Hasselblad advice

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ronlamarsh, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. ronlamarsh

    ronlamarsh Member

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    I am looking to get into a Hasselblad system but know little about it. I will probably only be able come up with $1100 to $1400 to begin with. The variety of body models is confusing and I know little about the features of various models.
    So, what is the difference between a 500C and 500CM? Do both have mirror lockup? Will both accept the full line of lenses? For lenses I am a slightly wide to slightly tele kind of guy: so I was thinking along the lines of 60mm and 120 to 150mm to start with........good, bad or what would be better? I like the idea of a 50mm but the cost is way up there. Thanks in advance for all the opinions.
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    For starters take a look here:

    http://www.photoethnography.com/ClassicCameras/index-frameset.html?Hasselblad500.html~mainFrame

    I have a CX 500, and the gliding mirror is not a big thing. I have CF f/4 50mm, CF f/2.8 80mm, CF f/4 150mm and a CF f/5.6 250mm and a 2x extender.

    http://www.hasselbladhistorical.eu/HS/HSTable.aspx provides the history of the bodies and how to determine the manufacture date of the bodies and lenses.

    http://www.stefanheymann.de/501cm/zeitleiste.htm provides a timeline in German, but it is understandable without a knowledge of German.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op6hDyMmkqA How to load a Hasselblad film back.

    http://cesarigd.club.fr/photoe2b.htm Later, you will want to be able to access how to unjam a Hasselblad film back. I have never had to do this myself.

    Welcome to the world of Hasselblad.

    Steve
     
  3. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    the 500C is very old, made from 1959 to 1970. Almost all of them I have seen are badly worn from years of day to day use in a studio. The 500CM was made from 1970 until the late 80's or early 90's. If you get one, look for a newer one. The CM is newer, has interchangeable focus screens, and isn't usually much more expensive than the old 500C.

    My advice is to get a late 500CM and a CF series lens. The older C-series lenses are a pain to use because the shutter and aperture settings are locked together. You have to hold in a tab to change either setting independent of the other. I had an 80mm C-series lens and that got real old real fast. The CF lenses cost more, but are worth it for that alone. The CF lenses are still supported with parts by Hasselblad too. The older lenses are not.

    A 500CM and 80mm CF Planar and A12 back in nice condition is about $900-$1000
    150mm CF lens is about $450
    60mm CF Distagon is about $600

    I just noticed you didn't want an 80mm lens. If not, you can substitute the 60 for the 80 and add a couple hundred to the price for the outfit.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Not all 500C models are beat up. I've got one that looks and feels like it's brand new. A camera in good shape is a camera in good shape. Age isn't that important.
    I don't know about the parts they may or may not share. It's possible that parts for the 500C might be more difficult to come by.
    The good news is that both cameras accept exactly the same line of backs, prisms, lenses and accessories.

    The C lenses have practically the same glass in them as the CF, but the shutters are different. I only have C lenses because I can't afford getting CF. They work fine, and to me the shutter/aperture adjustment is not a big deal. You get used to it.
    If you shoot in cold climates, (like I do), see if you can afford the CF line; their shutters work better in the cold.

    The cameras are wonderful to use, but exhibit a couple of quirks you must be aware of. There is a certain process you must follow when you shoot. The darkslide has to come out at a certain point, you can only remove the lens under certain conditions, etc. Most problems with the camera that occur due to misuse can be fixed with a flat head screw driver in five seconds in the field.

    And don't forget to service the camera regularly. It's like changing the oil on your car. Should be done once in a while... Every two years or so for body, lenses, and backs is probably a good interval.

    Good luck, and good for you that you're able to buy into what I consider some of the finest camera series ever made.

    - Thomas
     
  5. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    I find that the locked shutter speed/aperture rings make it easier, as once you meter and set them, you can easily see the options and more importantly, just turn one to get both changed. It's a personal preference issue, though. Thomas does list the primary reason I have C lenses though, after selling off most of my Hassy outfit and having sellers remorse, I found the C lenses (especially the T*) lenses to be optically the same.
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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  7. redrockcoulee

    redrockcoulee Member

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    I started with a borrowed set of C lens 50,80 and 150 and have since replaced the last two with a C 100 and a CF 150. I think there is more of a hassle to go back and forth between C and CF than to use one or the other. But I shoot on a tripod and the landscape waits the couple of seconds for me to adjust so no problem. The ability to change screens is the biggest difference between the C and C/M. I bought my C/M from David Odess just cause his price was less expensive than buying a camera and then getting a CLA done on it but the 150 lens I did buy off of Photo.net and it works great. I know that the C lenses I am using were not services for over a decade of little if any use and they still worked.

