Help needed on authenticity of "new" 503cw

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by taosbob, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. taosbob

    taosbob Member

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    I'm new to MF photography and living in Asia, and have long hankered for a Hasselblad, but have been cautious about buying used equipment here, since most of it seems of uncertain provenance and is in dubious condition. So, finding myself with a a bit of spare cash, I decided to acquire a new 503cw while they are still being made. I dealt directly with the national distributor, who seem entirely on the up and up, with a sophisticated office, largish staff, low-key sales approach, etc. I was told that it would take some time to get the camera body and two film magazines, as they needed to order them from the international office, so I gave them a deposit and left for a holiday. Three weeks later, they informed me that all had arrived.

    However, when I went to pick up the goods, I couldn't help but notice the boxes were a bit scuffed. But on opening, all appeared to be in good order and well packed: the camera box contained the owner's manual together with an warranty, inspection certificate, and camera strap. And the camera box itself and the magazines appeared to be in excellent shape. However, I noted that the serial number for the 503cw, beginning 19SR. . . appears to date its manufacture to 2008 and the magazines, both beginning 30SE. . ., to 2009. Hence I became somewhat uneasy, but but the staff assured me these were new and not used products. I said I'd like to check first and and still can back out, but only at the expense of my sizable deposit.

    Is it plausible that Hasselblad International is now selling stock made in 2008 and 2009 and that am I being too cautious? Is there a ready way to check if a camera has been registered before?

    I don't want to be cheated, but on the other hand, I had my heart set on MF adventures in the very near future.

    Any thoughts or advice on how best to proceed would be most welcome! Thanks.
     
  2. ArtO

    ArtO Member

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    Have you tried contacting Hasselblad directly with your concerns?
     
  3. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    Were you expecting that the camera would be made in 2012? The camera has been sitting on a shelf in a warehouse for four years. This doesn't mean that it's used or outdated, just that it has been sitting. This is completely normal.
     
  4. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    They don't make bodies and magazines one by one as orders come in. They will be made in batches and a new batch will be ordered from the manufacturing facility as the previous batch comes to an end.

    As to the body and magazines being made in different years - that could be only a day apart, you know - 31 December and 1 January.
     
  5. film_man

    film_man Member

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    Hasselblad makes things in batches. Given the glacial pace of V system sales nowadays I wouldn't be surprised if they still have a warehouse full of bodies and accessories made before 2010 waiting to be sold. In any case, my 1998 501CM works just fine along with backs and lenses I own that according to their date codes go all the way back to the 70s. In the end, just ring Hasselblad. They will have the final word on this and should be easy for them to verify if it is new or not. I'd expect them to be interested in dodgy dealers tarnishing their name, if it turns out to be, so it is in their interest to help you out.
     
  6. taosbob

    taosbob Member

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    Thanks much for all your useful thoughts and observations.

    I should note that I have no problem at all if the equipment was truly sitting around Hasselblad's warehouse for years. Indeed, it might well be that an earlier year of production would be even better than, say, 2011, as I fear the master craftsmen with long institutional memory and skills who make these marvelous mechanical devices will soon be retiring, if they have not already done so. Rather I fear that the dealer acquired used goods and hopes to charge me an unfair premium by presenting them as new.

    I likely will end up contacting Hasselblad International with my concerns., but now suspect they are groundless.
     
  7. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    The two letters in the serial number give the year of manufacture, from:

    VHPICTURES
    1234567890

    so ES would be 1990, and VH would be 2012.

    - Leigh
     
  8. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    I don´t think they intend to scam you. In fact 2008/2009 are the newest cameras and backs I´ve ever heard of. I think the sales of Hasselblad V-System will be pretty low at the moment since the used market is pretty well stocked up. This camera might have been sitting in the store in Sweden for 4 years. As long as the lens and magazin mount do not show loss of paint or scratches, this should be a new camera. If you really want to be sure, mail Hasselblad in Sweden, like the others said.
     
  9. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    I guess that's how the OP dated his camera and magazines at 2008 and 2009, as stated in his original post.
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    as long as you like what you've got. there is no problem. none of my hasselblad equipment is younger than 10 years,and all of it works flawlessly.
     
  11. amsp

    amsp Member

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    Hasselblad stopped making the V-series cameras in 2008, so everything is in order with yours. Any "new" cameras sold today are old stock.
     
  12. dorigatti

    dorigatti Member

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    I bought a new 501 CM kit from a big dealer in Amsterdam in 2010. The camera, back and lens (an 80 CFE) are from 2002, but they are new. So I wouldn't worry.
     
  13. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    For what it's worth, I use a 1961 500C which, after a simple tune-up and relube by Nippon Photo Clinic in NYC, works as if it were made yesterday. I've never had to have my 500EL/M serviced, either.

    I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  14. taosbob

    taosbob Member

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    To update my situation:
    Many thanks for all the useful information and warm encouragement on this thread! Based on the postings here I went ahead and purchased the 503cw, together with some good used lenses (100mm and 180mm). Sure enough, it's a great camera, and I look forward to decades of photographic adventures.

    Again, my sincere gratitude for helping allay my qualms. I might have missed a precious chance to acquire what may well be one of the last V models made by Hasselblad.

    ~Bob
     
  15. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    I'm with ralph and the others -- it has likely sat around, or been shuffled around, for the last couple of years but if it looks new, it's new.

    Every camera is used after you run a roll of film through it. So run some film through yours and be happy.
     
  16. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    A very good choice indeed! Hope you´ll enjoy them!
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Enjoy!
     
  18. PointOmega

    PointOmega Member

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    You have nothing to worry about! I just bought (late September 2012) a brand new hasselblad 503cw kit from B&H in NYC, a very, very reputable store. The 503cw model year? 2008! The newest 500 body they have in stock. And I also bought a brand new A12 film back. The model year? 2009! According to my trusted contact at B&H, these items are no longer manufactured regularly, with the newest stock being several years old. Once that stock runs out (in Sweden?), Hasselblad may re-start the production line, but for now 2008-2009 is the most recent production year for film bodies and backs.