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Sigma Announces 24-70mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art for Nikon and Canon DSLRs and Sigma sa

Get Sigma DG HSM Art and Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art B&H Photo.

See Sigma DG HSM Art lens reviews in diglloyd Advanced DSLR.

The bread and butter mid-range zoom from Sigma should put some pressure on CaNikon, assuming the Sigma 24-70 is up to Art standards—I was not at all happy with the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG HSM Art.

I’ll be testing this new Sigma 24-70mm zoom, as well as the new 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art and the new 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art. My priority is the prime lenses first, but let’s see what arrives when.

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art

I am not necessarily keen on image stabilization. It tends to raise issues of compatibility and peak optical performance and lens symmetry. But given its bread-and-butter mid-range status, it makes sense since Sigma has to compete against CaNikon offerings which have image stabilization. Which is pretty much what Sigma is saying here:

The SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM Art incorporates an aspherical lens element that helps achieve extremely high resolution. This element is much thicker at the center than the edges, and forming its unusual shape is a feat of manufacturing technology.

Moreover, SIGMA processes the surface of this aspherical lens element with ultra-precise tolerances that are measured in hundredths of a micrometer. This extremely fine surface allows the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art to deliver a very natural and smooth bokeh effect, without the visible concentric rings that afflict typical aspherical lens elements.

See Aspheric “Onion Ring” Bokeh for an example of what Sigma seems to claim to avoid.

I am pleased to see a Sigma 3-year warranty extension on top of the 1 year warranty. What’s with a miserly one year warranty as with many vendors? But what about pro services if one is to invest in the Sigma Art line?

  • Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/16
  • Three SLD and Four Aspherical Elements
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor, Manual Override
  • Optical Stabilizer
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • TSC Material, Brass Bayonet Mount
  • Compatible with Sigma USB Dock

Zoom lenses come with all kinds of compromises. My main concerns are distortion and field curvature, both of which are troublesome with Canon and Nikon mid-range zooms.

SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art

Top-level performance optimized for the era of ultra-high-megapixel cameras

The large-diameter standard zoom ideal for today’s ultra-high-megapixel digital cameras, OS functionality and newly designed HSM for success on any shoot, Lens barrel designed for high rigidity.

The definitive large-diameter standard zoom lens for any shoot. What photographers demand from the 24-70mm F2.8 specification is much more than outstanding image quality. They want all the features that make this a go-to lens for a wide range of photographic opportunities, including optical design ideal for the latest ultra-high-megapixel digital cameras, hypersonic motor (HSM) for high-speed autofocus, optical stabilizer (OS) with powerful stabilization effect, dust- and splash-proof mount with rubber sealing, and a metal barrel for a stable, rigid feel. This all-new 24-70mm F2.8 lens from SIGMA delivers the performance and functionality that help pros succeed in news, nature, and many other fields of photography.

Outstanding optical performance

Three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass lens elements and four aspherical lens elements help minimize optical aberrations. To ensure outstanding image quality from the center to the edges of the photograph, the optical system minimizes coma, which causes points of light to streak, and transverse chromatic aberration, which cannot be corrected via aperture control, The optical system also minimizes distortion, which can be particularly evident in wide-angle shots, resulting in excellent optical performance throughout the zoom range.

A 24-70mm F2.8 lens that meets the high standards of the Art line

SIGMA has continuously pioneered 24-70mm F2.8 lenses that are a step ahead of the times. The first model of this specification, SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG ASPHERICAL DF, launched in 2001. Representing the fourth generation of the family, the new SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art accomplishes a challenging feat in optical design: incorporating optical stabilizer functionality in a large-diameter standard zoom. By leveraging all of its design and manufacturing expertise, SIGMA has ensured that this new lens fulfills the uncompromising requirements of the Art line for image and build quality.

Bokeh that is a cut above

At wide-open aperture, this lens offers outstanding photographic expression. The area in focus is extremely sharp, while the background exhibits a beautiful bokeh effect with only slight spherical aberration. Since large-diameter zoom lenses are often used at wide-open aperture, SIGMA has paid close attention to the shape of the bokeh, aiming for perfect circularity.

Incorporating advanced aspherical lens processing technology

Aspherical lenses necessitate refined expertise in the design and manufacturing of advanced, high-performance lenses. SIGMA’s first products to feature this technology were the SIGMA 12-24mm F4 DG HSM | Art and SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art, which both incorporated a large ⌀80mm aspherical lens as their front lens element.

Building on the success of these predecessors, the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art incorporates an aspherical lens element that helps achieve extremely high resolution. This element is much thicker at the center than the edges, and forming its unusual shape is a feat of manufacturing technology. Moreover, SIGMA processes the surface of this aspherical lens element with ultra-precise tolerances that are measured in hundredths of a micrometer. This extremely fine surface allows the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art to deliver a very natural and smooth bokeh effect, without the visible concentric rings that afflict typical aspherical lens elements.

OS functionality and newly designed HSM for success on any shoot

Designed for advanced utility in a wide variety of situations, the optical stabilizer (OS) offers a powerful stabilization effect. The newly designed large hypersonic motor (HSM) offers 1.3 times the torque of its predecessor and exceptionally stable performance even at lower speeds.
* Based on CIPA's guideline. Measuring at telephoto end, when it is attached to the camera with 35mm image sensor.

Lens barrel designed for high rigidity

Since large-diameter standard zoom lenses tend to serve as a go-to lens and see frequent use, the SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art is designed to stand up to the challenging shooting environments that pros encounter. To this end, the lens barrel contains a large amount of metal, while the external moving parts feature thermally stable composite (TSC), which is resistant to thermal expansion and contraction. This structure contributes not only to the outstanding optical performance of the lens but also to its high rigidity and confidence-inspiring build quality.

Other features

Mount with dust- and splash-proof design

Since the area of the lens most vulnerable to dust and other foreign bodies is the mount, rubber sealing helps provide peace of mind. In addition, the front lens element features a water- and oil-repellent coating that helps the lens perform well in the rain, near water, and in other challenging conditions.

Nikon electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism included

The Nikon mount version of this lens includes an electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism that allows it to receive the appropriate signals from the camera body. This feature ensures precision diaphragm control and stable Auto Exposure (AE) performance during continuous shooting.

Note: Functionality may be limited on some camera bodies.

  • Fast AF with full-time manual focus
  • Compatible with Mount Converter MC-11
  • Available SIGMA USB DOCK
    Makes customization and flexible adjustment possible
  • Available Mount Conversion Service
    Allows use with another camera body
  • Rounded diaphragm
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
  • Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system “A1”
  • Made in Japan
    With outstanding craftsmanship
  • Lens barrel is engraved with the year of release
Specifications for Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art
Focal length: 24-70mm
Aperture scale: f/2.8 - f/16
Diaphragm blades: 9 blades, rounded
Number of elements/groups: 19 elements in 14 groups
Focusing range: 87.5cm / 34.4in
Angular field: 18.2°
Image ratio at close range:            1:4.8
Filter thread: 82mm
Weight, nominal: TBD
Dimensions: 88 × 107.6 mm / 3.5 x 4.2 in
List price: about $TBD
Includes LCF-82 III 82mm Lens Cap
LH876-04 Lens Hood
Rear Cap LCR II for Nikon F Mount Lenses
Lens Case [Sigma’s cases are the best of any manufacturer,and included]
Limited 1-Year North and South America Warranty
Limited 3-Year U.S.A. Warranty Extension

Sigma Announces 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art for Nikon and Canon DSLRs and Sigma sa

Get Sigma DG HSM Art and Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art B&H Photo.

