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If you could What would you


Active Member
Just for the sake of some fun or interest:

If you won the chance to buy any ONE Hasselblad "thing", what would you select?

And, what is the very next Hasselblad "thing" on your shopping list?

If these are not the same Hasselblad "thing", then why not?
I suppose I'd better add what I'd select if I "got lucky" and what's on my shopping list.

My "dreamer" is one of those magnificent Imacon/Hassy top end MF scanners - not sure what model as I dare not look into it too much.

My next buy is simply a CW winder for my 503CW.

Yes Qnu, it's Hassy/Zeiss lenses chapter. So after thinking where to add this thread, I concluded most "desire" lenses.

It is one thing that I do not like about this forum - structure. Why not all bodies together - let archiving deal with segregation issues when the threads age a bit?

Why not all lenses together with accessories.... blah blah?

It really annoys me because our questions, comments etc overlap chapters like bodies and lenses etc..

Anyway that's my grumble - but I'm getting to really like the dark background!
My most desired Zeiss lens, is, uhm..., maybe a TPP?
Nah...too long (or not long enough; f/4 350 mm Tele-Tessar than perhaps?), to big... So maybe not.
A ... No...

It will be the 'plain', cheap, 'common-as-muck' f/4 150 mm Sonnar i got rid of because i thought the f/4 120 mm would be 'enough'.
It appears i like the 150 mm focal length enough to want to have it back in my '500-set'.

Here's another question:
what Hasselblad/Zeiss lens would you most like to get rid of?

My no. 1 is the f/2.8 50 mm Distagon.
Just because of it's tremendous weight. When going on a walk-about, it gets substituted by a f/4 50 mm Distagon all too often (which not only is considerably less weight, but also a (tiny) bit wider. And easier to put filters on).

Why not everything on one big heap?
Because there is no need to, and it is extremely usefull to know where to look for specific things.

Sure, some issues cross borders. No problem. And no reason to lump everything together.
Imagine having to go through all posts to find your comment about a Winder CW... Not for me, thanks!

Do I have a "first to get rid of"? No. I suppose that I'm lucky to have had to be very careful with what I bought, so each thing is cherished.

About "everything in one big heap" - no, that was not my suggestion. My suggestion was simply broader chapters - bodies in one chapter rather than divided up etc.. Then based on age threads could be archived into sub-chapters based on a category initially nominated at the time of posting a new thread.

I just find that the current chapters limit some general discussion - interest value than just problem or decision making discussions.

I do agree with Qnu that one big heap would make searching too hard.
Qnu, please tell me (relative to all other things of course
), do you or did you have 120, 150 and 180 focal lengths at the same time in your kit?

I ask because I just wonder if you found their respective AOVs and perspectives too close? I know that it can be a very personal consideration, but I'm interested to hear users' views on that and how an average 30-40mm focal length "closeness" measures up. Is there any aspect of the 150mm you are/were not satisfied with?

My kit does not have the 150, but occasionally I itch for something between 120 and 180. And under this topic of both dreaming and planning, maybe I can dream up a plan to add a 150mm.

I do indeed have the 120 mm, a 150 mm still (in my "F-set"), but the next lens up is 250 mm.
150 mm to 250 mm is the right step for me.
I really like my lenses close (in the "near standard" range. i rather have them too close than too far apart), but/and i'm quite comfortable without the 180 mm lens.

The aspect of the 150 mm i was not happy with was having to carry it too.
I had to think (briefly) which one i would miss less, the 120 mm, or the 150 mm.
Since i have another 150 mm lens, and wouldn't want to miss the 120 come whatever may come, the 150 mm went (i just should have put it 'in storage' rather than do it away. A lesson learned, so the f/2.8 50 mm stays, even if it gets used less and less

When i first assembled my kit, the 180 mm did not exist yet. Maybe if it had then, my choice would have been different.
However, the long range would then probably have been 120 mm - 150 mm - 180 mm - 350 mm, and i don't know... Too much. And that 250 mm focal length is a pretty usefull one.

If i had to replace the 150 mm with another focal length, it would probably be closer to the 120 mm. I like the 135 mm lens on my "ancient" Hasselblads very much. Pitty the one (no longer) made for the current cameras is rather slow and needs a separate focussing ring.

Beyond the near 'standard range' (badly chosen name, perhaps, since for me it runs from 50 mm to 150 mm), lenses should be spaced as far apart as possible.

I would like to get the great f/4 350 mm Tele-Tessar F-lens, for instance, but actually getting one has consistently failed because of a barrage of 'second thoughts' of the 'too close' and 'do i need a lens that long?' kind.

The 500 mm quite simply is too much to carry, wouldn't get used often only for that already. So i carry a (cheap) teleconverter for those moments i think i cannot do without a longer lens.
It hardly ever gets used. Apparently i do not need a lens that long.

