Hasselblad purchasing advice needed

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by J Rollinger, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    A local photographer is selling all his old Hassy equipment so I'm very interested in buying 2 of the kits. This will be my first time with Hasselblad and need advice on the body's and lenses. There are several 500 el/m and several 500 c/m bodies. The lenses are 150mm, 120mm, 80mm and 50mm and several 120 & 220 backs. Some of the lenses are the old chrome style and some are black. I know there is different lenses like C, CF but i dont know which one is better. Should i stay away from the old chrome or are they good lenses? All the equipment has been sitting for 5 years since he went digital and he dosnt even know which lenses are chrome or black but he will dig them out tonight and email me the photos. Should i stay away from the EL/M? These cameras will be used by me for street photography and the EL/M looks very bulky with the winder attached so i was leaning to the 500 C/M's. After doing a little research i was thinking of offering $600 per kit (camera, lens & back) is this a fair price? Are there any backs i should avoid? 500 el/m or 500 c/m?

    Thanks for your advice!

    Jim
     
  2. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    hey Jim,

    since I don't shoot Hassy, my experience is somewhat limited with them. from what I can recall, if you're intending for street use, you have two options that I can see:

    1. 500CM for lighter weight. manual cranking though, so more for you to have to pay attention to. if you shoot fast, you can crank fast, sometimes its nicer to have the motor IMO.
    2. the ELM. gives you that motor winder, but isn't all that discreet in the sound dept from what I recall... also check to see if he had the bodies converted to take (AA/9V) batteries, because the rechargeables that Hasselblad sold with the motor bodies weren't all that good, and replacements can be hard to come by IIRC.
    3. the 'silver' lenses are all fine. The CF/CFE/CFI lenses are the newest(in order of oldest to youngest in model range).
    4. The 120's are all great, no matter what the C/CF. My friend has both versions, and with b/w(assuming you're b/w only for street) they should be fine. However, a bit heavy for me(and I'm a bigger guy)
    5. Try the stuff out. See if the 50 gives you a cool perspective, its wide(think 30mm on 35mm F/L). Works nicely.

    ohhh.... almost forgot.... The newer the models of lenses had more coatings, b/c they were designed to be used with color film as well, so more coatings for proper color rendition.

    give him what you think is proper. check ebay prices for what you see he has. PAY CASH. $100 bills do a wonder to people when YOU want a deal. They're generally more willing :smile:.

    -Dan

    please excuse me if some of this may be a little stale info. Most of the people I've assisted used Hassy back in the day, but now they're primarily digital, or use Hassy H2's(645 af bodies) or Mamiya RZ's for film use. Have you thought about the SUPERWIDE cameras?
     
  3. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    All repair shops say that the shutters in the C lenses are becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to repair. Newer would seem to be better. Unless the current owner "used & abused" the newer lenses. Tough call.

    I would go lean and mean and mechanical with the 500 c/m body and the best looking lenses he has. 50-80-150 is a classic combination.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2009
  4. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    The chrome lenses (the C versions) may or may not have the T* coating; definitely T* lenses are preferable since they're less likely to flare. But I wouldn't turn up my nose at them if that's all you can get. The black ones are all T* so no concerns there. You do want to make sure the lenses all work at all speeds.

    You should confirm whether the backs are A12 and A24 -- these are the newer design with automatic winding to the first frame. The A backs have a crank on the right side. Not critical, but it's better if the backs have inserts with matching serial numbers.

    I don't know much about the EL/M in terms of reliability but because of the bulk, I think of them as more tripod mounted studio cameras. Electronics add uncertainty, too. So I'd opt for the 500 C/Ms, as you said.

    As for the $600 per kit, which lens does that include? That's in the right range if it's for the 80mm or 150mm, but the 50mm is alone worth that much.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    For $600 a kit, you could sell off what you decide that you do not want and have a profit.

    It all depends on condition. You may have to get some or all of it CLAed.

    The other posts covered most of the details:
    1) Batteries for the EL/M
    2) Chrome lenses are getting harder to service and have one coating unless marked T*.
    3) The optical prescription for the C and CF et al lenses are the same.
    4) A24 backs are for 220 film which is very limited to a few types of film.
    5) The 120mm lens is very good for close ups.

    Steve
     
  6. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    Don't wait 40+ years to do it like I did.
     
