Hasselblad Prisms Question

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by brian steinberger, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I finally received my Hasselblad 501c with a PM90 prism. I love the camera, hate the prism! It's way too bulky and gets in the way of removing magazines easily.

    So I'm planning to return the prism. I'm looking into either the NC2 45 degree prism or the HC4 right angle viewer. Both prisms are 3X magnifiers and also have eyecups which I prefer. the NC2 looks nice and simple and seems like it would be relaxing to use. The HC4 looks much smaller than the PM90 and would allow room to attach and remove magazines easier. Anyone have an experience with either or both viewfinders to offer recommendations?

    Also, is there much difference between 2X and 3X in the viewfinder?
     
  2. david b

    david b Member

    Messages:
    4,031
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    None of your
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    get yourself the PM5 or PM45. Easy to remove the film back and a nice 45 degree angle.
     
  3. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,682
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The HC 4 is not a very nice finder. The eye relief is way too short, so you really need to press your eye against the thing, making sure it is perfectly centered, or you won't see the viewfinder image.
    The HC 4, though it looks less like a solid block, is bulkier than the PM90 too.
    So if you want a 90 degree finder, do keep that PM90!

    The NC 2 is a great little prism.
    The 45 degree viewing angle really is the best (unless you want to use an 6x4.5 magazine and shoot in 'portrait orientation').
    The viewfinder is easy on your eye, and the 3x magnification is great.
    There are only three disadvantages:
    - The eyepiece is not adjustable, so you need to insert separate correction lenses. If you need a corrected eyepiece, of course.
    - There is no accessory shoe on top.
    - You can't use it when using Polaroid magazines.

    All three very minor points.
    I use PM-series prisms too, and very rarely have i felt a need to put something in the shoe on top.
    Polaroid magazines... why?
    And though i do need a corrected eyepiece (you could try using the prisms with your glasses on, if you have glasses, but it's not good), finding, or having a correction lens made and putting it in is no big deal, and only needs to be done once (assuming your eyes don't change in a hurry).

    The 'easy to remove the film back' thing is provided by all 45 degree prisms except the CdS meter prism, and the 90 degree 'tubed' viewfinders (HC 4, HC 3 70/RM 2) too.


    But how about getting the regular folding hood?
    Then get the latest type (with a solid tab to open the hood, instead of sliding knob), which offers the possibility to change the loupe for a corrected one.
     
  4. WRSchmalfuss

    WRSchmalfuss Member

    Messages:
    205
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Tip: the 45° KIEV prism finder will fit also on your Hasselblad! Available also in a spot metering version, and a lot cheaper as the so called originals!
     
  5. hassyfan

    hassyfan Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Location:
    Endicott, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    IMHO, the PM45 is the way to go. I've got one and it's great. If you wear glasses, this is the one to get........can see the complete frame at 2.5x, I believe.

    Ron
     
  6. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,377
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Location:
    florida
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The PM5 has worked fine for me. You can get interchangeable eye pieces for vision correction. I had sent Hasselblad a copy of my glasses Rx and the sent the appropriate eye piece. I can use it without wearing glasses.
     
  7. dentkimterry

    dentkimterry Subscriber

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, M
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I like the PM-5. It's 3x display is easy to focus. They are relatively cheap these days. I bought a nice bargain one from KEH for $59. Also consider keeping the PM90 as a second prism. I use one when I want a higher point of view. Works great.
     
  8. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,678
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have an ancient, beat up NC2 that works well for me even with glasses. It isn't all that heavy and it takes up less room in my bag.
     
  9. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,361
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    Alaska
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Exactly. The PM5 is nice, but the PM45 is even better. I find the 45 degree finders much easier to use than the 90 degree, but even the 90 degree is better than waist level finders. At least for someone used to eye-level viewing!
     
  10. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,936
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    south centra
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a pm, nc and the Kiev NC copy....can't tell a difference in any of them.

    Mike
     
  11. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Thanks everyone. From your advice I'm thinking I'll go with a 45 degree prism. Any differences between the PM-5 and PM-45? Look the same to me.
     
  12. Ira Rush

    Ira Rush Member

    Messages:
    177
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Location:
    Proud to be
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Brian,

    I think the only real differences are as follows:

    PM-5.............. 3x magnification (diopters need to be changed depending upon eyesight)

    PM-45.............. 2.5x magnification, built in diopter adjustments (-2 to +1), saves the hassel (No pun intended) of getting different eyepiece diopters as your eyesight changes!

    I use the PM-5 virtually 90% of the time, switch to the PM-90 only when using 645 format. The PM-5 with that 3x mag. wow, everything appears bright and sharp in the finder. Again only hassel is the changing of the diopters when my eyesight changes.

