Moving on

The short: I have elected not to renew my contract with Hasselblad/ DJI, which ended on 30 September 2018.

The long: the reasons for my departure are myriad. They mainly come down to a) increasing time demands of my watchmaking venture and family, and b) a difference between the company’s intentions for my role and where I believe I can add value/ what I feel passionate about.

I have spent the better part of the last few years fighting for things users want, need and find useful (thank me for electronic shutters, fast lenses and drone color later). But it’s been met mostly with internal resistance and a daily assortment of complaints, blames, demands and such from the user community. Worse, many insinuate that I am personally responsible for whatever grievance that individual has – which almost always could not be further from the truth. Some even get threatening. Bottom line: it isn’t worth my time or stress levels anymore.

However, I continue to remain in the Hasselblad family as an owner and user, as I believe the product still delivers the best image quality I’ve seen to date. A lot of the right roadmap was put into plan over the last two years (which you’ve already seen some of), and hopefully we’ll all get to see the rest of it.

Practically, this means I will of course no longer be representing either Hasselblad or DJI. For enquiries and service/ support going forward, please contact My address is no longer active as of today.

In any case, I suppose it was a fun ride while it lasted – nearly three years since first signing as an ambassador at the start of 2016 – and there have been some truly memorable moments in my career that wouldn’t have happened without it.

One last thing: unsurprisingly, I have quite a number of cameras here, some of which I will be letting go of. Currently available:

  1. H5D-50c wifi body and back, complete (overhauled in March, including a new sensor), condition excellent, including extra battery; US$5,900 inc. Paypal, shipped via DHL or best offer On hold pending funds
  2. HC 50/3.5 II, as new, complete, US$2,200 ($5,150 new) inc. Paypal, shipped via DHL Sold

Please email me if interested.


  1. I believe you are going back to Olympus now !!!?

    • No, you might be confusing me with Robin – I think he never really left, though 😉

      I have never been 100% exclusive to any one system, so I can’t actually go ‘back’ to somewhere I wasn’t. I simply to continue to use whatever is best suited to the task at hand. 🙂

      • I am not confusing you with Robin …. But As I know you were into Olympus before being a Hasselblad Embassador … I was just wondering if you might go again with Oly … just a thought … anyway good luck

        • I used one quite a lot back in 2012/13, until the E-M1 was launched with shutter shock problems and my primary cameras became unusable. I still kept one for video, much the same as I’ve always owned a Nikon. The balance changes I suppose. But no, having done brand representation once, I’m quite happy not to have to do it again. It is a privilege to be able to buy and use what you want and not worry about whether your choices are politically correct to your employer or not! 🙂

          • I totally understand … happened with me…. i refused to be affiliated with any brand … I always prefer to be free with my choices … today I use Olympus Fujifilm and Sony … and Leica M. Couldn’t do that if I was affiliated with one of those ! 🙂

            • Every single one of those would expect you to not only be exclusive but publicly laud even their worst hardware. Been there, done that, either refused flat out or resigned. Your own integrity is irreplaceable, the brands don’t care – they’ll just move on to the next person willing to shill. The last two on that list are especially bad.

  2. So now there is no more resource for info on Hasselblad equipment. Stupid move on their part. Thanks for your work in the past few years.

  3. Good luck with your new endeavours Ming!

    I was keen on your thoughts regarding the choice between Leica M10 and Hasselblad X1D, as you have much experience with both brands. My primary use is portraits and landscapes. Which of the two has greater ease of handling, and what would be your recommendations regarding choice of lenses.

    I can only buy one, and hope to build up the needed bits of the system over time

    Many thanks

    • Thanks.

      Honestly, neither – and they’re not really the same kind of camera, either. You could shoot action with an X1D if you time it right, but there’s no way to do so with an M. Portraits and landscapes have very different idea hardware requirements, and you can use any lens to shoot anything – the choice should be a creative-driven one not a formulaic one.

