Hasselblad XCD 65mm F2.8 Review

August 25, 2020 | Tim Coleman | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star

Sharpness at 65mm

For this test, the Hasselblad XCD 65mm F2.8 lens was attached to a Hasselblad X1D II 50C body, which was in turn mounted to a sturdy tripod. Exposure delay mode was activated. Tonal and colour variance across the crops are due to change in natural light during the session. Raw format images have been exported using Phocus with no corrections applied.

The full frame

The full frame at 65mm

A benefit of a physically larger sensor and lens mount such as the Hasselblad X series is the greater ability for lenses to retain sharp detail from centre to edges. Limited depth of field is the main cause of softness - it's unlikely that both centre and edges are sharply in focus.

Where focus is sharp, this lens is very sharp indeed. For absolute best quality, f/8 is the sweet spot, extended from f/4 to f11. Detail is a twinge softer at f/2.8 but it's still fantastic and we would use this maximum aperture happily.

From f/16 detail is a fraction softer than f/2.8 but only if you pixel peep (scrutinise at the enormous 100% size) and f/22 is softer still. The negative impact of diffraction (soft detail) can be seen more clearly when using the f/32 aperture setting.

We should stress though, observations are from viewing the enormous files at 100%. View any of the images at any aperture settings on screen in full and all appears sharp.

Aperture Centre Crop Edge Crop
f/2.8 f4.jpg f4.jpg
f/4 f4.jpg f4.jpg
f/5.6 f5_6.jpg f5_6.jpg
f/8 f8.jpg f8.jpg
f/11 f11.jpg f11.jpg
f/16 f16.jpg f16.jpg
f/22 f16.jpg f16.jpg
f/32 f16.jpg f16.jpg