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F lense questions..


Just lately I purchased a Hasselblad 201F body. I have been using my Chrome C 80mm 2.8 T* as well as a Chrome 150mm F 4.0 lens. Of course I am quite aware that the 201F can use the shutterless F and FE lenses as well. So one day when browsing the web, I came across an 80mm 2.8 F lens at a reasonable price. When it arrived I started checking it out and found that the button on the apeture ring was stuck in the down position so I could not unlock the ring. So I packed it back up and returned it to the dealer. I can either allow them to repair it or exchange it for another lens. After having the weekend to think about it, I have come up with the following questions:

1. Is the problem I described common with the F series lens? Note, I am not refering to the FE lenses, just the F series.

2. Would I be better off in your opinion to avoid duplicating the 80mm 2.8 lens for the shutterless version F?

3. Since I already have a 80 and 150 lens am I better off buying a 50mm 2.8 F lens right now to add more diversity to my kit?

4. While I am aware the CF lenses are not as Fast in all focal lengths as the F series, would I better off using those in the long run versus the C or F type lenses?

Keep in mind, I am well aware of the repair and parts availablity for the C lens but the current pricing of most of them does make them more attractive.

Thanks in advance for your answers,



New Member
I would also be interested in the opinions. I would think for lenses of close or equal performance, CF would be a better option...especially if you might add a 500 series body in the future.



New Member

You are running around like a kid in a bakery store and eating too much!

All these lenses have something that will give them the edge over others.
What you may consider is setting up a scheme that is both affordable and gives you all the options you want.

It is no use having a beautiful silver 80 mm C lens with T* and an F lens as well unless you want to have two bodies ready to shoot with.
To combine C and F Carl Zeiss made the CF series that later changed into CFE.
The only advantage the 80 mm F(E) lens has over a CF(E) lens it focuses down to 0.6 m.
I know you also have a 500 CM body.
If you consider hanging on to that body the choice for CF(E) lenses makes sense.

The 50 mm F(E) lens is an exceptional lens.
F versions can be had for a very friendly price about half what you pay for a clean 50 CF FLE.
F series lenses are dead cheap now that is something you may consider for focal lengths like 250 that are not used as often as shorter lenses.

The sticking button on the F lens may proof easy to solve. If I remember correctly the mechanism is mounted exterior that makes a repair easy.

In general moving to CF will be a smart thing to do for the 80 mm.
Consider the 50 F lens as a tempting possibility.
It is the fastest 50 mm WA ever produced for any MF camera.
Do not be bothered by its weight. The difference with a 50 CF FLE is 400 grs.
That looks like a lot. It is not. Camera body and back with a 50 CF FLE are
together just under 2 kgs. With a 50 F lens this goes up to 2,4 kgs.

For the time being hang on to your 150 mm lens.
You can change that for a good CF anytime. Plenty of clean 150 CF lenses around.



New Member
Blowupster made a test for the 50 mm F lens and a 50 mm Canon lens for digital.

Amazing what designers at Carl Zeiss made for us over thirty years ago.

The CZ lens beats the new Canon lens anytime!


Yep, I am in the Bakery, and I like to eat! Only problem is that in the Hasselblad Bakery there are lots of choices and all of them cost money. Mistakes can be painfully expensive.

Ok, let me see if I can make sure I have understood and comprehended what you have suggested.

1. Keep the beautiful Chrome 80mm 2.8 T* lens and use it. Forget the F version.

2. Keep and use the Chrome 150mm F.4 for the current time because of the number available at most times in the market place.

3. Be tempted by the 50 F 2.8 lens. It is the best of the WA lenses.

4. Consider F lenses for longer focal lengths like the 250mm.

5. The plain 50 F version is heavier than the 50 CFE.

6. The CF versions of the lenses are the best of both worlds.

Ok after you confirm that I have understood what you have said, I have the following questions.

1. Plain 50F, or 50F CFE?

2. I have not looked yet, but is the 50 CFE also 2.8?

3. Since you are saying keep the 150mm F 4.0 for now are you saying that you do not believe the faster 2.8 glass is worth giving up the built in shutter of the C version?