See Sigma DG HSM Art lens reviews in diglloyd Advanced DSLR.

Sigma is on a roll with its high performance Sigma DG HSM Art line for full frame cameras. I’ll be testing the new 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art and the new 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art.

All the Sigma Art lenses are bulky and heavy. I’d like to see Sigma introduce another 'slower' Art line that drops lens speed by 1.5 to 2 stops and raises the performance to Otus levels—even if the price were the same as the faster Art lenses. Landscape shooting as well as many other applications do not need f/1.4 or f/1.8. (wide aperture landscapes notwithstanding). I grow weary of lugging heavy and bulky photo gear, particularly high in the mountains where I must carry clothing and food and water as well. Moreover, smaller and lighter lenses would allow buying and taking more lenses in the field, surely a sales plus. But all this begs the question: what is the point of the Sigma Art lenses if CaNikon don’t get their act together with respect to cameras.

Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art

The 135/1.8 looks like another effort from Sigma that sets the new standard among autofocus lenses, both for lens speed and performance—at this point I’ll take Sigma at their word for high optical performance that I expect to easily outperform CaNikon.

To deliver the ultra-high resolution that brings the best out of 50MP or higher ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs, the focus mechanism features SIGMA’s floating system. No matter what the distance from the subject, this lens offers top performance from the center to the edges of the image.

By minimizing distortion as well, the lens delivers impeccable image quality—no need for digital adjustment during image processing

I am very pleased to see a Sigma 3-year warranty extension on top of the 1 year warranty. What’s with a miserly one year warranty as with many vendors? But what about pro services if one is to invest in the Sigma Art line?

  • Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.8 to f/16
  • Two FLD Elements, Two SLD Elements
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor, Manual Override
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • TSC Material, Brass Bayonet Mount
  • Compatible with Sigma USB Dock

I know that the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art has received kudos from all the lab tests out there, but my field tests were not so compelling. Maybe I had a bad sample (along with two of my readers!), so I may retry the 85/1.4—and I hope that the 135/1.8 does not exhibit similar discontinuity between field results and claimed MTF in the sample I test.

SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM

With F1.8 brightness, this telephoto lens for full-frame cameras further strengthens the Art line’s prime options

The ultimate 135mm telephoto designed to prioritize optical performance, Fast and nimble autofocus photography, Sixth 35mm full-frame prime lens to join the Art line.

135mm telephoto lenses are often categorized as the foundational telephoto, the first one to add to a lens collection. This focal length delivers a strong perspective compression effect, while the large diameter with F1.8 brightness provides a dramatic bokeh effect.

By minimizing axial chromatic aberration, the SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art makes this bokeh effect not only impressive but also beautiful while delivering superb contrast and sharp image quality in every shot. It offers the outstanding resolution required for 50MP or higher ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs.

By incorporating its latest innovations in design and optical glass and rethinking every aspect of the lens, SIGMA has ensured outstanding image quality all the way to the edges, establishing the new standard in 135mm telephoto lenses.

With resolution so crystal-clear that individual hairs can be discerned in a portrait, this large-diameter lens also delivers a beautiful bokeh effect, giving photographers everything they need. It is ideal for close-ups and full-body shots, with subjects standing out against a pleasantly blurred background. In addition to standard portraits, including bridal shots, this lens is a top performer for live events, with its super-fast autofocus capturing subjects with ease.

The ultimate 135mm telephoto designed to prioritize optical performance:

Image quality optimal for ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs.

To deliver the ultra-high resolution that brings the best out of 50MP or higher ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs, the focus mechanism features SIGMA’s floating system. No matter what the distance from the subject, this lens offers top performance from the center to the edges of the image. By minimizing distortion as well, the lens delivers impeccable image quality—no need for digital adjustment during image processing.

Ideal for portraits requiring a dramatic bokeh effect

The 135mm focal length delivers a stunning compression effect: even fairly close to the subject, the telephoto ring allows the photographer to establish a variety of dramatic perspectives. The compression effect truly shines in both close-ups and full-length portraits, making composition easy. Moreover, the large diameter with F1.8 brightness makes possible a body shot with an impressive bokeh background. In sum, this lens puts a full menu of compositional options at the photographer’s fingertips.

Fast and nimble autofocus photography

The large hypersonic motor (HSM) offers two benefits. It delivers ample torque to the focusing group for outstanding speed, ensuring exceptionally stable performance even at lower speeds. The acceleration sensor detects the orientation of the lens, allowing the autofocus system to respond to varying loads on the focusing group due to gravity. Along with the optimized AF algorithm, these features deliver fast autofocus photography. In addition, the focus limiter makes AF highly responsive to distance from the subject for even more nimble performance.

Sixth 35mm full-frame prime lens to join the Art line

Launched in 2012, the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art was the first lens in the Art line. Since then, SIGMA has developed a wide variety of lenses for the line, and the SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM|Art is the sixth prime lens in the line to offer 35mm full-frame coverage. Now even stronger, the Art line sets the new standard for prime lenses in the ultra-high-megapixel era.

Other features

  • Fast AF with full-time manual override. Note: operation of full-time MF may vary based on mount type.
  • Compatible with Mount Converter MC-11
  • Mount with dust- and splash-proof construction
  • Nikon electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism included
  • Available SIGMA USB DOCK makes customization and flexible adjustment possible
  • Available Mount Conversion Service allows use with another camera body
  • Rounded diaphragm
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
  • Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system “A1”
  • Made in Japan with outstanding craftsmanship
  • The lens barrel is engraved with the year of release
Specifications for Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art
Focal length: 135mm
Aperture scale: f/1.8 - f/16
Diaphragm blades: 9 blades, rounded
Number of elements/groups: 13 elements in 10 groups
Focusing range: 87.5cm / 34.4in
Angular field: 18.2°
Image ratio at close range:            1:5
Filter thread: 82mm
Weight, nominal: 1130g / 40.2oz
Dimensions: 91.4 x 114.9 mm / 4.0 x 4.5 in
List price: about $TBD
Includes LH927-02 Lens Hood
Lens Case [Sigma’s cases are the best of any manufacturer,and included]
Limited 1-Year North and South America Warranty
Limited 3-Year U.S.A. Warranty Extension

Sigma Announces 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art for Nikon and Canon DSLRs and Sigma sa

Get Sigma DG HSM Art and Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art B&H Photo.

