Aw Christian! Were you crying wolf? Hehehe...Just kidding.
I agree with brent. The bokeh of the 80mm planar is very good and there aren't many lenses which come close. The only weak point is the pentagonal shape of specular highlights but this only comes into play under high-contrast lighting and has little to do with the overall blurr of oof-objetcs which is awesome.
In addition it isn't very wise to expect a favourable effect on the picture from bokeh under high-contrast lighting. If you have a unpleasant high-contrast background, blurring it and hoping for a lenses bokeh to do wonders won't help much. I made a fool out of myself to often by complaning about the bokeh of lenses which I heard were highly regarded in this respect because I tried them under such conditions. If the lighting is flat it is much easier to make use of a lenses bokeh and this is were the differences will show up most pronounced. Ever tried a Rollei 2,8 with Planar at about f4? Pentagonal aperture but bokeh to die for!
It might not be many lenses that come close, and I might have cried wolf when it was not...but it might have been some other canine animal I saw ;-). Why does it have only 5 aperture blades? Because of cost? Well, IMHO the lens is expensive enough and pentagons are never nice; Hasselblad and Zeiss should have gone for more aperture blades!
As for taking pictures with the lens wide open: I think I can live with the limitations and oportunities and the bokeh it provides - I can learn to use the strong bokeh and halo for artistic purposes. (The same way one can take advantage of a Holga for artistic purposes ;-) ) The bokeh was the main reason why I bought the Hasselblad - I just seems like I happened to stumble upon a situation where other lenses seems to do a better job, as I got too much of what I asked for.
Now I have used this lens/camera some more, and have come to the following conclusion:
- outstanding bokeh for large oof areas/low contrast situations
- horrible bokeh when stopped down with strong light-sources in the background (Pentagons)
- bad bokeh when wide open with strong light-sources in the background (my inital finding) For small enlargements this seems to be of no practical relevans, but for big enlargements it does.
I am quite pleased overall. The outstanding bokeh that I sometimes get from this lens is the reason I bought it, and it enables to get the mood I was after - but I have to remember the bad performance under certain conditions...basically there is no point in taking let's a stopped down portait if there are strong lights in the background - the pentagons are just too distracting.