What exactly causes random Hasselblad Jams?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by nickstreme, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. nickstreme

    nickstreme Member

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    Are these cameras just really unreliable or is it just me?

    I bought a Hasselblad at the beggining of the year. Since then, the camera has jammed and broke 3 times, the first time resulting in the replacing of multiple springs. Then i got it back from repair, and all was fine for about a month. I was shooting then it jammed up and the auxillary shutter spring broke again. I sent it back for repair and the Aux. spring was replaced. Then, about a month ago, the same thing happened again. I had the back off and only the lens on ( 80mm CFT on a 500CM ) and i released the shutter, then when i was winding it didnt stop winding and just kept turning. This (where the winder kept turning longer then usual) had happened before inbetween the last repair and this incident. I unjammed it to find the auxillary shutter broken again, for the third time.

    What the hell could i possibly be doing wrong? Could it be the fault of the lens?
     
  2. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Despite what you have experienced, Hasselblad cameras indeed are reliable (very reliable, in fact) and don't do things like this unless someone did something bad to them first.

    I suspect the camera you bought was a badly fixed camera. What happened to it previously we can only guess at.

    What we can know with 100% certainty is that it was very badly fixed after you got it. Twice.
    Had it been done correctly the first time, it would have been as good as new, i.e. not going wrong for the next 50 years or more, unless you do something very bad to it.
     
  3. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    I saw the thread title and just KNEW Q.G. would be commenting. Well having suffered the "insufferable" commentry about how wonderful Hasselblads are, and soooo important to buy expensive because...well a Bronica is just not as reliable as a Hassy, so why would you buy cheap....it does amuse me that it must be someone elses fault not the camera. Well, the truth is that all cameras can break, cheap and expensive ones...just expensive ones tend to be more expensive to repair. I think that you ought to have it checked out not just repaired, and make sure you are operating it properly...

    Q.G. I await the repost!

    :munch:
     
  4. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Here it comes:

    But i guess you were hoping for a riposte? :wink:
    Well here's that too:

    Of course will all mechanical things break sooner or later.

    But the truth really is that some things are made pretty damn well.
    Hasselblad's reputation is well earned. They really last amazingly long.
    I can't help it, Kal, that's just how it is.

    More importantly though is for the OP to know that he has been taken, both when buying the camera, and when he send it in for repairs.


    How often did you have to have your Bronica repaired (or replaced), Kal?
     
  5. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    Never. That is the honest truth. I have had it since June 2007. Aside from one occaision when I ran out of batteries and did not have the spares with me (but the camera can operate in manual mode at 1/500sec so I survived) it has never failed me. I believe this is an SQ Ai model from 1993.

    Anyway, I did not want to hijack the thread, and yes I fully expected a reposte :D

    Rgds, Kal
     
  6. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Since june 2007...
    There we go.

    Among the camera i use is one i bought new in the late 1970s that hasn't even been serviced (stupid of me, i know) since then. Works like new still. And that's not even exceptional.
    And no, it's not a Bronica.

    I'm not saying that Bronica's aren't good, though.
    But there is nothing untruthfull or unrealistic about the reported reliability of Hasselblads. You not liking that doesn't do anything to change that.

    And that's the truthfull and correct answer to the OP's question.
    You got a bum deal all way round.
     
  7. paulipeura

    paulipeura Member

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    Comment to the break down frequency

    Hello,

    I would just like to add that generally it is surprising how easily people tend to draw conclusions about the overall reliability of different products based on their personal experiences with the products.

    For example if a person has owned three units of a product X and let's say two of them have broken down earlier than expected. Of course that feels for the owner that the product X is not good. But without knowing the real amount of failures within the product line, it's really hard to say that the product is good or bad based on personal experiences.

    Of course the situation changes if the person in question has been working with the products a lot. Or if for example web forums fill up with posts asking about broken products X. But even with many (50?) posts on a certain web forum might not really tell the whole situation, because there again we don't really know the ratio of broken units to working units.

    Without reliable statistics it's really hard to draw general conclusions about things.

    Cheers,
    Pauli
     
  8. fattyale

    fattyale Member

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    Hasselblads aren't reliable. If you check the ratio of Hasselblads users to the number of complains and compare it to the ratio of Kiev 88 users, you will see.

    Even so, there will be a bad piece, or a lemon. And it looks like your Hassy is either a lemon or badly fixed or the lens or you're using it violently. I'm not sure.. Hope someone can help you out!

    Oh yes, I'm getting a Kiev 88CM. Boom.
     
  9. Joe Grodis

    Joe Grodis Member

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    After I heard about a booklet by (David Vestal?) called "32 ways to jam a Hasselblad." I bought my 1st Mamiya.
     
  10. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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  11. fdisilvestro

    fdisilvestro Member

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    Hasselblads are very reliable if used and maintained properly. I would not consider them "rugged", but delicate.
    Most of the problems posted on internet forums are from used cameras that are 20 years old or more, bought used.
    You cannot be sure of how much wear has that camera, and parts may need replacement. Not all services do that, sometimes it is just basic CLA.
    It is like buying a luxury car from the 70´s whith more than 300,000 miles on the original engine and complain about oil leaks.
    There is also a proportion of user error, mostly due to trying to use the camera without reading the manual first. Compared to other cameras, Hasselblads are not intuitive to use (not user friendly).
    You should never force anything in a Hasselblad, if you do you will most likely cause damage to it.
     
