In the past few days I was able to try the new Hasselblad CFE 80mm f.2.8 lens I bought used. By purchasing an adapter from the USA it will work in Manual mode on my Canon EOS 1DmkIII. It is all manual focus, which could be a real problem were it not for the Live View focusing or no exposure readings from the Canon, which there are. Let me say that I love the look and feel of this lens so much that I am not sure if I can go back to the Mamiya or Canon lenses without a downward smile. Since I tend to shoot most of my photos wide open at the maximum aperture, I am not bothered by the viewfinder being dark. What do the images look like?
Now there is not a lot to shoot in my studio, so I just focused on a couple of items. It is also terrible for natural lighting, which makes it great for studio lighting. Still, I think the photo above shows the general look of the lens. The focus is on Charles Darwin on the left of the ochre-coloured book. You can see that the shallow depth of field creates a soft image everywhere else at f.2.8, which is a look I love to use. I cannot wait to see what it would do with a portrait capture. The colours feel richer than either the Canon or Mamiya lenses, but it is a little softer at the focal point.
Next up was some leather jackets. Again, I really like the feel of the image, which is not a quantifiable remark, but true. It just seems like the lens renders a more photographic image. It also seems that the images take to sharpening better than the other lenses I own. In fact, I found this with the Hasselblad system in general; when I took the Hasselblad University workshop this summer I noted the ability to sharpen what was soft in post-production.
On the negative side, I was unable to get a single image using the lens in tandem with the Profoto D1 Air Lights. Everything looked like there was a white line down the center of the image. This may be that the leaf shutter was not disengaged properly [I did not read the manual until afterwards] or that I was not using a lens hood, but I will assume that I may only be able to use this lens with natural light. I can live with that.