Pentax 67 vs Hasselblad 500 cm for handheld use

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by puketronic, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    I'm interested in a MF SLR (6x6 or 6x7) to use at eye-level with an f2.8 aperture to compliment my 2.8E Rolleiflex.

    How do these two cameras compare in terms of eye-level handheld use. Is one easier to focus/operate than the other?

    Not interested in backs, WLF, multiple lenses, and etc. From the internet both optics look great. I'm mostly leaning towards the Hasselblad, to be honest, but The Pentax 67 looks like a more natural eye-level camera.

    If it matters, here are the outfits that I am considering.

    Pentax 67 + 90mm f2.8 (I prefer wider than the 105mm...)
    Hasselblad 500cm + 80mm f2.8 + 90 degree prism (not sure which one)
     
  2. jspillane

    jspillane Member

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    I think both of these will be a little awkward for eye-level handheld use, personally. I don't mind the Hasselblad with WLF handheld, but if I put another finder on it feels better on a tripod or monopod-- it's certainly doable, but it isn't where the camera really shines, so if you know that is the main way you will be using it I would look at other options. Pentax 67 with grip might be OK, but it's a pretty bulky camera at that point.

    I would look at a 645 (either SLR or RF), or if you have to have 6x6 a Bronica SQ with the speed grip (no personal experience with the later, but I think it would iron out some of the issues with the Hasselblad design when hand holding eye level). If you've got cash to burn, there is also the Mamiya 6/7 route...
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    A setup for the Hasselblad that works pretty well for eye level use is a 45 degree finder and pistol grip. The side grip doesn't work well at all.
     
  4. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    The Pentax is easy to focus at eye level. The Hasselblad is not, though my only prism experience is with the 45 degree non-metered finder. The Pentax's drawbacks are related to slow flash synch and camera shake (though the latter is not as bad as you'd think).
     
  5. Fred Aspen

    Fred Aspen Member

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    I used a Pentax 67 for 10 years and it worked well at eye level. I now have a Bronica 645 ETRSi with eye level prism and I would say it's a wash between the two for eye level operation. The Bronica 645 is a bunch lighter and quicker handling; however, a 645 neg just doesn't measure up to a 6x7 neg. Loved the 67 negs!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2013
  6. jcc

    jcc Member

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    I find the Hasselblad with a 45-degree prism works better for me than the Pentax 67. The Pentax is a beast to handle! I didn't have any issues with a dimmer viewfinder on the Hasselblad (maybe because I was shooting with an Acute Matte D.

    I think it also comes down to your shooting style — how you hold the camera.
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The Pentax 67 can be awkward to hold. So too, can the Hassy 500, being square, as opposed to rectangular for the 67, a "35mm on steroids". The formats are also different: square vs rectangular. What do you like, and how has this been proven in the past? If you go for the 6x6, will you get bored of the format? With 6x7, you can crop any which way you can, it being termed the "ideal format". I sometimes crop square from 6x7. Lots of flexibility. Weight too is something to watch. A 165mm lens on a 67 body is quite a handful, begging for a tripod. In terms of variety, both types of camera are plentiful on the second hand market, but care needs to be exercised in assessing reliability into the future: all bodies are now getting on, especially the 67.
     
  8. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    I cut my teeth on the 35mm SLR. I have both, and find the Pentax 67 a little more natural. The controls seem a little more natural to my fingers.

    Of the two, I would rate the Hasselblad as the more flexible of the two. I would not dismiss backs and the WLF so quickly. Preloaded backs are quite handy if you are out shooting for the day. Much, much quicker than inserting a new roll. The WLF is great for angles other than the standard eye level image. Great for over the head shots in crowds too.
     
  9. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    I don't think the Pentax 67 is awkward at all to hold at eye level. Heavy with a 105/2.4, to be sure...but not awkward. I have large hands, so it fits me more like a 35mm fits most average sized hands.

    Just picked up a Hassy and it's alright. I haven't warmed to it like I did the Pentax, which happened almost instantly. Shutter isn't loud enough, at least that's my first guess at what is wrong.
     
  10. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    I shoot a Hasselblad 500cm mostly with the waist level finder. I do have a non metered prism finder that I use when shooting flash. It works great with my flash bracket but I feel it would be awkward using the eye level finder without the bracket.