      There’s a lot more bang for the buck to be had in a more mainstream brand (not to mention, a complete system for the same money as just a body, and much better reliability…)

      • Thanks Ming. For sure your “bang for the buck” remark given your extensive experience with all the major marques has given me reasons to think hard and carefully; even though the Leica glass comes hugely recommended from all and sundry, and Hasselblad capability to capture detail is equally well regarded.

        • Hasselblad’s strength is in color and tonality, not resolution – the 45/47/50MP 35 FF cameras have the same spatial resolution; that’s a function of the number of photo sites and lens’ resolving power.

          Leica’s strength is…to be honest, I’m not sure anymore. They do not lead in resolution, tonality, color accuracy, value for money or reliability. The optics are good, but quality control can be variable. I suppose there’s alkways retained value and brand recognition…

          • Thanks again Ming for sharing your experience. Would it be correct to say that “color and tonality” are a function of the lens’ quality?

            • Yes and no – contrast, resolution and micro contrast (related) are. Color transmission is, up to a point, but beyond that – it’s all adjustable in post. Other qualities such as flare, big netting, field curvature, CA etc can affect overall drawing and are very much part of a lens’ naive properties.

  4. Congratulations Ming! Aside from spending more time with your familia, will you be considering re-curating your flickr pool?

    • Thanks. Not for the moment…

    • david distefano says:

      yes, family is very important, number 1 in my book. unfortunately for many people like myself, who like to read actual practitioners of good work to pick up a tip or two, we lose out. society today seems to continuously play the blame game when they run into a problem. it’s never their fault. even though mine and your shooting styles are different, good work is always appreciated. i am sorry to see you leaving hasselblad and that sick people would even threaten you. no one needs to take that s#&t. hopefully you will continue to write articles using your hasselblad equipment so photographers like myself can continue to learn and excel at life’s stress releaser, photography.

      • I’ll continue to write about photography, but gear is merely a tool – not the end goal (and I think that’s what causes people so much stress…;) )

        • david distefano says:

          i guess i probably used the wrong word (gear) since my hasselblad gear is an h3dll 22 with 80mm and 50-110 lenses. i use the hasselblad probably 75% of the time and the nikon d850 about 25%. i do mostly black and white and gum over platinum/palladium, i find the hassesblad’s high values just transition with the smoothness of silk. since i photograph the natural world, it allows me time to contemplate and fill my soul with the natural surroundings. the mountains of the high sierra in california where i live are the cathedrals that have no equal to any man made buildings imho.

          • Agreed on highlight handling – that’s always been one of the strengths or larger pixels…

            • david distefano says:

              i find the dalsa sensor used in hasselblad’s 60mp cameras such as the h4d-h5d to also have very smooth transitions throughout the image in photographs that i have seen that used that dalsa sensor. i did a down and dirty test at a camera store (took the cf card home to process) with an h5d-60 and my 80mm lens and compared it with my d850 with a zeiss otus 85mm lens. the sharpness between the 2 could go either way depending on who is looking at it. i thought the zeiss was a tad sharper, my wife thought the hasselblad image was sharper. but the d850’s transition of values was lacking compared to the hasselblad. do you see a similar outcome or is this just in the eye of the beholder.

              • I think it’s also down to exposure and post processing. The current FF CMOS sensors won’t beat the current CMOS MF sensors, but they do have quite a lot more latitude on the CCD stuff…

  5. Haaselblad X1D greens and yellows are horrendous, so well done.

  6. Congratulations on your independence, Ming. Hoping this means we will get to read more of your delightful reviews. Leica CL and or Summilux 28 would be delightful…

    • Thanks. I’m only reviewing things I find interesting enough to buy, both because of access and utility – whether or not I do so should in itself say enough. No plans for Leica gear as the cost-value-utility relationship is prohibitive and loans come with strings attached…

  7. Ming, I am thrilled to read you once again have the freedom to fully express yourself, independent of specific companies! For you, my very best wishes to you, and to your family. At the end of the day, you and your family should be your very highest priority. Seems you are acting on that sentiment. Good for you!

