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TomLiles

Zeiss 120/4 Makro Planar: repro ratio and user experiences

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Hi Tom,

I am no pro, but I have had to shoot paintings and other flat artwork for my wife’s art business. She semi retired and sold her gallery and I don’t need to do copying work anymore. I started with the Sinar 22 and than Sinar 54h and learned how to use the view camera. Than I bought my S2-p and my all Sinar kit was stolen. For some reason the burglars did not take my S2 and the Leica and other  lenses. Lol. 

I was left with my S2 and my Lenses. I had a Hasselblad H with a P1 22 mpx back for a while and I had an old HC120. I replaced it with the second model, the HC120-II. With the adapter it was very nice on my Leica. I realized that I prefer it against the S120mm when I bought the Leica Makro lens during a long shoot of a flat art collection, mostly small sized Japanese prints. Maybe my Leica S120mm is a lemon, but the Hasselblad lens was sharper at the distancees of about 1-2,5 meters. Closer,  it’s the only lens I trust. It does not have any chromatic aberrations. At least any visible aberrations. 

Tha only bad thing I know about the HC120mm is the terrible bokeh when shooting wide open at f4 for portraits. The Leica is a fantastic portrait lens in my opinion. The Leica , for me, it’s a general purpose beautiful lens  

IMHO  

Yevgeny

Moscow   

 

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Hi Tom, 

I don't have a an S System but I use the Contax 645 120f4 Apo-Makro on my Contax 645 + IQ180 and via a Steelsring adapter on my Fuji GFX50S. The IQ of the lens is at any distance very good with both cameras. I would say it is not on the level of the razor sharp Fuji GF lenses which are '100 MP ready' but sufficient for sensors like IQ180 (5.2um), Fuji GFX50S (5.3um) and Leica S/S2 (6.0um). I of course 🙂 consider to get the upcoming Fuji GFX100S which will be very demanding with its 3.8um pixel pitch. If I would be in macro works, I would get the Fuji GF 120 macro lens which is surely sharper than the Contax. But in your case, IMO the Contax makes perfectly sense.

Br Christoph

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On 10/10/2018 at 1:59 PM, TomLiles said:

Thinking about the Zeiss 120/4. 

I do use some Contax lenses on my S2, but not the 4/120. All sources say this lens is one of the reasons to buy into the C645 system. The thinking point here is the adapter. If you can source one cheap, it makes sense, but the adapter + lens is quite some money to shell out, if you do not plan to use other lenses with it. And - the big thing with the adapter is working autofocus and auto aperture. You not only use one lens, but then the only lens not using the full capability of the adapter. How about a Hasselblad V adapter and their 4/120 CF Macro?

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17 hours ago, TomLiles said:

Thanks Alan,

Can I ask a stupid question? I've not been in the S-sytem long (though wanted to be in it for so, so long) and never really read up on how the system deals with adapted lenses with leaf shutters... I'm guessing the HC lenses from Hasselblad have gold contacts and the s-adapter-h does too, so there is a route for the lens and body to talk => user puts the body in "CS" mode, and continues as normal; but what happens with Hasselblad v-system lenses with leaf shutters on the s-adpater-v? Can we use leaf shutters there too? Always wondered.

At any rate, thanks for the tip; I've noted the 120 HC Macro and will take a look.

Cheers Alan

With the Hasselblad or Contax adapters for Leica the aperture is controlled electrionically by the camera, also autofocus works fully. And in case of the Hasselblad H lenses the leaf shutter works too in CS mode, but only up to 1/750th (1/800 does not exist on the Leica S). The newer lenses have faster leaf shutters but I have not tried those so can't comment on if they work faster than 1/750th. The Leica CS lenses go to 1/1000th.

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17 hours ago, TomLiles said:

Thanks Alan,

Can I ask a stupid question? I've not been in the S-sytem long (though wanted to be in it for so, so long) and never really read up on how the system deals with adapted lenses with leaf shutters... I'm guessing the HC lenses from Hasselblad have gold contacts and the s-adapter-h does too, so there is a route for the lens and body to talk => user puts the body in "CS" mode, and continues as normal; but what happens with Hasselblad v-system lenses with leaf shutters on the s-adpater-v? Can we use leaf shutters there too? Always wondered.

At any rate, thanks for the tip; I've noted the 120 HC Macro and will take a look.

Cheers Alan

The leaf shutter on V lenses is locked open for use on the Leica S bodies, the lenses use a mechanical coupling for the leaf shutter and the S bodies use an electronic coupling therefore they're not electronically or mechanically compatible.  The lens shutter is simply ignored and locked open and rendered inoperable.  Hasselblad H and Contax 645 use the electronic coupling, Hasselblad V is mechanical.  This is reflected in the price of the adapters, the electronic coupling adapters costing more.  

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Hi again Yevgeny,

Sorry for a late reply, I'm a freelancer so when work calls I have to devote most of my time to it; the economic peaks and valleys when working for yourself are pretty harsh, and you never know when the next big payday is coming, so when a stream of work comes in it's important to gun it and work as hard as possible and maximize revenue and sow seeds for future income. Tough business! But I love it and wouldn't do anything else, even if I could :)

What a shame about your Sinar equipment (my dream is to do work with Sinar P and Leica S systems), but I guess you can still reframe it in a positive light and see it as the opportunity to have gained this important experience with the S-system and adapting lenses. It's really valuable information, so thanks for sharing it with me, Yevgeny.

