The Hasselblad X1DII with Leica M Mount Lenses. Samples and the new 45P lens!

The Hasselblad X1DII with Leica M Mount Lenses! Samples, and the new 45P lens!

By Steve Huff

So I have a Hasselblad X1DII here with the brand new 45P f/4 lens to test out. I will tell you now that the 45P IMO is a MUST OWN for anyone who owns an X1D or X1DII. It’s small, it’s silent and it has fantastic IQ. More on that later…

If you have not seen my full X1DII review, you can see it here. 

For now I want to share some quick snaps I took using Leica M mount glass on the X1DII using THIS Novoflex Adapter. Some will ask why I would do this as these lenses are not made for medium format, rather they are made for the smaller 35mm format (full frame). True, these lenses are in no way meant to be used on a medium format body but they CAN be used, and when they are…you get some pretty unique rendering. In fact I love the way the 50 Summilux ASPH renders on the X1D, vignette and all. Of course I could fix the vignette totally by cropping or also fix it with a slider in Photoshop or Lightroom to some extent. Either way these lenses offer a unique super shallow DOF look. The 50 Lux on the X1D reminds me of an f/1 Noctilux with a little bit of swirl, and fantastic sharpness wide open (sharper than the old f1 Noct). It’s a look that can not be replicated by using these lenses on full frame.

In todays world of uber perfect lenses where glass is created to be perfect across the frame, well,  something like this that goes away from that can be quite interesting. I have used various M mount lenses from 21 to 75 on the X1DII and decided to make a quick post to show that yes, it is possible and yes, it can create images that are different from everything you see out there.

A video I made talking about the X1D with M Lenses! 

These are just snaps over the last two days but so far I am digging it even though there are some cons to this setup. Those cons are…

First, you can only use these lenses via an adapter. The Novoflex adapter will set you back $240 but it is a beautiful solid well made adapter. 

Second, you must use the X1DII with the electronic shutter as the camera has NO shutter. The shutter is in the XCD native lenses of which the M lenses do not have. So the body has to be switched to ELECTRONIC SHUTTER mode. 

Third, there are limitations to this Electronic Shutter mode. Rolling shutter can be an issue if you are not holding the camera still when taking an image. I mean, we SHOULD be still but if you move while pressing the shutter you will see some rolling shutter and it will ruin the image. Also, in certain lighting you will see banding as with almost all electronic shutters. 

Other than that, it’s a different way to shoot the X1D or X1DII. One pro is that when using electronic shutter mode, the camera goes up to 1/10,000s which means you can shoot wide open in daylight without an ND filter. ; )

Below are some images…click them for larger!

Leica 50 Summilux ASPH (out of camera)

One from the Voigtlander 35 1.2 II – This is an OOC JPEG from the X1DII

The 50 1.2 from Voigtlander in M mount is a great lens. Here is an OOC JPEG from the X1DII

Debby with the X1DII and Voigtlander 75 1.5 at 1.5. This combo ROCKS

Voigtlander 50 f/1.2 at f1.2

Voigtlander 35 1.2 II

35 1.2 II – right out of camera

Voigtlander 50 1.2

Next three…Voigtlander 75 1.5

Voigtlander 50 1.2 (cropped)

TT ARTISANS 21 1.5 at 1.5 but CROPPED and converted to B&W

Voigtlander 50 1.2

All of the rest… Leica 50 Summilux ASPH at 1/4 – The last image has the fading you can see which was caused by the lighting in the restaurant. 

Two shot by Kurt Kamka using the XPan crop mode…You can see more of his work HERE.

So yes, using M mount lenses on the X1DII is different. It’s fun. It gives unique results. It can be gorgeous with IQ. It feels so good in the hand with something like a Leica 50 Summilux ASPH. BUT it is not for everyone! If you want perfection, corner to corner sharpness, no vignetting and a more modern look then below are a few images from the new 45P f/4 lens which I will be writing about very soon! I will also have a new video for it as well. Click images for larger!