  7. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    Here is what I think about old chrome C lenses: I have a 50, 80, and 250 CF lenses, and the 150 chrome C. It is by far my favorite lens. It is the one that stays on my camera in the bag, and the one I use whenever possible. To my eye, it produces sharper negatives. If it were to break today and be unrepairable, I would immediately begin searching for a replacement. In fact, if you buy this kit and it comes with a chrome 150 that you do not want, I might buy it from you.
     
  8. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    A few notes:

    There was, nor is, anything wrong with the rechargeables. Work great.

    Aren't much of a problem.
    Though indeed not as easy to find as regular AA's, you can still get new ones.
    And if you don't want to, there are a number of replacement options that work fine.


    It's not the finish of the lens, but the parts that go into them. So the repair situation for C lenses both "chrome" and black is the same.
    It isn't as problematic as it often is made out to be. You can get C lenses serviced and repaired, even though Zeiss and Hasselblad don't want to bother with them anymore.

    Do not look at the colour of the lens as the definitive answer to whether it has T* or T coating. Look for the red T or T* on the lens.
     
  9. mikebarger

    mikebarger Member

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    I use one of the nine bolt battery option in my EL/M.

    David Odess hasn't been raising his prices, so I guess not ALL shops are saying the shutters are getting harder to work on. I wonder how a shutter could harder to work on anyway? :wink:

    I sure don't see a lot of posts complaining they couldn't get the C lens repaired and would have to retire it.

    Get'em and have fun.

    Mike
     
  10. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    To amplify on this, the springs for the C shutter are getting harder to find. The good news is that the repair people have gotten replacements from other Hasselblad lenses and that for now this is not a problem.

    The chrome lenses have some handling differences on making settings, but I would not use that for a buy-no buy decision.

    Steve
     
  11. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    "Chrome" and black C lenses only differ in colour. No handling differences.
    :wink:
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I was referring to the shutter speed and aperture rings keep the same EV number if you press the button on the ring for the Black Lenses. There is a slightly different way it works with the Chrome lenses but I do not recall the details clearly enough to put it on this thread - Q. G. can you elaborate, please?

    The Chrome lenses have two red arrows to show that depth of field - a nice touch.

    Steve
     
  13. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    Thank you everyone for all the great help! The seller sent me photos and prices and i was shocked! The shocking thing was that he will not sell me a kit or 2. He wants to sell each piece separate, Back, lens, body (no price for an entire setup). $425 for a C/M body, $125 for a 220 back and $900 for a CF 60mm lens. I checked ebay for past sales and found all of his prices are more than Ebay and also there are no caps on the bodies and no front or rear caps on the lenses. I will pass on the equipment because i feel the prices are to high and it dosnt look like the equipment was cared for.

    Thanks again for all your help!!!
     
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  15. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    Here is an example of what he is offering for $1450. Even though i have no experience with Hasselblad i feel this price is way out of line. Am i correct?
     

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  16. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Good decision. Check out KEH.com. They are very conservative with their grading of equipment and they have a good return policy. I have used them for Hasselblad and Nikon equipment.

    Steve
     
  17. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    From what I could see in the pictures you posted, it looks used as opposed to not "cared for". Most Hasselblad equipment were tools, so not babied. Especially if used for weddings.

    But I think he's living in the past as far as pricing unless he has records of recent CLAs for the equipment. I'm sure he's basing prices on what he paid, not the current market.

    220 backs generally go very cheap, given the relatively thin selection of 220 film now (I know some use 120 film in 220 backs). From what I've seen as lenses go, within any series, the 80 is cheapest (not surprisingly), followed by the 150, then the 50, then others.

    Note that there are C backs and A backs. The C backs have a little door in the back to align the first frame, then wind normally after that. They are older and cheaper. I have a couple and don't mind using them at all, but make sure the spring loaded door in the back is tight. The picture you showed is an A back. Make sure the s/n on the back itself matches the s/n on the insert, or adjust the price downward. Backs need the lightseals replaced after a while; a relatively simple and inexpensive diy project.

    Also, there are 2 types of 16 backs (16 exp per 120 roll). One produces a 6x4.5 negative and is desirable, the other produces a 4x4 negative for "super slides" and therefore is an albatross (but not very common).

