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Reader Comment: Hasselblad X1D Buy/Sell Decision Process

Get Hasselblad X1D at B&H Photo.

See my review of the Hasselblad X1D in Medium Format.

Choosing a new camera system is fraught with all sorts of unexpected perils (of a sort). It is also a large investment should it be a high end system.

See Michael’s comments on the X1D from April 25 3 weeks earlier as well as the One Reader’s X1D Month-long Buy/Use/Sell Decision and reader comments on the Fujifilm GFX.

Michael Erlewine writes:

Michael has en extensive collection of lenses and does beautiful flower shots, see An Expert at Focus Stacking Comments on the Pentax K1 and Its Image Quality. He has a number of APO lenses including Zeiss Otus for Nikon D810, so there is a high bar to surmount.


Hasselblad X1D

After shooting some 1100 or so shots with the Hasselblad X1D system, I have decided that it is not what I need for my work.

I’m sure, many will point out that I don’t get it, but I am only trying to “get it” for my own work. It’s embarrassing to admit this, after all my praise, but at my age, who cares? I have put my X1D system, including the 45mm and 90mm lenses, plus the lovely RSS L-Bracket and 5 batteries for sale on Ebay under my nickname ALLMUSIC.

Although there are a number of druthers and small reasons for giving up the camera, the two main reasons are:

(1) The lack of lenses I need now for the camera. I have waited months for the 30mm and, of course, probably would have waited for the announced 120mm Macro, as well. This is summer, and now is the time I need those lenses. As a close-up photographer, neither the 45mm or 90mm can get me close enough, especially since there are no extensions available.

(2) And second, having very carefully done hundreds of test shots for overall sharpness, I am, despite what others say, disappointed with the degree and kind of sharpness I can attain with the X1D system and their lenses. Please don’t ask me to prove this. It’s just my opinion.

No one is more sorry than I am, and perhaps selling this system is a stupid thing to do. I lose a bunch of money. Or, is it that I’m hooked on the Nikon system and how the D810 works? I am not arguing that the D810 IQ is better than the X1D, but only that what I am able to get from the X1D is not worth what I have to put up with to get it. And, of course, there are all the great lenses I have that will never work on the X1D, but that is a minor thing.

And finally, for me and the work I do, the X1D is just not ready with what I need. I should have waited for perhaps the second edition. And, I can always get another copy, should an X2D comes out. Meanwhile, I will wait for the rumored 46 megapixels D820 and have to be happy with that. I have TRIED to love this system, but I can’t get there from here.

I will say that the X1D haptics are extraordinary and that, if I wanted to afford what for me would basically be a $20k system, I would keep it. The system is easy to use and I love the touch-screen of the LiveView.

So, there you have it. I report this because I owe it to those who have read any of my other comments on this system. C'est la vie.

I am also (equipment-wise) totally exhausted from purchasing and vetting the Pentax K3 and Pentax K1, the Fujifilm GFX, the Sony A7R2 (for the second time), and the Hasselblad X1D, including all the trimmings for each system. All of this in an attempt to reach beyond my current Nikon D810, since Nikon has not ponied up. So... here I am with my D810, which for my work is better than any of the above. My GAS is finally satisfied. Enough.

DIGLLOYD: the Nikon D810 is a seminal camera, a classic that IMO will go down as the best of its genre of its time period. And it’s a steal right now at only about $2497 with a bunch of free stuff too.

I like both the Hasselblad X1D and the Fujifilm GFX for reasons specific to each, but the main thing is that I deem the time unripe for buying either (as of May/June 2017) so as to see how the systems develop, whether bugs and usability warts are fixed, and whether the lens selections arrive and pan out.

And if the rumored Nikon D820 arrives with, say, 15-bit dynamic range (up from 14+ bits) and superior image quality to the D810 but at 42 instead of 36 megapixels and another goody or two, it will be a no-brainer win for me.

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