Hblad questions

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by puketronic, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    I'm fancying a medium format SLR but I have some questions. I'm mostly leaning towards hasselblad 500cm:

    -Mechanical Shutter
    -Easy to find/repair bodies and lenses
    -Hold it's value because it is digital-forward
    -Small-ish.

    Oh and I plan on using a tripod so mirror shake isn't that much of a concern. I have flex's for walk-around handheld use but sometimes I want something a little shorter or a little longer. I just plan on getting a 120mm for now and then maybe I would add a 60mm/80mm or 150mm/180mm in the future. 60mm is the shortest I'd go and 180mm is the longest I'd go.

    1. I like Square but sometimes I like rectangle; however I do not like cropping because I print full-frame. There is a 645 back, I see some on keh.com for reasonable prices.
    -Can these rotate? I assume not.
    -Is there a mask for the viewfinder? Or do you just visualize the 645?
    645 isn't that big of a deal but it would add to the versatility. If I like 645 so much then I'd just get a 645 camera.

    2. I like waist-level but sometimes, mostly for longer lenses, I prefer to eye-level. A prism would be a natural choice but it would probably add bulk/ more things to carry, be more difficult to focus, and compromise viewfinder coverage. I have two choices: rotate the camera and compose upside down or get a prism. I guess it also depends on how "fast" you need to work but..
    -What is the coverage for the 90 degree prism?
    -I do not plan on getting the acute-matte screen, in the beginning, but would the prism make things difficult to focus for 120mm-180mm lenses?
    -Anyone prefer the waist for eye-level viewing when on a tripod? Just wondering. I feel that viewing things upside down aids in composition.

    3. Is there a difference between WLF? I see that there are "late" ones on keh.com which go more than the non-late ones.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2013
  2. film_man

    film_man Member

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    1. The 645 does not rotate however there was a 645 vertical back which however only gave you 12 shots, so it was pretty rubbish. There is a 645 mask for the finder but it is very tricky to find one. I though often of getting a 645 back for my blad but in the end I just crop, yes it wastes film but I still have the option of 6x6.

    2. By coverage what do you mean? I have a PM90 and you see the full frame. I use it with an acute matte D and it is nice and bright, I prefer it to the WLF. I do like the WLF on the tripod but once you start getting into acute angles it is inconvenient.

    Also, if you plan on using long lenses the 500CM mirror cannot show the whole frame. I don't have personal experience as both my bodies had the GMS but others can chip in and say how much this is an issue or not.
     
  3. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Just get a Hasselblad with the standard 80mm and don't nitpick about all the square vs. rectangular stuff, and all that other. Treat the Hasselblad like a box camera or an old Speed Graphic. Remember, the astronauts on the moon had NOTHING in the way of viewfinders. In essence they were carrying motorized box cameras. Do whatever re-composition in the darkroom. The Hasselblad's best feature is its small size. Other than that, the other cameras have the edge-to-edge composition features you seem to want.
     
  4. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    I also agree that "cropping" is not a sin. I like my black boarders for some work, but it's not some weird taboo to crop things to a rectangle,
    No the back doesn't rotate, so you will be stuck horizontal unless you get a 90' prism... 45' prism and WL finder are no fun to use in "vertical" arrangement.
     
  5. clearwater

    clearwater Member

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    Buying a Hasselblad to shoot non-square images makes about as much sense as buying a Porsche 911 with an automatic transmission.

    If you want rectangular, just buy a Mamiya.
     
  6. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    the waist level image is not upside down, just left to right reversed.
     
  7. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    funny, but Lots of pros I talked to used hasselblad because they worked and because they did not have to turn the camera. The Lenses were good enough to soon wide and crop later.

    All of my personal work is square but most of my paid work is shot like that. Most people don't want square images, so i shoot to crop.
     
  8. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    A Hasselblad is a systems camera, which allows versatility, by a variety of interchangable backs and lenses, If this is what you want, then a Hassey is the camera for you.
     
  9. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    That's exactly why I just settled on a Hasselblad and forgot about all that other stuff. Don't have to decide whether you're going to make a shot horiz or vert, and all that other foolishness that makes a big production out of it. That, and the fact I can work on them pretty easy, so I just stay with that. I don't care for the waist-level finder either, but put on any other one, and all my compactness goes away and I'm toting around a blasted anvil.
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    the mirror issue is minor IMO.it never bothered me and i have used 150,180 and 250mm lenses on my 501c.
     
  11. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    i agree,hasselblad rocks. it just works and mostlenses arevery good to excellent. icrop without hesitation to improve composition in the darkroom. good lenses let you do that
     
  12. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The only real advantage of the 645 back is that it gives you 16 exposures, aside from that, as stated, if you want to compose for a rectangle you can perfectly well do it in the 6x6 frame.
    If you want to use the 645 back for vertical shots, a 90 degree prism or a sports finder is almost a necessity. The WLF or the 45 degree prisms are awkward to use with the camera on its side.
    If you can't find a mask (likely) you can make one, or use the grided screen, which will show the 645 coverage area.
    I prefer the grid screen, since it's always there, plus it's helpful for lining up vertical or horizontal lines in your shots.
     