See Sigma DG HSM Art lens reviews in diglloyd Advanced DSLR.

Sigma is on a roll with its high performance Sigma DG HSM Art line for full frame cameras. I’ll be testing the new 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art and the new 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art.

The 14/1.8 looks like extensive measures were taken for very high performance with a total of seven elements using special glass types, and four aspherical elements. In particular the huge front element is aspherical, which it seems that only Sigma can do at reasonable cost—impressive. Price has not been announced, but I’m guessing $1599 or so.

Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art

The SIGMA 12-24mmF4 DG HSM Art was the first SIGMA lens to feature a large 80mm aspherical lens element. Building on the expertise derived from this success, the new lens features a large 80mm precision-molded glass aspherical lens as its front element. This technology has made possible the 14mm F1.8 specification—the first of its kind.

Lens speed is incredible if the quality holds up as claimed—a full 4/3 stop faster than anything else in its range.

This is the lens that I had hoped Zeiss would build, for night-time photography and stars (though I’d still like a high performance fisheye). Kudos to Sigma not just for the 14mm, but for the rest of its lens line. which pushes the boundaries of performance and adds lenses other vendors are skipping entirely.

One gripe: my 35/1.4 Art won’t autofocus on my D810. I don’t like lenses with firmware much at all; it means the lens can “die” temporarily with a new camera. Still, most people have PCs and can upgrade their own lens firmware. Well two gripes: I would like an aperture ring so that an F-mount lens could be shot on Canon also.

I am very pleased to see a Sigma 3-year warranty extension on top of the 1 year warranty. What’s with a miserly one year warranty as with many vendors? But what about pro services if one is to invest in the Sigma Art line?

  • Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.8 to f/16
  • Three FLD Elements, Four SLD Elements
  • Four Aspherical Elements
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Hyper Sonic AF Motor, Manual Override
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • TSC Material, Brass Bayonet Mount
  • Compatible with Sigma USB Dock

SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM

Introducing the world’s first and only* F1.8 ultra-wide-angle lens among interchangeable lens for digital SLRs as of February

A true high-speed lens that delivers a new dimension of visual experience. 14mm ultra-wide angle of view and F1.8 brightness deliver a new dimension of visual experience as the seventh 35mm full-frame prime lens to join the Art line

  • Launch: TBD
  • Accessories: Case, Cover Lens Cap
  • AF Mounts: SIGMA, NIKON, CANON
  • Appearance and specifications are subject to change without notice.

In taking photographs of starry skies or other celestial scenes at night, or of the seashore with a wide perspective, a large-diameter lens is a strong ally, since it allows the capture of a moving subject by adjusting shutter speed without relying on ISO sensitivity. With its full-frame 35mm coverage, 14mm focal length for an ultra-wide angle of view, F2 barrier-breaking F1.8, the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art is the true high-speed ultra-wide-angle lens for which so many photographers have been waiting. Although some zoom lenses are available that can cover 14mm, the large diameter delivering F1.8 brightness is a singular advantage. Going beyond fast shutter speed, this lens can capture a swarm of fireflies with crystal clarity, a beautiful bokeh effect, and outstanding control of light streaking.

14mm ultra-wide angle of view and F1.8 brightness deliver a new dimension of visual experience

By leveraging its extreme angle of view and the dramatic perspective this creates, an ultra-wide-angle lens can get up close and personal with a subject while at the same time taking in a vast background—an example of photography going beyond normal human vision.

SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art combines the extremely deep depth of field that comes from an ultra-wide angle of view with the extremely shallow depth of field that comes from F1.8 brightness. The result is a sharply captured subject set against a vast background dramatically blurred with a beautiful bokeh effect. It is a highly impressive mode of photographic expression that until now simply has not existed.

Minimized chromatic aberrations

Three FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements and four SLD (Super Low Dispersion) glass elements help minimize transverse chromatic aberration, which tends to be noticeable in shots taken with ultra-wide-angle lenses. The result is outstanding image quality from the center of the image to the edges.

Featuring a large-diameter aspherical lens element

The SIGMA 12-24mmF4 DG HSM | Art was the first SIGMA lens to feature a large 80mm aspherical lens element. Building on the expertise derived from this success, the new lens features a large 80mm precision-molded glass aspherical lens as its front element. This technology has made possible the 14mm F1.8 specification—the first of its kind.

Minimized distortion

Serving as the front lens element, the large 80mm precision-molded glass aspherical lens effectively minimizes distortion. Offering excellent peripheral brightness, this lens delivers outstanding image quality from the center to the edges.

Distinctive bokeh effect

Even at the 14mm ultra-wide-angle of view, F1.8 brightness makes possible a very shallow depth of field with the subject standing out dramatically against a bokeh background. It’s the unique mode of expression that only a large-diameter lens can deliver.

Seventh 35mm full-frame prime lens to join the Art line

Launched in 2012, the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art was the first lens in the Art line. Since then, SIGMA has developed a wide variety of lenses for the line, and the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art is the seventh prime lens in the line to offer 35mm full-frame coverage. Now even stronger, the Art line sets the new standard for prime lenses in the ultra-high-megapixel era.

Other features

  • Fast AF with full-time manual override. Note: The operation of full-time MF may vary based on mount type
  • Compatible with Mount Converter MC-11
  • Available SIGMA USB DOCK Makes customization and flexible adjustment possible
  • Available Mount Conversion Service. Allows use with another camera body.
  • Rounded diaphragm
  • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
  • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
  • Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system “A1”
  • Made in Japan With outstanding craftsmanship.
  • The lens barrel is engraved with the year of release
Specifications for Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art
Focal length: 14mm
Aperture scale: f/1.8 - f/16
Diaphragm blades: 9 blades, rounded
Number of elements/groups: 16 elements in 11 groups
Focusing range: 27 cm / 10.6 in
Angular field: 114.2°
Image ratio at close range:            1:9.8
Filter thread: none
Weight, nominal: 1,170g 41.3oz
Dimensions: 95.4 x 126 mm / 9.5 x 5.0 in
List price: about $TBD
Includes LC950-02 Front Lens Cover
Rear Cap LCR II for Nikon F Mount Lenses
Lens Case [Sigma’s cases are the best of any manufacturer,and included]
Limited 1-Year North and South America Warranty
Limited 3-Year U.S.A. Warranty Extension

Fujifilm GFX: Shipping Feb 28

See my Fujifilm GFX wish list and Hasselblad X1D wish list.

With expected availability of Feb, the Fujifilm GFX system ought to arrive in my hands on March 1st; I am expecting to get one of the first few to arrive.

I will be taking an in-depth look at the Fujifilm GFX system, including all the lenses in my Medium Format section.

All seven publications are included in the everything/FULL deal.
Existing subscribers should login for reduced pricing on the everything/FULL deal.

Medium format work with the Hasselblad X1D has been interesting, but as discussed back in January, I think there is an interesting tension between a workhorse camera (Fujifilm GFX) and the more svelte Hasselblad X1D. Moreover, I think the EVF and rear LCD considerations are of considerable merit. As well as the depth of the lens line.

