info on Hassy 555ELD

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by razocaine_07, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. razocaine_07

    razocaine_07 Member

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    Hi guys,

    I've been thinking for a while that I want to sell my Bronica SQA and upgrade to a different square format camera. I was recently offered a Hasselblad 555eld with film back, 150mm lens and waist level finder. The absolute lowest they will go is £600. The images seem to indicate that the camera is in excellent condition but I'm going to go and view it on monday.
    I'm having trouble finding websites that have one for sale so I can get an idea of today's asking price. Does anyone have a rough idea of how much they usually go for in the UK? Also is it worth the money over keeping the Bronica?
     
  2. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    I don't live in the U.K. so I can't help you with price but I'll try to answer your other question.

    The Hasselblad will be no magic bullet to help your photographs. If you saw a bunch of photographs mixed together which were shot with your Bronica and a Hasselblad you would not be able to tell me which photographs were shot with which camera.

    If fit and finish are important to you then the Hasselblad is a much nicer camera and may be worth the extra money to you. It's kind of like comparing a Toyota to a Lexus. Both are fine cars and will certainly get you to your destination but the Lexus is a bit nicer!

    Bronica is no longer being made but Koh's camera in New York still services them. I don't know what's available in the U.K. Of course Hasselblad still services their cameras.

    For what it's worth I have owned Bronica S2a, EC, and ETRsi cameras. I now own a Hasselblad 500cm.
     
  3. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    That's about $925 U.S.D, which strikes me as being fair value for what they're offering you. I base that on KEH prices in the U.S. which are generally quite fair for used equipment. If you look here, you'll see what I mean. http://www.keh.com/Camera/format-Me...a-Bodies?s=1&bcode=HH&ccode=2&cc=80190&r=WG&f KEH equipment comes with a warranty. That's always handy. They also over rate their gear. I've purchased bargain grade equipment from them that in my view rates as Excellent. KEH also sells equip. all over the world. If you want the name of a good representative there, drop me an e-mail.

    There are other things I'd consider here though. I have a 553 ELX which for 18 years has been an absolute workhorse. I mainly use it for shooting portraits. So, ask yourself what you need a motor drive for and maybe consider a manual wind body that has a rapid-wind crank. They're quite fast too. The diff is you don't have to take your eye off the viewfinder with a drive. You'd save some bucks doing it that way.

    Also, consider the cost of additional lenses. While a 150mm is an excellent lens for portraiture among other things, you're probably going to want something of a more normal focal length like a 60mm or maybe an 80mm. Extra film mags are pretty essential as is a reliable meter and don't forget filters that are robably not compatible from your SQA. 60mm bayonet are standard Hasssie filters although you can save megabucks getting 67mm threaded and reduce them to 60mm bayonet. Oh, and a lens shade. Waist level finders are good but a stove-pipe magnifying hood is better especially since they provide diopter correction.

    Worth keeping the Bronica? Again, I think it depends first on why you want to change ? Before I changed to Hasselblad gear a long time ago, I used Rollei, Mamiya C220 and Nikon F-2s. I'm a photojournalist so the equip. has to be reliable, reasonably rugged and capable of doing what I need it to do. I have to say I'd never go back but I know too, it's not necessarily the camera that produces great images, it's the nut behind the wheel, so-to-speak. So will a Hasselblad make you a better photographer (which people often ask me) and I tell them not necessarily. But the system itself offers a broad range of bodies, lenses and accessories that may make them better equipped to find photographic solutions. Certainly it can record wonderful images but in my time, I've produced some real clunkers with it too. LOL!!! Zeiss glass is also top shelf lens quality. Pricey, but excellent.

    Have you seen Ernst Wildi's books "Hasselblad Manual" or "Medium format Photography"? Worth looking at before you score one of these and having them as references after you get one.

    Sorry to be long-winded here but there's a lot to consider when you're changing systems.

    Meanwhile, take it light.
    Mark
     
  4. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    I purchased a 555ELD earlier this year. Had been searching for a 501cm or 503cw but when I saw the 555ELD for 499 GBP I could not resist, since it has all the features of the beforementioned and then some. Added a magazine for 99 GBP, all in like new condition. Surely it depends on the shape of the setup but 600 GBP sounds like a bargain to me. After I have used it for some time now I can say the 555ELD is a great camera, especially for portraiture. You can place your left hand at the focusing ring and your right hand on the release button all the time, shooting along unheedingly. My film consumption has definitely grown since I own this camera :-D
    I used a Rolleiflex SL66 for some years and though I don´t do much portraiture it was always a bit awkward. Now I never miss a shot.
    The Rollei on the other hand has benefits too, I wish I could have her High-D Screen in the Hasselblad, since the Acute Matte D is not quite as good, but close. The motor and battery housing does make it quite heavy though and it´s not a camera to carry around all day, except maybe when using one of the smaller lenses like 60, 80 or 100mm.
     
  5. nbagno

    nbagno Subscriber

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    Actually Jimmy at Koh's has retired from servicing cameras. :sad:


     
  6. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    Yeah, I know Jimmy retired and I wish him the best.

    Their website is still up and says sales and service so I assume they are still in business and have someone who can service cameras. Maybe I'm wrong.

    Has anyone contacted Koh's Camera recently?
     
  7. nbagno

    nbagno Subscriber

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    The site refers you to Frank Marshman for service but the will still sell you parts.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
     
  8. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    Thanks!
     
  9. razocaine_07

    razocaine_07 Member

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    Thanks for all the info guys,
    Went to have a look at the camera yesterday and unfortunately the lens thread on the camera body was damaged, apart from that it was immaculate. If they get it repaired i'll have another look and maybe purchase. Regardless I think i'll sell my SQA and maybe keep an eye out for any bargains
     
  10. Douglas Fairbank

    Douglas Fairbank Member

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    I am sorry to hear that the camera was damaged, it is most important that the lens and image plane are correctly aligned to get the best from the camera. You might consider one of the other EL# models as the ELD only gives you an advantage if you are working digitally and the ELD models sell for a higher price because of the additional connections. The money you save there could be used to better or more optics.
     
  11. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Member

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    I agree on the older EL# models being a good place to save a few bucks. I just bought a chrome ELM with 90 finder and older 12 back plus two Varta batteries that aren't swollen for a total of $150.00. I didn't really need it, but at that price it has to sit next to my other black ELM. To me that's a lot of "bang for the buck"! You stick a lens like my old fantastic chrome 80mm 2.8 on it and I'm sure you're not going to know if the resulting picture was shot with a old clunker ELM or a 555ELD, but that's just my way of looking at it. Different strokes for different folks! JohnW
     
  12. SpunkySpine

    SpunkySpine Member

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    Sorry Allan, but Koh's no longer does Bronica (or Rollei repairs.)

    I refer you to the Koh's site where they post (Under Bronica Repair) info that their tech has retired.
    They also give alternate repair info for Bronica through mailto:camerawiz@msn.com
     
  13. Tom Richard

    Tom Richard Member

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    I have an older 500 EL/M as well as a 553 ELX. I love them both equally and they obviously both do the same job but to me the 553 ELX feels a lot smoother. I guess age does matter all things beeing equal. Unless you need the "D" i would at least consider the 553 ELX as i believe they can be found quite a bit cheaper than the "D" model. I got mine off ebay for about 250usd but that was without screen and finder. Looks brand new. Either way they are a pleasure to work with regardless of model.