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Disadvantage to have Fuji lenses instead of Zeiss


New Member
I have to ask the Hassy members if you feel a little let down with someone else building the lens? I guess only time will tell. I would feel strange telling everyone that it is a Hassy with Fuji lenses. I know they are good lenses, but wouldn't a Zeiss lens be much better or Schneider? Why was the cost so important? I would much rather buy a Rollei or Contax and pay more. I personally beleive Hasselblad made a major mistake. Of course this is my personal opionion. My opinion is worth 2 cents.

I agree. Although I do not know the performance of the Fuji Lenses on the H1, it is a fact that the H1 is outragous expensive without the Zeiss label on it.

In the past it was always the rule: You know what you get, because there is a Zeiss lens in front of it. Lets be honest: Who bought Hasselblad for a different reason than to use Zeiss lenses in the 6x6 Format?

Now Hassleblad goes a new road with the H1, which is in general not a bad thing. But to ask for such a price tag without the prooven track record in the past of beeing able to use Zeiss lenses is a little bit "strange" for me...

I do not know the sales numbers of the H1 system, but if I look around at some dealers, it seems to be very quiet.
Besides zeiss lenses on my hasselblades i have used fuji lenses on my fuji gx 680 camera - especially the 135 mm 5,6 and the 180 3,2 has been outstanding performers - very sharp images, very tru colour rendering - never failed mechanical or electronical - a good freind used my fuji 180 3,2 for a billboard 2 x 4 meters comercial, wide open, and the result was super. In a more and more digital and automated world I think you need to accept that new developed equipment is designed/produced by the companies that do the job at the best price/quality and has the right technique. I love the design and handling of my 501 cm and my swc/m much more then the new H1 but I think it is two different camera systems and ways of thinking and once you seen the image quality of the fuji lenses and the cambatibility with digital backs etc you will be equally impressed by the H1. I dont think Im going to get one, but not because of the fuji lenses
The images I have seen from the Fuji lenses posted in the H1 write-up on confirmed my fears about the choice of Fuji lenses. I certainly would like to see more though. In general Fuji MF lenses ARE exceptionally sharp, and have excellent chromatic characteristics...but the bokeh stinks. For people whom that is not of concern, then the lenses are probably great...but for me, since I shoot wide open and require the OOF area to be rendered pleasantly, not abruptly, I have not found Fuji MF lenses to be acceptable.

I bought it and found it hand-holdable and sharp down to an 1/8 of a second. The first set of outdoor images were lovely with excellent detail and colors. The outdoor shots look like someone designed lenses to shoot with a color rendition similar to the older 85mm 1.4 Contax Lenses on fuji film. Indoors I was nowhere nearly as impressed. Whether it was me, the flash - a Metz 54, or some other variable I don't yet know, I'll just shoot some more. I wasted another roll shooting from 5-6 feet away thinking the built in flash would be usable. The batteries died quickly as well. Perhaps the camera may have been marketed for slightly less but I seriously doubt it knowing Hasselblad - even their accessories are priced ridiculously. I do think the lenses are different but outdoors I enjoy shooting with it more than the 645 and it would be interesting to have someone shoot side by side to test the differences on 11 x 14 's without knowing which was which (or against another Hasselblad)- indoors I'll just keep playing for now.
Hasselblad has no zeiss lenses available because Zeiss has an exclusive contract with Contax. Contax was quicker in deciding that they wanted to build an AF camera. When Hasselblad came to Zeiss, they were told that only Contax would get the lenses. So Hasselblad decided to go to Fuji, after all, they already produced the XPAN lenses and Fuji is a major share-holder in Hasselblad.
"...Hasselblad has no Zeiss lenses available because Zeiss has an exclusive contract with Contax..."

excuse me, but this is an often cited rumour, but not at all true. There is no exclusive agreement like that between Zeiss and Contax/Kyocera, which avoids Zeiss to produce lenses for other Medium Format Systems. We got that confirmed by Zeiss.

If Hasselblad would have liked to, they could have had also Zeiss lenses on the H1. But be aware, that the body of the H1 is also a Fuji design.

So IMO the reason for the existance of Fuji lenses for the H1 body is obviously more a question of negotiation power of Fuji
"...and Fuji is a major share-holder in Hasselblad..."

Also this is not true. Hasselblad was owned for 7 years by 3 parties: UBS Capital BV in Holland, Cinven in Great Britain and the Hasselblad management. This year in January, they were sold to Shriro. See the press note below:

Shriro acquires Hasselblad

2003-01-30 The Shriro Group acquires the majority shareholding in Victor Hasselblad AB. The purchase agreement was announced today at a press conference at the Hasselblad premises in the centre of Gothenburg.

- Shriro is well-known to Hasselblad, and has succeeded very well in selling our products into the key markets in Asia, says Göran Bernhoff, President and CEO of Victor Hasselblad AB. Shriro is our distributor in several key Asian markets and has, amongst other things shown its capability together with Hasselblad in developing the Japanese and Chinese markets as major outlets for Hasselblad.

Seven years ago Incentive (today Gambro) sold Hasselblad to UBS Capital BV in Holland, Cinven in Great Britain and the Hasselblad management. This sale was in line with Incentive’s wish to concentrate its operations. The aim of the purchase was to modernize Hasselblad’s operations as well as to renew the product portfolio, which has been substantially achieved.
>I dont know what the fuss is about Fuji lenses - I have been using them for years and one of the advantages is that the are very alike in reproducing colour - and I dont think that the movie industri would pick Fuji if they were anything but top

Fuji was not invited to participate in the project until 1999, three years after Hasselblad started it.
"All design at that point was already more or less decided. The lenses, however, were still at the sketch stage, and according to the agreement Hasselblad would be responsible for all design, ergonomics, system components, and software", Lave Tenne, responsible for the H1 design.