There is now serious competition of medium format versus the high end of the high-res DSLR market (D810, Canon 5Ds)—at prices that are little different once the total system cost is looked at in the context of the very best lenses for each system.

So far, 2017 has been the most exciting year in several years for new photo gear that mixes up the equation with intriguing new options.

Fujifilm GFX due out Feb 28

Harsh A writes:

Fujifilm had organized an event Feb 22 at Samy’s here in San Francisco to show off their new GFX 50s camera system. I obviously needed to be there, since I’m trying to choose between the Fuji and the Hasselblad systems. What I didn’t know was that Hasselblad was demoing their X1D-50c system at the same time as well! How lucky can a guy get :)

I am not an experienced reviewer like yourself, but still feel compelled to share my thoughts with you that essentially cover key observations I made about the two systems from a user experience perspective. (I am a UX architect by profession)

I spent 1 full hour playing with both camera systems, side by side. Critical differences that were meaningful for me:

- The LCD and EVF on the Hasselblad are barely ok. Actually, the LCD is just a joke. The Fuji LCD and EVF are amazing, in comparison. The Fuji LCD has 2.5 times more pixels. Period. Yes, the Fuji EVF is not as amazing as the incredible Leica SL EVF (I owned that camera, so I know). Still, it is miles ahead of the Hasselblad. For critical work, where perfect focus is paramount, this could be a potential issue. It is for me.

- The lack of a 4-way controller on the Hasselblad is a serious impediment to an efficient flow in the field where you’d need to rapidly access camera functions while your eyes are glued to the EVF. On the Hasselblad, you need to remove your eyes from the EVF, make adjustments using the touch screen, go back to the EVF, and repeat the cycle as necessary. The Fuji has a 4-way controller, which is also fully programmable for custom functions.

- I can’t believe there is no live-view histogram on the Hasselblad! Maybe they’ll implement it via a firmware update, but seriously, what were they thinking!

- The tilt adapter for the EVF on the Fuji is just amazing and so thoughtful! It brought back memories of using the Hasselblad 501c.

- The Hasselblad X1D-50c is GORGEOUS! Online photos don’t do it justice. So solid. Such an amazing design that exudes superb build quality from every angle. The Fuji has more of a “I mean all business” look and feel to it. Don’t get me wrong, it still feels very sturdy/rock-solid in your hands, and fits your hands very nicely as well. It just has a totally different design language as compared to the Hasselblad. In a nutshell, the Fuji has a much superior “functional design”, whereas the Hasselblad has a much superior Visual Design.

Overall, the Hasselblad X1D-50c felt more like a point-and-shoot camera vs the Fuji GFX 50s felt more like a workhorse. For those who need to be seen around with a trophy camera, Hasselblad should be at the top of their list. If you’re into critical work in the field and efficiency, functionality, and usability are more important, the Fuji might be the better bet.

I am going to wait for your review of the Fuji before I make my final decision. One thing is certain - even if I decide to go with the Fuji, I know I’ll still lust for the Hasselblad - it’s just that beautiful :)

DIGLLOYD: sounds about right, both on the EVF front and the workhorse vs svelte front.

Which Camera System / Lenses Should I Get?
✓ Get the best system for your needs the first time: diglloyd photographic consulting.

Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: 'Bare Tree Along Alpine Creek' + 'First Spring Blooms'

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list.

The about $3995 Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 is equivalent to a 25.4mm f/2.87 as compared to a 35mm full frame camera (long dimension of frame).

This finely-detailed outdoor scene takes a look at sharpness across the field, color aberration, and whether the focus shift seen at close range applies to a scene like this. The subtle presence of moiré is also examined.

In my review of the Hasselblad X system in diglloyd Medium Format:

Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Bare Tree Along Alpine Creek

Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: 'First Spring Blooms'

Includes images up to full resolution as well as large crops, all from f/4 - f/12.

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Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 Evaluation at MOD (Minimum Object Distance)

Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list.

The about $3995 Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 is equivalent to a 25.4mm f/2.87 as compared to a 35mm full frame camera (long dimension of frame). It is thus a solid wide angle choice—not super wide and not moderate, just right for many purposes.

The Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 for the Hasselblad X1D looks to be a very fine performer, but with a key behavior that every X1D shooter should be aware of.

This series at MOD (minimum object distance) assesses overall sharpness along with focus shift and secondary color aberrations.

In my review of the Hasselblad X system in diglloyd Medium Format:

Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series at MOD: Dolls, Focus Shift

Includes images up to full resolution as well as large crops, all from f/3.5 - f/11.

Also: Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 Aperture Series : Siemens Chart

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SSD Upgrade for MacBook Pro Retina
Internal SSD Wishlist…

On the Road

I’ll be working on the Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 starting Tuesday.

Southern California, Camino Real double century (completed), looking at universities with daughter—Dad’s job.

Cal Poly Pomona has a very content Muscovy Duck, at least until some brat kid harrassed it back into the water (parents smiling approvingly).

Muscovy Duck
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Koi
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Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 Coming Soon

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list.

I will have the about $3995 Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 for testing on the Hasselblad X1D on Tuesday Feb 21, to be reviewed in the Medium Format section. This should give me just enough time to review it and do some more Hasselblad X1D work before the Fujifilm GFX system arrives.

The about $3995 Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 is equivalent to a 25.4mm f/2.87 as compared to a 35mm full frame camera (long dimension of frame). It is thus a solid wide angle choice—not super wide and not moderate, just right for many purposes.

Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5
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Reader Comment: Making Images Optimally With Confidence and Consistency

Cal T writes:

I just finished the first of your series at Zeiss Lenspire. Well done! I am looking forward to the rest of the series. I also went to, I think, all of the links to your other writings. I knew (still know) so little about how lenses actually work. I do appreciate your advice on Zeiss primes. They are a joy to use and, on those occasions when I get it right, I get amazing images.

Maybe via the education I’m getting from my subscription with you I’ll be able to actually figure out how to regularly get these results and not just be surprised when they somehow happen. ;-)

DIGLLOYD: the best “cheat sheet” I have is Making Sharp Images. It’s not as “sexy” as I’d like, but it is chock full of what it took my years to learn. I consider it my most imporant publication of all for anyone looking to get the best results, no matter what camera is used.

All my other publications include related useful information, but MSI is best read through in its entirety. Understood an applied, it should true “years” into “months” in terms of achieving peak results consistently.

World of Sigma and especially Sigma ART Lenses

New Article on Zeiss Lenspire Site: “Zoom or Prime Lens? A series by Lloyd Chambers”

I’ve published a number of articles over the past year on the Zeiss Lenspire site.

Published yesterday is Zoom or Prime Lens? A series by Lloyd Chambers.

Other articles at lenspire.zeiss.com:

These articles are also available here on this site, with higher quality image presentation.

ThunderBay 4 - The Speed To Create. The Capacity To Dream.

Hasselblad Updates X1D Firmware to 1.15.0

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list.

