WTF: Hasselblad Film Back Serial Numbers

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by BradleyK, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. BradleyK

    BradleyK Member

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    Looking on KEH's site a short time back for a couple more A12 backs, I noticed that the remark "matching numbers" appears frequently as part of the product description for the A12s. Anybody have any idea why? Is this a variant/mutation of "Fanboy-itis," wherein the serial number of the A12 casing must match that of the insert? (lol) Do "correct" serial numbers influence market value, and if so why? It's not that I give a s**t (all six of my current A12s do, however); I am just curious as to why KEH - and other sellers, I assume - make mention of the fact. :munch:
     
  2. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I don't think it really matters so long as the same type back is matched. But then, who would want mis-matched anything, when it is a simple enough affair to keep things together?
     
  3. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    read the user guide...
     
  4. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    I've got matching backs and non matching backs.Negatives from non matching are as sharp as negatives from matching.It's hard for me to believe that Hasselblad machined every insert to match one particular case/holder.Cogs is cogs,as they say.
     
  5. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    ditto, can't tell the difference between matched and non matched that I have.
     
  6. BradleyK

    BradleyK Member

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    Umm...well...cheap-ass here bought some of his Blad equipment used (read: user manual...what user manual?). :D
     
  7. aoresteen

    aoresteen Subscriber

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    The early 12 magazines for the 1600F and the 1000F *were* matched. Missmatched inset/shell could be off. When the 500c came out in 1957 the magzines where changed and made to better tollerences and improved. Since then I think that it was not as important. And when the A12 came out I know it didn't matter.
     
  8. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

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    definitely doesn't matter with the A12's. Unless you're a collector, and then you shouldn't have a Hasselblad.
     
  9. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    90% of my backs are early and it doesn't make any difference.
     
  10. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    http://www.butkus.org/chinon/hasselblad/hasselblad_a12_a24/hasselblad_a12_a24.htm

    please try reading page 4

    note one of the limitation's of 120 film cameras is film flatness and 'sets' that cold film may adopt if left in cameras with labyrinthine film paths.

    This may only be detectable with the large aperture lenses close up.

    Some 120 are designed with flat runs e.g. Autocord and Mamiya TLRs.

    YMMV
     
  11. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The manual, plus lots of other information is available here;
    http://www.hasselbladhistorical.eu

    One of the features at Hasselblad Historical is a back mis-match register, don't know how current it is though.
    Supposedly, the backs and inserts are matched, on a practical basis, however it makes no difference (except that mis-matched backs are cheaper).
     
  12. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    it is in fact desireable that the last few digits3?of insert and housing match.apparently this is due to the tight manufacturing tolerancesand optimum film plane placement when insert and housing have been matched to each other. I have some that do and some that don't but never realized a difference in sharpness.nevertheless. it seems to have an effect on resale.:D
     
  13. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    it is not too hard to measure inserts and backs after machining and try to match best-fitting pairs before giving them a serial number, but I haven't noticed anything inferior with non-matching backs eeitherother than the fact that they seem to be less sought after.
     
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  15. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I've had mismatching backs and inserts that have inconsistent frame spacing but have not noticed any difference in sharpness. That said I rarely shoot wide open and close up. If I did I'd use only matching backs/inserts to play it safer.
     
  16. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Since most people's practical experience is that it doesn't matter much, I wonder (rhetorically, of course) why Hasselblad bothered -- it must have added considerably to the manufacturing complexity/cost to match serial numbers like that.
     
  17. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I think in the end it did make a difference though one which when stopped down a little from wide open is either indistinguishable for most practical purposes. Sort of like the glass back pressure plate available for many of the Rolleiflex models. In theory it held the film flatter or guaranteed film flatness. But most report back plenty good sharpness without using it.
     
  18. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    One thing to remember, when new these babies were ridiculously expensive. Perhaps the market demanded such tolerances and expected inserts and backs to have matching serials numbers showing such tolerances were checked and "certified". Whether it made a big or significant difference in the result may have been if no matter, it's what was expected so they did it. Probably used this aspect and feature in marketing too. Heck, it's still working to this day: backs with matching insert serial numbers sell for more.
     
  19. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    I've heard that you can have issues that have inserts that don't "match" the backs. It locks up or something.
     
  20. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    The truth is, while Hasselblads are special, they aren't that special. They are not divine, they weren't made my God, and they are not perfect; or anywhere close to it. Infinity is all over the place. A lens focuses past infinity on one, won't go to infinity on another, mirrors are crooked, the cameras shake when they go off like an earthquake. The leak light like a sieve a lot of times. And they jam. They're unique, and they are a system that works pretty well together. Were it not so, the Apollo Program would not have used them. They're only as well made as is possible by humans, but they're certainly not perfect. At the time of their invention and for a period of years after that, they were the only ones of their kind. And so their reputation stems from that.
     
  21. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Tom,
    they are asgoodas humans can make and as divine as they are appreciated by their proud and brokeowners:wink:
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Your Hasselblads are in serious need of a CLA. Infinity should not vary. The mirror should not be crooked. They should not
    .
     
  23. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I think they're like anything else I have learned to work on. When you know how to work on something, it loses it's "specialness". The first time I opened up an ELM, I was a bit disappointed because there wasn't much in it. At least not like I had expected. I thought the peg on the gear that pushes the mirror back up after the initial bounce was pretty neat, but I thought the stilt on the non-operator's side of the mirror hinge impressed me as an after-thought, and seemed pretty cheapie-looking. But it does work well, I'll hand it that. As for me, I've made the decision to get rid of all my Hasselblad gear. It's beyond my means for my income level and I can't justify it. Going to just stick with my Nikkormat FTn and my 8x10 with the old Betax shutter.
     
  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Matching numbers help assure that the back and insert are the closest possible match to the specifications. All my backs have matching numbers and I have not had problems. You may want to contact KEH and see if they will exchange your back for one that has matching numbers.
     
  25. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    when it is cold I take my c330 otherwise I need to Ziploc the backs and pocket them to keep the film warm if I might need to shoot at wide aperture.
    They are not practical for wild life or street candids.
    If I was more cynical Id sell buy film and another RB67 lens?
     
  26. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    lots of BMW people talk about matching numbers, even in newer 70's and 80's bikes. if all this hand crafted nonsense is worth anything more then then prestige, it must be subjective. While Hasselblad and lieca make sharp lenses, and were originally an innovative design, no handcrafted thing can compete with machine and computer precision (at least in terms of reliability and consistency) which is probably why hasselblads are now made by fuji, in Japan, on a cell system assembly line (each product is built from start to finish by one person).

    If the backs have such tight tolerances so that they must be matched to inserts, it kind of defeats the purpose of having inserts in the first place, that is so that you can have many inserts ready to go instead of having lots of full backs ready to go.
    Just the same as selling spare parts for a motorcycle, where you cannot really replace any parts, because they will never match or work properly. With older BMW's it is the fact of life that while they are fairly reliable, they always leak, klunk and woozzie, they are very heavy, and all that for apparent reason, other then tradition... I feel the same way about hasselblads and liecas...