Pentax or hasselblad?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Ishotharold, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. Ishotharold

    Ishotharold Member

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    I have the oppertunity to pick up two hasselblad bodies with a 220 back and waistlevles for around 500. I also have the oppertunity to pick up a pentax 645 with 2 lenses (a fast 80 and a fast 135 I believe but the seller is my neighbor and just moved so the camera is buried for a while yet so not forsure) for 400. I am not sure which way to go. The hasselblads are.. well hasselblads and I would love to have one, is $500 for two 503cx bodies and the back a good price? I know the pentax would give me more bang for the buck in terms of immediate useability but I do have a mamiya med format that I shoot and I have other cameras to play with as I build the hasselblad kit. Thoughts?
     
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Hasselblad. IF you can honestly persuade yourself you need another MF system...

    It's always good to own and use at least one iconic product, if only to see why it's an icon.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  3. Ishotharold

    Ishotharold Member

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    what does a 503cx sell for on the used market? I'd probably only keep one of the bodies. And of course I can convience myself I need another MF. I have sinned grevieously this year in the purchase of several digital pieces for work. I must equalize the power balance again :wink:.
     
  4. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Absolvo te. Three Hail Victors and an Ilfordnoster.

    Pax vobiscum,

    R.
     
  5. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    buy them both, see which one you really like for your style shooting, and sell the one you don't like on eBay or somewhere

    who am I to tell you what's right for you
     
  6. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    Hasselblad. But, do you have any Hasselblad lenses?
     
  7. Ishotharold

    Ishotharold Member

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    no lenses right now, but I have a small budget to work with. I'm thinking I could spend 400-500 on a lens.
     
  8. Antje

    Antje Member

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    Two 503s for $500 sounds like an excellent price to me. You could probably sell one on Ebay for the price of a lens.

    Antje
     
  9. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Hassy lenses outside the 80 can be pricey and expansion to two lenses even more so; And I really don't believe a 220 back to be a good investment unless 120 can be shot in it. The Pentax wouldn't be a bad deal, but then both deals would for me depend on the condition and any CLA's that would be needed.

    I bought 5 mf cameras over the years for thousands of dollars and only 1 really gets used. You might consider moving your current one out if you buy either.
     
  10. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I own two Pentax 645's and love them. I've also come "this close" to buying a Hasselblad a couple of times because I've always wanted one.

    The Pentax probably comes with the standard 75/2.8 and a 135/4. I don't think there was an 80mm made for it. The 135/4 has a leaf shutter. The 75/2.8 came in two models either with a leaf shutter or as a standard lens without shutter--the 645 body has a focal plane shutter. I am familiar with the non-shuttered 75/2.8 and consider it one of the best lenses I've ever owned. All the Pentax lenses I'm familiar with are excellent.

    Right now, the Pentax 645 bodies and lenses are dirt-cheap. Depending on the condition of the camera and the lenses, you might be getting a bargain or you might be able to do better with your $400. There are a couple of factors to consider about the Hasselblads. Hasselblad bodies are going pretty cheap these days but any used Zeiss lens will be comparatively pricey. You won't be able to use the cameras until you buy one of those great Zeiss lenses. There is only one back for two bodies and the back only handles 220 film. Check on what types of 220 film are available these days and you might not consider the 220 back to even be of any use to you at all. In any event, buying the 'blads is going to cost you a lot more money than the initial $500 just to be able to use them.

    It's your decision, of course, but neither of these deals might be the bargain it looks to be on the surface.
     
  11. seawolf66

    seawolf66 Member

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    Ishotherald: Go with the Pentax since its complete system,
    I have been for the last 4 to 6 months be build a hassey system am now awaiting for the lens to arrive ,My system will have cost me $1,471.00 so unless you have funds to tie up like I do , then go with the pentax!
     
  12. Jean Noire

    Jean Noire Member

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    "Before you die you will regret all the things you haven't done",
    buy and use the Hassie! If you don't intend to use it frequently then buy the Pentax and regret it!
    Just my opinion,
    Regards
    John
     
  13. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    The 220 back should not be the determining factor, i shoot my 120 color slides in a 220 back, just need to keep track of your film usage.
    Two 503Cx for 500 is about the right price if they don't even have the folding view finder.
    If you like the square format go with the hassy, an 80mm CF lens can with a little patience be had for 400.


    jan
     
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  15. Magnus W

    Magnus W Member

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    I would say it's a very good price. Sell one and buy a lens. The C and CT* lenses can be had at a relatively reasonable price.

    I am in a bit of the same dilemma. I have just got my new toy -- a Pentax 645n with the FA45/2.8 and I like it a lot and will probably get a FA150/2.8 too. but can I afford to keep my Hassy kit as well as a P645 kit?
    Darn these decisions!

    -- MW
     
  16. Ishotharold

    Ishotharold Member

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    I went ahead and took a look and allthough he told me that they were both cx's it teurns our one was the 503 and the other was a 500(501? cant remeber) c/m that would prbly need a deep clean, lots of grit in it. I'll wait and see what the pentax is and go form there. In the mean time someone gave me a box full of old plate cameras so the Gear Aquistion Syndrome has been temporarily treated.
     
