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.

Planar 80mm C stiff focus


New Member

First post. (or second, as I posted a short introduction in the introduction section).

I have an old 80mm C lens (not T*) which has stiff focus. I know the C series never had as smooth focus as the current lenses and it is possible that the lube in the focus helicoids has gone bad. But, the odd part is that the focus if pretty smooth when the shutter is tripped, but once cocked the focus becomes rather stiff. It is still possible to focus the lens but it is really annoying.

In comparison I don't think there is any difference (whether cocked or not) in the focus behavior on my 50mm C lens.

So what I'm wondering is, is this normal for a 80mm C lens? Or is there possibly more to worry about than just the helicoid lube?

Contrary to what many experience now good C lenses do focus smoothly.
Keep in mind many of them may have experienced some sort of mechanical overload due to a fall etc.

The most common cause for stiff focus is old dried out lubricants though.

In your case I suspect parts of the lens are damaged due to a fall.
Only a good technician can establish the cause and find a way to correct the problem.
In your case I suspect parts of the lens are damaged due to a fall.

Thank you for the answer. A smallish ding on the filter bayonet suggest that the lens has been dropped at some point.

This was my first Hasselblad lens which I got with the first body three years ago. It was bought from a reputable camera dealer in Helsinki, Finland. I noticed the ding on the filter bayonet while at the shop and was told the camera and lens had been recently checked and there was nothing to worry about. Too bad I did not know better back then. I might have the lens checked some day although I'm not using the focal length very often.