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Are any of the hasselblad H lenses “bad”? Or hc 35mm review?

robmac

Active member
Excellent post -and informative. Thank you.



Actually, the 100's AF problem wasn't a gear stripping. But rather that the drive gear on the AF motor cracks at the weakest point. Even before fully cracking and losing the AF, the gear will start to slip as it is simply tension held onto the motor spindle. That loss of tension is what causes inaccurate AF and eventually leads to complete loss. The problem was that the gears are made of a cheap nylon polymer and tiny. Here's a broken gear:

View attachment 150303

The gear removed, and on the tip of a toothpick to stretch the crack. A UV flourescent adhesion agent was applied, but shows the ragged tear very clearly. The toothpick gives an idea of the size...

View attachment 150302

Superglue and other cyanoacrylate adhesives won't stick and just ruin (melt) the plastic, so a UV cured adhesive is placed. I actually overfilled the whole gear to give it more strength as well as coating the inside of the shaft and other surfaces. Here it is curing:

View attachment 150304

Once cured, I trimmed, shaved, and polished the adhesive, then shoved the gear back onto the shaft. Clean off the old grease on the other gears and lubed them with some Nye synthetic.

View attachment 150301

Lens is working great and nails the AF dead on every time. Well, that was after adjusting the focusing screen, which is a whole 'nother story.
 

docholliday

Active member
Interesting, thanks for sharing!

I have moved on from the H-system but my 35-90mm got sent back to HB for such a $450 repair.

OP - enjoy the lens!
The 35-90 had it's own problem, as it has a "transmission style" long driveshaft with a similar gear on the end. But it was usually the same problem, either that little gear or one in the gearbox itself, would crack and slip.
 

docholliday

Active member
Thanks. I decided to go for it, the price was right.
OP, apologies for the "hijack" of your thread...

I have and use the 35HC often. It's actually one of my favorite lenses, not too wide, not too narrow. Ignore all the naysayers about it being soft and all that. Yes, it can be soft in the corners before stopping down a bit, but it's nowhere as bad a people say. Who wants a lens that's sharp as a razor from edge to edge but has no personality? The drawing of the lens itself lends a special quality and for single-shot, non-stitched landscapes does offer a special field (especially when you don't correct for the vignetting).

I use mine for interior and architectural work as well as in studio. I've also stitched many a panel using it at f8-11.

Enjoy the lens, I am one who actually likes it. I'm also one who prefers the 50HC v1 over the 50HCII.
 

bab

Member
There are two trim pots inside the camera that adjust the system's electronic AF. I had taken the shell off the camera to clean and adjust the AF. There is also a set of screen adjustment screws around the focusing screen. Adjusting these makes it match so that when the camera itself is at best focus, the screen will be too. In the case of this camera, the electronic AF was close. A slight adjustment to the pots made it sharper and what I see as "perfect". But, the screen image wasn't sharpest at the same point. So, if one was to tweak the focus in the finder for max sharpness, it actually wasn't. This camera was way off in the finder, as indicated that max visual sharpness wasn't matching perfectly to the double arrows for the AF confirmation.

Aiming the camera at an LCD screen with a focusing target on white background (open target jpg in a browser, then go Full Screen to get rid of the bars) shows the focus issue easily. Simply move the camera to around 10x or more the lens focal length, in this case, I used the 100mm and was around 6' away. Make sure the camera and focus plane is parallel to the screen. I used a mirror taped to the LCD screen and a laser pointer through the center of the lens (basically, a bore sight). Once parallel, adjust focus until maximum moire appears. Take note of what it looks like. Knock the camera out of focus and then hit the AF button. It should go back to the same max moire. I'd adjust the pots until the max was obtained in the captured images.

Then, do the same thing, but looking through the finder. I had to adjust the 3 screws around the focus screen to level the screen and get max moire in the finder. Now, I can visually focus to what I see as sharpest, then take a shot. Then, defocus and use the AF to focus on the same point and take a shot. Open the two files side-by-side and compare the focus points to be sure they are razor sharp.

It takes a bit of time, a lot of patience, and a ton of magnifiers and tiny screwdrivers. But, it's worth it when all said and done!
Wow! That’s quite remarkable your very ambitious I know it’s way beyond my ability at this point, I’m sure after fing up a few cameras I might figure it out though. Do you think Hasselblad services preforms this task if requested. My reason for asking is I think My camera has a similar issue as the view finder focus doesn’t match the AF. When tested tethered it’s apparently obvious.

Thanks
 
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docholliday

Active member
Wow! That’s quite remarkable your very ambitious I know it’s way beyond my ability at this point, I’m sure after fing up a few cameras I might figure it out though. Do you think Hasselblad services preforms this task if requested. My reason for asking is I think My camera has a similar issue as the view finder focus doesn’t match the AF. When tested tethered it’s apparently obvious.

Thanks
Yes, they do focus adjustments on the body/back/finder to match it all up. They call it "AF calibration" and its around $350. There's a price list on their site under the support section.

The way I look at things is "what's the worst that can happen? I screw it up and it has to go back anyways!". The cameras aren't that complicated and the rest is simple physics...
 

ErikKaffehr

Well-known member
I doubt that any Hasselblad lens ever sold is actually "bad" ... Some perform better than others, some you might like the rendering better than others, but all are pretty darn good performers overall.

I've only used V and X system lenses, maybe about a dozen of them now over all the years I've had 'Blad equipment, and all are/have been excellent performers. I'm sure the H system lenses live up to the same expectations.

G
That may depend a bit on definition of 'good' and 'bad'.

Other factors may be:

  1. Does field curvature matter for your kind of subjects?
  2. Is out of focus color fringing an issue for your photography?

I have used most of the Hasselblad V-series lenses, except the long telephotos and the Apochromats.

The ones I would call great are: Sonnar 180/4CF, Sonnar 150/4, Planar 100/3.5

But all can make good images (*).

I have seen some info that the HC 35 may be the weakest lens in the line.

This may be a decent reference: https://phaseoneiq4.com/lenses-for-150-megapixels/

Best regards
Erik

(*) To some extent, what is acceptable, good, OK and great may depend on subjects. Much also depends on viewing conditions. Monitors have pretty low resolution and prints are pretty forgiving in my experience.
 

Atracksler

Member
I couldnt pass up the deal on the 35mm, and i think it looks great. Its freeking huge -- but the images in studio look great.
 
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