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40mm distagon advice


New Member
I am considering buying a 40mm distagon C T* which is for sale in a local camera shop. I cannot afford one of the newer lenses. Can anyone advise on this lens regarding its usability and distortion? I would like to use if for architectural and cityscape shots.


For super critical work where distortion must be absolutely minimal, the 38mm Biogon on the Super Wide is theoretically your first choice. On the other hand, there is nothing "wrong" with the 40mm, especially in T* form. It's just that the Biogon is so amazing as far as lack of distortion goes that it makes the 40mm seem "inferior" by some accounts. I quite happily use the 40mm for lots of architectural work because the reflex viewing is so nice. My feeling is that it's grossly under-rated. And yes, I also have a SW.

By the way, the only area where the "new & improved" version may show a significant difference is at very close range. But then again it (incredibly) also has more distortion than the "C" lens !!
Great lens! I have used it for a short time and I can't say anything bad about it. I have photographed some industrial landscape with this lens (shipyard, coalmine and so on), I've made 15"x15" prints and all I can say is that effect is totally stunning!
The difference between "newer" and "older" is not as big as price difference... If you make the same picture with this two lenses (older i newer) and then 10"x10" prints - there is no chance to recognize which print is which.
Look if the lens you want to buy is in good condition, if so - buy it and be happy!
good shooting
I once had my hands on one. A really impressive piece of glass ;-)

Keep in mind that it is A. quite heavy and B. needs quite outlandish filters (in case you ever use those).

In the end I bought a 50mm, because the 40mm was both much more worn and much more expensive.

In the meantime I saw a CF 40mm(yes, not a C, a CF) here in the Netherlands 2nd hand for EUR 1600.
That was the same price as they asked for the C 40mm.

Go figure..

I just got one of these lenses and I am impressed with its results so far. A hood may be hard to find, I lucked out and found one at an auction site. As Wilko said, this lens is heavy. And the B104 mount can only take a filter or the hood (or the lens cap), not both, though you may be able to remove the mount from the hood and mount the hood it directly on the filter if you're careful. It's just a piece of rubber with a metal bayonet mount. Even with the hood, I got lens flare in one of 12 shots taken at different angles vis-a-vis the low (winter) noonday sun. This lens also has a mechanical stop (with a release on the focus ring) at about a meter, to remind you to stop down the lens when focusing closer than a meter. If you plan on using it with a PC Mutar, consider the CF version, as the PC Mutar was optimized for the 40mm CF.
Many thanks for your advice everybody. It is very much appreciated. I have decided to buy the lens. I am planning a trip to NYC in the summer and will need a wide angle lens to get some of those buildings in! I will keep you posted.

Best wishes

Good news:
Because I believed and trusted Ernst Wildis information in the Hasselblad Manual I assumed that you had a choice with the (C) 40 Distagon as far as using a filter or hood was concerned; it was one or the other but not both. It also surprised & annoyed me that Hasselblad / Zeiss would design this lens package in such a way.'s actually possible to use BOTH SIMULTANEOUSLY ! All you have to do is slip the rubber part of the hood off of it's own bayonet mount and slip it around your filter as the hood bayonet mount and the filter have virtually identical dimensions. It's obvious to me now that they had always been designed to do just that. Thank you Hasselblad & Zeiss!


Thanks for confirming my theory. I have not had the opportunity to try it out, but now will not hesitate when I need to use a filter on the 40mm C.