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With no fanfare, Hasselblad quietly announces fastest autofocus medium format lens ever
posted Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at 11:31 AM EDT
At an event where everyone is trying to make the biggest splash and grab the most attention (Photokina), Hasselblad decided to do the opposite. Shirking tradition, and what literally everyone else at Photokina is doing, Hasselblad quietly announced three new lenses: the XCD f/1.9 80mm, Hasselblad’s fastest lens ever and the fastest autofocus lens made for a medium format camera featuring autofocus, along with the XCD 65mm f/2.8 and the XCD 135mm f/2.8 telephoto lens. They also announced the X teleconverter 1.7x.
But hold on a second, what? With absolutely no fanfare, no real attention seeking at all, Hasselblad has announced the fastest medium format lens ever made with an autofocus motor.
Let's unpack this thing. As Hasselblad’s fastest lens ever, the XCD 1,9/80 features the largest aperture of any Hasselblad lens at f/1,9. With unique twin AF motors and outstanding optical design, this lens provides an equivalent aperture of f/1,5 and a field of view similar to 63mm on full frame 35mm systems. With a 77mm front diameter, it supports common filters and threaded accessories. The XCD 1,9/80 features a 70cm (28in) minimum focus distance (1:6,4 image scale) and an aperture range from 1,9-32. It is especially suitable for portrait, nature and product photography with its ability to produce pleasing bokeh through excellent subject isolation with a shallow depth-of-field.
Like the other XCD lenses, the XCD 1,9/80 features an integral central shutter, offering exposure times from 60 minutes to 1/2000s with full flash synchronization.
On specs alone, this lens is important just because of the accomplishment of it's wide open f/1.9 aperture. But based on the samples, it's very sharp wide open:
The other two lenses announced are the XCD 2,8/65 and XCD 2,8/135.
The XCD 2,8/65 is the ideal standard lens in any X System photographer’s kit. With a 50mm full frame equivalency, it’s designed to achieve the ‘normal’ focal length and mimic the human field of view. Thanks to its f/2,8 maximum aperture and 0.5 m (20 in.) minimum focus distance, the XCD 65mm is the versatile option for street, travel, and general photography. The XCD 2,8/135 and X Converter 1,7 expand the reach of Hasselblad’s X1D-50c. Available as both a paired kit or as a stand-alone lens, the XCD 135mm and dedicated teleconverter have been designed as a cohesive unit to ensure no decrease in image quality when the teleconverter is used. Without the teleconverter, the XCD 135mm has an aperture range of 2,8-32 and a field of view similar to 105mm lenses on full frame cameras and features a minimum focus distance of 1 m. With the X Converter 1,7, the lens’ focal length grows to 230mm (178mm full frame equivalent) with a f/4,8 maximum aperture and minimum focus distance of 1.05 m. The telephoto focal length is ideal for portrait, outdoor, and landscape photographers looking to document details and subjects with stunning image quality.
And of course, both of these lenses feature an integral central shutter, offering exposure times from 60 minutes to 1/2000s with full flash synchronization.
The XCD 80mm lens has an MSRP of €3,990, $4,845, £3,690 , JPY¥ 576,000 (excl. VAT) / CNY¥ 38,500 (incl. VAT).
The XCD 65mm lens has an MSRP of €2,290, $2,750, £2,090 , JPY¥ 331,000 (excl. VAT) / CNY¥ 22,100 (incl. VAT).
The XCD 135mm lens has an MSRP of €3,390, $4,050, £3,090 , JPY¥ 489,000 (excl. VAT) / CNY¥ 32,700 (incl. VAT).
The XCD 135mm lens with X Converter 1,7 has an MSRP of €3,990, $4,845, £3,690 , JPY¥ 576,000 (excl. VAT) / CNY¥ 38,500 (incl. VAT).
All three of these lenses sound outstanding, but the real story is that 80mm f/1.9. If the kind of game Hasselblad can play is one where they aren't even talking about as big an accomplishment as this lens, then I'm more curious about what they are excited to talk about. This kind of quiet announcement is unheard of, so I'm keeping my eye on Hasselblad in the coming months. This can't be all they have up their sleeves.