Fitting an enlarging lens to a 500-series Hasselblad

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by oskar_ojala, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. I'm a bit intrigued by the idea of fitting an enlarging or duplication lens to my 500-series Hasselblad, so I'm asking has anyone done this and how did you do it? I saw a post where Kornelius Fleischer described getting the mechanics of a 150 as spare parts and fitting a Zeiss 74/4 to it, but he had better connections than I do and I need a bit more detail on working the mechanics.
    My basic idea is to go to 1:1 with a duplication lens. This will require the lens to be positioned about 150 mm from the film plane and the lens will have M39 threads or a filter thread on front, whichever is more practical to use. The lens has an aperture but not a shutter, which is problem number one; the lens barrel basically needs to have a shutter and it needs to be large enough not to cause vignetting. The shutter would most likely need to be behind the lens. The other problem is to make a suitable adapter to fit the lens onto the barrel, but I reckon that it's solvable if a suitable lens barrel has already been found.
    Any thoughts? Getting a 200-series body did cross my mind, but it's not a small expense and the focal plane shutter will induce some vibration, which might (or might not) be a problem. I'm trying to do a little research and planning to figure out if this all is worth doing.
  2. There were microscope shutter assemblies available from Hasselblad. Basically, a 80 mm C lens without glass, and with a Hasselblad lens bayonet on front.
    The lens could be mounted to the Hasselblad lens adapter: an aluminium block with Hasselblad bayonet on its rear.
    You'd have to machine that block, add adapter thingies, yourself.
    But why bother? Unless you have a very special lens, you'd be better of using a Makro-Planar, or even a 'normal' 80 mm Planar.
  3. What QG said.
    Or consider getting a 2000 or 200 series body that has a focal plane shutter and then it's just an adaptation. SK Grimes can do it for you.
  4. You could perhaps get an old C body that has a flash connector in the body, synchronised to the auxiliary shutter (the flaps in the back). In a dark room or at night you could make correctly exposed flash photos with just about any lens in front of it (as long as you know the aperture and have a flash meter). Shutter speed is basically B. Not sure if that would work, but it would be the cheapest way. Lens can be mounted on a body cap, maybe with use of suitable length extension tube.
  5. Somewhat along the same lines (but a stretch), has anyone ever used their Hasselblad as a penhole camera? I'm considering a cap that I can put a hole in and give it a try. I'm curious about the results.
    Thanks, and good luck to you, Oskar!
  6. My apologies, I meant a pinhole camera.
  7. Why bother? Well, just for the fun of it ;-) Also, I plan to use a Rodenstock duplicating lens for 1:1 and then some high quality enlarging lens for other magnifications. There's no way that a plain 80 will get the same quality, even the makro Planar is optimized for lower magnifications.
    I've been considering just attaching it to the body, but then I need means of focusing (although I might be able to live with a fixed magnification) and I would lose fast shutter speeds, which is a limitation in daylight (and given where I live, daylight lasts long this time of the year...).
    The microscope adaptation sounds interesting. I have an old 80 C chrome that I don't use much now, it could be conceivable to adapt the lens to that. Any ideas are welcome. I probably need to start looking for some lens repair manuals to get more info...
  8. "There's no way that a plain 80 will get the same quality, even the makro Planar is optimized for lower magnifications."
    You'll be surprised! (No kidding.)
  9. In my understanding the plain 80 is pretty symmetrical design and those are considered best for macro. And the 120 macro is optimised for macro even though it only focuses to 1:3 or so. I remember reading somewhere that Zeiss did not want to make the focusing helicoid too long because the 500 bodies lack TTL light metering and compensation becomes an issue when you get to 1:2 or higher. So by attaching tubes or bellows, one is supposed to know what he is doing and not accidentally end up with under exposed imaghes. And what about the 135 macro that is bellows only? Attaching your lens to bellows would be the easiest way to get focusing for it.
    I think pinhole works in any 500 series camera using the rear flaps as shutter. They open from the center so don't give an even exposure, but if time is counted in tens of seconds it does not matter.
