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Hasselblad medium format cameras are some of the most iconic and coveted cameras on the market. Not only do Hasselblad cameras offer amazing results, but Hasselblad has historical significance as a pioneer of improved aerial capturing, NASA's choice for documenting space (Hasselblad has literally gone to the moon), and the first to release a digital mirrorless model: the X System.
BorrowLenses rents the Hasselblad X1D 50c and X1D II 50c. Both are incredibly compact, have 50MP sensors, and intralens shutters for extremely fast shutter speed syncing for high-speed lighting effects. The X1D II has expanded video options, a larger LCD, and faster FPS. Both are X mount (not to be confused with the Fuji X mount system) which means they are compatible with a fleet of lightweight but remarkable lenses. Their central lens shutter build allows for quick strobe/flash sync speeds of up to 1/2000th of a second. There is one more thing you should know about using medium format lenses which we'll cover next.
Medium format has a larger field of view than 35mm. Basically, you're able to capture larger-than-full-frame with a camera like the X1D. All lens focal lengths as they are listed in the specs are pegged to 35mm (36mm × 24mm), so you have to keep this mind when using either a sensor that is smaller or bigger than that. The difference in size between a 36mm × 24mm sensor and a 23.5mm × 15.6mm one is the same difference you have to use when calculating your effective field of view. If this is at all confusing, check out this blog post where you can visually see the differences: Understanding Full Frame vs Crop Frame Sensors.
Since everything is based around the 35mm size, it is considered to have no crop factor with a value of 1. Anything larger than 1 has "more cropping" which results in a smaller sensor. 1.6x and 1.5x are typically what you find with APS-C sensors. Micro Four Thirds sensors are 2x smaller than 35mm ones! Conversely, anything below 1 is bigger than 35mm. For the Hasselblad X System, the crop factor is (approximately) 0.78 – so not a lot bigger, but still bigger.
This will affect your lens choices because you'll want to times the focal length by this crop factor. Let's take the Hasselblad XCD 30mm f/3.5 as an example. Take 30mm x 0.78 and you'll get 23.4 (rounding up to 24 for simplicity). So that 30mm lens will "read" more like a 24mm. 24mm is a great choice for vistas but 30mm might be too tight, so it's good to always know your lens' actual field of view before choosing one (these calculations only apply to anyone not using a full frame camera).
Additionally, larger sensors have an amplified effect on depth of field. So an aperture of f/2.8 will have the depth of field look more equivalent to f/1.2. Using f/2.8 on a medium format lens results in a pretty small/thin depth of field compared to the same aperture on a 35mm lens. This is the opposite for crop sensor (depth of field will appear bigger/deeper). Learn more about this effect in How Crop Sensors Affect Depth of Field.
Working in medium format is incredibly fun and the results are stunningly lifelike. People describe medium format as having a unique look unmatched by regular cameras. It's hard to describe and just has to be experienced. Fortunately, you can rent one for a fraction of the retail cost!
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