  12. climbabout

    climbabout Member

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    Hasselblad

    As a working wedding, prom and portrait photographer for over 25 years from the late 70's into the early 2000's - I had nothing but good experiences with Hasselblads. I owned 5 systems at one point (both mechanical and motorized) and found them to be completely reliable. The were cla'd regularly and I never had a photograph lost to mechanical erroor. I probably made in excess of 100,000 exposures with them.
    Tim
     
  13. photobum

    photobum Member

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    Please re-read fdisilvesto's first sentance. Then brand that into the brain. It is not a simple camera to use and it will not suffer fools. Nor will it suffer some hack repairman who thinks he knows what he is doing.

    My own Hasselblad is around 20 years old and has never jammed or been serviced or repaired. Just use them now and then to keep it working. Sitting on a shelf will kill a camera too. It was bought brand new and never in full time professional use. So it should last a lot longer than I do. And that is the problem for many 'Blad user's. Because of it's reputation and wide range of acessories many have seen untold use. Before digital, it was "the" camera for wedding, fashion and other commercial photographers.

    After a million frames it would be a back up camera for a few years and then traded in as the pro rotated his stock. Then the dealer would have the frame polished up, the leather replaced, then sold as a lightly used camera.

    Do some research on the reputations of some of the New York City camera stores and their used camera sales.

    If that same well used camera had been sent in to Hasselblads New Jersey HQ. for a full tear down and repair, it would outlive you. But the cost of such repair made it cheaper to buy a new one and trade in to the hacks.

    That's the danger of used 'Blad's. Finding one that was well loved and used by a amateur or part time pro, or long abused by a pro, then recovered.
     
  14. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    In defense of the machine itself, it's failing intermittently and the mechanic you're sending it to isn't able to duplicate the failure. The problem is most likely a binding lever in the advance system failing to give a positive stop..
    Sounds simple but most mechanics won't take the time to properly clean & lube those pivots involved, just the bearing or latching faces.
    Getting involved in the quality issue in silly. Most of the manufacturers make decent machines. If you buy pro level equipment you get pro level performance, this doesn't mean there are no failures, just that they're not all that frequent.

    If you choose to send the camera to a different technician, describe the failure as best you can and emphasize that it's intermittent. It sounds as if your mechanic is repairing the damage caused by the failure but not the original fault.
    Most reputable techs will return the camera(NC) if they cannot duplicate the failure.
     
  15. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Randomly using a Hasselblad. Just couldn't resist. Anyway I have been using Blad's since the late 70's and can probably count the number of jams I have had on one hand. By the sounds of it I must be the exception. But then again I take care of my equipment and follow all the rules so to speak about the care and feeding of Blads.
     
  16. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    The key words here kids... CLAed regularly. Today, no one wants to send their equipment out, thus the reason for so many mechanical problems. These cameras are professional grade, to be used by people earning a living. They'd spend the money to keep their equipment in top shape just as you would regularly change the oil in a limo... it's our bread n butter.

    Amatures are free riding the wave of flea-bay dumpers that are on their last legs bue to amature abuse, not maintaining the equipment regularly, THe mind set is I'll buy another when it breaks but have the odasity to bad mouth a 30 year old camera a guy once fed his family with, and not a single problem in it's life time.

    Ask me how I know?
     
  17. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I have about 10-15 years of working with Hasselblads spit between a 500C I had in the early 80's then sold, and two more recent acquisitions. I have yet to experience the Hasselblad jam that is apparently so common.

    I feel left out:rolleyes:
     
  18. nickstreme

    nickstreme Member

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    To everyone who is saying that the repair man is not reputable, it has been David Odess all three times. I don't think it is his fault, he certainly knows what he is doing and was generous enough to repair it for free the second time and this time as well.
     
  19. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    I know it doesn't prove anything, but I have had only one "jam" with my 503 in 7 years of ownership (and it was my fault... :sad:)

    Ian
     
  20. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    I have a 500 C/M I bought from Dave Odess and it has never malfunctioned.

    Matter of fact I've never had a problem with any of my Hasselblads.

    And they have all made, with my help, many thousands of images!

    Best to you in 2010
     
  21. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Sound like someone got their wanker bent out of shape. This sounds more personal than technical or factual.

    I have two Hasselblad and I have had fewer problems than I had with the Mamiya C330 that it traded in, with three lenses, for the Hasselblad.

    Shangheye, you need to chill out.

    Steve
     
  22. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    Actually Steve this was more in jest. Every post I have ever seen involving a Bronica breaking has Q.G. commenting to the poster about how they should have bought a Hasselblad....so just thought I would get one over. So yes..personal, but not in a mean way...., and I knew he would take the bait :tongue:

    I didn't claim that Hasselblads were unusually unreliable in my post...for the record. K
     
  23. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Hold on a mo'.
    I don't do that at all. I have no interest at all in telling people they should have gotten another camera.

    In your imagination, perhaps... I could start a bit of psychoanalysis, uncovering why you might imagine things like that. But, nah...! :wink: