Medium Format Forum

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

Adding a Lens Bokeh on 150 vs 180


Hi, all - I've been reading the various threads on 150 and 180 (CFi/CFe) lenses to get some info on choosing one or the other. Can anyone comment on the bokeh qualities of these 2 lenses? Thanks much!

If you love the portraits cristal clear or crisp sharp , then choose the SONNAR 180mm lens , but also have a softar 1 available , if required . Older ladies might not like these crisp sharp images . The 150mm SONNAR is a very good lens for portraits , but you might want an extension tube of 8 or 10 mm .
Thanks, Jurgen - The sharpness sounds good to me. I was thinking more specifically of the way the lenses handle the transition from in-focus to out-of-focus areas, and how the out-of-focus areas appear.

Having owned and used both lenses, I never really noticed any significant difference between the bokeh provided by either -- mind you, I never paid much attention to that but would have noticed a significant difference if apparent

In short, out-of-focus areas transition quite smoothly with both lenses -- any difference may be attributed more to the slightly longer focal length of the 180 rather than lens quality. Somewhat more objective differences between the two lenses are: the 180 is the sharper of the two wide open, but both are fairly close in sharpness when stopped-down; the 150 is the lighter of the two by far, whereas the 180 makes the camera somewhat front heavy but balances out nicely when a prism and/or winder are attached. The 150 is great when hiking or hauling around a bit of gear over extended time periods; the 180 shines in studio or studio-like conditions.

I traded-off my 150 and retained the 180 largely because I couldn't justify retaining both, and wanted to retain as much sharpness as possible when using the 1.4XE teleconverter (the latter works equally well with the 100, and gets me close to the quality of the 150 when I need something slightly shorter than the 180). At times I really regret letting the 150 go, though -- fact is, you really cannot go wrong with either. In summary, although there are minor objective differences between the two, choosing between the two with both in hand is a more a matter of personal preferences and hence subjectivity -- and with that we have seem to come around full circle
Hi, Wayne - thanks for the thoughtful reply. I was fortunate to find a like-new demo 150 at a good price at my dealer this weekend and made the choice to go that way. Image quality & overall performance seemed generally close from you comments and from others I read, and the 150 had the size/weight advantage, so the $$$ helped to finalize the decision. Now to test..!