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Author Topic: Hasselblad HC 210mm vs 300mm For Portraits & Headshots?  (Read 4567 times)
JabariHunt
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« on: November 26, 2012, 12:35:07 AM »
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Thoughts and opinions from those who have considerable experience with both of these lenses would be great.  It would be fantastic if you have sample photos comparing the two...
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 02:46:48 AM »
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Have you seen the HC300mm in person? They are both large lenses but the 300mm is significantly larger.

Do you want to have the option to hand hold them? If so I think the 210mm is the longest I'd hand hold for any extended or frequent use.

Also hopefully you can get samples from both because often a given shallow DOF look requires less focal length than a literal angle-of-view/aperture translation would imply. I don't claim to understand 100% why this is, but would postulate that increased intra-DOF sharpness, increased net resolution, and better tonal transitions combined with the different optical rendering of micro contrast account for it.

But can't give any direct comparisons; I've never shot the 300mm, just picked it up once and promptly put it back down. Everything is relative of course - the Mamiya 300/2.8 and 500mm are significantly larger as are the super long canon lenses, so don't get me wrong it's not THAT long, but the difference is enough that I've never wanted to carry the extra weight for the extra 90mm of reach.
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Zerui
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 03:25:45 AM »
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My experience of portaits has mainly been concerned with figures in seascape.  Swimmers moving at speed through the water.
The criterion for success is that the camera resolves the fine structure in the water created by Natural Focusing: namely, caustics and diffraction rings.
(In this case diffraction is a natural phenomenon in the water; not an unwanted limitation of lens performance.)
Summarizing my experience with various lenses on an H3DII-50 during the four years
The 300mm is a wonderful lens for portraits of a swimmer at sea.  Sharp.  Needs a tripod and mirror up. Recommended.
I also use the 100mm f/2.2.  Also excellent and can be used handheld. Works well with the tilt/shift adapter. Good for getting the plane of focus along the sea surface.
Finally the 35-90mm zoom. Sharp at all lengths. Heavy, but I used it handheld when on a small boat last summer. Zoom is really useful at sea.
The results went into two books:
"The Joy of Swimming" proofed at www.blurb.com/books/1350244.
 "Spring Water Colours - Art and Science of Natural Focusing"  proofed at www.blurb.co.uk/books/3763111.
Both books feature a swimmer moving fast through a seascape.
John
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Nick-T
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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 01:44:50 PM »
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I have no experience of the 210.

The 300mm is a lovely lens with really nice fall off but it is big and heavy. You'll be able to find sample images form both here:

http://www.hasselbladdigitalforum.com/index.php/board,20.0.html

Cheers
Nick-T
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JV
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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2012, 02:24:24 PM »
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If so I think the 210mm is the longest I'd hand hold for any extended or frequent use.

I own the 210mm.  Hand holding is not an option, at least not for me.  

For portraits & headshots the 100mm is the only friend you need in my opinion.
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hasselbladfan
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 02:37:14 PM »
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I tried once to shoot the 300mm handheld, but it only worked glued against a wall.

My favorite is the 100mm, ideally with some extension tubes for closer focus.
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JabariHunt
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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 02:45:04 PM »
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Thanks for all the input!!!

Doug & JV:
I've handled the 210mm before, but not the 300mm.  The 210mm was definitely a beast, but still well within the realm of shooting hand held (I happen to be a pretty big guy).  It's not a lens I'd take on an extended hike though!

Zerui & hasselbladfan:
I've heard a lot of great things about the 100mm 2.2.  Since you guys have one, do you ever still use the 80mm?

Nick:
Thanks for the link!  There were also links to Hassy info sheets for both lenses.  I noticed the minimum focusing distance for the 210mm is around 6 feet (1.8 meters) and around 8 feet (2.45 meters) for the 300mm.  I have the Mamiya AF 210mm which has a minimum focusing distance of about 8 feet, so either way I wouldn't require more space to shoot.  This is important to me because some of the places I shoot in are a bit cramped.
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Nick-T
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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2012, 02:54:51 PM »
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Oh and I second what the others have said about the 100 2.2 it's my favourite lens by far, I only really use the 80MM with the HTS as a product lens.

