Looking at a Hasselblad 50/4 CT*...

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by film_man, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. film_man

    film_man Member

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    Hello,

    I need a wide angle for my 501CM. My plan is to eventually get a 40 but I do need a wide soon (as in end of June) and since I do not have the money for a 40 now, I'm looking at various cheap 50/4 CT* lenses.

    Is there something I need to watch out for? I mean the lens will work and has a 6 month warranty so I'm not worried about that. But are the optics good or is there any issue with certain versions of them...?

    Sorry, I'm new to the the whole C/CT/CF/CB area so I don't know much! For the record, I have a 501CM with 80CB which I find very nice indeed.

    Bear in mind that the 50 will generally be used stopped down to f/8-16 as where I'm going it will be nice and sunny! So if the older CT* is not that good wide open, no harm done. How about flare issues? Do I need to look for a certain designation on the lens or lettering?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    The 50 mm is good.
    But do use a proper hood.

    The old 50 mm design was carried over into the CF range. During the CF period it was replaced by a new design with floating elements.
    That new design is a bit better. But the difference is small, and one between a very good lens, and a lens that is a little bit better still.
    I use the old version as well, without a single worry.

    You can recognise C lenses by the knurled setting rings, and the name of the shutter ("Synchro Compur") on the lens.
    They were first available in a brushed aluminium finish (usually called "chrome"), later in black.
    The early ones have a "T" single layer antireflection coating. Later ones (in all versions) have a "T*" multi layer coating (recognizable by T*, printed in red on the barrel).
    Coatings do not make a big difference, but wide angle lenses do benefit the most, so perhaps a good idea to skip the non-T* ones.

    The CF lenses are all black, and have "CF" printed on the barrel, and also a green button to the left of the shutterspeeds.
    Though the C lenses are perfectly usable, the CF lenses have improved ergonomics. It's also easier to find filters and hoods for the CF lenses than for the Series 63 mount C version of the 50 mm lens.
    The F in CF is linked to that green buton, which disables the leaf shutter in the lens so it doesn't get in the way when used on focal plane shutter bodies with their instant return mirrors.
    A CF lens would be a perfectly good choice. A CF FLE (second optical design) version even better.

    The CFi version has again improved ergonomics, a barrel using different materials, and CFi printed on the barrel. The green button turned orange.
    The filter mount of the CFi 50 mm lens (only available in the second, floating element design) was enlarged from bayonet 60 to bayonet 70. That, because combining two bayonet 60 filters on the CF lens already caused vignetting. With the larger filters, this is less of a problem.
    A CFi lens would of course also be a good choice.

    There never was a CB version of the 50 mm lens.
     
  3. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Second the lens hood. It is cumbersome, and not cheap, but I can't see going without it with a wider angle. I am going to guess that a bay 70 will be harder to find/more expensive than a bay 60 hood.
     
  4. hspluta

    hspluta Member

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    I cheated on mine, bought a Coken adapter and used one of thier lens shades, inexpensive and works like a charm.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The f/4 50mm lens is one of the most frequently use lens that I have for my Hasselblad even though I also have the 38mm Hasselblad SWC. You will use it often and enjoy it. Post your photos when I get the lens.

    Steve
     
  6. film_man

    film_man Member

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    That's great, thanks everyone. I'll have a look at a few of the CT* lenses I've found. Thanks again.

    Edit: just ordered a 50CT* for £249. Apparently it is in excellent condition, we'll see when it gets here! Thanks again. Now to find a hood for it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2010
  7. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    You won't be disappointed.
    The 50 Distagon is superb in all it's iterations.

    I have an older "C" T* version and although the flash synch/PC tit is wonky I still use it alot.

    They improved the PC cable connection in the later CF onwards.
     
  8. film_man

    film_man Member

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    Well, the 50CT* arrived, very good condition they said and very cheap at £249. It was very good indeed apart from the two small specs of fungus behind the front element. They were pretty small, I can understand why they might have missed them, that particular shop has told me in the past if fungus was on a lens. At least, that's the advantage of buying from a shop, the lens is on the way back, no questions asked.

    However, two things became apparent that while using it for a day:
    1. 50mm was neither here nor there. I'd rather have something wider (i.e. 40) or a bit narrower (i.e. 60, even though I have a 80).
    2. most importantly, I really disliked the old C-style controls. The focus ring just digs into my fingers and the aperture/shutter linkeage is just extremely annoying. I'd much rather have the newer CF/CB style lenses.

    So, back to square one, I'll just have to wait for a 40/4 and I'll just go with the 80 on my trip. The EOS 3 will have to cover for the wide end!

    At least I still have £250 in my pocket, £100 has gone to a few boxes of PanF and FP4 and the rest will go on the trip itself. Ha. :smile:
     
  9. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    They made a "quick focus handle" to get around the focussing issue you mention on the older "C" and I've only ever had C lenses so I actually like the ss/aperture coupling. Like I mentioned I don't like the PC tit on C's.

    Composing square with a wide takes some getting used to.
    You need some significant foreground interest imo for a good shot.
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Skip the 60mm lens, it is too close to the 50mm and the 80mm to be useful.

    Consider the SWC, it is a rectilinear lens and has less distortion and weight than the 40mm lens. There is nothing in the Hasselblad world like the SWC.

    Steve
     
  11. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I beg to differ, vehemently!

    It is a very usefull focal length. More so than both 50 mm and 80 mm, though these too are very usefull.

    A 60 mm + 150 mm combination makes a very nice, very good, very usefull two lens set.
     
  12. film_man

    film_man Member

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    With regards to the 60, I'll agree that 60+80 is perhaps a bit too close for outdoors, either can do the work of the other. But I can see a lot of use for it indoors, I have a bunch of indoor shots with the 80 which I remember thinking "I wish I had something just a bit wider".