What 500-series Hasselblad for a newbie?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Stuggi, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Helsinki, Fi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've always been interested in getting a series 500 Hasselblad, but I'm at a bit of a loss as to what model to get. I'm currently looking at getting a good body for starters, and then start looking for all the other accessories.
    What I've found locally at a good price are the following, 500 C/M without anything with a couple of dings, and a 500 EL/M with a waist finder (not sure if it's the correct term, but anyhow, it's the version you look down into) in a bit better shape for a little bit less.
    What I've found out so far is that the EL/M is a bit heavier due to the motorfeed, batteries can't be found for it, so you have to use an adapter. But it also doesn't suffer from jamming as the non-motor version does since the motor cocks the shutter every time.

    SO, basically, what should I get, are my two choices good or should I be looking for something completely different? I don't do studio shots, most (if not all) of my photography is done outdoors, but seldom in any setting where weight is a problem, as long as it isn't more than what a normal DSLR and a couple of lenses weigh.

    And then there's the accessories, I've understood that I'm gonna need a lens, finder and film back, but for the finder and lens I'm at a bit of a loss. Is there anything in particular I should also get or be on the lookout for? I don't mind spending time putting this setup together, since I'm not quite bathing in money at the moment.
     
  2. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

    Messages:
    796
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    IN
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    If you are looking for a hasselblad set up i would probably go with the 500cm, WLF (waist level finder), or a prism finder, a12 back, and a 80cf lens.

    For the finder. I prefer using the WLF as that is they way that i like to work. If you like looking into a view finder, i would go with the NC2. It is a very basic 45 degree finder.

    The 80 lens is the normal lens on a 6x6 camera. So if you like shooting a 50 on 35mm format, the 80 is for you. If you like shooting longer or wider then normal you still have a lot of choices in lens. Like the 50 for a wide and a 150 for a longer.
     
  3. thedancefloor

    thedancefloor Member

    Messages:
    57
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I agree. I've got a 500cm Classic with a 80mm CF lens, and I love it. I find the newer CF (or CFe etc) lenses are easier to use than the older c (chrome) c* (black) lenses. The waist level finder is an awesome tool also, see if you can get one with a newer focusing screen like an Acute Matte screen. They're brighter and easier to use than the older ones.
     
  4. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Helsinki, Fi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Okay, oddly, this is what I've been looking at. I'm currently deciding between a 80mm f2.8 C Planar T* and a 50mm F4 Distagon C T*, the 80mm is a bit more expensive, but I'm not sure if stepping down to f4 is a good idea just to save about 50€.
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,798
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A 50mm lens for a Hasselblad is quite wide - not too many would use one as a "standard" lens.

    And f/4 is quite fast for a 50mm lens (for 6x6)
     
  6. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

    Messages:
    796
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    IN
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have a 50 for mine and I literally have used it once. I use the 80 for almost everything.
     
  7. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

    Messages:
    796
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Location:
    IN
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thats my style though.
     
  8. billkoe

    billkoe Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago area
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I used the 80, 50 and 150 and found I used them all nearly equally - the 150 for portraits, the 50 for architecture, landscapes and some environmental portraits and the 80 for full body portraits. There are some wonderful deals on some of this stuff currently.

    I still can't believe that I sold my Hasselblad stuff to finance a D1x about 8 years ago. The D1x is sitting unused in a bag. That never happened with the Hasselblad.
     
  9. redrockcoulee

    redrockcoulee Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Location:
    Medicine Hat
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I am happy with the 500 c/m I bought a couple of years ago. Previously I borrowed one that my wife sort of shares with another poster on this list. It is prone to jamming as the camera needs work. It is a matter of carrying a stubby screwdriver in the camera bag. I did not like the 50mm and bought a 60 CF as my wide angle lens whereas my wife has the 50 on most of the time.

    It seems to me that the 500 c/m is not only dependable but is noticeably less expensive than the newer models. Lots of us are using them with no problem,there is a reason that I can not go into here to not repair the one that jams but it most likely is a moderate cost to have it serviced. Go for it as there are really great cameras.
     
  10. canonman

    canonman Member

    Messages:
    37
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Location:
    middle of Ge
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    A 500 cm with dings? Stay away - there are a lot 500cm in a good shape! What budget do you have? If you want a reliable - then get one from a shop with warranty. For a first setup you should get a 500 cm and not only a "C" and not a 500 Elm or some of the other motorized Hasselblads. (and of cource you can still buy the big Hasselblad batteries) - outdoors its much nicer to work without a motor - and you can go out in cold weather without the camera failing. A 500 ElM for me is too heavy - I use mine mostly indoors. And a 50 as a Standardlens is also very inconvenient - if you want to get hocked with the great system - buy a 500cm with WLF, back and 80 - and if you can get a CF as a lens - that would be it. Be sure, that you can return the camera - 8 out of my 10 backs I bought used had issues that needed repair! Try the lens - look against strong light if the lens is clear - and then try the long times if they work (the other times should work too, of cource) - get an optech strap for Hasselblad if you shout outside for convenience. A Hasselbald is a great camera. I love the images but going outside - for me its too heavy - but I'm getting old too. I sell my 500 cm but keep my 500 ELX for indoor shouting, wouldn't want to miss it at the whole.
    Keep patient - don't buy the first one you see!!! If you are not bathing in money you might want to wait a little - a beaten up Hasselbald is cheap and easy to find but often not a delight to use. You have to calculate some repair if you go with old stuff - and a Hassy is not as easy to be repaired as other cameras might be. If you have about 700 - 900 Euros - then you will have a good chance, if not: wait and save money!!!