So "be aware that the H1 body is a" Hasselblad design.

Overall responsible for it was Hasselblad's mr. Lave Tenne. A "veteran" Hasselblad designer.
The appearance of it was designed in association with New Perspektive AB, a Swedish design bureau, but was finalised by Hasselblad.

The user interface (and matrix display) was designed by Hasselblad's mr. Bengtson, with help from Teleca, a firm also involved with Ericsson's cel phone design.

Be aware too that the H1 lenses are a Hasselblad-Fuji cooperative design.
Hasselblad does have its own optical design department. Hasselblad's mr. Nordlund did the rough design ("sketch stage") of these lenses, with Fuji being responsible for the fine tuning and finalisation of the designs. And Fuji takes care of their production, of course.

The electronic shutter mechanism was designed by messrs Persson, Wihlander and Johansson. None of whom work for Fuji...

Small bits incorporated in the H1 are taken from various sources. When a solution to a certain problem was needed, the best way to deal with that was not always to "reinvent the wheel", but see what was available in the market place.
The neck strap quick-lock, for instance, was found at Niggeloh's, a German manufacturer, who changed their exisiting product a bit to suit Hasselblad's needs.

And production issues too needed input from experts in the field outside Hasselblad. For instance, working out how to produce the steel housings took the combined effort of three Swedish firms, plus Hasselblad.

After Fuji was invited to participate, design matters were of course discussed between Fuji and Hasselblad. In the end, Fuji finalized details in the design of the viewfinder and filmmagazine.

There are two main reasons why Fuji were asked to participate.
First, they had shown to be a good partner in the XPan project.
Second, they build good lenses...

I too don't know what the fuss is about. Fuji does indeed make very good lenses.

I don't understand either why people think that being expensive is a Zeiss perrogative. All good things cost a lot, since all good things demand a large effort to become good things.
It is nice to read that my local Hasselblad representatibe doe not know where he is talking about. The Info given by me was what I was told by my local Hasselblad representative, not a shop, no, someone who works for Hasselblad over here. Well, if so, It is nice to know when you are wrong! Thanks for the additional info!
Hi QG,

thanks for the detailed info. It is great to get this inside knowledge all together. I agree that Fuji makes also really good lenses. It was just my impression that there are certain brand names (Zeiss for ex&le) that do ask for a premium just because of their reputation - which is normal from tha marketing point of view. And Fuji was in the past not among the names who were asking for a premium. So I was surprised to see the prices of the H1 with Fuji lenses at that price level.

But at the end of the day, the final picture counts. I never used the H1, so I can not compare them with my Zeiss experiences. But as I can see in this thread, Fuji did obviously a good job with their lenses
I have used quite a few Fuji medium format lenses. They are very sharp and have very good color rendition, but their bokeh simply is horrible. Also, they are not very fast lenses typically. I avoid Fuji MF lenses at any chance I get.

My viewing of H1 Fuji lenses is limited, but the images shows on showed pretty bad bokeh IMO.


Austin, I totally disagree with you. I saw that one horrible picture as well, but I bit the bullet and bought the H1 anyway because of its other advantages. I have used it professionally for 2 months now, and clients and I have been thrilled with the results. I have a few pictures up in the gallery here, unfortunately none of them show much about the bokeh of the lenses. I will try to get some portrait type pictures up in the next day or two which do a better job of demonstrating same. Let me know what you think when you see them.
>I have used the fuji lenses for the the gx680 and the 135 mm and >especially the 180 mm show no trace of bad bokeh - the 65 mm had a lot >of barrel distortion so i sold it, but it was sharp and showed no bad >bokeh either. > >My good friend works with the 6x17 and the the 6x9 and her pictures >shows no bad bokeh - she actually produce some very lovely shots with a >lot of out of focus effects and I am now publishing the fourth book with her >pictures this spring so Fuji and bad bokeh - well not in my >experience
Hi Kevin,

> Austin, I totally disagree with you. I saw that one horrible picture > as well...

I'm not sure that you are disagreeing with me at all. You are agreeing with me about the picture on you didn't address what I said about other Fuji MF lenses...and I've used four different Fuji MF cameras...and that is what my comments were on...only...and I said the Fuji MF lenses are slow...and they are...there are no fast lenses for the H system, compared to what is available in for other Zeiss MF based systems like the V series and the Contax 645.

Now, if you have pictures that you believe show the Fuji H1 lenses have decent bokeh, I'd certainly like to see them.


Hi Ruben Blaedel,

> I have used the fuji lenses for the the gx680 and the 135 mm and > >especially the 180 mm show no trace of bad bokeh - the 65 mm had a > lot >of barrel distortion so i sold it, but it was sharp and showed no > bad >bokeh either. > >My good friend works with the 6x17 and the the > 6x9 and her pictures >shows no bad bokeh - she actually produce some > very lovely shots with a >lot of out of focus effects and I am now > publishing the fourth book with her >pictures this spring so Fuji and > bad bokeh - well not in my >experience

I'd like to see what you consider good bokeh from any of those cameras. One issue is the lenses you mention are very slow lenses, and as such, won't really show much if any real bokeh...compared to a much faster lense.

BTW, I'm not the only one who brands Fuji MF lenses as having bad bokeh...this is something that is routinely brought up by many other people who have "tried" to use Fuji MF lenses, and have a reasonable basis for evaluating what "plesant" bokeh looks like. I am not saying you don't, since I don't know one way or another, and since I don't know your point of comparison, I can't agree or disagree...but I can only guess that you and I have a very differnt basis for calling bokeh "good" or "bad".

OOC (out of curiosity), have you ever used a 110/2?