Hasselblad 180 or 250
With the USD falling to new low levels almost every day, I have decided it is time to add a third lens to my Hasselblad. Today, I have the CF 60/3.5 and CF 120/4 with which I am very pleased but now I'm looking for something longer; the 180 or 250mm (non-SA).
They are both heavy pieces, over 1kg, and not exactly cheap even though they are cheaper than a few years ago so I will only buy one of them. There are pros and cons with both of them, the 180 is a stop faster (f/4) and reputably sharp whereas the 250 is cheaper and more readily available second hand. I've read a number of people stating that the 250 is a low mark in Hasselblad lenses when it comes to sharpness but these are the same people that claim the 120 makro-planar is useless on distances over a few meters. Not having noticed the supposed 'uselessness' of the 120mm I wonder if this sharpness issue is something I will notice without a microscope?
Another advantage of the 180mm is the fact that together with a 1.4x converter I will get 250mm f/5.6. It comes with a stiff price though, the 1.4XE is almost the same price as the lens.
The 250mm Superachromat is way out of my league even with a cheap dollar so please don't suggest that. I have no doubt that it is better than the plain 250mm but I can't find or justify that money.
Can I have some opinions here? Anybody got or tried both?
I don't use my 250 much. I use my Hasselblads for environmental portraiture, so the 250 makes me back up too much, thus losing my interaction with the subject. The social distance is too great.
My system is 50, 60, 80, 100, 150, & 250. So I can comment on the 120.
I think you'd enjoy the 180 if you are photographing people. I'd skip the 1.4 extender if it costs as much as a 250, and just get the lens.
All comes down to how you plan to use these lenses.
I would like to suggest the 250 mm, it is worth its (lower) price and, to my opinion, a very good lens, even the non T* version!
I made the pictures for a cookery book exclusively with the 250 mm (non T*) mounted on the Flexbody shot on film!, and we, the editor, the cook and I, are very pleased with the results. Have a look at : http://www.photoeil.be/books/gasten/ontvangen.html and be aware, this is only web resolution and not very suitable for a critical view (this is why I do not really like websites, but one can not do without).
One thing I do have to advice is; do use a very good compendium on this lens...
"...If you can not stand the rustle of the leafs, then do not go in to the woods..."
(freely translated quote by Guido Gezelle)
PS: English is only my third language, please do forgive me my sloppy grammar...
Check it out
Hasselbladinfo.com has all the info you need.
I'm in a similar position EmilGil, I have the 40, 80 and 120, but in need of something longer to pick out sections of the landscape. For me it will be at least 250mm, the 180, doesn't seem much of a difference to the 120.
I wouldn't listen to reviews about lenses picking out irrelevant problems, as if Hasselblad would release a dodgy lens? Just pick a focal length suitable for your usage. The 1.4 will cause a further decrease in light.
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Personally I think the "jump" from 60mm to 120mm is too great: it is 2x. IMHO, a "better" multiplier would be between 1.41 to 1.75x. This could give you a toolkit comprising of three evenly spaced lenses such as 60mm --> 100mm --> 180mm
Note: there are many many good combinations that would provide you a small toolkit consisting of three evenly spaced lenses. For example, with my Mamiya 7, I have a kit consisting of 50mm, 80mm and 150mm which covers most of what I'm after. Similarly, my Technikardan kit consists of 47mm, 75mm, 120m, 360mm, 500mm -- five relatively evenly spaced lenses with an added bonus: all use the same 67mm filters.
Anyway, there is no one perfect kit. Assuming you agree with this approach you might want to consider getting the 180mm now with an eye towards obtaining a 100mm lens later on (you should be able to sell your 120mm for a good price which should cover the cost of the 100mm).
J Michael Sullivan
...SOMETIMES I SEE THINGS...
I have the 250 and I am very satisfied with it. I use it when (as is mostly the case) I am shooting waterfalls and cannot get close enough. I like the lens.
As an aside, Philippe, those are great photos!
I have the 50mm, 800mm, 150mm and 180mm Hasselblad lenses. For comparison sake I will point out that I also have a 20mm-35mm Nikon 35mm zoom lens and a 28mm-300mm zoom lens [in the past 21mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm 58mm and a 85mm-205mm zoom lens].
The image ratio of 60mm:120mm:180mm is 1:2:3 or to put it into terms of an 80mm as a "normal" lens 0.75:1.5:2.25.
The image ratio of 60mm:120mm:250mm is 1:2:4.7 or to put it into terms of an 80mm as a "normal" lens 0.75:1.5:3.125.
Frankly, the 180mm whether you use the 60mm or the 80mm as your standard is much too close to the 120mm. You can get the 180mm field-of-view by raising the enlarger and you will not loose much. However the 250mm with either standard gives a nice jump. Furthermore the 250mm with a 1.4x or 2x will give you a 350mm [with one stop loss] or 50mm [with a two stop loss].
I think that you will be happier in the long run with the 250mm.
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
Thank you all for your opinions, I appreciate it.
Unfortunately you got me thinking about a four lens setup, 60-100-150-250, which should be within reach economically if I sold my 120mm. The 100mm is held as high as the 180 as a tack sharp lens (but not very common second hand). The 150 is also held high and readily available used. The drawback is the combined weight of over 3kg (almost 7lb), which is 800gr (1.8lb) more than the three lens setup I was thinking about.
I'll keep my eyes open for a 250mm and borrow a 150mm from a friend to see what I think of it. If I like it, I can start looking for my own. Unfortunately, I don't know anybody with a 100mm and there are no rental services in my part of the country.
I guess I should spend more time shooting than pondering issues like this. I don't think I'll ever reach a photographic level high enough to be able to blame my lenses for my photos not being good enough!
Back when I was using Hasselblad I tested the 250mm (non SA) versus the 180mm sonnar with the 1.4x. There was no comparison the 180/1.4x combo was very obviously superior to the 250mm. The 180mm by itself is a great lens, sharper than the 150mm, and even with the 1.4x is extremely good. The 250mm is at best, decent. And I'm being kind in saying that.
I also owned the 100mm and that was also an excellent lens. The two best lenses that Hassy has are the 100mm and the 180mm. If you were to buy the 100mm, 180 and 1.4x, you'd have effectively excellent 100mm, 140mm, 180mm and 250mm lenses. The 1.4x degrades the optics of the prime lenses very, very slightly. And as they are already super lenses, you end up with very good results with the 1.4x.