2016-10-02 Coming Full Circle (Hasselblad X1D)

Medium-format and view cameras
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2016-10-02 Coming Full Circle (Hasselblad X1D)

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This new Hasselblad X1D seems to have struck an emotional note with folks. For me the reason is clear and that is that if I carefully consider the limitations of adding more pixels to the fixed-size FF-sensors format, it is crystal clear that the FF-sized sensor stuffed with still more pixels cannot compete with the larger MF sensors. I can agree that for many folks, it won't yet matter, but as the case is.... it is my own work I am considering here, not just the general publics.

I feel I need to go BEYOND the limitations of the FF-sized sensor. And that means something the size of MF, plain and simple. The limitations of the FF sensor are obvious, and not something that eventually can be remedied. Ultimately some of us will be using MF-sized sensors and loving it.

If the Medium Format cameras were priced the same as the FF cameras, we would not be having this discussion. Many of us would just be having MF cameras. It is not that I am leaving FF cameras to go to meet the MF cameras; they are coming down in price (eventually) to meet me.

Clinging to various reasons why we should not check out MF cameras (price, heat, not enough lenses, etc.) will not make the new breed of MF cameras go away. They are coming and the X1D tells me that they are already here for some of us. I am going to meet this trend by paying the rather high price that this new camera requires of me, not because I want to spend money (I had to raise it), but because I believe the MF sized sensors (even the smaller one in the X1D) will give me a degree of freedom I could use.

And once and for all: I continue to use my Nikon D810 every day and will do so for my close-up and macro work, if only because I have the best lenses for that work. I don’t “trash” Nikon by criticizing the FF sensor and it is totally fair to wonder why Nikon is not leading the industry when it comes to a high-end mirrorless camera or a successor for the D810. I will use the X1D for traveling with a smaller kit and shooting landscape and portraits.

And yes, the X1D may be a dud, but it also may be liberating. Let’s just see.
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