Idle hands, a wandering mind and a few Hasselblad questions

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Lee Shively, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    For the third time in a month, I've strained my back so I'm at home today takiing Advil and considering having a few slugs of Crown Royal. Of course, when I'm idle, my mind starts to wander and photographic subjects come up. One of my current fantasies is buying a used Hasselblad outfit since the prices are so low right now I can almost justify it.

    My purpose is for very light shooting, usually on a tripod, never with a flash and the subject matter is whatever catches my fancy. I don't need a lot of lenses, prism finders or a half dozen backs to do this. I'm thinking of a body, 120 back, waist-level finder, 80mm and, maybe, a 50mm.

    Recommendations I've gotten are to get a 500C/M or later model with the rapid winding crank and an Accumatte screen. In lenses, the CF models are said to have good parts availability whereas the older lenses may not. In looking at the KEH website, I'm a little confused over the differences in some camera bodies and camera backs.

    I know that some of the more recent bodies have TTL flash capability. I'm not interested in that feature. What's the difference in the 500C/M, 501C, 501C/M, 503CW, 503CX and 503CXi other than the flash features?

    I know all the backs fit all the bodies and the 6x6 format backs are the "12" series. What is the difference between the 12, A12, A12 with Black Dot Release and the A12 with 12 Release. The A12 with dark slide holder seems pretty self-explanatory to me.
     
  2. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Well, I can't answer most of your questions, but I can give you some places to look for answers. :smile: I have a 500 c/m and I love it, btw. :D

    This is quite a comprhensive spiel about lenses and which ones fit which cameras, and the differences. Great info there:
    http://medfmt.8k.com/mf/hassylenses.html

    Not sure how much help this will be, but here's a link to the Instruction manual for several variations of the 500 (C/M, ELM, etc).
    http://www.urmonas.net/manuals/500cm/500cm.html

    And last but not least, here's a link to the Hasselblad user form.
    http://www.hasselbladinfo.com/cgi-bin/discus/discus.cgi

    Now... 3 times in one month??? Hm... anyone give you strengthening exercises for this???
     
  3. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Thanks, Jeanette, I'll follow those links.

    Yeah, three times. The first time was when I picked up my watch from the bedside table, a week later was when I reached for a book from the bottom shelf of a bookcase and this morning was when I picked up my shoes to put them on. I could lift an old VW beetle if I had to but I can't bend over for squat! Getting old sucks.
     
  4. Terence

    Terence Member

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    See:
    http://www.photoethnography.com/ClassicCameras/index-frameset.html?Hasselblad200.html~mainFrame

    I have a 501 C/M and a 500 C/M, and prefer the 501. It happens to be in better condition and also has the brighter acutte mat (sp?) screen. My advice is go for KEH's "bargain" rated equipment. "Bargain" grade to them is at least an 8+ on anyone else's rating scheme and is often closer to 9. They have some wear but everything functions perfectly. And the optics are perfect. The only exception I'd recommend is to go for an "excellent" back as they can be finicky. I've never figured out the film back thing, except that I wanted an A12 back over a 12 back.
     
  5. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    I'd get the prism finder as well, with or without the light meter, depending on your situation.


    Michael
     
  6. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Much better than having an idle mind and wandering hands. :wink:
     
  7. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I dunno about that. Wandering hands can be very satisfying in the end.
     
  8. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    I bought a 90deg prism finder from KEH ('bargain' grade... perfect glass with the diopter adjustment) and it was one of the best things I've ever done.

    I was having a devil of a time shooting from a tripod when I'd go on waterfall trips. I'd either have to turn the camera on its side, or stand on railings to get my shot. But with that 90deg finder, things are perfect!

    If you have back problems, that waist level finder could be a potential problem since you are kind of bent over the camera.

    Now... about that back... do some stretches before you get out of bed every day... slowly bring each knee individually up toward your chin, holding it with both hands. Hold it there, then slowly let it go back down. Just do a couple to start... work up to about 10 on each leg, each day. Your back will feel great, and you will be able to toss out the Advil! (Hey... more money for film!) :wink:
     
  9. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Going against the grain, and since you are thinking about this purchase, may I ask if have you considered any other 6x6 slr while at it? I only bring this up as a 501 owner who thinks the Rollei, in particular, is a better buy and a better camera, and that the Bronica's seem very well liked and might just suit your purpose at a reasonable cost savings. I own a 501CM, for sale btw, and while it doesn't suit me per se', of course you may find it the cat's meow, but seriously, I would spend a day with one before plopping down my hard earned cash. Every camera has their odd little features and handling charcteristics, and I just don't see a Hasselblad having the best of any; And btw, I don't find them particularly light, so forget very light shooting.
     
  10. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I bought my Hasselblad, a 503cx about a year ago. I wish I'd done it 10 years earlier. I don't use the metered flash functions at all -- it just happened to be the body in the kit I bought, and I didn't pay extra for it.

    With 3 lenses and other gadgets, it's not particularly light, but no worse than a big 35mm kit. I plan to lighten my tripod to a carbon-fiber model before long, though.

    I've thoroughly enjoyed using this fine piece of equipment, and I'm sure it will last me for many years. It has its quirks and foibles, but any camera does. It's a matter of figuring out the camera and playing along.

    I'd buy the latest model 501 series you can at the best price you can afford, and then add lenses as they come up. One back will do for starters, but you'll want two.

    I have mild arthritis in my back that can be fairly painful on occasion. I've found yoga works wonders. Find a community education class if you can, and ask the teacher to emphasize some back work once in a while.

    Peter Gomena
     
  11. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    Lee, several years ago I took out a loan and bought a mint condition 500cm and an 80mmCF lens. A year later, with the loan paid I bought a 45 degree metered prism [PME45] and over the years have added a 40mmCF, 120mmCF, 150mmCF and some extention tubes.

