Rolleiflex, Contax & Hasselbad planars, some questions....

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by lambis, May 8, 2011.

  1. lambis

    lambis Member

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    I am searching for my new MF camera and i am between Contax 645, Rolleiflex 2.8 and Hasselblad 501CM. Now all those cameras use Planar lenses, my question is are the characteristics of those lenses the same? Form what i see i love the results for the Contax 80mm 2.0 but i have not a chance to test by myself. Are the hasselblad
    or rolleiflex 80 Planars the same or are there differences.
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I have nothing empirical, but I believe that the designs are similar and the differences are in the optimization for each end use. All of them are Zeiss glass, design and coatings and that most results differences would be imagined.

    Steve
     
  3. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    I've owned all three of them and found them to be quite different, although by far not as different as say the Planar compared to a Sonnar or a Biogon.

    The most obvious difference between the three is the bokeh. This is a subjective issue, obviously, so ideally you'd have to find out for yourself. Me personally, in terms of bokeh, I would rank these lenses ('worst' to best): (1) Contax 645, (2) Rolleiflex 2.8, (3) Hasselblad 80 (version irrelevant, CB excluded).

    Sharpness wise my ranking would be (worse to better): (1) Contax 645, (2) Rolleiflex 2.8, (3) Hasselblad 80. Oops, that's the same order ;-)

    I never liked the 80 f/2 for the Contax 645. Perhaps the extra stop compromises the results, or maybe it is just me. Also, the Contax is 6x4.5 only, which may make a difference perception wise.

    Overall, the Hasselblad and the Rolleiflex 2.8 are very close, if not on top of each other. I like most the Rolleiflex 3.5F, which is not on your list, unfortunately. Consider that camera, or some earlier 6-element version. In 6x6, depth of field is shallow enough to get good subject isolation even at f/5.6 or f/8. Planars 3.5 tend to be a lot cheaper than the 2.8 versions, and the same goes for the accessories.

    I currently own the Hasselblad Planar and the 3.5F Planar. Both are wonderful, in all respects.
     
  4. film_man

    film_man Member

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    I've no idea how the lenses compare (I only have a 501CM with 80CB) but if you want to shoot tight portraits the main difference would come from the fact that the Hasselblad gives you f/2.8 at minimum distance 0.9m and (obviously) 6x6 while the Contax does f/2 at 0.7m and 645. And these are two quite different looks.
     
  5. lambis

    lambis Member

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    i have to only the 501CM with 80CB that belongs to a friend.
    @ sandermarijn you have point it good as those are my questions. I shoot most of the time wide open people & portraits and Bokeh is very importand. Smoth and creammy and not wild and so present that take over the picture. Shaprness and the " 3D effect" is to importand. Sad i cant test the other cameras and only reference is Internet but hard to trust.
    As cameras the Rolleiflex is more atractive becauce of the size. Contax 2.0 is something special but maybe i just be wrong as its 645 and on the end it will be the same as 2.8 on 6x6.

    Again thanks for the quick answers!
     
  6. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I think the bigger question is whether you want square vs rectangle, automation vs manual, SLR vs. TLR (viewing, parallax, close focus), and interchangable lens (with bulk) vs. fixed lens (compact). If you shoot portraits, it is tough to get in tight with the Rolleiflex due to the parallax issues....possible with adapter lenses, but not ideal. Sounds like you need an SLR, but want a Rolleiflex (can't blame you!). If you are shooting mostly portraits wide open, why not get a TLR with a Tessar-type lens (e.g. Rolleicord V) to test the waters? It is plenty sharp enough for portraits and has a nice rendering. You can always resell it if it doesn't work for you. I have a Rolleicord V and a Hasselblad and I would much prefer the Hasselblad (with prism) for portraits. Here is an example of the 80mm Hasselblad wide open. The medallion is about 2.5" in diameter. I think I used a 16mm tube when I shot this. It isn't a portrait, but you should see the rendering and the depth of field.
     
  7. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    You should bear in mind that f/2 at 80mm gives absolutely razor-thin DOF. That may sound desirable, but in most practical cases it will be impossible to get the focus exactly where you want it. Just too many (uncontrollable) factors involved.

    Then you end up stopping down to f/4 or f/5.6, in which case any other decent Planar (or other proper lens) will do just as well.

    Both stopped down and wide open I prefer the 3.5F Planar & the Hasselblad CF Planar over the Contax: sharper and nicer bokeh. But again, others may think differently.

    The 80 CB from your friend is very representative of the C/CF, both in terms of sharpness and bokeh. The differences are only slight. Big let-down for me regarding the CB was the distortion. There most other Planars fare better.

    Go for what you can afford and stick to it. (A rule that I myself violate all the time.)
     
  8. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Rollei is no longer in production , It will be difficult to factory repair it. And there will never be a new Planar or lens for Rollei.
    Contax is a Japanese firm which uses Zeiss like Sony . I dont cant think that Japanese cameras can reach to Zeiss level quality and they are far from you and it would be expensive to factory repair your camera.
    Hasselblad is the most sturdy camera of three and Sweden have high standarts for every their products and They are European also. You can find every part combination for your camera very cheap.
    You can even buy a tilt shift body for your Hasselblad also . And there will be a new generation optics to 50 years optics which will fit your Hasselblad.
    I learned that some Hasselblads look new but worn because they are a fashion business one and used ten thousands of times. All plastic gears could be worn.
    So as I ever say , Subscribe to APUG first and buy from a reputable seller.

