wide angle lens

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by jamie_wood, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Hi Folks,
    I've just acquired a used Hasselblad 500C with an 80mm lens. I really like the camera (I use it for street shooting, hand-held) but I've come to realize that the 80 lens is not quite wide enough for my purposes.
    I'd like to get a medium-wide lens for the camera, but every wide-angle lens I see online for the 500C is incredibly long, physically! They look more like long-distance lenses.
    Could someone explain to me why these lenses are like this? And also if there are any shorter alternatives?
  2. In the case of the 40mm, it is a retro focus design. If it were designed traditionally, too much of the lens would have had to be inside the body which would have blocked the mirror system.
    You might take a look at these as well as the 50mm and 60mm WA's at KEH.com
  3. To expand on Tim's post, all of the Hasselblad 'Distagon' lenses are retro focus. A retro focus lens is one where the back focal distance is much greater than the 'focal length' of the lens.
    All reflex camera systems need wide angle lenses of 'retro focus' design to allow space for the mirror reflex housing.
    Let us compare the 40mm Distagon, which is made for the Hasselblad 500/200/2000 reflex bodies, with the 38mm Biogon which is an 'optically true' lens.
    The back focal distance of the Biogon is very short and was designed to prioritize optimum image geometry, (zero distortion), without consideration for reflex systems. Therefor the Superwide Hasselblad camera was designed especially for this lens. It has a symmetrical optical design.
    The sheer bulk of the 40mm Distagon is due to it's complex, highly corrected, multi-element optical configuration.
    So there is trade-off. For the convenience of reflex viewing, you pay in weight and bulk.
    For you, I agree with Tim's suggestion of either the F3.5 60mm Distagon or the 50mm. The 60 offers a slightly wider view, whereas the 50, a classic in the Hasselblad system, was made in vastly greater numbers for good reason. It is a very serviceable lens providing a useful, moderately wide-angle field of view.
  4. Retrofocus construction is responsible for the 'bulk' for only a very little part.
    It is the effort needed to get good image quality over a large angle that makes wide angle lenses big.
    The non-retrofocus Biogon is shorter - front lens surface to rear lens surface - than a retrofocus Distagon of comparable focal length. But not by much.
    If you compare the highly corrected 60 mm Biogon (as was used on the moon, and on the photogrammetric cameras) to the 60 mm Distagon, you'll even see that the retrofocus lens with 75.3 mm is about half as long as the non-retrofocus lens' 125.5 mm.
  5. I have a 60mm f/3.5 CF T* Distagon and love it. It is roughly equal to a 35mm lens in 35mm format.
  6. For SLR viewing, you must use retrofocus wide angle lenses. I like the 60/3.5 CF T*. It is a "natural" wide angle that will not distort people's faces to the degree the 50/4 will. The size of the lens is unobtrusive.
  7. I agree the 60 CF is not too bad size-wize and the image is superb. There also was a much older 60 which was smaller, maybe it was an f4, not 3.5, maybe I'm not thinking correctly as I haven't seen this in a very long time, maybe someone else will remember. Anyway it might be hard to get repair services for that, but it might be just what you like. It might have even been a 5.6
  8. It was both: f/4 and f/5.6.
    Both versions available as 'chrome' trim C lens only. Neither really worth the bother of trying to find one.
    The f/3.5 version on the other hand is a great lens.
  9. I been so far using the 50MM lens and it is sharp and given just enough coverage of the subject I been shooting, I would of course go more than that and buy the 40MM lens.
    In some of the mountains areas during my travel this time to the east part of UAE, , I did feel that with 40MM I could have done a better job.

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