  8. DJI acquired Hasselblad at the beginning of 2017. Can’t ask MT to comment on the impact, but we cannot help but wonder.

  9. Ming,

    Having survived 45+ years in a business where assets are bought and sold regularly and where PE firms proliferate, I can only say that what you have experienced is a personal loss and what I have found that it is necessary to think of it like a divorce and evaluate both sides of the equation to understand the dynamic, seeing the other side as well as your own. This rather raises the bar for you and puts you in the realm of having accepted the change and learning from the “rejection”.

    Your details are sparse, but from my vantage point, no matter how smart, capable, or insightful you may be, and assuming limited employer resources, employers who are on the “cutting edge” of some technology are always seeking new value in their relationships, both internal and external, to compete. There is also the cultural issue and whether one “fits” in, and of course whether you exhibit traits that support the executive vision.

    What I am saying is, one can’t be overly sensitive in business, one must anticipate change and perhaps acknowledge that they provide a resource that is expendable, and that there are a myriad of reasons why change may be necessary. I am reminded of Thomas Cromwell and his 10 year run as the right hand of Henry VIII. One poor decision and with it a sea of controversy, adversaries coming out of the woodwork against him, he lost his head (figuratively) for a single error in judgement. In fact, he conjured and facilitated the Reformation simply to provide Henry with the ability to have multiple marriages. How can a King disparage a man who made his wishes a reality, and to do so effectuating a complete change in the social and religious order in England. Of course, in the aftermath, Henry realized his mistake in killing the only individual who could have provided him with reasoned political pathways.

    Businesses, but particularly public entities (and you can find this sentiment in social media), like to take aim at whomever puts them in poor light, for whatever reason, and terminate those who perhaps they wanted to force out in any event. Can you imagine a SpaceX or Tesla without Musk? Noone can, so in that case, perception is that his vision is indispensable. This is rare of course.

    Long story short, I would look at who they hired to replace you (if they did), and place yourself in the executive’s position as to why. None of the reasons for the change may be valid, but from my viewpoint, perception is virtually 100% of the law in business. There is also the question of following (i.e. how many customers could you bring to the table with your style etc), and whether one ambassador is “sexier” than another – who will bring more attention to the brand.

    Believe me this is not to disparage as you have my utmost respect, but surviving in business is simply having a thick skin, recognizing your own limits within the range of possibilities, and choosing based upon that knowledge. I have found that disappointment is a function of not recognizing reality, and wishing for more than perhaps we can expect. Having said that, we can’t anticipate everything and frankly we become perhaps paranoid if we do.

    As to customer complaints, in my last gig, my life was threatened by a customer whose perception was that they were not getting what they wanted. Needless to say, getting past the initial shock to a few days, but there was little I could do but suggest that he calm down and work out a reasoned solution.

    On another occasion I negotiated a deal and the customer came back to an executive complaining that I had tricked him into making the deal. Needless to say, I had to capitulate. All part of the fun of course :).

    I certainly would be proud of a 3 year run with the company of my choice.

    Best wishes for your future.

    • Hi Flip, I was the one who elected not to renew, and I don’t have a replacement. The reasons for this are complex and not publicly disclosable. But business is business: relationships can terminate unilaterally when the needs one don’t meet the other. We move on. I’d have preferred not to but have to make a public statement so people stop emailing me with complaints…

  10. Guenter Rohde Lorenz says:

    The real winners are your lovely family (you included), Ming. I can only add to the multiple well-wishers who expressed their gratitude. See you around and all the best for your next endeavors. Love your philosophy.

  11. Mike Gannon says:

    Any experiment of interest in life will be carried out at your own expense, hope you can get back to what you like to do on your terms

  12. I just retired my from professional career in biotech, and the last 10 years of that I spent leading product development teams in a discipline known as “Voice of the Customer”, aka VOC (this form of contextual inquiry was first formally described in a publication in 1995 by Griffin and Hauser). The teams l led did a form called “contextual inquiry”, and we backed up the customer needs we gather from this by doing self-stated importance surveys as well as Kano Analysis (which provides a specification of value for a given customer need).