All with the 45P lens on the X1DII. This lens is AMAZING for $1099 and IMO a must own for all X1D or X1DII owners. It’s just such a beautiful camera and now that I have a taste of the 50 Lux on the X1D I may dump some of my Voigtlander lenses to buy the 50 Summilux! If anyone is interested in a mint, in box Voigtlander 35 1.2II, 50 1.2 or 75 1.5 email me here. 

You can pre-order the 45P for $1099 at B&H Photo HERE.

37 Comments

  1. Steve, I have to ask.. for use with M lenses, would you prefer the SL2 or X1DII? Seems with the X1DII, it becomes the transition to MF. My focus is landscape and night sky. Thanks.

    • Well, the M lenses will work better on the SL for sure. The X1DII will bring some vignetting and while I love the look of that big sensor on the X1DII, for M lenses I would probably stick with the SL series. The X1DII though has some wonderful native glass that is much smaller than what Leica offers natively for the SL. Pros and cons to each.

  2. Steve, you’re usually the first to get a Leica or announce a new one. How come you haven’t said anything yet about the new Monochrome?

    • Meh. Leica gave me a briefing on it via Skype. It’s nice for sure but unless they want to send a review unit, there is nothing I can say besides repeating specs everyone already knows about. I am not personally interested in it as for $8300 I could buy a V1 with a 50 APO and be happy as can be. In samples and blind tests I see nothing that wows me about the new one besides the improved low light, and in a blind test most picked the Sony as having the nicer mono image..crazy! Also, I can get stunning low light from many cameras these days. I feel the original had the best tonality and IQ, probably as it was a CCD mono sensor. Just shot with one for a bit last week and it reminded me of how special it was and I remember being in Germany for that launch when Leica touted the resolution and detail as class leading. It was amazing then, and still is today. I was neutral on the VII 246. Nice but again, didn’t do anything say a Sony couldn’t do. This new one is nice but I can not say anything about it without using it, and that is not going to happen since Leica tells me no review unit. Maybe they do not like that I use Voigtlander glass these days ; ) Either way, nice camera if you want a mechanical RF that shoots B&W only and offers nice detail, but again, I’d rather buy a mint original for $3500 and a mint 50 APO for $6k. Remember, I only review items I would buy or own myself. This is not one of them as having more detail in an image doesn’t wow me, as we already have that in the V1 and VII and M10 and SL2 and SL and well, all cameras. Having more detail pleases pixel peepers more than anything. I actually think I like what Hasselblad is doing these days mores than Leica. The X1DII with the new 45P is amazingly compact and amazing in performance as well. I have been contemplating a purchase to that system for my passion projects (live music, street, etc) and my iPhone 11 for everything else with an OMD EM5III on hand for video, and vacations, etc. This little EM5III is a stunner in the IQ dept! Anyway, the new M10M is beautiful but at $8300 I just do not see any value in it. Thank you.

      • Thanks Steve, I guess an M’R’ is due as well some time soon. I think it will have the sensor of the SL2. I am not too keen on high res for a range finder. I am very happy with my M10. Had I been Leica, I would have let the same resolution and worked on having more dynamic range and better ISO performance. A 50mm APO is yours for 5K if you’d like 🙂

      • I would hope that Leica would not be acting with reproach toward you per Voight usage

        This sight continues to show love for Leica

        I think that the reviews and opinions here are more credible when they are not an unconditional sales pitch for one brand or another

  3. I think there is a lot of testing to be done with this camera (and by extension the GFX). I’d love to do this, but the medium format systems are a little outside my budget.

    • As far as image quality goes, this is the exact same camera as the original X1D. I was going to upgrade but it is not worth it to me.

      • Yep, it’s the same sensor and IQ as I said in my review a while back. The processor is upgraded, speed is updated, EVF is upgraded, LCD is upgraded, and operation is upgraded. GPS is inside the body now rather than an external piece. New grip on the camera and new color. Other than that, same camera. What’s funny is the new one is cheaper than the old one, even today. This post was just to show how some M lenses can perform on the body. Thank you.

  4. Wow, that is such a cool look. Love the shallow DOF and the vignetting looks natural. Nice colours. Thanks for bringing this interesting combination to our attention.

  5. Steve…on the photos taking with the Leica M glass. Did you have to crop them much to remove some of the vignetting or are the photos posted not cropped at all. Trying to figure out how much cropping might be necessary.

