Author Topic: Hasselblad XCD 120mm Quick and Dirty Review, 3 of 3  (Read 619 times)

Offline Brad Paulson

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Hasselblad XCD 120mm Quick and Dirty Review, 3 of 3
« on: December 05, 2017, 10:13:35 AM »
For my final test, an important one that helps me understand how to use autofocus and the depth of field button, I ran through this one.  If this was exceptionally bad, I would send the lens back.  I was pleased and actually surprised with what I found.

The X1D and it's earlier lenses have suffered a few reliable slightly negative reviews on focus shift in the past.  Here, it's pretty much about how much the lens costs, and this one is moderately wide for a MF lens and costs a whole lot.   So I wanted to test that out. 

I don't see any meaningful focus shift throughout the aperture range with my copy of the 120mm.  That's a very good thing.  It means I can actually use autofocus pretty darn reliably in manual mode!  And it makes me want to go back and test my 30 and 90 to see if they have it.  Maybe there was a firmware fix with those lenses too, I just don't know right now . . ..  But I'm happy this lens has practically no focus shift.

All my test shots were done in apertures ranging from 3.5 to 45.  I can't believe it goes up to f45, I will likely never shoot with that, but it does.  It's very blurry from diffraction at that point, but if you want depth of field at all costs, that's the ticket. 

One last comment -- focus is by wire as all XCD lenses are to date.  I have never met a focus by wire lens that does as good as a sound mechanical lens in obtaining critical focus.  The 120mm is good — not excellent on that.  I counted three solid 360 degree turns from minimum to infinity.  Plenty of throw.  But dialing in critical focus, I really wish the firmware gave me either more micro control or a bit more time in zoom mode to dial it in before it zooms back out.  With the electronics, it's just a bit hard to get it dialed in perfectly within the time allotted.  I imagine it's the same for people using zebras.  Since I manually focus most of the time, this one appears to me to need some work before I truly fall in love. 

One thing to enjoy about the X1D is that it was engineered to resolve more issues than your average camera through firmware updates.  And I personally know Gothenburg listens if you talk with them. 

Bottom line, I am very happy with my lens.  Even more so than I expected.  Great job Hasselblad!

BradP

- A completely unaffiliated poster other than having bought into the platform.

The beginning of this review begins here. http://www.hasselbladdigitalforum.com/index.php?topic=5377.0
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 05:06:42 AM by BradP »

Offline siddhaarta

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Re: Hasselblad XCD 120mm Quick and Dirty Review, 3 of 3
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 02:45:14 AM »
Thanks Brad for your nice test.

I got mine some days ago and also think it is FANTASTIC (optically speaking).

I still don't know whether I'll keep it, as my Leica R Apo-Elmarit 100mm is also stellar and has better ergonomics (manual focus, light-weight). I can't compare the optical quality of the two lenses directly as for the time being I only can use the Leica lens on the 24 MP 24x36 Leica SL (no R-Adapter yet).

The focus-by-wire implementation is not as good as I know and appreciate from my other XCD lenses (same as you, I hope there will be some improvements via firmware). It jumps back from magnification way to soon, so I use the "star" button for manual zooming. The focus-by-wire is very, very indirect (first slow or no action at all, than very quick), time-consuming to nail focus. For focus-stacking it is a PITA, as it is difficult to get a quick series with equal steps.

I hope Hasselblad hears this and improves the lens firmware soon.

Other observations:

- very good at infinity also
- tends to hunt quite a lot
- gorgeous bokeh
- razor sharp depth of field which increases very slowly with slower apertures
- you can use f/16 or f/19 with very good results
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 02:53:41 AM by siddhaarta »

Offline hcubell

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Re: Hasselblad XCD 120mm Quick and Dirty Review, 3 of 3
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 08:24:03 AM »
I will post a more detailed set of comments and 100% crops when I have more time (yes, the optical performance is superb), but I had exactly the same reaction about the way the magnified live view turns off so quickly with this lens. I agree this is a lens or body firmware issue. The other issue is that there is some weirdness when I go to refocus to hit different focus points as I am bracketing for focus. After I take the first shot in a sequence and go back into magnified live view to slightly adjust the focus point, the focus point jumps WAY OFF.
You should note that there is a menu setting that is for the AF with the 120mm Macro lens. It allows you set the range for optimized AF performance. Near, Far and Full.

Offline JoeC

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Re: Hasselblad XCD 120mm Quick and Dirty Review, 3 of 3
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 03:43:12 AM »
Thanks to each of you and especially to Brad for sharing his test results. I received my lens last week but have been without a tripod until yesterday to get out and shoot. Today it's raining so maybe I'll do some indoor tests. My first observation was "this lens is a beast"! The weight startled me. ;D Having said that, I applaud Hasselblad for keeping the XCD line consistent wrt design and ergonomics.

Joe

Offline Buddy

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Re: Hasselblad XCD 120mm Quick and Dirty Review, 3 of 3
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 06:36:16 AM »
here is my alternative solution: X1D + XH adapter + lens mount + HC Macro 120mm f/4.
The last 2 images are captured with the X1D and this lens, showing maximum magnification ratio of 1:1 (ca. 44mm wide)
Sorry, didn't have some better "models" handy ! ;D and hope I didn't crash this thread with my post. But thought this might be of interest for some.
regards,
juerg

Offline tcdeveau

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Re: Hasselblad XCD 120mm Quick and Dirty Review, 3 of 3
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2017, 07:18:34 AM »
Thanks for the info everyone and congrats to those that received the XCD 120mm. 

Buddy, is your setup the HC 120mm v1 or v2?

Offline Buddy

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Re: Hasselblad XCD 120mm Quick and Dirty Review, 3 of 3
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 09:02:44 AM »
it is version 2

Offline Brad Paulson

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Re: Hasselblad XCD 120mm Quick and Dirty Review, 3 of 3
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 05:01:15 PM »
1:1. What a bummer.   :-\

Nice.