Hasselblad 500cm lens question


TPF Noob!
Sep 20, 2010
Reaction score
Hi there,

Im looking into buying a hassie, and the lens that the guy is selling with the body is an 80mm planar lens, non T*.

can anyone tell me if it is worth forking out for the coated lens.

come people say that the non T* lens provided a softer but still sharp image ,but when i look on image galleries, most people have the coated lens.

Im just a bit confused.

Any advice would be great.

Many Thanks


Another thing to consider is the age/condition of the lens.

I don't know how much you intend to use the lens but something that may well be a contemporary of Ansel Adams might be better suited to a more sedentary lifestyle.
Interesting opinions. Not to be snide or rude, buy how many of you actually own a Hassy and use them???

From my experience, using Hassys for 20+ years, the non T* lenses are perfectly usable, use a shade and you will be fine.
Digging through my images, I found this one, shot with either an 80 or 150, both single coated
Interesting opinions. Not to be snide or rude, buy how many of you actually own a Hassy and use them???

From my experience, using Hassys for 20+ years, the non T* lenses are perfectly usable, use a shade and you will be fine.
I got into Hasselblad's about 2 years ago after about 40 years of various other MF cameras (Bronica, Yashica, Mamiya's). Presently own a 501C and 500CM and a few lenses. Of the research I did prior to investing in Hasselblad I found information that indicated older C lenses with Compur shutters would be close to impossible to repair if parts were required. For that reason I avoided any kits or individual C lenses that had Compur shutters, which I believe which may include some lenses with the *T coating. The lenses I have are newer CF's which have the Prontor shutter mechanism. Regarding the sharpness of lenses without the *T coating, the image you posted shows how good these lenses can be.

Below is an except from a FAQ from one of the top Hasselblad repair techs in the US. This is echoed in other forums as well.

Hasselblad camera repair and maintenance advice.
"I've heard that parts for the older C lenses are getting scarce. Is this true?

Parts for the older C lenses are no longer being manufactured, and the availability of these parts is limited to the existing supply.

I have stocked up on as many of these parts as I can, and I will continue to service the older C lenses as long as my parts supply will permit."
I use David for all my repair work and value his judgement greatly. If you were to talk to him, your fears would be somewhat assuaged. While parts availability is getting somewhat limited, many lenses get repaired and have CLA's without needing parts. The most critical part, the mainspring, if I'm not mistaken (and I could be) has an alternate source availabe or an alternative spring can be used, I forget which.

If a C lens fits into Katies budget best, there's no reason to be afraid of them. Most lenses that need a CLA don't need parts. While I applaud you for bringing it to light, on some forums it's gotten so crazy that people will outright tell someone not to buy one as opposed to buying a clean, well performing one and being aware. Just like the extension tube and jamming myth, blown far out of proportion to the reality. As to the original question regarding sharpness, the majority of C lenses are no different, optically than T* lenses, sharpness will be the same with both, assuming properly shaded lenses.

The only thing I suggest to people is to try one first, as some people don't light the stiffness of the C and T* focusing helicoids and their shape, in that case a CF lens would be easier to focus.

My personal perspective, having had a full complement of CF lenses until recently, I prefer the tonality and rendering of the earlier C and CF lenses myself, the later versions to my eye get a little to sterile looking, a little too contrasty and while the numbers are better, I prefer to evaluate lenses using images instead of test charts.

since we're pointing to other threads/sites, read and take from these what you will:
Why do people concerned from old C T* lenses? - Photo.net Medium Format Forum



Last edited:
I used a Hassy with the older non-T* lenses for many years. Mine were from the 1960s, I was using them in the 1990s-2000s. I never had a problem, and never needed a repair. Clients were always happy. The images were plenty sharp - you could count the threads on their shirt if you wanted to.

If you're doing something that requires absolute maximum sharpness and perfect color, maybe the newer lenses are better, but particularly for portraits, those old Hassy lenses are sweet.

They were also slow. You get larger apertures on the newer lenses, if that's a factor for you.

Most reactions