I'm getting me a Hasselblad SWC with 38 mm Biogon lens (and I'm happy about it)

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by TheToadMen, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I'm getting me a beautiful wide angle camera, a Hasselblad SWC. It has a fixed Biogon 38 mm f 4.5 lens and it comes with one film holder.

    These are the images from the seller:
    $_85.JPG $_85-2.JPG $_85-3.JPG

    Poor images, I know. But I will inspect and pick it up personally before I pay any cash. He claims it is in perfect condition and well treated, so I'll see. I know a very good Hasselblad repair man (Wilco Jansen in Holland) not too far away from here. I checked with him and the asking price seems fair (Euro 600). A decent CLA will cost Euro 300 extra and that is acceptable to me.
    I've been looking for one of these cameras for a long time. I do have a Bronica SQ-B with 40 mm lens, but I just like this concept and would like to own just one Hasselbald. Since I'm fond of wide angle, square format and 120 roll film, this SWC swims to fit the bill.

    The lens serial number is 3571235. I don't know the serial number of the camera body yet, but the lens serial numbers makes it a camera build in 1963. Single coated lens, but that's fine for my B&W photography. Just don't shoot with color film straight into the sun, I guess. If it is in good working condition, it must have had a CLA sometime ago, for a camera this old would otherwise certainly need one.

    I was born in 1967 so I like it to use a camera that is (almost) as old as I am. So I hope it is in decent shape, as promised. I got me some fresh Provia 100F and Kodak Portra 160 today to do some testing. I'll also try some B&W film from my fridge (Fomapan 100 or FP4+ maybe?).
    I might get me an other film back someday, but it seems these are a bit costly, aren't they?
    If it all works out, this will be the camera I'm taking to Denmark during my summer holiday to shoot some landscapes and street photography. Making some nice B&W negatives for my first attempts with lith printing.

    Here is a nice article about this type of camera:
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/phot...blad-swc-supreme-for-50-years/189066224478660
     
  2. frank

    frank Subscriber

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    One day ...
     
  3. jspillane

    jspillane Member

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    Enjoy (I'm sure you will).
    Don't know about prices in Europe, but film backs can be had fairly reasonably in the U.S. ($<100 for a good condition A12, less for a decent condition C12). They use the standard Hasselblad backs, so there are a lot floating around. 600 Euros is a very good price on these... I peek at them from time to time, but I doubt I'll be able to justify one anytime in the near future...
     
  4. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

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    A world-class lens from what I heard. Enjoy!
     
  5. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    hehe - I (or my school) was given one of these a while back... a coupl eof days ago I took it out in a forrest, but only managed to make one exposure....

    My goodness I think it is difficult to use...

    Maybe you should visit me anyway - we could make a shoot out... :wink:
     
  6. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Congrats! I always wanted one of these too. The lens is so revered. I ended up finding a great deal on a 40/4 Distagon FLE CF with the floating element for my 500CM and went that route instead but I still pine....
     
  7. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Congratulations! I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine -- which is an older chrome lens model like yours.

    One thing to keep in mind is the viewfinder is only an approximation of what will show up on film. Take a look at the diagram below. You'll see that the viewfinder image (in red) is higher than what the lens images, and provides a somewhat wider view. The reason the diagram has numbers is that the differences between between the two "cones of view" is constant. But because they are constant, the differences are most obvious when taking photographs close to the camera, and when you're shooting a distant subject the (for example) top five inch difference will be insignificant. But at four feet, it can mess up your framing. When shooting in close, you'll want to the subject to be seemingly low in viewfinder.

    One other tip: it's said that the sides of the square image captured are 1.5 times the focus distance. For example, if you position your subject four feet in front of the lens, the in-focus square image photographed will be 4 X 1.5 = 6 feet on a side.

    Have fun!

    Image from Ernst Wildi's book "The Hasselblad Manual"

    SWC.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2014
  8. JW PHOTO

    JW PHOTO Subscriber

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    It's absolutely one of my most coveted cameras. Yours looks like mine, but I have a chrome body and black lens. I bought mine years ago from KEH for a very nice price. In fact it was my first purchase from them and I was a little worried since it was labeled "BGN" condition. Well, I was shocked to find the thing nearly spotless inside and out and soon put it to work along side my old 500C doing weddings. The lens is fantastic with respect to distortion(there isn't any) and is plenty sharp to boot. I did have to learn about shooting conditions and what the lens would do in some lighting. Sun in the scene is a surefire way to knock the hell out of your contrast and introduce flare like you've never seen before. That's with B&W or color. Of course once you know the lens and how it handles "solar flare" you can actually use it for some pretty spectacular shots. I'd love to have the multi-coated "T" version, but just can't afford it right now. I will never part with mine and have given the wife orders to buy a casket with a side pouch in case I croak before her. Guess what's going in the side pouch? You will be in love for a long, long time. :whistling: JW
     
  9. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    There's a Japanese street/fine art photographer who does jaw-droppingly cool photographs with this camera. Shinya Arimoto...worth looking up!
     
  10. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Wow, thank you all for the kind support. I didn't expect this camera to have such good references and this many fans :wink:

    @ jspillane: I'll check local sites for a spare A12 or a C12 back. If cheaper I can even use a 220 film back. I still have quite some 220 roll film in stock for my Bronica RF645. I don't think I'll use a A16 back (6x4.5 cm negs) since I like the square format.

