Hasselblad H lenses might be able to autofocus on the X1D mirrorless camera in the future

In a recent interview with dpreview, Hasselblad representative suggested that in the future H system lenses might be able to autofocus on the new X1D medium format mirrorless camera with an adapter:

There’s a clear benefit for existing Hasselblad users, he explains: ‘H system camera users can buy an adapter to use all our other lenses, currently without autofocus. That’s something that might come later, but no promises. This means there are sixteen lenses, including the three native ones, that can be used.’

Third party lenses cannot be adapted to the X1D because the shutter is located in the XCD lenses and not in the camera.

Hasselblad is extremely happy with the number of X1D pre-orders (see US pricing):

‘Already at the launch event we were already starting to take orders. We had a projection for how many we’d sell in the first year and we’d passed that number in the first ten days.’

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  • DirkW

    That must be something like the Techart adapter then, which can expand, allowing autofocus with lenses that only have manual focus, not?

    • Brennan McKissick

      The problem is leaf shutters more than anything. And even still they’d have to have electronic based leaf shutters.

      • Nope the problem has already been stated many times why do they make us read between the lines. You don’t release a game changer with smoke and mirrors when your company is hurting only to have loyal customers find out that many compromises will come with your purchase.
        It should have been clearly stated from the beginning that an adapter will be available in the future to utilize existing H lenses but it won’t have autofocus in the first edition but we expect to add it. How many people bought the camera thinking AF would be included, How many bought the camera knowing the firmware would take a year to get to market? How many bought the camera thinking it’s a game changer and with the new EVF, with new lenses, a great touch screen, High ISO and 50MB thinking it’s going to be the bomb. Only to find out delivery date issues, firmware issues, Adapter issues and no clear answers as to when anything will be resolved. Ahh but we saw a few videos of some H ambassadors in LaLa land shooting with it lots of fluff and intriguing music…smoke and mirrors.

  • stephan de laat

    Made this comment also on the previous post about the Hassy. It will also apply to this artical…

    I had a quick go at the Hassy at photokina. The design is very nice. The menu’s are well designed and very (touch) user friendly. But there is a big but! The firmware is very buggy. Switching from LCD to viewfinder was very slow and sometimes it would just hang. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful camera that i’d love to own day. But the firmware is too 1.0. I would not go near to this camera before a firmware update. I would feel really ripped of to pay 10.000 euro’s for a buggy camera.

    • Hopefully, the firmware will be a “user updateable” thing. It seems (by all accounts) that the software has been the delay in shipping because as far as I know, no one has seen a “final production version” of the camera. Is the firmware updateable? That’s the question I wish we could get a solid answer to… and how committed are they to software updates? The software is more important with mirrorless than with an OVF camera, IMHO. Hassy, (as much as I like them) is only on gen #1 in this brand new category. A “software features roadmap” would be very, very cool.

      • Thylmuc

        From what I took, Hasselblad is very actively improving the firmware. So, it better be user upgradable.

        • El Aura

          Which camera manufacturer does not provide firmware updates to users? I cannot think of any at the top of my head.

      • stephan de laat

        The Hassy representative insured me that there will be a firmware update. I’m not sure if it will “user update-able” as the rep did not mention it.

        How does the H series get updated? Are they buggy as well?

  • Thylmuc

    Bit surprising a Statement. I had autofocus with the H lenses taken for granted. What sense would it make to develop a different electronic protocol for the X1D? That is more than weird.

    • El Aura

      I don’t think the protocol is the problem, it is driving an AF lens designed for phase-detect AF with a camera that can only do contrast-detect AF.

      • Thylmuc

        That appears doubtful to me. The lens is not involved in the measurement, as far as I know. It receives instructions from the camera, either “move x steps in rotational direction y” or “move to focus position f1” or something like this. That should be independent of the actual measurement taken in the camera.

        • El Aura

          The difference between PD and CD AF is that with PD the AF system can give the lens a command to go exactly to a certain focus position. Meaning the lens needs to be able to move quickly and fairly precisely to a given target.

          CD AF is trial and error AF, the focus position is moved by a small amount to check whether that increases or decreases contrast. Then the focus position is moved into the direction with increasing contrast. But CD AF (in contrast to PD AF) doesn’t know how much it has to move, it has constantly check whether contrast is still increasing and will usually overshoot and then has to reverse using a smaller step and go back and forth a few times to find the position with maximum contrast. Thus the AF mechanism in the lens needs to be able to respond to small steps and frequent changes of direction without any slack.

          It is well known that AF lenses designed for PD AF do relatively poorly on CD AF systems. Take the 4/3 lenses, it took the addition of (on-sensor) PD AF to the OM-D E-M1 for them to have a good AF performance on m43 cameras (which before that only offered CD AF). The same happened with the Sony A7 cameras. The original A7R didn’t have on-sensor PD AF and did not have great AF in particular with adapted Sony DSLR lenses. Here for example is comment by Thom Hogan pointing out that the Nikon (DSLR) lenses aren’t well suited for CD AF: http://nikonrumors.com/2016/09/14/nikon-dl-cameras-delayed-because-of-serious-issues-with-the-integrated-circuit-for-image-processing.aspx/#comment-2896218546

          • Thylmuc

            ah, thanks for the explanation!

  • Thylmuc

    There are other leaf shutter lenses out there. E.g., Rodenstock and Schneider build those. Leica got some for the S2. Mostly a question of adapters and synching.

  • Zos Xavius

    They should have announced an AF adapter right out of the gate IMO. It doesn’t matter anyways. I think Fuji stole their show.

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