On the short side, the lens 'below' the 50 mm should be either a 40 mm or a 38 mm. So a 38 mm lens it is.
Interesting discussion. Over the years, I've collected Hassey lenses ranging from the 35/3.5 CFi and 40CFE FLE, to the 350 CF. In a recent flurry of sell/buy, the whole system has been upgraded to CFE-CFi offerings, a SWC/38 was also added, and a 203FE with 50/2.8FE, 110/2FE and 150/2.8FE added to the arsenal.

I have found that lenses close to one another in focal length isn't an issue. Anticipated application determines which set of glass goes in the bag. For ex&le, on a driving vacation to the beach, I took the 350 and 2XE for shots of people walking on the beach against the sparkling water. Beautiful compacting effect. At weddings this lens would be a burden and used very little if at all. So, when I set out to shoot, I anticipate use then select a range. For portraits, I've found that 100/120/150/180 are all useful because of the difference in people's faces. 100 for the heavier set folks used from a slightly higher vantage point does wonders. A 180 with a slender face often works well. The trick is to study the faces with different focal lengths to determine which works best. When shooting in the street, I personally love the 65 and 100 best.

The only lens I'd still like to secure is the 250/4F, which is a legendary "head-shot" lens used by NYC fashion shooters. It was a recommendation from a top NYC shooter ... which surprised me since I didn't know the lens even existed.
The 250 mm length is one of my favourites. Great for head shots (and many other things) indeed.
But (forgetting about the Superachromat for the moment) it really does not matter which one you get; f/4 Tele-Tessar or f/5.6 Sonnar. They are both equally good. I haven't detected any difference yet.

The extra stop is sometimes usefull, but with that long a lens, you're quickly running out of handholdability anyway. I really hate to use either of them without support; you just know you will be disappointed.
The extra stop makes as good as no visible difference to depth of field too.

So if you can find one, get the f/4.
But (and this is my point) if you can't, and would like to use the 250 mm length, get one of the common f/5.6 lenses. It will produce exactly the same quality.

Now if there is a "legendary" 250 mm lens, it is the f/5.6 Sonnar-Superachromat. Absolutely stunning (in B&W, because of it's greater capability to record fine details; from a tripod, or else shake will throw all of its added 'goodness' away; and used carefully, always focussing with great care, never relying on DOF).
Qnu and Marc, very interesting perspectives on the range of focal lengths. Great learning material for me and I hope others.

Actually my purpose was to try to get such discussion going, since I have found most of this forum's discussion seems to be about single issues / problems / advice needs.

In the relatively short time I have had the CF 250mm I have not done head shots but have had great joy using it for compressed landscapes.

Now I'm seriously considering filling in the gap between my CF 120mm and CF 180mm with a 150mm. I even contemplated a nice used CFi 150mm, but seeing the comparative cost, I doubt my shooting will benefit from the "physical" enhancements found in the newer version.

Does anyone find any optical difference between the versions? Is there much size / weight difference? Is it really worth the near 100% used market difference between the two versions?
Hello forum, I usually just read, but this conversation gets the juices flowing.

I join Simon in wishing for the Imacon/Hasselblad scanner. It must be like magic compared to the 6 year old, entrance level Canon flatbed I'm forced to use!

Next purchase will likely be the Hassy super-wide camera w/38mm.

Equipment to part with? My PM45 finder (replaced with the PME45) and my distagon 40mm C complete with B-104 polarizer and orange filters.
(Remember that's how this thread started?)

Keep Smiling!

If I won the chance, it would be the SA 350mm f5.6 CFE + dedicated teleconverter.

The next thing on my list though is the 250mm CFE.

I wouldn't get rid of anything I have.


Only problem with the question is the relative value of 'winning' the chance to buy a piece of Hassy kit. Not much incentive there, unless this means having just received permission from one's wife, girlfriend, etc., to make such a purchase

As mentioned in a prior thread, I recently -- and with some regret -- passed on a chance to buy a used SA 250 CF at a very decent price, and actually had the discretionary funds to do so. However, I instead ordered the Nikon 9000ED film scanner that I just received yesterday. Now would I have rather purchased an Imacon 343 ... yes, but then life has certain 'little' realities and the Nikon isn't that shabby a compromise.

I suspect there lies my answer: the 343 and a new 250SA or a 350SA (my actual preference) are my dream items -- and sometime thereafter a digital back. However, once I have my recent acquisitions paid off, I will instead acquire a second 503CW body and a D40 or similar flash with a bracket. That will likely complete my Hassy kit unless I finally get back into photography or commercial art/illustration full-time and need dictates acquiring additional gear.

