Thinking about a Hasselblad

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by BradS, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I've never really had much use for medium format. I have, in years past had a few Mamiyas (RB67, C-330) pass through but, nothing ever stayed around long. A couple of days ago, I stopped by my local pusher of used gear and...after much chit-chat, found myself fondling a nice used Hasselblad 501CM (or, was it a C/M ? ). Anyway, ever since I left the store, (empty handed!) I find myself day dreaming about getting a Hasselblad...I don't know why. Maybe, it's the sex apeal? Maybe it's the cool way it feels in the hand.

    I don't have any excess cash, I don't shoot medium format, I don't need a Hasselblad...or, is that just so much blasphemy?

    Does every serious film shooter eventually need a hassleblad?

    What's a guy to do?
     
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  2. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    Absolutely, positively, without question, NO!
     
  3. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Well, that's what I always thought too...but, now...I'm not so sure. :smile:
     
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  4. loman

    loman Member

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    What's a guy to do?
    Well If you don't need medium format, stay out it. There's nothing as irritating and limiting as being stretched over too many formats.
    On the other hand if your work really needs a 6x6 slr, I would buy a bronica
    sq-a instead. Just as good, and everything is much cheaper. I've had a hasselblad for more than a year, used it regularly, and it's way overhyped. Of course it's top quality, but the only reason I can see getting one over a bronica is that it has Hasselblad written on it, and some people seem to find that important (not that I imply that you do)

    Best Regards
    Mads
     
  5. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    I feel that I need to have any nice sexy camera that I could not afford when I started this hobby, many moons ago. Ah, by the way I ended up with a Hasselblad 500 C/M too... among others:tongue:
     
  6. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I assume that's not a Freudian slip: "hassleblad". :smile:

    But of course they do. Didn't you read all the posts a while back about people asking "is that a Hasselblad?"?

    Seriously, you've given medium format a try, it's not your cup of tea, end of story.
     
  7. Frank Szabo

    Frank Szabo Member

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    I have both a "Hassyblad" and RB67. For what little I do with medium format, I reasoned through the question of need and determined that I only "needed" one of them and since I have more lenses for the RB, I decided to sell the Hasselblad and its associated goodies.

    Now comes the time for action, or so they say. Taking some pics to put with the sale ad (first on APUG, then FleaBay if need be) and can't bring myself to take photos of the Hasselblad OR the Mamiya. This calls for further thought.

    I actually have 3 RBs - two ProfessionalS models and one Professional - OK, I'll keep one ProS and the Hasselblad - the wife will never know. Yeah - right. So I sleep in the spare bedroom for a week - that's OK; she snores.

    Don't think about buying one - just do it. You'll love the camera and will never forgive yourself. They're addicting.
     
  8. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Maybe, I can sell all of that 35mm gear that just sits and collects dust, and....well...I guess I'd still be short a bunch of money!

    Hmmmm,
    It sure would simplify things though...a Hassy and a Crown Graphic...good-to-go!
     
  9. bensonga

    bensonga Member

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    Hi Brad,

    The answer is no, of course. :smile: But need.....as in want....well, yes, many of us do. :smile:

    I always wanted a Hasselblad, but could never afford one (and certainly not a second lens!). So I've had a variety of medium and large format cameras over the past 25 years. Mamiya TLRs, Pentax 67, 4x5 field and view cameras. All excellent cameras and optics....most of which I still own and enjoy using.

    But a year ago I walked into my local used camera equipment store (like yours, a pusher) and found a mint condition 501CM, A12 back and 80mm CFE lens for just under $2,000. I thought, if not now, when? And so, after a few days of hesitation, I bought it. Needless to say, I love it.....but then, I still love using my Pentax 67 and Mamiya TLR too. Contrary to many die hard Hasselblad users, I really don't think the Zeiss optics are infinitely better than the Pentax or Mamiya optics....at least, not that I can see. But the Hasselblad is a joy to use and I've always enjoyed the square format.

    The price of used Hasselblad gear (including excellent/near mint condition lenses) is now within reach of mere mortals.....so if you find a good camera for a good price....I say, go for it! I don't think you'll ever regret it.

    Fair warning however.....if you're like me, that first purchase is just the beginning. One year later, my Hasselblad kit now includes a 553ELX, 3 A12 backs, a new 503CWD-II (16 megapixel Hasselblad CFV-II digital back) and a slew of Zeiss glass (40mm CFE IF, 50mm CFi, 80mm CFE, 100mm CFE, 120mm CFE Makro and 150mm CFi). Ok, so I've gone off the deep end....I'll admit it. :smile:

    So the initial $2,000 purchase was just the beginning.....but it would have cost me much more if I had bought this equipment 10 years ago (or bought it new today). The good news.....used Hasselbald gear is ALMOST a bargain now. :smile:

    Seriously.....it's a great camera and a pleasure to use. But we can all still take great photos (even do serious photography) with whatever comes to hand.

    Gary Benson
    Eagle River, Alaska
     
  10. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Hasselblads are like high society models:
    They look great, they will probably deliver the goods, but they will empty your pocket and leave you on the street begging for spare change. Definitely hard to get by, high maintenance and addictive.
    Thankfully these days its like aristocrats just after a revolution: they can be had for little money.
     
