Thursday, June 9, 2011

Two Special Hasselblad Lenses

These two Hasselblad lenses were made for NASA and the Apollo missions, and are extremely rare. A number of cameras of various types were carried on each Apollo mission to allow the crew to make scientific observations and to record the mission for posterity. Still and motion pictures were made of most space craft maneuvers and crew lunar surface activities. 

The command module Hasselblad electric camera was normally fitted with an 80mm f2.8 Zeiss Planar lens, but a bayonet-mount 250mm f5.6 lens was used for long-distance Earth/Moon photos. A 105mm f4.3 Zeiss UV Sonnar was also provided on these missions for an ultraviolet photography experiment.
250mm f5.6 C SuperAchromat Sonnar Lens-  The initial request for this lens came from the U.S. space program and has a different optical formula than the normal 250mm lens. This lens has one quartz flourite element and no T* multicoating. It is primarily used for photography of terrain and distant objects, and produces a 3X magnification over the standard 80mm lens. The relatively narrow view of this lens necessitates careful aiming of the camera to ensure that the desired scene is photographed. The lens focuses from 8.5 feet to infinity, with the focus ring moving past infinity to provide maximum flexibility in focusing and to compensate for changes in temperature. The lens also has a built-in shutter with speeds from 1 second to 1/500 second. This lens had low production numbers, estimated at less than 500. We have one with an exterior cosmetic grade of EX+ and a glass grade of BGN, in-stock, $3,799. Update: reduced to $3,650.

105mm f4.3 C UV Sonnar-  This is a very rare and special lens with quartz and fluorite elements used to transmit UV light to the film. Initially developed for the US Space Program, this was the most expensive Hasselblad item made at the time. The elements in the UV-Sonnar 105 are not made of glass because the ultraviolet radiation is limited in glass. Thus, the f4.3 was made of  i.a. quartz, which increased production costs. This lens focuses from 6 feet to infinity and has a Synchro-Compur shutter with speeds from 1 second to 1/500 second, with a wavelength range of 215-700 millimicrons. There were very few produced, an estimated 100 "C" lenses over the 15 year period. We have one with an exterior cosmetic grade of EX+ and a glass grade of BGN, in-stock, $7,699. Update: reduced to $7,499.


* Both lenses are available on KEH.com here


- Kim Anchors