Old Hasselblad lenses.

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by rayonline_nz, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    I am planning to pick up a used Hasselblad. For the lenses I know there are the silver C lenses, some of which were not labelled but may have had the lens coating, then there was the black lenses with the C T* coating (was it ..) then the CFE lenses.

    I don't mind if they are not repairable by Hasselblad. I shoot colour slides and that is my final output. Mainbly cityscapes and landscapes, some portraiture but few. Basically what are the differences between these lenses?


    Many thanks.
     
  2. MDR

    MDR Member

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    The Silver C lenses are single coated and were produced from the mid fifties to about 1970/71, the C T. lenses have multicoating Zeiss T-coating both C and CT lenses use the Compur shutter parts problems might arise, Later came the CF line of lenses change to prontor shutter and some optical improvements. The CF line was followed by the CFE E standing for electronic bus. Hasselblad believe it or not introduced a line of budget lenses in the 1990's the CB.

    The C and CT lenses are optically great and are also the cheapest to buy. The best overall choice might be a mix of CF and CB lenses. If you have too much money get the CFE and CFI.

    Dominik
     
  3. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Subscriber

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    I hated the old C and C T* lenses, because the aperture changing ring is a real pain to operate. The CF lenses went to a normal aperture ring, while the older ones require you to push out on a level on the ring to move the aperture, otherwise it is locked to the shutter ring (so moving aperture changes shutter speed too). The CF lenses have a button you can push if you want the aperture and shutter to move together, but its disengaged by default, while it is engaged by default on the older C/CT* lenses. The ergonomics of the old ones are so bad, that the CF lenses were worth paying the higher prices. Also, my 80mm C lens flared horribly, and the CF one never does (the CT* is probably ok too, but never tried it).

    Another consideration, if you want to get lenses other than the standard 80: Zeiss improved the 50mm lens during the CF era, so there is the original CF 50mm, which is optically the same as the older C/CT* models, and there is the 50mm CF-FLE that has floating elements. I may have had a bad sample, but my 50mm CF had terrible edge resolution, and the CF-FLE I use now is very sharp.
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The C lenses use B50 filters. The CF and above lenses use B60 filters. If you start with C lenses and then buy a CF or newer lenses, you will have to buy another set of filters and both the B50 and B60 filters are expensive. Unless you are using a Hasselblad body with electronics, the CF lenses are your best buy. I only buy CF lenses.
     
  5. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    CF lenses offer the best bargain. If you might want a 60mm, have a look for the CB version too.
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I have the 38mm [Hasselblad 903 SWC], 50mm, 80mm, 150mm and 250mm CF lenses. If I had not had the 80mm lens, I would have gotten the 38mm [Hasselblad 903 SWC], 50mm, 100mm, 150mm and 250mm CF lenses.
     
  7. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    Make sure the Compur shuttered C lenses don't have sticky slow speeds or oil on the blades (most common issues)
    I've also noticed over the years that early C lenses are more prone to separation than later lenses (still great lenses btw: the 80mm chrome Planar I've used had separation and still put out wonderful pics)
     
  8. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    I like my old chrome Hassy lens (50mm, 80mm, 150mm (favorite), 250mm. A couple have the red T*. Never used a CF so I guess I don't know what I'm missing. :smile:
     
  9. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Member

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    Don't fret buying the old single coated C lenses, I kind of prefer them...nice look to them as regards to image quality and the chrome just looks nice! Zeiss lenses just don't seem to need multi-coating as much as some others, the 80mm and 150mm that I have are just contrasty enough. The wide angles on the other hand can benefit from multi-coating due to many more elements and the higher risk of including a light source in your photo.
    As already stated, the aperture change is a pain, but you get used to it. Also the shutter on old lenses need checking as they get sticky, but a CLA on these old Compurs will have them good for another 40 years.
     
  10. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    Just digging this post out again. Thanks for the help so far. Other than the C lenses, the C T* are the oldest re: multicoated. These are the older lenses and more affordable. What optical properties do they lack compared to the newer lenses and how much are we talking about? For my hobby I am not so worried about serviceability. We're talking about decades of difference of age right.
     