4. Doesn't the C version lenses function just the same as the CF with the exception of having to use the C in bulb mode for the focal plane shutter on the 201 and just shutting off the built in shutter on the CF when using it on the 201?

5. If the answer above is yes, then other than the baffles and the ablity to shut off the shutter are they optically better?

From what I have been reading in the Ernst Wildi Book 4th edition, the 80mm 2.8 is optically the same as the F version. That is one reason I was thinking just to go for the 50 F instead of another 80 or having them repair the one I originally purchased.

I know I will most likely use the 150 in the studio so the speed of the glass is not going to be as important unless I end up using the lens more outside and want the extra ability to shoot in lower light or decide to add a teleconverter to is and do not want to lose as much speed. I think this is certainly something that I have to take into consideration.

Yes I have a 500 C/M body and it tested out working fine today. I really do not intend on keeping that body and it will probably be put up on ebay very soon. I bought this body because of a good deal and the fact that I was new to Hasselblad and not aware of the 201F, 201FE, or 205 TCC. After accessing my needs, I decided that the 201F offered me what I wanted and would still work like a 501CM if choose to have it operate fully mechanically. I also have a poloroid back that I do not need and I will probably just use the Olympus E-1 in that capacity. I understand many photographers have chosen to use the Canon G-9 for that purpose as well.



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It was only one test @ 5.6.

Yesterday I tried to to take pictures of slides with this Zeiss lens on Canon 450D.

No problem to be inside of the 4.5x6cm slide without any macro ring. However I had problem with the reflection of light on my 93mm skylignt filter witch gave light to the bad side of the slide.
The fist version of the FE-50 (Like the F-50mm) cann focus so close that the wide hood may cover the subject with shadow and some time the front flat 93mm filter may give light by refection light on the subject.

As the Leica M8 reveals that most of old M lenses for film are excelent for digital too, I wait a new affordable (to my use) digital back for funny surprises.

The 50mm 2.8 is realy heavy and wide. I use to carry it with me on bicycle or bike, but for skiing the 80C is far better. And BTW for snow pictures, the rapid flash speed is a +


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More than likely, I will be getting an adapter to use my Hasselblad lenses on my Canon Gear as well. While I know there is no comparison I am anxious to see the results I will get from my 1D as well as my 5D. I expect the results to be better than my 300 2.8 and if that are, the that will be saying something. Unfortunately I have already sold off my 200 1.8 which was one of the sharpest lenses that Canon ever made.

I really think that people miss the fact that more megapixels are not everything. Its the size or the pixel pitch, Pixel Quality and light gathering ability, Spacing on the sensor, and signal to noise ratio at the chosen ISO that all contribute to the end product. This is what made both the 1D and 5D such good camera's in the Canon line.



The 50mm FLE/CFi or FLE/CF or CF or C open at 4.0 (no CFE version). FLE mean floating elements

As the 80mm did not change for decades, the 50mm 4.0 as a lot of different improvements.

The FLE lenses have two focussing rings to impove quality.

The top of the 50mm 4.0 should be the
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It scould be the same as the last 50mm FLE/CFI but have sophiticate mecanism that need only one ring to focus but does not have "F" mode.

I saw (with eyes !) a classic lens in a shop in Tokyo. Beautifull lens, but inusable with my 202FA


New Member

CF(E) lenses have on advantage over C lenses in B mode.
The CF(E) will give you instant view when used in F mode after you made an exposure.
A C lens needs to be cocked otherwise the shutter stays closed.
That is often forgotten as a distinct advantage.

Rationalizing means getting a CF(E) lens in stead of the two 80 you have now.
I know you like the beauty of the 80 mm C lens.
In that case hang on to it and maybe get a 50 F in stead of the 80 F lens.
Plus some cash....

The 150/2.8 is a different lens compared to the C or CF lenses.
The extra stop can be helpfull at low light levels.
It is often used with portraits and similar applications to isolate the background.
It does that even more than the C/CF lenses with F4.

