Pentax 67 vs Hasselblad 500 cm for handheld use
I'm interested in a MF SLR (6x6 or 6x7) to use at eye-level with an f2.8 aperture to compliment my 2.8E Rolleiflex.
How do these two cameras compare in terms of eye-level handheld use. Is one easier to focus/operate than the other?
Not interested in backs, WLF, multiple lenses, and etc. From the internet both optics look great. I'm mostly leaning towards the Hasselblad, to be honest, but The Pentax 67 looks like a more natural eye-level camera.
If it matters, here are the outfits that I am considering.
Pentax 67 + 90mm f2.8 (I prefer wider than the 105mm...)
Hasselblad 500cm + 80mm f2.8 + 90 degree prism (not sure which one)
I think both of these will be a little awkward for eye-level handheld use, personally. I don't mind the Hasselblad with WLF handheld, but if I put another finder on it feels better on a tripod or monopod-- it's certainly doable, but it isn't where the camera really shines, so if you know that is the main way you will be using it I would look at other options. Pentax 67 with grip might be OK, but it's a pretty bulky camera at that point.
I would look at a 645 (either SLR or RF), or if you have to have 6x6 a Bronica SQ with the speed grip (no personal experience with the later, but I think it would iron out some of the issues with the Hasselblad design when hand holding eye level). If you've got cash to burn, there is also the Mamiya 6/7 route...
A setup for the Hasselblad that works pretty well for eye level use is a 45 degree finder and pistol grip. The side grip doesn't work well at all.
Heavily sedated for your protection.
The Pentax is easy to focus at eye level. The Hasselblad is not, though my only prism experience is with the 45 degree non-metered finder. The Pentax's drawbacks are related to slow flash synch and camera shake (though the latter is not as bad as you'd think).
I used a Pentax 67 for 10 years and it worked well at eye level. I now have a Bronica 645 ETRSi with eye level prism and I would say it's a wash between the two for eye level operation. The Bronica 645 is a bunch lighter and quicker handling; however, a 645 neg just doesn't measure up to a 6x7 neg. Loved the 67 negs!!!
Last edited by Fred Aspen; 06-18-2013 at 06:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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I find the Hasselblad with a 45-degree prism works better for me than the Pentax 67. The Pentax is a beast to handle! I didn't have any issues with a dimmer viewfinder on the Hasselblad (maybe because I was shooting with an Acute Matte D.
I think it also comes down to your shooting style — how you hold the camera.
The Pentax 67 can be awkward to hold. So too, can the Hassy 500, being square, as opposed to rectangular for the 67, a "35mm on steroids". The formats are also different: square vs rectangular. What do you like, and how has this been proven in the past? If you go for the 6x6, will you get bored of the format? With 6x7, you can crop any which way you can, it being termed the "ideal format". I sometimes crop square from 6x7. Lots of flexibility. Weight too is something to watch. A 165mm lens on a 67 body is quite a handful, begging for a tripod. In terms of variety, both types of camera are plentiful on the second hand market, but care needs to be exercised in assessing reliability into the future: all bodies are now getting on, especially the 67.
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I cut my teeth on the 35mm SLR. I have both, and find the Pentax 67 a little more natural. The controls seem a little more natural to my fingers.
Of the two, I would rate the Hasselblad as the more flexible of the two. I would not dismiss backs and the WLF so quickly. Preloaded backs are quite handy if you are out shooting for the day. Much, much quicker than inserting a new roll. The WLF is great for angles other than the standard eye level image. Great for over the head shots in crowds too.
I don't think the Pentax 67 is awkward at all to hold at eye level. Heavy with a 105/2.4, to be sure...but not awkward. I have large hands, so it fits me more like a 35mm fits most average sized hands.
Just picked up a Hassy and it's alright. I haven't warmed to it like I did the Pentax, which happened almost instantly. Shutter isn't loud enough, at least that's my first guess at what is wrong.
I shoot a Hasselblad 500cm mostly with the waist level finder. I do have a non metered prism finder that I use when shooting flash. It works great with my flash bracket but I feel it would be awkward using the eye level finder without the bracket.
A good friend of mine owns the Pentax and really likes it for landscapes but he always shoots it on a tripod. I have handled it a few times and it's just not for me. If you can get a chance to handle one before buying it would be a good idea. Of course that advice goes for the Hasselblad and any other camera too. If you buy right you can always resell and get most of your money back. I've done this before and considered the little money I lost as a cheap rental fee.
I use my Hasselblad for a walk around camera but I like the waist level finder. If I wanted to shoot at eye level I would seriously look at the Fujifilm GF670 folding range finder. It shoots your choice of 6x6 or 6x7. Of course it is not an SLR and it's 80mm lenses maximum aperture is 3.5.