    I recommend having a camera bag that is not too big. There are just so many choices. I did not heed Steve's advice when I borrowed the Hasselblad system and ended up needing my own. But I did have an existing bag that limits me to 3 lenses a couple of extension tubes, meter, body and come backs. I had purchased 4 old style backs for about $10 each of which 3 works great so there are some bargains if you take a chance and if you are patient.

    If money is an issue than start with a body and the 80 mm lens as that is the least expensive. You said you like to shoot wide and yet your lens selection seemed more on the long side. I find the 50 too wide for me most of the time as I now use the 100 as the standard lens I will soon start looking for a 60. The 50 would perhaps be better match for with a 80. The 120 and the 100 are more expensive lenses. The 150 is less than the 180. With the 60 as your widest if you like wide you might want to add a 50 or 40 later whereas a 50/80 combo might fit your bill.
     
  8. RJS

    RJS Member

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    You might want to look at a Rolleiflex SL 66; I now have Rollei and prefer it to Hasselblad. It is heavier, but a bit more versatile. You can focus very close witout extension tubes and the tilting front is super! Another thing; when I had Hasselblad I had to get the shutters worked on periodically, one in each lens. The Rollei with a focal plane shutter obviates this. But no strobe unless you buy a lens with a shutter. The lenses for the Rollei are the same as Hasselblad so that is not an issue. Take a look, you might like it!
     
  9. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I agree completely with this. I think it's "penny wise and pound foolish" to get an old model body or lens that will certainly need a CLA, and for which parts are not easily available. As Chris states, try and get the later models, something less than 20 years old.
     
  10. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    "The older C-series lenses are a pain to use because the shutter and aperture settings are locked together. You have to hold in a tab to change either setting independent of the other."

    Absolute nonsense! The reason for this is so that the EV remains constant if you need a quick shutter speed or aperture change.
     
  11. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    The older lenses maybe hard to get parts for but they are still a good buy. Had my 500cm for over thirty years with very little problems,only had it serviced twice ,4 lenses 1 body,3backs. Although the last 10years have been very lite duty,the first 10years had heavy abuse and use with very little problems. The 50mm lens is awesome I think,sharp and has little distortion for its coverage. All are cm lens except the 150mm c.
     
  12. lmn

    lmn Member

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  13. david b

    david b Member

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    Buy the best and newest you can afford.

    $1400 should get you a late 1990's 501cm with 80mm CB and possibly a 80mm CFE.

    Learn the system with the 80mm and then buy the 50 or 60 later
     
  14. randyB

    randyB Member

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    There are umteem dozen ways of putting a Blad kit together, when I got into the system in the early 80's VH catalogs and handout booklets listed suggested kits. The standard kit for the "beginner" was the 50+80+150. Some photogs went with the 60+120. It kind of doesn't matter what you start with cause you will eventually want one of everything, case in point, when I got my 50 I was thrilled, used it all the time, it is a fantastic piece of glass but when I picked up a SWC at a good price I just about quit using the 50. Don't be afraid of the age of a 500CM, they are high quality, built to last and with proper servicing (David Odess) will last you a lifetime. The newer versions have the bigger mirror which won't cut off the image in the viewfinder when you are using lenses of 150mm or longer. whatever you get try to get the brightest focusing screen also. Do some research before you buy to narrow down what you actually want/need. A good book is "The Hasselbald Way" by Wildi. Good luck.
     
  15. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    Hardly nonsense. When do you need a "quick shutter speed or aperture change" unless the light has changed or you're bracketing expsure? in both cases, the EV setting changes, meaning you have to unlock the coupled settings. I had a c-series 80mm for several years and I despised it. I finally sold it and got a CF 80mm and it has greatly speeded up my work. At that point 80mm was my only Hassy lens. I now have a 150mm CF and a 50mm CF-FLE. When I bought those I gladly paid nearly twice as much for the CF model because I am a professional photographer and my time is worth money. Also, the FLE version of the 50mm Distagon is considerably better than the non-FLE 50 (both the CF and C 50. The CF was later made in the FLE version that I have, but older CF 50's are the same optics as the C 50).
     
