Tele-tessar 500 f8 [is it worth?]

Discussion in 'V-System' started by cristif, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. cristif

    cristif Well-Known Member

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    Hello everybody,

    I would like to ask for your opinions about the lens in the title: CZ Tele-Tessar 500 f8. Is it worth buying it? I was told that the optical quality of the early Hasselblad long lens is not the best one.

    As an alternative, would you recommend rather getting a 2x Rokunar converter and using it with the 250 Sonnar (that I already have)?

    Thank you,

    Cristian
     
  2. polypal

    polypal Well-Known Member

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    Cristian,

    There are two different 500 mm Tele Tessar lenses.
    You probably mean the early "C" type lens with Compur shutter. That is not a bad lens as some may say. It give very good results provided you use a strong tripod. It can be found at very low prices.
    The lens sure is worth what some people are asking for it now.

    The later CF version is an improved lens but is difficult to find and much more expensive.

    Results with a converter and a 250 lens can be good.
    This combination has the disadvantage that the lens speed drops from F5,6 to F 11.
    The advantage of using a coverter is that the minimum object distance stays the same. It is much smaller than that of a 500 mm lens.

    Paul
     
  3. blowupster

    blowupster Well-Known Member

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    I thinks you have good information and your alternatif is good too.
    Of course you will get a 500mm/11 but the "combined lens" is shorter and focus closer.
     
  4. cristif

    cristif Well-Known Member

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    Hello Paul and thank you for the feedback.

    Yes, it's about the "old" Tele-tessar. Since I am using my Hasselblad kit mostly during my mountaineering hikes it wouldn't be too wise to invest in a "modern" lens.

    Will browse for an interesting offer in Europe. Getting one from ebay@us would cost me at least 550$ + shipping + customs.

    Will let you know you guys about what I will finally get. Perhaps I should browse the "classified" section :)

    Cristian
     
  5. ulrik

    ulrik Well-Known Member

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    Moin,
    For mountaineering this lens is rather bulky. And so is the tripod required for it. What do you need it for? At least my first choice for mountaineering is the Hasselblad SWC. Of course this is less than perfect for taking pictures of ibex, marmot or eagle...

    The 500 mm C-lens is not bad, on high contrast edges you may detect colour fringing as result of chromatic aberration. It is not very fast to operate, the focus mechanism of the CF Apo 500 moves easier. The lens was designed in the early 1960s. But it looks really sexy with the big focus wheel.

    Ulrik
     
  6. vandevantersh

    vandevantersh Well-Known Member

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    Is the central "split-image" portion of the Acute-Matte screen functional with the 500/8?

    Steve
     
  7. polypal

    polypal Well-Known Member

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    Hi Steve,

    Do not expect too much use of the split because it will darken on most occasions.
    These large lenses can de found around 400 euro at camera fairs.
    That is for a good clean lens. It may need some attention to the shutter.
    A simple clean and lube job is not too much of a problem.

    Ulrik is right, a strong tripod is essential for good reults with this lens.
    That adds to the weight.....

    Paul
     
  8. cristif

    cristif Well-Known Member

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    Ulrik, my favorite mountaineering kit contains the Distagon 40, Planar 100 and (when I go to places where I have a good perspective) Sonnar 250. All of the lens are C T*.

    Now, I discovered this summer some places where I would need a focal longer than 250. And I immediately thought of the 500 Tele-tessar (I admit, I like a lot how that lens looks like). Unfortunately I cannot see it and try it around here anywhere.

    Anyway, will follow this thread and, in the mean time, will also have a look at the 350 C T* Tele-tessar. Maybe that lens can be a good compromise.

    Cristian
     
  9. vandevantersh

    vandevantersh Well-Known Member

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    You might also consider the Hasselblad 2XE for about the same price. You will then have a 250 and 500 for a lot less weight.

    Steve
     
  10. cristif

    cristif Well-Known Member

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    Well Steve, thank for the idea but, no matter I mentioned this in my initial post, I don't like teleconverters. I would rather carry more weight or plan my trip (the choice of the lens) more carefully.

    Will still "investigate" about the 500 and 350 Tele-tessar :).

    Cristian
     
  11. polypal

    polypal Well-Known Member

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    Cristian,

    It is never too late to make an exception to a rule.
    The Hasselblad or Zeiss 2X converter is excellent and will certainly live up to your expectations.

