Repair old 500CM or buy a new body?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by agphotography, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. agphotography

    agphotography Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So I've been asking a bunch of questions over the months about my V-system kit, which I'm still using with some regularity and it still works most of the time, but dearly needs a good tune-up. Considering this is going to cost me at least $200 I started wondering if I should just buy a new body from KEH and go with that?

    Or should I just send it in to Odess piece by piece over time? (I would want to get my backs serviced as well, but I don't think my lenses need it)

    Just trying to figure out the most economical solution.
     
  2. ac12

    ac12 Member

    Messages:
    361
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    SF Bay Area,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Tough choice.
    Do the CLA and you are set for the next 10+ years.
    Get one from KEH and in a few months it may have a problem where it needs a CLA, or it may go for 10 years w/o a problem. You don't know the history of their used gear, and neither do they.

    BTW, I'm not sure if you meant buy a NEW body or a used body from KEH. I know KEH from their used gear, I did not know they sold NEW stuff.

    Yeah I agree with you, getting your entire kit serviced is goina be EXPENSIVE. Personally I would hold off on servicing until you have a problem with a specific piece of gear, unless you're a pro, then you need to do preventive maintenance so it won't fail during a job.
    Have you checked Flutot's, they are down in Southern Calif. http://flutotscamerarepair.com/
    You can also call International Camera Technicians in Mountain View, up in the SF Bay Area. His prices are similar to David's, but he isn't a Hasselblad specialist like David. He's an older guy, so best to call him on the phone 650-961-5825.

    Number your backs, so you can keep track of them. Then if you have problems with a specific back you can ID that back and just send that one in.

    I'm also in the same situation about servicing my gear.
    Since I'm not making money off my gear (as in being a pro photog), I'm taking the wait and see approach, vs. preventive maintenance.
     
  3. agphotography

    agphotography Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Good points all around.

    I definitely was not intending on buying brand new, I was just meaning a "newer" replacement body as mine is from the early 1970s (I was thinking of getting a late 500CM as KEH labels these specifically). The stuff I have works but I do occasionally get inconsistent frame spacing on one of my backs (now if only I could remember which one.... :wink:). The body definitely needs a tuneup to re-lube everything and replace the rebound foam as it's dried to oblivion. It flakes off every time I take a shot and leaves bits of foam on my mirror and focusing screen. I figure that should be addressed.

    Flutots specifically states they DO NOT work on Hasselblads, so I guess they won't be too keen on helping me lol!

    I figured David had the track record I was looking for, and when compared to places I found out here in Southern California his prices were very comparable if not slightly cheaper. It just adds up when you've got a body, three backs and two lenses that need to be tuned up.
    I figured the body would hang out with me for a while, and the backs would almost make more sense just to buy newer ones anyways, same thing for the lenses.

    I'm just planning for the future with this stuff as it doesn't get used in my paid work, it's just for personal projects.
     
  4. ac12

    ac12 Member

    Messages:
    361
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    SF Bay Area,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeah sounds like your body needs servicing.

    Problem when buying used backs is you do not know the history of the backs.
    So same situation, you could get a back that will need servicing in a few months, or it could go for years.
    You can hedge your bet by buying NEWER backs, if you can identify the approx age of the backs. I think you can ID the year of the CF lenses, but I do not know how to ID the year of the back.

    Lenses also depends on what you have. The grease in the older C lenses are probably about 40 years old, and dry and gummy, CF lenses maybe 20 years old. Personally, if you have C lenses, I would replace the C lens with a CF, and hope for 10 more years of trouble free use. Then sell the C lens to offset the cost of the CF lens.
     
  5. agphotography

    agphotography Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeah I have two C lenses that are in good shape cosmetically and functionally but I'm sure the internal grease is definitely getting pretty try, they are really heavy to focus. My plan is to eventually update to CF lenses when I have the budget.

    I guess it makes sense to just repair what I have because then it will be a known factor and I'll easily get a long life out of it.
     
  6. oilman930

    oilman930 Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Contact Hasselblad USA in New Jersey to see if they still offer the speck to check camera service. Let Hasselblad figure out which backs need to be repaired. Your 500c body if it has never been serviced might require a complete overhaul, rather than just CLA. Send them your lenses as well. It will save you time and effort in the long run to get everything serviced at one time.

    I sent them my Hasselblad kit which consisted of a 1962 500c, and C12 back from 1960, and a 80 mm C Lens from 1958. Four weeks and $500 later I received back a wonderful operating camera kit. The camera was covered for 6 months if I had a problem with it.

    If you are wondering why I didn't use David Odess instead, Mr. Odess doesn't really like working on Hasselblad equipment that was made earlier than 1960. I had a good conversation with him about the camera, but since the lens and back were so old I just sent it off to New Jersey instead. Let me add that after talking to Mr. Odess on the phone for 20 minutes he did tell me to send in my camera to him, and he would have repaired it. David seems to be a good guy.

    Get your own stuff fix, don't buy more stuff from KEH that will have to be fixed too.

    Good Luck!
     
