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Variogon 140-280mm

Thomas73

Member
Hi all,

I was wondering if some of you had an experience with this (huge) lens : optical quality, ergonomy (is a tripod necessary?)...

Maybe some of you use(d) it with Hasselblad digital gears (CFV back, H body)?

Are there significative differences between C & CF versions?

Thanks for your replies...
 
I have the CF version of this lens and like it very much. Both C and CF are similar except the CF has a tripod mount. Yes, I feel a tripod is necessary. Optical quality is quite good. The lens has a close focus feature at the 140mm setting. Have only used it with film as I have no digital back.

Yes it's a handful but replaces 3 other Hasselblad lenses! The 150mm, 180mm and 250mm!
 
It is a great lens with amazing optical performance.
Resolution and contrast are very good.

Do not be put off by the size of this lens. Most of it is air!
I have used the lens handheld with excellent results.
My lens is the "C" version. A later found tripod mounting is not used often.

Keep in mind there are no spares for this lens.
Schneider changed the lens elements. Not all glass parts are exchangeable between the different versions.

Paul
 
"C" version ? I remember a "F" only version.
I always considered that zoom lens are not better as fixe lenses.
Anyway the CF 250mm 5.6 is not as good as the 180mm. The variogon is a mocro lens too. How to compare in quality this variogon to the actual 120, 150, 180, 250 and FE 300/4 lens. No FTM curves aviable ?

This lens seams very big indeed,


....perhaps as big as canon/nikon zoom lenses.
 
The lens came as C-, CF- and F-version. Unfortunately they still fetch high prices in auctions. I even got the FE 60-120 cheaper than for what the 140-280 usually goes for. I would prefer the CF-version which has a tripod mount. But it is quite rare, the C-version appears to be more common. The F-lens is very rare too.

Ulrik
 
The lens came as C-, CF- and F-version. Unfortunately they still fetch high prices in auctions. I even got the FE 60-120 cheaper than for what the 140-280 usually goes for. I would prefer the CF-version which has a tripod mount. But it is quite rare, the C-version appears to be more common. The F-lens is very rare too.

Ulrik

What do you call high prices for the 140-280? I see them quite regularly at Dutch camera fairs, not getting sold. I do not think they were very expensive.

Wilko
 
I think the 140-280 in the C & CT* versions is just too darned big to be dangling out the front of a V body with no support. The 350 CT* falls into this same category. I don't care how sturdy the V mount is. It wouldn't take much to damage the camera throat - a bump to the lens while the camera is tripod mounted is all it would take.
Furthermore, trying to get a sharp image with this lens, as with the 350 CT* is a crap shoot. There is so much motion & shake waaaay out there on the front end, most shots will be ruined by camera (or should I say lens) shake. The slightest breeze would be all it takes here.
I'd at least opt for the CF version with the tripod mount, but in all honesty, I'd rather carry the 150 or 180 plus the 250 fixed lenses than the monstrous 140-280.
 
Michael,

Do not be put off by the size of this lens.
Pick one up if you have a chance and you will be amazed about the modest weight.

Fast film and fast shutter speeds will make good handheld shots possible.
I just saw a guy take good handheld shots with a 500 mm Tele Tessar.
This guy was strongly built I must admit. :z02_respekt:

With training and good technique the 350 C or CF can also be used handheld with good results.

Paul
 
Paul -
I don't doubt what you're saying here. In fact, I believe you'll get more sharp "keepers" from either of these two behemoths by hand-holding them rather than on a tripod. Mainly because you've got your left hand supporting the lens, and you're probably using faster shutter speeds.

I forget that there are many "hand holders" on the forum, and usually respond based on my own experience and use.

I always use a tripod, normally with shutter speeds too slow to hand hold. These conditions are just not conducive to obtaining consistent sharp images with either of these lenses. Without a tripod collar, they're just too prone to shake. I've used the 350 CT*, so I can speak from experience here. I only presume the zoom lens to be the same.
 
What do you call high prices for the 140-280? I see them quite regularly at Dutch camera fairs, not getting sold. I do not think they were very expensive.

Wilko

Hi Wilko,
prices seem to always exceed 550 Euros. I am not willing to spend too much for such a lens as I have the fixed focal length lenses in this area already.

Ulrik
 
Ok, done. Found a good looking Variogon C 140-280 for less.:proud: (need to postpone the purchase of a digiback farther into the future :uhoh:)

Ulrik

Hi Wilko,
prices seem to always exceed 550 Euros. I am not willing to spend too much for such a lens as I have the fixed focal length lenses in this area already.

Ulrik
 
Ok, done. Found a good looking Variogon C 140-280 for less.:proud: (need to postpone the purchase of a digiback farther into the future :uhoh:)

Ulrik

Considering the price range of a Variogon versus that of a digiback it should not delay the purchase of the digiback too much (in proportion I mean :)

Wilko
 
Hello,
let me just add a picture of that recently purchased lens. As it is a C-lens it did not come with a tripod mount like the CF-version. But I was able to find an aftermarket mount made for this lens which features a foot that fits the Hasselblad quick release. It is more substantial and more gentle to the lens than the original Hasselblad mount that was once available.

Ulrik
 

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Now that's what I'm talking about! Why anyone would manufacture a lens of this proportion without a tripod collar is a mystery to me. Looks well balanced now.
 
I forgot to mention that I also bought a very similar tripod mount for my 5,6/350 mm CT* from the same supplier. Especially together with a teleconverter this was too unbalanced even for a ArcaSwiss B1 ballhead. And I am not sure if the strain is good for the camera bayonet either.

Ulrik
 
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