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A medium-format pancake? This 45mm lens is the lightest lens of its kind

Medium format has shrunk down thanks to mirrorless technology — and now the lenses are following suit. On Wednesday, January 15, Hasselblad launched the lightest digital medium format lens yet, the Hasselblad XCD 4/45P.

Adding only .7 pounds and 1.85 inches to the camera body, the XCD 4/45P is designed to create a portable camera system with the power of medium format when paired with the Hasselblad X1D II. While the company says it’s the world’s lightest digital medium format autofocus lens, it’s also the most compact lens compatible with the XCD system. Hasselblad says the small size of the system makes the pair ideal for travel, as well as for street and documentary photography.

The 46.2mm lens — equivalent to 36mm on a full-frame camera — offers a maximum aperture of f/4. The lens is designed from nine elements in seven groups, including two aspherical lenses. Despite the lighter weight, Hasselblad says that the lens still offers high-end performance. The autofocus motor — quieter than previous lenses — can focus from 13.8 inches away.

Like other lenses in the XCD series, the 45P uses a leaf shutter, a design that allows photographers to sync a flash at shutter speeds up to 1/2000, much higher than the more common 1/200 sync speed. The shutter, Hasselblad says, is also quieter than many other focal plane shutter lenses, mixing quiet performance with the more discrete design.

“We’re extremely proud we could produce a lens with as high optical performance as the rest of our XCD lenses in such a compact form,” Per Nordlund, Hasselblad lead optical designer, said in a press release.

On the exterior, the lens is weather-sealed. A mechanical focus ring is designed for more accurate manual adjustments, the company says.

While mirrorless skips a mirror to get that smaller size, designing a smaller lens isn’t as simple. The lens isn’t the first 45mm lens for Hasselblad– the company also offers a 45mm f/3.5 lens that weighs .92 pounds and is almost twice as long. The lens joins a system designed for the XCD II, a 50-megapixel medium format mirrorless that, more importantly, is discounted enough from the X1D-50c to be seen as a step up from a full-frame camera.

The Hasselblad XCD 4/45P lens is expected to ship later this month, listing at $1,099.

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