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Carl Zeiss (Hasselblad V System) 250mm Lens Variants


Ricochetrider

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Looking and looking at 250mm lenses, I notice some variations. The earlier chrome (or black?) lenses seem to have a longer and shorter bodied variant, and I guess, there is also C And Cf as well as CFE versions? By now, maybe you know I have a 500cm. I've been poring over these 250mm lenses and I understand the optics didn't change but a lot of changes seem to have been made around the actual glass.

 

Can we discuss the differences, esp in the older versions where I seem to notice both longer and shorter versions of the lens body?

Thanks.

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The shorter body variant is the Sonnar-Superachromat. The other the normal Sonnar.

 

Both designs have never changed from their first appearance.

The normal 250 mm Sonnar was already available for the 1000-series, reappeared as C, CF and CFi version with the same optical design in a different shutter and barrel.

The Sonnar-Superachromat was first introduced in the C version, and reappeared as CF and CFE version, also with unaltered optical design.

 

So the choice is between Sonnar and Sonnar-Superachromat.

The Superachromat is a very high resolution lens, due to the total 'absence' of chromatic aberrations. But it needs careful focussing and a stable tripod, or else you will not be able to get the best out of the lens. And it is still expensive.

The normal Sonnar is not as good, but still very good.

 

And the choice is between C (chrome and black, i.e. coated and T* multicoated. The Superachromat is not T* multicoated in any version), CF or CFi (or CFE if you want the Superachromat).

 

The old adage still holds here: get one that is in as good a condition as you can find. And that usually means the latest version.

 

The ergonomics has changed (improved) quite a bit, going from C to CF, and again from CF to CFi/CFE. But they are all 'usable'.

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There is a C/CF Tele-Tessar 250 mm f/4, one stop faster than the Sonnar version.

I think there is only a F/FE version of the 250mm f/4.

 

There was also a Sonar version of the f/4 for the original 1600f / 1000f.

"Manfred, there is a design problem with that camera...every time you drop it that pin breaks"
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Just to confirm that Tom is correct: the f/4 version is without shutter, only for the focal plane Hasselblad cameras.

 

The f/4 Tele-Tessar is as good as the Sonnar. I could not tell them apart looking at the images they produce.

But you can't use them on 500-series cameras.

 

The old f/4 Sonnar (also without shutter, and in a mount that only fits 1000-series Hasselblads) was not that good (and my sample's diaphragm blades have come 'unstuck', and noone left to repair it. So no further testing or use possible, alas). Which is why the slower f/5.6 was made.

It must have annoyed Victor, whose dream it was to have a fast camera with fast lenses.

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Looking on eBay currently, older, non coated versions of the "regular" (read: NOT Superachromat) lenses go for about the same as the newer CF *T lenses! I think there's something about these silver vintage lenses, some sort of allure I can't quite name. But at a cost of negligible difference, why buy one over the CF *T lens?

 

I have one of each in my sights, both in immaculate condition, offered by U.S. sellers- and can't seem to come to a decision. Ha ha if I could only justify TWO!

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Many users from the that era like the "C" version and consider the CF mechanically inferior due to the use of aluminium in the helical mechanism. Several repair tech have stated a preference for the C versions, which are considered more robust and mechanically better. Keep in mind that the stiff focus on the C's is a function of old grease, but the original C's were somewhat stiff to start with, by design so they would retain their focus on a tripod.

 

From a user perspective, I think everyone finds the CF more ergonomic and practical - they are definitely lighter. In the long term, they may look more worn, but they have held up fine. Servicing requires more replacement parts rather then just a clean and lube, but that was by design.

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"Manfred, there is a design problem with that camera...every time you drop it that pin breaks"
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The shorter body variant is the Sonnar-Superachromat. The other the normal Sonnar.

 

Both designs have never changed from their first appearance.

The normal 250 mm Sonnar was already available for the 1000-series, reappeared as C, CF and CFi version with the same optical design in a different shutter and barrel.

The Sonnar-Superachromat was first introduced in the C version, and reappeared as CF and CFE version, also with unaltered optical design.

 

So the choice is between Sonnar and Sonnar-Superachromat.

The Superachromat is a very high resolution lens, due to the total 'absence' of chromatic aberrations. But it needs careful focussing and a stable tripod, or else you will not be able to get the best out of the lens. And it is still expensive.

The normal Sonnar is not as good, but still very good.

 

And the choice is between C (chrome and black, i.e. coated and T* multicoated. The Superachromat is not T* multicoated in any version), CF or CFi (or CFE if you want the Superachromat).

 

The old adage still holds here: get one that is in as good a condition as you can find. And that usually means the latest version.

 

The ergonomics has changed (improved) quite a bit, going from C to CF, and again from CF to CFi/CFE. But they are all 'usable'.

 

I have all three version-chrome,CF and SA. The SA is super at mid to infinity but non Superachromat focuses 0.5m closer. Critical focusing and steadyness is a must.

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Thanks for the comments and expertise, everybody.

 

I ended up buying a CF *T lens. I was talking to someone and he asked what other lenses I had, so I told him, and he said: "you already have 2 CF *T lenses. The 180mm & the 80 both use Bay 60 filters and the same sun shade, so it makes sense to get a 3rd CF lens and also use the same accessories as on your other lenses".

 

Makes sense to me.

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Understood. Can you tell me the Hasselblad part number for the 80mm Planar sun shade, please?

 

Hmmm. Actually I just looked at the 2 sun shades I bought. My intention was to buy a 40670 AND a 40673, But BOTH are for the 80mm lens, the 40670! I bought what was being sold as a 40673 (with box) and tho the box is labeled 40673, the shade contained wherein is the shorter 40670! :oops:

I've had them each for a couple months but haven't used them, really- and never had them side by side!

Darn.

 

SO... anyone want to trade a near perfect condition 40670 sun shade for a similar 40673?

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  • 2 months later...

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