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CFE 40mm's


I'm having a hard time distinguishing between the old CFE 40mm and the newer CFE 40mm IF, or whatever it's called. I often find different pictures with different labels but don't know if the website/shop is selling the older one or the newer one (supplied with the current CWDII kit).

Can anyone explain the technical difference and the difference in names? Or is this the same lens?

Any help is much appreciated.


New Member
The 40 mm IF lens was introduced in 2004.
It is the last completely redesigned lens for the V series.

It is easily recognised by the fact that it does not have the preset control for floating elements.
It is a design with floating elements only these elements are controled by focusing. Older FLE designs like the CF/CFi 50 mm have an extra control to set the FLE group for the distance required.

This lens should have the IF letters clearly marked on the body.
Hasselblad does not make things easier either.
They leave out the IF designation and simply call the lens 40 mm CFE.


40 mm starts with the large wedge shaped "C" type lens.
That lens was followed by the CF FLE lens in 1984.
The CF FLE was followed in 1998 by the CFE FLE.
The CFE FLE is easily distinguished by the new barrel design and the light metal plate at the rear of the lens.

Finally in 2004 the 40 mm CFE IF was presented.


40 mm C 1400 grs
40 mm CF(E) FLE 1000 grs
40 mm CF IF 1100 grs.

I have pictures of the C and the CFE lens, I own both.
The CFE IF can be found on the Hasselblad site.

The latest IF version is scarce and not often offered as a used lens.


The newest one seems very scarce then. I often see the older FLE pictured (bottom picture), but the description not saying "FLE". I just recently have seen photos of the newer one (top).



So the newer one has only one focussing ring. And I suspect that all new 40 IF lens has impressiv "big blue Zeiss logo" on the right side.

The new one has beter MTF curves but has more distortion too.

The "very" old one (C-pre 1987) is a poor quality lens for today standard but the price is not so low.

Let see if one day Zeiss will produce a biogon CFE IF 65mm 2.0 to kill any chance for other competitors.


New Member
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It costs 4000 euro but for that money the 40 mm IF comes with the blue Zeiss label printed on the lens barrel.

MTF is improved and distortion is still very very low.
You want a super wide angle with virtually zero distortion? Buy a SWC.

The C 40 does not perform well at close range.
Users are warned by a mechanical lock that they are about to enter a focusing distance where the lens will not perform as it does at larger distances.
Still the 40 mm C is a very good lens even by todays standards.
There are no bad Zeiss lenses. There are only good ones and even better ones. Prices for the C 40 mm are low even taking into account the later lenses are better at close range.

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right an early 40 mm C lens without T* bought for 300 euro (not for sale)

I can meet you half way for a 65 mm Biogon.
What about a 60 mm Biogon, no databus but an exceptional lens.
To be used exclusively with cameras designed for fotogrammetrie.
Unless you have the lens adapted like I did for use with a V series camera.



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