It's a question of optics...

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Passage, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. Passage

    Passage Member

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    After a search I haven't found an answer. I have a Sonnar 4/180mm lens for my Hasselblad and love the quality of portraits and landscape work. However, due to it's size and weight, it's difficult to travel with it. I travel in Mexico often and would like to move down in focal length, size, and weight to a 150mm or the makro-planar 120mm and use it as my prime lens. Travelling with the Hasselblad, one lens, and a spot meter would make me a happy camper. The question is this: are the optics as good, and is the differential in price due to the macro ability of the 120mm and/or superior or inferior optics. Opinions appreciated.
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You shoot 8x10" and have trouble dealing with a 180mm lens on a medium format camera? Every time I move up in format, the other cameras seem smaller and smaller. I'm sure the Zeiss 150 and 120 Macro are fantastic lenses, but if you really like the 180, I'd just keep shooting the 180 and not worry about saving an ounce or two.
     
  3. Passage

    Passage Member

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    David,
    Regarding the 8X10: As Michael Smith told me, "If it's more than 50 feet from the truck, it isn't worth photographing". I would consider more than 50 feet with the 8X10 travelling. I will go a little further with the medium format, but not much. Bad knees.
     
  4. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Keep the 180 but cut the handle off your toothbrush, the margins from your maps, and the ends from your shoelaces. Remove the brim from your hat, cut out holes from your handkerchief, the bottom from your drinking cup. be resourceful and you'll manage to make the Hassie and 180 easier to travel with. never breakup a winning combination.

    .
     
  5. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    The 180mm is slightly better than the 150mm. The 120 is a wonderful lens but at long distances will not equal the other 2 lenses mentioned. At close distances the 120 is superb.
     
  6. JosBurke

    JosBurke Member

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    I suggest sticking with the 180 if your prefer that perspective and it is supposedly a better lens but then I have the 120 Makro and 150 Cfi and they are no duds either. The 150 isn't that much smaller but the 120 is quite a bit smaller/shorter than the 180. But then my favorite is the 100mm Planar followed by the 60mm Distagon (not exactly the choices for tight head shots but excellent for enviromental and the 100 is just as sharp as it is reputed to be. To each his own but if you have a favorite then by all means use it instead of a second choice. I've never used a 180 mm and by golly I'd better not as I would likely be wanting one of those as well!
    Joseph Burke
     
  7. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    I used the 120mm for years with a lightphase back. It's a great lens but the 180 is a better length. The lightphase wasn't a full frame back so the digital crop helped out on the 120. If I was using film I would pick the 180 over the 120 for usefulness, but I doubt if I would only take one lens on the trip.
    -Rob Skeoch
     
  8. photobum

    photobum Member

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    If you like a 180, then use a 180. But to think that the 150 is somehow a lesser lens is like all the Leica crowd. They keep buying the new and improved model because they think it will turn them from a putz into a photographer. Not.
     
  9. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    You know all of them? I've always wondered what Ernst Haas was like. Enlighten me.
    :wink:

    Lee
     
  10. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    As part of the "Leica crowd" who has never bought (or could afford) a new Leica lens, I humbly remain a putz.
     
  11. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I like using an M6 for my putzer and an 8x10 for my driver. :wink:

    The sharpness of the 180 is almost legendary, but it is limited with respect to close focus. The 120 Makro Planar is better in that respect, and a bit more convenient size-wise, but not quite as sharp as the 180. I overcame the close-focus limitations of the 180 with an extension ring. You might consider that as an option with the 180.
     
  12. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    There's another thread here re:bokeh of the 120 Makro Planar. Perhaps you could contact the author of that thread and do some print swapping since he's interested in the 150 or 180.
     
  13. photobum

    photobum Member

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    OK. You have goaded me in to it. I do own a M-6 and some lenses. But I haven't bought anything in years and I am embarrassed by my brethren.