    I would go as far as to day the early 500 mm Tele Tessar is not a better performer because of
    chromatic aberration already mentioned by Ulrik.

    I use the 2X converter quite often with the 110 mm lens for F(E) cameras.
    Results are very very good!

    Paul
     
  12. cristif

    cristif Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I guess you're right :) There are certain moments when exceptions from the rule are needed. Will have a look into that direction (the teleconverter's :) ).

    Thanks for all the help.

    Cristian
     
  13. dneyhard

    dneyhard Well-Known Member

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    Hi Cristian--

    I now have the newer Tele-Apotessar CF 500mm but previously had the older Tele-Tessar All Black Model of the 500mm. I rarely use either model and can't easily judge one over the other. I can however show you one image that has always pleased me that was taken with the earlier Tele-Tessar lens. I wish you the best in your selection process.

    This shot was taken quite a few years ago just North of Durango, CO during the month of September when the Aspen leaves are reaching their peak of fall color. The camera body was my 500 C/M.

    Don
     

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  14. fotografz

    fotografz Well-Known Member

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    500/8?

    Having had used both the 500/8 verses the 350/5.6 with a Zeiss 1.4X ... I'd opt for the 350/5.6CF (which is easier to find than the 500/8CF) and a later model 1.4XCFE.

    The 350/5.6 is excellent alone, more compact, and losses very little optically with the 1.4X ... less than a 250 with a 2X IMHO.
     
  15. cristif

    cristif Well-Known Member

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    Again, thank you everybody for all the opinions. Since I had no chance of actually seeing for real any of the Tele-tessar, your advices were very helpful to me. In the end decided to try the market for the 350 Tele-tessar, although I am not sure I have enough $ to get the CF one.

    ps. and still I keep dreaming about the big 500 C. Hopefully will get that one day too :)
     
  16. Bengt Fredén

    Bengt Fredén Member

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    Hi all,
    If anybody should still read this old thread on the Zeiss C Tele-Tessar and CF Tele-Apotessar 8/500mm T* lenses, I can attest to the fact that the 2x tele-converters (or extenders) that Carl Zeiss (and Fujinon) provides for the Hasselblad lenses are both excellent!

    My No.1 favorite is the excellent German-made Zeiss Mutar 2x T* extender, which has seven multi-coated lenses, and my favorite combination is either the superb Zeiss CF 4/180mm Sonnar T* lens (making it a similarly superb 8/360mm lens) or the Zeiss CF Tele-Tessar 5.6/350mm T* lens (making it a very sharp, however slow, 11/700mm lens). I also have the (Fujinon-made) Hasselblad 2x XE extender (with FE contacts), which I bought since I plan to get either a 201F or 203FE curtain shutter body.

    It goes without saying that you will need a very sturdy tripod (with a solid pan head, and the Hasselblad quick mount adapter for the longest lenses, which have a shoe for that adapter) to really lock down these very long focal lengths, especially if you want to stop down a stop or two (which you always should!) but I always use a tripod anyway, even with the 50mm, 60mm or 80/100mm wide angle or normal lenses. f/8 is generally the best aperture stop for the Hasselblad/ Zeiss lenses, with the exception of the Makro-Planar CF 135mm, the UV-Sonnar CF 105mm, and the Tele-Apotessar CF 8/500mm, where it is recommended that you stop down to f/11 for the best possible resolution, depth of field disregarded. However, the Zeiss 5.6/250mm T* lens is already excellent at it's full aperture - f/5.6, but I usually stop down half a stop (f/6.3) or one full stop (f/8) anyway, to get a somewhat better depth of field.

    And - do not forget the easy-to-use, extendable bellows shades, for example the large, square ProShade, with it's dedicated masking set, adaptable to ALL lenses (I have made my own tighter masks for the 4/180mm, and the longer lenses with the extenders)! You may use 4x4"/ 10x10cm thick glass, plastic, or thin gelatine filters in its nifty swing-down filter holder. This bellows shade assures the very best contrast from the Zeiss T* glass and also a complete freedom from flare.

    All the best from Stockholm, Sweden,
    Bengt F, photographer
     
  17. dirk

    dirk CI-Founder

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    Hi Bengt,

    thanks for this update. It is always helpful to find that kind of information.
     
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