The Hasselblad X1D firmware update is now online. I have successfully upgraded the firmware but not yet tested the improvements.

Compared to v1.14.2:

Hasselblad X1D
  • Focus peaking
  • GPS support
  • Max/min settings for AutoISO
  • HC Lens Adapter support (Manual Focus only)
  • Video poster frame
  • Selectable 50/100% zoom level in manual focus assist
  • Display menu: Separate Exposure Simulation On/Off setting for M and for A/S/P/Full Auto
  • About menu: "Usage" shows shutter count for lens
  • Custom Modes - Show actual exposure mode on Control Screen
  • Improved contrast level in video
  • Improved auto white balance
  • Improved support for Phocus Mobile
  • LCD color improvements
  • Language updates
  • Bug fixes

Hasselblad X1D + XCD 90mm f/3.2 Aperture Series: View to Tower at Dusk

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list.

Hasselblad X1D

This near-to-far subject places a premium on lens performance in terms of real depth of field in mixed lighting from blue dusk to bluish white to the garish illumination on the nearby tower. The color combination seemed to be just perfect at dusk, such a nice balance.

In my review of the Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 in the Medium Format section:

Hasselblad X1D + 90mm f/3.2 Aperture Series: View to Tower at Dusk

Includes images from f/3.2 to f/12 up to full resolution, with crops.

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Sigma sd Quattro H Color Rendition: Richly Saturated Reds

Sigma sd Quattro-H

See my Sigma mirrorless wish list.

I take a look at the Sigma sd Quattro H on intensely saturated reds, the same subject shot with the Hasselblad X1D and Nikon D810 a few days ago.

Sigma sd Quattro H Color Rendition: Richly Saturated Reds

Image at sizes up to full 25.5 megapixel resolution, with RawDigger histogram and Sigma Photo Pro settings.

There is only one acceptable Color Mode in Sigma Photo Pro for this shot.

Viewing this image on a display with less than the full AdobeRGB color gamut will not reveal the ideas discussed above—the reds will be flattened. Use a wide gamut display.

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Fujifilm GFX: Coming In Two Weeks (I Hope)

See my Fujifilm GFX wish list and Hasselblad X1D wish list.

My coverage of the Hasselblad X1D system will continue: the 30mm f/3.5 should be coming fairly soon, and I’m hoping to get more outdoors shots with it by early March.

With expected availability of March 1, the Fujifilm GFX system ought to arrive March 2nd; I should get one of the first few to arrive. I expect to be doing an in-depth look at the Fujifilm GFX system, particularly since more lenses are coming over the first three available for pre-order now.

This medium format work with the X1D and soon the GFX is very interesting. Finally there is very serious competition for the high end of the DSLR market and competition that makes Leica irrelevant for landscape shooters.

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2: Unusual Bokeh for Out-of-Focus Blurs

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list.

Hasselblad X1D

The Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 is unusual in its bokeh behaviors, particularly wide open

In my review of the Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 in the Medium Format section:

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 Bokeh: Out-of-Focus Lights at Night

Includes images from f/3.2 to f/9 with partial stops to see the effects.

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Hasselblad X1D + XCD 90mm f/3.2 Aperture Series: Colorful Bicycle

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list.

Hasselblad X1D

This colorful bike with its fine details, high contrast black and white, popping colors and rusted chain caught my eye. Crummy lighting, but the Hasselblad X1D + HCD 90/3.2 deliver a very fine image.

In my review of the Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 in the Medium Format section:

Hasselblad X1D + 90mm f/3.2 Aperture Series: Colorful Bicycle

Includes images from f/3.2 to f/12 with crops.

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Hasselblad X1D + XCD 45mm f/3.2 Aperture Series: Mosaic Detail

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list.

This night scene is partly about lens performance, and partly about sensor performance. Night photography demands a lot from a camera (total sensor and imaging chain). In particular, its ability to make clean detail in dark areas is very important during raw conversion or post processing.

Hasselblad X1D

These images required aggressive contrast control for shadows and highlights, something possible only with a very high quality raw image.

In my review of the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 in the Medium Format section:

Hasselblad X1D + 45mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Night Scene

Includes images from f/3.2 to f/16 at up to full resolution with crops.

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Hasselblad X1D + XCD 45mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Mosaic Detail

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list.

This far-distance subject is one of the most demanding of any I know, because it is planar (flat) and with very fine detail. Any lens deviation such as symmetry or field curvature pops out instantly as a flaw. This is about as tough a real-world imaging challenge as there is.

Hasselblad X1D

This series from f/3.5 through f/16 demonstrates the imaging power of the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 at far distance.

In my review of the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 in the Medium Format section:

Hasselblad X1D + 45mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Mosaic

Includes images from f/3.2 to f/16 at up to full resolution.

__METADATA__
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Hasselblad X1D + XCD 90mm f/3.2 Aperture Series: Mosaic Detail

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list.

This far-distance subject is one of the most demanding of any I know, because it is planar (flat) and with very fine detail. Any lens deviation such as symmetry or field curvature pops out instantly as a flaw. This is about as tough a real-world imaging challenge as there is.

Hasselblad X1D

This series from f/3.2 through f/16 demonstrates the awesome imaging power of the Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 at far distance.

In my review of the Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 in the Medium Format section:

Hasselblad X1D + 90mm f/3.2 Aperture Series: Mosaic

Includes images from f/3.2 to f/16 at up to full resolution.

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Year of the Great Camera Company Shakeout?

Yesterday I wrote Is This the Year of Cool New Cameras?.

But might it also be the Year of the Great Camera Company Shakeout? If not the end for some, the beginning of the end, unless course is altered and some hard choices made.

Leica

Leica is a ship without a keel, drifting randomly through a sea of faster/better/cheaper offerings, and now facing two medium format systems that cost the same or less than the M and SL systems. See Is Leica a Credible Player?.

The M system abandoned with only token updates. The SL system too little, too late, too expensive, way off-mission for any M shooter, unexecuted. The S system abandoned, with angry users (some suing Leica for quality problems, others just quietly seething). The T system a pathetic toy. Leica should go back to its roots by refocusing all its resources solely in making the M system great again. The Leica Q falls into that “root” category—successful and true to mission.

Nikon

Due to years of doing absolutely nothing to counter the camera phone threat on the low end and the Sony threat at the bread-and-butter level, Nikon seems to be in trouble, issuing a Notice of Recognition of Extraordinary Loss today. The new Nikon DL was also canceled. Clearly the company is now under stress.

The write-downs are from the lithography business (not cameras). At least with Zeiss, that business is far more important than consumer lenses. I wonder if this might be at least partly true for the total Nikon corporate entity, an what it portends for the future of Nikon professional cameras.

Emphasis added.

This is to announce the recognition of extraordinary loss for the nine months ended December 31, 2016 (from April 1 to December 31, 2016), as below.

Recognition of Restructuring Expenses

As announced in “Notice of Restructuring” released on November 8, 2016, Nikon Group is currently under a fundamental company-wide restructuring to improve its corporate value as shifting from a strategy pursuing revenue growth to one pursuing profit enhancement.

