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500CM with Zeiss SPlanar 120mm T Help needed



Hi, I have been given a 500C/M with Zeiss S-Planar 120 5.6 attached, by my wife as a present. It is a lovley camera and I cant wait to use it, but I have no idea how the shutter / lense works
Does anyone know how I could source a manual for this lense (which appears to be much older than the camera body) or could someone explain how to use it? I am contemplating selling my Bronica but would like to become comforatble with my new hasselblad before I do
Any help / guidance would be greatly appreciated.
this is a wonderful gift! i have a 120 and use it for portraits and close up work. i have been told here that it is a bit soft at infinity but rarely focus there. If your lens is silver and does not have the indication "*T" on the front, then it is older. This said i am sure it is still a wonderful lens. but in general you may find this lens a bit too long for all round use. (and a bit slow) i think you should invest in another lens. the 80m is the "standard" lens and you can find them very cheap on ebay. but get it with the *T (which indicates a lens coating) it is the way to go. i would sell the bronica to get this and other accessories you may want. regarding your manual, you can pick one of these up on ebay as well. the camera is wonderful, and i really like the old *T lenses, and never use anything else. have fun discovering this great system.
A nice gift indeed. I have 3 lenses with my 500CM
but I never felt the need for a manual for them.
The main thing to remember is that you need to
have the shutter cocked in order to be able to
swap lenses. In case of flash photography make
sure the little selector is set to X (for electronic flash). The V setting is for the self-exposure (8 second delay I think) after pressing the exposure knob on the body. 'M' you want for one-time flashbulbs. So most likely you will never need M anymore. On the right hand of the lens is the aperture stop-down know. In case
you want to go back to full-opening again you
have to select the lowest F number (5.6 in your case) to disengage stop-down.

In case you want a manual for the camera itself
I have PDF file for it sitting on disk here that
I can send over.

The old C type lenses, of which the S-Planar 120mm f/5.6 is one, have normally coupled shutter and aperture rings. To adjust them independently, you need to press the tab on the aperture ring towards the body of the camera (the aperture ring then rotates separately at an angle). These are coupled for those using the EV exposure system, which values are inscribed to the right of the shutter speeds. The V-X-M control is for flash and self timer. M is for the older flash bulbs, X is for electronic flash and V is for the self timer in the lens shutter. Flash syncing is at all speeds. The shutter is in the lens and is a leaf shutter. A good book to consult on the older Hasselblad equipment is The Hasselblad Way by H. Freytag. Also an older edition of The Hasselblad Manual by E. Wildi is a good source. There are a number of dealers of used cameras on the web that sometimes have manuals, though I haven't seen one for the older C type lenses in my browsing, yet. A manual for the 500C/M camera in pdf form may still be available at I highly recommend one of the two books, as I have learned quite a bit of what is available in the Hasselblad V-system and how to best use the equipment I have acquired.
Hi All, Thank you all very much for the _very_ prompt advice / comments. Nicholas, I had though that the lense may be too long for normal use so i will keep my eye out on ebay for an 80mm, are there any other Zeiss lense you would recomend for _normal_ use? Wilko the offer of the manual for the body is very kind - I think that you can get my email address from my profile. Taras, thanks for the hints - I think I have worked out what I need to do now, I was initaly worried that I may damage the lense if I tried too much before knowing exactly what each lever etc did. My LM can do EV so that should help ;) I will scan Amazon for the books you mentioned. Once again that you all very much for your help.
Hi Chris,

Difficult to judge want lenses you would like, but I sure love my Distagon 50mm/f4 C T*. Presumably the CF lenses are better in some circumstances but the price delta is, eh, impressive to express it mildly.

Hi Wilko, I have just been looking at this lense on the hasselblad site, it looks great but I think that I will have to save for some time to get it - thanks for the advice!
Hi Ruben,

Fun! I never noticed that the manual is also available from here. But comparing what I have on disk locally and what is up for download revealed it is the same thing. I just picked it up somewhere else (dunno where anymore).

yes, as a matter of fact, the best lens hassy ever made is reputed to be the 100mm *T. extra sharp, great design. i am looking for one myself. enjoy.

The 100 mm Planar wasn't used on the Moon. 60 mm Biogons were the lenses attached to the lunar surface cameras.

So, supposing the 100 mm is indeed the sharpest lens in medium format, it could well become the sharpest lens on the Moon too, but it has yet to find its way there.
Yes, ofcourse that's true and I stand corrected. What I should have said is that they were used in space on the EL Data cameras. Seems I read somewhere they were in fact designed at the request of NASA for photogrammetric application but don't ask me where. Point ofcourse is that they were rather special in regards to distortion correction and sharpness.
I do a lot of Macro flowers with my 500cm, 80mmT,180T, and three extensions. Any advantage in purchasing the S120 planar F4? All replies welcome. Thanks
>>Ted s

The S-Planar/Makro-Planar 120mm lens is supposed to be better corrected for close focus. Whether this will be visible in your images I believe depends more on your technique.

That being said, the 80mm Planar is a very good lens for macro, and with the bellows can go up to a 3:1 reproduction. More so with an extension added. If you are happy with your results with the 80mm, but want to magnify more, maybe the bellows, instead of another lens is the way to go. Focusing will be a bit harder with the 120, as you lose that stop of light.

If you don't already do so, prefire the mirror, and use a steady tripod. If you shoot hand held, the the added sharpness of the 120mm would be lost, so you won't gain from using the lens in that case.

I have not used the 120mm, but I have used the 80mm with a bellows for some macro images, so take my words as general advice and not a specific recommendation either way.