The Hasselblad 907X 50C MultiVerse
The 907X 50C Chrome Edition (try saying that 3 times quickly) was announced last week at $6,399. This is $1,100 less than the limited run Apollo Edition, which was announced in July 2019. This is great news – not just because the price is so much lower, but – Apollo Edition accoutrements aside – you get more, as the 3.2” LCD resolution has doubled from 920k to 2.4k. Pay less, get more, what’s not to like about that?
Not So Secret Sauce
The secret sauce of the 907X 50C is the myriad ways that it can be utilized. This is a modular system. Out of the box, the 907X 50C Kit is ready to pair with the Hasselblad XCD auto focus lenses, producing a solution that is similar to a Hasselblad X1D-II in functionality, but with a different form factor. Hasselblad bundles the 50C with the 907X because they want you to purchase XCD lenses. And you should purchase XCD lenses – they are excellent optics, and you have auto focus functionality on top of that.
But the 907X 50C can be used with many other cameras, and many other lenses. You really are in the drivers seat with the keys to multiple destinations. I think this is what the market has been hoping to see for many years; A reasonably priced, high resolution medium format capture solution with a flip LCD that can unlock many different camera and lens pathways.
In this case, we have the Hasselblad 907X 50C out of the box, paired with the 21mm/4 XCD Auto Focus Lens from the X1D family. This creates a compact form factor, and one in which the Control Grip and OVF might make a nice pairing with. There are some unique lenses in the XCD family, the 21mm/4, which is the widest medium format lens on the market, the 80mm/1.9, which is the fastest medium format lens on the market, and more, topping out with the 135mm/2.8 (or with the 1.7x doubler, 230mm/4).
Now we have the marriage of new and old technology, the Hasselblad 50C is mounted to the rear of a Hasselblad 503CXi, with a Zeiss 60mm Lens in front. The Hasselblad 50C can be mounted on the back of any Hasselblad V series camera – 5xx series, 2xx(x) series, SWC/9xx, ArcBody, Flex Body, etc. And you then have access to all those great Zeiss lenses.
Now we’re starting to expand things and get a bit more exotic. What you see above is the Hasselblad 907X 50C with the HCD Adapter and a total of 510mm of lens in front of it. All the Hasselblad HC/HCD lenses (24mm – 300mm) are compatible with the 907X 50C combination. If your firmware is up to date, you also have auto focus functionality with these lenses. In addition to the HCD Adapter, Hasselblad also offers the above mentioned XCD Adapter, as well as the XPD Adapter, which lets you mount XPan lenses to the 907X 50C.
Now, we’ve twisted in another direction. The Hasselblad 50C can fit on any technical camera that offers Hasselblad V Interface Adapters. Such a pairing is illustrated above – now you have a truly compact camera solution, but with Rodenstock HR lenses. This compatibility can be expanded to X/Y shift cameras from Alpa, Cambo, Arca-Swiss, etc. Then you have a shifting solution with top notch Rodenstock HR glass.
Taking the shifting paradigm a step further, similar to technical cameras, any view camera that provides a Hasselblad V Interface (most do) can also accept a Hasselblad 50C Digital Back. In this case, the Cambo Actus is a fantastic platform that allows for many lenses to be used in front. Coupled with the built-in Electronic Shutter of the Hasselblad 50C, many lenses can be used in this configuration – Cambo Actar lenses, Pentax 645/6×7, Mamiya RZ/RB, Hasselblad V, Schneider/Rodenstock View Camera lenses, Canon/Nikon lenses (above with Canon EF Aperture Controller), and more.
Now, the biggest tuna sandwich of all may be the Hasselblad 50C paired with the Alpa 12 FPS Camera. The Alpa 12 FPS has the advantage of a focal plane shutter, yet also takes many lenses, similar to the Cambo Actus, but not having to rely on the Electronic Shutter of the Hasselblad 50C, it removes those limitations (mostly static images and no sync with strobe). In this case, you have a rare pairing of Hasselblad 50C Digital Back, Alpa FPS Camera, and Phase One/Schneider Blue Ring Lenses. For those with sharp eyesight, yes, technically, you need an Alpa 11mm Lens Adapter to make this work, not the 17mm Adapter we have pictured here.
The CI takeaway
What this all means is that yes, I’ve always wanted to be able to use the term “MultiVerse” in a blog title, but more importantly, the Hasselblad 907X 50C on its own – out of the box – is a great solution for utilizing various Hasselblad lenses and bodies, but that you don’t need to restrict yourself in such a way, there are many other cameras and lens combinations with all sorts of unique functionality that you can explore.