    One of the keys I used to teach my project teams was learning how to sift the “wheat from the chaff”, or, determine the “signal in the noise” as Nate Silver might put it.

    One of the challenges was teaching cross-functional product development teams (comprise both of R&D *and* product management) was to leave their agenda and biases of what they knew the product should be “at home” vs what the customer actually wanted. Studies by PDMA, etc. have shown that internal product teams’ assessment of customer needs are often 180° apart from what customer ACTUAL needs are, so it was actually really important to listen to customers without bias.

    Of course, the biggest challenge was getting the executives to listen to the VOC they charged their teams with obtaining, rather than derailing projects themselves with *their* agenda/biases.

    • Agreed. It can be very difficult to remain objective as an exec especially when the market is telling you something very different from what you think is right, or when the data you have doesn’t make sense to your own experience, or when that experience falls short…

      • Exactly. This is why we gathered actual data from deep, 1-on-1 interviews with customers in their “context” of the places they worked, made recordings of our VOC interviews, and had verbatim transcripts made. We would also spend as much time watching carefully do their actual work without intervening, so as to learn what customers *actually* did. Sometimes customers don’t actually do what they tell you they do in a VOC interview, and a lot of times, what they do are “workarounds” they’ve developed to solve problems with the product. And regarding execs, what you are describing about their behavior was exactly the challenge of dealing with them. Our execs would often do “cutomer visit junkets”, but inevitably, they’d talk to lab directors or principal invesigators, rather than the guys in trenches (aka “at the lab bench”) doin’ the actual work, so in almost all cases, the exec’s gut feelings were wrong. Want to know whats required to create the requisite features and functionality that creates value and drives quality for a customer? Talk to the guy in the trenches actually doing the work, alone, and in-person, where they feel safe to speak accurately and not be intimidated by their boss, or the execs. Obtaining consistent, accurate and insightful VOC intelligence can be done, it, like all of product development, requires the discipline to stay true to the process, listen objectively to the data, and always try to deliver value propositions with the highest qualty that help customers do their actual work. Er, sorry for the long-winded lecture on VOC, I had my Six Sigma Black Belt hat on there! 😉

  13. C’mon, guys! Stop the brown-nosing and the girlish drama. It’s just a job. People move on all the time. This is a business decision by both parties. Nobody loses. Nobody owes.

    • I didn’t see it as either, but precisely: nobody owes, which is exactly why I’m moving on. But I still have to make it official to stop the assumptions and usual flood of emails regarding something I am no longer involved in. That said, it’s nice to know people felt you contributed something. 🙂

    • “Brown-nosing”?

      Hath Ming anything mercenary to reward us with?

      Billions of men & women have married and conceived and brought forth life, and billions more will, but when those interwoven with the fabric of our life marry and conceive, we still offer heartfelt congratulations and express our endearment, or sorrow with dissolution.

      Company blogs are common, Ming’s contribution to Hasselblad was off-site but deeply engaging, and the loss is palpable.

      /You don’t seem to know/seem to care/What your heart is for/ (Natalie Imbruglia recording of Torn)

      All in good humor! 🙂

    • Steve Gombosi says:

      I think the customers lose, but it’s not like we’re important or anything ;-). Anyway, Ming – I understand we largely have you to thank for the 80mm, which looks like a really remarkable lens. I’m seriously considering trading the 90mm for it. Yeah, it’s heavier, but I’m used to lugging around a 503CW with winder *and* prism. The X1D+80mm is still a featherweight by comparison.

    • Ming has been extremely helpful and generous with his knowledge and time to his readers and they are expressing their gratitude for that and also support. That doesn’t make it brown nosing.

