80mm vs 100mm
While most Hassy users begin their system with the "normal" 80mm lens which
is often part of a package being offered, many knowledgeable users opt for
the 100mm lens which was originally used in aerial work and is considered one
of Hasselblad's sharpest optics. Some argue that the lens is too sharp!
Wedding photographers with limited space have used the 100mm for portraits.
While we agree that the 100mm is a great lens and if we had a three lens
system it would be the 50FLE-100-180, we don't think the 80mm should be
thrown overboard. It's a great all around lens and the images we've seen
taken with the 80mm makes the debate more interesting. If price is a
consideration (and at these prices it should be) we would stick with the 80mm
and not feel we're giving up anything. On the other hand things don't get
much sharper than the 100mm. Confused? Rest assured you're not alone.
40mm vs SWC
This is another tough call. Each has its share of supporters. While we
personally prefer the SWC and regard the 38mm as one of Hasselblad's premier
lenses, the convenience of SLR viewing with the 40mm
cannot be denied. The introduction of an acute matte ground glass adapter
and a viewer (RMfx) which makes direct viewing/focusing possible changes
things a bit. If shooting candids the SWC probably would be the way to go.
Photographers shooting interiors continue to prefer the 40mm and the
differences are subtle. Interestingly enough, the older 40mm which is 50%
heavier and has obvious filter limitations (104mm) is a very decent lens when
images of both older and newer lenses are compared.
One lens that has become increasingly popular with both wedding and
commercial photographers is the 30mm lens. The lens, which has always been
popular in our rental department, has become a lens of choice when looking
for something different. The 180 degree full frame image shows the curvature
associated with fisheye lenses and the distortion in many situations is not
A hospital emergency room, a chef with his whisk almost touching the lens,
the bride and groom in a heady embrace all seem refreshingly different and a
welcome change at times. The optic is sharp, corner to corner, and light
fall off is negligible. The close focusing capability allows for greater
distortion which, in the fisheye lens, is something most users want. This
lens is admittedly pricey but those photographers who own it seem to invent
opportunities to put it to good use.
50mm or 60mm
The 50mm lens is the most popular wide angle Hassy lens. It is the
equivalent of a 28mm lens on a 35mm camera and is often used to shoot
interiors. Some photographers use it in group shots but we find the 60mm
more flattering for small groups. If we going to have only one wide angle
lens the 50mm would probably be the most practical but if our pockets were
deep enough we would lean towards the 40mm (or SWC) and the 60mm.
Teleconverters which can double the focal length of a lens (with a
corresponding loss of two stops) and the newer 1.4 converters which works in
similar fashion (less stop loss and less extension) have always been a
curiosity to purists who would quickly spend the additional sums for an
additional lens than do "mirror tricks" with an existing lens. Hasselblad
was slow to respond to the needs of photographers who required the additional
focal length and didn't have the finances. Vivitar, Kenko and a host of
other Japanese makers produced quite satisfactory teleextenders which, when
used with the 80mm would resemble a 160mm 5.6 at budget prices. Unless huge
blow-ups were made, they performed fairly well. The innards of the
inexpensive converters in no way compares to the Hassy versions and the Zeiss
design make the Hassy converters a very desirable accessory. One well known
customer of ours uses the 1.4 converter with the 180mm lens quite
successfully to get the kind of head shot you find on book jackets. If we
had a rather complete host of lenses the thought of changing focal lengths
with a single extender makes the teleextender an especially attractive
CLOSEUP/MACRO WITH HASSELBLAD
Close focusing can be achieved in various ways. Depending on the subject and
degree of magnification different methods can be employed. The most popular
method of getting closer is in the use of extension tubes between the body
and lens. The most popular tube is the 16mm which, when used with the 120 or
150 lenses, allows for a flattering head and shoulders portrait. The 120mm
is the most sought after second lens because of its versatility. To achieve
1:1 reproduction scale you need extension equal to the focal length of the
lens being used. True macro work is best achieved with an extension bellows.
A good reference source on close focusing with the Blad would be Wildi's
HASSELBLAD LENSES - Inventory
For additional information we suggest you visit the Hasselblad website.
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