Bought a 500 cm new in 1978-9.Did not take long to start using it for weddings and beautiful snap shots of my then young kids, 100's of them.Used mostly a pistol grip and metered view finder ( a must for trying to follow a 3 to 7 yr old and pan also) some times my 650 or 550 Sunpak flash with a cheap old flash bracket, the 550 had a thyristor circuit so only had to keep track of F stop.
Some times would sit in the back yard with the 150mm lens and a tripod to record the action, best pictures I have are of family taken with that camera.
It took me 20 years to a) accumulate enough cash to buy a Hasselblad system and b) have the right opportunity come along. When I had the cash and opportunity, I bought. I haven't had a second thought about it. It's a pleasure to use and makes excellent negatives. (I could make better images, but that's not the point here.) If I sold the system today (503cx, 80, 120, 50, prism finder) I probably could get close to what I paid for it.
I use mine with a Vivitar 285 flash, and usually meter with a spot meter. I don't use it for action scenes, and have reflexes much too slow to have recorded my high-speed kids when they were small. That's what 35mm is for in my experience.
There is a bit of a learning curve, but so is there with any new camera or system. Given the number of fashion photos taken with Hasselblads over the years, you'll probably learn to hand-hold it with little trouble. Yes, get the CF lenses. A 500C/M in good condition is a good choice, unless you want a winder. The winders aren't all that fast, and the EL/ELM models only advanced at 1 frame per second, so there's no gigantic advantage there. A pistol grip is very helpful. Focusing quickly is a little difficult, but the acute-matte screens coupled with a prism finder make it much easier than without.
Good luck! I know it's not an easy decision, but you won't get burned if you decide to re-sell it.
Before you jump into this new way of shooting, make sure this is what you want. 35mm and medium format are two very different ways of seeing. Since you've never handled a 6x6 with WLF, I strongly concur with Hikari that you get an inexpensive TLR or even a Mamiya 645 with an 80mm. Let me share some insights. I've been shooting 35mm as well as MF for many years. I bought my first MF--the Mamiya 645-- over 20 years ago and it still works & I still use it. I've also used many 35's over the years and currently shoot with an M3, a Contax 137 and more recently some older Canon equipment. I've found that 35mm is great for shooting action and taking photos of people in fast moving situations. I've been using my MF equipment (including my 500c) primarily for scenics (especially seascapes) and still lifes. My shooting styles with both types of equipment are very different and driven by subject matter. As you decide which way to go to rebuild your photographic collection, give a great deal of thought on what you will be shooting.
If you plan to continue the same shooting style that you had with your Nikon but now your going to use a Hasselblad, your in for a very rude awakening. Start by thinking 12 frames vs 35 on a roll. Decide about your processing. Do you do your own darkroom work or do you have it processed? If you do your own lab work, plan to invest in 120 reels & tanks. Does your present enlarger handle 6x6? Plan on getting an 80mm enlarging lens. If you send your film out, does your current processor handle 120 film? Don't get me wrong, processing 120 has been a lot of fun for me & I enjoy the creative process. I don't mean to discourage you either, but making this change and to not expect a change in your shooting style might be very frustrating. If you are moving from an auto focus and in-camera metering platform to one in which you focus manually and meter your scenes with an external meter, you will have to incorporate these as well into your shooting style. A Hasselblad is a great creative instrument with it's square format and slower pace but don't expect it to be a panacea for all your photographic challenges.
Didn't mean to muddy the waters, or deter you from your purchase but make sure you think through all the various different dynamics. If I were you (and of course, I'm not!) I'd probably purchase another Nikon, maybe an F100 with zoom for well under $400 and purchase a cheaper 6x6 (Yashica, Mamiya, etc) and see how it works for you. Then, after you've had a chance to handle an MF camera and like the feel and the outcome, by all means get that Hassey (but still keep the Nikon). Cheers!
I'm not very experienced in the medium format category, but this fall I did buy a Hasselblad 503CW with the 80 CF T*got it relatively cheap too from a working photographer.
( I also bought a 160 CB lens, brand new, but got it very cheap, a very nice underrated lens btw)
I also bought a Mamiya RZ67 Pro II about the same time, that I got really cheap, with two lenses, cost me about 1/5'th of the Hasselblad, but I think I was rather lucky with that one ^^.
