Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens, I’m out shooting some food trucks. I’ve got with me probably my favorite camera in the entire world. And that’s the X1D. It’s an incredible camera by Hasselblad.
I love the image from this camera. But what I have with me today is the XH converter. It’s an 0.8 converter. And what it does is it converts lenses to this X series of cameras, which are Hasselblad’s mirrorless cameras. It converts all their lenses, their HC or HCD lenses, back to this x camera. The XH converter is a focal length reducer, not a speed booster. Even though a lot of people call it speed boosters, because it’s like a Kleenex, you know, the first people that made these, they call them speed boosters. And so like Kleenex, everything you blow your nose with is a Kleenex. So it is a focal length reducer, which means it reduces the focal length. It gives you a wider angle of view by 0.8. It also gives you a brighter image by .8, that’s about two thirds of a stop. And that’s significant when you realize that you’re going to get a faster aperture because of using this converter. So I’m just curious to see exactly how it works.
I’ve been shooting food trucks to see exactly what we’re going to get with the converter. Does the autofocus work as fast? Is the lenses as sharp? Exactly what do we get? We know the lenses are going to be brighter and faster. And we know we’re going to have a little wider angle of view because of using the converter. So we’re just going to see what each one of these lenses does and take some pictures.
So the price tag for the XH Converter is $949. That’s not inexpensive. But in the Hasselblad world that’s not expensive either, because lenses are very, very expensive. So if you have some HC and HCD lenses and you have an X camera, you’re going to definitely want this converter to be able to use those HC or HCD lenses with the new X system. So that purchase makes sense if you have those lenses in that combination.
So we have the HC 50mm lens. I’m going to take a shot with that and I’m also going to take a shot here with the XCD 45P X series lens. It’s pretty hard to beat that for size and weight with that mirrorless camera. That HC 50mm definitely gives me a little wider angle view. I can see my shadow in the corner better with that 50mm, even though it’s a 50mm, than I can with the XCD 45P lens. The XCD 45P lens has just a little narrower angle of view. It also gives me two thirds of a stop. From that f/3.5 I can go to f/2.8.When you can get f/2.8 on a medium format lens that’s a pretty sweet spot to be. It’s a very shallow depth of field. It looks excellent.
So when I’m shooting with this HC 100mm lens, it’s a f/2.2 lens, it gives me f/1.8 and it also gives me a field of view of 80mm. So it’s a perfect portrait lens. I did some great portrait shots with it. The way I lit the gentlemen and his food truck is, I’ve got a Westcott FJ200 and I used the beauty dish because the beauty dish is softer. It’s got that insert in it and the light bounces back in the dish and it just gives you a much softer light up front. But when I feathered it away from him and I dialed the strobe way down and I let my shutter drag a little bit, I get a little taste of the ambient light. And I just open up his face a little bit with that strobe and it looks fabulous.
So I shot some really fun stuff of Anna with this 24mm lens. This is an f/4.8. But it gives you an f/3.8 when you use a converter. It also gives you a 19mm field of view, which is pretty incredible. It’s wider than the 21mm that you get in the X series 21mm. So it’s the widest X lens you can put on this camera when you use this converter because it gives you that 19mm and also an f/3.8.
I’ve been doing some autofocus tests here. I’ve been shooting both with the 45mm X lens and then I’ve been using the 50mm HC lens. And I’m not seeing a big difference between those two, I’m really not. They’re about the same speed. It’s contrast autofocus. That’s not my favorite part about this camera. The autofocus is very slow and very deliberate. It just doesn’t give you fast autofocus. But I didn’t see a big difference with the XH converter. It was about the same, at least that’s my experience.
So let’s wrap this up. My feeling about this converter is that if you want a wider field of view, or if you have HC or HCD lenses, this makes perfect sense. You really should invest in this converter, because it’s going to help you get those lenses on to the X series cameras. It’s going to give you the glass with a little wider view and that makes a lot of sense. I don’t love the weight that this creates. This is the 50mm, which I do love on the camera and I love the images I get. But it is a very large, heavy kind of setup. Whereas when I put that 45mm on there, that feels like the solution that a mirrorless camera really is all about.
So if I was entering into the Hasselblad ecosystem, I would buy X series lenses with the mirrorless camera, the X camera or the 907 X. Those are great compatible small compact lenses. But if I had HC or HCD lenses, I would absolutely buy this converter because it’s going to allow me to get those lenses on my camera. Maybe if I do architectural kinds of work, I may buy the 24 millimeter for that because it gives you such a wide view and a really fast aperture. That’s something that’s very intriguing to me. So there are some applications that make a lot of sense for this. There’s some fashion applications. That 100mm lens becomes a great 85mm if you’re shooting any kind of fashion or portrait. I mean it’s really a great lens in that way. So there’s some real advantages here and some disadvantages as all life is. But again, I love the color and I love the camera. So keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!