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  1. #1
    Ara Ghajanian's Avatar
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    Need advice on a life-changing decision...

    A bit of history before I ask the question:
    A few years ago I traded my RB-67 system to a friend for his Hasselblad 500C/M. The Hasselblad is in perfect condition with all boxes, instructions, etc. It's almost like having a brand new one. Anyways, I've used the Hasselbald once in all those years, I'm not sure why, but I've been doing just about everything with my Nikon F3. The problem I have with the Hasselblad is that I can't afford any accessories. I've got a 80mm Planar and a Polaroid back, but anything else I would like to get is way beyond my means (I've got a mortgage and a car payment to worry about). The Nikon suits most of my needs, but I don't want to lose the medium format negative size when needed. I used to shoot a lot with the RB-67, but since I got the F3 most of my work, if not all, has been 35mm. I have to mention that I also have a Rolleiflex TLR 3.5 Planar (don't quote me on the lens, it's definitely a 3.5 though) in excellent cosmetic condition, but it desparately needs a CLA because the slower shutter speeds stick. I want to sell the Hassleblad for financial reasons, but I'm not sure if the Rollei is a suitable replacement. I'll never be able to afford a Hasselblad lens or prism finder, etc. so I figure the Rollei is basically the same camera minus the Polaroid back.

    My question is: In your opinion, IS a Rolleiflex TLR capable of replacing a Hasselblad in this case? Obviously, it's not an SLR, nor does it have interchangable backs or lenses, but if I can't afford those extras then what is the point of having a Hasselblad over the Rollei? Plus, I love the fact that the Rollei shutter is a leaf shutter that's almost silent and can be held still at slower shutter speeds. The Hasselblad shutter sounds like the door of a Cadillac being shut. My decision is almost made, but I just wanted to ask you guys and gals to make sure I'm not overlooking anything.

    Question 2: How much should I ask for a mint Hasseblad 500C/M (circa 1992) with 80mm f2.8 Planar, A12 Back, Polaroid back, all boxes, all instructions? I'm thinking $1300.

    Thanks in advance, I know I can count on you great people,
    Ara
    Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

  2. #2
    titrisol's Avatar
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    very tough spot you are in!

    Given your situation, and the amount of use you give the Hasselblad the Rolleiflex maybe a good replacement.

    If you want to keep a SLR a Bronica maye a good replacement, they are selling cheap.
    Mama took my APX away.....

  3. #3
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    This is partially why I use a Bronica S2A for medium format. For $1300, you should be able to put together a kit with an S2A, 3 Nikkor lenses, 3 backs, and a few other odds and ends of your choosing (extension tubes and Polaroid back, or another lens, or maybe even the tilt-shift macro bellows).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  4. #4
    Surly's Avatar
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    Oh, I think you've opened Pandora's box here Ara. The Rollei and Hassy camps can be quite divided
    In my opinion the Hasselblads when used alot need more frequent servicing. The Rollei probably will be good for many years after you get it dialed in. Also, the Rollei, if it has a 3.5 lens is probably 75mm which is slightly wider than the 80 on your Hassy. Not much to worry about but I would prefer the wider lens, albeit a stop or so slower.
    It sounds like your minds already made up- but there is nothing wrong with keeping things simple. If your going to have one camera with a fixed lens you cant go wrong with the Rollei. Send it to Oceanside camera repair and Harry Fleenor will get it fixed up for you.
    The Hasselblad folks can advise on the price.
    Good luck.

  5. #5
    jmdavis's Avatar
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    Well, the Pro-S is still around. You know that you've used them in the past. You should be able to get a Pro-S, Waistlevel, 50 and 90 lenses and at least one back (maybe 2 and a polaroid) for under $1200. But would you use them?

    Another possibility that offers some merit might be a c220 or c330.

    But, a Rollei TLR is a hard camera to beat even without interchangeable lenses.

    Mike

  6. #6

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    If you don't use the blad dump it. It is taking up space. Get something you would use. If you are dumping it because you need the money to live off them the Rollei would be a good substitute because it is completely usable. My favorite picture in gallery right now was made with a TLR. TLR's are not my cup of tea but I could use one-did for a few years-if there was nothing else. Tempe Camera in Phoenix AZ is a quick reliable place to get something CLA'ed and their prices are very reasonable.

    Good luck. I have yet to be able to sell a camera. Too much sentimental connection.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  7. #7

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    I'm not sure why the Rollei, another 6x6, would need to replace a system you don't use, but I guess if it's a tool and you have a need for it, and it suffices, then I see no reason it won't, unless your expectations come to exceed it's capabilities. In so much as your Hasselblad sale is concerned, I've found to a degree that the auction site has more influence on pricing then I would like. Attempts to sell mine thru classifieds have hads it's pricing compared to the recent ( and usually lowest) prices that were bid online. In an attempt to do an end run, my attempts to trade have so far been futile. I refuse to sell thru auction and would keep the camera instead.

    Now, as a Hassy owner, I see no reason that the hasselblad should not be able to be used as a tool, as needed. I own the 60mm, a fine lens, but did always want the 80's view. I essentially see it as a more useable lens. When you bought the Hassy, just what was your intentions with it? Is it too slow and clunky for you somehow? Is the speed of use of the 35mm your suit? If so, maybe either 6x6 won't do for you.

    I own a Pro-S as well; It has it uses, but I find that I don't have a need for those uses just yet. Maybe, and probably, you could trade the Hassy for a RZ, or RB, and return to a camera that you did find more use for. The problem might be tho, that it's such a different camera to use over a 35mm system. You might be a little spoiled by now. Each camera and format obviously is not necessarily a do it all, which is why many of us have alot of different tools in our toolbox. As far as the Rollei again is concerned, of course any cash sale of the Hassy would fix it, and it is emminently more saleable, depending on model, if you find you just don't like it.

  8. #8

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    I have both a 500 CM (3 lenses) and a TLR f/3.5. Because of the weight I use the Rollei more. If I could only have one, with one lens it's the Rollei. Having said that, the price on 'Blad lenses are dropping like a rock. It is a good time to buy M/F.

  9. #9
    noblebeast's Avatar
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    Ara, It sounds like you're already leaning in this direction anyway, but: sell the Hassy, fix the Rollei, pay some bills with the leftover cash. I have a Rolleiflex with a 3.5 Tessar and am always more than happy with the results I get. Plus once your Rollei has been CLA'd it will give you years and years of trouble free service. And since, by your own statement, you're doing most of your work with your Nikon, you're not really going to feel a great loss at no longer having the Hassy. It seems that you've talked yourself into this move already, so this is just a gentle shove.

    Joe
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    "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive" - Howard Thurman

  10. #10

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    I would have the Rollei cleaned and serviced. The Rollei at wider apertues, while very good will not equal the Hassleblad but from f6.3 and smaller it will be mighty hard to tell a difference. The 3.5 Planar is, in my opinion, the best of the single coated Rollei lenses. Nice quiet vibration free camera.. It will take quality pictures that delight you.

    Goodbye Hassleblad.

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