  7. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,959
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Send to Odess, get it done right. Then go shoot with confidence.
     
  8. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,660
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  9. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,678
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    When I bought my kit, I bought camera, back and an 80 from Odess just so I had the basics freshly overhauled and mechanically like new. My other lenses I bought used and they've been fine. Backs are another story. I'd say get it overhauled and be confident that it is good.
     
  10. agphotography

    agphotography Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I did talk to them, and the price they quoted me was higher than David's, I had heard they were slightly less expensive, but the quote was about $100 higher for both the body and the film backs than Odess' was...

    David just got back to me via email, and he suggested that I do eventually have everything serviced, but that's going to cost me a good chunk so I suppose I'll start with the body and go from there. 2/3 backs work normally at least.
     
  11. sdotkling

    sdotkling Member

    Messages:
    67
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Location:
    Outside of N
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Allow me to add a voice to the "just send it to David Odess" crowd. I got a whole bunch of H-blad stuff from a friend who had inherited it years ago. I didn't trust my own ability to diagnose the problems I found, couldn't tell if it was the backs or the body. He could. Now I won't have to deal with it for another ten years.
     
  12. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

    Messages:
    2,223
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Regina, SK,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm not a Hasselblad owner, but I'm a big fan of refurbishing what you already own, if it's in decent overall condition. You are far more likely to get a reliable piece of gear at the end.
     
  13. agphotography

    agphotography Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Alright you guys convinced me :D
    All of my kit is from the mid-1970s, and part of me wanted to update to later versions, but I can always just add bits and pieces that I want to upgrade. I'll just start with the body and then eventually the backs. I probably won't do the lenses because they work fine (heavy focus throw aside) and I plan on eventually getting CF lenses down the road I imagine.

    Thanks for chiming in everyone, I always appreciate the honest feedback I get here at APUG.
     
  14. ac12

    ac12 Member

    Messages:
    361
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    SF Bay Area,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I was always turned off by the STIFF focus ring on the C lens, then someone told me "think about how OLD the grease in the lens is." That made me realize that the old dry grease is probably what makes the C lenses so hard to focus. I've dealt with old grease and oils on other stuff, the grease was like semi-dry clay, totally useless as a lubricant, and actually increased friction. I have not had the opportunity to try the focus on a recently serviced C lens, so I don't know how smooth it can get after removing that 40+ year old grease and relubing with new grease.
     
  15. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

    Messages:
    2,223
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Regina, SK,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ag, you could still upgrade to newer gear - but I wouldn't make that eliminate refurbishing your existing gear. Does the new gear add functionality you lack, want or need? If so it's worth a thought.

    Still, buying used gear is always a risk and that needs to be considered. Repairing what you have is likely to be cheaper, in the long run.
     
  16. wiedzmin

    wiedzmin Subscriber

    Messages:
    98
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Please check the real cost of the service + shipping with insurance etc.. Based on my experience with old equipment total cost never = listed CLA fee. It can be easily x2 or more. Parts need to be replaced etc.
    I'm not saying that it is not worth to service it but sometimes cost can be really high.
     
  17. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Messages:
    1,382
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    Get the body an Odess CLA. He did mine a year or so ago and I couldn't be happier. Hasselblads are high-end machines. They need a good servicing once in a while. Space it out over a few years and it won't hurt quite so much.
     
  18. sepiareverb

    sepiareverb Subscriber

    Messages:
    604
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    VT
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Waiting on my 503, a back and an 80CF lens to come back from David, should be here tomorrow. Wasn't cheap, but EVERYBODY raves about his work and he is fast.
     
  19. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,279
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have used Steve's camera repair on my Rolliecord and he seemed to do a fine job, had shutter cleaned and calibrated and film transport fixed about $180 . Now have to send in my Hassey stuff, he advertises as a Certified Hasselblad repair place.

    Mike
     
  20. noacronym

    noacronym Member

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It is my learned understanding that these lenses ten toward the stiff side as their normal good working condition. As far as Mr. Odess, I'd give my eye teeth to have a hole drilled in my noggin and have his knowledge poured in.
     
  21. Douglas Fairbank

    Douglas Fairbank Member

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    Charmouth, UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    My UK prices are based on the old Hasselblad UK prices with some slight variations, I am not offering this service to US residents unless they are visiting the UK, this is for your information. International shipping is too big a problem for me to handle. I would like to ask photographers what they look for in a cameras service or CLA as it is called in the US, naturally I know what I mean but what do you think it is or want. I have offered a check to spec service for £1 (does not include return shipping of course) but no takers so far. All the info is on the web page. www.classicv.co.uk
     
  22. agphotography

    agphotography Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Going to price things out over the coming months, but I'd like to see this kit get tuned up in its entirety.
     
  23. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Messages:
    1,382
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    Now you're talkin'.

    My Hasselblad was misbehaving badly before I sent the body in for a clean/adjust. The darned thing would lock up the lens at the least provocation. It needed a simple adjustment. When it came back all nicely lubed and fixed, it was like a new machine.