  14. Hasselblad is on moving grounds, so maybe what you hoped for got out of reach after the company evolved.
    Getting in front of customers is never easy, especially because people who complain make noise, whereas happy people usually stay silent.
    Nevertheless, thanks for what you seem to have done, and for being always so rational and cool-headed in your articles and posts.
    Good luck for your future projects

    • Everything in business is a moving target. Adaptation and staying flexible is what keeps you in the game – I honestly have lost count of the number of times plan D went out the window, let alone plan A 🙂

      That said, there still needs to be an overarching goal; interfacing with customers is important to find out exactly where the needs, gaps and opportunities are. And legitimate problems are something I would hate as a customer too – so I do my best in these situations; that isn’t what concerns me. On the other hand, being blamed for XYZ missing/ not working/ ‘your staff’/ ‘your dealers’ etc. is something else when one has both no control over those elements and you are already trying to improve things as much as you can for the customers. Even that isn’t so bad – it’s the rudeness and entitlement…ah well. I guess the ability to afford something does not include culture in the box…

      • “I guess the ability to afford something does not include culture in the box.” Penetrative postulation! 🙂

        “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

        • Wait, I thought it was “the geek shall inherit” or “the noisy get heard” 😛

          Actually, I think one can find a popular saying to suit pretty much anything…

      • Personally I quire enjoy the challenge of fielding rude and entitled customers. When it’s the job, you have to do it and every time you do it, you become stronger. That means when it happens off the job it’s even easier to brush off – and that tends to annoy them even more!

        • It is certainly an interesting challenge – if that is the job you agreed to. Not so much if not 😉

        • whimsicalmike says:

          In my business i had a different approach as more than 99% of my business were return customers. If they were rude or otherwise obnoxxious then the next time i added a tax to thier bill. I called it wanker tax. I worked on the concept ofnot refusing to do business with them just put the price up untill i am happy to do it. Only had a few that had the tax applied andit amused my staff greatly when they would see WT added to the job sheet.

          • Haha – that’s a very good idea. We can’t do it with fixed price hardware unfortunately (though how I wish we could – this is what seems to draw the most entitled ones out), but on services…definitely. What’s really surprised me though is that higher prices seem to turn some non-serious clients into serious ones who stop interfering and let you do the job they hired you for in the first place…

  15. Ming I think you should hang your shingle out as an industrial designer who addresses hardware and UI holistically and across different cultures. Nobody else is as articulate, curious, experienced or as talented as you are. All of the camera companies should be paying you large retainers for non-exclusive consulting because you are the best!

    • A lack of solid CV in that area might be a problem, but I suppose designing a whole line of watches and the Hasselblad consulting gig might go some way to filling that.

      As for camera company retainers – thanks, but there’s a risk all of the cameras would then coalesce into a singularity! 😛

  16. You made an impact. The brief period you were with Hasseblad will definitely be written into its history books. The photography community will recognise your contributions. Now, where’s my piggybank…time to invest in more Ming watches. =)

  17. If I really do have you to thank for the 80mm 1.9, then truly, thank you!! I really look forward to that lens.

    I wish you well on your next Chapter. Hasselblad have lost a great asset.

    • Haha, you’re welcome.

      They don’t seem to think so, and they’ve been in the camera business far longer than I’ve been alive, so what do I know 🙂

  18. Kristian Wannebo says:

    when you joined Hasselblad with your ideas and experience of how camera operation ought to be, we all hoped they would continue to listen to you.
    But when a giant like DJI joined (boarded ship?), I was afraid the listening might peter out…
    Let’s hope more of the seeds you sowed and planted will germinate and grow to fruition…

    Good for you that you left in time and found a good moment to do so.

    Wishing you all the best for your renewed business life!

    ( And hoping to congratulate your daughter to more time with you!)

    • Well, I joined at the same time as the transition was taking place and was brought on because of it, by DJI. But that particular person is no longer with either company (and was basically spearheading the whole thing) – so I guess that at least partially explains the situation. Thanks for your wishes, Kristian!

  19. thank you so much for all you’ve done for us x1d users. actually, i’m so pleased with the x1d in my studio that i can’t imagine any x2d “improvements” being worth it for me. best wishes for you.

