Zeiss lenses for Hasselblad cameras

The extensive range of high-performance lenses is the result of a tight collaboration between Hasselblad and Carl Zeiss. The first contact between the two companies dates back to the early fifties when the first Hasselblad super wide-angle camera was developed in order to include the still unsurpassed Zeiss Biogon 38 mm lens in the expanding Hasselblad system. Ever since, Carl Zeiss has been the principal supplier of lenses for Hasselblad cameras, producing 22 of the current 27 lenses.

Employing the world's most renowned lens manufacturer ensures lenses of highest possible optical quality, state-of-the art design and long-lasting reliability.

The Zeiss lenses especially designed for Hasselblad encompass 6 basic types of optical design:

Distagon

The Distagon retrofocus design was specially developed to enable the use of extreme wide-angle lenses on SLR cameras. As the back focal distance can be made considerably longer than the lens focal length, it allows the motion of the reflex finder mirror in the free space between the last lens element and the film plane. The Distagon lenses - characterized by extraordinary speed and angle of view - provide remarkably good correction of all aberrations and thus excellent image quality. Through the use of floating lens elements (FLE) it has been possible to achieve high image quality and field flatness even in the close focusing range. The Distagon CFi 3.5/30 mm fish-eye lens features the widest diagonal angle of view in medium format - 180°.

Biogon

An almost symmetric lens design of surprising compactness, featuring extremely well controlled distortion, colour correction and image field flatness. The solitary lens in the Hasselblad system with this design is the Biogon CF 4.5/38 mm. Since the last lens vertex is located only 18.8 mm away from the film plane, no viewfinder/mirror can be placed between the lens and the film, thus it cannot be used as an interchangeable lens on the Hasselblad SLR camera bodies. However, the performance of the Biogon 38 mm was considered so outstanding, that the lens is permanently attached to a camera body of its own: the Hasselblad 903SWC.

Planar and Makro-Planar

The Planar is one of the most successful camera lens designs ever created. It provides the lens designer with the ideal basis for high-performance lenses with excellent anastigmatic flatness of the image field, outstanding correction of chromatic aberration, high speed and low distortion. The optical performance is remarkably constant over a wide range of imaging ratios, enabling such a versatile lens variety as the Makro-Planar lenses, optimized for close range photography. The Planar design is the basis for nearly all professional standard and medium focal length lenses and also for the fastest lenses ever created. In the Hasselblad range the fastest lens is consequently a Planar: the Planar FE 2/110 mm.

Sonnar

The Sonnar design with relatively few glass to air surfaces is ideal for compact high-performance medium telephoto lenses. It allows apertures up to f/2.8, very elaborate correction of lens errors and even illumination of the image field. In the extreme case of the Sonnar Superachromat CFi 250 mm, sophisticated optical glass types are being used for achieving the extraordinary correction of chromatic aberration and even corner-to-corner illumination.

Tessar, Tele-Tessar and Tele-Apotessar

The lenses forming the Tessar group are characterized by a low number of lens elements and a relatively long distance between a collective front group and a dispersive rear group. The high performance of these lenses is achieved by using high refractive glass qualities with particularly suitable optical properties. As the Tessar design leads to compact and lightweight lenses, it is the perfect approach for telephoto lenses of 350 mm focal length and beyond. The longest telephoto lens in the Hasselblad range is a Tessar: the Tele-Apotessar CF 8/500 mm.

Superachromat

The superachromatic lenses are the top-of-the-line Zeiss lenses. They incorporate special optical materials and are extremely difficult to produce. The chromatic correction within the entire spectral range between approx. 400 - 1000 nm is so perfect, that colour fringing has been eliminated. Even when working within the infrared spectral range, the focusing can be done on the focusing screen - no special index or further focusing adjustment is needed.

Source: "Hasselblad lenses. The sharpest edge in professional photography".

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