The Phase One XT comes with everything you need to get started shooting, but there are a few accessories and add-ons you might consider that will extend its flexibility, function, and enjoyability.
DT Exclusive Customizations
DT Rosewood Grip for the Phase One XT
Phase One is following the lead of Henry Ford who famously said “You can have any color (car) as long as it’s black”. But DT is glad to offer the DT Wood Grip for the XT that can be swapped with the black handle. It provides a touch of warmth to the design, and, if you’re going out into nature with this camera, there is something quite fitting about this natural wood material.
DT HPF for the Phase One XT
While the built-in focus ring is labeled in both meters and feet, it’s far more detailed in the meters scale. That makes sense for most shooters in the world, but for those who think in terms of US Feet the built-in focus ring isn’t ideal.
DT is glad to exclusively offer a focus ring which is labeled only in feet and carries more densely spaced distance markings for greater precision.
Best yet, we’ve added two dots that represent the precise hyperfocal point of focus for f/11 and f/16, making it easy to get perfect focus in a typical landscape scene, without ever having to “focus” at all.
DT Dovetail With Compendium Mount for the Phase One XT
The Phase One XT has an accessory mount on the side with the hand grip. That mount is compatible with a variety of accessories such as a cold shoe or compendium shade. However, if you mount a compendium shade at this mounting location it will ergonomically interfere with the grip and its shutter release. Also, when mounting the compendium shade at the standard mounting location the compendium will rotate with the camera, which is not desirable as it may need to be reshaped if you’re using rise/fall or shift.
The DT Dovetail with Compendium Mount replaces the standard XT Dovetail with one that has the appropriate receiving holes for the Compendium Shade. That way you can continue to access the grip and the compendium shade remains fixed when rotating between vertical and horizontal compositions.
DT Lens Panel Removal Tool for the Phase One XT
The Phase One XT is compatible with a variety of Cambo lens panels. Some such panels, designed well before the Phase One XT, block easy access to the black switch that releases the lens panel. This is true of many Cambo TS lens panels (e.g. for the Schneider 43XL TS) and the Cambo Canon lens panel (e.g. for using the Canon 17TSE or 24TSE on the XT).
The DT Lens Panel Removal Tool for the Phase One XT slides along the curve of the XT’s front, gently engaging the release mechanism. It is specifically designed to do this without scratching or damaging the XT’s surface.
DT LCD Shade for the Phase One IQ
The Phase One XT is a field camera, with a special focus on the needs of the landscape photographer. However, with the great outdoors comes glare and reflections that can interfere with the use of the touchscreen on the back of the Phase One IQ. Given that all composition, focusing, exposure metering, and image review occur on the LCD of the IQ back, it’s critical that the LCD be as free from glare and reflections as possible.
The DT LCD Shade for the Phase One IQ reduces glare and reflection on the IQ’s LCD. Made of lightweight-but-strong carbon fiber composite, the DT LCD Shade is so precisely designed that it slides into place and holds position entirely by friction, without the need for any lock or adhesive. It doesn’t block any functionality; the hard buttons and touch screen are still accessible and the tether ports, cable ports, and battery are all unencumbered. If you’re using the camera at a lower angle it can be turned upside down in order to retain visibility of the LCD from a steeper angle. Best of all it can be mounted backward (without activating the lock latch) for storage and transportation, so it doesn’t take up any extra space in your pack.
Note: the DT LCD Shade is compatible with any generation Phase One IQ back. It is not compatible with the Standard Viewfinder of the Phase One XF as this viewfinder extends past the LCD of the digital back.
The Phase One XT is not primarily a hand held camera. However, used in this way it can provide a very interesting look, and creatively inspire a new approach to classic subject matter such as street photography.
If you’re handholding the XT you might consider the optional Phase One Hand Strap. It fits neatly into the strap slots on the side of the body, meaning the rotatable dovetail, focus mechanism, and LCD all remain unencumbered (normal straps often hang down when not in use, getting in the way).
The rolling case in which the Phase One XT arrives is great if you’re traveling by plane or car. But once it’s time to start hiking into a landscape scene, a roller case isn’t going to cut it. There are many great camera bags out there, and choosing a bag is very personal. But we can suggest the Phase One NYA-EVO Fjord 36 backpack. It’s a solidly built backpack that is still quite comfortable, and the soft cases from the Phase One XT rolling case slide directly into the backpack, making it easy to transition from road travel to off-road travel, without repacking.