The s-adapter-c I had found at a good price was sold in the interim, so my chance to use the Contax 120/4 has disappeared for now. I definitely have eyes out for the 120 HC-II; I'm currently enquiring with a rental house here in Tokyo, who have the lens but not the s-adapter-h, to see if they can source me the s-to-h adapter so that I could rent the lens and adapter and give it a go. I have another accessory shoot next month and am hoping the rental guys can do something for me in time for that.

Thanks again for your words and help, Yevgeny, been a real service to me m(. .)m

Cheers

Tom

Edited by TomLiles

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Hi Christoph,

Thanks for your reply and my apologies for a postponed reply. As I mentioned to ynp, above, I've been busy on the work last couple weeks.

Unfortunately, the s-apater-c I'd found at a good price (to allow me to get the Contax lens, which are more readily sourced) has been sold in the interim, so my opportunity so give this equipment option a go, right now, has disappeared. Listening to the guys, the Hasselblad options (V-mount 120/4 or HC-II 120) are good ones in my case as I only need very close in performance and both Hasselblad optics sound as though they are optimized for that. I may be able to rent this option, and am looking forward to the chance to do that and test it out.

Thanks again, Christoph

Cheers. Tom

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Hi Photon42,

Exactly right on the cost front. As mentioned to Christoph and Yevgeny above, the nice-price s-adapter-c I'd found has gone to someone else now, so the opportunity has disappeared in the interim... but for the best. I'm glad I checked in with you guys as there were more options than I knew about. It's all expensive stuff, but my experience in photography has typically been: more expensive stuff is better in the long run. There have been exceptions, of course. I'm OK with spending the hard-earned, and it was hard-going getting it! but what is of paramount importance is: does it make the ship go faster?

Thanks again Photon42, all this advice has been helpful.

Cheers. Tom

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Hi again Jip,

My dumb question was about the dumb adapters, but we got to the bottom of it, so all's well.

Thanks again for your advice and information, it's all a great help.

Cheers. Tom

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Hi again Daryl,

My apologies for a late reply; I could probably be better organized, but when work calls, as mentioned above, I usually need to devote time [my all important resource] to it. It may be a superstition, but I believe the more time and quality I put in to a customer's photographs the better the chances of good things coming back around to me: more work or referrals, etc. I'm a freelancer so live and die by small details (and maybe even the caprice of the universe). I also go by that old Andy Gove (former Intel CEO) adage "Stay Paranoid." I think the worst will happen unless I do my utmost to stave it off; I buy up them karma points with hard work and no enjoying Leica S talk on the Leica forum with you guys... seriously, this is the way my brain works!

I'm interested in both Hasselblad options, but after listening to Yevgeny, above, I'm interested in the HC option first and am trying to get a rental set up to give that a go. I have another accessory shoot for next month so am hoping to get something sorted in time for that. The dumb-mount Hasselblad V option sounds great to me too, as I only need the close up performance and shooting at speed (auto controls) is not a factor, but it'd probably be a buy-to-try option as no rental houses here are carrying much in the way of Hasselblad v-system (anymore) and Leica S-system s-adapter-v. Actually, it was a mission finding any rental house that would cater to the S-system at all here... it's seen as a rich amateur option in Japan and was way less popular than in Europe to begin with; rental potential is super low. That general lack of market interest is actually part of the reason I like the S-system for my work, it's one value-added thing I can say to customers. In all truth, no-one but experienced photographers really appreciates the difference between imaging systems and what those differences may mean for work, and that's of course OK, it'd be mad to expect the customer to have the knowledge of the professional (not having that knowledge is the premise on which a customer pays a professional in the first place!)... but in marketing, perception is a thousand times more important than reality, some marketers would even say perception is all that there is, so as long as the perception "different" holds for me because I use a different system camera to 99.9% of photographers I'm in competition with here, that's all I need wrt to talking to customers.

That, and a good macro optic for 1:1! :)

Thanks again Daryl, your advice and information has been a real help.

Cheers. Tom

Edited by TomLiles

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Hi Tom,

Gotta love this forum, the replies and your writings  as a pro are very enlightening.  With the many adapters available the options are numerous and the Hasselblad H sounds the best of all, avoiding the possible obsolescence of both the Hasselblad V and Contax 645.   

 

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I have a third way for you, and it may be less expensive or more so, depending on what you have around.  I have regularly shot macro on the S with a horseman view camera and a Sinar Hassleblad bayonet adapter. The adapter snaps in where the ground glass would be, and then I put the V mount adapter on the S and attach it to the view camera. From there I use either a 120mm Nikon 4x5 macro lens, or before I had one, I used reversed enlarging lenses (I just used the durst lens adapter as a retaining screw to hold the enlarging lens in place on a Sinar Copal 1 board. I used the shutter in the camera. This would take me well past 2 to 1, at which point depth of field and diffraction are more problematic than anything else. I have done this with the S, and with 4x5 as well. 

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