    A good friend of mine owns the Pentax and really likes it for landscapes but he always shoots it on a tripod. I have handled it a few times and it's just not for me. If you can get a chance to handle one before buying it would be a good idea. Of course that advice goes for the Hasselblad and any other camera too. If you buy right you can always resell and get most of your money back. I've done this before and considered the little money I lost as a cheap rental fee. :smile:

    I use my Hasselblad for a walk around camera but I like the waist level finder. If I wanted to shoot at eye level I would seriously look at the Fujifilm GF670 folding range finder. It shoots your choice of 6x6 or 6x7. Of course it is not an SLR and it's 80mm lenses maximum aperture is 3.5.
     
  11. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The Pentax 67, by size alone, is very awkward to hold amongst people with small hands and/or chubby fingers (I know some who use an overside soft-shutter release button), and there are millions of such people. It certainly has a loud enough shutter/mirror whack, but you can get around the noise by getting a MUP body, which "spaces out" the noise. I had the chance to use a Hasselblad 500CM many years ago, when my hands were even smaller; it was unsatisfactory for me at the time; now though such a body fits me quite nicely, only that the format is something I would get tired of. Horses for courses...
     
  12. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I like the 45 degree finder on the Hassy. I prefer it over the waist level finder for everything except weight and bulk. It's nice to be able to shoot without the camera held so it covers your face. That's one feature of the Hassy that I like over the 35mm and Pentax SLRs. Seems that shooting this way keeps you less isolated from your subject (not an issue for landscape, but nice for people shots). Also by looking down people on the street don't seem to think your taking their picture as much, even when the lens is pointed right at them.
     
  13. mediumformatphoto

    mediumformatphoto Member

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    Have you considered a fixed lens Fuji rangefinder like the 670 or 690 (GW or GSW)? These are big cameras but very easy to shoot with at eye level, and because they are leaf shutters in lenses and not giant focal plane, it's easy to get steady, sharp images. I had a Pentax 67 and sold it after 3 months of use -- just too much mirror slap for me, but YMMV. Also, there are loads of Fujis on the market and you can buy a very nice one for $400-$500.
     
  14. Mark_S

    Mark_S Member

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    +1 - I shoot mostly LF, and grab the Hassy for when I want to handhold- I find the 45degree finder quite comfortable, and helps to position the camera a little below eye-level, which is a perspective that I like.
     
  15. tron_

    tron_ Member

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    Although I do not own a Pentax 67 I can comment about the Hasselblad. My 501C/M with the PM5 (non metered, 45 degree finder) is pretty nice. Like the poster above said, it sits slightly below eye level which allows you to hold the camera steadier in my opinion since you are slightly crouching down. I must say it isn't as easy to focus as my RZ67 though, not sure how the Pentax holds up to the Hasselblad in this situation.
     
  16. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I have the 501CM and the PME5 metered finder. It's heavy if you are going to pack it around for any length of time but I really like to use it handheld.
     
  17. jwatts

    jwatts Member

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    I don't find the P67 awkward at all to shoot at eye level which is 80% of the time how I shoot it. If you have not held and fired some dry frames through each camera, I'd go do that.
     
  18. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The 90mm f2.8 would be better for its tiny size — it really is a treat; I'm looking for one. There are bigger brutes in the lens line up, with superior optics. The 90mm and 105mm are average by many real-world standards. And the difference between 90mm and 105 is very, very slight. Both lenses focus easier than the several f4 to f4.5 versions in low light. This should be borne in mind if you use a polariser or deep red filter.

    At the end of the day the format should be the deciding factor. With the Hassy, 6x6 is all you have; the P67 will allow you versatility to crop whatever you please.

    PS: Invest in an eyecup if the P67 has a TTL prism meter. The moment you remove your eye from the prism the reading will bounce; there is no AEL (this is an old skool clunker, remember?).
     
  19. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    thanks for the many suggestions and advice.

    Well I'm taking it easy and spending more time thinking about my "needs" (I just have GAS, really).

    I have a few Rolleiflex's and I sometimes want something else but I feel that the gain of adding an additional MF camera is so little since I don't highly desire backs and other focal lengths. I think I'll pass for now. It looks like both are suitable for my purposes but it comes down to the other factors outside of the ergonomics.

    If I were to get either today then it would be a toss up. I think both would be great but at the end of the day, Hasselblad is a better system IMO.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2013
  20. tnabbott

    tnabbott Member

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    Used them both: Pentax 67 hands down.