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Thread: Further Harblei thoughts

  1. #1
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Further Harblei thoughts

    I posted a few weeks back that I'd picked up a cheap and not-too shabby second hand 'old style' Hartblei TS for my Phamiya and as I am slowly discovering it is a really fascinating piece of gear.

    For example: at first sight it can look pretty soft at the corners/edges but with some tweaks in use this can be so radically improved that it's almost perfect and I don't say that lightly. What is key is to understand that areas at edges that can look soft are not in fact soft at all: they are OOF. The lens has very odd characteristics of how focus and DOF are distributed across the field. I suspect that this is also subject to sample variation and further that Jack might be right when he suggests that the lens is best when shifted 5mm.

    I set it to 270 degrees for shift even when not shifted. This seems to move a slightly fuzzy right hand side to the bottom, where it snaps into focus on foreground, giving apparently greater DOF and enhancing the impression one has that the lens carries most of its DOF in front of the plane of focus.

    I then find that at F11 and preferably F16, and at a subject distance of about 30 foot, I need to focus as accurately as possible and then give a TINY shift to focus further away. Really small. This pushes the DOF backwards a lot and what this does, assuming a planar subject parallel to the camera, is to allow the edges of the frame to creep into the DOF zone. Otherwise, because the edges are slightly further away from the sensor than is the centre of the frame, the edges will often fall mildly out of the DOF zone as pixel peeped at 100%. With practice you can get this tweak just right and I then find that the frame is sharp throughout. I'm not exaggerating when I say that mine when got JUST right, is as sharp as the 80D and that this sharpness seems to peak at 5mm rise but is impressive either unshifted or even at 10mm rise.

    I love this lens. Get it just right and it is sharp, detailed, micro-contrasty and yet silky, right across the frame. But get it even slightly wrong and it will bite your *** by losing the edges. I will go as far as this: in my first few shots with my Cambo and Schneider 35 XL combination, without yet having learned how to tweak use of it and without having any way to focus other than guess and zone, I have yet to get a frame of the same subject as sharp from edge to centre to corner as the same scene shot with the Hartblei and got exactly right. It's very close but the Hartblei wins, just, though I do have a feel for it now. And there's no LCC stuff to worry about either and at F11 on the Cambo setup, you really, really need your LCCs.

    Hope that helps someone!

    Tim
    Last edited by tashley; 26th February 2009 at 11:45.

  2. #2
    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Further Harblei thoughts

    EEK!
    I would need to write up a cheat-sheet for sure.
    This lens does have a reputation of wide sample variation, so I wonder if your discoveries are transferable.
    -bob

  3. #3
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Further Harblei thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    EEK!
    I would need to write up a cheat-sheet for sure.
    This lens does have a reputation of wide sample variation, so I wonder if your discoveries are transferable.
    -bob
    I know, I know.... but good things come to those who tweak...

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    Subscriber Member KurtKamka's Avatar
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    Re: Further Harblei thoughts

    I just picked up a 65mm version of this lens a few weeks ago and have just begun to experiment with it. It's been dark so I haven't been able to do any formal testing of the corners. So far so good, though. It definitely opens up a world of different possibilities.

    Kurt

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