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Hasselblad XCD 38mm f/2.5: Non-Performer Worst Lens of the Lineup?

Hasselblad XCD 38mm f/2.5 V

re: Hasselblad XCD 38mm f/2.5 Awful Focus Shift: Lens Should Not Have Made it Into Production

Hasselblad: send me a lens to re-evaluate, I’ll happily give it a 2nd look.

With today’s high-res image sensors, you cannot mess around with the wrong lens if your goals have anything to do with sharpness.

Last night I was searching through aperture series that I had shot in October 2022 with the Hasselblad XCD 38mm f/2.5 V.

I could not find even one sharp image at any aperture.

I looked closer and confirmed what looks to be the worst focus shift I have ever seen in a lens, in which f/6.3 is much worse than f/2.5. In every series—obvious (OMG!) in some, less obvious in others due to subject matter, but always there.

But it’s not just that; it’s just poor overall, since even with focus shift, a crisp zone of focus has to show up at some distance or another, and I checked for that rigorously... severely disappointing results.

Its faults are so obvious on the 110 PPI NEC PA302W here at home. That fall, I was traveling and had only my iMac 5K whose pixel density made it challenging to evaluate sharpness.

Was the lens just bad? If so, how did it every make it through rudimentary quality control?

I don’t like showing crappy lenses, and I’d rather assume “bad sample”, but given that two working pros wrote me about focus shift problems with the lens (returned it), I have to think this may be normal, at least the focus shift part. But the abysmal performance could be a bad sample.

Accordingly, I will soon show a few aperture series detailing the (lack of) performance.

CLICK TO VIEW: Hasselblad Wides

Wooden Boardwalk, Dusk
f11 @ 144.0 sec electronic shutter, ISO 64; 2022-10-20 18:42:44
Hasselblad X2D 100C + Hasselblad XCD 38mm f/2.5 V @ 31.3mm equiv (38mm)
ENV: Colorado, altitude 8460 ft / 2579 m, 56°F / 13°C
RAW: LACA corrected, pull 0.3 stops, +30 Whites, +10 Clarity, diffraction mitigating sharpening

[low-res image for bot]

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