    Hopes this helps
     
  13. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,682
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The PM 5 and PM 45 do look distinctly different.
    Are you looking at what you think you are looking at?

    In use, the two are the same, except that the PM 45 has an adjustable eyepiece, while the PM 5 needs a replacement eyepiece (or, unofficially, correction lenses added).
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Ira, thanks. I think I'll go for the PM-5. I'd like the most magnification I can get. And my eyesight is perfect (for now anyway) so I don't need to worry about diopter adjustments. Though, that NC2 still looks nice.
     
  16. Ira Rush

    Ira Rush Member

    Messages:
    177
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Location:
    Proud to be
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Your welcome...

    I used the NC-2 for years, it is IMHO heavy and bulky compared to the PM-5, plus the diopter change is a real pain (which is why I switched). The newer PM-5, the whole eyepiece diopter changes (screw out/screw in), while the NC-2, you have to change JUST the glass itself, royal pain.

    Magnification is likewise 3x, also there is a "NC-2-early" and an "NC-2-late". Only difference I think was the way the cutout was made (rear of the prism) which allowed the use of a Polaroid magazine.

    While the NC-2 is most likely going for pennies,... If I were you... I'd go with the PM-45, saving down the road on those hard to find and expensive diopters!

    Once again, hopes this helps
     
  17. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,682
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    No, no, no!


    The NC-2 is less heavy, less bulky, smaller (less wide) than the PM-series prisms.

    Instead of having to change the entire eyepiece (which you have to do on the PM 5, if you'd ask Hasselblad), the NC 2 (like the earlier version of the PM 5: the PM) takes additional, small, cheap (!), and easy to get (if you can't find a Hasselblad original, every optician can get you one for even less than Hasselblad charged) correction lenses.

    You just unscrew a retaining ring, drop it in, and replace the retaining ring.
    Try to find a replacement eyepiece for the PM 5, and you'll soon now which method is preferable.
    (Luckily, you could also just change the glass in the PM 5's eyepiece - again your local optician is your best friend.)


    The only thing about the NC-2 that could be seen as a disadvantage is that it will not work with Polaroid backs. You need the NC-2 100 for that.
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,590
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a PME. I like the 45º finder and I do use the light meter. The light meter is very accurate. I use a Nikon F100 as my spot meter when I need one.

    I found the 45º finder easier to use that the 90º finder.

    Steve
     
  19. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    What about if you're shooting with the camera tilted down at a 45 to 90 degree angle or so with a 45 degree prism?
     
  20. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,682
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Whatever viewing angle you are using, eventually you will find a tilt angle at which the thing doens' work very well anymore.

    At 45 degree camera tilt, 45 degree angle viewing works perfectly fine.
    90 degrees, and more, up is no problem either.
    90 degrees down is. You'll find you need to be on the other side of the camera when you try. So turn the camera around, have the prism facing you, and it will work again. Though not as easy as normal, of course.
     
  21. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,211
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Florida
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Brian

    I agree with what most said, the PM5 is a great finder, but if you can afford it, keep the PM90 too. I have both, and there are situations where the PM45 will not be of much use to you (camera high on tripod). Also, I think the waist-level finder is underrated. While having the other finders, I still use the waist-level finder the most. It's the classic Hasselblad finder!
     
  22. Bob Eskridge

    Bob Eskridge Member

    Messages:
    161
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have an HC-4, HC-2, and a Kiev 45 degree with spot meter. My favorite by far is the HC-4. Yes, you need the Acute Mate screen and you can't wear glasses very well using it. I wear contacts.

    With the HC-4, I was able to adjust the eyepiece to my vision, and found it much easier to hand hold the camera. And with it, I found that it is faster to frame images with it. On the tripod I use a chimney finder.

    This has been my experience.
     
  23. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,610
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Brian, another option is the PME51. Also a 45 degree prism and has a build in meter which can be pretty handy if traveling light.
     
  24. AmandaTom

    AmandaTom Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Novato, Cali
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    On a high tripod with the PM 45 I just rotate the camera 90 degrees to use the finder. It's square--one orientation is the same as the other
     
  25. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,561
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    So many options!:confused::smile: I'm leaning more towards the NC-2. I really like how small and simple it is. The only thing I don't like about it is that it doesn't have a flash shoe.
     
  26. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,682
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    You will not regret getting an NC-2.

    And should you find you eventually do anyway, you can always sell it again. Without losing money. There's no depreciation. :wink:

    The flash shoe on the later prisms may appear a nice thing to have, but anything you put on it gets in the way a bit. Which perhaps is why Hasselblad chose the Sunpak 120 (modified and rebranded, of course :wink:) as their own dedicated shoe mount flash unit: it tilts forward, out of the way.