Thread: Medium Format Lenses (Vintage)

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  1. #1 Medium Format Lenses (Vintage) 
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    Hey Everyone,

    I'm curious about medium format lenses and not sure where to start. I've seen some posts and mentions of Hasselblad, Mamiya, and Pentax lenses. I enjoy the character of some vintage lenses (Contax Zeiss, Leica R, and the Tokina (Angie) Zoom) and wondered if there were medium format lenses with similar character. I've been shooting on Monstro for a little while now and use modern lenses with it. It'd be nice to find some interesting lenses that will be useful on the Monstro and beyond. A little searching revealed some Contax 645 lenses, but I wasn't sure if they were in the same vein as the Contax Zeiss still lenses.

    I guess I'm really asking what medium format lenses I should be considering for use on the Monstro and possibly Alexa LF.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJ_Ortiz View Post
    Hey Everyone,

    I'm curious about medium format lenses and not sure where to start. I've seen some posts and mentions of Hasselblad, Mamiya, and Pentax lenses. I enjoy the character of some vintage lenses (Contax Zeiss, Leica R, and the Tokina (Angie) Zoom) and wondered if there were medium format lenses with similar character. I've been shooting on Monstro for a little while now and use modern lenses with it. It'd be nice to find some interesting lenses that will be useful on the Monstro and beyond. A little searching revealed some Contax 645 lenses, but I wasn't sure if they were in the same vein as the Contax Zeiss still lenses.

    I guess I'm really asking what medium format lenses I should be considering for use on the Monstro and possibly Alexa LF.

    Thanks!
    Older Hasselblads have very similar character to Contax. From what I can tell they've been rehoused quite a bit for Imax and also Alexa 65/LF, etc. The mechanics are easier too than Contax 645 which are autofocus, etc.
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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Morrison View Post
    Older Hasselblads have very similar character to Contax. They've been rehoused a lot for Alexa LF/65 and Imax, etc. The mechanics are easier too than Contax 645 which are autofocus, etc.
    I almost straight-up PM'd you for recommendations. I'm just in the research phase though. Any Hasselblads in particular? Definitely going to look into them. Thanks!
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  4. #4  
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    Also interested in this. Thanks for any input you have Nick! You're a wealth of knowledge in this forum.


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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Karim D. Ghantous's Avatar
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    Also look at Bronica lenses. An alternative would be to use 35mm SLR lenses with TCs.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Thai Christen's Avatar
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    I still have a complete Hasselblad CF lens set from my photography days. They are built like a tank and have nice mechanics with good focus throw. I haven't tested them on Monstro, but on my Helium (with Hassy-EF adapter) image has plenty of vintage character similar to Contax, Leica-R.

    However, 38mm is the widest you can go (don't bother about the 30mm which is a fisheye lens). For 6x6 format 38mm is wide enough. Not so for Monstro, S35.
    Iris only has 5 blades.
    And you have to use Bay 60 filters or Mattebox.
    Last edited by Thai Christen; 12-07-2018 at 01:42 AM. Reason: add info
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Christen View Post
    I still have a complete Hasselblad CF lens set from my photography days. They are built like a tank and have nice mechanics with good focus throw. I haven't tested them on Monstro, but on my Helium (with Hassy-EF adapter) image has plenty of vintage character similar to Contax, Leica-R.

    However, 38mm is the widest you can go (don't bother about the 30mm which is a fisheye lens). For 6x6 format 38mm is wide enough. Not so for Monstro, S35.
    Iris only has 5 blades.
    And you have to use Bay 60 filters or Mattebox.
    Yup Hasselblad CFs and regular F series lenses are the way to go.

    And yeah they don't go wider than a 30mm fisheye, cuz on medium format a 50mm = 18mm in Super35!!!
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Thai Christen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Morrison View Post

    And yeah they don't go wider than a 30mm fisheye, cuz on medium format a 50mm = 18mm in Super35!!!
    It is a little bit more complicated because of 6x6 format but you are right :-)
    http://www.hasselbladhistorical.eu/HW/HWequifoc.aspx

    Although note, if you put a Medium Format 50mm on Monstro/S35, FOV stays 50mm.
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  9. #9  
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    I've recently modified several Mamiya 645 Sekor-C lenses to use with my Monstro. They have been converted to PL mount by Duclos. Unfortunately all of the projects I've used them on are still unreleased, otherwise, I'd post frames.

    Most of the lenses in my set are the older non-N versions and behave a lot like uncoated or no-coat lenses. The older coatings cause them to flare and do unusual things. I love that they're a bit unpredictable, but are totally tameable at the same time. They are super sharp with a lovely organic falloff that makes images melt like butter. I've found that these lenses are great for lifestyle work.

    I've started gathering more non-N lenses to replace a couple of N models I do have. I'll probably end up with both non-N and N variants in the focal lengths I use most. The N's do have a more modern coating that suppresses the flares and creates more contrast, which is definitely useful in the right situation.

    My current Sekor-C lineup:

    35mm 3.5
    45mm 2.8
    55mm 2.8
    70mm 2.8
    80mm 2.8
    80mm 1.9
    80mm Macro
    110mm 2.8
    150mm 3.5
    210mm 4.0
    300mm 5.6

    55-110mm 4.5
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thai Christen View Post
    Although note, if you put a Medium Format 50mm on Monstro/S35, FOV stays 50mm.
    Well yeah, a 50 is always a 50.

    However as Thai was pointing out, because of how large a format medium format is, it's hard to find Hasselblads wider than 40mm that aren't fisheye.

    So there are challenges when trying to use these lenses on smaller formats like VV...
    Last edited by Nick Morrison; 12-09-2018 at 08:01 PM.
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