250mm Lens for Hasselblad: which one is sharper?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by kaugu_ciems, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. you mean tri-pod the lens as well?? Have you try those lens support base?
  2. I rarely used the silver 250mm C lens that came with the Hasselblad 500cm outfit I bought from another photographer years ago: very difficult to handhold, and didn't impress me much even on a tripod (compared to the 150C and 120C).

    Despite this, last year, I picked up a later CF version because I couldn't resist the giveaway asking price (the barrel is very worn/ugly but the glass is pristine: usually indicates a lens was a favorite and probably a good copy). This CF version handles better than the C, and the T* optics also seem to perform somewhat better, but its still a challenging lens to get the most out of when mounted on the Hasselblad bodies it was designed for.

    Surprisingly, I find it really shines when adapter-mounted on smaller format full-frame Nikon DSLRs. The elusive Zeiss "3D Look" that is hard to achieve with this lens on the 500cm routinely appears in shots taken with it on a Nikon D700, D610 or D800. When I nail focus perfectly, the colors and detail floor me: overall performance smokes my 180mm and 200mm Nikkors. Of course, the 250mm CF Sonnar is three times the size and weight of those Nikkors, pre-set diaphragm makes it much slower to handle, and the f/5.6 max aperture can be tough to work around: certainly, not a rig for everyday DSLR shooting. My point is this "lowly non-APO" lens seems more capable than its mediocre rep suggests: it may be the Hasselblad V camera design that holds it back somewhat. It would be interesting to try it on a modern mirrorless MF digital body like the Fuji GX.
  3. interesting, I should give these lens a try on a Nikon. I purchased one of those adapter years ago and never really work it much other than, OK, it works. I have a set of F2.8 Nikon AFS, non of them are really that impressive. I mainly use the 110 FE with the 203 and that combo seems to work best for me. If I need the reach, I use the 250 but I just can't get the best out of that.
  4. Yes, but you need to get an after market tripod ring for the 250. I have a Enna 400mm that was modified for Hasselblad F series, and it definitely works best if you use 2 tripods, one on the lens mount, one on the body. You can get decent results if you mount the tripod to the lens, and hand hold the body at nornal handhold speeds.
    I don't have a lens support base, but for that to work properly, you need the stabilizer arm that attaches to a tripod leg.

    Yes the 110 is way easier to work with, and gives very nice results. It's also 10x the price...
  5. just as a test, I tried the double tri-pod as Tom mention. That is a great idea.. thanks. The lens is only supported and not bolted down. Mirror locked in up position, cable release and the result is excellent. Here is a picture of the setup, sorry for the poor iPhone picture.

  6. In this example, I compare three lenses - CF250/5.6, CF180/4 and CF150/4. They were taken with a Hasselblad ELD555, mirror up, and a Hasselblad CFV16 (v1) back. The samples are 600x600 pixels, taken near the center of the 4080x4080 image, with PhotoKit Output Sharpener applied. I used an RRS #2 carbon tripod and BH-55 ball head. No additional support was needed for the lens. The exposure was ISO50, 1/4" @ f/16 (I don't trust my eyes to focus at f/4 any more.)

    Judging from details in the yew needles and flower petals, no one lens stands out from the others. As someone said above, a so-so lens by Hasselblad standards is a great lens compared to most others. The 250 has noticeably less contrast than the 180 and 150, but that's an easy fix. Other than mild sharpening, no adjustments were made to these images beyond LightRoom defaults (whatever they are). Oh, and I should have cleaned the sensor ;{

    davecaz likes this.
  7. The OP didn't say what kind of pictures he is after, of if he is shooting B&W . If distance is involved, I think the right filter would contribute to sharpness.
  8. BTW, I remember seeing a tripod "strut" at one time that would go from the lens to the forward tripod leg. Something like that might help as well as two tripods.
  9. Judge for yourself. Late Afternoon Buttes, Sedona, AZ

    500CM, 250mm f/5.6 C T* Sonnar with 25A filter. Shot on Kodak T-Max 100 developed in D-76 1:1

    I have a 30x40 print of this hanging in my den.

    STM_1635 1500.jpg
  10. The OP has also put "mediocre" and "Hasselblad" in the same sentence
  11. Well this is an "ancient" thread from 2018 so no doubt the OP is long gone. Interesting enough discussion however- and didn't Ansel Adams use a Hasselblad V system camera and a 250mm Sonnar lens to shoot Half Dome with Moon? I could well be mistaken in this...

    I don't shoot many landscapes and so far I've mostly used my 250mm Sonnar CF *T lens to shoot "close-up" or detail shots, and all wide open. It's sharp enough for me and I love the way it renders. I think it has a unique way of compressing the background, and I love my results whether in B&W or color.

    I was looking and looking at 250mm lenses for my 500CM last year but the decision was made to go with the CF *T version after I was told that any filters and hoods would be compatible with the 80mm Planar and the 180mm Sonnar lenses I already owned.

    EDIT- most if not all of these photos were shot using a tripod and cable release.







    Below is one of the rare "landscape" shots I took last fall. not by any means a long distance shot but it sure seems pretty sharp to my eye, from near to far.

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  12. H 203 + 250 SA handheld no mirror-up (maybe with 16+21 macro ring)

    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
    Ricochetrider likes this.
  13. H 203 + 250 SA handheld no mirror-up


    Ricochetrider likes this.
  14. Nice images but I must say I can't see much of a difference between the shots with the Super Achromat and my own CF *T 250mm Sonnar Am I missing something or is there some specific way of shooting to bring out the best of the SA version?
  15. The SA images shown are indeed not sharp. But that is not because of the lens, but (sorry!) because of how it is used.
    The SA is indeed the sharpest of them all. You have to be carefull (exact focusing, tripod) to make the better quality compared to the regular Sonnar visible.
    And the regular Sonnar is quite good itself (better than the images shown here and the MF images thread made with the SA. Sorry Jean Philippe! I do not know what it is, but your images always lack sharpness. Not just those made with the 250 SA).
  16. The ground glass may be mis-positioned. That's unlikely, so when focusing the camera, be sure to focus your eye on the gridlines or other feature in the focal plane. Acute-Matte screens are lightly ground for brighness, and don't form a solid image plane.

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