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40mm 'C' lens

Hi there, just purchased one of these older lenses in excellent condition with lens hood. Can anyone inform of the disadvantages that we may encounter
than that of a T* lens. We are using it on a CFV so we can cover the front of the lens more than the usual wide angle lens hood and also have the added technology of Photoshop manipulation. Thanks, Carl
The later CF 40 mm has floating elements to improve performance at close range.
These improvements cover for the most part corners of the recorded image.
The C 40 gives a warning to the photographer when he wants to focus below 0,95 m.
The lens needs to be set free with a small button to go below the 0.95 m limit.

With a CFV back I guess most of the area covered and improved in the later
FLE design is not recorded.
Conclusion with T* and a suitable lenshood that may even be more effective by covering
the area that is not recorded by the CFV you have a great lens for a friendly price.

Only disadvantage: filters are not easy to find.
Just wanted to start a new topic with the same title... so I write about my problem here instead of creating a new topic (sorry that I'm not answering to the question).

I received an email from Zeiss today, that they are not repairing these C lenses (actually they "stopped approx. 10 years ago"). Do you know anyone who would repair - or at least test - my 40mm C lens (T*) in Northern Europe (I'm in Estonia)? I like the lens and the images I can produce with it, but I think it would be good to just check and repair before it is too late.
Hi there, the 40mm C lens is not T* coated as mentioned, but thanks for reply.

With regards repair, also informed of this via Carl Zeiss only a couple of days ago when discussing the above lens with them. Try using the importers of your country, we would take it to Hasselblad UK as they service lenses.

best wishes,

Hi Carl,

It was not clear to me whether your lens was a T* model or not.
Provided you use the shade and even improve on its function by covering areas
not visible on the CFV back there will not be much difference in performance.

Service for C series lenses is offered by independant repair companies.
Some of these specialise in Hasselblad lenses and bodies and offer excellent
service at a modest price. They often keep a stock of spares.

Essential spares like shutter and main springs are identical to those used in CF
series lenses and are still available from Hasselblad.

Paul, that is of much help had wondered how much difference the T coating made, felt as if I am "missing out" for not buying a T* coated lens instead of this one but a T* was not available.

I am also thinking of purchasing a 350 C lens looks terrific but again not T* coated. The seller informs that there is not much effect of the coating on longer focal length lenses because of the lens hood, it seems plausable is this also likely?

best wishes,


Improved coating has more effect with wideangle lenses that is absolutely correct. So a 350 C lens does not gain much with T* coating.
The 40 mm C lens would have more use for the improved coating.

A good shade will often reduce flair better than the later coating.
If you are using this C 40 for a smaller sized CCD you can even improve results by minimising the aperture of the shade.

I am glad you are looking at older lenses from the C series.
Keep in mind Carl Zeiss only made two sorts of lenses for Hasselblad:
Very good ones and even better ones.

I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality images these lenses give.

Dear Paul, your comments are music to my ears, I pride myself in detecting flair in lenses when shooting advertising shots as an assistant with Chris Maguire in London, Bow street studios. If this is the only problem with the lens then it is not a problem.

With regards to preference of the C lenses, it is felt that these are of beautiful design, all of them! I prefere them over the straight conformative design of the more recent lenses.

When we purchased a new 503 some years ago and bought all new kit, I was dissapointed with the lens designs and wondered why they had been changed.

The new lenses all have a flaw, the sync chord area has a plastic mount which snaps off if you forget to push the cable release button. Expensive item to replace and despite Carl Zeiss sending us a complimentary one, we have not put it on the camera because it is prone to do it again.

The older lenses do not have the plastic casing and are more robust. There is argument that the cable would come off these too easily but we never found that to happen. You could slightly squeeze the flash sync cord to give it more grip, never a problem and it would come off the lens quicker if someone tripped on it.

I am in constant search for these older lenses in mint condition, I just love the retro look and when on the camera it reminds me why I purchased a Hasselblad all those years ago. Why pay more for a lens if it is doing the same job. Beautiful, keep the new lenses I don't want them! I prefere to take pictures with stylish equipment, best wishes, Carl
oops! that should read sync cable release button.

Have always been impressed by Carl Zeiss lenses, especially when photographing old buildings there is a certain quality in the brick work and wood that can not be produced with any other lens.
It gives it a hand painted type of effect.
The C series lenses are full metal constructions meaning if serviced every 3-5 years they virtually live forever.
CF and especially the later CFE/CFi range use much more plastic components.
These have a limited lifespan. With some lenses major components are breaking all of a sudden.
Early CF lenses suffer from this problem.