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  1. #1
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    Hasselblad SWC: models, availability, and price

    So I'm fancying the idea of the Hasselblad SWC. I shoot 35mm and 120 ( only Rolleiflex's atm) but I just absolutely love the negatives I get from 120. I only print 120 now because 35mm is a bit lacking. I like ultra wide angles and small/compact /quiet cameras so the SWC makes the most sense. I'd opt for this over a Mamiya 7 because of the close focusing abilities and I do not really need the extra negative (6x7 vs 6x6).

    I'm not ready to buy any but my budget is probably $2k but maybe a bit more since I would need an A12 back or two, the ground glass back, and some misc accessories . I see some on keh.com for this price so I think it is doable.. When it comes to coatings, I do not care because most of my lenses are single-coated and I do not shoot color.

    Any suggestions and advice on models? Any to avoid?
    Is there a go-to person for these things? Incase something busts.

    The 40mm Hasselblad lens is another possible option but I'd prefer to go with the SWC because of the bulk and noise and the 40mm FLE probably isn't much cheaper considering that I do not have a Hasselblad body. It is another option though, I would go this route if it were cheaper and more reliable.
    Last edited by msbarnes; 03-06-2013 at 12:07 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    Slixtiesix's Avatar
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    This is a neat and lovely camera, but the price has always restricted me from buying one. There was the old SWC with chrome lens and no T*, which was made until around 1973. Then there was the old SWC with black lens and T* (essentially the same camera apart from the coating and the colour of the lens), which was made during the 70s. In 1980 the SWC/M appeared. It had a lowered tripod socket to allow mounting Polaroid magazines, apart from that, not very different from the old SWC. In 1982 the SWC/M was changed to the CF-lens barrel.
    Somewhen in the mid 80s the SWC/M got a newer finder and in 1985 the spirit level on the body was dropped and integrated into the finder instead. In 1988 the SWC/M was succeeded by the 903SWC, which was built until 2001.
    The Biogon lens design never changed during that period. It was not redesigned before 2001 when the 905SWC was launched.
    Essentially, there is not much difference between the old SWCs and SWC/M with old lens barrel and the SWC/M with CF-barrel and 903SWC.
    There is sometimes an issued reported with SWC/M cameras´ shutter leaving slight scratches on one inner lens element, this was solved in the mid 80s with a shutter modification. It was done somewhen between the introduction of the new style finder and the loss of the spirit level finder on the body, so cameras that do not have the spirit level on the body should not suffer from this issue. It was only a minor problem before though. These scratches can occur with cameras before the modification was done, but they do not necessarily must. I doubt that they will effect image quality at all.

  3. #3

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    You may wish to look at the Fotoman Dmini, it's a similar sort of camera which you may be able to put together for less money. My experience with Fotoman is that they do not have the fit and finish of Hasselblad, but are still nice, and well made cameras.

  4. #4
    vpwphoto's Avatar
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    For fine analog work the 38 vx the 40... the 38 is so very fine.

    Price... bemuses me. I have encountered people "selling" items off and on for 3 years, and it is their right to ask what they ask, I see many of the same items listed week after week (even month) here and on e-bay. Part of what sets the price is what the market is willing to pay (along with what the seller is willing to sell). I think the prices for these items are mostly set by the sellers, but there are too many sellers with high expectations and low need for cash.

    Folks "ask" all year long for a high price say for a Summicron 50, that being said there are dozens willing to pay 70% of the markets asking price to use the lens... as we know "flipping" it isn't worth it, or easy... then there are fees postage and insurance.

    KEH may be your best bet to find the SWC you seek.... I anticipate the prices going lower for these items in the next 3 years... I'd hold out for a T*. My current Hasselblad mechanic is Dave of Dave's Camera Repair in Chelsea MI.

  5. #5

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    OP, buy on price and condition. I shoot a 1969 or so 38/4.5 Biogon on my Century Graphic. The lens is single-coated, is amazingly flare resistant.

  6. #6
    Slixtiesix's Avatar
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    Regarding the coating: As I said I do not have a SWC myself, but from my experience with other lenses, the single coating is already very good. I´m amazed by the colour fidelity of my single coated 50/4 Distagon and it has 14 lens elements I think. The Biogon has only 6. So I don´t think it is a problem either, as long as you do not shoot straight into the sun. And from my own experience with other lenses: If you do that, T* won´t help you either.

  7. #7
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    1954-1958 SWA & SW Leaf "Superwide Angle": fixed Carl Zeiss Biogon f/4.5 38 mm wide angle lens. SW: 1956 slightly changed lens barrel construction.
    1959-1979 SWC Leaf With silver C lens, from 1969 with black C lens, from 1973 with T*
    1980-1988 SWC/M Leaf Successor to the SWC. Ability to attach a polaroid back. From 1982 with CF lens. From 1985 onwards: spirit level in new style finder, removed from body.
    Is there a reason to opt for an SWC/M over the earlier two? I do not care about polaroids or T*. All backs are compatible, right? What is the difference between the SWA&SW and the SWC? I'm still a bit lost in which is best for me or if it matters? I'm thinking of going for an SWC, or just whichever I see cheapest (and in good condition ofcourse), but I do not want to get an SWC and realize that I should have gotten the SWC/M.

    All I want is the camera, viewfinder, 1-2 backs, and the ground glass back. I'd get a hood and maybe two filters: UV and Yellow.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slixtiesix View Post
    Regarding the coating: As I said I do not have a SWC myself, but from my experience with other lenses, the single coating is already very good. I´m amazed by the colour fidelity of my single coated 50/4 Distagon and it has 14 lens elements I think. The Biogon has only 6. So I don´t think it is a problem either, as long as you do not shoot straight into the sun. And from my own experience with other lenses: If you do that, T* won´t help you either.
    6 elements? I think not. The 38/4.5 Biogon conforms to US Patent 2,721,499. 8 elements in 5 groups.

  9. #9
    Slixtiesix's Avatar
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    You´re right! My fault...

  10. #10

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    I own a 1988SWC/M, 903 and 905, and would say that I do not notice any difference in my shots, except that the 905 has better handling.

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