Help needed on authenticity of "new" 503cw
I'm new to MF photography and living in Asia, and have long hankered for a Hasselblad, but have been cautious about buying used equipment here, since most of it seems of uncertain provenance and is in dubious condition. So, finding myself with a a bit of spare cash, I decided to acquire a new 503cw while they are still being made. I dealt directly with the national distributor, who seem entirely on the up and up, with a sophisticated office, largish staff, low-key sales approach, etc. I was told that it would take some time to get the camera body and two film magazines, as they needed to order them from the international office, so I gave them a deposit and left for a holiday. Three weeks later, they informed me that all had arrived.
However, when I went to pick up the goods, I couldn't help but notice the boxes were a bit scuffed. But on opening, all appeared to be in good order and well packed: the camera box contained the owner's manual together with an warranty, inspection certificate, and camera strap. And the camera box itself and the magazines appeared to be in excellent shape. However, I noted that the serial number for the 503cw, beginning 19SR. . . appears to date its manufacture to 2008 and the magazines, both beginning 30SE. . ., to 2009. Hence I became somewhat uneasy, but but the staff assured me these were new and not used products. I said I'd like to check first and and still can back out, but only at the expense of my sizable deposit.
Is it plausible that Hasselblad International is now selling stock made in 2008 and 2009 and that am I being too cautious? Is there a ready way to check if a camera has been registered before?
I don't want to be cheated, but on the other hand, I had my heart set on MF adventures in the very near future.
Any thoughts or advice on how best to proceed would be most welcome! Thanks.
Have you tried contacting Hasselblad directly with your concerns?
Were you expecting that the camera would be made in 2012? The camera has been sitting on a shelf in a warehouse for four years. This doesn't mean that it's used or outdated, just that it has been sitting. This is completely normal.
They don't make bodies and magazines one by one as orders come in. They will be made in batches and a new batch will be ordered from the manufacturing facility as the previous batch comes to an end.
As to the body and magazines being made in different years - that could be only a day apart, you know - 31 December and 1 January.
Hasselblad makes things in batches. Given the glacial pace of V system sales nowadays I wouldn't be surprised if they still have a warehouse full of bodies and accessories made before 2010 waiting to be sold. In any case, my 1998 501CM works just fine along with backs and lenses I own that according to their date codes go all the way back to the 70s. In the end, just ring Hasselblad. They will have the final word on this and should be easy for them to verify if it is new or not. I'd expect them to be interested in dodgy dealers tarnishing their name, if it turns out to be, so it is in their interest to help you out.
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Thanks much for all your useful thoughts and observations.
I should note that I have no problem at all if the equipment was truly sitting around Hasselblad's warehouse for years. Indeed, it might well be that an earlier year of production would be even better than, say, 2011, as I fear the master craftsmen with long institutional memory and skills who make these marvelous mechanical devices will soon be retiring, if they have not already done so. Rather I fear that the dealer acquired used goods and hopes to charge me an unfair premium by presenting them as new.
I likely will end up contacting Hasselblad International with my concerns., but now suspect they are groundless.
The two letters in the serial number give the year of manufacture, from:
so ES would be 1990, and VH would be 2012.
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato
I don´t think they intend to scam you. In fact 2008/2009 are the newest cameras and backs I´ve ever heard of. I think the sales of Hasselblad V-System will be pretty low at the moment since the used market is pretty well stocked up. This camera might have been sitting in the store in Sweden for 4 years. As long as the lens and magazin mount do not show loss of paint or scratches, this should be a new camera. If you really want to be sure, mail Hasselblad in Sweden, like the others said.
I guess that's how the OP dated his camera and magazines at 2008 and 2009, as stated in his original post.
Originally Posted by Leigh B
as long as you like what you've got. there is no problem. none of my hasselblad equipment is younger than 10 years,and all of it works flawlessly.