  11. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Member

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    Regardless of C, CF, etc., if you're shooting slides isn't an acceptably accurate shutter speed one of the important factors for proper exposure?

    Why save money on a less expensive lens if the speeds are incorrect?

    Ultimately, the cost for getting good exposures will be the same (good shutter and no repair vs. faulty shutter with repair).
     
  12. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    I would pick up a decent sample. But given what Hasselblad charges for service it'll probably be expensive that one could just get them serviced with a 3rd party or simply pick up another lens. For the amount of shooting I do it's not like I would wear them out either. Plus I am in little remote New Zealand. The dealers here probably wouldn't even help you send it to Sweden. *Going by someone else here who tried to seek service*.
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The cost of transportation and service will be the same for a C lens as a CF or newer lens. However the C lenses has some parts availability problems and newer lenses are less likely to need as much work will all other things equal, such as sitting around unused for years.
     
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  15. M. Axel Wikstrom

    M. Axel Wikstrom Member

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    I have two C lenses (50C and 60CT*), and two CF lenses (80 and 150). They're all great. Even my old silver C-lens makes great images.

    I don't mind the aperture and shutter speeds tracking on the old lenses - I prefer it since it's harder to accidentally mess up the exposure by bumping the shutter speed or aperture ring. Once you set the aperture and shutter speed for the conditions you're good to go. For example when locked together as you go from say, 1/60th-sec. to 1/30th the aperture automatically stops down one stop to compensate.

    And even easier - with the EV numbers printed on the lens, simply pull the tab and turn the aperture until the little arrow matches the EV number on your meter - now all you have to do is set the shutter speed or aperture appropriate for the conditions. Very slick.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  16. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    If we are talking about the optical properties only, many lenses are exactly identical. A 150/4 C T* will give the same performance as the latest 150/4 CFi. Same for the 80/2,8, the 60/3,5 or the 250/5,6 Sonnar. Always provided that nobody messed up a repair or dropped the lens during its lifetime, but these things could have happened to CFi lenses as well. Even they are 15-20 years old now.
    However, there are other lenses that were introduced later and were not available as a C or C T* version, like the 180/4 (introduced 1990), the 50/4 FLE (around 1990) or the 40/4 CFE IF (introduced 2006). Especially the wide angles are better performers than their predecessors. Zeiss added an improved coating against flare (black paint on the inner barrel) with the advent of the CFi lenses, but in most situations the difference may be barely visible at all.
     
  17. jspillane

    jspillane Member

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    Everything covered hear pretty well, I will just add that personally I prefer the C/CT* lenses for the following reasons:
    Lower cost
    Lower weight
    Better appearance and feeling in hand

    The EV lock doesn't bother me, but I use the EV system and am rarely shooting in a way that requires me to change the settings very quickly - but I would doubt that even with a new style lens the camera is going to be a top choice for sports/wildlife. Single coated never bothered me, I always use a lens hood anyway. Focusing performance on the C/CT* lenses is greatly improved by using a focusing handle, whereas on CF and later lenses the focus handles are unnecessary.

    It is true that C/CT* lenses can cost more and be harder to repair - although there are still plenty of repair people who will do them (at least last I checked). If one had a serious failure, it would probably be cheaper to just find a new copy, sadly.

    There are a few lenses that are slightly different in their older version:
    60mm C/CT* was F4, not F3.5
    120mm C/CT* is F5.6, not F4. Lens design is not 100% identical, some claim that the f5.6 'S-Planar' is superior to the F4 'Makro-Planar' at close distances. Others claim the F4 'Makro-Planar' is better than the f5.6 'S-Planar' in all circumstances. I have never compared the two, I suspect they are nearly identical.
    As previously mentioned, later designs are not available as C/CT* lenses.

    With any and all of these lenses, the limiting factor for performance is much more likely to be your tripod (or yourself) than the difference between C/CT*/CF/CFI/CB/etc., so pick the one that you enjoy using more, and go use it.
     