Nick-T
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Richard Morwood
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2012, 03:35:36 PM »
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I use the 300 quite a lot but have never used it for portraits. Can't imagine handholding it for portraits, even the 210 I found challenging to handhold.
Have recently bought the RRS long lens support and now wouldn't use the 300 nor the 120 macro without it. Don't own the 210 any more but would imagine the support equally beneficial if mounting it on a tripod.
The 80 is a cracking lens for a "standard"  lens but like others I find the 100 somewhat special.
Regards
Richard
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FredBGG
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2012, 08:43:25 PM »
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Thoughts and opinions from those who have considerable experience with both of these lenses would be great.  It would be fantastic if you have sample photos comparing the two...

Fisrt of all what sensor size are you using? There is quite a difference between a 44x33 sensor and a FF MF sensor.

Another important question is what other lenses do you have?

IF you use 35mm DSLR what focal length do you like there?

For a portrait photographer a good range of focal lengths is important. There are faces that really benefit from longer focal lengths.
While depth of field and bokeh are also important how big a subject nose is rendered compared to the eyes in more important.

See this link: Great focal length comparison by Stephen Eastwood.

http://stepheneastwood.com/tutorials/lensdistortion/strippage.htm

Just remember this page is for 35mm DSLRs so do a focal length scaling to compare to MF, but be sure to consider any MF sensor crop.
On a full frame sensor a 300mm MF lens is equivalent to a 180mm on a 35mm DSLR

MF 300mm >> 35mm DSLR 180mm
MF 210mm >> 35mm DSLR 130mm
MF 100mm >> 35mm DSLR 62mm

The 100mm 2.2 is a lovely lens, but too short for most headshots or tight portraits. Just look at the 70mm in the Eastwood focal length comparison... 62mm would be half way between 70mm and 50mm

One really has to choose the right lens for the face you are photographing.

A damn good way of figuring out what focal length will be best for you is to shoot with a 70-200mm zoom and review your photos and see what focal range yo end up using and liking.

One issue you will have with hand holding both the 210 and the 300 is the lack of image stabalization and relatively slow lenses combined with modest high ISO MF performance. A monopod will be your friend with these lenss.

Another thing to consider when choosing the right lens for a shot is the mood you are looking for, especially for a relatively tight portrait.
A shorter focal length will give you a more intimate feel... "sort of like the view you would have approaching before giving a kiss"
A longer focal length will give more of an across the street or across the restaurant look ...."sort of she's lovely.. I better go over there and meet her"
Important choices when "telling a story"

Also for portraits I find tilt and shift (more shift) to be very important for shorter focal lengths... main reason why I like the Fuji gx680.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 01:44:06 PM by FredBGG » Logged
Zerui
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2012, 04:19:15 AM »
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My Hasselblad lenses are 28, 100, 35-90, 300 and TLS
I have not used, and feel no need for the 80.
John
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TMARK
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 11:16:02 AM »
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I vote 100 with extension tubes. 
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2012, 10:56:59 AM »
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Hasselblad H 100mm f/2.2 is an absolutely great lens, and I don't see why this wouldn't work for you, unless your really trying to get a very small FOV. I haven't used the Hasselblad 210mm f/4, however I have used (and own) the Mamiya 210mm f/4 ULD which is a great portrait lens, used if for on-location with flash, and it worked great (http://www.flickr.com/photos/brianhirschfeldphotography/6617124477/) and I found it was a lovely focal length, and I have shot it on film and found it wholly hand holdable (of course big difference between film and big-sensor digital) and I have used the Hasselblad 300mm and It is certainly not hand holdable for anything other then absolutely the brightest sunlight. Monopod is certainly an option if you want (13 degrees) of FOV. I used it for landscape and wildlife (lol) applications so I have no comments on it for portraiture, and unfortunately no portrait testing of the PhaseOne 300, or Mamiya 300mm f/2.8 APO, but certainly rent them before you buy and see which works.
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David Schneider
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2012, 01:33:44 PM »
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I have the 100mm, 150mm, 210mm.  Yes, you can get a beautiful portrait out of the 100mm.  It's a magical lens.  That said, I probably use the 150mm the most for portraits and headshots.  Great lens, see images.  The 210mm does a great job of headshots, but you need to be very sure about your focus and know your dof (although that's true of mf in general).  Use that lens at 7' to subject at f8 and dof is 2.3".  Go to f11 and it goes to 3.3".  The 150 at the same distance and f-stop the dof is about double (but the same if you move in to 5' from subject).  So basically I will use the 210mm for headshots if that's all I'm doing.  If I'm doing portraits and 3/4 length simultaneously I'll use the 150mm.  The 100mm is my first choice for groups and family portraits and full length.