Arca Swiss Cube
For years our go to tripod head recommendation has been the Arca Swiss Cube. It has self-arresting movements (no locking required) using very smooth feeling gearing. It has both base pan and top pan making it easy to orient logically to work with, and also allows panoramic stitching or recomposition once the camera is leveled. The movements of the cube occur within a curve, such that the camera remains centered above the head. This greatly increases stability (both the reality of it, and the feeling of it) and decreases the impact on the overall composition, compared to pan-tilt or ball heads that “flop over”.
The Arca Swiss Cube even allows the camera to be rotated to vertical or pointed straight up or down. As shown in the animation this provides an incredible amount of flexibility.
However, most of the flexibility of the Arca Swiss Cube is not needed when you’re using a technical camera. It’s rare that you would need to pivot up 30º or down 30º when the camera, like the Phase One XT, has rise/fall built into the body. The built-in rotatable dovetail mount of the Phase One XT also means it’s not that important to have a head that can pivot to allow vertical shooting.
Arca Swiss L60 Leveler
Enter the Arca Swiss L60 Leveler. It also features self-arresting movements, smooth gearing, precise feel, top and bottom pan, and movements that occur within a curve. It only allows 15º of movement, but this will generally be enough to level the camera, and then use the Phase One XT rise/fall to adjust the horizon (without creating any perspective distortion). The Arca Swiss L60 is smaller and 1.3 pounds lighter than the Cube which accentuates the small and light nature of the Phase One XT.
Notably, with either the Arca Swiss Cube or Arca Swiss L60 the Phase One XT fits natively into the head thanks to its integrated rotatable dovetail; no additional quick release plate or accessory is required.
Additional Lens Panels
While native XT-mount lenses offer the greatest ease of use and integration, the Phase One XT is also compatible with a variety of other lens panels. You might consider picking one of these:
Cambo has made tilt-shift panels for many years, for a variety of Schneider Digitar and Rodenstock HR large format lenses. These panels are compatible with the Phase One XT. Do note that some TS lens panels, such as the one for the Schneider 43XL, block easy access to the release latch on the Phase One XT; see “DT Lens Panel Removal Tool for the Phase One XT” above for more details.
Hassy V (aka Hasselblad 200/500 series lenses)
The classic Hasselblad series is legendary, if a bit dated in absolute performance. Even Hasseblad’s newer lens line doesn’t really handle 150mp of detail, let along their classic lens line. However, there are still some strong arguments in favor of picking up the Cambo Hasselblad V lens adapter. First and most obviously you may already own some of those lenses. Second, they may fill in a gap for you in the lens range that the XT currently lacks. Third, some of these lenses have shallow depth of field and interesting bokeh rendering; for example, the Hasselblad 110/2 (if you can find a copy that doesn’t have the dreaded fungus often found in this series) can provide a very interesting look for shallow depth of field images.
The Canon TSE lens line falls short of the Rodenstock HR series in terms of absolute sharpness. However, they are quite good for their price, and the 17TSE offers a focal length that will otherwise never be available by Rodenstock HR lenses. A 17mm on the full-frame 645 is roughly equivalent to an 11mm in small-format (FF35) terms; in other words, crazy wide. Is that lens perfectly sharp in the corners of a 150mp frame? No. But if you need something crazy wide in a single shot, the 17TSE is your best bet.
Do note that the Canon lens panel blocks easy access to the release latch on the Phase One XT; See “DT Lens Panel Removal Tool for the Phase One XT” above for more details.
Of course, if you aren’t currently using Phase One’s raw processor Capture One you should switch to it. Phase One raw files can be opened in a variety of raw processors, but none will show the magic of Capture One. The development team of Capture One works across the hall from the development team of Phase One hardware; they work together, they vacation together, they drink together. Nobody is as well positioned, or as well inceventized, to find a way to wake every last drop of image quality and color quality from a Phase One raw file as Phase One’s software team.
If you’re used to other software and need help switching, our team can help with 1:1 training or via our C1 Masters class series.
DT Time Lapse Editor
Finally, the Phase One XT provides for time-lapse capture. But when it comes time to edit, grade, and process that massive series of raw files into a time lapse sequence we suggest DT Time Lapse Editor. It helps to easily handle batch tasks like deflickering, ramps, and smoothing that would otherwise take hours to tackle.