Hasselblad 250mm FE vs 250mm CF.

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by raymond_tai, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. In my earlier post I ruled out getting a 2x Mutar for my 110mm and
    instead will go for a 250mm based on recommendations from experienced
    forum members. Since I use a 203FE and my other lenses are FE I am
    gravitating towards the 250mm f/4 FE but looking through the archives
    I haven't come across two posts where anyone has anything to say
    about this lens. On the other hand the C and CF versions are highly
    popular. I can get the 250mm f/5.6 CF and use it in F mode and at
    the same time save a bit of money over the FE. But at the same time
    the FE is one stop faster thus easier to focus. The critical quation
    is how well the 250mm f/4 FE perform compared to the f/5.6 version?
    I will use it for general photography: a mix of portraiture and
    travel. Thanks.
  2. You should find several articles about the 250 F compared to the C/CF/... in the archives. Search for the name Kornelius Fleischer (the artist formely known as Kornelius M�ller from Zeiss, Oberkochen). IFIRC consensus was that the F was an even better performer than the C/CF.
  3. The quality of the different Hasselblads Zeiss lens are often discussed. In reality you have to fit your working style to get the intrinsic quality of the Zeiss lens into your film. There are some pros and cons against your subject matters, there are more, that's my opinion, general considerations:

    2.0/110+Mutar: Good Performer, lightweight combo, lacks electronics for meter coupling, but has full Zeiss mythos.

    2.0/110FE+2XE: Same performance as above, with meter coupling, lacks Zeiss mythos (glow) as 2XE is made in Japan. The Mutar is only better on some tele lens (older 5.6/350CF), for which it was traced.

    4.0/250FE: Very good performer, full meter coupling, fast, lightweight, goes to 500mm with 2X converter.

    4.0/250F: As above, cheap, no meter connections.

    5.6/250C: Performance depends on condition, can be very good, cheap, leaf shutter, no meter coupling.

    5.6/250CF: Very good performer, ever popular, not cheap even used, leaf shutter.

    5.6/250CFi: As CF version, slighly improved focusing and shutter, lacks some solidity of CF version.

    The answer is: For lightweight travelling, its the 2XE-converter. If money is the issue, go 250C. Best overall performance, the 4.0/250FE. Buy a 5.6/250CF, if daylight flash is a key point. The 4.0/250F is a nive cheap solution if TTL metering is not required.
  4. Dear Roland, That is very comprehensive. Thanks! Ray
  5. 250 Superachromat? $$$
  6. Raymond,<br><br>I have and use both f/4 250 mm Tele-Tessar and f/5.6 250 mm Sonnar lenses, and in my experience there is absolutely no difference in performance between the two.
  7. If performance is equal, one thing to consider is that the CF can also be used with any future non-focal plane Hasselblads you may purchase, or, if the focal plane shutter fails to work, you can still use the CF's built in shutter with your camera in C mode.
  8. cpj


    The current version is the CFE 250 f5.6 SA Sonnar and it is an excellent lens. I've been
    using it for about two years and I find it exceptional. Being a CFE, it can be used on my
    203FE with focal plane shutter or on my 503CW with the leaf shutter. And, as a
    Superapochromat, it's quality is unsurpassed in this focal length, in my opinion.
  9. Just so there is no confusion:<br><br>The CFE f/5.6 250 mm Sonnar-Superachromat (SA) is the current version of the C and CF f/5.6 250 mm Sonnar-Superachromat.<br><br>The current version of the C and CF f/5.6 250 mm Sonnar is the CFi f/5.6 250 mm Sonnar.<br><br>Two quite different lenses. ;-)
  10. Raymond, I think that your question was about the performance differences between the C/CF/CFE and FE versions of this superb lens -That is: "should I pay more for an in-lens shutter version with 1 stop slower, or pay less for a barrel lens version one stop faster?"

    I see a lot of comments above relate to the "versions" of the 250mm - C versus CF versus CFE/i and F versus FE versions.

    Is a barrel 250mm better than an in-lens shutter 250mm? No, not optically.

    So assuming I got your question right, my suggestion is simply this: what camera is you preferred camera; will your preferred camera type remain so in the longer term? If you shoot with a focal plane shutter version and plan to continue to do so - buy the F, FE version - save the money and get the 1 stop advantage!

    If you plan to add a non-focal plane shutter body to get benefits from in-lens shutter shooting; or you plan to eventually quit focal plane shutter bodies - buy the C, CF, CFE/i version you can best afford.

    There is NO real optical difference between the in-lens shutter versions and their barrel lens version counterparts.

    There are however, some mechanical and possibly very minor optical differences among the in-lens shutter c, cf. cfe/i versions as there are among the f and fe barrel versions - as a generalisation IMHO the later versions have benfits over the earlier; but, buy what best you can afford. The same applies to the f and fe barrel versions.

    I hope I have helped.
  11. Simon,

    There is NO real optical difference between the in-lens shutter versions and their barrel lens version counterparts.

    The shutterless Tele-Tessar is indeed a very different (!) optical design from the shuttered Sonnar 250 mm lens. ;-)
    There is no difference in performance though.

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