Which 80mm Hasselblad lens should I get?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Atari1977, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. Atari1977

    Atari1977 Member

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    So I'm planning on getting a Hasselblad C/M in the near future, and was looking on KEH at the different parts. I'm planning on getting an 80mm lens to start out with, and I saw two different ones C and C T*. Is there a great difference between these two lenses, other than the fact that CT* is a hundred bucks more? Or is there another lens I should get?
     
  2. Chris Livsey

    Chris Livsey Member

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  3. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Are you a one lens kind of guy or do you plan on owning 2 or more lenses? The reason I ask is that the C and CT lenses use different size filters. It would be nice to own all C or CT lenses.

    Chris is right about the 100mm. It's sharper than the 80mm but more expensive.
     
  4. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Correction. I meant C and CF lenses use a different filter. Sorry!
     
  5. aluncrockford

    aluncrockford Member

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    get the 80 C, optically its about the same, then you can spend more money on film, and, or a 45 degree prism.
     
  6. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I have two CT*and they are both excellent. my choice would be a CF, because all my other Hasselblad lenses are CFs and the handling is slightly different, but it's not a big deal and the 60 bay filters fit both.:smile:
     
  7. Atari1977

    Atari1977 Member

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    Do you guys recommend bay filters? I have some filters I use for large format photogaphy, they're about 72 or 77mm though. Obviously it's hard to walk around with that on, but its good for a tripod.
     
  8. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    From what I have read the C and C T* lenses take Bay 50 filters, the CF lenses take Bay 60 filters and the CFi lenses take Bay 70 filters. Some special lenses take other filters.

    I own an 80mm CF lens. I have a conversion ring to 67mm and a step-up ring to 77mm so I can use my 77mm screw in filters as well as Bay 60 filters.
     
  9. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    The Bay filters are nice. I own a set of Softars. It is cheaper to use threaded filters especially if you already own a set.
     
  10. Atari1977

    Atari1977 Member

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    So the general consensus is that this lens would be better? Well it's cheaper than the CT*, not chrome though, which is slightly disappointing.
     
  11. Len Robertson

    Len Robertson Member

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    Looking at the KEH 80mm lenses, the one you linked to is the one that caught my eye. I have a non-T* 80mm I've always been happy with, but I've also spent years wondering if a T* version wouldn't be "better". Getting a T* will save you wondering. :D

    I'd love to have a 100mm, as a couple of folks recommend, but going by KEH prices, it is nearly twice the price of an 80mm for similar condition. Maybe someday I'll get one and find out it is worth the extra money, but the price difference equals a lot of film.

    Len
     
  12. Dave Swinnard

    Dave Swinnard Subscriber

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    If you plan on getting, at some point, the Bay50, 60, 0r 70 filters will allow the use of the fine Hasselblad compendium lens shade whereas a threaded filter with a stepping ring won't. Don't know if it matter to you but it's something to consider.
     
  13. Chris Livsey

    Chris Livsey Member

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    Please also bear in mind the older C series of glass has a shutter for which parts are increasingly difficult and expensive to service. Parts are plentiful for the later series.
    Whilst optical formulae have remained constant the coatings and later the internal reflection finishes have changed and improved.
    If you examine the MTF graphs the difference between the 80 and the 100 is significant. As others have stated though what do you want to shoot? As a wide shooter, well wider, say 35mm lens on the 35mm format I find the 80/100 a touch long and would prefer the 60 or 50. Where are coming from? If you are a 50 shooter then fine. that decision is probably more important than worrying about a coating or finish.
     
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  15. Douglas Fairbank

    Douglas Fairbank Member

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    I would like to ad some info to this thread. There is no reason the servicing of the older C lenses should be more expensive than the CF etc series, my charges are the same for both lenses. While it is true that many parts are no longer available that rarely affects servicing, furthermore parts like shutter blades are the same for C and some CF models. I would agree that later coatings (T*) improved the performance and better internal blacking also gave better contrast so later lenses can be more desirable.
     
  16. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The CF and other newer series lenses have a rubberized focusing collar, where on the C lenses the focus collar is narrower and all metal. On the C lenses the f/stop ring and shutter speed ring are linked and you press a lever to move them independently. The CF and newer lenses work the other way around, you can lock them together if you want, but they are independent otherwise. There are plusses and minuses for each arrangement. The linking is nice if you want to make a quick change to get a better shutter speed, or DOF change without changing your exposure.
    OTH, when the light changes, the linking can get in your way a bit, but once you're used to the operation it's not a big deal.

    The C lenses are found in single-coated and multi-coated versions, the Multi-coated ones have the T* designation, and the most common ones are black. Mechanically the C lenses are all the same.

    If you plan on mostly using the large filters you already have, adaptor rings are plentiful and you can adapt either series easily. The only issue I'd think, with doing that, would be that the standard lens hoods for either lens wouldn't work with such large filters, though with something like a 77mm you could probably just hold it in front of the hood.

    The other difference is that the CF lenses don't have a self-timer for releasing the shutter.

    If you want to save a bit of money, my first choice would be a C series T*. Otherwise, doing things like adapting your filters will be slightly easier with the larger CF series lenses, and most people find the ergonomics of the CF's a little better.
     
  17. jspillane

    jspillane Member

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    C and CT* lenses, in my opinion, both look and feel better than the later variants. They are cheaper, but are also more likely to require a CLA, so make sure you are getting a good deal ($50 bucks more for a CF is probably a sound investment). CF and later lenses are faster to use (really only matters when using handheld). Also, if you use a flash, the PC connectors hold better and are a little more reliable (in my experience). Optically, sample variation from lens to lens is going to be a larger factor than any additional coatings, etc.