  18. Ai Print

    Ai Print Subscriber

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    Hasselblad is a funny game in the used market now but in some ways, is also very telling in the old guard’s often stubborn expectation of fine film equipment to come cheaply.

    For example, Leica seems to retain the right to it’s lofty price tag among enthusiasts even when it comes to legacy glass. But then when it comes to a brand that is equally good and with the same reputation for excellence…well no siree, one has to be out of their mind to pay $1,000 for a used Hasselblad lens, LOL!

    I have used Hasselblad equipment all my career and when I was building my *used* kit in the early 90’s with 500CM bodies and C, C-T* and CF lenses, it was more expensive than it is even now, in some cases a little, many cases a lot.

    So lets look at the reality of C, CF, CFi and CFE lenses….the real reality. C lenses are great, I have a 120mm S Planar that aside from the annoyances of rough metal barreling, tandem EV adjustments as default and expensive maintenance and repair costs, they are darn nice lenses, especially in the later T* varieties. But CF lenses are better in every way, that is why they are so much more popular.

    However, I started moving to CFi / CFE lenses this year because as with all Hasselblad V lenses and the whole system for that matter, none of it is made anymore. I’m vested in this system, I place demands on it to keep me in business earning a living. The CFi / CFE lenses are the best they have ever made. They have made some minor optical improvements such as better coatings and improved inner baffling. But the handling is much better for me, especially working in the cold when things get sluggish and niceties like the rubber rings become a lot more than just nice as my gloves pair great with them. The mechanics are much improved, the focus on both my new 60 CFi and 100 CFi blow my mind, easily as nice as a good MF 35mm SLR lens like my Zeiss Milvus types. The newer designed main spring for the shutter is also much improved being able to also go longer before needing maintenance.

    You just can't go wrong with any well maintained Hasselblad V lens but they really did make improvements to them through the 2000's before the system was discontinued in 2013.

    So I would say get the newest versions you can afford since they are all mere fractions of what they once cost new and are well worth the extra dough. Other than the 250, 350 Superachromats and the 40mm CFE-IF, these suckers are all cheap!
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  19. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    when I wa at this point, I went with all CF lenses and could not be happier I did
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I did some research before I bought my first Hasselblad and decided to get all CF lenses. The only reason that I got the 500mm C lens was because I got such a great price from KEH who promptly gave it a complete CLA at no charge. If I had had to pay for the CLA it would have cost what I had paid for the lens.
     
  21. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    +1

    Two sets of filters get expensive and are a pain to carry around too.
     
  22. Ai Print

    Ai Print Subscriber

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    Yep, a big reason I am staying with my 50 CF FLE instead of going to a bay 70 CFi version. I did recently get a B50 to B60 step up ring for my only C lens, the 120 S Planar.
     
  23. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    There was a step-down ring available for the 50Cfi, turning it into B60. But it´s quite rare...
     
  24. NoClewAtol

    NoClewAtol Member

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    I can agree wholeheartedly with the commentary about filters. I have bay 50, 60 and 70 lenses and shoot mostly BnW so I do use filters. That is an irritating situation to be in!
     
  25. rayonline_nz

    rayonline_nz Member

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    Thanks all.

    Has the H500 prices gone a bit up over the years? Picked up a EXC condition unit with a BGN condition 80mm CF lens from KEH for $1k which includes a 25% off. Not that much quantities available either. Checked again and it is sold out. The C T* in EXC condition was more than my BGN CF lens.
     
  26. APUGuser19

    APUGuser19 Member

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    If you've worked on Hasseblads you know that they're just cameras. Made with no more quality than any of the better American-made cameras, had the Americans continued making them. The US simply dropped out of the field for whatever reason, which is forever a pity. Hasselblad simply won by forfeit. The Hasselblad camera body must be maintenanced to get the best from its lens. It the body is allowed to slouch, the whole thing is a glorified box camera. Any of its lenses will do. There's not any outright junk in the whole lot. If you keep one in correct shape, it's a top notch item. No debate about it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016