Hasselblad Lens for Still Life Photography?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by brian steinberger, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    I'm looking to begin shooting some still life photography. I've been going to flea markets/antique shops and am getting some interesting objects. I have the 80/2.8 CF lens, but no extension tubes. Would I be better off with a bit of a longer focal length, say 120 or 150? Or stick with my 80 and get extension tubes?

    Recommendations? Suggestions? Examples welcome!
     
  2. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Extension tubes are necessary if you are to focus close. If you buy a 120 or 150mm lens you still will need teh tubes for close work.
    Jim
     
  3. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Thanks Jim. How about focal length? I would think the 80 would allow a little more flexibility into shooting, it's slightly wider and offers a 2.8 aperture. Thoughts?
     
  4. segedi

    segedi Member

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    I have the 80mm, 150mm and the 8 and 16mm extension tubes. If you can only get one extension tube, I'd recommend the 8mm, seems small, but it does the trick for closer focusing. Unless your still life subjects are really small.

    The 80mm is a great starting point and I think it will solve most of your needs. The f/2.8 vs. f/4 of some of the longer lengths is a bit moot. For still lifes, you're most likely going to want to shoot between f/8 and 16 anyway. The shallower depth of field with medium format makes an f/2.8 much like an f/1.4 in 35mm format.
     
  5. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    Brian, here is some still life I shot in my livingroom with the 150mm Sonnar. No extension tubes needed here but it is good to have them for flexibility. Bottle_and_egg.jpg
     
  6. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    120 or 135, macro designs, high resolution at closer focus range... they work at their best at 1:1 - 1:5 ratios
     
  7. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    The 120 Makro Planar is an excellent choice. It will focus down to 0.8m (1:4.5 magnification) on its own. With the 32mm extension tube it goes down to 1:2.
    Don't use shorter extension tubes, they buy you very little. It's designed for the 32mm.

    Avoid the 135mm lens. It has no focusing helicoid. It's designed to be used with a bellows, and won't work without one ($$$). Excellent lens however.

    I have both the 120mm and the 150mm, and use the 120mm for close subjects almost exclusively.

    BTW, a comment on lens "optimization".
    Many lenses, particularly those for close work, are said to be optimized for a particular range of magnifications, like "2:1 to 1:10" or some such.
    This does NOT imply that the lens will fail to perform satisfactory when used at other distances.
    Most Makro lenses, and particularly the Hasselblad 120mm Makro, are stellar with all subjects.

    - Leigh
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2012
  8. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Thanks guys for the responses. The example posted above is very similar to what I'm looking to do. I'm not going to be doing true macro stuff, and the 120 makro is quite expensive. I may just purchase an extension tube for now for my 80 and see how it goes. If I find I need more focal length and closer focusing then I may look into the 120.
     
  9. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    you have older models that might be cheaper!
     
  10. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Yes, the old S-Planar 120/5,6 is just as good as the Macro Planar. MTF indicates it is even better in the close up range in fact. These can be had at bargain prices today. Just make sure the shutter works properly. This lens has very high resolution and picture quality is very even across the frame. No distortion also. Bokeh is nice too.
    (These birds have a size of about an inch.)

    Birds.jpg
     
  11. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    The 135mm S-Planar with the bellows (usually sold with it) is actually a very flexible outfit, goes very close and also infinity. The bellows is a bit of a handful though, and I have just bought a 120 for field use, of course this lens doesn't focus that close without an extension tube.
    If you are just shooting at home or in a studio, don't discount the 135...a really top lens.
     
  12. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    I enjoy my 120 Makro and have never had an issue walking outside with it as a one lens system too. As for still life it does a nice job. The only issue I have with mine was after a year with my EvilBay purchase the spring of the shutter broke and I sent it to David O. for repair, so mine costs me more than it should but I have a really nice copy with a current CLA.

    One might consider that buying someone elses lens adds the opportunity of a CLA in an unknown time frame. So is the total cost of ownership is often over looked.

    One thing of note, I purchased a used ELM for $ 170.00 so that my still life photos and portraits are easier to keep framed instead of winding the crank and then having to reset the composition as my tripod often moves a scoch when I wind the 500 C/M. Guess I could have purchased a huge tripod, but you can never have enough Hasselblad cameras.

    Lee
     
  13. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    Or good tripods...
     
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  15. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Excellent recommendation! I just looked on KEH and found a chrome one of these for $400! This may be a nice choice.
     
  16. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    The 120 makro-planar is my favorite and most-used Hasselblad lens. The older version also is a good choice, just a bit harder to see through in studio lighting, and perhaps more difficult to fix in the future for lack of parts. Extension tubes are good, as are the Proxar close-up lenses. The 135 is an outstanding lens but expensive and cumbersome with the bellows in anything but a studio situation.

    Peter Gomena
     
  17. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    The 120 makro is very nice to use and would be my first choice.
    As you mentioned they're not giving them away.

    It gives you a bit nicer working distance than the 80mm.

    -Rob
     
  18. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    What millimeter extension tube would you guys recommend? I'm not going to be doing macro stuff but something similar to the bottle and egg example posted earlier and maybe a bit closer.
     
  19. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    for what lens?
     
  20. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    the 120 5.6 C recommended earlier. How do I know how much extension I will need?
     
  21. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    start with a 32mm extension, but i would really give it a try without any extension, maybe you wont need any extension...
     
  22. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Just to add a different thought. You could also get a 2x and extension tubes rather than an additional lens. I don't have the 120 makro which is also a great choice. A very sturdy tripod is a must. But you can take still life with any lens depending on the space you have to work in and the effect you wish to get. Just to see how they would stack up against each other, I recently took a still life with my 150, 250 and 350 just moving the camera position to keep the field the same. I adjusted the exposure time and f/stop to accommodate the different focal lengths. The resulting prints are identical and you can't tell which lens was used.

    As mentioned the extension tubes will get you closer and depending on the tube/lens combination an exposure compensation may be necessary.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  23. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    That may not be entirely true... Normal lenses are best corrected for infinity, macro lenses are corrected for close focus distance, and of course in critical work there will be a difference, in aberrations and in resolution, especially in the corners, of course if the maximum print to do is like a 30x30cm you may not see a big difference!
     
  24. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    When I used to work commercially, my main kit was a Hasselblad and I used to do the odd close-up shot.

    My recommendation is to steer clear of close-up tubes and get a set of close-up filters.

    No calculations needed (as per with tubes) and, in my experience, superior performance from the lens.

    Best,

    David.
    www.dsallen.de
     
  25. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    if you go through the close up atachments route, use zeiss proxars... that may well cost you a bit of a lens...
     
  26. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Close up attachments get a bad rap most of the time but I was quite pleased when I did some tests with some Proxars and the 80 2.8

    Zeiss even discontinued the Proxars and according to Wildi it was because of poor performance.
    This hasn't been seen in my limited experience and just shows how much Zeiss values absolute image quality.