Hasselblad Prisms

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Josef Guay, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. Josef Guay

    Josef Guay Subscriber

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    I have been using a Hasselblad 501CM for a few years with the waist level viewfinder, an have come to the conclusion that I need a prism viewfinder for my landscape work. I looked at Keh.com and it looks like there are many choices available. I'm looking for some insight to help me make a choice.

    Is a 90 degree prism more suitable for landscape work than a 45 degree prism? Since I have physical limitations, I would like to keep the weight down. I assume that the non-metered prisms weigh less than metered prisms.
     
  2. david b

    david b Member

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    I use a PM45 with my 503 and love the angle. It keeps the camera a bit below eye level which I like.

    The 90 would have to be at eye level or you would have to bend down (more than 45) to use it.

    As far as weight, I do not think the metered prisms weigh more then the non-metered prisms. I could be wrong but I do not think so.
     
  3. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    I do also use a PM 45 and like it over the waist level finder. Both have a little bit of a disadvantage if you are on the shorter side like i am when shooting people. For landscape the 45 is great with or without a meter.

    Jan
     
  4. darr

    darr Subscriber

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    I used a non-metered NC2 prism for many years with my 500CM with excellent results. Last year I bought a PME 5. I have decided the meter is not precise enough for my needs since it is non TTL. It simply reads the light in front of the prism, and that is not what my Pentax 67II TTL does! If I had it to do all over, I would have stuck with my original NC2 prism since I am back using my Pentax spot meter with the Hasselblad. Just a thought.
     
  5. JosBurke

    JosBurke Member

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    """It simply reads the light in front of the prism""'--HMMM !! I may be mistake but isn't (Hassy PME or PME 5) it a center weighted meter read off the focus screen. I think they are fine for what they are but I too use a Pentax digital spot for tricky lighting or exclusive in B&W. I'll take the metered version and keep my spot meter handy !!
     
  6. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I also use the 45° prism, and find the angle more convenient. The angled prism also avoids the interference between the 90 and the backs (some models). Although I bought the metered prism as a backup, I later felt it was a waste of money, and went through batteries too quickly.
     
  7. darr

    darr Subscriber

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    JosBurke, you may be right about the meter reading the light off the screen and not in front of the prism, but I still do not like it. I find it not to be as precise as I would like. I thought it would be more convenient, but I ended up returning to my handheld metering method.
     
  8. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I also use a 45 degree prism, although mine is a Kiev knockoff. It has a non functioning meter in it that I would not have used anyway, but like others, I suspect the meter does not add much weight. The Kiev prism is a brick, and if you are concerned about carrying extra weight around you might want to reconsider staying with the WL finder. Like most things in life, its a tradeoff: in anything but gloom, I can see my image better through the finder, and the 45 degree prism allows the camera to be low enough so I can read the f stop and shutter settings on the lens. Although I've never used a 90 degree prism, I think I would not like the viewing angle as well as a 45. Now if I only read Russian so I could understand the instructions...
     
  9. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    I have a NC2 on one body and a Kiev copy on the other. I can't tell the difference between them, and the knockoff was on $13.00 on ebay.

    Any of you that have used the NC-2 and later Hasselblad 45 degree models notice any difference in the viewing?

    Mike
     
  10. Gibran

    Gibran Member

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    The NC-2 is less bulky in shape and slightly lighter than other Hasselblad 45 degree prisms. Mine as many or all of these was made by Novoflex in W. Germany. It provides 3x mag but eye relief is not so great and it can be a little difficult seeing all the edges without moving your eye around a little. The later 45 degree prisims provide 2.5x mag and supposedly provide better eye relief. The NC-s's go for between $40-$100 on ebay which is a great deal and a third to half the price of the later prisims. I actually never use mine as I'm used to looking at the reversed image of the standard flip up hood...and I also love how light and elegant it makes the Blad. My next purchase will be a split Rangefinder/Micorpism screen which will make focusing much easier regardless of using the standard hood or a prisim.
     
  11. ChrisW

    ChrisW Member

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    I cannot live without my PME45. The TTL metering on my 503cw is accurate, even when dealing with muli minute exposures. It may be a bit expensive, but it will speed up the process considerably. Of course, I haven't carried a hand held meter in my case since I got the prism. Lazy, lazy.
     
  12. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    I too have an NC2. I bought it for a particular job were I was going to be up on a step ladder and would not be able to use the waist level. I have to agree with Gibran on the eye relief issue. The top of the viewfinder is difficult to see, for the price it's worth it. Mine was a bargain grade model for $59 on KEH. I like the 45 degree angle of view. I can't imagine 90 degrees because holding a Blad at that angle without a motor drive or being able to see the shutter speed and aperature is inconvenient. The 45 works really well with the ergoniomics of the Blad design. Plus the NC2 looks much cooler.

    Not to hijack this post, but can you put a diopter on an NC2? This may be a consideration for you.
    Ara
     
  13. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    Oh, one other thing: do you plan on using a Polaroid back with your prism. My NC2 does not allow one.
    Ara
     
  14. Gibran

    Gibran Member

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    There is a later version, NC2-100 I believe, which was made so that you could use it with a Polaroid back.
     
  15. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    I'm also using a 90 deg. PME90 with a 503CW and it certainly does speed up the process and my brain is now less confused with opposites! It is heavy and my camera looks like a video camera.

    One thing that annoys me is that the viewing image quality is reduced, but it's well worth the money.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2006
  16. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I'm short and prefer a 90 although I did buy a Kiev, just because of price. Many times I have to shoot over things, like railings, and I find the 45 lowers my camera too much. If I was 6ft whatever, the 45 might be the ticket.
     
  17. genecrumpler

    genecrumpler Member

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    45 Degree Prism

    I picked up a brand new Kiev (NC-2 copy) for $49 from a russian guy on e-bay. He said he lived across the street from the Arsenal factory.

    It is really just fine for most work. In my case I'm quite tall (6-4) so the 45 angle lowers the camera a bit. I tried a 90 degree prism, but changing magazines was a bit more difficult. I normally keep the prism on the camera most of the time and carry a wlf for ocassional use. Operation is a bit more difficult with the 90 degree prism.

    A split image screen is the easiest for me to focus. The standard multiprism screen on my 500CM was difficult to focus, particuarly in low light.
     
  18. lgpod1

    lgpod1 Member

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    I have a PME45 as well as a Pentax digital spot meter. They are both great meters, as well as both being extremely accurate. I use the Pentax when shooting color slide film to meter highlights, as well when I shoot B&W and employ the zone system. Otherwise I use the center weighted aspect of the PME 45. Both are pretty pricey, but well worth the dollars