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Author Topic: Lens for Hasselblad 500C  (Read 14084 times)
Piece
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« on: May 25, 2006, 09:29:45 PM »
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So I decided to pick one of these fully manual cameras up on a whim and now I'm not sure what lens I should get for it.  I'm honestly very new to medium format and don't quite understand what denotes a good lens from a bad lens.  I'm thinking I want a 50mm to start with as I understand it's considered wide without being as expensive as a 40mm.

I have two questions. How do I know what denotes a good lens (Canon has L glass Nikon has D), and are there any suggestions for a lens?
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Per Ofverbeck
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2006, 04:02:30 AM »
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Piece, your whim sounds good!  Hope you´ll be satisfied!

As for lenses, most are good (there´s no real "consumer" lenses, like Nikon or Canon have).  However, there are a few things to remember:

You need C, CF, or CFE lenses for your camera, since they have their own shutters (your camera body has no proper shutter).  C lenses are oldest, and cheapest (there are a few exceptions, but let´s keep it simple).  C lenses come in chrome or black barrels; avoid the chrome ones, since they can be difficult to get parts for.  CF lenses are usually far more expensive than the C ones.  They´re easier to work with, but for a start, a C lens is OK.  CFE lenses contain electronics to communicate with newer camera bodies.  Unless you find a bargain, avoid them, since you´ll pay a LOT for things your camera cannot make use of anyway.

A 50 mm is OK to start with, if you prefer wide angles; 80 mm is a slightly wide normal, and can be had quite cheap.  It is fast and sharp, and compact (for a MF lens).  150 mm is an excellent portrait and short tele lens; also rather common and cheap.

If you go for a 50, the newer ones have floating elements, and are sharper close up than the older ones, but they´re considerably more expensive.  An older one will be fine if you stop it down a few steps.

Finally, I have to add that you´ve got a camera that´s not altogether easy to understand or handle correctly.  I URGE you to get a manual or a larger handbook a. s. a. p., and to read it: even mounting a lens can lead to complications if you don´t know how.  However, it is worth the effort; it is a great camera system!
« Last Edit: May 26, 2006, 04:03:09 AM by Per Ofverbeck » Logged

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Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2006, 09:06:43 AM »
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Piece, a few points you may want to consider,

1. A few years ago Hasselblad announced they were no longer supporting the earlier "C" lenses and would not ship spare parts. In particular this meant the spring for the in-lens shutter would no longer be available. Some people have concluded that C lenses are therefore no longer worth the risk, yet here in the UK I know several experienced Hasselblad repair technicians who either have abundant stocks of C lens spares, or are prepared to adapt available springs to fit. Either way the message I get is that my C lenses, some of which I've owned for thirty years and which I still use alongside my modern lenses, will still be going strong when I'm in the great darkroom in the sky!

2. Several of the C lenses are particularly good value because the optical design is still virtually unchanged today, the 150mm and 250mm are good examples. They offer excellent performance, are in plentiful supply on Ebay, and even lightly used examples are at bargain prices. The 50mm, 60mm, and 80mm have had more optical changes over the years, but are still strong performers and good C versions are again plentiful and cheap.

3. The earliest Hasselblad lenses had single coated lenses, the later ones have T* multi-coating. It's more of an issue on the wider lenses, but you can find 50mm and 80mm C lenses, even with the earliest (and prettiest) silver bodies, that have T* coating. In any case find and use a lens hood, lens flare along with camera shake are the main barriers to Hasselblad quality.

4. As has already been pointed out, the main advantage of the more modern 50mm lenses is close range performance, and "close" really means when the point of focus is less than about 12 feet. If your main application is landscape at infinity then an older C 50mm stopped down to f8 or f11 is still a very effective tool.

5. The more modern Hasselblad bodies have only a few advantages over the very earliest C bodies. Most notable IMO is that recent bodies now come with a much brighter and crisper focusing screen, the Acute-Matte (or Acu-Matte in the UK). The good news is that this is an easy user upgrade, so if you get bitten by the Hasselblad bug you should keep your eyes open for one of these screens. Secondly, the recent bodies have a "gliding mirror" system which prevents the slight image cut-off visible in the viewing screen (it doesn't affect the negative), this is only an issue IMO with 250mm or longer lenses.

