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Thread: Hassy 50/4 FLE vs. ____ on SLR?

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    Hassy 50/4 FLE vs. ____ on SLR?

    (Long intro, be patient)

    Anyone have any thoughts on the 50/4 FLE? This thread is an offshoot of discussion Woody and I started in another, unrelated thread, so thought I'd move it to avoid hijacking.

    Have started tinkering with choice MF glass on, for now, a 1Ds2. Like the idea they can be used across a number of DSLR and MF platforms in SD mode. Like the form factor - wide lens barrel to grip, etc. The Hassy stop-down lever also does make stop-down work much quicker.

    Loved the 110/2, but while it's reputation is well-founded, needed something faster focusing (110 has more a macro-esque focus travel for VERY selective DoF). Have guy's Mamiya 200/2.8 APO enroute, so curious how that performs.

    Back on topic - am looking for a 35-to-70mm range lens that while not necessarily fast, is no slower then F4. Must be sharp across frame (bearing in mind a FF 35mm, so first 20mm of the MTF) starting WO and have easy stop-down mechanics (smooth focus, not too much travel, etc). $1000 is the upper limit. The lower the better obviously.

    Three VERY different lenses that came to mind were: Leica 35-70/4, which I've been pondering for some time., the CZ 35-70/3.4 and Hassy 50/4 FLE. Not lenses you normally see talked about in the same breath, but lets dare to be different.

    What I like about the Leica is the performance on paper across all three FLs looks (again on paper) similar to that of the 50/4 FLE.

    In interest of fair disclosure, not fond of the idea of push-pull zoom in the CZ.

    Any input, test shots anyone has on the above - or another lens suggestion would be appreciated.

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    Re: Hassy 50/4 FLE vs. ____ on SLR?

    From what I'm seeing on paper, the CZ has slightly better center sharpness WO but lacks the uniformity across the image plane of the Leica (which I am thinking of using more as an R version of a W/MATE if you will). Since the 50/4 on a 35M FF slices out the sweet spot, it LOOKs (on paper) about on par with the Leica.

    Now, my desire to experiment aside, I am starting to wonder if a 35/2 might make more common sense. You gain two stops if needed and at F4, performance is very good in center 2/3rds of frame vs the Leica 35-70 - but please correct me if my interpretation is incorrect. That said, you lose some uniformity across the frame, the macro ability and two FLs (vs the zoom).

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    Re: Hassy 50/4 FLE vs. ____ on SLR?

    I have neither CZ 35-70/3.4 nor CZ 50/4 FLE so I couldn't really comment on them. I have used both Leica R35/2 and R35-70/4 R for sometimes now. The two Leica R lenses have very different optics characteristics. The 35-70 zoom is extremely sharp with very even performance from center to corner as I mentioned in the other post. But I personally like the R35/2 better for it renders very smooth IQ with special Leica signatures of the 70's optical designs. It has excellent center performance as well as very good close-up performance even though it didn't have floating element design. It is the look of the R35/2 that I really like.

    I have not used any MF lenses on 35mm system via adaptors. IMHO, MF lenses are not optimized 35mm systems and there are plenty of 35mm lenses available to chose from. Given my own experience, the choice of R35/2 makes more sense. Oc course, this is IMHO.

    Kind regards,

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    Re: Hassy 50/4 FLE vs. ____ on SLR?

    Thanks Ocean. As you say, MF lenses aren't designed for 35mm format, but what I like about them is the performance of many are stellar (especially since taking only the sweet spot) and they can be used across different platforms. That said, I am leaning towards one of the Leica's - but given how often I seem to churn and burn my lens cabinet, don't hold me to that ;>

    I've used a borrowed 35/2 and it was very nice - performance as you described. Like yourself, I do like the performance of the Mandler-era lenses like the 35 and 80 Lux.

    What I don't have for comparison of course are the 35-70, which I am thinking more of as a hiking/walk around R version of a MATE if you will - or the 50/4 FLE. Having used the 110/2 and reluctantly sold it, the ease with which Hassy lenses can be pre-set for stop down is addictive.

    For some reason the decision is causing me more hesitation than it probably should, but what the hell, I'm getting educated in the process...

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    Re: Hassy 50/4 FLE vs. ____ on SLR?

    I'm interested in a 50/55mm MF lens for a DSLR for use with shift stitching so I'm interested in this discussion. I won't be using the sweet spot but it would be great to find a cheap MF lens that can match my canon's.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Hassy 50/4 FLE vs. ____ on SLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    (Long intro, be patient)

    Anyone have any thoughts on the 50/4 FLE? This thread is an offshoot of discussion Woody and I started in another, unrelated thread, so thought I'd move it to avoid hijacking.

