Hasselblad: 500cm versus 503cw?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ultraviolet, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. ultraviolet

    ultraviolet Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here, so please let me know if this has already been discussed. I did a forum search without any results.

    I'm a recent BFA Photo grad, and I'm looking to move from my old Mamiya 645 Super to a Hassy. I've been scouring the web trying to find a good solid comparison between the 500CM & 503CW that isn't written in marketing fluff speak. :smile: So far, I've only found positive reviews for each (separately) and a couple of threads around the web where people mentioned that the 503CW is better, but did not state a reason.

    I've done some reading on the Hasselblad website, but really what I need is an objective run-down on what I'd be getting by spending more money on the 503CW. I'm willing to spend the extra cash, but I'd like to know that it's worth it.

    Thanks all. :smile: I'm excited to have found this forum on the recommendation of a KEH employee!

    Lane
     
  2. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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  3. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    If you don't need the metering, etc offered by the 503, the 500 c/m is a great camera. You will of course need a separate meter though.
     
  4. msloane

    msloane Member

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    503 will take the motor drive. I also use a different viewfinder to and an A16 back so I can shoot as a 6.x4.4 instead of a 6x6.

    mike
    www.michaelsloane.com
     
  5. lgpod1

    lgpod1 Member

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    The 503CW not only takes a motor winder, also has TTL flash capiblity
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    the 503 CW also has the "Gliding Mirror" system, which means that the image on the groundglass is equally bright across the entire viewfinder, even with long telephoto lenses.
     
  7. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    As already pointed out by the Flyingcamera the gliding mirror is a good improvement if you expect to use longer than 150mm lenses. The top of the frame will be cut of in the mirror on older models like the 500.
    The 503CW also have a sensor for TTL for flash photography.
    You would also know that the 503CW can only be 10 years old but it is of course possible to check the age on a 500 if you can get the serial number.
     
  8. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    True, although I use the 250mm on my C/M and I quickly learned to adjust for the top of the frame being darkened with this lens.
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    It's just an improvement - makes life easier. I've got a 500 CM and haven't had a problem, but I don't have anything longer than a 120. It's something you can work around if you're only shooting the long lens occasionally, but if you're doing it on a regular basis, or for pay, I'd imagine that compensating for it would quickly become more tedious than spending the extra cash to get rid of the problem.
     
  10. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    That's a really good point, which I often forget to consider. That is, one's point of view on whether a convenience is worthwhile depends on how often one would use it. In my case, I rarely use the 250. I use the 80 at least 90% of the time, the 150 about 5% of the time and the 50 and 250 combined take up the other 5%.

    Someone who uses longer lenses more often would find the new mirror system more convenient than I would.

    Cheers.
     
  11. ultraviolet

    ultraviolet Member

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    Thanks so much everyone for your comments! It sounds like the differences are pretty much what I had surmised from the reading I did, but I wanted to consult some more experienced folks before I made the jump. :smile:

    I will likely be going with the 503CW. I'd like to put together a nice custom kit, but I think for now I'll have to just go with an 80mm lens, waist-level finder and 6x6 back (I'd like to add more lenses and a 6x4.5 with different finder), and build up my collection as I have the cash. :smile:
     
  12. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Ill hyave your mamyia. Seriously!
     
  13. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I'm in the same position as the OP with a couple of additional queries....

    Are the film backs compatible across the 500 series? I see on eBay that some film backs say they are "Hasselblad 500 CM..."

    Any reason these wouldn't work on a 503 CW?

    I presume that the lenses are all compatible through the series - am I okay on this presumption?
     
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  15. PaulH

    PaulH Subscriber

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  16. eric

    eric Member

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    500 series means 50x or 501, 503, and 500, includes 500c 500c/m. All the film backs are compatible. But some prisms won't work with some polaroid backs. The 50x series are very basic. Box to hold the film back, lens, and viewfinder. You can mix and match black, chrome, whatever tickles your fancy.
    All lenses will work except for the shutterless types, which I don't have, and I don't know what those are called. You can tell cause there aren't any shutter speeds on the lenses.
     
  17. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    yes, the backs are universal between these bodies. BUT.......
    the older 12/24 backs are a bit trickier to load. As in, they don't have the auto start capability. It's more like using a red window & resetting the counter to zero.
     
  18. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Great info - thanks all.

    Is the 503 the only one of the500 series that has TTL metering?

    And (maybe an "impossible question), why does the 553ELX seem to be "less desirable" (going by eBay prices) than the 503CW ?
     
  19. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Hi George,

    I am not a Hasselblad shooter or that knowledgeable, but as I recall, the EL, ELM,ELX series all have a built in motor. The rechargeable batteries may need to be replaced however depending on their age, usage, and condition.

    Rich
     
  20. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    George, the 503CXi does also have the TTL but as far as i remember not the gliding mirror.

    jan
     
  21. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I've a 503CX. It has ttl as does the CW. I've yet to purchase a flash for it though.
    For what I saved by going with a used 503cx as opposed to a used 503cw, I was able to purchase a used back, a like-new waistlevel finder and put some money down for a 80/2.8C. I won't miss the winder, although the keyfob-like remote 'clicker' I do wish I could use. The gliding mirror i'm not sure if I would miss although I don't plan on using any long-ish lenses..
     
  22. JosBurke

    JosBurke Member

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    I have both a 501CM and a 503 CX----Since I have the TTL flash metering on this 503 version and I have no desire for a motor drive I am well pleased----I have a 250 mm but no issues using it on the 503 CX (non Gliding Mirror) and therefore the 501 CM (with GMS) and 503 CX and interchangable with the exception of the TTL flash metering---I use a Metz 45 CL-4 on my Mamiya 7II (no TTL control on the M7 and dedicted TTL on the Hassy) with excellent results so I personally have seen little advantage of TTL flash control. I also have the Hassy D-40 which is again dedicated TTL for the 503 but the Metz is more versatile and the D-40 Simpler--The Metz is also much cheaper---check ebay as I don't think it's digital compatible so they now have a Metz Digital version--I gave $150 for the Metz flash LN in the box, all accessories, a Quantum batt. and charger AND the SCA cord/adapter for the Hassy----bargain!!
    OTOH if your doing landscapes or other the Mamiya has much better glass--oops!! did I say that !! OK--for me 80 mm vs 80 mm the Mamiya wins!! Handheld the Mamiya wins !! System Wise--the Hassy !! In a studio--the Hassy!
     
  23. ultraviolet

    ultraviolet Member

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    I just traded in my Mamiya equipment for a 503CW with Adorama. It should be in my hands within the next couple of weeks.

    Thanks for your help everyone! :smile:
     
  24. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Assuming that you already have your 503CW by now, you are hopefully a happy camper like i was when i got mine.
    Great that digi.. something made it possible to buy these awesome cameras for reasonable money now.

    jan
     
  25. Auroraua

    Auroraua Member

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    One thing I have not got - is this black line only on the screen or you actually get the photos vignetted?
    Is it for lenses larger than?
    Some places I read 80mm, others 150 and others 250.
     
  26. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    It´s only on the screen and does not affect the final image. The degree of vignetting does not only depend on the focal length but also on the extension of the lens. You will see more vignetting up close than you will see at infinity.