Using 500CM with duff mirror damper - bad idea?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by pdeeh, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have on hand a 500CM with clearly duff mirror damper (just a very few bits clinging on - more in hope than expectation)

    I'd like to run a couple of rolls through to test the general functioning of camera, lens and back, but I have a vague concern that this could damage mirror or mirror mechanism (or both) if the mirror is clattering back up without a soft landing.

    Am I being overcautious?

    (If I decide to keep the camera it'll go for a full service anyway)
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    12,187
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Couldn't you improvise a damping?
     
  3. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

    Messages:
    2,057
    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    US
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    This can allow the mirror to over-travel it's distance and jam the camera.
     
  4. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    that's the sort of thing I was afraid of
     
  5. Douglas Fairbank

    Douglas Fairbank Member

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    Location:
    Charmouth, UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I don't think it will cause any problems if you want to check the camera. However the mirror cushions that support the mirror in the frame are made of the same material so you may have focus problems. It is an easy fix!
     
  6. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Mirror vibration or slap in a Hassie is one of the most common causes of lack of image sharpness. If the damper is bad, how do you know something else doesn't need attention on that body?

    This kind of begs the question of how are you going to decide whether or not to keep it if it's not working at it's maximum performance level? If you like it, keep it and get it CLA'd at a reputable shop. I'd do that first. They'll go through it and fix what's necessary to bring it back to spec (or as close as possible). When you get it back, THEN test it. ;>) and odds are you'll be really pleased with its performance and results.

    Take it light ;>)
    Mark
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2013
  7. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    well, yes I realise all that, as I put in my OP

    On a point of pure (or perhaps perfect) pedantry, "Begs the question" is a corrupted usage these days; It doesn't mean "invites the question" or "the question must be answered", but is a formulation of a fallacy in syllogistic logic (in which the initial premise contains an implicit assumption of the truth of the conclusion)
     
  8. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Beyond that existentialist hyperbole which I believe I'm possibly privileged to promote, is previously perfect pointlessly principled pedantry absent of all proper priority. :tongue:

    As I enquired earlier: How can you tell if you want to keep it until you have it conditioned out of duff and up to snuff perhaps even buff?

    "Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe. . .

    . . . 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe."

    from the Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. :whistling:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2013
  9. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    um ... er ... well, it's a Hasselblad ... isn't that enough?

    :whistling:
     
  10. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,414
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In addition to do the above it also performs as a light seal to prevent light from coming into the film chamber through the focusing screen/hood.
     
  11. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, no. Not if it ain't working right, producing (unintentional) soft images with light streaks and perhaps variances in interior shutter speed, etc. Afterall, IMHO, it is a work of mechanical and functional art useful to produce other works of art. Not a door stop if it works properly. That's essentially all I'm saying along with I'd keep it and have it CLA'd. :cool:
    M.
     
  12. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Messages:
    1,386
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    Make a lowball offer to the seller. A basic clean/lube/adjust will run close to $200, and you obviously will need some parts. Do some research to find out how much a lens/shutter overhaul will cost, and subtract that from the price too. Same for the film magazine if it has one.

    Unless the camera shows signs of a lot of wear, you probably can talk your way into a decent bargain. Once it's all spiffed up and tuned, it will last you for years.
     
  13. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks.

    I already had quotes for a rebuild anyway.

    However you may be interested to know that in the UK, a reliable camera repairer/restorer (there are a few and I asked three I have used before for quotes) will charge in the region of £300-£400 (say $450-$600) to ensure that lens, body and back are in perfect order, assuming no major problems are found.
     
  14. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Wow ! That's a bit steep although these days, not totally out of line. For example check out David Odess's flat rates.
    http://www.david-odess.com/ Also in the states, KEH.com. They warranty their used equipment and now I think it's six months. Could be wrong about that. But their bargain grade equipment is better than everyone elses "good to very good". IMO their prices are fair too.
    M.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2013
  15. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The UK is a very expensive country. The repair costs I quote are from eminently trustworthy and well-known specialist repairers/restorers, but they are by no means the most expensive.
    And yes Mark, I have cast a gloating eye many times over KEH's stocklists for all sorts of things, but unfortunately there isn't even a close equivalent in the UK, either for range of stock or - for most things, especially 35mm bodies - price.