    The prices on the C/CT* 80s on Keh seem a bit high. I would opt for the later model at that price, or prowl around the classifieds here and ebay to try and get a cheaper C/CT* lens. For what it's worth, I prefer the 60mm. Haven't had the privilege of shooting with a 100mm yet.
     
  18. Atari1977

    Atari1977 Member

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    As I generally shoot with a 50mm in 35mm, and I like the view the 80mm on my Yashica TLR(that I need to sell to be able to afford the Hasselblad) gives, I think the 80mm lens is right for me. So its between the CT* and CF, and I guess I'll make a decision when I get the cash.
     
  19. jspillane

    jspillane Member

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    No, of course-- to each their own! The 80mm is an excellent lens and I am sure you'll be happy with any iteration of it. One of my primary reasons for getting a MF SLR was to use odd focal lengths which are unobtainable with fixed lens cameras (my absolute favorite lens for the system is the 120mm).

    Hang onto the Yashica if you can though; sometimes it's very nice to have a TLR as they are quite a bit more compact and easier to hand hold (as well as quiet, unlike the satisfyingly loud Hasselblad).
     
  20. Chris Livsey

    Chris Livsey Member

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    As the OP is USA based I was basing remarks on cost on the situation over there eg. http://www.gilghitelman.com/repair.html "* Add $50 for older C lenses"
    No connection or experience as I am this side of the pond and would be availing myself of your services, should the need arise.

    I wonder if you could, from your experience of lenses in a quantity most of us cannot even approach, please comment on the post above " Optically, sample variation from lens to lens is going to be a larger factor than any additional coatings, etc.".
     
  21. jspillane

    jspillane Member

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    Hi Chris,

    I mean that the differences between any two (or three, or four, or five) Hasselblad 80mms is going to be as great or great than the difference between a C and a CF. Meaning, they are all optically identical in design, and the image quality is going to be more effected by the individual lens than it is by the series it is placed in. I think it's commonly accepted that there is going to be sample variation within any lens manufacture, one doesn't need to have used 100 of the same lens to know that. Part of the reason people pay more for Zeiss/Leica/etc. is that, in theory, this variation is less than with another brand due to the standards of manufacture. Once the lens leaves the factory, of course, you have no idea what's been done to it. A perfectly cared for C is likely to be better than a CFi that is been dropped several times and never serviced. Mainly, I was just trying to say not to worry to much about which series a lens is made in, and not to get too caught up in the changes in coating which, from what I have read, are mostly Zeiss marketing. Get the lens that fits your budget and feels best in your hand (and if you are worried about the single coating on the C lenses, just put a hood on them!).

    Also, I do not believe that most repairmen charge differences based on C vs. CF lenses, but ask around in that case.
     
  22. Chris Livsey

    Chris Livsey Member

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    Hi jspillane

    I absolutely agree on variation between examples of lenses, especially as you say when wear and tear is introduced. Lens rentals blog has published work on that which shows clearly sample variation. What I question is wether that variation is more than, excepting abused glass :whistling:, the difference between an "old C non T* lens and a newer CF T* for example. The contrast and flare difference would I would think (an opinion backed up by no facts whatsoever) be greater than batch variation between CFs.
    On charging, please see my earlier post with an example of that practice, for all I know he may be the only one doing that though.

    For the OP:

    More difficult when distance buying but the lenses can be dated as follows:

    C Lenses
    You can tell the age of C and C T* lenses from the three or four digit code marked in red on the lens rear barrel. It can be found by focusing the lens to its closest focusing setting and, from the rear, looking inside the barrel.
    The last two numbers indicate the month and the remaining one or two numbers indicate the year when 1957 has been added to it.
    Therefore a lens with the code 2104 would have been manufactured in April 1978.

    CF Lenses
    The newer CF lenses use a different code system which is found in the same location as the C lenses and is usually in red.
    It consists of a one letter and two number code. The letter represents the month with "A" being January "B" February etc. And the following two numbers are the last two digits of the year in reverse.
    Therefore a lens with the code H98 would have been manufactured in August 1989.

    You may find lenses with more than one code. I understand if returned to the factory for major work, element replacement for example, the work date code would be added.

    The lens serial numbers bear no relation to the manufacture date.
     
  23. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    I have heard that some portrait photographers actually prefer the C lenses without the T* coatings. They are said to be less contrasty and produce a more subtle tonal quality for skin.
     
  24. Rolfe Tessem

    Rolfe Tessem Subscriber

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    I would simply decide to standardize on all B50 or B60 lenses to minimize filter and hood hassles. Obviously, the B60 are the later lenses.
     
  25. Douglas Fairbank

    Douglas Fairbank Member

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    I think I would agree with that statement. I did see variation in the images from lenses viewed through a collimator and once in a while I might see a lens that would take your breath away for it's sharpness and contrast. Of course what you see in a piece of test equipment and the way the lens performs in the field can be two different things but feedback from customers confirmed that these lenses that appeared so good in test did in fact also give great results. Most testing would be done with the lens wide open whereas in the field the majority of photographers would stop down, to see a lens' true performance check at different apertures.
     
  26. Chris Livsey

    Chris Livsey Member

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    Douglas
    Thanks for the insight. Nothing beats experience.
    I did have to send a ZM Biogon 35mm f2 (Voigtlander build) back to Zeiss because of "rough" focussing. They replaced the helical and in the report re-collimated the lens. That is one I will not sell, it was good before but now is brilliant, and that's without test charts.