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Zeiss 120mm CB

steve barrett , Jan 02, 2013; 12:48 p.m.

Has anyone ever used a 120mm CB lens for Hasselblad? There is almost no information about this lens. According to servicing information published by Zeiss, the front element of the 120mm CB is different from the 120mm CFi.


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Brian S. , Jan 02, 2013; 01:07 p.m.

I have not, Steve, but I think you are correct about the difference. I'm fairly sure that all of the CB lenses are slightly different design (1 less element?) than the CF lenses.

Q.G. de Bakker , Jan 02, 2013; 02:54 p.m.

The 120 CB is a bit of a mystery lens, but it should be the same optical design as the other 120 mm versions.

So (the same optical design as the other versions) was the f/3.5 60 mm CB lens, by the way.

Brian S. , Jan 02, 2013; 03:15 p.m.

My mistake about differences. My memory failed. Sorry. The 80 CB is different from 80 CF. In the future I'll not use my memory on these things. :)

Michael Axel , Jan 02, 2013; 09:01 p.m.

I used one to test against my c version and it was equally tack sharp.

steve barrett , Jan 02, 2013; 10:35 p.m.

The front lens replacement for 120 CFi is Zeiss # 107 836 0001 010
For 120 CB it's # 107 836 0001 000...so there is at least one difference between the two versions.
My point of asking is that I'm am considering buying one but wonder if there's a difference in performance CFi vs CB.
It's definitely a mystery lens! I have read the previous posts from the past by Mr. de Bakker and others about this lens.
I'd sure like to hear an opinion from someone who owns one.

Q.G. de Bakker , Jan 03, 2013; 06:33 a.m.

[Gate way timed out once again. Went back to the thread to check whether the post was there anyway. Reloaded the page a couple of times, and no. Wrote and posted a second reply, and lo and behold: double post...]

Q.G. de Bakker , Jan 03, 2013; 06:34 a.m.

The difference may be in the way the edge of the lens is ground to fit in the two different mounts, Steve.

Benny Spinoza , Jan 03, 2013; 01:34 p.m.

CB lenses always got a bum rap. Some referred to the "B" as standing for "budget", and one can read some amusing posts on this site between Zeiss and others regarding this issue. Zeiss eventually discontinued them because of the bum rap. But if you can get one for a great price, then it is a good deal. I have the 160CB, and think it is a great lens. But then, I'm not a professional, so I can care less whether a lens is 99% from ideal vs. 99.5% from ideal.

Q.G. de Bakker , Jan 03, 2013; 03:11 p.m.

No, Benny.
Even Zeiss said that they always told Hasselblad that introducing a second, "B"udget or "B"asic (the official explanations for what that B stood for, Benny) line was a bad idea.
That, because it really was a bad idea. Up there high on the list with introducing an only slightly pimped Sony for 5x the price.
The CB marketing idea was that people would want to buy into the Hasselblad/Zeiss thing, but could not afford it. So the idea was to offer a cheaper line.
To stop everyone buying the cheaper products instead of the more expensive ones, Hasselblad had to tell us that for the price difference we could not expect to get stuff of the same quality. (Something Zeiss marketing did brilliantly by saying that their better offerings were "too good"... Great, isn't it?). That would also keep those who did buy into the Hasselblad system through the Budget longing for the 'real' Hasselblad/Zeis quality, eventually tempting them to spend the full amount too.

There were a number of problems with that.
First, the "B"udget line wasn't really that much cheaper.
Then, if the lure of the Hasselblad/Zeiss line was the high quality thy promised, why would you want to buy something that was said not to deliver that high quality? And both the 80 mm and 160 mm CB lenses did not.
You could care less that your lens delivers a bit less quality, yet you have to pay as much as a lens that does, Benny? Your choice, of course. ;-)

Next, the (120 mm and) 60 mm lense(s) were the same design. And we all knew it. So why spend the full amount if there was a (though only marginally) cheaper option, in a better mount (the CB mount has most improvements that other lenses got when they were upgraded to CFi mounts) too?

Did they get a bum rap, the CB lenses? Sure, they did. But because they were a very bad marketing idea that just couldn't work (but yes, it didn't help that Zeiss' Strategic Marketing told everyone that they told Hasselblad so from the onset). That (bad idea), not the bum wrap, was why the 120 mm CB didn't even make it to all markets.

Keep an eye on the 'Hasselblad' Lunar, see how it will fare, and decide whether that will be because of the enormous bum wrap it too got, or whether it got that huge amount of scorn poured over it because it is a ridiculous proposition. See how history repeats itself.

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