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Back in 2001 the Nikon D1X Went to Mt Whitney; Here in 2018 the Hasselblad X1D Gets Its Shot

See my Hasselblad medium format wish list.

Update 23 August: see my trip report as well as Hasselblad X1D August 2018 experience report and Hasselblad X1D Operational Issues.

...

I plan on taking my youngest daughter up the Mountaineer’s Route the summit of Mt Whitney, assuming we can get a permit for Monday or Tuesday. The pictures below are from 2001 when I did that route—seemed straightforward to me, so I don’t know what all the fuss is about. She seems to have a high VO2 Max, so it should be interesting to see if she can out-hike her 'ol man, the double century rider—heh heh. Problem is, cycling muscles are not hiking muscles and I hope I don’t hurt something.

I discussed my testing of the Hasselblad XCD 21mm f/4 and the Hasselblad XCD 120mm f/3.5 macro a few days ago. The Hasselblad X1D has arrived along with the Hasselblad XCD 21mm f/4, which will be along on the slog up and down Mt Whitney (note: the Mountaineer’s route 'rocks' in lopping off 10 miles from the round trip, 12 miles instead of 22, the penalty being steepness).

Most impressive from the D1X circa 2001 is just how poor a performer the Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8 ED is. Dang! It’s pretty sad and that’s on APS-C. And yet one Hasselblad photographer thought it made sense for a comparison. I found it so hard to believe that 17 years had passed that I went and looked it up: the Nikon D1X debuted in February of 2001. Wow.

A tiny competitor: B&H Photo has sent me the new Sony RX100 VA to review. I already know that its images will be far superior to the Nikon D1X. And I’d bet that it will outdo the Hasselblad X1D in this since: with built-in fill flash and 4K video, it can do things the X1D cannot, plus it seems and is f/1.4 versus f/4. BTW, the f/2.8 lens on the new Sony RX100 VI is just too slow—stick with the f/1.8 lens on the Sony RX100 VA. I say this from recent experience: f/2.8 is a problem in a tiny camera like that in all the lighting situations I most desire to shoot in—I kept running into blurred images that an extra shutter speed would have cured.

I expect terrific things out of the X1D and the Hasselblad XCD 21mm f/4. It’s a solid hiking camera—or so I think—today the lack of a 4-way controller for things like choosing focusing point just drove me nuts at the inefficiency. But while hiking I should not have that as much of a concern.

CLICK TO VIEW: Hasselblad X System

Below—no wonder noise was such an issue for years—gobs of it at ISO 400.

Sunrise near North Fork of Lone Pine Creek, Mt Whitney area
f13 @ 1/200 sec, ISO 400; 2001-10-13 07:01:53
NIKON D1X + 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 @ 17mm ENV: altitude 9000 ft / 2743 m

[low-res image for bot]
Mt Whitney trailhead with friends
f5.6 @ 3.0 sec, ISO 250; 2001-10-13 06:42:18
NIKON D1X + 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 @ 17mm ENV: altitude 8800 ft / 2682 m

[low-res image for bot]

Man, what a dorky outfit! But I had more hair.

Sunrise near North Fork of Lone Pine Creek, Mt Whitney area
f2.8 @ 1/250 sec, ISO 800; 2001-10-13 06:57:14
NIKON D1X + 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 @ 35mm

[low-res image for bot]

Below, this shot shows at one glance what glaciation can do to solid granite.

View to southeast from summit of Mt Whitney
f5.6 @ 1/250 sec, ISO 125; 2001-10-13 12:39:27
NIKON D1X + 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 @ 17mm ENV: altitude 14505 ft / 4421 m

[low-res image for bot]
View from halfway up the 'The Notch' somewhat below the summit of Mt Whitney
f5.6 @ 1/180 sec, ISO 125; 2001-10-13 11:22:52
NIKON D1X + 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 @ 22mm ENV: altitude 13600 ft / 4145 m

[low-res image for bot]
View down 'The Notch' from below the summit of Mt Whitney
f4.5 @ 1/250 sec, ISO 125; 2001-10-13 12:03:31
NIKON D1X + 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 @ 30mm ENV: altitude 13800 ft / 4206 m

[low-res image for bot]
View to from summit of Mt Whitney down-valley
f5.6 @ 1/350 sec, ISO 125; 2001-10-13 12:30:25
NIKON D1X + 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 @ 17mm ENV: altitude 14505 ft / 4421 m

[low-res image for bot]
Geoff Faraghan at the Mt Whitney summit hut
f5.6 @ 1/250 sec, ISO 125; 2001-10-13 13:35:02
NIKON D1X + 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 @ 32mm ENV: altitude 14505 ft / 4421 m

[low-res image for bot]
Mutilated US Geological Survey summit marker
f5.6 @ 1/500 sec, ISO 125; 2001-10-13 12:30:56
NIKON D1X + 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 @ 35mm ENV: altitude 14505 ft / 4421 m

[low-res image for bot]
World Trade Center Memorial, summit of Mt Whitney
f2.8 @ 1/125 sec, ISO 800; 2001-10-13 13:37:30
NIKON D1X + 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 @ 32mm ENV: altitude 14505 ft / 4421 m

[low-res image for bot]
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