  20. Sorry to hear that it did not work out .. nevertheless, thank your for the e-shutter, thank you for the 80mm f/1.9 and thank you that you tried at least a new alliance between Hasselblad and Zeiss.

  21. John Wilson says:

    All the best for the future Ming. I’ll never be able to afford a Hasselblad camera, but your sterling work on the DJI Mavic 2 Pro’s colour management was most welcome and greatly appreciated. The SOOC JPGs are superb. I hope your drone diaries will have further entries…

  22. Not the news I wanted to hear , it is a truly big loss for us. I wish the best for you , at least we can enjoy your reviews again(which is great) 😀
    Now lets hope Hasselblad does not blow it with X2D :/

  23. It must be hard to let go of something so precious as being an ambassador for a great institution as Hasselblad a shame and a blessing as you describe.
    I have been manufacturing full diamond watches for thirty years on and off it is very rewarding and in those thirty years I have sold almost every watch I made. So go for it the watch business is loads of fun.
    As for the ebb and flow of the camera business I not sure I would call waiting two years for Photokina only to see half of the manufacturers participate in new products exciting. Not to mention the latest trend to announce concept models that may change or may not even make it to the market.
    I too have been leaning on Hasselblad for the last three years maybe longer to offer additional firmware requests that in my opinion would help not only me but the brand but my knuckles are raw from knocking on a steel door and nobody answers. Phase has many solutions for me but I don’t like the price structure of lease to own which doubles the cost to buy it outright.
    The advise I can give you for your watch business is to produce limited amounts of a design until you know it’s a proven winner only then should you expand the designs and inventory.
    Thanks for your product honesty and the hours and days you gave to us in the the way of reporting your experience with the shooting environments you You we’re in.

    • Actually, it grew into more than that – I had some input into shaping where the company should go; the seeds were exciting but the politics and eventual dilution (and bricks from people thinking I had control over everything) were not. Better to put that effort into something I know I can control. (And yes, make one less than there’s demand for 🙂 )

      The firmware updates did happen – a lot of progress was made on the X1D and H6D because of user requests and insights I sent on. There are of course limits to what we could do given resources and the size of the company, but this should no longer be a problem for them.

  24. Looking forward to a major “CAMERAPEDIA” update!! 🤓

  25. Wolfgang Lengfelder says:

    Hello Mingthein, great respect for your engagement with Hasselblad and all your photographic activities.

    You have sensitized many for Hasselblad, with your contributions and expertise. And you gave a company a face. That’s the best thing that can happen to a product and the company: sympathy and authenticity. This gives a company valuable impulses from outside.

    In many companies, such things encounter resistance. Because with your positive influence you change the prevailing thinking and processes. Many do not want that. I think you have had these experiences.

    Yes, do what you stand for. Do that with which you identify yourself. Your experiences take you now a big step further. Whether watches or camera or whatever: Do your thing with people with the same values.

    Best regards, Wolfgang

    • Thanks Wolfgang. The problem with being the face is that everything – bricks and flower – are thrown at you. Perhaps more bricks than one would expect…

      Every corporate experience is a learning one for me – how to run my own companies better, both in adopting the good and avoiding the bad. Onwards and upwards!

      • Wolfgang Lengfelder says:

        Hallo Mingthein,
        check if the bricks come inside or outside the company. Check if the stones were thrown at you or at the company. The difference should be decisive.

        This experience and this knowledge are very important. There will also be stone throwers in your own company. Unfortunately.

        Try to see every brick as a foundation for your company, then it will be a big building.

        • Bit of everything, but sadly a brick is a brick regardless of where it comes from.

          Yes, there are stone throwers everywhere. But at least with one’s own company it’s possible to do something about the source…and as you say, recycle the building materials. 😛

  26. Deftly stated. Ming transcendent. Go forth and thrive, as you know you will.

  27. Ming,
    First post here ….I just wanted you know you have been very helpful to me as a new Hasselblad user. I am sad to see you go but really aprreciate all you have done.