    Good luck - Frank
     
  11. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

    Messages:
    943
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Location:
    Burnaby, BC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A second on that. The 500cm is a good intro to medium format shooting (the elm or elx is better suited to commercial work: noisy, heavy and best wedded to a tripod). If you take a liking to the Blad system you can expand your system, as suggested, to the holy triumvirate of the 50/80/150 or, if money is less a concern (or interest warrants) to the 50/80/120M/180). Extra backs, of course, are always a good investment - and relatively cheap.
     
  12. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Helsinki, Fi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Untitled-11.jpg

    That's what I meant with a few "dings". :smile: It's around 375 US dollars, from a reputable shop, not ebay. :smile: Supposed to be in good mechanical and optical condition. The 80mm f2.8 C Planar T* lens is the exact same price.
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,079
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Excellent. Someone asked exactly the same questions which I was going to ask... not that I can afford a Hasselblad at the moment!


    Steve.
     
  14. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Messages:
    1,381
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    Note: The Hasselblad pictured above has a good deal of wear on the camera body's metal light seal ridges. This is caused by improperly seating the film backs on the camera. Find a camera that is has not been used in this manner! There should be little or no wear on the lower left and right corners. The camera pictured may leak light. Always check for this kind of wear and tear.

    Peter Gomena
     
  15. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Helsinki, Fi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is that actually a great concern? Can a wee bit of scuffed paint affect the sealing of the camera back?
     
  16. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Messages:
    1,381
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    There's a big difference between a little scuffed paint and raised aluminum ridges that are worn flat. It's common for users to slap the backs on and slide them into position rather than to seat the metal feet of the camera body into the back and then hinge the back into place. I would want to inspect any camera body personally before paying $400 or so. It's just one point to examine when buying a used Hasselblad.

    Peter Gomena
     
  17. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Helsinki, Fi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, is there anything else that needs checking out when buying them? That particular example wouldn't be too hard for me to check out, so the more that I can check at the same time the better.
     
  18. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Helsinki, Fi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Oh, and if those ridges are worn, how much wear is acceptable? Are we talking just paint removed, or do they have to be worn half way down for it to be a problem?
     
  19. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    The Armpit o
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    tag. good info.

    I just bought the 500cm that Clark sold. Thankfully, it was just CLA'd less than a year ago.
     
  20. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Messages:
    1,381
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    Ideally, you should get a 30-day optical/mechanical return privilege with any camera you buy from a reputable source. That would give you time to try the camera and have a repair person give it a once-over for you. I would recommend a tuneup for any Hasselblad purchased used unless the seller certifies it's had a recent checkup. A qualified technician will tell you what shape it's in. A Hasselblad is a precision instrument. It's more like owning a Porsche than a Ford. Plan on occasional maintenance for camera body, lenses and backs, depending on how much you use them. They're great cameras, and I love mine. With care, they will last many years.

    Peter Gomena
     
  21. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    The Armpit o
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  22. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Messages:
    1,381
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Or
  23. John Austin

    John Austin Member

    Messages:
    521
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    Location:
    Southern For
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    500CM with 50, 80 + lens hood, 120 f5.6 + lens hood silver lenses, (some separation of elephants in 120, but works well), 3 extn tubes, lots of filters, bellows lens hood, spare focusing screens, folding screen hood, 45 degree prism and stove pipe viewfinders, but only one A12 back - I have it for sale right now in Quinninup, $2750 the lot

    In addition, I am selling the most expensive box camera ever made, a Hasselblad SWC/M with black 38mm lens, one back, focussing back for $2750

    This equipment is in very good working order, but it earned my living for years and has some paint missing

    John
    +61 8 9773 1288
     
  24. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

    Messages:
    91
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Helsinki, Fi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, small update, I emailed the seller I had in mind and got a few things clear, the body had only paint worn off, so the ridges were just fine. Also everything on the body worked as it should. The Zeiss 80mm was flawless optically, and the shutter speeds seemed okay to the seller, so after checking with my repair technician (great guy, gives appraisals for free for analog cameras, repairs just about everything and has been in the field since the middle '60s, when he started working for the biggest camera workshop in Finland), I went ahead and bought it. I would have taken up some of the offers here, but since this combo went for less than 700 dollars I thought it best not to waste anyones time, since I'm a bit strapped for cash and this helped me avoid a 25% sales tax and a 25% import tax (everything over 50 USD is subject to at least a 25% import tax if it comes from outside of the EU).

    But, now I need a finder, strap and an A12 back. I have found some good ones, and have put a bid in for one on ebay, but if anyone has a A12-back (preferably black to match the body) that's in good condition, I'd be interested.

    Also, how hard is it to replace the winding knob on a 500C/M with a late model crank?
     
  25. pekelnik

    pekelnik Member

    Messages:
    79
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Should be trivial. It just pops off and on, without tools.