    Umut
     
  9. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    In Europe (and elsewhere) there are plenty of skillful Rollei service people around still. Parts are also rarely a problem. Same goes for Hasselblad.

    Contax is RIP. Their cameras generally carry more electronics, which makes the lack of support even more of a problem.
     
  10. lambis

    lambis Member

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    I live in Sweden so Hasselblad is not a problem hier!! But after what i have read
    its helping me more to chose and yes its right: Go for what you can afford and stick to it!!! Its still the 6x6 that i love but in the same time i don't care about the possibility to use many backs or lenses as i am extremely minimalist (my best camera is a Polaroid) So its between Rolleiflex and Hasselblad. So now that i have for test a Hassy i think i need to find a Rolleiflex and do some test shoots and see how the feeling and the quality is. But what i haven't know was that the Planars 3.5 are sharper that 2.8
     
  11. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Im right there with ya. I have a 500cm kit, but only use a 80. I don’t really have a care for multiple back and viewfinders. I actually have a rolleicord that I really like shooting with (more then with the blad). I would shoot it more often but the way the ziess renders is amazing. It is 3D. I much prefer the simplicity of the rollei.
     
  12. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Just to be the guy who throws the odd thing into the thread: there are also the2.8 planars mounted in leaf shutters for the old graflex xl cameras. They can be found cheap and give the option for 6x7 and 6x9 formats. That said, a rollei is a great portrait camera. They are really fun to use too.
     
  13. photobum

    photobum Member

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    I have a Hasselblad 500CM with 50-80-150 lenses and other goodies. Yeah it's a nice camera. I also have a Rollei 3.5F with the Schneider lens. As Sandermarijn said the 3.5 is lighter, smaller and cheaper than a 2.8.

    The collectors want the Planar so a Schneider lens saves some bucks there too. In any case I use the Rollei way more than the Blad. There is absolutely no problem getting a Rollei repaired. In fact there is a whole lot less to go wrong with them.

    If your hung up on a 2.8 or f/2 Planar fine but you own it to yourself to a hands on evaluation of other choices.
     
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  15. lambis

    lambis Member

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    So you mean that the Rolleiflex planars render in 3D? Like everybody else told me there is no way that i need to try out those but from what i have see in the Net
    especially photos that come near to what i do i got the feeling that the rolleiflexes
    have more character and 3D effect the the Bokeh is different that those i have see from hasselblad. But this mean nothing maybe as the one that make the photos is always the photographer on the end and os many other factors as background model position etc etc .

    Interesting to see to that so many have wroten in this topic and i feel others have to the same issues.
     
  16. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    If you want great photographs , forget Planar , Look for Zeiss Triotar on Rolleicord. They are around 400 dollars or cheaper and they record a line, like it was cut with a razor. That sharp. Look for the Trioatar Galleries and its sharpness , lines and tones as a pencil drawing and peaceful elite look will inspire you.
    Planar is somehow ordinary and widely used and its like harsh , too much contrast , to much aggressive look. Triotar is like a peace and like a Symphony 6.
    My next Rollei will be it without question whatever problem would it create to me.
    Look to the galleries very closely. You will instantly see the elegance and the greys.

    Umut
     
  17. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    I have never seen any of that. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
     
  18. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I was talking about the ziess for the hasselblad.
     
  19. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Like others, I only have experience with one of these - Hasselblad. I can recommend the 120 Makro/Planar with an f/4 and minimum focus distance of .8 for portraits. It's bokeh is lovely and is a great lens other than the 80mm for portraits!
     
  20. lambis

    lambis Member

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    Have take some days to thing about what u people recommend. On the end it will be a question of price to as my budget is ca 1500 USD.
    So it will be Hasselblad or Rolleiflex on the end and i will take a look next week to a
    500 C/M Classic with a Planar CF 80.
    Dream setup would be if the camera had a exposure mettering for the times i work very fast but this is out of my budget. I have tested Hassy with expo finder and a 205 that was a dream but this is out of my budget.
     
  21. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    You like the bokeh from the 120 Makro-Planar? I always found it a very harsh lens. The five-bladed aperture doesn't help matters any.
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I prefer Hasselblad, but if you are into bling buy a wide angle Rollei, normal Rollei and a telephoto Rollei and wear all three on straps around your neck.
     
  23. lambis

    lambis Member

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    I dont need much lenses i shoot most of the time just with one. if you take a look at my webpage you can see that 90% of my photos are done with a 80mm for digi. mediumformat or 50mm för Dslr. One lens One lightsource and some filters and i am done.
     
  24. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    That implies one small step more towards a Rollei TLR (preferably a 3,5 Planar).

    One smalll step for [a] man, one giant leap for lambis :tongue:
     
  25. dehk

    dehk Member

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    DHW Fototechnik GmbH Makes Rollei now. Its still there.
     
  26. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Regarding the lens for the new Rollei 2.8FX. I recently talked with Fototechnik and though Zeiss doesn't allow them to use the Planar name, they are making the same exact lens. If you get a new Rollei now the lens is called HFT coated S-Apogon but beyond the name it is still the HFT coated Planar.
    Dennis