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  1. #1
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    Hasselblad 80mm f/2.8 CF vs. CB lens comparison

    I have found a rationalization, er, I mean justification to upgrade my 80mm C lens; first choice being a CF lens. Naturally, now that I'm in the market, neither KEH, Calumet, B&H (or for that matter APUG) have any used CF's available right now, except one at KEH in the bargain catagory. I know people say KEH's ratings are conservative, but I'd rather spend the money for one in the excellent range. Ebay is my source of last resort for this sort of purchase.

    KEH does have an "Excellent" CB lens, at a reasonable price. The lack of the "F" setting and the other control differences I can live with, but some internet postings claim the image quality is slightly less due to the lens design. Does anyone here have any experience or wisdom they'd care to share?

    Or perhaps another way of putting it, would you spend some bucks for the bargain CF, more for the excellent CB, or wait for a better condition CF to come on the market?


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

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    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  2. #2

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    Buy the CF. It's got one more lens element. That's a design difference that must contribute to a better image, more important than the lack of the F setting.

    KEH bargain is what others would rate "excellent".

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by waileong
    It's got one more lens element. That's a design difference that must contribute to a better image
    More lens elements don't necessarily deliver better image quality. Leica M lenses are a good example of this: they tend to have fewer elements than competing lenses yet deliver very high image quality.

    You can compare the technical image quality of these lenses in the following PDFs from Zeiss:

    The CF lens
    The CB lens

    The CF does seem marginally sharper with marginally less distortion. I doubt you'd notice the difference in normal use, although you might notice a contrast difference in favour of the CB.

  4. #4

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    David Odess has quite a few CF's for sale on his website: http://www.david-odess.com/sales.html#lenses

  5. #5
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    I just needed a little patience. 2 days after my first post, KEH had a CF rated excellent on their web site. It is making its way to me at this moment. Thanks to all for your responses.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  6. #6

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    A little late on the reply, but either would've been fine. Technically the CF lenses are supposed to be better in terms of image quality. However in practice, and I've read this from multiple sources including here, you would not be able to distinguish a photograph taken with the CF lens or a CB lens.
    Derrick

  7. #7

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    CF vs CB difference

    Quote Originally Posted by sienarot View Post
    A little late on the reply, but either would've been fine. Technically the CF lenses are supposed to be better in terms of image quality. However in practice, and I've read this from multiple sources including here, you would not be able to distinguish a photograph taken with the CF lens or a CB lens.
    If you shoot handheld, prob not. If you mount them on tripods (as MF cameras probably should be) and shoot and expose correctly, and enlarge them large enough, there should be some difference.

    If Zeiss can measure it, so can you.

  8. #8
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waileong View Post
    If Zeiss can measure it, so can you.
    That would certainly be true ... IF you had the proper equipment. That would include a surface plate, the proper lasers and sensing cells, sundry other bits and pieces, as well as computer and programs. Not likely that the average photographer, no matter HOW dedicated to their craft, or those addicted to the "discuss lens design until you drop" syndrome would be so equipped.

    I've read the "SQL" testing BS before ... Subjective Quality Level tests --- and one does well to remember that the first "S" indicates "Some wild guess".

    All we mere mortals have is our sensory opinions... and, to tell the truth, I think those are more than sufficient, if nothing like accurate.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  9. #9
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    I have both the CF and CB 80 mm's---the CB in kit form on my 501 C/M---I've used both and my eye see's no difference and I have a pretty critical eye (No! Not a pretty eye and an ugly eye!)---- I personally prefer the CB just because I've gotten so used to it--no complaints and it's not an inferior lens in any way !! I think the buyer would be well pleased either way but if you'll always be "wondering" about the CF being better then save yourself that headache and get the CF version---I'll keep my CB and the CF is mounted on a shelved camera !!
    Joseph Burke

  10. #10

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    CB lens

    I agree with JosBurke.
    I too have both the CF and CB lenses and can see no difference between the two, EVEN when enlarging the photos. In fact, I have sold my CF lens because I have gotten so used to the CB and don't see the reason for holding on to both. However, if anyone is in doubt or second-guesses the CB vs CF factor,then by all means choose the one you feel you should. I have been shooting for more than 30 years and in many countries and conditions and I always carry the CB with me ( along with one or two other lenses). It is very nice to see people so interested in their equipment and how to improve their image quality. Keep it up.

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