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Hasselblad 80mm CFE or 100mm CFi ?

John Mourk , Jun 24, 2002; 01:48 p.m.


I am considering buying a hasselblad camera and hesitating between a new 501 CM Kit with 80 CFEmm lens and a used 503 CW millenium kit with 100mm CFi Lens which would cost 600€ more (around $600).

I know I have no use of a winder and that I will mainly shoot outdoor and will never use a flash, so there is no difference for me between the 501CM and th 503CW.

The main difference is between the 80mm CFE and the 100mm CFi.

My questions are : 1) Is it worth spending $600.00 to have the 100mm instead of the 80mm ? What will I have and is it worth the money ?

2) A "classic" MF system seems to be 50mm / 80mm / 120mm. If I buy the 100mm it looks like it will be harder to build a consistent system. Am I right ?

Thanks in advance for your help !


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Jim Reed , Jun 24, 2002; 03:16 p.m.


Obviously, the choice between the 80mm and the 100mm would be shaped by how you intend to use the camera most of the time. As one who recently purchased the 501CM kit with the 80mm Planar, I can tell you that I am very pleased with the 80mm (my only MF lens at this point) and find it to be an excellent "general purpose" lens.

With my 35mm camera, the 50mm lens is my default lens; likewise, with the Hassy I suspect that at least 80% of my shooting could be done well with the 80mm normal lens. Were I to need a longer lens (and I would get a wide angle first), I would look to the 120mm. I tend to agree that the 50/80/120 would be an ideal set up. I would suggest starting with the 80mm as the base lens -- and the 501CM is a great camera.

Bill Dewberry , Jun 24, 2002; 03:28 p.m.

I'd go for the Cw, you never know when your photo intersts might change, so get the most versatile body @ the beginning, you never know when fill flash may be needed, and its a cinch with ttl. My combo is 60-100-150, so it all varies.

__ __ , Jun 24, 2002; 04:12 p.m.

With brand-new kits in the UK and other parts of the EU, Hasselblad usually throws in some freebies like a free back or prism finder or whatever, so you have to factor that in.

Assuming that the 503CW is in mint shape, you'd have to consider that at the time of purchase as a new product, the owner probably got something free for it too. That has to be factored into the deal in order to ascertain whether it is good or not.

The difference in price between a brand-new 80 CFE and a brand-new 100CFi is more a little less than 780 Euros. The difference between a brand-new 501Cm and the 503CW is a little less than 330 Euros. You get a free PM45 right now with a brand-new 501CM kit and a CW Winder with a brand-new 503CW kit.

If you get the Winder with the used 503CW, the used price is about 337Euro overpriced (based on a 30% depreciation). If you don't, the 501CM is the much better deal with the freebie.

I have been looking at it strictly from the price point of view.

As for the qualitiative differences between the 80mm vs. 100mm, you will have to decide for yourself. The 100mm CFi is one of the sharpest lenses and with the best MTF curves available from Zeiss but sharpness and MTF alone are not the criteria to choose a lens by.

__ __ , Jun 24, 2002; 04:14 p.m.

Sorry, there is a redundant 'more' in the clause 'a little less than 780 Euros'.

Rob F. , Jun 24, 2002; 10:59 p.m.

What Bill Dewberry said. 60-100-150 makes a fine kit. I added a 38mm Biogon at the wide end, since I like wide angle lenses. I like it better than the 50, anyhow.

Bengt Rehn , Jun 24, 2002; 11:04 p.m.

John, Why are you considering the 100mm over the 80? Both lenses are very sharp. The 100mm have almost no distortion while the 80mm have a slight barrel distortion, rarely noticable but irritates me when I shoot seascapes with high horizons. The 100mm can be used with the 1,4 EX converter but the 80mm cant. If neither of the above advantage for the 100mm matters significant to you, the difference boils down to focal length only(the 80mm have a half stop speed advantage). I have the CF 50/80/100. What focal length are best, are very personal and what to like depends partly on the subjects. In my opinion, for a start with only one lens, the 100mm is a bit to narrow and I would prefer the 80mm. The "classic" MF 6x6 setup is 50/80/150 and works fine for many people. Others prefer the 60/100/180 combination but the 60mm is just a moderate wideangle and corresponds to 38mm from left to right in 35mm format, so many adds a 40 or 38mm lens (very expensive!). The 50/100 combo works fine for me, and is my favorite for nature/landscapes while the 80mm often suits better for groupe portraits and buildings.

John Mourk , Jun 25, 2002; 05:17 a.m.

Thanks a lot for these answers.

Just to give some more information :

- The reason why I am considering the 100mm over the 80mm is just that at a local shop they've got a used 503cw kit with a 100mm instead of the classic 80mm. The angles of view between those two lenses seems to be very close so if it looks like I will be able to take about the same photos with those 2 lenses, providing I can can walk a little bit around the subject. The 100mm seems to be sharper while 80mm is faster.

- There is no freebies : the used 503cw is sold with the 100mm lens and a back and nothing else. If I go for the 501cm I will order it from a shop like Adorama or B&H (there is a HUGE price difference with Paris prices) and I do not think they will throw in a free PM45.

Audun Sjoeseth , Jun 25, 2002; 06:13 a.m.

1: You may find out later that you need TTL-flash and/or winder and remote controle, so I would go for the 503CW.

2: The CFi 3.5/100 is a better lens than the CFE 2.8/80, and it has practically no distortion, so I would go for 3.5/100.

3: 3.5/100 can be used with the 1.4XE, this and some extention tubes I would bye next.

4: Combination suggestion: 3.5/100 + 1.4XE and later 3.5/60 or 4/50 (and maybe 903/905SWC). Much later (if needed) 4/150 or 4/180 or even longer (CFE 5.6/350Sa).

I think this is the way I will do it.

__ __ , Jun 25, 2002; 08:26 a.m.

Did you suss out the prices at www.robertwhite.co.uk ?

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