I always thought that I wanted a Hasselblad.

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Venchka, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    For the last 6 months to a year, I have been having this mental sparring with myself. To Hasselblad or not to Hasselblad? I kept telling myself, "Self, you have a perfectly good medium format kit. Pentax 6x7, 45-105-150 lenses, filters & polarizers, a bag to hold it all. You don't need a Hasselblad."

    Then a friend handed a 501 & 80mm lens to me. "Try it. See if you like it." Not a gift. We haven't talked price yet. I haven't decided if I like it.

    My dilemma:

    Is the Pentax 6x7 3 lens kit perfectly acceptable? It certainly seems that way.

    If I bought the Hasselblad I know I would want the 50mm & 150mm lenses. The 50 isn't as wide as my 45 on 6x7. The 150 is a stop slower.

    I suppose I could sell the Pentax kit to partially fund the Hasselblad kit.

    Way back in 1969 I spent a summer with a Mamiya TLR. That was my introduction to 6x6, WLF, single lens and medium format in general. I still have the negatives from that summer and like them a lot.

    Since 1969 I have been a 100% eye level viewing photographer. I'm not convinced that WLF is for me. I can see advantages sometimes. And disadvantages other times. I could put a WLF on the Pentax. A definite possibility.

    So. Is a Hasselblad at this stage of my life redundant? Compliment to the larger format? Replacement for the larger format?

    I should also mention that originals from both cameras get dumbed down by my Epson flatbed scanner. I'm not seeing any major difference in image quality between the Pentax and Zeiss optics. Has anyone done any comparison in the real world? I've seen the medium format lens tests that say the Zeiss 80mm is sharper than the Pentax 105mm lens. I can't see any difference.

    Thanks for putting up with me. Does anyone have a clue what I should do? I sure don't.
     
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  2. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    The most important thing is does the camera fit your shooting/composing style? Pentax made/still makes some first rate optics, and quite frankly, I don't think you'll suffer from the difference except in extreme situations (strong backlighting or other areas where the coatings make a difference). The bigger question for you should be does the 6x7 in a horizontal orientation prove to be a plus or a detriment to you? Does the waist-level shooting of the Hassy help or get in the way of what you want to do? I was a long-term Hassy shooter (I'm now using a Rolleiflex, long story). To me, the way you hand-held the Hassy, the square format, and the lighter weight were what put it over the top for me as a choice. I'd think that you will be happy with the results from either - it's just a question of which makes you HAPPIER - and only you can decide that.
     
  3. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    My 500c is still my favorite MF camera. I'm not exactly sure why; it's not just the optics. I guess it's a combination of the square format, compactness, precision. At least that's my opinion.

    You're right that you will want a 50 and 150 later, plus you'll want an extra back or 2. Based on "Since 1969 I have been a 100% eye level viewing photographer", you may also want a prism as my 50 some year old eyes find focusing with the standard screen more difficult that it used to be. So you see that body, back, and 80mm is really just a "teaser".

    I found it relatively easy to find an inexpensive prism (Kiev first) and 150 C lens. "C" backs are usually inexpensive also. 50s are to tougher to locate without paying a high price; but can be found. Of course "inexpensive" is relative; both to Hasselblad gear and to your finances.

    If getting the H'blad means selling the Pentax, I'd probably stick with what you have unless you really need interchangeable backs or leaf shutter lenses. If you are adding the H'blad to your current MF equipment and are patient in adding the rest of the package, go for it. If you buy carefully you should recoup your investment if you decide to sell.
     
  4. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    I think you should go for the Hassy -- that way when people ask you, "Is that a Hasselblad?", you can answer "Yes!".

    Other than that, FC's answer is solid. I am also a Rollei user -- it is my minature camera. I like the way the shutter is almost silent...the opposite of the Pentax 6x7!

    Vaughn
     
  5. Barry S

    Barry S Subscriber

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    We only have one passage through life--get the Hasselblad. Have fun, try something different--think square.
     