  28. whimsicalmike says:

    Very sad to learn about the difficulties. One of the attractions to Hb was they seemed to be actively listening to a quality photog and the product seemed to be improving at a fair pace. I truely hope HB doesn’t just become a badge for drones but The caution lights just got a lot brighter for me. I think many of the other companies are a bit too motivated by the bean counters and not enough by the users, blad seemed different. Sad

    • In all fairness, we (and I personally) put a lot of work into the Mavic 2 – it honestly isn’t just a badge. Where things go from here – I don’t know. I started a very interesting long term roadmap but I have no idea how much will see fruition.

  29. I rarely post unless I feel I can add something useful to the conversation, so here goes trying to be useful 🙂

    Thank you very much for all you’ve provided to the community these many years. I especially appreciate your point of view reviews, which are in depth, of high quality, and of great practical value, based on real world use. I really love the photography, lingering over each photo and letting them slowly sink in. I know you hate the phrase “you must have a good camera”, but you do. And in you those great cameras are coupled with an excellent intellect, exquisite talent, and a unique eye for composition.

    I wish you only the best in future endeavors and I love your watch designs. It would be interesting if you could couple one special watch with a smartphone via an app. Nothing at all like an Apple Watch, but a primary electromechanical movement that doesn’t require it be charged every evening with a way to send critical information between the watch and smartphone. An interesting engineering problem, and a product I would seriously considering purchasing if done right (primarily with quality in mind).

    • Thanks!

      Watches: I’m rather weary of the electronics because all have a finite lifespan and no easy repairability; on top of that, development costs are enormous because you basically need custom chips and displays etc. It’s a completely different design paradigm: I think there’s been too much attempt to make smartwatches still look like conventional mechanical watches rather than fully exploring the flexibility available.

  30. No surprise Ming. If there was one, it would be that things lasted as long as they did. One man against entrenched and immovable forces, as I’ve personally experienced when my company was acquired by a much larger organisation, will never have an easy time of trying to affect change – unless you’re in at the very top with carte blanche to innovate together with an independent budget to finance it. Great to see you are enjoying success with your watch endeavour.

  31. Can’t say I’m at all surprised really … for a company so steeped in rich tradition, they can make odd, if not really dumb decisions. Gluing a little wooden grip on an rx100 then charging four grand for it, forever changed my perception of Hasselblad. That they would squander one, if not the only real connection to the X1D end user makes perfect sense to me. Especially at a time when the FF mirrorless space is about to get very interesting what with the big 2 climbing aboard … and Fuji throwing excrement in the game with a 4500 medium format camera 😉 Full Frame Mirrorless cameras will keep getting better and better faster with so much competition coming on line in the very near future that the X1D will soon be relegated (if it isn’t already) to only buyers that are blindly enamored with the Hasselblad name. They say you never know how close you were when you quit … that shall be the way of the X1D IMO. On a selfish note, very glad to have you back doing proper reviews Ming 😉 …Best of luck and continued good fortune.

    • Thanks Scott. I tried, I really did…

      As for proper reviews: same caveats apply as before. I have to buy something to review it, and I only buys something if I think it really has potential…which should itself say enough 😉

  32. best of luck on your new path

  33. Steve Gombosi says:

    Well, I know at least one X1D was sold because of your input. 😉 I hope they carry on with the roadmap, and I’m looking forward to seeing more articles, images, and reviews from you. This really is Hasselblad’s loss.

  34. I hope it was worth it Ming. I can’t imagine stress of being a public face of a company, let alone one of that size with such disparate areas.

    However, selfishly I was happy to see your Z7 and 24-70 review. I was on the fence about the 24-70 for the Z6 I knew I wanted, but your positive review pushed me over the fence.

    How’s Z7 face-detect AF working on your little one? As accurate as you’d like?

    • It was…an interesting experience, and one that I’ll always be grateful for having.

      Face detect: to be honest, I never use it on any camera…I’m a select-your-own-point kinda guy.

  35. AZIZI SAID says:

    3 years already ! Time flies.