  10. Ilkka, it is true that Zeiss chose to limit the focus of the Makro Planar -- I think it only went to around 1:4.5, but was specified to work at 1:2 and lower magnifications using extension. But a symmetrical lens says nothing about how good the lens is at different distances. There is a good reason why the latest macro lenses (e.g. the Zeiss 50/2 and 100/2 for Nikon) are not simple designs; they try to be good at several different focus distances.
  11. The Planar designs are relatively insensitive to scale, so they can indeed cope with a long range of scales and produce high quality al throughout.
    Today, the lens designers make full use of the brute force approach to lens design modern computers allow.
    That does not necessarily lead to better performance per sé, because what they also try to do is get rid of the need for much extension in the lens by changing focal length while focussing, and make these lenses fast.
    Particularly the 100 mm lens you mention shows to what that leads: it is barely recognizable as a Planar derivative. But without doubt a great performer.
    The 'humble' 80 mm Planar (sniffed at by many, only because it is the "standard" lens that came with the kit. Undeservedly so.) will surprise you if you haven't tried it yet as a close-up lens. It is great up to 3:1.
    Perhaps even beyond - haven't tried it, because the amount of extension needed makes me grab a shorter lens for higher magnification.
    I don't think that there are many, if any at all, enlarging lenses that do better.
  12. I've done similar to what Ilkka describes, and as well using the the Rodenstock Rodagon 80mm F4 on Hasselblad bellows, with absolutely brilliant results.
    I left the Rodagon screwed into the Durst lens board, which has a diameter similar to the Hasselblad lens mount. Masking tape held it together.
    For exposure control, the lens was at B, and the "shutter" was home-made, black craft paper, as a 'lens cap', removed for the required time, as in days of old. The first experiment was with EFKE R20. I was photographing the top plate of a Leica M3 to send to a friend. The negs were truly stunning. Sometime after, I photographed part of a precious stamp collection with the same improvised setup, except that I used Ektachrome 64, and a Metz CT45, mounted off camera, and popped by hand (ie., no use of sync cables) Again the results were brilliant. A couple were published and were also enlarged by a pro-lab for use in a window display.
    For playing around with such close-ups, a focusing rack is a very useful tool.
    I have 50, 80, 100, 120 and 250. The 120 S-Planar is the one I reach for first for close-ups. The enlarger lens thing started as a demonstration to students
  13. Q.G., I have actually taken technically good shots with the 80/2.8 using extension tubes, but closer to 1:4 than 1:1. I did get a 100/3.5, simply because my 80/2.8 is worn and I wanted to try how much better the 100/3.5 is. But I haven't done much close-up work yet with the 100.
    I was doing some lens testing yesterday and given this discussion, I am now intrigued to test the 80 and the 100 against some more dedicated close-up lenses. For convenience I will have to test using my Nikon, but it will be very demanding for the center portion of the image (actually this should be an advantage to the non-macro lenses, since the edges will probably suffer most on them).
    Kevin, that is quite interesting. I must look into it more, using flash could be very useful, although then the ambient light needs to be low.
  14. Oskar,
    The 100 mm isn't better than the 80 mm at medium to close range. All it does is require 25% more extension.
    Remember that when magnifications go up, the part that is used of the image circle lenses project gets smaller. So you will be using the center portion of the image the lens projects, even at the edges of the image recorded on film.
  15. I did some macro tests, so I also tried the 80/2.8 at 1:1 (have to test it with lesser magnifications later). It was surprisingly good, but needed stopping down to f8 (true aperture f16) to get the edges to some degree of sharpness. This was on a 24x18 frame; it can be assumed that the edges of the 56x56 frame are going to be mush. The effect is pretty much the same as with a normal non-macro Nikon lens: the dead center sharpness is reasonably good, but the quality sinks to rock bottom in the corners. The Rodenstock lens I used as reference produced a very clean image already at f4 (effective f8). But I'll probably do a couple more tests to see what these lenses are capable of.
    Just wanted to share this tidbit, it's not really relevant to the original problem.
  16. Will come as no surprise, but your results with the 80 mmm are not something i recognize from my experience. Good performance across the 6x6 frame at 1:1 and higher magnifications still.
  17. Well, my test setup was strict (178 pixels/mm in a studio setup), but I would not be interested in the trouble of mounting a special lens on a Hasselblad if not to achieve excellent results.

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