Correct name for the 50 mm lenses used for the 200/2000 series cameras is 50 F or 50 FE
The 50 mm F lens has the advantage of focusing and FLE control at once.

A 50 mm WA in CF exists as a normal CF without floating elements.
Later the CF was upgraded with floating elements.
That is the lens I reffered to.
This CF FLE is one stop slower compared to the F(E) and has a seperate FLE group that needs to be adjusted besides focusing.

I realise 50 mm WA lenses are a confusing matter.
There are just too many of those lenses.



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I had the 350D with special foccussing screen. I rarely was satisfied. The liveview (with 450D) is a real improvement for such hybrid use.

The use of tripod is recomanded to focus correctly. The zeiss 180/4.0cf is interesting because the top quality in center is at 4.0.

However the Canon EF 135mm 2.0 L is one of the best canon lens for "only" 1K$


New Member
There you are, Blowupster has come up with another 50 mm lens from the Classic Line by Carl Zeiss.

That lens is the same optically as the CF FLE with one difference.
It is of FLE design but does not have the facility to move the front lensgroup.
That group is fixed at infinity.

CZ motivates that choice as a large number of users do not bother to set the FLE group and leave that group at infinity.

Another good reason to go for the 50 mm F lens?


Thanks everyone. This has been a real education and a very productive night or morning for me. Learning from others with experience so you can make the right choice is certainly worth the loss of sleep. I knew something in my gut was telling me to get the 50mm F so I am really glad I asked these questions in this forum. I will attempt to nail down the 50mm lens in the morning.

I have shot the 135 F 2.0 a couple of times. Canon sent it to me to try because I am a CPS member. I know many people really like that lens. It is one lens I just did not chose to add to my gear because another fit my needs better. I also did not add the 85 1.2 which is a real jewel as well. I found that the 85 1.8 and focused faster in sports situations and still was able to provide very nice bokeh and for a lot less dollars.



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BTW there are 2 types of "FE 50mm 2.8"
The early one foccus to 32cm (as the F only lens) ; the late one 42cm from ...the film.
10 cm is realy big: it means that the subject may be as close as 10cm(early) or 20cm (late) from the front lens.

The last
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, the early one has
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Eazy to confuse even for : they use a picture of the early one for the late one
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The early type has the front of the lens that turn when focussing, that will not help pola filter and proshade use. A special "finger" will keep the proshade right; but this "finger" witch use the flash grip of the body is not usable with 203, 202 and 205 bodies.

Perhaps only for lazy pola users, Zeiss droped the lenses focussing performence.


New Member
You forgot to mention the later 50FE is also 200 grs lighter.
The later 50 FE weighs "only" 1000 grs.


I have the DISTAGON FE 2,8/50 and it is 1040gr without front and rear cover.
It is a very fine lens , but still very , very bulky .
The DISTAGON CFi 4/50 FLE is only 800gr . That is much better .
But I mostly use my 905SWC + CFV for WA images .

View attachment 258


The 905SWC is so easy to handle . I love her .



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The gym Jürgen, more visits to the gym will make you appreciate the 50 FE.

You have the later 50 FE that is only 1040 grs. I forgot the 40, sorry.
I use both the old 50 FE with a mere 1240 grs and the one you have.
For some reason I like the older heavier 50 better.

Regular use of the 50 will make visits to the gym no longer necessary!

Nothing beats the SWC. I fully agree with you on that.



Ok my 50mm 2.8 is on the way. I should have it in a few days. I am not sure if it comes with a hood or not. Unless I have misunderstood, some of them have a hood built on the lens. Maybe someone can tell me if I got that right or not. Also I need to confirm that the filter size is 93mm?



New Member
The 50/2.8F should come with a hood.
Th hood was supplied with the lens. It does take 93 mm filters both the screw in and the type that is locked by the lensring that also came with the lens.

You can remove the hood. The lens then takes 86 mm filters as well.
There was a different more hood like hood for a short while. That was sold as a separate part with number 40584.

Enjoy this lens. It still is one of the best 50 mm WA lenses ever produced.