In accordance with this restructuring, the Group recorded extraordinary loss of 29,790 million yen, mainly incurred from inventory write-downs/write-off in Semiconductor Lithography Business, as restructuring expenses for the nine months ended December 31, 2016.

Also, restructuring expenses in Imaging Products Business and the expenses related to “Results of Solicitation for Voluntary Retirement,” which is released today, are expected to incur in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year.

As a result, the total amount of restructuring expenses for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017 will be approximately 53,000 million yen, which is 5,000 million yen increase from the previous estimate of approximately 48,000 million yen in “Notice of Restructuring” released on November 8, 2016.

Pentax

Great technology in the Ricoh GR and Pentax 645Z, with these products having seen no development. A terrific camera (Pentax K1 in SuperRes pixel shift mode) with zero lenses I’d want to use on it. And now, the announcement of a new APS-C DSLR. How long can this go on? Do it right, or get out of the game. I visited Pentax at CES but could find no one I could converse with (in English) who knew anything about products. Still, I have not seen any signs of stress announced for Pentax yet.

OWC 480GB Thumb Drive
only $270

What Lloyd uses in the field for a carry-around backup.
Fits just about anywhere, tough aluminum case.

Is This the Year of Cool New Cameras?

Every vendor ought to be releasing someting nifty this year. Maybe not all, but I can’t see how these vendors can stay in the game without at least announcing some major advance this year.

See my various wish lists at B&H Photo.

Sony

First off, if you’ve wanted a Sony A7R II, you can get $800 off plus the value of a trade-in: $300 instant rebate + $480 trade-in savings + the value of the trade-in camera. Other models have similar deals. See the trade-in deal page.

Which leads to this idea: why would such a large savings be offered unless something new is in the works from Sony, maybe several new cameras.

Might Sony introduce a medium format system later this year? With Fujifilm in the game, and Sony already having a low-to-high product range, it seems probable to me.

Hasselblad X system

My review of the Hasselblad X system is in full swing in Medium Format.

Fujifilm medium format

I expect to have a Fujifilm GFX as part of the first arrival batch on March 1st or thereabouts. The review will join the Hasselblad X system review in Medium Format.

Nikon D810 replacement?

The Nikon D810 is now down to about $2796 (USA warranty version), much lower on ebay if you are willing to take on the risk of gray market repair issues (I’m not recommending that). Production has reportedly ceased, begging the question of what comes next: a Nikon D820 or D900 with a higher-res sensor with equivalent per-pixel quality? Dare we hope for at least one optional high-res EVF or an F-mount mirrorless camera, possibly with a slightly larger than 35mm sensor?

Are Nikon and Canon going to ignore the serious risk of the high-end migrating to the Fujifilm GFX system and thus eviscerating an avid group of D810 users? Or perhaps are they, particularly Nikon, just going to fade away and die?

Canon

Canon ought to be due for some kind of high-end DSLR, if only to improve sensor quality over the Canon 5Ds R.

Pentax and Ricoh

Seems to me its time for Pentax to take the excellent Pentax 645Z system and make a mirrorless camera. And for Ricoh to make a full-frame Ricoh GR.

Leica

Leica seems to be a dead end. A dead S-system. An abandonded M system. An overpriced SL system with lenses that don’t ship. Only a small market for platypus scrotum M cameras. Game over there unless someone capable of strategic thinking takes the helm. Exception: the Leica Q is true to mission as is the new M10 (even though it disappoints me in resolution and EVF). More of that, and Leica can get back on track.

Panasonic and Olympus

The Panasonic GH5 sets a new bar for 4K video. The Olympus E-M1 II is the best-ever still-shooter M4/3 camera.

And... Apple

The iMac 5K is overdue for a refresh. I’d sure like to see an iMac 8K 32-inch model. The Mac Pro is long overdue for a refresh. Ditto for the MacBook and MacBook Air and MacMini.

Deals Updated Daily at B&H Photo

Hasselblad X1D + XCD 45/3.2 SHOOTOUT vs Nikon D810 + Zeiss 35/1.4: Flowers with 4-stop Underexposure + Push

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list and Nikon wish list.

Gross underexposure is obviously not the goal of any photographer except that a high dynamic range image by definition results in gross underexposure of dark areas. It is these areas that suffer the most and are thus the most limiting to image quality.

Hasselblad X1D

The prior comparison at base ISO looked at the best possible results with the best possible ETTR exposure. But what about gross underexposure? Which is the case in the dark shadow areas any time one shoots a high dynamic range scene.

Now added to my review of the Hasselblad X1D system in the Medium Format section:

Hasselblad X1D Shootout vs Nikon D810: 4-stop Underexposure + Push (Flowers)

Includes images up to full resolution and several large crops, RawDigger histograms, Adobe Camera Raw settings along with comments on the processing required. One of the crops shows RGB plus red/green/blue color channels from the ProPhotoRGB color space, showing that one of them is substantially more noisy.

3.6 stop push
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Off Topic: Oroville Dam Damaged, Emergency Spillway Failing

We go more rain than past few weeks than I can remember in 20, perhaps 30 years . I was complaining about my favorite fishing spots not melting out until July...!

But I’m sure glad I don’t live near Oroville Dam (north of Sacramento), because while the main dam is not at risk “a this time”, it looks like the never used emergency spillway is digging quite a gully, which could result in uncontrolled release of water if it back-cuts into the hillside and thence allows untold billions of gallons of water to rush downstream. The emergency spillway was put into use after the main spillway had a massive gap open up about 1/2 down from the top.

Pictures of spillway and such

People downstream are under a mandatory evacuation order as of 5PM today:

LATimes: Live updates: Evacuations ordered below Oroville Dam

"This is not a Drill. Repeat this is not a drill,” the National Weather Service said Sunday, urging people living below Oroville Dam to evacuate. The evacuation was ordered because of a “hazardous situation” involving the Northern California dam's emergency spillway. The National Weather Service said the auxiliary spillway is expected to fail and could send an “uncontrolled release of flood waters from Lake Oroville.”

Emergency Mass Notification for Butte County Residents (Issued 02/11/2017 at 11:30 a.m.)

DWR Press Release: February 12, 2017 6:20p.m.

EVACUATION FOR LOW-LYING COMMUNITIES
Oroville, CA — Based on information received from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the incident command team managing Lake Oroville, counties and cities near Lake Oroville and the surrounding area issued evacuation orders for residents. The concern is that erosion at the head of the auxiliary spillway threatens to undermine the concrete weir and allow large, uncontrolled releases of water from Lake Oroville. Those potential flows could exceed the capacity of downstream channels.
To avert more erosion at the top of the auxiliary spillway, DWR doubled the flow down its main spillway from 55,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) to 100,000 CFS The next several hours will be crucial in determining whether the concrete structure at the head of the auxiliary spillway remains intact and prevents larger, uncontrolled flows.
Current flows are contained with downstream channels.
Flow over the auxiliary spillway weir began Saturday morning and has slowed considerably. DWR officials expect that flow to stop entirely soon, which will reduce the erosion on the downstream side of the structure.
Oroville Dam itself is sound and is a separate structure from the auxiliary spillway.

