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  1. #1
    jhw
    jhw is offline

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    What difference between Sonnars?

    Hello -

    I wanted to hear from folks who've used both the Hasselblad 150mm f4 Sonnar and the 180mm f2.8 Carl Zeiss Sonnar for Pentacon 6. I'm curious if - aside from speed - people find a significant difference in not necessarily the IQ, but the signature. I've done my searching...and test charts...and image searches...but the web is so limited in its ability to show a slab of 6x6.

    And I've read about one being slightly warmer, one sharper to corners, etc. ...but, though they're the same lens type, the designs are different enough that even smaller nuances in look might be known by those who've shot and printed using both. Again, I know this is almost an apples to oranges...or maybe more like bananas to plantains, but just wanted to see if - in the case of these two lenses - a Sonnar look is a Sonnar look, or if differences in the lens' signatures are discernible. In looking though here/flickr/deviant, etc., I could not see much separation (aside from the depth of field with the 4 vs. 2.8). But I'm wondering if looking at print or chromes tells a different story. So, if length and speed were not a variable in consideration...would you grab one over the other for a look, and if so, why?

    Thanks so much for any opinions and consideration...
    j

  2. #2
    Slixtiesix's Avatar
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    Hi J,

    unfortunately nobody was able to give you an answer so far, so I may try. I have to admit that I only own the 150/4. I had a 180/2,8 in my hand once though :-D. However, I have seen quite a lot of pictures made with this lens. I would make the choice depending on your camera system. I assume you already own a Hasselblad?
    The 180/2,8 Carl Zeiss Jena Lens is quite impressive in its dimensions. Very big and heavy. I would not want to carry it with me all the time. You would need a P6-mount camera too. Picture quality in terms of sharpness/resolution is very good in the center and still quite good in the corners according to tests I´ve seen, but the lens lacks some contrast compared to Hasselblad lenses, thus pictures may seem softer. Keep also in mind that the sample variation of Jena lenses is higher than of those from Oberkochen (Zeiss west). However, the bokeh of this lens is a dream and combined with its less contrasty rendition makes it an ideal choice for portraiture. If used wide open, it gives you this dreamy, almost pictorialist look, that is difficult to obtain with the classic Hasselblad lenses, aside from the 110/2 maybe.
    The 150/4 is a bit different. Bokeh is comparable but due to shorter focal lenght and f4 not as pronounced as with the 180/2,8. It has a more contrasty rendering and the images tend to look sharper. The great advantage of this lens however is its weight and compactness, compared to the 180/2,8. A third option you did not mention is the Hasselblad 180/4. This lens also has a wonderful bokeh combined with stunning sharpness and contrast, which could already be considered as too harsh for portraiture. In weight and size it sits between the 150/4 and the 180/2,8.
    I must admit that I do not like the 150/4 that much focal length wise. I prefer the 120 macro. My combination would thus be 120/4+180/4. You did not mention for what you wish to use the lens for at all. For Landscape I would definitely recommend the 150/4 or 180/4. The 180/4 is also recommended for close ups by Zeiss. For portraitures of females I would rather use the 180/2,8. It is a massive lens though! Plus you would need a P6 camera which means additional weight, space in your bag and investment. All in all I tend towards the 180/4 if your budget does allow it.

    Hope this helped!

    PS: Did you know this: http://www.olegnovikov.com/technical...vscfe180.shtml
    Last edited by Slixtiesix; 01-20-2012 at 07:01 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
    jhw
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    Slix...
    Thank you! I was indeed feeling like a desert island castaway, alone with my thoughts...
    I greatly appreciate all the time and thought. Very compelling case for the 180/4, as I do only shoot nature/landscape, and the contrast + greater sharpness wide open means a great deal. Alas, it took me quite some time to save up for the Hassy alone...so, some frugal measure will be put back in play to get a longer lens. As you can infer, I was looking for the cheaper way to Zeiss mid-tele. Thank you, also, for the link...nice test and good reading.
    Again, I'm gracious for your time...
    j



 

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