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Sonar 250mm f56 delight


Active Member
For those who may be contemplating a longer lens I thought I would share my recent delight.

I recently added a Sonar 250mm CF lens to my 501cm kit to give me nice reach and compressed landscapes more than I get with my Sonar 180mm (what a lens). Thank God for the digi revolution as this was only affordable due to the dramatic price falls in MF.

I did my first shoot with it a few weeks ago using Provia 100. I was blown away by the trannies - sharp, superb colour, sharp, nice contrast, sharp and beautiful detail and graduation, and did I say it is sharper than sharp!

The most minute detail is resolved brilliantly.

So I have attached one un-manipulated shot I hope shows what I mean.
the sonnar is a lovely lens and sharp wide open - I like your picture and the contrast between the moving and the static elements combined with a classic square composition
Every lens in the Hassy lineup has its proponents (and detractors). The 250mm Sonar is a very versatile lens and is useful for both landscapes and tight portraits in addition to other types of photography. Most Hasselblad 5xx owners have just the 80mm lens and are missing out on the other fine optics in the line. A lot has been written about which lenses to use in which situations, but often, suprising results can be achieved by breaking the rules.

Thanks for your comments. Gilbert, I agree. I've never seen a digital image that compares and I can only imagine that to achieve that quality the digi-back must cost a fortune. Any large digi print I have seen (and not too many I admit and maybe not the best done) stikes me up front as a digi print. Even on compuiter screens I am often distracted by "smoothing" missing detail and natural characteristics.

Yep, Taras, I cannot imagine there is a "bad" Hassy/Zeiss lens. Of course if we look back a long way we will see weaknesses but for their time they were always superb. Some of the picky junk we read on the web is absession about minutae rather than enjoyment of what is produced.

Ruben, I'm please to be mastering light metering and adjustments - one reason why I love the "meter-less" Hassy. The Sekonic L558 has been very reliable (what I think I will get is what I do get).

I've not shot wide open but look forward to doing so.

I endorse your enthusiasm for the square format. It always strikes me as wonderful. So I have attached an image that is to me an iconic Australian fertile country scene. I think I shot it with the 80mm CFE f2.8 Planar.

I hope you enjoy the Aussie trees!
lovely trees to !
Regarding Taras remark on the combination that most 5xx owners just have the one 80 lens that fact could be why a lot of people does not get the full pleasure of the systems capabilities. I had hasselblad 500C many years ago with just a 80 and even though I used it a lot I never felt comfortable with what I saw on the screen so I left the Hasselblad system for a period of about 10 years in favour of Fuji GX680 system. Two years ago I found a great offer for a minty SWCM with the CF Biogon 38 mm and then I was back to the Hasselblad system. I like the longer lenses for the Fuji but I had made one really bad buy - a 65 mm that distorted buildings into barrels - anyway it was a very expensive piece of glass that I never used and my good good fortune was that a photodealer had commisioned som hasselblad stuf - a 500cm, some mags and a 120 and a 250 from a guy who need my 65 mm fuji. So apart from some extension tubes my current lens set up is now 38, 120, 250 and all of these individual lenses gives me much more versitilty and joy in composing that the 80 ever did. Strangely on my Rolleiflex I have a 75 mm and i enjoy that equally - just 5 mm wider does apparently make a difference :) what kind of trees are " Aussie" trees apart from being from down under - and ps. sekonic makes great lightmeters! I am not going into the debate comparing digital foto and film to the one of vinyl records contra CDs but in a way you could compare it with transister powered &lifiers contra tube powered. The tubes like the silver-film-grain in comparision to the distortion free transistor/digitalback ads musically-artistic-distortion and I think that the Human being himself is a musically-artistic-distorted creature that feels comfortable with that but reacts negatively to the cool and clean sound and vision of the digital world. is that to far out ??

this is handheld wide open s-planar 120 mm C old old lens but a great companion in nature

The flowers could probably be in australia as well as in denmark :)
Hi all,

I am a beginner in MF and got recently a 500CM with a 80mm lens. I can not afford another lens for now but I can see one could take wonderful pictures with longer focal lens

So here is my contribution with the more classical 80mm, tell me what you guys think.