  6. Hi Steve, After see all the great images with M glass Do you see owning a X1D again? Would L mount Lens with Novoflex adapter work on the X1D? How much vignetting in the corners will there be? Looking forward to your next review of the 45P.

  7. Looks great, similar swirl as to when using old Leica lenses from the 40s and 50s on a digital body!
    Would be great to get your thoughts on this camera VS the new Monochrom M10, seems a lot of reviews are saying it’s Medium Format quality on a 35mm body, would be interesting to have your opinion validate that once you get the chance to test it alongside an actual medium format camera.

    • Well, Leica gave me a briefing via Skype on the M10M but said “no review sample” so unfortunate I cam not tell you my opinion. But the M10M will be limited as all of the Mono cameras are. No color..ever, and for only $8300! The M10 makes some nice Mono images, as does this X1DII ; ) No 35mm will offer the look of Medium Format, just not possible due to the physics of it all. These days everyone hypes everything to make affiliate sales and commissions. It sort of turns me off to reviewing cameras. I hype cameras also and sometimes heavily, but only when I feel they deserve hype ; ) Cameras like the X1DII, the original SL, the M240 and M10 are all Hype worthy. When it comes to the Monochrome, I preferred the original to the 2nd version but this new M10M appears to be the best Monochrom yet. At $2500 or so more expensive than an X1DII it’s not something I could or would jump into. When some mention it’s medium format quality they speak of sharpness, and to me outright sharpness is boring and goes with the trend of uber sharp high def images today. In any case, if you are into Monochrom shooting I am sure the new M10M is the best yet in that regard. Low light is supposed to be amazing. But unless I can review it, I choose not to post news or release articles anymore as I can not recommend what I do not try for myself. The X1DII is wonderful with XCD lenses. A tad slow in operation but all depends what you shoot. I love it and feel it’s a great value for what it costs and what it can do.

      • Late reply about physics: I learned from a German photozine some years ago, that the main reason for the “medium format look” is the fact, that the lens constructions are generally shifted into the tele range. If you take a classic 6×6 medium format camera as an example (I shoot one frequently), an 80mm lens delivers roughly about the same angle of view as a 40mm lens on a 35mm camera. So, the “cropped” 44mm x 33mm sensors of Hasselblad, the new Fujis and the Pentax 645D/Z should give a look that sits somewhere in between the classical medium format and the 35mm look, according to physics. That said, the Hasselblad seems to be a stellar camera in terms of IQ, a wonderful tool for slowing a bit down, composing carefully and then pressing the button.

  8. Beautiful misuse of 35mm lenses! Some images are indeed stunning, a bokeh fest, thank you very much again for this wonderfully inspiring post. But!!: if a fairy would allow me to have three wishes, my wish (1) would be that the whole camera industry immediately stops to use this inflationary “X” in their next camera models, plus this “1”. If you talk with somebody about recent cameras, you really get confused… was it now a 1D-X, or an X1D or an XT-1…?!?! X( I can imagine that this is particularly confusing for those writing frequently camera reviews, like you, Steve.

  9. Hi Steve,
    A direct comparison of the 45 f/3.5 and the 45 f/4 “45P” of the same scene would be a huge help. As of now, there is a claim of improved image quality for a more compact lens, generally this is a trade off of convenience over image quality.
    Thanks for your extensive Hasselblad reviews.

    • I wouldn’t say improved, I would say different. The old version is nice, and offers a gentler rendering. The new one is more crisp and goes along with todays uber sharp lenses. Teh old one is f/3.5, the new f/4. But the new one is soooo nice on the body size wise and weight wise, it makes a perfect fit for an everyday carry. If I jumped back to an X1DII I would buy this 45P without hesitation. $1099, a deal. The old version is still a current lens as the new one does not replace it so the old one will always be available as well. I will have a side by side soon, along with a video ; )

  10. For the two shot by Kurt Kamka using the XPan crop mode, which lens was used?

    Could you please write another article with pictures only in the XPan crop mode?

    • He had the 45 on I think, but these are very low resolution images he texted to me on my phone. I will shoot some with Xpan mode for my review. Thank you!

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