    I have a 50, 80, and 150 for my 500C and use the 50 the most. I have no problem with the chome non-T* lenses. But I use a lens shade and most of the time use on a tripod so can shade the lens with a hat or gray card. Assume you'll want at least 2 backs. I find it much easier to use a prism finder rather than the wlf. Of course, all subject to personal preferences.

    You may already know this, but the shutter in the lens is cocked via a linkage from the body. Make sure there is not excessive wear on the body side or the lens side (looks like a flat head screw on the lens). Sometimes they get out of sync if the body is fired while off the lens. Here's info on that: http://photoweb.net/pw_tech/hassy_unjam.html
     
  18. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser

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    You can probably do better, but it is not really that far our of line for good equipment. Just my 2 cents... I would stay away from the 220 back and if you're going for a wider lens than the normal 80mm, I would avoid the 60 and go for a 50mm. Personally I never liked the 60mm and I flat out hate 220 film.

    Good luck!
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I agree the 60mm lens is too close to the 80mm lens. Consider the 50mm 80mm [150mm] 250mm set [150 is not as likely to be used since it is only a factor of two longer] or the 50mm 1000mm 250mm set.

    Steve
     
  20. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I see where the confusion arises: there are both "chrome" and black "C" lenses. I.e. not all black lenses are "CF" or later lenses.

    "C" lenses all work the same, no matter what colour. The black ones, for instance, also have the two moving DoF indicators. They are every bit the same, black or "chrome".
     
  21. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Just to show that opinions vary a lot, i count the 60 mm lens among my favourites.
    It's close to the 80 mm, and that's exactly why i like it. Like the 80 mm, a very, very usefull all purpose lens. Great!

    But if the 60 mm will be all you have on the wide side, i agree that a wider spread between focal lengths would be better. So either a 50 mm, or - if you like it really wide - a 40 mm.

    The 150 mm is one of the favourites too, again exactly because it is rather close to the 80, still in the not-so-uncommon-working-distance range. It rounds of the 60 mm + 80 mm set nicely.

    My small walk-about kit consists of a camera, two magazines and the 60 mm and 150 mm lenses. There's almost nothing you can't tackle with that set.

    Having said that, the 250 mm too is a favourite. But it already is a bit of a specialist lens.

    I could never get really friendly with the 100 mm. It's often either a bit too long, or not long enough. It's the only lens in my kit that sits on a shelf, instead of in one of my equipment bags.
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    When I bought my first Hasselblad equipment the salesman said that the 100mm lens was a great lens. I did not buy it but instead collected the SWC [38mm], 50mm, 80mm, 150mm and 250mm lenses. Yes, the 250mm lens is a specialist lens as is the SWC but I use both enough to keep them. Actually, now I use the SWC more than the 250mm lens.

    So I do not really have a place for the 100mm lens in my stable. However, since yours sits on the shelf, how about sending it over here for extensive testing and exercise, to be returned after a year or two? Come on we both know that lenses are meant to be exercised to prevent CLAs.

    Steve
     
  23. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    That's true.
    I might consider sending it to you for a while (i.e. i expect to get it back), but will have to ask for a small fee. About... uhm... how much do these lenses go for nowadays?
    :D
     
  24. edtbjon

    edtbjon Member

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    That has nothing to do with the chrome barrel or the lack of T* coating. (Well, possibly the lack of multicoating does produce a softer tonescale which is more to your liking.) Else the only difference between your chrome 150 and a brand new one is the barrel and the shutter. They are optically identical. I.e. Zeiss made an excellent lens to start with and there's been no need to improve it.
    Don't get me wrong here. I own a black C type 150 and I love it. The only differences 'tween mine and yours is the black paint on the barrel and the multicoated lenses, where the multicoating doesn't matter that much on a long lens anyhow. (Multicoating does matter much more for e.g. a 50mm Distagon, where you much more often get direct lightsources in the frame. There are also more glass-air surfaces in the Distagon.)

    //Björn
     
  25. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    I recently (in the last 4-6 weeks) went through KEH's listings for the following: WLF 501cm body, A12 back and 80mm CFE lens. The least expensive combination of those 3 items was approx. $1,450. KEH quoted buying a similar oufit in EX+ condition at $704. Perhaps if you explain the facts of life to the seller..............
     
  26. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    This seems consistent with my previous looks at KEH buying/selling. They seem to typically buy at about 50% of their selling price. I generally think of the midpoint as being a fair price for a private party sale.