As I understand it, there is another major storm due this week.

Even with no more damage, it might not be safe for use as a more than half full reservoir for a long time—and it’s a very important reservoir. Now that’s a “shovel ready” project if I ever saw one. Will it takes years to approve repairs, fight lawsuits against repair, plan for, and then repair it? Hopefully not.

California can sure use the rain, but decades of building no new major dams to store rain and snowmelt means that most of it will run into the sea. Go bullet train to nowhere! Meanwhile, the Santa Barbara area remains in severe drought as a peculiar dry spot, though that might change this week.

At least in my area, the ground is super saturated. One modest temblor could cause major damage from mudslides and similar.

Hasselblad X1D + XCD 45/3.2 SHOOTOUT vs Nikon D810 + Zeiss 35/1.4: Flowers

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list and Nikon wish list.

In my review of the Hasselblad X1D system I seek to answer a seemingly simple question, which is actually quite complicated: is the imaging pipeline of the Hasselblad X1D at its base ISO of 100 superior to the Nikon D810 at its base ISO of 64?

Hasselblad X1D

In my review of the Hasselblad X1D system in my Medium Format section:

Hasselblad X1D Shootout vs Nikon D810 (Flowers)

Includes includes images up to full resolution and several large crops, RawDigger histograms for the full scale and for dark tones, and Adobe Camera Raw settings along with comments on the processing required.

This is an in-depth discussion with some findings that I’m sure any Nikon D810 and/or Hasseblad X1D shooter will find thought provoking. Perhaps more thought provoking: what if Nikon can deliver a near-50-megapixel D820 with per-pixel quality matching or exceeding the Nikon D810? Could be an exciting year.

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Hasselblad X1D with XCD 90/3.2 Aperture Series: White Anthurium

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list and Fujifilm GFX wish list.

The ability of the Hasselblad X1D sensor to record a wide dynamic range with rich color and contrast under mixed lighting of widely varying color temperature is quite impressive, as seen in the Flowers at Russian Ridge example.

Hasselblad X1D

Here I liked the rich contrast of the delicate high-key whites set against the rich dark greens and blacks. I wanted to see just how well highlight detail would hold up.

In my review of the Hasselblad X1D system:

Hasselblad X1D: Aperture Series: White Anthurium Closeup

Includes includes images up to 36 megapixels and two large crops, all from f/3.2 - f/16. Also, notes on exposure and white balance and focus shift demonstrated once again.

__METADATA__
Upgrade Your Mac Memory
At much lower cost than Apple, with more options.
Lloyd recommends 64GB for iMac or Mac Pro for photography/videography.

Big Discounts on iMac 5K, the Best Display Out there for Viewing Pleasure

If the iMac 5K display were offered as a display only, say at $1629, it would be worth it. So why not get one, and with a free iMac computer included?

I consider the late 2015 iMac 5K the best display on the market today at any price for viewing images. In this sense, consider it a fantastic display that includes a free computer.

See also the diglloyd DealFinder for iMac 5K as well as all 2015 iMac 5K. Or search for more used Macs.

Note that these Macs are factory sealed Apple refurbished with 1 year warranty.

OWC 480GB Thumb Drive
only $270

What Lloyd uses in the field for a carry-around backup.
Fits just about anywhere, tough aluminum case.

Hasselblad X1D: Dynamic Range

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list and Fujifilm GFX wish list.

I shot this series to evaluate dynamic range of the Hasselblad X1D, but it is also worth presenting to show the XCD 45mm f/3.5.

Hasselblad X1D

My main interest here is seeing just how well the very dark tones in the oak tree bark hold up with a maximum +100 shadow boost. What counts to me with a camera in difficult field conditions is how well an image holds up when worked hard during raw conversion (or in “post”). Because many real world images have very demanding dynamic range.

In my review of the Hasselblad X1D system:

Hasselblad X1D Aperture Series and Dynamic Range: Oak Tree Greenery

Includes ACR settings, RawDigger histogram for a maxed-out ETTR exposure, a reference frame without the maximum shadow boost, all from f/3.5 through f/12.

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WPPI Deals at B&H Photo

See also my wishlists at B&H Photo.

View all WPPI deals at B&H Photo. Selected deals (most expire Feb 12).

Certain specials require promo code BHWPPI17.

Hand-selected items that caught my eye, below.

WPPI Deals at B&H Photo thru 12 Feb — Zeiss

 

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Reader Comment: ETTR (Expose to the Right)

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list and Fujifilm GFX wish list.

James A writes:

I was just reading the ETTR section. There is a lot of good information in there that I can hopefully put to use. My question: the article is about 5 years old, sensor technology has evolved somewhat during that time (I assume). Has this evolution changed your opinion on ETTR in 2017?

DIGLLOYD: the ETTR section in DAP is just as applicable today as when I wrote it.

In some ways it is even trickier, because some cameras (Nikon D810, Hasselblad X1D and others) make it very hard to be sure just how much headroom remains. These cameras and many others leave a stop or even two stops of headroom unused with their default metering as well as showing blowout when more than a stop of headroom remains (the Nikon D810 at ISO 64 is notoriously odd this way).

There is an incompetence in play with every camera vendor today: rather than a true raw histogram which would let the photographer see just what the sensor is capturing in each channel, every color camera manufacturer today shows an RGB histogram that bakes in all the JPEG camera settings along with a truncated color gamut of AdobeRGB or sRGB. This is just plain moronic. Alas. The net result is that a stop or even two stops of headroom go unused.

Below, the histogram from the Flowers at Russian Ridge example is nearly perfect, just 1/3 stop or so shy of maximal (maybe 1/2 stop if one can let just a few tiny areas blow out). RawDigger is an excellent tool for assessing whether the exposure is optimal.

RawDigger histogram showing a near perfect exposure within 1/3 stop of blowout

Cameron writes:

First, keep up the great work! I really enjoy reading your articles and wish I had it in the budget to subscribe. Because I’m not a paying subscriber, I thought I’d pass a little info along to you regarding the 3FR/FFF files.

I’ve been shooting with the Hasselblad CF39 for years and learned pretty quickly that the shadows went to mud quickly if any attempts of pulling them brighter were needed. I always shot this back at ISO 50. One day I needed the extra speed so I shot at ISO 400. It was a fashion shoot and halfway through the sequence I must have changed the aperture or lighting because everything was completely blown out. Distressed, I loaded the files to the laptop and was easily able to bring the file back to a usable state using the exposure slider, adjusting the gamma, etc, and both shadow and highlights were fine. I was astonished and happily saved what was almost a ruined lingerie shoot. Later at the studio, I ran this over-exposure experiment at ISO 50 and no amount of over exposure was usable (highlights were simply lost). The same experiment at ISO 100 showed ample room for over-exposure by two stops and yielded beautiful shadow detail—even when pulled up. I’m sure I tested ISO 200 and 400 but the results must have been bad and I’ve never looked back.

