The Hasselblad PC-Mutar: Specifications and Features
Hasselblad photographers had been demanding a method of perspective control.
Eventually 3 technologies were developed:
-The Hasselblad 1.4X PC Mutar
-The Hasselblad Flexbody Camera
-The Hasselblad Arcbody Camera
In the early 1990's a goal to introduce Perspective Control to the Hasselblad system was
established. Most medium format camera manufacturers of the day offered an integrated shift lens in their repertoire. You can still acquire the Mamiya RZ67 and RB67 75mm f4.5 PC shift lens. Pentax designed a
75mm f4.5 SMC Shift lens for the 6x7 camera. Mamiya also produced a 50mm Shift for the M645 system. Not to be outdone Schneider created the amazing Super Angulon 55mm PCS that offered both shift and tilt for
the Bronica 645 and Rollei 6000 series cameras.
Unlike PC lenses for 35mm cameras, medium format Perspective Control lenses can be expensive and heavy. The 75mm PC lens is roughly equivalent to the
35mm focal length in the 35mm format, not quite wide enough for most interior and many exterior applications. On the positive side both of the 75mm lenses are considered to be amongst the sharpest
lenses in their systems. The 55mm Distagon was the crowning achievement of optical mechanical design but in practice it is far too heavy for casual use.
Against this background in 1992
Hasselblad introduced a device made by Carl Zeiss called the PC-Mutar Cat #20311. This tiny Shifter weighing 480g (16.92 oz) would be capable of transforming 6 different focal lengths (concurrent were the CF
40mm FLE, CF 50mm FLE, CF 60mm, CF 80mm, CF 100mm, F 50mm, F 80mm). The PC-Mutar would be an alternative to producing an integrated shift lens. The advantage is that many different focal lengths
could be incorporated. The difficulty was that the device would require an optical extension of the lens to accomodate the 39 mm (1 ½") thickness of the device. The solution was to transmit light the extra
distance by using a Mutar. The Mutar would increase the focal length of the objective by 40% and exposure time by 1.4x or 1 f -stop. Image quality was maintained with a superb 5 element 4 group T*
design that allowed a shift range of up to ±16mm.
According to Zeiss "The PC Mutar was optimized tor use with the 40 mm Distagon T* f4 Iens. This combination results in a PC lens with an initial
aperture of f/5.6, a focal length of 56 mm, and a usable image circle diameter of 106 mm. The shift range of the lens is 16 mm, and a scale allows repeatable settings. This configuration provides superb
image quality even at full lens aperture."
Of course the PC-Mutar is not for everyone as it does require some patience to operate. Once mastered it is a compact high performance addition to any
Hasselblad system. Combined with the 40mm, 50mm and 60mm wide-angle lenses, the full 16mm shift of vertical or horizontal shift can be applied. With 80mm and 100mm lenses, the shift is limited to 8mm to
avoid vignetting. The body and lens have to be independantly cocked, then discharged using a double cable release. Pre-release of the body is not available. As the shift is being performed vignetting of the
viewfinder occurs. This does not affect the film. When using a meter prism the reading must be taken at neutral shift. Although extension tubes are not rcommended they would be inserted between the mutar and
the body. Depth of field is reduced therefore the len's depth scale is of no value. The displacement fuction should be locked down during assembly. For use with EL series of cameras one requires the
Hasselblad Release Adapter.
The PC-Mutar is a 1.4x Converter. In other words lens focal length is invcrease by 40%
Approximate Focal Length Conversion:
40mm f4 ~ 60mm f5.6
50mm f2.8 ~ 75mm f4
50mm f4 ~ 75mm f5.6
60mm f3.5 ~ 90mm f5
80mm f2.8 ~ 115mm f4
100mm f2.8 ~ 145mm f5