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Tell me more about the macro!


New Member
I am relatively new (1 month) into the Hasselblad system. I have to tell you the truth ... I almost backed out ... but then I decided to take a deep breath and get further in, instead. The nervousness came from two factors. I thought on one hand that for the shooting that I do, which is about 20 percent landscape vistas, 20 percent abstracts and the rest consisting of statues ... that I may be better served by large format, and also the fact of how expensive the lenses are compared to my meager and inadequate income.

I decided to stay in the system when today rather than return it to the dealer and order two tilt shift lenses for my D700 in lieu of the Hassy, I instead went on inspiration and bought a PME 90 prism and a 50 CF to round out my millennium CW, my 80 CFE and the 150 C. I really enjoy not just the results but also the act of shooting and the Hassy feels so good to work with that it has completely seduced me. So hello ... everyone here! :)

Now then, to my question. Not knowing much about all the ins and outs of the hasselblad lens nomenclature I would like to ask some of you that are knowledgeable about which 120 macro to angle for. That is the next lens I want (and then some kind of telephoto and I'm done) but the choices are bewildering. ARe there substantial differences between all the different makro models? If so ... what are they? I will use it for close ups almost exclusively ( well, at least I think) and am interested mostly in flare resistance, quality feel in hand, and if there are any differences in where the sweet spot of one lens vs another is in terms of aperture, I suspect that the lens will live at the smallest aperture that delivers good quality before diffraction takes it price. Lastly, is the 2x teleconverter useable with any or all the macro lenses? Any details and tips will be greatly appreciated ..... and btw ... this is a great place for Hassy information ... the members are incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated. Glad I found this place. I feel like I just landed on Mars ... and this forum is a ray of counter-confusion. Thanks! :)
Hello Pavel,

I am glad you stayed with the V series and have given yourself some more time to get used to the ins and outs.
For me the V series and MF are exactly the right combination of image quality and ease of use.
The V series allows handheld shooting with not much limitations.

Macro lenses:

There is quite a difference between the early S-Planar lenses from the C series with Compur shutters and the later Makro-Planar that was realeased as a CF lens.

The S-Planars are one stop slower at 5,6 against the Makro Planars 4.0 aperture.
S-Planars have been optimised for close range shooting where the Makro Planar was shifted more towards a general purpose lens.
S-Planars are no good at infinity, Makro Planars are not such a disaster at infinity but still not very good.

If you decide to go for optimum quality at close range and you can live with 5.6 find yourself a nice silver 120 S-Planar.
The good news is these can be found in good condition from about 200 euro.
See that you have a good shade or even better the pro shade for that lens and you are in business.
The later black barrel S-Planar has T* coating but is more expensive.
The gain in IQ does not justify the extra money invested as long as you use a good shade.

If you decide to go for the Makro Planar keep in mind that later lenses especially the CFE versions with databus are more expensive but do not have better image quality.
Makro Planars are more in demand and will cost 3-4 times what you pay for a good S-Planar.

If you decide to do Macro try to find the special calculator once available from Hasselblad.
It tells you in a few seconds what extension you need for objects of a certain size as well as any factors to compensate for light loss etc.