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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Minneapolis, MN US
    Multi Format
    Here are my words of wisdom. Per your signature, you have the following lenses for your Nikon:
    80-200mm 2.8 zoom
    60mm 2.8 Macro prime
    50mm 1.8 standard prime
    20mm 1.8 superwide prime

    I'll assume you were reasonably content with that mix. Realistically, only 2 lenses (the 50mm and 60mm macro) are replicable in the H'blad V mount. To reach even close to a 20mm perspective, you need to go to the Superwide (I think). You cannot duplicate the 80-200 zoom.

    So, IMHO, either:
    -you don't like the mix of lenses you had with the Nikon (or the list in your sig is not accurate)
    -you will change your style to match the camera
    -you will need to have both H'blad and Nikon
    -you will be frustrated because you can't get the shots you want

    I just don't see how it's feasible to switch when you've built your style around this collection (or, perhaps more accurately, built this collection around your style).

    So, my suggestion, either:
    -rebuild your Nikon system and add a less expensive, older, H'blad (with non-metered prism) to see how it fits you (cameras aren't spouses - you're not limited to 1)
    -rebuild your Nikon system, forget the H'blad and find some other experience to worry about missing before you die
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  2. #12
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Southern California
    Multi Format
    My recommendations:
    50mm, 80mm, 150mm*, 250mm lenses, all CF or later
    50mm, 100mm, 150mm*, 250mm lenses, all CF or later

    If you do not need the electronic interface, the CF is the best buy for multicoated lenses, easier to get serviced, all use the same size filters [B60], easier to use than the C lenses and newer than the C lenses. CF lenses are lower cost than the later lenses, but worth the difference in cost above the C lenses.

    I have CF 38mm [SWC], CF 50mm, CF 80mm, CF 150mm, CF 250mm and a 2X extender

    * 150mm or 180mm only if you shoot portraits
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Harrisburg, PA
    Multi Format

    Hasselblads are really nice, but after all it is just a camera!

    If you are stretching your money to be able to afford a Hasselblad system, I would say wait until you are more comfortable with your decision. Ebay is the _last_ place I would go to buy a system, unless you plan (financially) for having the equipment CLA'd by a trusted professional in addition to the purchase price. This is true for the backs and lenses as well as the bodies.

    You _could_ learn to be quick enough with a Hasselblad to take fast candid photos, but then again you may never develop that kind of proficiency with it. We all have different talents :-)

    IMHO, learning enough about light, film, and equipment to be able to properly expose without a meter would be one of the best things you could do for your photography (this includes flash use). That way TTL (or an expensive meter) would be a luxury rather than a necessity.

    BTW: why a 503 and not an older 500 to start with? Unless you really want the advanced features, you can save some money by buying older bodies and lenses as long as they are in good condition.

    Keith Ostertag
    keitho at strucktower dot com

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Medium Format
    Before you buy a Hasselbled, buy a cheap medium-format TLR like ones from Mamiya or Yashica. You can then get an idea of the benefits of medium-foram without spending too much. You can also find out if waist level finders are for you. I have always found prisms on a Hasselblad awkward and heavy.

    You may want to think about a eye level camera like the Pentax 67, Pentax 645, or Contax 645. I think Mamiya made an eye level camera as well.

    Hasselbled made/makes nice lenses, but so do a lot of other companies.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Los Angeles
    Multi Format
    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.


  6. #16

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Portland, Oregon
    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.

    Peter Gomena

  7. #17
    agfarapid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    New England
    Multi Format
    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!

  8. #18
    Helinophoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Multi Format
    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 03:13 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "Nice picture, you must have an amazing camera."
    Visit my photography blog at: http://helino-photo.blogspot.com

  9. #19
    John Austin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern Forest Region, Western Australia
    Large Format
    Blog Entries
    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

    Click image for larger version. 

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    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

  10. #20
    declark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    So. Cal
    Medium Format
    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.

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