Looking at a Hasselblad CM...

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Steve Mack, May 11, 2011.

  1. Steve Mack

    Steve Mack Member

    Messages:
    142
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Location:
    Dillwyn, Vir
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'm thinking about getting a Hasselblad 500 CM, used, of course. When I go shopping for one, what are some of the things I need to look for, and also to look out for? (I have got a Yashica MAT 124 which I LOVE, so I'm familiar with square format.)

    Thanks to all who reply.

    With best regards.

    Stephen
     
  2. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

    Messages:
    625
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Location:
    Canmore Ab C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I was fortunate enough to have purchased my Hasselblad 501CM and a older SWC from a friend. I had the opportunity to check the cameras out.

    The 501CM was just perfect but the SWC needed an overhaul and I sent it to David Odess.

    You may consider adding the cost of a CLA to the camera.
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,463
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Look out for the light blinds in front of the magazine. They should open completely when you press the shutter button. If it's possible to shoot a roll of film, check the spacing between frames for consistency. The rest are things you would check on any other camera, speeds, focus, dents & dings. mirror for scratches, focusng screen for scratches Wlf for operation. (it should pop up as you lift it)

    BTW Both the shutter and body HAVE to be cocked to install or remove a lens. If they're not it gets expensive pretty fast. :sad:
     
  4. Dave in Kansas

    Dave in Kansas Member

    Messages:
    304
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Location:
    Eastern Kans
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ideally, it would be nice to try the camera out before you buy it by putting a roll of film through it. As has already been mentioned, check the spacing between the frames of film. As the backs wear, the spacing gets off and the back will need to be serviced. I have one back that is beginning to do that.

    If you haven't shot a 500 CM I would recommend that at least you hold it and look through it and put it through its paces. They are quality cameras with great optics, but I find myself shooting my Bronica more often, just because I prefer the way it handles. For one thing the viewfinder on the Bronica is much brighter and easier to see the image, especially in bright sun. And if I put my 150mm lens on the Hasselblad the split image focus ring tends to black out making it more difficult to focus. Other than that, the Hasselblad is great camera.

    Dave
     
  5. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,954
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Awesome camera. I go back and forth between it and my Rolleiflex TLRs, very different feel but I love them both.

    I recommend simply buying from a reliable source, preferably one you can return to if there are issues. I've bought a number of times from www.keh.com . They have a 14-day no-questions-asked return policy and a 60 day warranty on used gear. Sure, you might pay 20% more than you would on eBay or privately but one CLA or problem later with the latter and all savings are gone, plus the headache.
     
  6. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,678
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Depending on the finances, you might consider buying an overhauled one from David Odess. You will pay top dollar, but you will be basically have a functionally new camera. I did this for my body, back and 80mm and bought my 50 and 150 from KEH. This way I had a reliable basic set up and saved a bit on the other lenses. My thought is that these cameras were mostly used professionally so you should be prepared for a CLA. That said, my 50 and 150 have performed perfectly.
     
  7. kcoloton

    kcoloton Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I just picked up a 503CX from KEH a couple of weeks ago (very similar to the 500CM). The 503CX has a brighter Acute Matte viewfinder than the traditional 500CM. I am VERY happy with the system, and it has been a nice addition to my inventory and the body price was almost the same as the traditional 500CM.
     
  8. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,405
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am a very happy owner of a 500 C/M. I used it for quite a few years before I realised that it needed a service. It's a 1977 model, and it is quite possible that its service a few years ago was the first. Had I known what a Hasselblad usually sounds like, I would have known on purchase that it needed some work. Anyway, after I got it serviced a few years ago (by an awesome Hasselblad service man in Adelaide), I realised what Hasselblads usually sound like and feel like.

    As others have said, do the usual checks on lenses etc, to see if there are any scratches. Also, be sure that any inserts match the backs (same numbers).

    Other than that, enjoy. It is an awesome camera.