6. I'll risk the wrath of other users by agreeing with your view to avoid the earlier 40mm lenses. There's two absolutely stunning Hasselblad ultra-wide lenses, the 38mm and the 40mm IF, but they're extremely expensive. I use both of these and I used to have an earlier 40mm. IMO this is the one focal length in the Hasselblad range where there's no bargains, unfortunately at 38/40mm you get what you pay for.

7. Another contentious issue is the hand holdability of Hasselblads. Some people seem to make a decent job of it, but for every one who does I know several others who regard the Hasselblad as mainly an instrument for tripod or high speed studio strobe use. Get the manual previously recommended and learn to use the mirror pre-release, the reason Hasselblad made the mirror lock-up so simple to use is because it's important.

Enjoy your Hasselblad, you're using a camera that has produced some of the finest photographs ever taken.
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Piece
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2006, 10:59:14 PM »
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Thanks you two.  I think I'm gonna start with a 50mm 2.8 T*, get my light meter, then look at something a little more telephoto.  

I just ordered a manual and talked to a few people who shoot primarily medium format so hopefully learning this beast won't be too terribly difficult.
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Per Ofverbeck
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2006, 02:41:29 AM »
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Quote
Thanks you two.  I think I'm gonna start with a 50mm 2.8 T*, get my light meter, then look at something a little more telephoto. 

I just ordered a manual and talked to a few people who shoot primarily medium format so hopefully learning this beast won't be too terribly difficult.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=66693\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Piece, there is no 50/2.8 for your camera!  50/4 is the one to look for.   The only 50/2.8´s are shutterless ones for the 200 and 2000 series only.  Before buying, make sure the lens will indeed work (all lenses can be mounted, only you´ll be left without any shutter....).
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Per Ofverbeck
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Piece
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2006, 06:51:24 PM »
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How can I figure this out?  Nothing seems to denote what has a shutter and what doesnt on KEH...

EDIT: Nevermind...the C denotes in lens shutter yes?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2006, 10:34:42 PM by Piece » Logged
Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2006, 02:52:39 AM »
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Quote
the C denotes in lens shutter yes?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=66749\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Yes
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Per Ofverbeck
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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2006, 02:58:00 AM »
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How can I figure this out?  Nothing seems to denote what has a shutter and what doesnt on KEH...

EDIT: Nevermind...the C denotes in lens shutter yes?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yep, if there is a C in the lens name (C, CB, CF, CFE, CFi), it has a leaf shutter, and can be used on your camera.

If you get to handle the lens, or see a detailed picture, if it has a time setting ring, it has a shutter.

Current lenses are listed at the [a href=\"http://hasselblad.se]Hasselblad[/url] site.  Info on older lenses, plus a wealth of info abut anything MF can be found at Robert Monaghan´s site.
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Per Ofverbeck
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Piece
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2006, 02:49:20 PM »
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Yep, if there is a C in the lens name (C, CB, CF, CFE, CFi), it has a leaf shutter, and can be used on your camera.

If you get to handle the lens, or see a detailed picture, if it has a time setting ring, it has a shutter.

Current lenses are listed at the Hasselblad site.  Info on older lenses, plus a wealth of info abut anything MF can be found at Robert Monaghan´s site.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=66770\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That site is useful (Robert Monaghan's). Thanks a lot.
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Rob C
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2006, 02:33:22 PM »
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Hi

As an ex Haselblad user I have to agree with Gary Ferguson's warning: take darn good care to use a tripod and always use the mirror-up facility. My three lenses were the 50, 80 and 150, all satin-chrome Cs. They used to have a delayed action device (very difficult to operate in a hurry and not at all reliable in the sense of longevity), which made the camera's use in a studio, for non-living subjects, a piece of cake. I believe that later optics left this out - a retrograde step, in my opinion. I seldom managed to get hand-held shots of any great sharpness, even at a designated 500th which, I guess, was probably closer to a 300th in any case! So, I learned to use it for what it could do, which was certainly not everything.

Hasselblad were honest enough to admit to this mirror-slap problem, even going as far as publishing an article on it, illustrated, showing the difference between two shots, with and without m/u.

At least there was no shutter bounce, a plague on my later bought Pentax 67 ll, the last medium format camera I was to own. Briefly.

Enjoy your Hass, but use it for what it can do. Slow, but very good.

Ciao - Rob C
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