Now, I have used 35mm a lot, especially the Canon 1v, which can use all the lenses that my digital 1ds mk II can.
And I agree with agfarapid, shooting 35mm vs shooting medium format with the 503 or the RZII is a huge difference. Currently I have not yet warmed up to the Hasselblad , I find it difficult to compose properly (due to the square format) and I also struggle a bit with focus, as I have some kind of accu-matte split screen thingy, I constantly focus/recompose while shooting models, but recomposing is very confusing due to the flipped screen you are looking at. (left movement goes right and right movement goes left, the same with tilting left or right).
IE. until you get the hang of it, you will have serious issues tracking a small child running around, that's for sure
I find the RZ pro II a bit better concerning focus, because it has a pure acu-matte screen, no split screen, it also focuses trough movement of bellows and I find it much easier to adjust than on-the-lens focusing (always turning the wrong way :P ).
That said though, I do not regret buying any of my medium format cameras, just looking at the negatives is a jaw-dropping experience, 6*6 or 6*7 isn't a huge difference, really, they are both dang huge Still, for christmas this year, I shot 35mm only, to capture my nephews and niece as they were running around, playing, opening gifts etc.
If I were you, I would use a Nikon 35mm for action/snaps and the medium format for controlled environments/stationary people/sleeping child/landscapes etc, at least until the Hasselblad experience is second nature to you.
Last edited by Helinophoto; 01-03-2012 at 02:13 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Hasselblad would not have become a highly priced industry standard if they were not fast and easy to use and produced superb images
If you get rich get the fun one, the SWC.M, which is the World's most expensive box camera
My very full Hbd kit is up for grabs as I no longer like printing from such tiny little negatives, but Quinninup is a long way from Derbyshire - There must be a Hasselblad user near you
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Hello Ted, sorry about your loss.
Ive previously owned a Pentax 645 and 45, 55, 150 lenses. Great system but I prefer something more mechanical and i like the square format so I sold it for a 500cm with WLF and 50CF, 80C, 150CF, 250C. I gotta say the Pentax gives it a good run and for action shots I would think a lot easier to use. I find focusing the Hasselblad lenses stiff and slowwww. Beautifully made but I use it from a tripod mostly. Kudos to those who can follow action with one.
Well, I thought "sod it", and I took the leap! I've just bought a 501C/M with a recently serviced 80mm CB lens, WLF, strap etc for £1400. I am yet to have it delivered! (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2807896550...84.m1423.l2649)
I have taken on board all the points and acknowledge the risks with eBay, though I have to say that to date I have always chosen sellers carefully and have not yet been stung. Given my location and the seeming lack of second hand places to buy these from round here in Derby (I even bought the Ad-Mag and Derby Telegraph, just to check) eBay is my best option. I tried ffordes.co.uk and a retailer in Paris but it's the usual thing - a shop will always add a few hundred more. I realise you get warranty for a month or two or maybe 6 if you're lucky, but I've sold almost everything I own to buy this so every peeny counts.
I've also bought another standard 50mm prime for my Nikon F5 with lens hood for those more rapid pace requirements. Besides, I have about £100 of 35mm film in my fridge! I just need to get this flash issue sorted (see my other related post about a flash that works with F5 and Hassie) because I do like a bit of -1 fill in flash, just to brighten the mince pies a bit :-)
When the beast arrives I'll let you all know :-) I will no doubt upload pictures of me with my new posession just for vanity sake. I am so excited about owning a Hasselblad I really can't explain it. I have wanted one since I was a teenager (I'm 35 now!).
You'll enjoy the Hassy. Congratulations. Got a tripod? If not, get one ASAP... and a Hassy quick release.
RE: alternatives to eBay- You _will_ be wanting lots of additional Hasselblad accessories in the future. You'll benefit from an additional back, for instance. Maybe you could consider putting in a WTB ad here on APUG or on other boards? Another thing I occasionally do is post a WTB ad in the local free newspaper or on Craig's List. You might be surprised to find that there are local people interested and willing to sell you stuff but who haven't wanted to take the time or effort to advertise... It's also a good way to meet local photographers , and/or take a trip to a nearby city. In 20 years I have bought very little photo gear from a retail establishment (other than supplies).
keitho at strucktower dot com
Good catch! Congratulations and enjoy your new camera. Give your cache of 35mm some 120 roll film friends to keep them company in the fridge, too.