This is our concluding episode of the three part series on the Hasselblad 907X 50C. In this article, we present some sample images, and discuss image quality and draw our conclusions on the camera system.
The earlier two episodes on our fortnight with the new(ish) camera system from Hasselblad is found here:
Chillout TGIFridays: Part 3/3 of the review on the Hasselblad 907X 50C – Image Quality
As discussed, the Singapore distributors – Cles Distribution extended a loan of the Hasselblad 907X 50C with the XH Adapter and Control Grip to us for a fortnight. We used this as our main, daily use camera for the entire duration. For lenses, we used it almost exclusively with the Hasselblad H Series lenses that I own personally – the HCD 4/28mm, the HC 2.8/80mm and the HC 4/120mm Macro. We also had the opportunity to use the digital back – the CFV II 50C with a vintage Hasselblad 503CW owned by my friend Jimmy Sng. The lens attached to the 503CW is the Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm. And this evaluation is entirely based on this set of equipment.
I shot all the watch images appearing for review on these pages during those two weeks with the Hasselblad 907X 50C, with the HC 4/120 Macro and HC 2.8/80 with H26 Extension Tube. I use the 80mm in place of the 120mm for the selfie wrist shots, as the working distance of the 80mm is shorter than the 120mm, and enabled me to hand hold the camera on the right hand, and shoot the watch on my left wrist. The longer working distance of the 120mm would require my left hand to be further away, and thus my wrist would end up being cocked, and looking un-natural. The photographs are shot using the usual Deployant setup of a Canon flash and a Profoto strobe. And were made either in the offices of the watch brands, or in boutiques, or in our studio.
Overall, I am very pleased with the images of the watches captured by the 907X 50C. The images have excellent detail, good dynamic range, and superb colour rendition which is accurate to what my eye see on the watches.
Architecture and cityscapes
Photographed mainly using the HCD 28 via XH Adapter and the 907X 50C. Hand holding this combination is quite natural, especially with the rear LCD in the 90 degree up position. Composing can be done using the LCD in place of a waist level finder. And the ability to zoom in the live view image for critical focusing of the manual focus lens is a boon. Focus is easy to achieve, but with longer lenses, especially as the 907X does not have IBIS, hand shake during focus check via zoom in is noticeable. This is easily solved by mounting the camera on a tripod, as is highly recommended for critical work.
When I was testing the 503CW with my buddy Jimmy Sng, we walked around the Chinatown area. And came across this group of friends having drinks. They gamely posed with their cameras.
Black and White
Though not a achromatic sensor, the 907X II 50C does do black and white documentary style photographs quite well. I shot these for a documentary project on the effects of the pandemic on the lives of ordinary Singaporeans. BW conversion for all images also done in Phocus.
A popular place for traditional local kopi, Wangz has many outlets throughout the city. This one at Alexandra Retail Centre is one of our favourites. Eating in premises at the time the photograph was made was limited to a maximum of 5 fully vaccinated persons per group for restaurants. For coffee shops, like Wangz here, the max is 2 people per group, regardless of vaccination status. Normally at this timing, there will be hardly a place to sit and stay. But on that day, it was almost empty.
The Hasselblad 907X II 50C is a beautiful package. The build quality is beyond reproach. And in usage, even without autofocus with older H Series lenses, the package with the XH Adapter feels nice on the hand and handles well. In our use case, it is lighter than the same lens on my usual H3D-39 body.
The 907X does not have a viewfinder, and though an optical viewfinder can be attached to top of the body, this is generally useful for wide angle lenses with focus set at a distance as it does not offer parallax correction. I did not get to try it. Thus, the only way to compose an image is via LiveView. As noted, this can prove to be a boon or a bane at the same time. LiveView does make the back feel a bit warm to the touch,. The camera has protection monitoring the temperature, shutting it down before it damages itself, though this never happened during my use.
With my old H lenses, prior firmware 18, focus can only be done manually. Focus peaking and focus check via magnification zoom in live view is available. Which is good, as this makes focusing easy and critical focus can be achieved. With newer H lenses, and native X lenses, as those I used in the X1D review, autofocus is available. And though reasonably fast for a medium format camera, is no match to blazing fast autofocus of the newer crop of full frame cameras like the Sony A1 or A9, or Nikon Z7 II, or Canon EOS R5. It is even slightly slower than the various Fujifilm GFX cameras.
The added benefit of the 907X II 50C is that the back is removable, and fully usable on old Hasselblad 500 Series camera bodies.
And finally, setup for studio use is not as slick as studio oriented cameras like Hasselblad’s H series or even X series cameras. But is usable.
Overall, the Hasselblad 907X II 50C is a very nice to use. The image quality is excellent, with very good dynamic range, and superb rendering of detail and colour. Micro tones and micro dynamics are handled very well.