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A new lens CF or CFECFi



Considering to buy a new or like new lens to 501CM to complement Planar 2.8/80. Is it sensible to buy a CF lens (like new conditions) from about 1988 for a third price of CFE or CFi design? Are CF lenses of the same optical quality as CFi/CFE? I think of 100 or 120 or 150 mm focal length.Thanks.

Yes. You will be very happy with any of the CF lenses. The improvements made in some of the later versions tend to be marginal at best. It is doubtful whether you would notice the difference and whether they are worth the additional cost to you (Law of Diminishing Returns).
I have purchased 5 CF lenses and have been quite happy with them. I usually buy EX quality from KEH (middle grade) and save many hundreds of dollars compared to LN (like new).
There are three 180 mm variants:

4.0/180 mm CF
4,0/180 mm CFi
4,0/180 mm CFE

Optically they are the same. Prices are anywhere between 500-600 Euros for CF-lenses (if you are lucky) up to 2500 Euros (or even more) for a new CFE.


ah, and then there are adapted Carl Zeiss Jena 2,8/180 mm lenses for focal plane Hasselblads, but that is another story.
There is even a fourth version, the Zeiss Classic ZV version.
Optically still the same, but in a new, brushed aluminum ("chrome") barrel, most like the CF version, without the rubber grip.

I think it looks good, but perhaps more something for collectors.
The price (and availability) will reflect that.
Oh, you guys are amazing!!! the chrome version looks very cool. Where can I get the price from for the Chrome one, I'm not collector but 180 in chrome just looks old fashion, yet very cool.

Is there a difference in performance among the ZV and CFE version?

Att:Q.G. de Bakker (Qnu)

When you say barrel, do you mean barrel lens like the old once where you use the card to cover the lens in order to expose or it does have the shutter but you or rather they referred to it as brushed aluminium ("chrome") barrel.

Natasa Stojsic (Natasa_stojsic) wrote on August 31:

' 2007 - 12:07 am,Oh, you guys are amazing!!! the chrome version looks very cool. Where can I get the price from for the Chrome one, I'm not collector but 180 in chrome just looks old fashion, yet very cool. '

The chrome version, called a "C", uses a shutter which has not been produced in years. This shutter is not repairable unless you have a spare one for parts or the repair man has one for parts.

I would recommend CF or higher. I have CFs for all my lenses. There is a price break between CF and CFi, and between CFi and CFE.


Yes, with "barrel" i do mean the housing (including a focussing mount, and with a shutter inside) of the lens, not that it is a "barrel lens" without focussing mount.

All these versions are the same optical formulation/design, and should perform the same.
The Classic ZV lenses are sold by Zeiss (though they are not in their online shop), and perhaps it would be easiest to contact Zeis directly for price information.


I believe the chrome version mentioned here is that of the Classic ZV. A later, or "higher" if you wish, version indeed.

I intended to give a hyperlink to Zeiss's site where you can see the Classic ZV lenses, but i completely forgot!

So here it is:
Classic ZV lenses at Zeiss

The Classic ZV enses are basically the same as their CF versions.
The shutter lacks the F-mode, the lenses have a 67 mm thread filter mount instead of the bayonet 60 filter mount (but retain the bayonet 60 outer mount), and the barrel is both different in colour and (partly) in the materials used.
I suspect they also have the internal stray light supression as it can be found in the CFE/CFi lenses.

The optical formulae are the same as those of the CF counterparts. But the 50 mm Distagon no longer has the FLE setting ring (people didn't use it properly, Zeiss told us, so it doesn't matter that the lens now has no floating elements).
Oh, and...

The Classic ZV lenses no longer have the EV-lock facility, interlocking the shutterspeed and aperture rings at any given EV-value, nor EV-scales.