  16. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    It's obvious that having a choice of having both shutterspeed and aperture rings coupled or not (CF and later versions) is more convenient than having them coupled all the time. Is it not? :wink:


    The thing that should always be high on the list when buying used stuff is age.
    You never know what a bit of equipment has had to put up with since it left the factory. So look for how much chance it has had, how much opportunity there has been for it to have been abused. The younger, the better.

    But it of course is not the begin all end all. Old stuff may still have lots of usefull years left in it. It also depends on how well built things are to begin with (in another thread we can read that there are no 'professional' cameras. Well, there are. Some are made to withstand continuous hard use. Others will start needing things repaired and replaced after a trifling 10 years of day-in day-out use.)

    And as long as there are still people capable of giving proper attention to maintenance and repair of old stuff, age becomes even less important.


    The optics of most lenses have not changed indeed.
    There are a few notable exceptions. The 40 and 50 mm lenses mentioned are among them.
    The FLE CF or CFi version of the 50 mm Distagon is indeed to be prefered over the 'regular' CF or C version.
    But not that the non-FLE was a bad lens. It wasn't, isn't. It's just that the FLE is a better lens.

    The 500 mm Tele-Apotessar, and the 350 mm Superachromat are also optics that were improved over time.


    The 60 mm plus 120 mm set would be a good one. Very versatile.
    I use a 60 mm plus 150 mm in my 'walkabout without a specific purpose'-set, and i can't remember when i last wished i had another lens in my bag. A 120 mm obviously is very close to the 150 mm, and would do just as well.

    But you will eventually want to add lenses. A 40 mm at the wide end, a 250 mm at the long end, and something in between too (the 80 mm - much maligned - really is a great lens!).


    Apart from age, the difference between a 500 C and a 500 C/M is that you can change the focussing screen in a C/M yourself. Of the two, i would pick the 500 C/M.

    Both offer mirror prerelease (not "lock up" - mirror lock up is a thingy that (guess... :wink:) locks the mirror in the up position, i.e. puts it there and keeps it there, no matter what else happens. Despite the widespread misuse of the term, very few cameras offer mirror lock up. Of the Hasselblads, only the 2000-series cameras do).
    But i'm sure you meant prerelease (the mirror is moved up before the exposure, allowing any movements it causes to dampen before the exposure is made. It comes down again as soon as you rewind the camera), so: yes.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2009
  17. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    There have been a couple posts suggesting to buy from Dave Odess, I think there is a better way.

    I use Dave for all my Hasselblad repairs, but I think he is pretty high on his used stuff. I've done a lot better looking for bodies/lens on Ebay that low shutter speeds are slow, or body needs CLA and send them straight to Dave for CLA or repair.

    I have found this to be much cheaper than buying Dave's gear. Plus, I still a body/lens ready to go for a very reasonable price.

    If you get a C, I have a C, C/M and ELM, watch out for the very early ones. They are totally different on the inside and Dave says there isn't much he can do with them. Don't remember the year right off the top of my head, but as you look at the front of the body there is a small hole in the top left corner. Don't know what's its for, but I'd stay away from those bodies.

    Mike
     
  18. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    When I bought, I decided to buy an overhauled set from David and it was about $1400 (500CM, 80mm CF lens, back, waistlevel) if I remember correctly. Works as good as new and I am not afraid that it will let me down.
     
  19. aluncrockford

    aluncrockford Member

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    Might I suggest you get the 500cm , standard lens a few extention rings and most importantly a prism . That is all you need ,and any spare cash will be best invested in film .
     
  20. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    If it is a 6x6 SLR you are looking for, and not specifically a Hasselblad, you should also consider Bronica SQ-A or the newer SQ-Ai. Great cameras and lenses, and cheaper than Hasselblad equipment.

    Trond
     
  21. Davesw

    Davesw Member

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    Yes the 500 c is old but it is the mileage not the year that is the factor. I have a late 5oo c that is for all practical propose a CM (an interchangeable viewing screen is about the only difference) With the c lens it is a pain to have shutter and aperture locked together ,but I chose to live with it due to the cost.the C lenses still have great optics.