Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 Review

March 31, 2017 | Mark Goldstein | |

Introduction

The Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 is a moderate telephoto prime lens designed specifically for Hasselblad X1D mirrorless cameras. It features an aperture range of f/3.2-f/32, 10 elements in 8 groups, a precision-engineered full-metal casing, and weighs in at 619 grams. The Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 is also able to focus as close as 70cm and it takes 67mm filters. The Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 retails for $2695 / £2265.

Ease of Use

With a maximum diameter of 77mm and a length of 100mm, the Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.24 is a short telephoto fixed focal length optic that's well-suited to the X1D camera that we tested it with. Weighing in at 619g, it's not that heavy for what is after all a medium-format lens, proving to be quite well-balanced on the equally new X1D.

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2The Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 lens mounted on a Hasselblad X1D

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2The Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 lens mounted on a Hasselblad X1D

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2The Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 lens mounted on a Hasselblad X1D

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2TThe Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 lens alongside the Hasselblad X1D

The Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 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 90mm f/3.2The side of the Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 lens

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2The front of the Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 lens

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2The rear of the Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 lens

The Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 lens is comprised of 10 lens elements in 8 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 90mm f/3.2’s fast maximum aperture partially alleviates the need for it.

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2The side of the Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 lens

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2The side of the Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 lens

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2The Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 lens in-hand

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

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2The Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 lens with the supplied lens hood fitted

Focal Range

The 90mm focal length gives an angle of view of 34 degrees on a 35mm full frame sensor.

 Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2Field of view at 90mm

Focusing

The Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2'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 90mm f/3.2 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 90mm f/3.2, only appearing in very high contrast situations.

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2

Light Fall-off and Distortion

Light fall-off is noticeable wide open at f/3.2, 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 90mm f/3.2Light fall-off

Macro

A 70cm minimum focus distance makes the lens fairly useful for shooting close subjects, and the maximum magnification ratio is 1:6.0. This image is uncropped and shows how close you can get to a Compact Flash card.

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2Close-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 90mm f/3.2 generates quite smooth out of focus areas, but the bokeh circles are often more like bokeh octagons, with discernible sides. Bokeh is however a fairly subjective part of a lens’ image quality, so check out these 100% crops to see the Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2’s bokeh quality for yourself.

Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2
   
Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2 Hasselblad XCD 90mm f/3.2

Sharpness

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