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Hasselblad CEO: Zoom lenses are coming for X1D medium-format camera

Just a couple of a days ago, a Hasselblad representative responded on Facebook to an inquiry about zoom lenses for the company’s recently announced X1D mirrorless medium-format camera. The rep explained that such a lens would be “almost impossible theoretically” due to desired size and weight constraints of the X1D system. Well, it turns out that rep may have spoken too soon. In an interview with Bokeh, Hasselblad CEO Perry Oosting dismissed the Facebook comment and confirmed the X1D will see native zoom lenses in the future.

“Let me correct that a bit,” Oosting said. “There will be more lenses coming. There will also be zoom lenses coming.” This is good news for nascent X1D fans, although what type of zoom lenses Hasselblad will produce remains a mystery. It’s also unclear when such a lens would see the light of the day, but it won’t be this year. “When, how, where, what form, the price point — let’s wait. Besides the two lenses that are here at launch, the 45mm and the 90mm, there will be a 30mm announced at Photokina … So these are the three for 2016,” Oosting said.

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In designing the X1D, Hasselblad had to come up with an entirely new lens mount, dubbed XCD. While the camera will be compatible with existing H mount lenses, including zooms, via an adapter, native XCD lenses will be better suited for the smaller size of the X1D. How Hasselblad will accomplish this with a zoom lens remains to be seen. As was seen with Sony’s high-end G Master lenses, making high-quality optics even for the smaller full frame format can result in lenses that some would consider unwieldy on compact mirrorless bodies.

The X1D officially became the first medium-format mirrorless camera when Hasselblad unveiled it last week. It uses a 50-megapixel CMOS sensor that offers 14 stops of dynamic range and ISO sensitivity from 100-25,600. It is priced at $8,995.