  6. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    A few years ago I found myself in your exact situation……. I had a Pentax 67 kit, and I had always been an “eye level viewing” person. But I had always wanted a Hasselblad, and with prices being so low, I decided to take the plunge. Now, a few years later, I am very glad I got the Hasselblad!

    The Hasselblad and the Pentax 67 are two completely different cameras that perform best in different settings. I originally bought the P67 for aerial photography, and use it for outside, more active photography. I find the Hasselblad best for interior work, mainly portraits. Both systems are outstanding, and there is very little “overlap”.

    Oh, and to address my “eye level viewing” preference, I also bought a 45-degree finder for the Hasselblad. It is bright and sharp, and allows me to focus quickly.

    Buy the Hasselblad—you’ll love it!
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Try the Hasselblad and make sure that you are comfortable with it. Then buy it. As the Hasselblad grows on you, you can sell off the Pentax 6x7, if you wish, and use the proceeds to purchase the 50mm and the 150mm lens. Frankly, I would go for the 50mm and the 250mm. I find that 250mm more useful then the 150mm.

    [FYI, I have the 38mm, 50mm, 80mm, 150mm and the 250mm CF lenses. The use from most to least is 80mm, 50mm, 250mm and 150mm. I have not had the SWC long enough to figure out where it fits in the line up. I have been only taking the SWC out for two months to learn the capabilities. I will eventually post where it fits in my line up.]

    You want the Hasselblad, you need the Hasselblad and your GAS tells you that. :D

    Steve
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2009
  8. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Get a mamiya 6 :wink:
     
  9. lns

    lns Member

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    I think you've answered your own question here. Since you don't see a difference, and you are happy with your Pentax kit, why change a thing?

    -Laura
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    You got some solid replies. I agree with considering shooting style and type of photography. The Hasselblad V-System and the Pentax 6x7 are made for different styles of photography. The Hasselblad is ideal for many situations but not for all. I love it in the studio and get away with the 50, 80 and 150mm lens. As Keith suggested, I also invested in a Mamiya 6 with a similar lens setup, which is an ideal travel camera, but I would not want to use it in the studio.

    So try it! But be warned, a Hasselblad can be very dangerous... to your wallet.
     
  11. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    No, the Pentax is worthless. You must buy the 'blad and GIVE me your Pentax.

    Bwahahahahahaha ... :tongue:
     
  12. Terence

    Terence Member

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    While the Hasselblad is a more silky, smooth mechanically, I don't think you'll notice any real difference in image quality.

    After several years of shhoting with a Rolleicord WLF, the Hasselblad felt right at home, and now looking through a prism seems odd to me. That said, after borrowing a Pentax 67, I saw no difference in image quality.

    The only really benefit to the Hasselblad is the ability to change film backs. A blessing and a curse.

    The first rule of film backs is . . . you can never have too many film backs.

    The second rule of film backs is . . . you can never have too many film backs.

    The THIRD rule of film backs is . . . ALL of them . . . EVERY single one of them . . . will need to be reloaded just when the perfect, fleeting light condition appears. It doesn't matter how many you have or how many times you train yourself to reload them immediately after finishing a roll.
     
  13. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I don't know ... i do have too many film backs.

    I find i only need two. One to use, the other to have a loaded magazine when there is no time to reload the first one.
    Four, if i use both colour and black and white.

    Could be because i indeed do reload a magazine as soon as possible. :wink:

    Things were much better still when 220 film was more readily available.
    And cheaper - it looks like 220 is going up in price every day. Almost twice the price, per frame, as 120 film now. So even though my favourite colour film (Portra) is still available, i can't bring myself to buy it anymore.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2009
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  15. ishutteratthethought

    ishutteratthethought Subscriber

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    With the prices the way they are now and with little patience, you can get a hassy for a very reasonable price.
    The optics on a Hasselblad are incredible.....IMO. I am extremely satisfied with the results and the ruggedness of this system.
    I sold mine to go to 4 x 5 a few years back and regretted selling the blad to get to 4 x 5. I ended up buying another blad shortly after. I bought a 1997 - 501CM with a 1994 - 60mm Distagon 1982 - A12 back, 70mm back, PM45 viewfinder as well as the original view finder and a bunch of expired film for $800.00 U.S.
    This was just last year so deals are out there.
    Steve
     
  16. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Please see my signature. :D

    Steve
     
  17. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Venchka,
    I have both. I am happy.
     
