Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 Review

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Introduction

The Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 is a moderate wide-angle prime lens designed specifcally for Hasselblad X1D mirrorless cameras. It features an aperture range of f/3.5-f/32, 9 elements in 7 groups, a precision-engineered full-metal casing, and weighs in at 417 grams. The Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 is also able to focus as close as 40cm and it takes 67mm filters. The Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 retails for $2295 / £1900.

Ease of Use

With a maximum diameter of 75mm and a length of 77mm, the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.54 is a moderate-wide-angle fixed focal length optic that’s well-suited to the X1D camera that we tested it with. Weighing in at 417g, it’s also not too heavy for what is a medium-format lens, proving to be very well-balanced on the equally new X1D.

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

The Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens mounted on a Hasselblad X1D

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

The Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens mounted on a Hasselblad X1D

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

The Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens mounted on a Hasselblad X1D

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

TThe Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens alongside the Hasselblad X1D

The Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 boasts superb build quality. The lens’ all-metal casing is dust and moisture resistant and it features a metal bayonet.

With no need for a zoom ring, the manual focussing ring spans a significant width of the lens barrel and is exceptionally smooth to operate.

Focusing is usefully internal and manual focusing is possible when set via the camera body. Full-time manual focus override is also available at any time simply by rotating the focus ring.

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

The side of the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

The front of the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

The rear of the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens

The Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens is comprised of 9 lens elements in 7 groups. It accepts 67mm filters via metal threads.

There’s no built-in optical image stabilisation in either this lens or the X1D camera body, but the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5’s short focal length and fast maximum aperture mostly alleviate the need for it.

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

The side of the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

The side of the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

The Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens in-hand

A soft cloth bag and a high-quality metal circular lens hood are supplied in the large box.

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

The Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens with the supplied lens hood fitted

Focal Range

The 45mm focal length gives an angle of view of 63 degrees on a 35mm full frame sensor.

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

Field of view at 45mm

Focusing

The Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5’s manual focussing ring spans a significant width of the lens barrel and is exceptionally smooth to operate. It also has a large rotation angle which enables precise focusing and moves smoothly without any play. Two different focusing aids are provided – auto magnification and focus peaking. In conjunction with the X1D’s high-resolution electronic viewfinder, we found it very easy to accurately determine critical sharpness.

When it comes to auto-focusing, the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 is a rather noisy and slow performer on the Hasselblad X1D that we tested it with, taking about 0.5 second to lock onto the subject in good light. We didn’t experience too much “hunting” with good lighting, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time, but it was prone to hunting in more dim environments.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberration (purple fringing) is not really an issue with the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5, only appearing in very high contrast situations.

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5
Light Fall-off and Distortion

Light fall-off is noticeable wide open at f/3.5, though this is to be expected for such a fast lens and can easily be corrected in Photoshop. Stop down to f/5.6 and the vignetting is already less prominent, but it is still visible when shooting pale scenes that fill the frame.

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

Light fall-off

Macro

A 40cm minimum focus distance makes the lens fairly useful for shooting close subjects, and maximum magnification ratio the 1:6.4. This image is uncropped and shows how close you can get to a Compact Flash card.

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5

Close-up performance

Bokeh

A major appeal of fast, wide-aperture prime lenses is their ability to produce an eye-catching separation between a sharp subject and a very soft out-of-focus background. The Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 generates quite smooth out of focus areas. Bokeh is however a fairly subjective part of a lens’ image quality, so check out these 100% crops to see the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5’s bokeh quality for yourself.

Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5
Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5
Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

Sharpness at 45mm

Our sharpness tests were conducted using a 50-megapixel Hasselblad X1D body mounted on a tripod. The camera’s shutter release was also set on a timer-delay to avoid any possible camera shake. The test subject was shot using ambient lighting, hence some colour and contrast variation is to be expected between apertures.

The full frame at 25mm

The full frame at 45mm

Centre sharpness is impressively high throughout the entire aperture range, with peak performance between f/4-f/11. Corner sharpness is also excellent, again producing optimal sharpness at f/4-f/11.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop
f/3.5
f/4
f/5.6
f/8
f/11
f/16
f/22

Sample Images

The thumbnails below link to full-sized samples taken with the Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens mounted on a Hasselblad X1D camera.

1/60s · f/8 · ISO 100

1/90s · f/8 · ISO 200

1/50s · f/8 · ISO 400

1/50s · f/8 · ISO 6400

1/400s · f/8 · ISO 100

1/250s · f/3.5 · ISO 100

1/180s · f/11 · ISO 100

Specifications

  • Focal length : 45mm
  • Equivalent Focal length : 35mm (comparing 33 x 44 with 24 x 36 diagonal)
  • Aperture range : ƒ/3,5 – ƒ/32
  • Angle of view diagonal/horizontal/vertical : 63°/52°/40°
  • Elements/Groups : 9/7
  • Focusing range : 40cm – Infinity
  • Filter thread : 67mm
  • Magnification at close range : 1:6.4
  • Coverage at close range : 28 x 21cm
  • Length : 75mm
  • Diameter : 77mm
  • Weight : 417g
  • Product no. : 3025045
  • Lens type : Leaf shutter lens
  • Shutter speed : 60 minutes to 1/2000 sec
  • Flash sync speed : Flash can be used at all shutter speeds

Conclusion

If the new Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 lens is anything to go by, Hasselblad X1D owners are going to be delighted by the XCD lens range. The Hasselblad XCD 45mm f/3.5 is a fairly fast and tack-sharp lens that exhibits low chromatic aberrations and very little barrel distortion. Vignetting at wide-open apertures is the only real optical issue of note – stopping down to f/8 solves the problem altogether.

Build quality is excellent, with the metal lens mount and sober all-black design adding to the high-quality feel, and Hasselblad have also included a very good metal lens hood and soft cloth bag. Manual focusing is a pleasure, with manual focus over-ride at any time a great feature, although auto-focusing on the X1D proved to be both slow and rather noisy.

As the lens that the majority of new X1D owners will purchase, Hasselblad had to ensure that the XCD 45mm f/3.5 was a high-quality optic, and they’ve certainly succeeded in that aim. It’s simply a must-have buy for early X1D adopters.

(photographyblog.com, https://goo.gl/h2m9Oh)

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