Hasselblad 500, 501, 503 and lenses

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by mporter012, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. mporter012

    mporter012 Member

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    Hello!

    I am looking to move into medium format and have been looking at Hasselblad's, but I haven't been able to find a precise breakdown of the differences between the 500c, 500cm, 501cm (is there a 501c??), 503cw (is there a 503cm?)?? From my research it appears that most 500cm packages come with an 80mm zeiss f2.8 lens on ebay. A breakdown of the lens line would also be helpful.

    Thanks!

    Mark
     
  2. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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  3. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    I'm a bit stuck in the past with Hasselblads as I have a 500C. I don't think that there is all that much difference between the 500C and 500C/M (which means modified) and all I can see is that the focussing screens are more easily interchanged on the C/M. My C was the last yer of production before the C/M and has the newer type sliders for screen changing, so go figure!
    Some others here will no doubt fill you in on the later models like the 501C, but I think that there is precious little difference in these models...change comes slowly at Hasselblad...but if you are on a winner just stay with it.
    As you say, the 80mm Planar is usually included, which is a great way to start...top lens, and after the 80 people usually add the 150mm Sonnar (one of the all time great portrait lenses) and the 50mm Distagon. These two lenses are very common and should be reasonably priced. In the early seventies the Zeiss lenses were multicoated, as indicated by a red* and are referred to as T star lenses.
    Most of my hasselblad lenses are just the single coated versions and I find no reason to upgrade the the T stars. The wide angles do benefit somewhat from multicoating due to the complex multi-element designs and the fact to you are more likely to include a light source.
    Check the camera carefully before laying down your cash as a lot of Hassy's have been used professionally, and the leaf shutters on the older lenses can run slow. especially on the slow speeds. I don't want to labor that point though as the Hassy's are really built to work.
     
  4. marenmcgowan

    marenmcgowan Subscriber

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    I agree! This is the best resource for info on Hasselblad equipment...plus, there's historical info too. You can really get into your research there if you want.
     
  5. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    If you already have a 500c system with lenses, I'd say stick with it. Unless you find yourself saying "damn, I really wish this body had (insert option here)" or "I wish my lenses produced pictures that look like the T* coated ones" on a regular basis, what you have is fine. I have the 500cm with 3 lenses (up for sale actually in the classifieds) and they're all T* and I'm more than happy with them. I wouldn't upgrade for twice the price to a 503 with 3 CF lenses because it likely would no equate to better photographs at the end of the day, which is the point, right?
     
  6. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2012
  7. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    500CM does 95% of what a man/woman would want to do with a Hasselblad
    Want to frequently use long lenses? Get a camera that has the gliding mirror
    Want TTL flash? CX and later is your camera
    Winder? 503CW (or EL/ELX)
     
  8. Too old to care

    Too old to care Subscriber

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    There is a 501C too, I have one and love it. Standard 80mm lens makes a nice combination to get started with. Buy the best example you can, repairs are not too expensive, but avoid them if you can.
     
  9. mporter012

    mporter012 Member

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    Thanks for the replies! Great info on the website mentioned. Can someone also help me out a bit on explaining exactly what all i need in getting started. Obviously the body, lenses, back (recommended ones? - I'm not interested in 220 film at the moment), prism and viewfinders. I don't have a light meter at the moment, is this a requirement? Thanks for the help!
     
  10. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Back, body, and a lens.

    Body should come with a viewfinder and a focusing screen—waist-level viewfinder is default and perfectly good. Prism is not necessary. Light meter is pretty much a must, and it would be a good long term investment, but to just get started you could try exposure tables, rules like Sunny 16, use a digital camera for metering, or a flash. Some prism viewfinders come with a light meter.

    And film.
     
  11. mporter012

    mporter012 Member

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    Rafal -
    Thanks man! Would you recommend getting a viewfinder with metering in it if possible?
     
  12. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    The prism viewfinders are quite heavy in comparison to the waist-level one. I would suggest you tried one out, before making a decision, if possible. If you are getting a prism, however, then it makes sense to go for the one with metering. Bear in mind that even on the used market those still sell at a premium, especially the newer models.

    Much depends on how, and what will you be photographing. If you plan to focus on landscapes, from a tripod, you are likely to be carrying a few other things with you, and a separate spot-meter will be a useful and an easy item to add to your kit. Such a meter will become essential if you plan on using the Zone System some time in future. On the other hand, if you want to photograph hand-held, in a relatively good lighting, on B&W film, which is very forgiving or exposure errors, the metered prism would be ideal—if you are strong enough to comfortably hand hold it all. Some people would say that in the latter case, with a little experience, you could even guess the exposure, and rely on B&W film's latitude to take care of any errors.
     
  13. Too old to care

    Too old to care Subscriber

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    I bought a prism finder for my 501 and quickly put it away. It is too big to carry around and does not provide that much advantage over the standard viewfinder. Pick up a good used meter and you are all set. I use a Gossen Luna Pro that I picked up recently on Ebay for a song.
     
  14. marenmcgowan

    marenmcgowan Subscriber

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    I have a 501 cm with an 80mm and a 120mm. I use the waist level viewfinder when I am shooting landscapes,etc. When I am working with people, I have a kiev prism viewfinder. It weighs a ton, but works good for when I am shooting people in a more dynamic environment where things are moving more quickly. I have an old Sekonic L-28 light meter and I meter frequently when necessary with changing light, but otherwise I do periodic readings and pay attention to the light. My lenses are T* coated, but I've read a lot of feedback from folks who think that this is not necessary. The "kit" option is a good way to buy...
    one, because you get the package deal price which is usually better than buying each piece separately
    two, you get what you need to shoot
    three, there's a lot of them available because they sold a lot that way and people are selling them now...

    I love my Hasselblad and Zeiss glass rocks. This may sound silly, but there seems to be focus latitude with these lenses...they are just so d*** sharp...
     
  15. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Skip the 220 backs. They're cheap now because there is very little film available in 220. B&H shows only Portra color negative films in 220 format. I think even Tri-X 220 was discontinued a couple of years ago.

    Peter Gomena
     
  16. mporter012

    mporter012 Member

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    Great advice from everyone. Thanks a ton!

    Mark