hasselblad CFE 40 FLE poor performance in the corner?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by diegobuono, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. Hi all, after I bought an hasselblad Flextight 646 scanner (used) I discovered how poor the performance of this lens is in the corner. It is
    very soft and show color fringing. Wich is your experience with this lens? I would like to be sure if this is the way it is supposed to be or if
    mine is defective (bought used, and last summer i slipped on slippery rocks and the backpack on my shoulder bumped the ground, th
    lens was inside, could this cause misallignment? The focus an general performance seem fine).
    I know the IF version is supposed to be better but i did not think that the previous version was so bad (I can not imagine how is th old C
    Thank you in advance for your opinion.
  2. I think your question is too general. What control were you using, f stop range, tripod, mirror up etc? I own the 50 fle and
    have rented the 40 in several versions and I can't say that I perceived any major problem. Can you post a few examples?
  3. Unfortunatly I can not post examples a t this momente, I will whn possible. I alvays use tripod an mirror up, caable
    release. In the examples I am examining I have used f stop in the range of 16, may be 22. Iperfocal focusing. The corners
    are noticeable softer than the edge and the centermof the image. I will perform some more test but then? How can I
    know if those are the expected performace or the lens is defective? Do you think that the accident occurred could have damaged it?
  4. Generally if a lens is misaligned due to a fall, you can tell by asymmetry in the image corners...the 4 corners won't have equal performance. They may also all show smearing in a particular linear direction. Whereas a well aligned but poorly designed lens will show equal corner performance, and smearing will be radial and axisymmetric (the same amount of aberration at the same distance from the centre of the image).
  5. Thanks,
    I will carefully check the pictures and will photograph something flat with fine details across the entire photogram (the classic bricks
    wall) becausenmost of my pictures have the sky in the 2 upper corner. I don't know for what to hope, lens disalignment (probably
    expensive to fix, if adjustable at all) or the lens is ok and I am too much critical.
  6. Go here http://www.hasselbladhistorical.eu/HW/HWLds.aspx and look at the MTF curves. You may be expecting more than the lens can give.
  7. Retrofocus wide angles have many design compromises due to the mirror. There is a reason the Hasselblad SWC exists.
    If you want critically super sharp wide angle corner performance consider the Hasselblad SWC or a Mamiya7 with either a 43mm or 50mm lens.
  8. The corners in mine are great, but I never stop down any lens to minimum aperture either.
  9. I rented whatever version goes with a 503 CW and it was one of the best corrected lenses I've ever used, with no distortion I could see and sharp across the whole frame. I was shooting probably stopped down a little, but it was an amazing lens. Maybe there is a large sample variation?
  10. My impression was that the 40mm CF version was good for film with corner to corner sharpness and the CFE version was good for digital because the emphasis was on central sharpness for smaller digital sensors. The corners weren't supposed to be anything to write home about.
  11. Nathan, probably you are referring to the CFE IF version because the CFE FLE has the same optical formula than CF FLE.
  12. Have you thought of checking the scanned material with a 60-100 power good quality microscope? It could be the scanner.
  13. If was the scanner the problem would arise in all pictures and not only in those taken with the 40mm and only in the corner
  14. Hi Diego,
    Nice setup you have for your film work. I use a similar setup with an Imacon Flextight Precision II/III and a Scitex/Creo Eversmart Pro II if I need to do any oil mounting.
    The 40mmCF FLE and 40mmCFE FLE are the one and the same camera lens, in regards to optical formulation. The difference is within the newer mainspring and the outside cosmetic.
    You mentioned about slipping and there might be a possible misalignment, so keep that thought in mind.
    Another area to check is the scanner. Do you ave your service record fr it? Has the scanner focus calibration been performed and do you have the report from it?
    Just some thoughts, as I had my scanners serviced and majority of my Hasselblad lenses has been serviced.
    A stupid question on my part, are you susing the FLE setting as it has to be set manually and is not automatic such as the Rolleiflex Schneider version. I use the 50mm CF FLE and do use the manual setting for the FLE and I find this lens to be biting sharp.
    You would find this combination of film and scanner to be a nice addition to your digital workflow.
  15. Hi Evan, thanks for your input. Actually the hasselblad repair center is still sorting up the "strange noise problem" of the
    scanner I mentioned before. But I don't think this is the cause because generally the other pictures taken with different
    lenses and the center portion of the pictures taken ith the 40mm are sharp. Good point about the FLE setting, I use it
    correctly, i have a 50 FLe too and never had a problem. May be Y should find the correct way to use it when I set the
    focus for yperfocal, now i set the FLE ring for the distance i set the focus (and then i set the focus again) may be thi is the
    cause of the poor performance, may be I should focus closer (and set the FLE ring accordingly). I have another doubt, I'm
    taking pictures with the lens pointed a bit toward the ground to include more foreground and less sky, could it be the
    cause? It is not a flat subject like a brick wall.
  16. Diego,
    Wish that the 50mm FLE & the 40mm FLE had the same setup as thew Rolleiflex version. The Hasselblad 50mm F & FE had the automatic FLE adjustment when you focus.

    Now that you mention shooting more sky and less land (landscape photos), the lens should be quite capable of getting sharp photos. I agreed that there must be a certain method ot get sharp photos. My uncle used the older 40mm C lens to shot landscape. He always use a tripod, no matter what. All of his photos were razor sharp. For these FLE lenses, maybe determining a certain point of your focus attention (hyperbola) and allowing the rest of the other area to fall where it is, will help?
    I use a SWC/M to shoot most of my landscape photos. Try my best to use a light tripod if possible...
    Having a serviced Imacon scanner will greatly improve its longevity. Enjoy it once it has been serviced.

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