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So what is the worst Hasselblad lens you ever used


Active Member
Ok, things need a little livening up around here guys.

So, since we have discussed our favourite lens/es, now it's time to 'fess up to what we think is the very worst Hassey lens we used (bought, stole or borrowed) - V or H or both if you like.

S&les of your complaints seen in images would also be a great idea.
I would not say worst lens because there are no bad lenses for Hasselblad but my least favorite is the 80 mm.

I like the 100 better for well known reasons like resolution and very low distortion.
It does not bother me at all that the 100 is half a stop slower.

Like Paul, I don't use the 80/2.8 CFi much, but it's a fine lens, and it's home is on my "Sunny Yellow CM".

I didn't get much use from the 250/5.6 SA I once used and sold because it was to slow for my work. I now use a 250/4 on a 203FE.

My answer is none. I like all of mine! I like the 80mm, but MF is no different than 35mm with respect to the 50mm lens. Often it too is the least used by many, too. Of course it depends on the subject.


"Worst lens".. not really. In order of what I use least to most:

150, 80, 40, 50.

I could live without the 80 and 150 if I needed to. But the 80 is small/light enough to always travel in my bag.

Would love to try the 100mm some time. Read enough about it to make me curious.

I don't dislike any of my lenses. It reminds me of the joke. Describe the worst sex you ever had. "Fantastic!" Regards Mart
But even if the worst sex you ever had was fantastic, it still was the worst sex you ever had.
But at least one doesn't get up the next morning feeling seedy and groaning 'oh, sh*t, what did I do last night' if the 80mm was used instead of the 60mm.

Or maybe some do...but only those REALLY keen on their lens choice.

I think the picture is the thing...although maybe not if they are on polaroid after that 'worst sex you ever had'!


P.S. I use the 'standard' lens in MF much more than ever I did and do in 35mm. I guess one's eyes adapt, but then it might be because I don't have a 100mm and/or 60 mm.
Here's an irritation I think warrants going under this heading of "worst" ...

most every one of these lenses displays the pentaprism OOF specular highlights, which I hate.

This begs the technical question as to why the apertures couldn't have had more blades for rounder OOF specular highlights like the Fuji leaf shutter lenses?
G'Day Nick, and Simon, and all:

I have the "boring three", 50/80/150, and although there is little praise for the 80 in this forum (mine is the CFE - not that it matters I think), I actually find that I like the 80 more and more. The 50FLE is a great lens and of my three, it tends to stay on the body when the set-up gets put into the case, so it is often the 'default lens', if you get my drift. Of my three, the 150 is least favoured, although I have to say that it does exactly what I want for portraits.

However, as one of my mentors once told me when all I had was a lovely Rollei TLR, "for telephoto, walk towards, for wide angle, walk away from". I know this is not always practical, but to be truthful, when I get in a certain 'zone' making pictures, I don't want any distractions. Body, lens, tripod, finder, shade, spotmeter, three backs. Create. Go home. All this other technical stuff is certainly good to exercise the brain, and interesting, but in the 'heat' of the moment, it comes down to exposing film (or a sensor) to light, to get the image you have already seen in your brain. I have too often been asked "that's a great picture...what camera do you use?" (That's a great book you wrote, what word processor did you use.)

I have been making pictures for a little over 50 years, and I have had all the 'gotta haves'. 35mm camera fisheye out to 500 teles, Leica RF WA to Tele, TLRs, Speed Graphics !!, Linhof, 6x7 etc. etc. But when I get too equipment oriented, I tend to put it all away and go into 'hibernation'. Eventually, out comes one body, and a lens, and I'm back in business! I guess I'm more a draftsman than a photographer ... a sketchpad and a pencil.

So, after this ramble, I CONCLUDE that I have never used a bad Hasselblad lens - including the 180 I tried before I paid much less for the 150, and the silver 40 which weighed 100 pounds that I had on long term loan, and the 140-280 Variogon my friend has and never uses (what a lump of glass!). They all seem good to me. As Marc is often wont to say: just make pictures. Get your mojo going. Please yourself first. Let the cards fall where hey may. (Except all pros, who must please the client first :) )


I agree with Colin... on the lens points and on the 'good picture' point. The ultimate 'praise' given to a photographer is 'you must have a good camera'.

I only have the Boring Three as well. But that will hopefully change one day soonish, when the thesis is finished and penury has been forced a little further from the door!

I agree with Marc on the bokeh, but don't worry unduly. I certainly don't take those straining pictures up into a tree in the bright sun or something to 'prove' the bad bokeh.

I guess the H-series lenses have 9 shutter blades like the Xpan. And I guess Zeiss must have had a reason for their parsimonious attitude towards shutter blades, or perhaps they didn't at all.

And I guess Zeiss must have had a reason for their parsimonious attitude towards shutter blades, or perhaps they didn't at all. >


Interesting point, Zeiss does offer 10 blade apertures for a nearly round opening on their new ZM lenses, perhaps because of Leica.


The F 110 and 150 mm Lenses have more aperture blades too, and form a (nearly) round opening at the 'large end' of the scale.

And of course all Hasselblad lenses have a round aperture when used wide open...
I don't have a "worst" lens. My favourite focal length on 6x6 is 80mm. The 80mm lenses for Hasselblad have been used to create more stunning images than all the other lenses put together. Go figure...

Your statistics are wrong.

Most car accidents are caused by people who are not drunk so people who have been drinking are better drivers.
"Your statistics are wrong"

Paul, no statistics, merely opinion, but I'd be fascinated to see any statistics you might have that are based on "stunning images" and the focal lengths of the lenses used to create them.

Despite the plethora of statisticians and technicians frequenting this site happily some things are simply beyond statistics and statistical analysis.
Seeing that every kit sold came with a 80mm I believe Keith is probably right. In the 500 series it's the fastest lens of the bunch ... while not my favorite focal length, I've shot thousands of wedding pics with it ... it's the prime focal length for processional shots, and two person environmental portraits.
Thanks guys for playing

But even if the worst sex you ever had was fantastic, it still was the worst sex you ever had.

QG summed it up I suppose - in this context "worst" is a very relative term - maybe I should have said "least satisfying" sice we all know that generally there is no BAD Hasselbald lens (well certainly in this modern era!).

For me the least satisfying Hassey lens is the 40mm - I just find the visible distortion very unappealing as I look through it - so I never bought one. However I must admit that I have seen many very good images made with the 40mm - again probably proving that there is no truly bad Hassely lens.

I was interested though that QG was the only poster who simply nominated a lens as the worst he has ever used without any qualification of the question posed or that lens he nominated.

With regard to the 80mm (I have the CFE version), this is my least used Hassey lens, but I cannot say that it is the least satisfying nor a bad lens in any way. Like all the other lenses I use (50, 60, 120, 150, 180 and 250), it is a joy when I have it mounted on a body and look through it and the image quality is always excelent IMHO.