Hasselblad 500cm - diopter?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dpt2014, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. dpt2014

    dpt2014 Member

    Messages:
    59
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I recently acquired a 500cm with WLF. It appears that I have the standard/stock screen installed. I am having one helluva time focusing. Using the magnifying glass, nothing every seems sharp/in focus. I have zero problems with either of my Rolleiflexes (1 ground glass, 1 Maxwell), rb67, m65, and c220 (all original screens). I do wear glasses, but I wear them with the other cameras and I'm fine with them.

    Is there a diopter in the 500cm I can change? I tried a Google search, but I came out empty handed.
     
  2. ac12

    ac12 Member

    Messages:
    367
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    SF Bay Area,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The magnifier on the WLF should not need a diopter adjustment, nor can I think you can fit one, at least on the WLF that I have.
    If you use the prism or chimney they do have diopter or adjustable eyepieces depending on the model. Is the lens maybe in stop down mode? When it is dim, it is harder to focus.

    Here is dumb question, is the screen perhaps installed upside down?
     
  3. dpt2014

    dpt2014 Member

    Messages:
    59
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I wish it were as simple as that - thought about it and tried flipping it but no difference. :sad:

    Not sure if the lens is in stop down mode, but the WLF is plenty bright.
     
  4. noacronym

    noacronym Member

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Go to a welder supply store and get a magnifier lens. I print the inserts for most of the welding supply lenses and filter plates. Cut one down to fit the opening. As far as I know, welding diopter lenses are plastic and can be cut and ground to do a pretty nice job.
     
  5. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Location:
    Metro DC are
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think the most recent WLF have a diopter that can be switched out (has a bar type release to open as opposed to the earlier button release to open finder. also has a round magnifier glass, earlier has square glass)

    The stock screens in the older cameras really do bite a big one. (have a crosshair kinda pattern on it)
    Thats why they started the Accute Matte and then the AccuteMatteD.

    I could get nowhere with my original crosshair style and eventually got a maxwell with focussing aid.
    IMO ANY screen will be better than one of those original hasselblad screens. Even a 10.00 (china or former eastern bloc made, I forget) eBay screen with split microprism.
     
  6. dpt2014

    dpt2014 Member

    Messages:
    59
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I do have a "late" model WLF that has a bar type release and round magnifier glass. Where is the diopter located? Edit: I understand now, the magnifier IS the diopter. Now to find the correct one...hmmm.

    I'm having a hard time figuring out the types of Acute-Matte screens available. I have a list of all the numbers, some with descriptions (e.g. microprism, split-image, etc). So far I'm between 42165, what I believe is the original Acute-Matte, and 42203, which I believe is an Acute-Matte D (standard, without split-image etc). I dislike split-image screens generally as I find them difficult to focus without vertical lines - or maybe I'm just using the split-image incorrectly.

    Also, the lens is not in stop down mode.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2013
  7. ac12

    ac12 Member

    Messages:
    367
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    SF Bay Area,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A horizontal split image needs a vertical line to function. But that line does not have to be straight up, it could be at an angle. But you are correct, w/o a vertical line to split the image, you can't really use the split image rangefinder. Well you could rotate the camera about 30 degrees, so that the horizontal lines are at an angle in the viewfinder.
    If you rotate the screen 90 degrees, so the split is vertical, then you can use the rangefinder on horizontal lines.
    However, this is a PiA do to, since rotating the screen is not a task that I would do in the field.
    This is why I like the 45 degree split image rangefinder on my Nikon. I can use it on both horizontal or vertical lines.
    The other option is the microprism. Some like it, some do NOT like it. I was brought up on it in in my first 35mm cameras, so I like it.

    If you shade your head, you can see the image better to focus. I had this exact problem a week ago. It was bright and the sunlight was making it difficult to just see the screen never mind focusing. I was tempted to take out my LF focusing cloth to give me shade into the WLF.
     
  8. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Location:
    Metro DC are
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If someone has Wildi handy I'm sure the screen serial # are in there.
     
  9. Douglas Fairbank

    Douglas Fairbank Member

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    Charmouth, UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    These are the stock codes for the screens taken from old catalogues.

    42161 standard screen
    42188 split-image rangefinder
    42234 central grid 15mm
    42218 central grid and rangefinder
    42250 central grid and checked
    42285 fine line screen (finer frsnel)
    42200 plain glass screen
    42165 Acutte matte
    42167 Acutte Matte TCC 6mm ring
    42170 Acutte Matte grid and rangefinder
    42204 Acutte Matte D
    42210 Acutte Matte D 202 /203 28mm ring
    42213 Acuute Matte D 205 6mm ring
    42207 Acutte Matte D PME90/45 12mm ring
    42215 Acutte Matte D microprism and rangefinder
    42217 Acutte Matte D Grid (checked) and rangefinder 6mm
    42219 Acutte Matte D 202/203 grid (checked) and rangefinder.

    Hasselblad were inconsistent in the way they described things, early microprism screens were called grids and the verticle and horizontal guide lines were called 'checked'. By the time of the D screens the term 'grid' meant the checked pattern and the microprism term was used in place of the earlier 'grid'. I hope that makes sense.
    This is not a complete list of all the screens that have been available, I would need to do a little more research, one of my favourites was the opto fibre screen but I gave that to a photographer whose need was greater than mine.

    The old screens are criticised and that is understandable but at the time they were as good any any others in other cameras of the day, people forget how long Hasselblads have been around. I have spent a long time helping photographers make a screen selection thats suits their unique style, some people can't stand grids and others cannot work without them.