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Info re 50mm lens


New Member
I've just purchased a 2nd hand lens marked
Distagon 1:4 f=50 mm T* Carl Zeiss Nr 6115288,
and was wondering if anyone can advise me on what type and age this lens is.

Distagon lenses are wide angle lenses. I do not know the age of your lens. There should be another marking such as C, CF, CFE, FE, or e.g. CFi f4 50 mm. The i and e in CFi CFE are improved and electronic respectively, C is for lens shutter, F for focal plane shutter, a lens without c indicates that the lens must be used with a camera with a focal plane shutter like the current 200 series cameras. The Carl Zeiss website has the complete definitions as well as the Hasselblad website in the current catalog.

Wish I saw this post sooner.

I'm looking for a 50 CF FLE. I see many 50 CF for sale online, but I cannot tell if they are FLE or not. Are all 50 CF's FLE? Thanks
There is various versions of teh 50/4 CF. One is FLE (you'll find another ring on the barrel lens), and a not FLE.

I have bought my CF 50/4 FLE used. It's more rare than the non FLE !

Be patient !

No they are not. Zeiss offers/offered 50mm CF and 50mm CF FLE versions. FLE means "floating lens element". It's a modern design enhancement. The FLE has a second focus ring at the front - the floating lens element ring with a few distance stop positions. This lens is more expensive that the standard 50mm non-FLE lens. I have the FLE version and it is sensational. But, I understand that the non-FLE one is very very good too.
There is no complexity in using the FLE version (which enhances closer object sharpness). You always set the front ring to the corresponding distance range (click stops) and then focus the lens with the usual focus ring. You should always do it in that order. But, some people have mistakenly not done so and have not seen any image degredation. I think the FLE has its greatest impact on close objects.
If you are able to spend the extra bucks hunt around for the FLE version and as Daniel said "be patient". By the way did I say it is a sensational lens!!!! Looking through it is a joy. Pictures are even better!
Good info. Thanks, gentlemen. Let me ask a follow up. Is there a difference in quality between the CFI FLE and the CF FLE? I have located a CFI FLE (though i know i'll have to find and deploy a pesky step down ring to use my filters)?
>I have been highly satisfied mith my CFi 50 mm/4 FLE. With Flexbody it >gives about 12 mm shift without lens hood and filters. Still shift is >rather limited when compared for ex&le with Arcbody, but it already opens >a wider angle upwards (or down too) than 38 mm Biogon of SWC 905. Ofcourse >it works well with other bodies too. When observing chromes with a 15 x >magnifier it is difficult to see any quality difference between these two >great objectives.

Kerkko K.
I believe that there is no image quality difference. The Hassey web site describes the difference between the current cfi and earlier CF and CFE lenses. Overall the main differences relate (as best I can recall) to shutter components (add to massive life expectancy) and coating used inside the lens barrel and I think the actual metal alloy used in the lens mount. But the i and e postscripts relate to the lens being fitted with databus gold connections that are required if the lens is used on a 200 series camera that needs to communicate with the lens. I have an 80mm CFE which is a databus version of the CF. Today it is called a CFi I think. Anyway get the down load from which explains it all. But the optics are unchanged (I am quite sure and have been told by dealers). A simple suggestion re which to buy. If the later version is at a price you are prepared to pay and won't make you sacrifice too much, buy the later version. I think generally, a later version of a quality product "often" includes enhancements (although here I am sure there are no optical enhancements unless the new barrel coating helps in conditions you shoot in). That decision comes down to how you like to manage your money.

Finally, get over the B60 thing - this is one beautiful lens. So what, get a ring or get new filters for it or upgarade your other lenses!!! But never sacrifice / turn down a great piece of glass for that reason.
That increase of filter bayonet size in CFi version of 50/4 makes that 12 mm shift possible with Flexbody. Hasselblad Ab promises only 5 mm of shift for CF 50/4.

Kerkko K.