  18. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Buy a Kiev 88. The people who ask the question won't know the difference:tongue:
     
  19. mikebarger

    mikebarger Member

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    I'd bet few of use use equipment that isn't capable of more than we wring out of them.

    I llike my 500's but never use them off a tripod, that's 35mm work. :smile:


    Mike
     
  20. jgcull

    jgcull Member

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    >I think you should go for the Hassy -- that way when people ask you, "Is that a Hasselblad?", you can answer "Yes!".<

    hahaha
     
  21. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    I always wanted a Hasselblad until i got a Mamiya 7
     
  22. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The big advantage of the Hassy in this case is the exchangeable magazines. Would they help you a lot for what you shoot?

    Is having exchangeable magazines worth the loss in negative area? If you want to print square pictures, then the Hassy has an advantage, but only in terms of wasted film area; not in quality. If you want to print rectangular ones, the Pentax has an advantage in that it requires a significantly lower enlargement than the Hassy for a given print size. (Yes, I know squares are technically rectangles as well, but you know what I mean.)

    As for quality of the optics, I would look at qualities versus quality. They both have fine lenses from a technical standpoint. The key is in that which cannot be quantified. FWIW, nothing I have shot or seen from a Hassy with Zeiss glass blows me away any more than anything I have shot with my Mamiya TLRs, Mamiya Super 23, RZ-67, etc. I find that my Mamiya TLRs have the most unique "signature" out of all my medium format cameras (except maybe my Brownie, of course). Very "3D"...quite like my favorite Barnack Leica lenses. This is a matter of taste, however.

    Eye-level versus waist-level viewing is a non issue in this case. Both camera systems have either method as an option. The only issue I can see with WLFs is doing verticals with the Pentax. Personally, I would have a prism on both of the cameras. Wish I had one for my RZ!

    As far as what I would do: I would shoot with both if I had them, but I would not get rid of the Pentax in order to purchase the Hassy. I would in no way view the Hassy as a replacement for the Pentax; just an addition to the tool box.
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Could you borrow or rent a Hasselblad? That might help you decide.

    Do you use the zone system or multiple types of film? The interchangeable backs really help if you do.

    Would you like to use fill flash? The leaf shutters in (most of) the Hasselblad lenses make fill flash much more practical.

    Don't you love it when people answer a question with more questions? :smile: :smile:

    More seriously, it is important to concentrate on the differences between the systems, as well as the peculiarities of the ergonomics.

    Personally, the ergonomics of the Hasselblad don't suit me, but they may fit you like a glove.

    Matt
     
  24. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Yes, of course, Matt: I forgot to list that the other big advantage (for certain pix) is the leaf shutters in Hassies. I don't automatically think of this as an advantage over 6x7 because I am used to an RZ, not a Pentax 67, so I assume leaf shutter for 6x7 format.
     
  25. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    Wayne,
    I have both a Hasselblad and a Pentax 67II. I love them both, but I got the Pentax for one reason: focal plane shutter. I can put any glass I want on the front.
    I've made an adapter for the Pentax so I can use my old small petzval lenses. It works great. My website has several images done with that setup.
    So, I mostly use the Pentax now.
    Hasselblads are expensive. I'm not sure you'll see much difference in image quality, especially considering your scanner method. I've thought often of selling my Hassy stuff, but it was my first real serious camera, so I just can't. Plus I bought it new....
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com
     
  26. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Subscriber

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    Steve, what small petzvals do you use? I'm trying to get one to fit my Hasselblad 201f with focal plane shutter.... Curious what small petzval sI should look out for?