Tom Oldham

Silent Street Portraits

with the XCD 45P

Hasselblad H System photographer Tom Oldham was one of the first in the world to put the new XCD 45P lens, the world’s lightest digital medium format autofocus lens on the market today, to the test in the low winter light of London. Its compact design and nearly silent shutter coupled with the X1D II made for an ideal combination for shooting street portraits, minimizing the feeling of a camera between the photographer and subject.


I shoot Hasselblad H System currently, so I know the quality well and this lens offers the exemplary standards Hasselblad have built their reputation on. We shot these images in low winter light, on the greyest, flattest day, yet the files absolutely sang. There’s plenty of punch in that latitude to utilise and I’m really happy with what we turned in - shooting wide open and minimising the DoF really challenged us to hit focus and nail each opportunity.

© Tom Oldham
Model: Harry Kirton
Behind the scenes with Tom Oldham
© Tom Oldham
Model: Harry Kirton

The noise [of the XCD 45P] is so minor and unobtrusive – I believe positive aspects like this can help bring increased intimacy between shooter and subject.

© Tom Oldham
Model: Webster
© Tom Oldham
Model: Webster
© Tom Oldham
Model: Webster

Webster is an incredible dancer I’ve been shooting recently, though in a studio environment, and I really wanted to see how they’d respond to a less structured shoot format on location. Webster, I’m proud to say, far exceeded expectations and just looked glorious on the streets of Shoreditch, making shapes and creating pictures. The swift responses of the camera enabled the easy flowing of the shoot, which is vital in freezing cold and miserable London.

Harry, an actor known for his work on Peaky Blinders, has a very different look and style to Webster, so it felt like a fair test of the capability of the lens in the same lighting conditions. We wandered through the streets of Smithfield in East London and found portraits that aligned with his look.

© Tom Oldham
Model: Harry Kirton

The XCD 45P created an alternative style of shooting I’ve not adopted for a really long time and tested ideas and workflow which is always healthy for someone very familiar with their regular shooting techniques. There’s no doubt what a solid, welcome and popular position this lens will find itself amongst the XCD lens family.

© Tom Oldham
Model: Harry Kirton


British portrait photographer Tom Oldham has photographed all sorts of talented folk around the world. Finding his calling at the ripe age of 21, some of Tom's biggest works include: Eldmodur, featuring Icelandic crossfit athletes; The Herder Boys of Lesotho, his proudest series; The Longest Day, where Tom stayed awake for 40 hours and shot one portrait per hour. Check out more of his compelling portrait work @tommyophoto. See more of Harry Kirton (@porvata) and Webster (@w3b_st4r).



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