    Just for interest's sake, I had a quick look at KEH and picked the first three BGN grade items to make up a 500CM kit - 80/2.8, 500cm body with WLF, A12.
    Together they come to a little over $750 / £500
    Now add shipping + insurance -that's about $95 / £65
    SubTotal so far: About $850 / £570
    When it arrives at the UK border, there will be import duty and VAT payable. Together those will add about 25% - so we're up to roughly $1060 / £710

    In the UK a decent (but perhaps needing a little work) 500CM kit can be had for ~£500

    It's interesting that the price of the Hasselblad in the basket at KEH is roughly the same as the cost in the UK - I'm guessing Hasselblad was a less common brand in the US and thus the supply isn't as good, and so the supply/demand curves keep prices up a bit.

    But even for all those lovely BGN Nikon F2s and whatnot - of which they seem to have bucketloads, shipping from KEH to the UK will never cost less than about $90 and then we have to add another 25% for import charges. Plus of course there's several thousand miles of water in between should anything go wrong ...

    The seller, btw, has agreed to pay for a full service on the body, leaving me to cough only for lens and back to be checked over and tidied up if needed.
     
  16. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I should mention that you can actually haggle with KEH over price/shipping overseas if you call them. It depends on their current level of stock like the buckets full of F2s.

    I never really understood this VAT stuff other than it was like an import/export duty tax. But I see your point. Between shipping and taxes it's a lot. The fact that the seller is willing to pay for full service on the body is certainly fair and if the lens is working well already and just requires a check, even better. Not much goes wrong with the backs other than perhaps a light trap here and there or maybe a gearing adjust for spacing. Yeah, I think if you like the way it handles, it's a very good deal.
    I know you already have an appreciation for what a great piece of equipment it is. If you get this one, I'm sure you'll really enjoy it. They're truly great cameras.

    And if you'd like, at some point I'd be glad to keep an eye open for Zeiss lenses for you. Just let me know. I might also be off loading some accessories of my own like a stove pipe viewfinder, couple of A-12 backs in good order, an older A-16 back to do 35mm slides with and I think an A-24 for 220 film.
    TTFN
    Mark
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2013
  17. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Messages:
    1,386
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    Hasselblads were/are common and very popular here in the U.S. They were used by commercial, wedding, and industrial photographers. A lot of rich amateurs bought them as well. The really rich amateurs owned a Rollei SL66.
     
  18. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Mark, VAT is more like a sales tax. It's levied on most goods and services in the UK (and EU as a whole) so anything you buy over here will include an element of VAT in the price. UK VAT rate is 20% at the moment, although certain categories of goods are exempt (food for instance).
    So if something is bought from somewhere where the goods were not originally subject to VAT, an assessment of the value of the goods is made and VAT levied at the prevailing rate. Items under £15 value aren't subject.

    This also goes for services such as camera repairs - so if I sent a Hasselblad off to Mr Odess, for instance, I could expect to pay another 25% on top of his bill when my camera arrived back.

    It can be a bit of a lottery. I've had plenty of stuff over £15 (but way under £100) come through OK from all over the world. So one could get lucky even with a costly item, but the potential extra cost has to be allowed for.

    pgomena - Perhaps it's about the volume of cameras available? Presumably 35mm cameras sold in much much larger volumes than MF cameras.
     
  19. momus

    momus Member

    Messages:
    2,710
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Lower Earth
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Why not just shoot it and see what you get? You'd only be out the cost of a roll of film and the chemicals to develop it. Many people become enamored of these cameras at first, then sell them because of the noise, size and weight. You can go to flickr or other photo sites and get a good idea of what your lens is going to do, but to get a feel for the camera you need to shoot it. Myself, I decided it was just too big, heavy, and loud (see above). The negs were nice, but the 80 Planar I had wasn't as sharp as my Rolleiflex lenses, so away it went. These are good studio cameras in my mind, not something to tote around.
     
  20. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,522
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I thought it was clear from my OP that that is exactly what my plan was? And, indeed, exactly what I have done ...

    I've already handled enough of them, by the way, to know that I'll be happy with one, it's just a question of finding the right one at the right price.

    As it happens, in shooting, I've found a significant problem with the lens mechanism that means I won't be keeping this one

    Thanks, by the way, Mark for the generous offer; If I ever find one I'm satisfied with, I'll shoot you a PM if that's OK.
     
  21. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for that thorough VAT explanation. I had no idea it also replied to out of country repairs as well. I hope they're using the money for a worthwhile cause like helping to fund medical care.

    Absolutely on the equip. searches or anything else I might do to help you out. It'd be my pleasure. ;>)
    M.
     
  22. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    12,187
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In Europe VAT not only applies on goods but on services too.