    @gandolfi: I'll be staying in Bogense on Fyne/Funen. That's an other part of Denmark, isn't it? If I remember correctly you're at the north?

    @Trask: thanks for the warning! I heard of it before, but the image helps me to guesstimate focussing.

    @JW PHOTO: I thought about the multi-coated "T" version lens, but decided I don't mind. This one costs less. And I'll be shooting (mostly B&W and I like the old style "soft" and "radiant" images, so I'll see what it will bring me. And I wonder how Fuji NPH400 will do with this lens (avoiding direct sun). And if you have a nice example of a positive effect of flair, I would love to see it.

    @ Colin: I'll check Shinya Arimoto's work. Thanks for the tip.

    Tomorrow is the big day: my first blind date with the SWC!!
     
  11. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I wonder how different this is to a 500and a 40mm biogon?
     
  12. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    At least the camera is more compact and lighter.
    Lesser distortion due to lack of mirror and special lens design (closer to film plane, ...) ??

    However, a 500 camera can use TTL view finder, a SWC camera can not.
     
  13. frank

    frank Subscriber

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    I went the 500cm with 40mm Distagon route, simply because of economics. The SWC is much smaller and lighter, but with external viewfinder instead of SLR viewing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Any regrets, or just happy either way??
     
  16. frank

    frank Subscriber

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    Happy. I'll keep the 40, AND one day get an SWC as well. I really like wide angle medium format.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    And the right answer is: option # 3 :tongue:

    BTW: very nice images.
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    You will love it. Enjpy!
     
  19. frank

    frank Subscriber

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    Thank you! There's more in the link below.
     
  20. JW PHOTO

    JW PHOTO Subscriber

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    Well, I have the accessory ground glass back and use the magnified chimney finder with it. It's like a mini view camera with no movements. It does allow precise framing, spot-on focus and DOF preview. Now, it also allows the use of a metered finder to be slipped into the back. I'll admit to only using my metered finder two times, but it can be done at least. I do use the ground glass adapter back probably 50% of the time for still-life stuff. Just one great camera! JW
     
  21. JW PHOTO

    JW PHOTO Subscriber

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    Holy cow! I thought my darkroom was loaded with cameras and "stuff", but you got me beat all hollow. I don't know about you, but I could lock the door in there and throw away the key if it had a bathroom and food. Yes, I know, no food or drink in the darkroom. JW
     
  22. frank

    frank Subscriber

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    Sanctuary. :smile:
     
  23. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Where's the turntable and speakers? Gene Smith wants you to have a stereo in there…
     
  24. JW PHOTO

    JW PHOTO Subscriber

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    Marantz model 2220 receiver, 5 disc Sony DVD/CD/CD video and a pair of Infinity SL50 speakers in mine. Now, I just have to figure out where to put the "big screen"??? I have severe nerve deafness, but music is still nice in the darkroom. No hard rock, just soft slow stuff and classical. JW
     
  25. frank

    frank Subscriber

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    iPhone into NAD amp, into homemade boxes with electro voice horn tweeter and 8" driver. :smile:
     
  26. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I'VE GOT IT !!!!!!!

    YES!!! I've got it!! And it's a beauty.

    swc-drawing.jpg (this might become my new avatar?)

    I went over yesterday (1 hour drive) and met a friendly guy who is also a photographer (I liked his images).
    This camera belonged to a professional photographer from Serbia, who died recently (85 years old). He promised me to check the name of the previous owner through relatives in Serbia. Would be nice to see if I can find any of his work and know the history of this camera. His initials might be SR, since this is engraved to the inside of the film back.

    The camera is a Super Wide C (SWC) from about 1963. It came with an A12 film back (older model), original lens hood, original leather strap. The lens cap is not original but will fit snug around the lens hood. The camera body looks like very nice and is in very good condition. Only minor scratches on the chrome of the lens (normal wear).

    The glass of the lens looks like new. No haze, no fungus, no scratches, no cleaning marks on the glass in the front and in the back of the lens. The coating is clean without the commonly known marks from the shutter blades.
    The shutter seems to be operating perfectly. I'll have tot test the speeds yet, but 1 seconds sounds like "one elephant".

    The film back is an older A12 model (if I'm correct). Matching serial numbers on both parts. I loaded a film and it seems to work as it should.
    When the film back is attached to the body, it can move slightly (>0.5 mm??) on the top side. I'm not sure if this is normal. The back fits smoothly, but maybe the grabbing hooks are worn out a bit? I'm guessing it won't effect the images, but I'll check for light leaks. If I can find someone nearby with a Hasselblad camera, I could compare it to his camera and film back. (Anyone close to Apeldoorn or Veenendaal in The Netherlands??).

    I got an estimation of €300 for a complete overhaul of this camera upfront by an experienced Hasselblad repair man. But I may not need it yet. As he said a camera this old would certainly need a CLA. But if the shutter operates fine at all speeds, it must already have been serviced some time ago. Maybe I'll have him checking the film back. First let's make a test drive.

    I loaded a Fuji NPC 160 film (expired in 2002) to make some test shots. The red and white indicator on the back and the camera are changing from red to white ash they should. It's a fine and compact camera, easy to handle and carry. I'll practice with the view finder, due to the mentioned parallax effect.

    I'm all set for a lot of fun this weekend!!
     
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