Hasselblad X1D on location – ‘Modern Heritage’ mini-movie, and status update


Back in July, I had a chance to use a couple of very early production X1D cameras both to further firmware development, and to produce the travel video and images you see here. Most of my professional work is documentary and with available light, so it made sense to test the camera under this kind of situation; a little trip to the island of Penang was in order. The types of situations I encounter vary from stealthy reportage to long-exposure tripod setups; travel photography offers the same kind of opportunities – a little landscape, a little street, a little blend of both. This video was commissioned by Hasselblad as a sort of behind the scenes look into how a the X1D fits into the mould of versatility. There’s a bit more to today, though: after the jump, downloadable 100% samples, plus a production status update…

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More B&W sample images from the Leica X2

Today’s post is a quasi-photoessay. I’ve decided to share some more black and white samples from the Leica X2; my full review of that camera is here.

Actually, I’m being a little bit contrarian: it’s a camera that does outstanding color reproduction, but my choice of black and white is a deliberate one; not because I want to follow the popular monochrome theme going at the moment thanks to the M-Monochrom, but because one of the things I test when shooting with a new camera is the quality of its files on conversion; it tells me a lot about the tonal response curve of the sensor, which is useful information for both monochrome work and color work.

The X2’s CMOS has a very linear response, similar to the Nikon D7000; in fact, my conversion workflow for these two cameras turned out to be extremely similar. What does this mean? Great overall contrast, but perhaps a bit too much; there doesn’t seem to be that nice gentle highlight rolloff that’s the M8/M9/S2’s trademark. Dynamic range is high, but a lot of it is bunched in the shadows and requires some work to recover.

Many of you have asked about my B&W workflow – there’s an upcoming article on conversion options, and their differences, which I think you will all find useful. I’m also trying to figure out the best way to present a short walkthrough on how I personally do my conversions, which should help demystify the notion that you have to use filters or scanned film to get the look you want.

Oh, and that tilting EVF is extremely handy when you’re trying to be frame-fillingly stealthy with a 35mm lens. MT

Images shot around downtown Kuala Lumpur with a final production Leica X2.

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