  11. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    Well, I'm sort of a medium format addict, so I'm the wrong person to be weighing in here! But I really don't think you'll regret it if you do get it. Maybe you don't "need" an SLR if you're interested in trying 6x6 format (a TLR is a less pricey alternative), but if the price sounds good, you liked how it handles, and you can swing it financially, then give it a shot. They are about as good as it gets in a medium format SLR, both mechanically and optically. And, I'm sure you can sell it here or elsewhere for close to what you paid for it.

    This also happened to me a few years ago -- there was a 500C/M with 120 back, waist level finder and 80 C Planar at my local shop, for $500. I hadn't ever thought I needed a Hasselblad, but at that price I had to have it, of course. I don't regret the acquisition, and I've added a prism finder and a couple of the silver lenses since.
     
  12. bensonga

    bensonga Member

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    I'll add a second to those thoughts. And there are plenty of good deals available on used Hasselblad gear now. For those of us who are still shooting film, that's one benefit of so many people switching to digital. I hereby offer my thanks to all those who have switched to DSLRs! :smile:

    Gary
     
  13. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    There is life without a Hassleblad. Actually a fairly pleasing life. You need to keep your mitts off of things that are unsuitable for you such as Sharon Stone and German automobiles etc.
     
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  15. Kent10D

    Kent10D Member

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    Hasselblads are just a pleasure to use. I think it's the way form and function are so simply and smoothly integrated. They stay out of the way nicely when shooting for that reason. I've never felt that I'm struggling with a Hassy to get a shot ... until they act up ... which they can do. They need to be used regularly to stay in shape (much like their owners). So if you'll be using it regularly, I'd say go for it. But if there's any chance that the camera will be sitting on a shelf or in a bag for months on end while you do other things, perhaps a Hassy is not a good choice.
     
  16. scott k

    scott k Member

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    Brad,

    I feel your pain. I shoot primarily 4x5 and all my 35mm gear just takes up storage space. I have a Minolta Autocord that I really like but is doesn't get much use. I picked up a Mamiya 7 with the 65mm lens a little over a month ago at the local pushers shop and boy oh boy was that nice. I picked up an RZ67 at another shop and since I like using a wlf, reminds me of the ground glass, and I decided to get one. I did and though I really like the RZ kit it weighs nearly as much as my 4x5. I think I'll put the RZ up for sale here and put that money towards a Mamiya 7 or, you guessed it, a 500 C/M kit. The Hassei has such mystique but there is no question that the M7 would be lighter. I'm looking for a quality 'scouting' camera that will allow me to make high quality prints and not worry too much about film and processing costs. Let us know what you decide to do.

    Scott
     
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  17. bensonga

    bensonga Member

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    I hadn't thought of this....a good excuse to take the day off on a photo outing.....got to get out and excercise my Hasselblad! :wink:

    I wonder if my wife (or boss) will understand.

    Gary
     
  18. Kent10D

    Kent10D Member

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    If they're Hassy shooters they will!

    (Hint: Buy your wife a Hassy for her birthday ... then borrow it. :D Because it needs the exercise.)
     
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  19. bensonga

    bensonga Member

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    I might have to do that....because at the moment, she's always wanting to borrow mine! Come to think of it, her birthday is at the end of September. I might have to wander over the KEH.com. :D Thanks for the suggestion Kent!

    Gary
     
  20. bensonga

    bensonga Member

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    Yup, I really think you need one of these Brad. :D
     

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  21. david b

    david b Member

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    Brad,
    I know that you think I am an idiot and that's okay.

    But a Hasselblad is a terrific camera that you will simply love.

    I've had many systems over the last few years but I have always kept my hasselblad.
     

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  22. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    Claire: There is life without a Hassleblad. Actually a fairly pleasing life. You need to keep your mitts off of things that are unsuitable for you such as Sharon Stone and German automobiles etc.

    I had always wondered if Hasselblads were as great as they were made out to be, and then I finally got my hands on one. Can I assume that the same would be true of Sharon Stone?
     
  23. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Being that I will change swap between adorama and B&H to get 15 cents of a roll of film, I got the TLR.
     
  24. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    Medium format replaced 35mm entirely for me. I have a few slr's and a little gaf point five (ansco memo rangefinder) for messing around with. Otherwise it's the hassy (or pentax 645) if i'm out on the go or the speed/crown graphic if i'm not going so far (or if I have time to stop and really take pictures).

    A hassy isn't a magic bullet. I kind of thought it was (naively) but i'm glad I purchased mine. I like how it works and find it convenient even with it's quirks. If you can work a speed or crown the hasselblad isn't much different in a sense.

    They do look beautiful, particularly the chrome ones with a nice chrome c lens (in my opinion). I frequently cock and fire the shutter as it relaxes me. Also, I use a gentle silver polishing cloth on the trim and the thing is like a fancy piece of jewely and a tool mixed into one.
     
  25. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    A Hasselblad for weddings did a few things. It made you 'a pro' per those who were impressed by the reassurance of seeing you cover the wedding with top quality gear.
    It made putting together proof albums very easy as the 5x5 inch square prints took the horizontal/vertical album page problems out of the equation.

    On the other hand, the mirror is big and clunky and really bounces hard making more slow shutter speeds tripod only if you really want them sharp.

    Hasselblad itself has admitted the square format was more a gimmick than anything else as all their new stuff, AF an pixelography, is 645 format. They don't even stand behind any of their earlier marketing stuff on the square, pissing on their own heritage.
     
  26. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Thanks for all the comments and advice. I think I'll rent one and see how that goes....