MF is a really big deal IMHO.

  37. Jeff Grant says:

    Leica R lenses seem to do well on the GFX. I have a number of Nikon adapted ones. Have you tried any of them?

  38. Lee Han Wei says:

    Nice. What adapter needed? Same applied for Canon EF-Mount ZE Otus?

    • One off custom prototype – it’s mechanical only for aperture control, with Nikon F/ ZF.2 lenses. But I’m sure somebody will make them commercially very soon 😉

  39. Wow!!!!
    I would love to use my two Otus lenses in this camera
    Which adapter did you use to use those lenses??

    Thank you!!

  40. Hello Ming, any luck with adapting leica lens? Was wondering if this is a prototype adapter made by hassy or other third party manufacture. Also, was wondering if you got a hands on the xcd 120mm yet, thanks!

    • Leica lenses won’t cover the X1D’s full image circle – you can crop, but that would be rather pointless. The adaptor is a one off prototype (with a lot of messy hand machining to fit).

      Yes, I do have a very early first series 120 prototype – still testing and calibrating various parameters 🙂

      • Ah, thats too bad, I thought it has the same image circle as the GFX does,
        would love to adapt some m lenses on it like the GFX to keep the size minimal.

        =] Great, things going slow, but hopefully worth the wait.

        • It does – the sensors are the same. The image circle is a property of the lens, and M lenses are definitely not designed for large digital sensors especially given the very short flange distance and extreme corner angles…you can do it, but the results won’t look pretty.

      • stanis riccadonna zolczynski says:

        Leica long-focus lenses certainly will. Starting from Summicron 90/2, Telyt 200/4, Telyt 280/4, 400/6.3, 560/ 5.6 all of them with removable lens cells. Of course they are not of Otus quality.


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