Author Archives: Joe Colson

Tap & Dye Leather Strap for the Leica SL2

I’m a big fan of Tap & Dye leather camera straps. Big fan. Obsessed? Maybe. I’ve accumulated close to a half dozen of their straps. Tap & Dye is a Brooklyn, NY based maker of handcrafted leather goods with an emphasis on quality and craftsmanship. Justin Waldinger, the Founder & Chief Craftsman of Tap & Dye, states:

Our products are handcrafted from extremely durable, vegetable dyed full grain cowhide sourced from family run U.S. tanneries like Wickett & Craig and Horween, Chicago’s oldest tannery that has existed since 1905. All hardware components are sourced from vendors and manufacturers within the U.S which means that when you support this brand, you are in turn supporting an ecosystem of American manufacturers and vendors as well. And that’s a good thing.

When Tap & Dye announced a new adjustable strap late last year, I asked Justin whether he could customize that strap for the Leica SL2. He readily agreed even though no such strap was in his catalog.

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Photographing the Colorado San Juan Mountains with the Hasselblad X1D II 50C

Photos framed using the FrameShop script.

Hasselblad X1D II Digital Camera
Hasselblad XCD 21mm Lens
Hasselblad XCD 30mm Lens
Hasselblad XCD 45mm Lens
Hasselblad XCD 90mm Lens
Novoflex Tripod (TrioBalance with 4-section Legs)
Arca-Swiss L60 Leveler Head
SanDisk 64GB Extreme Pro SD Cards
Accessories (the usual suspects; more details here)

Where and When
The San Juan Mountains of Colorado, centered on Ridgway, in late September through early October 2019. The photos in this post are annotated with the specific GPS coordinates for each image, thanks to the in-camera GPS of the X1D II.

This was my second trip to this part of Colorado during the fall. We chose to use Ridgway as our base on this occasion, rather than Ouray, to be closer to the points of interest that we wanted to photograph. The climate was perfect and the fall color did not disappoint.

For trip planning, Robert Hitchman’s Photograph America Newsletter – Colorful Colorado is a good starting point.

Adobe Lightroom Classic and Adobe Photoshop
FrameShop script

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First Impressions of the Hasselblad X1D II 50C Medium Format Camera

On June 19, 2019, Hasselblad announced the X1D II 50C, an evolutionary second edition of the mirrorless medium format X1D 50C. When the original X1D was announced in June 2016, it was the world’s first mirrorless medium format camera. Since that time, Fuji has introduced its GFX line of mirrorless medium format cameras, including the 100-megapixel GFX 100. See my post on the original X1D 50C here and my comparison of the GFX 50S and the X1D 50C here.

Now that I’ve had the X1D II for a few days and have used it in the field, I’ll offer my first impressions. Just first impressions. Not a comprehensive review. And not a scientific A-B comparison of RAW files from the original and new edition. For the most part, my impressions are based on my primary use of the camera – landscape photography. I don’t use flash, shoot JPEG, shoot video, or photograph stuff that moves rapidly (for example, birds in flight, soccer games, or unruly kids). Since I’ve been using the X1D for over two years, my findings and opinions are strongly biased by my experience with the original camera. New entrants to the Hasselblad X community may experience discoveries or have observations that I omit or gloss over.
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My Other Hobby – Woodworking

One of my other/many hobbies is woodworking. I’ll admit that most of what I’ve built is not artistic, and many of my projects follow plans published in woodworking magazines (including Woodsmith and American Woodworker). I’ll also admit that much of what I built as a beginner was…well…crap. More recent pieces have found a good place in our home or the homes of our kids. My basement workshop has been a retreat from the stresses of daily life and a welcome space to practice a craft that I admired from a distance for many years. Woodworkers fall into two broad “tribes” – Norm-ites and Luddites. The former are followers of Norm Abram and believe that a power tool exists for every task. The latter group eschews the use of power tools. I’m an unashamed self-admitted Norm-ite.

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Fuji GFX-50S and Hasselblad X1D 50C Comparison

I’ve been using the Hasselblad X1D for two years, and in a fit of boredom and frustration during December 2018 decided to buy a FujiFilm GFX-50S and a few lenses to see what all the excitement was about. Plus, the Fuji cameras and lenses were being offered at considerable discounts to their regular retail prices and I’m a sucker for good deals.

Having been asked by several photographers for my opinion of the two camera systems (bear in mind that there are only a few idiots like me who will admit to owning both), I thought I’d summarize in this post what I’ve been telling them. This is not a review of either camera, just my comparison of the two, in categories that matter to me as a landscape photographer. The last statement is important because I don’t photograph sports or action, birds in flight, street or in a studio. I typically use a tripod and available light. My photographs of people are limited to candid portraits of my family.

Both the X1D and 50S were introduced about two years ago, have achieved some level of operational stability, have active online user communities, and share the same long-in-the-tooth 44x33mm [cropped medium format] Sony sensor (also shared by the Pentax 645Z and H6D-50c). So I’m late to the party with this comparison. Both Fuji and Hasselblad will undoubtedly introduce new cameras this year and make this comparison moot. Or not.

This is written from the perspective of a Hasselblad X1D-50c owner or aspirant who is considering the Fuji GFX-50S as an alternative.

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