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  1. #1

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    Rolleiflex, Contax & Hasselbad planars, some questions....

    I am searching for my new MF camera and i am between Contax 645, Rolleiflex 2.8 and Hasselblad 501CM. Now all those cameras use Planar lenses, my question is are the characteristics of those lenses the same? Form what i see i love the results for the Contax 80mm 2.0 but i have not a chance to test by myself. Are the hasselblad
    or rolleiflex 80 Planars the same or are there differences.

  2. #2
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    I have nothing empirical, but I believe that the designs are similar and the differences are in the optimization for each end use. All of them are Zeiss glass, design and coatings and that most results differences would be imagined.

    Steve
    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.

  3. #3
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    I've owned all three of them and found them to be quite different, although by far not as different as say the Planar compared to a Sonnar or a Biogon.

    The most obvious difference between the three is the bokeh. This is a subjective issue, obviously, so ideally you'd have to find out for yourself. Me personally, in terms of bokeh, I would rank these lenses ('worst' to best): (1) Contax 645, (2) Rolleiflex 2.8, (3) Hasselblad 80 (version irrelevant, CB excluded).

    Sharpness wise my ranking would be (worse to better): (1) Contax 645, (2) Rolleiflex 2.8, (3) Hasselblad 80. Oops, that's the same order ;-)

    I never liked the 80 f/2 for the Contax 645. Perhaps the extra stop compromises the results, or maybe it is just me. Also, the Contax is 6x4.5 only, which may make a difference perception wise.

    Overall, the Hasselblad and the Rolleiflex 2.8 are very close, if not on top of each other. I like most the Rolleiflex 3.5F, which is not on your list, unfortunately. Consider that camera, or some earlier 6-element version. In 6x6, depth of field is shallow enough to get good subject isolation even at f/5.6 or f/8. Planars 3.5 tend to be a lot cheaper than the 2.8 versions, and the same goes for the accessories.

    I currently own the Hasselblad Planar and the 3.5F Planar. Both are wonderful, in all respects.

  4. #4

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    I've no idea how the lenses compare (I only have a 501CM with 80CB) but if you want to shoot tight portraits the main difference would come from the fact that the Hasselblad gives you f/2.8 at minimum distance 0.9m and (obviously) 6x6 while the Contax does f/2 at 0.7m and 645. And these are two quite different looks.
    Hasselblad, Mamiya RB, Nikonos, Canon EOS

  5. #5

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    i have to only the 501CM with 80CB that belongs to a friend.
    @ sandermarijn you have point it good as those are my questions. I shoot most of the time wide open people & portraits and Bokeh is very importand. Smoth and creammy and not wild and so present that take over the picture. Shaprness and the " 3D effect" is to importand. Sad i cant test the other cameras and only reference is Internet but hard to trust.
    As cameras the Rolleiflex is more atractive becauce of the size. Contax 2.0 is something special but maybe i just be wrong as its 645 and on the end it will be the same as 2.8 on 6x6.

    Again thanks for the quick answers!

  6. #6
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    I think the bigger question is whether you want square vs rectangle, automation vs manual, SLR vs. TLR (viewing, parallax, close focus), and interchangable lens (with bulk) vs. fixed lens (compact). If you shoot portraits, it is tough to get in tight with the Rolleiflex due to the parallax issues....possible with adapter lenses, but not ideal. Sounds like you need an SLR, but want a Rolleiflex (can't blame you!). If you are shooting mostly portraits wide open, why not get a TLR with a Tessar-type lens (e.g. Rolleicord V) to test the waters? It is plenty sharp enough for portraits and has a nice rendering. You can always resell it if it doesn't work for you. I have a Rolleicord V and a Hasselblad and I would much prefer the Hasselblad (with prism) for portraits. Here is an example of the 80mm Hasselblad wide open. The medallion is about 2.5" in diameter. I think I used a 16mm tube when I shot this. It isn't a portrait, but you should see the rendering and the depth of field.

  7. #7
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lambis View Post
    Shaprness and the " 3D effect" is to importand. Sad i cant test the other cameras and only reference is Internet but hard to trust.
    As cameras the Rolleiflex is more atractive becauce of the size. Contax 2.0 is something special but maybe i just be wrong as its 645 and on the end it will be the same as 2.8 on 6x6.
    You should bear in mind that f/2 at 80mm gives absolutely razor-thin DOF. That may sound desirable, but in most practical cases it will be impossible to get the focus exactly where you want it. Just too many (uncontrollable) factors involved.

    Then you end up stopping down to f/4 or f/5.6, in which case any other decent Planar (or other proper lens) will do just as well.

    Both stopped down and wide open I prefer the 3.5F Planar & the Hasselblad CF Planar over the Contax: sharper and nicer bokeh. But again, others may think differently.

    The 80 CB from your friend is very representative of the C/CF, both in terms of sharpness and bokeh. The differences are only slight. Big let-down for me regarding the CB was the distortion. There most other Planars fare better.

    Go for what you can afford and stick to it. (A rule that I myself violate all the time.)

  8. #8
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    Rollei is no longer in production , It will be difficult to factory repair it. And there will never be a new Planar or lens for Rollei.
    Contax is a Japanese firm which uses Zeiss like Sony . I dont cant think that Japanese cameras can reach to Zeiss level quality and they are far from you and it would be expensive to factory repair your camera.
    Hasselblad is the most sturdy camera of three and Sweden have high standarts for every their products and They are European also. You can find every part combination for your camera very cheap.
    You can even buy a tilt shift body for your Hasselblad also . And there will be a new generation optics to 50 years optics which will fit your Hasselblad.
    I learned that some Hasselblads look new but worn because they are a fashion business one and used ten thousands of times. All plastic gears could be worn.
    So as I ever say , Subscribe to APUG first and buy from a reputable seller.

    Umut

  9. #9
    sandermarijn's Avatar
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    In Europe (and elsewhere) there are plenty of skillful Rollei service people around still. Parts are also rarely a problem. Same goes for Hasselblad.

    Contax is RIP. Their cameras generally carry more electronics, which makes the lack of support even more of a problem.

  10. #10

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    I live in Sweden so Hasselblad is not a problem hier!! But after what i have read
    its helping me more to chose and yes its right: Go for what you can afford and stick to it!!! Its still the 6x6 that i love but in the same time i don't care about the possibility to use many backs or lenses as i am extremely minimalist (my best camera is a Polaroid) So its between Rolleiflex and Hasselblad. So now that i have for test a Hassy i think i need to find a Rolleiflex and do some test shoots and see how the feeling and the quality is. But what i haven't know was that the Planars 3.5 are sharper that 2.8

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