    In either case, good luck on your own business. It’s where you should invest your time anyways and not for some shareholders… I want to do the same but haven’t found a business to invest myself in yet !

    About the watchmaking, your 17.03 in the metal strap is very reminiscent of the fp journe monopoussoir. Just an opinion but I think they both would look better on leather 😀

    • Well, photography has been and is my own business too – but regardless, your statement makes sense.

      The 17.03 on bracelet also includes two leather straps, or is available with the straps only 😉

  36. I’m not surprised that it didn’t work longer given the circumstances you describe. As a strategist myself I would be terrified of representing the company towards general public. Someone else is always the ultimate decision maker, someone else is responsible for implementation, someone else drafts and releases messages to the public – and you have no direct authority over any of these. The only one who has is the CEO, and that’s why it’s a stressful and high paying job. Obviously in a small company everyone has to cross some thresholds, but Hassy is a branch of a large corporation now (I guess).

    The way I see it these days is that career is a series of projects – some of which last longer than others. Good luck with your new ventures and enjoy the family!

    Out of curiosity, how did you find the working culture in Sweden, in comparison to what you’ve experienced before?

    • Career as projects: pretty much. The whole paradigm of continuous ‘business as usual’ doesn’t exist anymore. Probably due to information flow, social media and unrealistic expectations.

      Working culture in Sweden was great – China…let’s say it was different.

  37. A shame,but I fully understand your reasoning! Perhaps they need more of a community engagement manager to take the brunt of the “user feedback”?
    Good to see that the watch venture is going well!

  38. Alex Carnes says:

    Hmm, I had a feeling you might be moving on. Onwards and upwards! 😊

  39. I always thought it was a very good idea of Hasselblad to hire you, too bad it did not work out. Sometimes a company knows that they need outside help, but then when help actually comes they think they know better themselves anyway, I don’t know if this is what happend of course.
    I am somewhat glad if this make me see more of your photos though!

  40. You have always responded to my queries on hasselblad cameras, small or big. Appreciate your commitment in this area.

  41. Derrick Pang says:

    ming thanks! You did well and converted many. wish you the best in your future endeavors!

  42. That’s Hasselblad’s loss. I don’t know you personally, but from several years reading your blog I get the sense that you don’t tolerate fools gladly – and many of the camera forums of the world (present company excepted) have an unfortunately large quantity of fools. I can well imagine it gets draining when people complain about things which are completely beyond your control, and more so when they can’t be reasonable about it.

    I’m sure you will make a success of your other ventures in the meantime.

    Out of curiosity, if another camera company (one you liked) made you a similar offer and gave you carte blanche, would you still consider it, or has your experience put you off the notion for good?

    • Life is simply too short to do so – and there are many more positive, productive things to do than fight said fools.

      Similar offer: I’d do it if it was really carte blanche. Actually even if the scope was clearly defined and adhered to, I’d probably still do it. Not for any reason other than because I like to push the envelope of what can be done, and if something can be done better…

  43. Hi Ming,
    Emailed you a year back then to fix the stuck battery on my X1D. Thanks for the help!
    We as users believe that the functions you pushed forward are greatly appreciated in the field,
    is unfortunate things didn’t work out. Hope your journey forward be as stress free and enjoyable as always


  44. I can understand your reasoning, and wonder sometimes how any of us put up with the “daily assortment of complaints, blames, demands and such from the user community”. Even the most positive of us can be worn down by the seemingly endless negativity that proliferates on internet forums and feedback channels. What is the world coming to 😉

    Good luck in all your other continuing ventures Ming…

  45. Jeeez… that’s a surprise. I’m sure you’ll continue to kick arse anyway.
    That H5D-50c can go to charity; I’m a charity!

  46. You’ve been of great service to the community! It’s our loss, and you and your families gain! May every good thing come to all of you!

  47. Wish you the best, Ming! You represented the brand well. Time for some better things!

  48. Eric Borgström says:

    Well fair enough. Thank you for all what you have done for Hasselblad owners and the brand.

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