Qiu Zifeng

Capturing the texture and colours of local cuisine

With a weight of 320g, 4.7cm thickness, and a minimum focusing distance of 35cm, the Hasselblad XCD 45P medium format lens is a perfect match for the equally lightweight X1D II 50C camera, setting a new benchmark for the portability of medium format cameras. So, how can this combo benefit commercial photographers? And what unique experiences does it offer for photographers? Food photography expert Qiu Zifeng shared with us his thoughts on using this lightweight medium format camera.

Medium format cameras have long been a powerful tool in commercial photography, but due to the rapid development of social media over the past few years, customers are demanding more product photos within a shorter period of time, or asking for more diverse angles and shots. To meet these needs, I had to carry a medium format camera with a micro-lens all day. It was exhausting, and I couldn’t wait for new substitutions and alternatives.

It was a huge surprise when I received the X1D II 50C, XCD 4/45P and XCD 3, 5/120. To be honest, I was immediately attracted by the design of the X1D II 50C when I first held it in my hands. It’s compact, well-designed, and even smaller than the DSLR I typically use for daily shooting.

Even after mounting the XCD 4/45P lens onto the X1D II 50C camera, it is as compact as a full-frame mirrorless camera.

Camera: X1D II 50C
Lens: XCD 4/45P
Camera: X1D II 50C
Lens: XCD 4/45P

I can easily fit it inside my shoulder bag and take it along if I’m going out somewhere. I recently went to a coffee shop that just opened on Yuyuan Road with a truly unique interior design. I chose to sit by the window so I could watch people come and go along the street outside.

My friend ordered the only meal option available, and everything inside was simple: a cup of coffee and a bowl of rice with beef and clams. I loved the way they presented their food, so I took the X1D II 50C out of my bag and powered it on. The UI is so simple with just a few icons on the screen, and I pressed the shutter whenever it felt right without worrying too much about the depth of field.

It was a cloudy day, and the dim light gave a dark and gloomy atmosphere to the photos, which went well with the atmosphere of the coffee shop – heavy and natural.

Thanks to the XCD 4/45P lens with an equivalent focal length of about 36mm, I could both get close to the food for tight shots or step back to capture the entire table in the frame.

After shooting, I connected the camera to my iPad via Wi-Fi, and the photos were displayed on the screen in no time and ready to share after some quick editing with Phocus Mobile 2. After all these years using DSLRs, I never realized moving files between devices and editing them could be that easy.


When I returned to the studio, I saw coworkers were preparing sandwiches and displaying them on the table, a scene that I never used a medium format camera to capture. But this time, with the Hasselblad X1D in hand, I started shooting without the assistance of a tripod and captured whatever I wanted. I like how the camera retained the natural colors of the ingredients without any exaggerated tones or saturation.

Tethered shooting is intuitive and professional with the camera connected to Phocus on the computer via data cable. This is how I work usually.

Camera: X1D II 50C
Lens: XCD 4/45P

The XCD 45P lens is lightweight and versatile enough to capture high-angle and wide-angle shots. For still shots and close-ups, I prefer to use the XCD 120 macro lens to capture the details.

In the next few days, I tried using flash with the camera for food photography, and the colours were so vivid and natural that it made colour correction mostly unnecessary. The X1D II 50C also features a wide dynamic range for more freedom in post-processing.

Camera: X1D II 50C
Lens: XCD 4/45P
Camera: X1D II 50C
Lens: XCD 4/45P

Whether for daily recording or professional commercial photography, this Hasselblad combo performs perfectly and makes shooting easier with better results, offering natural colours with abundant details.

There’s no doubt that such a lightweight but powerful medium format system will change the way I capture images.

Camera: X1D II 50C
Lens: XCD 4/45P

About Qiu Zifeng

Qiu Zifeng is a well-known commercial photographer and author of the bestseller 氛围美食影像学 (Atmospheric Food Photography). He specializes in food and lifestyle photography and has worked with both local and international brands and magazines as an invited photographer.


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