It looks like you are going to be just fine with your 80 mm for a while! The picture has a good graphic character and the light in the background ads to the composition - I would go as far as to say that the pentagonal shape of the light bulbs (due to the apature-diphram in the lens) actually ads something to the picture - normally the pentagonal shape of out of focus highlights turns me of - but not in this case.
As a portrait it is not flattering but if the woman can se the artistic quality then who needs flattering
Keep shooting and welcome to the great world of MF film and Hasselblad
Thanks Ruben for your comments.
I know taking portrait from the bottom is not the best choice but I did because:

1) I'd like the lights in the back to be aligned with her face. It ended not so bad

2) I had no tripod on that night and had to take the shot with the camera on the table...

Enough for the story..
Thanks again for the positive comments.
Excellent!! Composition and clarity. Which scanner the tranny was converted on? And what was the pixels,dpi and overall file size?
Thanks, Shawn
>I'm sure there's an explanation that more computer literate Hassy List users understand, but this neophyte cannot link to Simon's posted photo shot with the 250mm. I get only the document name but no link. Could you please post the URL for the link to the photo? With all the positive feedback, I'm anxious to view it. Thanks!
Probably you are getting a "red X" in a white box, where the picture should be. right click the box, it will show you options. One of the option should read "Open the Picture" or "Open". Click on that command should do the trick. Do you have Pop up blocker? XP has one, than you have to allow the Pop ups.

im using firefox under win2K and I also had trouble to see the pictures. I got them after few reloads of the page...
Hope it helps.
Thanks again everyone. Good discussion. My apologies about the 2nd image link. I think the site's bits and bytes were aggro yesterday. If you use the left mouse button over the red cross the photo displays ok.

Ruben, I love that shot, it's so sharp and the blur is lovely. I have the 120mm lens on my next lens list - now I'm bursting to get my hands on one. Very clever composition.

The trees are called Gum Trees (not the botanical name). They are Eucalypts - rub the leaves and the oil smells great.

Trong-Duc, welcome to 6x6 and the world's best optics. Very nice shot and clever use of the Planar. I agree with all of Ruben's comments. It is a superb lens and whenever I look into the waist level viewfinder with mine I just marvel at the 3D image it produces. The wait for other lenses is very very worth while.

If you are itching for longer focal length, borrow a 180mm - it will blow you away. Long enough to have a real impact and the optics are something else. I can't use mine enough.

Shawn, thanks. The film was Provia 100 - just love it as it saturates nicely without the glitzzy over-colour impact of Velvia (for my mind that is). I have all my film processed, scanned and printed by a local Fuji Frontier outlet. This one is a semi-pro lab owned / run by 3 pros who have been in the game 20 years and more. They also have a full on Agfa B&W system enabling chemical processing and optical printing of all native B&W film. It also does digital printing and scanning.

I have a standing order for all my film (print and trannies) to be processed, scanned and proof prints for all formats (35mm, MF and LF).

This is simpler and cheaper overall. I pay about (Aussie$) about $11 for the develop and print and $9 for the scan regardless of format (up to 6x9 as sadly Fuji frontier does not offer 6x12 masks). All work is hand colour corrected and every MF and LF image is individually scanned.

Their scanner has massive resolution capability (I do not know actual number). So, they tell me that they do scanning for estimated largest likely print size. My 35mm files are 25mb - max high resolution; 6x6 and 6x7 are up to 85mb - about mid to high res; LF are up to about 700mb.

So these Hassy 6x6 images were about 50mb files because if I want big prints they will use the trannies anyway. But from the original scans they printed me these shots to 21"x 21" at 300dpi and they were perfect.

I do not scan myself. I have a 35mm Minolta film 3200 scanner to do scans of old negs, but it is so time consuming; dust is such an issue; and all that digi stuff is just a pain in the arese like computers are, I let the lab mess with that. I don't want PCs messing with my passion!!

Thanks Taras for adding the links.

I plan to try some portraits soon with the 250mm and will do as Qnu suggested and add my 32mm extender to see what that does to help get close - so close!!

Take more photos!
"If you use the left mouse button over the red cross the photo displays ok."

That unfourtunately doesn't work in Safari on the Mac. I get placeholders for the images (blue & white question mark) and clicking on those on this page doesn't do anything. I had to view the source of the page to mine for the links.