  17. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    It can be. That is, 120 film can be shot in a 220 back. I have done it for years. The only problem is that when you advance the film you have extra space between the 12 frames, so it's easy to lose the first and/or last frame if you're not careful when unloading and processing the film. I don't recommend shooting 120 film in a 220 back if you are sending the film out, but if you develop it yourself, it's not a problem. These days, I go out with HP5+ in the 120 back and FP4+ in the 220 back or vice versa. Works fine for me.

    Pat
     
  18. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    I work with both the 501 and the Pentax 645NII and each for totally different reason often during the same shoot - depending on the look I'm after. What will you be photographing with them? Do you need speed? Do you need interchanging backs? Do you prefer an SLR on steriods (the Pentax is very nice) or the magic of the Hasselblad & glass? I'd suggest playing around (renting) both until you know which one you prefer/need for your style of work. All the best, Nicole
     
  19. Mike Kovacs

    Mike Kovacs Member

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    Have you thought about whether you like 6x6 or 6x4.5 format better? I *love* square format - the Pentax is a non-starter for me based on that alone. You can always crop 6x6 down, albeit at greater expense per roll of film.
     
  20. sbandone

    sbandone Member

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    I own a Pentax 645 N2 and find it excellent for a range of photography, including weddings/ event/ action and general shooting. Focusing is particularly easy - you can easily change between auofocus and manual - it snaps in and out of focus quickly and there is a red indicator light and bleep to denote you are in focus- ideal for tired eyes! - it will do this with manual lenses as well - especially useful for the wide angles. The metering is excellent, and you can use Metz or Pentax flash in TTL dedicated mode.
    Only downside is lack of interchangeable backs, and possibly the mirror up function is a little tricky - Mamiya do it better on their 645's.
    I worked for a wedding photographer who used Pentax 645's and considered that they were as good as Hasselblads. I have never been tempted to buy a Hasselblad they appear slow to use. Optically Pentax MF lenses are excellent- either as primes or zooms

    Hope this helps
     
  21. jamie

    jamie Member

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    Do you have to take both Hassies? If not I would go with the 503cx body alone and let seller worry about getting rid of the 220 back and the other body.
     
  22. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    If you have the "Hassy fever" you should buy at least one, once in your life. You'll either treasure the camera and use it regularly or not, but in the latter case, you're getting it "out of your system." :tongue:

    Personally, I love my 500C/M (and CF lenses), but I waited many years to buy one so I could satiate my lust.

    A good friend and camera salesman used to tell me: "You will take better pictures with the Hassy, just because of the way you feel about the camera."

    I've had other cameras and I truly don't know if the photos from the Hassy are "better," but I do know that using the camera delights me more than using any other--from 35mm all the way to 4x5. I've had many, and the Hassy will be the last to go.

    Unlike other crafts, we photogs (or many of us, anyway) love the equipment in addition to the results. I don't think painters fall in love with their brushes the way photogs fall in love with their cameras. Strange.

    So if holding a Hassy gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling that you don't get from holding the Pentax, I think you have your answer. :tongue: Just my opinion.
     
  23. Antje

    Antje Member

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    Words of wisdom... :smile: I bought one and fell in love right away. I just got mine a 50/4 for my birthday. It said it feels incomplete without a wide angle. The cat started hissing at it because the Hassy takes the best spot on the sofa... Well, she'll adapt to the new addition to the household. :D

    Antje
     
  24. THardy

    THardy Member

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    Get the Hasselblad. I got one a couple of months ago. This is after buying two other MF kits over the last 10 years. I just feel good finally having a Hasselblad after really wanting one but denying myself all this time.
     
  25. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I've both, the Pentax 645 for about five years and the Hasselblad 503cx for maybe one.

    I favor the Pentax for several reasons..
    It's meant to be handheld. It's QUICK and responsive. It's not very large. It's downright inexpensive used at the moment. 645 is economical. The 75mm lens is fantastic. It focuses _much_ closer without the aid of tubes or diopters than the 80mm Zeiss C. The pentax even has an adjustable eyepiece diopter which is nice.

    You can't change the film in mid-roll. Some films like the Foma 400 don't work well with P645 (won't rewind after 15 exposures, you have to take it out in a darkroom or bag)
    The eyepiece viewer bothers some people. Some don't like the 'chiclet buttons'. There aren't really any accessories.
    Renting lenses is tough. You have to flip the camera around for horizontal and vertical. Using it with a studio flash isn't much fun. The winder is also loud.

    The Hasselblad feels and looks more 'well-made'. You will cry the moment it is dented/scratched/scuffed. You will also cry when you realize you want the Makro Planar and have to work a second job to afford it (even used in my case) You will cry even more once you realize the Pentax macro lens is maybe $300 used from KEH. It's slow(er) to use, atleast for me. It's loud. It's costly. It's beautiful to look at and hold and use.

    But as a workhorse, I favor the Pentax. Sorry for the rant. I need to apug more, it gets bottled up.
     
  26. jasparks

    jasparks Member

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    I have too many medium format camera including both the Pentax 645 and a Hasselblad. Although may seem to hold Hasselblad above the others, it is my least favorite camera. The Pentax 645 is by far the best medium format SLR I've ever used. It has very low vibration, is lightweight and the motordrive surprised me in how much it improves being able to keep the camera at your eye. However, if you want a camera for use mostly on a tripod, I would choose a 6x7 camera instead. This is especially true if you like 16x20 prints or larger. I find the difference in negative size very obvious in a 16x20 B&W print. Smaller prints show very little difference.

    Hope this helps.