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FredBGG
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2012, 02:07:50 PM »
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I vote 100 with extension tubes.  

Extension tubes on a 100mm lens on a full frame MFD will mean you are getting close with quite a short
focal length lens. While this can be interesting with character portraits it is not going to
be flattering on many many people.

Also personally it drives me nuts to have to deal with an extension tube. Using an extension tube
makes it really a pain to shoot wider and closer quickly. I like to go from head to hips and then if
the head and shoulders are looking good in the flow of things, I'll want to go close and then step back a few frames later.

I find this a really irritating for taking portraits and why I will often resort to a macro. The Canon 100mm 2.8L is a gem as is the Nikon 105mm 2.8.
Really fast focusing and bright f2.8 lens with shallow depth of field.

Also love my Fuji gx680 for this reason. All the lenses go from infinity to very close.
For example the 250mm goes from infinity to framing of 5x7 in with the same bellows and rails.

Juggling extension tubes will be an issue with the 210 that has a minimum focus distance of about 6 feet and the 300mm is 8 feet.

IF you do get extension tubes test them for the focal length and get the one that with the lesn set to closest focus gets you as close as you need.
This will reduce how often you need to juggle the extension tube. IF you get a longer tube than you need you will be cutting off your
far focus with the tube on.

Anyone thinking of using extension tubes on the Phase One DF or Mamiya DF should be aware that despite being called auto extension rings they do not support auto focus..... (something Mamiya Leaf does not mention on the accessory page). They do maintain shutter and aperture control and info.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 02:40:46 PM by FredBGG » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2012, 03:35:41 PM »
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I have the 100mm, 150mm, 210mm.  Yes, you can get a beautiful portrait out of the 100mm.  It's a magical lens.  That said, I probably use the 150mm the most for portraits and headshots.  Great lens, see images.  The 210mm does a great job of headshots, but you need to be very sure about your focus and know your dof (although that's true of mf in general).  Use that lens at 7' to subject at f8 and dof is 2.3".  Go to f11 and it goes to 3.3".  The 150 at the same distance and f-stop the dof is about double (but the same if you move in to 5' from subject).  So basically I will use the 210mm for headshots if that's all I'm doing.  If I'm doing portraits and 3/4 length simultaneously I'll use the 150mm.  The 100mm is my first choice for groups and family portraits and full length.




How nice to see somebody else who doesn't ilke getting closer than about 5ft - 5.5ft at the most for heads! Regardles of format, it's the actual distance that creates the look of a head and closer than those limits invites distortion - in my experience at least. Main reason that I preferred the 180mm to the 150mm for a 6x6. Only 250mm I had was for 6x7 and I wasn't that thrilled with it.

Rob C
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Richard Naismith
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« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2012, 01:29:04 AM »
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I don't specialize in portraits or headshots, as I'm doing mainly landscape. But I do own both the 210 and 300 Hasselblad lenses. They're both excellent, although I find the 300 most outstanding and use it more. No question of hand holding with the 300 and even with the 210 it would be difficult for most people to use for any length of time. When it comes to landscape the 210 is interesting in that when you use the 1.7x converter you still have AF, so you effectively have a 350mm AF lens, whereas the 300 with the converter loses AF, which I find matters.

All the best.

Richard Naismith
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RVB
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« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2012, 08:47:20 AM »
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This is the 210 and 300 side by side...
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RVB
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« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2012, 08:55:32 AM »
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weights without lens shade.. as you can see the 300 is a beast.. and needs 95mm filters which are pricey.. but its very very sharp,they both are..
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BrendanStewart
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« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2012, 11:40:32 AM »
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Wow, i didn't realize the 300 was such a beast. Weight and size wise. Especially with the hood. I think 210 is about as far as i could go getting the distances i need with my clients. The 300 is intriguing though.
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