Hasselblad/Zeiss 40mm CF *T?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by Ricochetrider, Dec 4, 2020.

  1. Howdy everyone. Considering a wider angle lens for my 500cm, I have a project coming up and believe a wider angle FOV would be appropriate. Can anyone give me any feedback on their experience with eh Zeiss System 40mm? Actually probably any of the 40mm lenses would do but almost all mine so far are CF *T so I thought I'd stick with that- any commentary on any version of this lens is welcome tho.

    Thanks, as always, for indulging me!
  2. It is a good wide angle lens. If you need the angle, use it and you will have no regrets.

    The CF is better than the C, thanks to floating elements. The latest IF version has even higher center resolution, but is a bit weaker in the corners.
    They all are ample good enough.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
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  3. Hi. Yes, Zeiss 40mm CF T* is good. Be aware that the original series drop-in filters are difficult to locate. I use threaded 95mm with step-up ring, with no mechanical vignetting.
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  4. Thanks guys, good intel there!
  5. It's a pretty sharp lens once you have everything in focus. However, that said, you'll have a problem getting things in focus. I've used a few different focusing screens and even the split image rangefinder is hard to differentiate focus since everything "looks" in focus. I have an ultrasonic measuring tool but it's a bit bulky. So now I resorted to using a laser measuring tool so I could nail focus on non-moving subjects. I use a digital back where I pixel peep so that could be the reason why I see objects out of focus and why I'm a stickler. I can stop down from f/4 also, which I don't do often, and that would help immensely.

    Again, the lens is pretty sharp and I like that I'm able to see through the lens vs. an SWC where it's kind of a guessing game in composure and focus, unless you use a measuring tool.

    I forgot to mention, it's heavy and pretty big. So be prepared for that too.

    Here are just a few photos I took with the lens. Hasselblad 40mm CF
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  6. Missed a nice 40mm lens on Ebay last night. My high bid was beat in the ending seconds of the auction by a couple hundred dollars. It's amazing how much these are going for right now! There's another very nice example currently that's "buy it now", not an auction... I may just suck it up and go for it.

    If anyone (in the U.S.) has a CF *T 40mm they'd like to sell, please send me a PM. Maybe I'l post a WTB ad in Classifieds.
  7. Assuming you seek CF T* model, consider that they sold for $4000 new in 2004. In today's digital world, figure $2000 LN, or $1400 EX, if you want nice. I bought bargain, with light coating scratches on the front glass; no issues - just great pictures.
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  8. current prices on eb@y are from ~1400 USD and up. There are darn few bargains currently.
  9. SO guys here's a question: how big a difference is there between the 40mm and 50mm distagon lenses in terms of field of view? I want to shoot wide but if there's not a significant difference in how wide each lens is, then I won't spend 1400 (and up) for a negligible gain. I'll stick with the 50mm I already own.

    Also I just saw 30mm Zeiss Hasselblad lenses, what's up with the 30mm?
  10. I cannot edit or I would but to answer my own question RE the difference between 40mm and 50mm distagon, I found this old post on photrio:

    "I have used both and find the 40 quite tricky to use ( at least for me), maybe due to a slightly exagerated perspective?
    Anyway, it`s the optic for interiors and architecture photography no question about it, the broad angle of view is certainly a great thing about this optic for such applications.
    They are different in the angle of view already, the 40mm has a diag./horizontal of 88°/67° and the 50mm a diag./horizontal 75°/57°.
    I prefer the 50, but if you can, give both a try and see which one you like most."

    SO it seems, on paper at least, there's what could be a pretty worthy difference.
  11. The difference is quite distinct. If you want really wide, you need a 40 mm.
    The 38 mm Biogon on the Superwide is distinctly wider again, even though the difference in focal length is just 2 mm.

    The 30 mm is a fish eye, not rectilinear. Even wider field, but straight lines not going through the image center become curves.
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  12. Funny, the Hasselblad ad photo for the 30mm makes me want one, but I know I'll never find a subject comparable to that.
  13. Imagine 40mm lens offering about 20% more scene, vertically and horizontally, compared to your 50mm. How often would you confront situations where a 40mm lens will improve your photo over one taken with your 50mm?
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
  14. Often. It is a matter of getting the photo you want, or not.
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  15. For an upcoming project it would make enough of a difference that I’m seriously considering the 40!
  16. The 40mm FLE simply refers to the Floating Lens Elements in the later lenses, yes?

    A CF *T FLE lens is still good for V system, 500 series cameras, is that correct, please?
    Is an FLE any better or less desirable for any reason? I assume the floating elements would be an improvement since this was the evolution of the lens?
  17. Yes, FLE=floating lens elements. Zeiss 40mm CF T* FLE lens is compatible with 500 series V cameras. As Q.G. attested, the FLE lens is better than the older C (non-FLE), and more desirable, IMO. Below is an unretouched example film image taken with 500CM and 40mm CF T* FLE on Ilford Delta 400, illustrating the lens' abilities. Please excuse my head's shadow. Very low distortion, excellent sharpness and contrast are evident. This is the imaging performance one expects from the lens you seek.
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  18. The non-FLE CF 50 has the same formula as the older C 50, whereas the FLE is an entirely new and superior design. The floating element improves the flatness of field at closer range, but has little practical effect for most subjects. In nearly 20 years, I have never used a close setting for landscapes or events, and some wedding photographers go so far as to tape the setting ring at infinity.

    I have owned both the C and CF-FLE 50's, and the FLE is noticeably sharper in the corners. The distortion is 1.5%, but is hardly noticeable even for architectural use. Examples of my use are hard to find. I was still using film when I traded the C for a CF-FLE in 2004. At the time, only one scan would fit on a CD, and it took two DVDs to hold 12 images, at a time DVDs were $10 each. My memories are in film strips.

    This is an image taken on film in 2004 with a CF50, before a hurricane ruined the park in Punta Gorda, FL.

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  19. Yet, the 50 mm lenses are no 40 mm lenses. ;-)
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  20. Hi everyone, thanks for all the words of advice and commentary etc. Wanted to check back in to say I found a 40mm FLE version lens. A seller had it listed on f b "Hasselblad Classifieds". He' and I are both in the U.S. so that's a win, far as I'm concerned. His price was somewhat reasonable, on the low side compared to asking prices on Ebay and no shipping charges. Should have it next week at the latest.

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