  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Buy a Hasselblad and you will never look back. Buy something else and there are no expressed warranties.
     
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  15. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    Thanks. I will start with 6x6 and probably stick with it.

    Thanks. That is what I mean. I didn't know that it showed full-frame. I believe that the Pentax 67 and many (maybe most?) non-professional 35mm SLR's do not either. I will start with the WLF and eventually invest in a PM90 or something similar (I'm not familiar with the prism models). I just wanted to get a feel for how well these things are received.
     
  16. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    I agree and will not nitpick about the square vs regular stuff. I think that I will just embrace the square and the Hasselblad for what it is. It has worked well for many many photographers out there.

    I'm going to start longer than 80mm though, lol. The reason being that my Flex's are normal and I'm beginning to feel the limitation. I will add a normal lens (60mm-100mm) after the initial investment.
     
  17. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    I'm not against cropping, I just don't do it. I know many photographers do it and they have to for some publishing and I do not look down upon them. I just really like composing and printing full-frame. It is what I'm used to.

    Well I said that I sometimes like rectangle. I'm not getting a Hblad just to all shoot non-square images. I'm simply exploring this possibility. But even then, I figured many people shoot non-square images but they crop. The reason for me to get a 645 back is to avoid cropping.

    Thanks, I knew that. I mean that it would be upside down when I want an eye-level perspective.
     
  18. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I will have to point out that the screen of the blad does not show 100% it actually shows about 92ish% of the actual image.

    I refuse to use a 35mm without 100% but the blad is fine with 92ish%
     
  19. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    I bought a Hasselblad as a tool to do many jobs.... It was common practice to use the "workhorse" of magazine cover publishing which often was a Hasselblad for rectangular purposes. Just as I am sure a few 35mm frames get turned into squares.

    Really this bravado and pigeon-holing is the stuff of "brand loyal" people rather than the professionals, and serious artist/image makers that use them to earn a living.
     
  20. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    correct. just use what works, cropping can be done any time.that can hardly be a purchase decission
     
  21. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    I'll tell you what--all my life I had all these different cameras. And everytime I was out shooting, I'd bang my head against the wall over whether to turn the camera this way or that way. Once I bought a nice RB67 outfit and then I had to struggle with that stupid revolving back. I got rid of that camera after about a month. Invariably I could never make up my mind whether to go portrait or landscape, so I'd shoot both ways, and end up not printing either negative. To hech with all that. Now I shoot a square negative and deal with it later. Usually I just use a mask I cut out of offset printer's masking sheet material to use on my 8x10 easel and print the picture square. Besides a 500c is as compact a medium format camera as it comes. Who wants to drag an anvil around? Not me.
     
  22. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    I have owned and shot Bronica ETRSi, Pentax 645, 645n, and 645nll, Bronica S2a, EC, and Hasselblad 500cm 6x6 cameras and a Mamiya RZ 6x7 camera. I have handled my friend's Rollie SL66 and Pentax 6x7.

    My favorite medium format camera for portraiture was the RZ. My favorite camera for everything else is the Hassie 500cm that I currently own.

    I didn't buy the Hasselblad. I took it in on trade and was pleasantly surprised that all the hype was true. In my opinion, over all, it is the best medium format camera out there. The Hasselblad is very versatile, has great build quality, excellent optics, is lightweight and simply a pleasure to use. The only downside is cost.
     
  23. SFC

    SFC Member

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    That's only valid if your rectangle proportions are always the same. If you sometimes come out with, say, 4x5 proportions, you're better off chopping a little off a square than even more off a 645 frame. And if you decide one image merits a square, by chopping a square out of 645 you end up with a pretty smallish image.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2013
  24. SFC

    SFC Member

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    Obviously, you've never picked up the lightest and fastest-handling 6x6, the Mamiya 6. Its lenses are as good as, if not better than the Hasselblad. I know--I have both. Just for example: the Mamiya 75 and Hasselblad 80 have comparable sharpness, but the Mamiya 75 has no distortion.
     
  25. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Don't misunderstand me. I think Mamiya as a brand is the cat's pajamas. Good stuff. Have never heard of a Mamiya 6. Probably a heck of a camera. I just googled it up. It's a rangefinder camera. If I was going to buy a rangefinder camera again, it would be a Mamiya-made Rapid Omega, which I already owned and sold. My only complaint with a Hasselblad is a big complaint, actually. They go off like a bomb in your hand. Frankly I never was particularly impressed by one, at least from a vibration standpoint. And since I know how to work on them, I'm not as enthralled as people who never saw the innards of one. Oh, they're good alright. Sure enough. But personally I think a lot of their high price was to pay off the ransom of the taxes in a socialist country like Sweden. Probably half the MSRP was tax. Mamiya is an EXCELLENT alternative, in any format they ever made. My first camera was a Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL. I still think its the best 35mm ever, aside from the disappointing 85% viewfinder coverage.
     
  26. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Look at the 45deg prisms. I have a cheap NC 2 with a little prism separation and it is far better than the waist level. I think I paid $25. For me (I'm pretty short), the waist level is not very usable on a tripod since the tripod has to be fairly low in order to see in the view finder.