    Its really the best thing I ever did.

    Before I bought anything a friend of mine gave me his copy of the book
    "E. Wildi Hasselblad Manual 4th Edition". This can be found on ebay for approx $20-30. I'd highly recommend picking up this book.

    Hope your back is better by now. I get some back pain mostly when I put on a few pounds around my stomach. Exercise and a better diet always sorts my back problems, weird I know! :confused:
     
  12. severian

    severian Member

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    prism for Blad

    Lee
    I have to 2nd and 3rd the recs for getting a prism for the blad. A waist level finder can really be a pain in the back. I splurged and got the meter prism. Just push the button for a perfect exposure. Sometimes perfect and sometimes not but if you key the meter readings along with basic exposure/zone system knowledge you can make it work just like a hand held meter.
    Jack
     
  13. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Won't do your back any good though! :smile:

    Seriously, it might be worth your seeing either a physiotherapist or an osteopath. I underwent quite a few weeks of physio for a bad back (whiplash and too much I.T.) a couple of years ago and it helped me no end.

    Feel better soon, mate!
     
  14. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Terence
    A12 back "auto loads" & the 12 back you have to peek through a hole in the back under the ISO reminder plate to set up the 1st frame.
     
  15. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    Which particular Rollei did you have in mind?
     
  16. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I have an older model 6006 but I wouldn't buy that one, not becasue it's not good, but because you can get a newer body with average, spot and centerweighted metering in the body and still use a waist finder without spending the additional cash on a bulkier meter. I wound up buying the Kiev meter for my Hassy, as I couldn't afford a metering finder at the time, and the added bulk just turned me to off to even carrying it. My pick for a Rollei would be an older 6008 pro model WITH the handle. Btw, my HFT 80mm is amazingly sharp and is reviewed as such. I recently saw a body go for what seemed to me a reasonable cost on Ebay. But as I say, everybody has their preferences.
     
  17. Terence

    Terence Member

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    Thanks. I remembered something about lifting the flap on the back but couldn't remember if it was just to start the film or a ruby window for every film advance.
     
  18. celeborn

    celeborn Member

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    I bought a 503CW last summer and it is very fun to use. I would have done just as well with a 501cm however as I don't use the ttl feature. Figure on buying at least three backs since one of the joys of this type of photography is being able to have the right film for the job in the camera. Industrial jewelry is an apt description of this equipment. I am not much of a photographer though, so my opinions are based more on my enjoyment of using the equipment as opposed to a discriminating eye.
     
  19. PaulM

    PaulM Member

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    The source for Hasselblad information

    I was doing the "which MF camera to buy" dance, went to a local camera store where they had a few used Hasselblads. After the salesguy mounted a 200 series lens on a 500 series camera (don't recall which ones) and handed it to me, I knew three things: (1) there was no shutter on that combo; (2) I found the camera that I wanted, and (3) I was going to have to learn about the system on my own. My next purchase was a copy of "The Hasselblad Manual" by Ernst Wildi; it was the best purchase I could have had made! I strongly encourage anybody who is serious about the purchase of Hasselblad equipment to read this book first.
     
  20. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    Greetings Lee: Just about all your questions about the camera, lenses and accessories are answered in Ernst Wildi's book "The Hasselblad Manual which I believe is now in its fifth edition, published in 2000. He's probably got a newer one in the mill by now.

    Briefly however, as far as magazines are concerned, the newer magazines designated with an "A", are the automatic mags with a couple of features not found on the older
    ones. When you load an older non-A mag, there's a window in the back of the mag. that when opened, allows you to view the paper on the film backing while you advance to the first frame so you can stop advancing when you get there.

    When you load an A mag and advance to the first frame, the A's automatically stop at the first frame and won't go further until the shutter (or some tool) has tripped the release-advance mechanism. There's no film backing viewing window. They also have an exposure indicator built in under the film crank. The black dot release is just the older type of A magazine. It has a black dot on the magazine-camera release button on the top of the mag. Newer mags, have a number like 12 or 24 instead of the dot. The darkslide holder is nice on the newer mags but a piece of velcro wrapped around the darkslide handle and a velcro button glued to the side of the body makes a very handy darkslide holder.

    If you're not in need of the OTF flash metering mode, then the 500CM is a good choice. Unlike the older C's the CM or newer bodies have interchangable screens, although not all CM's (or other newer models) are supplied with the acute matte screen. Some folks take them out and replace them with older screens before they sell them. They're pretty pricey new but about 1/2 price in good clean used condition at KEH. There are a lot of other minor differences between models and for those I'll defer to the Wildi book.

    Speaking of KEH, they're an excellent source for used equipment, especially Hassies. IMHO their bargain grade gear has always been in very good to even excellent condition. It's somewhat surprising. Very fair prices, knowledgable sales reps (call the 404 AC number) and if you need it, a very fair return policy and good warranty.

    And you're right, btw, I can't see the prices coming down any lower than they are now. In the past year, I've picked up some extra mags, a spare stovepipe finder and some other stuff for really reasonable prices from them.

    Hope your back improves soon. Have you tried the age-old cure of having a hot roll in bed with honey? :>)
    Take it light.
    Mark
     
  21. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Thanks to all who answered. I've been researching Hasselblads a bit and may take the plunge as soon as I find out how bad the taxes will be come April 15. If I have any money left over, I may get serious.

    As for as my back is concerned, it's not much better but I did see a doctor. I've been having muscle spasms in the low back. The doc prescribed pain killers, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory meds. After an exam, history and several X-rays (and about $400 I could have put on a used Hasselblad), I now know for sure I have arthritis in the neck and low back. So I'm getting old--what a freakin' surprise!