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​Phase One gets new lenses as pro camera market livens up

New wide-angle and telephoto models from flesh out the high-end medium-format camera market.

Schneider Kreuznach now offers 45mm f3.5 and 150mm f2.8 lenses for Phase One cameras.
Schneider Kreuznach now offers 45mm f3.5 and 150mm f2.8 lenses for Phase One cameras.
Phase One

Phase One has two new reasons for big-budget photographers to invest in its high-end camera system: new 45mm and 150mm "blue-ring" lenses designed to handle the highest image resolution.

Even full-time photography professionals struggle to justify spending tens of thousands of dollars on medium-format cameras. These models feature large image sensors that can capture rich color and plenty of detail with resolution reaching 100 megapixels, though, and a loyal niche keeps the market alive.

At the Photokina show in Germany this week, manufacturer Phase One announced its XF-IQ3 camera system can shoot with two new Schneider Kreuznach lenses, the $6,990 150mm LS f/2.8 IF telephoto lens good for portraits and the $5,990 45mm LS f/3.5 wide-angle lens well suited to architecture and landscape shots. Both are designed to support the company's 100-megapixel image sensors. Phase One designs and manufactures the lenses.

After a shakeout during the transition from film to digital sensors, the medium-format market is heating up again -- in part because camera makers are looking for new opportunities as they watch phones demolish lower-end camera sales. Phase One and Hasselblad are the digital medium-format old guard, but newer challengers are Pentax, Leica and -- joining the fray this week at Photokina -- Fujifilm.