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150 FE F28 vs 150 CFE F4 vs 180 CFE F4


New Member
I need some advice. I presently use a Nikon D2X and F6 for most purposes (hobby). I owned a 500C with 80/150/250 lenses 40 years ago. My son is getting into B&W photography, so I decided to get a 203FE with 80 FE 2.8 lens and a few backs to share time with him. I am looking to get a 50 Distagon, and a 150 or 180 lens. It will be for a bit of portraiture and general usage.

I need some immediate advice on choosing between the 150 FE 2.8 and the 180 CFE lenses. I understand the differences between the shutters on the two lenses, and understand that the 203FE will only aperature priority meter using the focal plane shutter...but that I can use stop down metering on the leaf shutter and get strobe synch at any speed with the leaf shutter only.

My issue is how the 150 FE lens stacks up optically at F2.8, and how it compares to the 180 CFE at comparable F stops.

I have tried both the CFI 150 and 180 so I am aware of the impact the different focal lengths have on my typical shooting...I can go either way.

Please help if you can.

Thanks in advance.
the difference on the shutters between the two lenses."

There are no shutters in any of the F or FE lens. They are for the 200 series cameras with focal plane shutters in the camera body.

The 203FE will meter both aperture priority and manually with CFE and FE lenses. The "E" means there are data bus contacts that communicate lens information to the camera.

Optically, the lenses are both fabulous. The 180/4 is incredibly sharp, and may outperform the 150 in that department. However, the 150 @ f/2.8 has a beauty all it's own.
Thanks Marc for your advice. By the way, I did understand about the FE not having the leaf shutter... That was what I meant by the comment.

Anyway, after thinking about it, and also calling the NJ Hasselblad office and speaking with them there - here is what I ended up doing...

I understand that the leaf shutter is needed to do high speed flash. However, since I have and use multiple (up to 6 SB800 I-TTL units) flash capability with my F6 and D2X, I was not going to be satisfied with a single flash for the 'Blad. Getting multiple units and balancing them was not going to be either easy or cheap - so I discounted the benefits of the leaf shutter as a major factor.

I tried both a 150 and 180...and found the 150 a better focal length fit to my intended needs. It apeared that the 150 FE was a very good lens design optically (according to the Hasselblad employees I spoke with) - maybe almost the equal of the 180. I therefore settled on a 150 FE lens. It should be arriving the middle of next week - used in excellent condition according to
MTF courves say that 180mm is far better. FE lens cann synchronize with flash at max 1/90 sec. For 110mm it's almost OK, 150mm is perhaps limite and for 180mm witch is heavier is not short enought.

With all due respect I take portraits not MTF curves.
The 150FE is a pleasure to use and gives great portraits.

Often ultra sharp is not needed/wanted in portraits.
Many photographers are keen to use an early silver 150 for this purpose.


Welcome aboard.
You have been advised well and made a personal choice with information at hand.
Enjoy your camera and lenses.
It will be hard to find anything better.
I just recieved a FE 150mm yesterday. I was surprised about the minimum distance for focus witch is not practical. For one year I have the F 110mm/2.0 witch has exactly the same metalic constuction like the 110mm
I baught the FE150mm because I wanted to try a FE lens (my 110mm is only "F") with my 202FA. Both lenses are so close but the 110mm is more universal.

All 150 lenses be it C, CF, CFi or F and FE have the same MOD 1.4 m.
Ideal lenses for portrait but allways a struggle for those who wish to fill the negative completely.