Lately I’ve been freelancing at Christie’s in NYC and have been shooting the H5D40 and 60 in their studio. Turns out that the same thing happens with these digital sensors. The native is ISO 100, so shooting at ISO 200 and overexposing by two steps gives the best results—particularly with shadows.

This phenomenon seems to be baked into the Hasselblad DNA—as fas the CCD chips are concerned. I’m wondering if the X1D with its CMOS has the same DNA? If so, it might be something worth looking in to.

DIGLLOYD: unless there is something in Hasselblad that is unlike any other camera I’ve used in ten years, I would say that all of this is basically understanding exposure incorrectly, or rather—getting tricked by misleading metering and particularly misleading histograms. The solution is to use RawDigger to see what is really happening. The end result can in fact be the same as Cameron writes, because at higher ISO the camera “gains up” in a smart way. But for a true base ISO (not a “Lo” setting), there can be no advantage to this higher-ISO-overexpose theory, not that I’m aware of at least. This is why I consider it idiotic that no camera vendor offers a true raw histogram so the user can just see what is actually being captured, in a data/histogram sense.

P.S.: anyone who has the 'budget' to spend months or years instead of a day learning key exposure tricks is penny wise dollar foolish. I take pride in demystifying and showing what is actually going on—teaching effectively things that can baffle photographers for years.

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Hasselblad X1D Example with Rich Color, Dark Tones, Mixed Lighting: Flowers at Russian Ridge

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list and Fujifilm GFX wish list.

The ability of the Hasselblad X1D sensor to record a wide dynamic range with rich color and contrast under mixed lighting of widely varying color temperature is quite impressive.

What particularly impresses me is the highlight discrimination, the subtle tones in the whites and near-whites in the flowers. I’ve noticed that quality to the X1D images in other shots as well.

In my review of the Hasselblad X1D system:

Hasselblad X1D: Example with Rich Color, Dark Tones, Mixed Lighting: Flowers at Russian Ridge

Includes a full-resolution image (slightly cropped).

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Hasselblad X1D REVIEWED: Operational Usability, EVF, Flash Support, etc

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list and Fujifilm GFX wish list.

Gah! Pouring rain for nearly two weeks. I hardly remember what sun and blue sky look like. The Sierra snowpack should be at 200% of normal by now. My favorite fishing holes are not going to melt out until July—dang.

So I revamped and added to my overall look at the operational and usability aspects of the Hasselblad X1D:

  • Overview of Hasselblad X1D
  • Magnified Live View Operation
  • X1D Startup Time, Startup Issues
  • X1D Exposure Behavior and Flash Support
  • X1D Buttons and Controls
  • X1D Operational Issues

I urge any prospective Hasselblad X1 buyer to read all these pages. There is a lot there that matters to me, and some or it will definitely matter to others—even if what matters differs from me to another person to yet another. And with the Fujifilm GFX coming in a few weeks (my #1 top drop-everything priority), I’ll have a lot to say on it as well.

__METADATA__
SSD Upgrade for MacBook Pro Retina
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Hasselblad X1D: 3FR Raw-File Conversion in Adobe Camera Raw

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list.

This page in my review of the Hasselblad X1D assesses the white balance and tint required for raw processing in Adobe Camera Raw for achieving a neutral grayscale, and discusses the relative accuracy of the results.

Hasselblad X1D: RAW 3FR Conversion in Adobe Camera Raw: Overcast Rainy Day Lighting

Includes conversions with the available Camera Standard and Embedded profiles as well as what I found doing a custom profile with the Datacolor SpyderCHECKR.

Rainy overcast day (slight drizzle, thus the spots on the target). Maximal ETTR exposure, hence the 0.85 stop pull as seen in the ACR settings. We haven’t had a sunny day in quite a while, so I don’t have anything yet for sunlight.

Also: The Hasselblad X1D has the best long exposure mode and performance I”ve ever experienced. Kudos to Hasselblad!

Hasselblad X1D Long Exposure Support

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Hasselblad X1D + XCD 45mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Storm Drain Signs

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list.

This series assesses overall technical image quality as well as focus shift as observed in the Pomegranates on Picnic Table. Comments on focusing accuracy and control of secondary color are included as well as dynamic range.

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 Aperture Series: Storm Drain Signs

Includes image sizes up to 36 megapixels along with large crops, from f/3.5 through f/12.

The X1D shooter should take care to understand the focus shift behavior as discussed here. This series and the Pomegranates series now help me understand the semi-failure to get the sharpness I expected in various other shots.

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Bart H writes:

Thanks for the excellent Hasselblad X1D articles so far. From reading the manual, I has already assumed some complaints about operational issues and in general had suspected issues with auto-focus. The focus shift seen in the XCD lenses would be a serious matter to me as it always is.

I credit you for bringing the whole focus shift phenomenon to my attention through your articles in the past, at that point perfectly explaining the puzzling experiences I was having. In my opinion, one of the strong points of your lens reviews is the inclusion of examination of focus shift, not many other (if any) reviewers do that, and many people do not even know what it is or bother at all.

That said, I found it strange that your review of the Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED did not include anything on focus shift. May I ask if you experienced focus shift with this lens during your testing or did you simply not test for this?

Thanks in advance and I am already looking out to the next X1D articles and GFX when it arrives!

DIGLLOYD: there is a lot of wishful thinking when it comes to focus shift, but given the high performance of so many lenses today, I consider the ability to obtain spot-on focus a top priority when choosing and using a system. Focus means both autofocus and focus shift (if any).

As for the Nikon 105/1.4, I did not document focus shift because I observed none when shooting all of the closeups up on this page—the 105/1.4E ED is a very impressive lens which I would rate just slightly shy of Otus grade. I am thinking that I should formally document focus shift with all lenses going forward.

Non-stop storms have made outdoor work difficult. I do plan on field shooting the X1D over the course of several weeks. Right now, I am nailing down all the particulars I can with everyday ordinary subjects and not so nice lighting, but I sure would like to see a supermajor wildflower bloom or get into the mountains—early March may offer some opportunities if B&H allows me to keep the loaner long enough. I also plan on covering the Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5.

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Hasselblad X1D + XCD 45mm f/3.5 Aperture Series: Pomegranates on Picnic Table

See my Hasselblad X1D wish list.

This series assesses overall image quality as well as focus shift at medium range on a nicely saturated subject with overcast rainy skies.

I chose this setup for two reasons: (1) to see overall sensor quality, particularly the rich greens and reds, but also the dark rich blackish wood tones.

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 Aperture Series: Pomegranates on Picnic Table

Includes image sizes up to 36 megapixels along with large crops, from f/3.5 through f/12.

I feel quite grumpy about the focus shift seen here: the whole premise of a medium format camera is superior image quality (which assumes perfect technical execution), but if the system places hurdles like focus shift in one’s path, it’s a chore instead of a joy.

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