I am actually quite content with my current lens range: 38, 50FLE, 100, 150, 1.4XE teleconverter. However, in some respects I regret not having chosen a 180 over the 150 when I purchased the latter. The principle reason for that is, when combined with the T.C. I purchased just recently, the 180 would have provided something close to the quality of the regular 250. But then one of the reasons I passed on the used 250SA is that the 150 & T.C. gets me into that ballpark, and a 350 would be the more logical progression given my current kit. And although a 350SA is one of my dream items, I would likely go with a regular 350 F5.6 CF instead as a matter of fiscal practicality.

Simon: in many respects I don't see the practicality in your acquiring a 150 given your current line-up. The difference in angle of view isn't all that great and, at least to me, there really isn't that much of a gap. As you are probably aware, many working professionals work with a narrowly limited range of lenses; painters similarly limit their palette and range of brushes. There are real values in pushing the limits of one's current kit, the principle ones being (1) the growth that comes with being creative and innovative within those bounds, and (2) the fine control that comes with knowing one's tools and materials intimately.

You have a enviable and versatile range of gear already: a Leica M kit; Xpan; Technika; and your Hassy kit: have you truly explored the potential that all this has to offer? Do you have an actual need for a 150; or would you just like to have one? There is nothing inherently wrong if you answer yes to the latter; my only concern is whether you need one now
Well, there is that "pushing the limits" thing, yes.

But the question is where the proverbial 'mastery' lies, and what role equipment plays in it.
Is there some real value in "pushing the limits", or is "pushing the limits" an unmistakable sign that your current, limited equipment is hindering you?

I always have believed, and still do, that in the creative process the concept takes precedence.
Equipment is merely there to make turning a concept into something you can 'show' possible. If you don't have what you need, you need to get more. Or compromise your original intent.

The idea that the limits a limited kit impose offer a creative challenge may be true, yes.
But that's a secondary creative challenge, and a sure sign that you lack the appropriate bit of equipment.
A sure sign that you cannot do what you originally set out to do.

The "potential" that has to be explored is that inside of you. Not that inside the bag you keep your tools in.
There are no points to be gained for 'making do'. A masterfully performed "push" of "the limits" may be quite impressive, but without fail gets in the way of what the original idea once was.

Bad. Real bad.

Of course in 'real life' we hit that 'brick wall'. Life sucks, right?
But it's not as if we are left without means to make it better. So if you can get that extra bit to complement your toolkit, take away the limits it is imposing, by all means, do so!
Logic can swiftly evaporate when a creative need arises. These lenses aren't transient acquisitions, but instead lifetime tools of expression. If you have narrow applications then less may well work. But if your creativity is unfettered and in a consistent growth mode, who knows where it will lead you?

There may be long periods where certain lenses may lay fallow, then in a burst of creative energy whole new visions can emerge ... and those very same "lazy lenses" suddenly become indispensable ... and pose an immediate need to fulfill the muse's command to act now before the inspiration passes.

That's why I have never eliminated any Hasselblad lenses with the exception of the 250/5.6APO ... which I dearly regretted with-in months of doing so. It's the only focal length missing my line-up ( along with the 500mm which I've never desired nor had a specific use for. But you never know ; -)

Our very next decision will involve upgrading digital backs. This option is what assures Hasselblad V will continue on as the primary MF tool well into the future ... and protect that huge lens investment. The mega-pixel wars have yielded the latest round of upgrades to the tune of 39 meg., with almost full 645 sized sensors ... in tether-less backs that can be rotated on a Hasselblad.

The final frontier will be full or near full 6X6 sensors, which appeared impossible not long ago, but are quite possible now that Canon apparently has mastered sensor stitching to produce the next wave of cameras ... including a 24 meg full 35mm frame 1 series camera being alpha test now.
Qnu & Marc,

You may, or may not, find this surprising but I do agree with what each of you say. For the sake of brevity I edited out some of the things I wrote: the principle one being that need should generally dictate what tools one uses. For that reason there really is no such thing as a universal perfect kit, only that which fits our individual style and perspective, and the situation(s) at hand. If a situation changes significantly or is novel, then a different approach and/or tool(s) 'may' be appropriate if not required. In those (and most) instances there likely isn't a best solution either, but a gamut of choices. But one may not actually know what is appropriate if one isn't fully cognizant of the qualities of the tools/materials that they already have at their disposal -- that's where mastery comes in.

The other left out point was that having too much choice can in itself be limiting if not detrimental, particularly if one hasn't mastered the tools already in hand. I'm certain that most of us have lost a fleeting shot because we couldn't choose what to use or simply made an inappropriate choice -- things to chalk up to experience. Of course, having too little choice can be as limiting if not outright constricting; this can lead to a certain staleness, particularly if one doesn't push oneself or take chances. This is part of the reason why I tend to harp on the need to balance out one's kit -- to tailor it to one's actual need(s) and style.