    Have started tinkering with choice MF glass on, for now, a 1Ds2. Like the idea they can be used across a number of DSLR and MF platforms in SD mode. Like the form factor - wide lens barrel to grip, etc. The Hassy stop-down lever also does make stop-down work much quicker.

    Loved the 110/2, but while it's reputation is well-founded, needed something faster focusing (110 has more a macro-esque focus travel for VERY selective DoF). Have guy's Mamiya 200/2.8 APO enroute, so curious how that performs.

    Back on topic - am looking for a 35-to-70mm range lens that while not necessarily fast, is no slower then F4. Must be sharp across frame (bearing in mind a FF 35mm, so first 20mm of the MTF) starting WO and have easy stop-down mechanics (smooth focus, not too much travel, etc). $1000 is the upper limit. The lower the better obviously.

    Three VERY different lenses that came to mind were: Leica 35-70/4, which I've been pondering for some time., the CZ 35-70/3.4 and Hassy 50/4 FLE. Not lenses you normally see talked about in the same breath, but lets dare to be different.

    What I like about the Leica is the performance on paper across all three FLs looks (again on paper) similar to that of the 50/4 FLE.

    In interest of fair disclosure, not fond of the idea of push-pull zoom in the CZ.

    Any input, test shots anyone has on the above - or another lens suggestion would be appreciated.
    Rob

    I would be happy to loan you my copy of the CZ 35-70 3.4 with Son's adapter for use with your 1DsMkII if you like. Then you could see the results for yourself. Currently my 5D is back at Canon for repair so I have no short term use for the lens

    Best

    Woody

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    Re: Hassy 50/4 FLE vs. ____ on SLR?

    Woody,

    Damn, that's a generous (and trusting) offer. I'd love to take you up on it, but with me being Canadian, the cross-border shipping back and forth plus VAT clearance issues makes things more complicated than state-state.

    That said, I REALLY want to thank you for the very kind offer. I'm amazed by the trusting nature of some folks within this photo community.

    I routinely (high-end in this area is a D300) borrow Leica gear from Rob Steve (he lives about 40 min away) for testing; and while I have bought some gear from him as a result when he later decided to sell it (just wish I'd bought his 90 APO..;<), the value of what I've borrowed nowhere near reflects what I've later bought from him.

    Speaking of 5D - am currently debating moving back to the 5D for a more compact unit. I don't do much AF work so it's AF system is an idle asset, but I would miss, among other things, that nice clear VF and choice of screens. On the other hand- more discrete camera, thinner AA filter and more $$ into glass...

    Thanks once again. Rob
    Last edited by robmac; 7th June 2008 at 15:55.

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    Re: Hassy 50/4 FLE vs. ____ on SLR?

    Alright, maybe I am crazy, but I have a great deal of difficulty believing that the 50/4 FLE would be in any way better than a lens like the Canon 50mm f/1.4 or 50mm f/1.2L. Not only would those lenses be at least 3 stops faster, they would be smaller, auto-focus and have auto-diaphragm stop-down. 50mm lenses are not exactly difficult to design, and almost all 50mm lenses you can buy today are superb performers. The difference in quality is more or less splitting hairs. I can see using an adapter for an oddball lens like the 110/2, but for the 50mm range, Canon is pretty well covered. If you really must have a non-canon 50mm lens, why wouldn't you just get something like a summilux or summicron? Using a medium format lens just adds a lot of bulk, cost, and stray light scattering around. It doesn't make much sense unless it is an unusual lens and you already have it for one system, but would like to use it occasionally on another. Since you don't have a hasselblad (and even then), it does not make much sense to me.

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    Re: Hassy 50/4 FLE vs. ____ on SLR?

    Stuart,
    you said it all!
    Cheers,
    Willem.

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    Re: Hassy 50/4 FLE vs. ____ on SLR?

    I'll concur with Stuart's advice. If you want to go exotic at that focal length go Leica not Hassy. I've got a friend that shoots with the lens you're looking for on the Nikon D3 and, with all due respect to you and him, it's not all that special.

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    Re: Hassy 50/4 FLE vs. ____ on SLR?

    Stuart (et al) - I've come to the same conclusion. Was basically thinking out loud - and as much as I like the handling of the Hassy lenses, unless someone can come up with a compelling argument (I can't), the advantage of the 50/4 FLE (if any) over the sea of 50s out there is not enough to warrant a move in that direction.

    As you say, if I had a Hasselblad system, it would be another story. Was a matter of my curiosity re: Hasselblad's strongest performers pushing me to try and fit a square peg into the proverbial round hole. Thanks for the input.

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