As an aside: All of this seems to have the quality of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" doesn't it

A case in point here is that when I got back into photography last spring, I decided medium format best suited my initial objectives and that a Panasonic LC-1 would cover my walk-around needs. In effect, I decided to eschew 35 mm. But as it is turning out, I am finding that a XPan would be a perfect companion to the LC-1 on my exploratory hikes. Furthermore, since it tends to rain a lot here in the Alaska Panhandle, a Nikonos would also be appropriate in many instances. This just goes to show the difference between perceived/projected needs and actual needs, and that often it is better to acquire round pegs to fit into round holes rather than sticking to square pegs just because one happens to prefer them.

So to answer Simon's initial question with a fair degree of certainty: my next Hasselblad purchase will be a XPan II. In fact, I almost did acquire a XPan kit in like new condition instead of the film scanner. However, at this point in time, the scanner just happened to be a higher priority.

I think the "too much choice" thing is again an ex&le of 'the wrong aproach'.
We should know first what we want to do. Then get and use the appropriate tool.

And unless we have several tools that do the same, there never is "too much choice". One, and one alone, will be the only choice possible.
And even when there is a (redundant) degree of redundancy, any of the tools that 'does the job' will be a good choice of tool to do the job.
I don't see what would be difficult, "limiting" or even "detrimental" here.

So when opening our well stocked bags we (should) know what we want to take out. I can't imagine being bewildered or stunned by the amount, or diversity, of what's in there, such that i would suddenly forget what it was i was doing.
The tools have absolutey no vote in which one i want/need to use. That would be something, wouldn't it...?

But i do see your point about perceived and actual needs. So yes, it is important to be "fully cognizant of the qualities of the tools/materials that" you "already have at" your "disposal".
The word "already" however is a bit 'strange'. The content of our toolkit should have grown out of our needs, and it should 'already' be well known to us what a particular bit allows us to do, before we even get it.
After all, that (what it allows us to do) is the very reason we got it, right?

So (returning to the perceived and actual needs bit) the actual content of our toolkit is a reflection of our actual needs.
Things are in there because we need them to do specific things.
Things are not in there, because we do not need them (yet) (Or because we cannot afford them, yet. There's the catch...
Any discrepency between actual and perceived needs would indicate a purchase was made (or not) for the wrong reasons.

And that's why the many "what kit should i get"/"what lens to buy next" questions are both so very common and impossible to answer.
What someone should have is what that someone needs to have. How would i, or anybody else, know that? Only the person asking can provide the correct answer.

Your "square pegs just because one happens to prefer them" bit is interesting. You cannot help but ask why one prefers square pegs anyway.
Maybe those holes aren't that round after all? Maybe the actual needs are just perceived to be the actual ones, and actually are the perceived ones, and the perceived ones are only perceived to be the perceived ones, though actually being the actual ones?

Great reply; read it a number of times; chuckled over the last paragraph.

Re. "The content of our toolkit should have grown out of our needs, and it should 'already' be
well known to us what a particular bit allows us to do, before we even get it."

Yes! I suspect that most, if not all, of the participants in this forum follow a similar process. But given the cost of Hassy gear, it would be prohibitive to do otherwise -- but not impossible. And despite the most careful pre-purchase deliberations, sometimes a piece of kit just doesn't cut it in the long run. Conversely, many of us have probably had the opportunity to appreciate the well-to-do who buy top quality gear and after a few years dump it relatively unused at a bargain rate

When referring to 'having too much choice', I am referring more to people who could be defined as collectors rather than users -- or variations thereof. The former are often 35 mm. (or digital equivalent) users who have most of the lenses a manufacturer has to offer, can wax forever on the technical merits of each piece, and their results generally show a clue-less-ness in how to use most of it. I have seen such people fumble over huge, neatly arranged but overstuffed kit bags in instances that required a quick, near-instinctive decision. There is nothing inherently wrong with appreciating fine equipment; and can any of us honestly deny ever acquiring a piece of kit more because we wanted it than needed it, and just happened to find ways to rationalize the choice ...

I'm afraid my previous post had a high "holier than thou" content. (And remember that in this, "thou" really means "myself". Always).
When you look back and read about what i did with my 150 mm lens, it's quite apparent that this decision was made "for the wrong reasons". My perceived needs and actual needs were not the same, and i should have "already" been "cognizant" of that.
What was written again over the entrance to Apollo's temple at Dehphi?

I understand your "collectors" point, and i must admit to feel the lure of "collectible items" myself 'now and again'.
When answering Simon's original question, i did first think about the TPP, then another lens, before i remembered the lens i really wanted...