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  1. #1

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    Idle hands, a wandering mind and a few Hasselblad questions

    For the third time in a month, I've strained my back so I'm at home today takiing Advil and considering having a few slugs of Crown Royal. Of course, when I'm idle, my mind starts to wander and photographic subjects come up. One of my current fantasies is buying a used Hasselblad outfit since the prices are so low right now I can almost justify it.

    My purpose is for very light shooting, usually on a tripod, never with a flash and the subject matter is whatever catches my fancy. I don't need a lot of lenses, prism finders or a half dozen backs to do this. I'm thinking of a body, 120 back, waist-level finder, 80mm and, maybe, a 50mm.

    Recommendations I've gotten are to get a 500C/M or later model with the rapid winding crank and an Accumatte screen. In lenses, the CF models are said to have good parts availability whereas the older lenses may not. In looking at the KEH website, I'm a little confused over the differences in some camera bodies and camera backs.

    I know that some of the more recent bodies have TTL flash capability. I'm not interested in that feature. What's the difference in the 500C/M, 501C, 501C/M, 503CW, 503CX and 503CXi other than the flash features?

    I know all the backs fit all the bodies and the 6x6 format backs are the "12" series. What is the difference between the 12, A12, A12 with Black Dot Release and the A12 with 12 Release. The A12 with dark slide holder seems pretty self-explanatory to me.

  2. #2
    BWGirl's Avatar
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    Well, I can't answer most of your questions, but I can give you some places to look for answers. I have a 500 c/m and I love it, btw.

    This is quite a comprhensive spiel about lenses and which ones fit which cameras, and the differences. Great info there:
    http://medfmt.8k.com/mf/hassylenses.html

    Not sure how much help this will be, but here's a link to the Instruction manual for several variations of the 500 (C/M, ELM, etc).
    http://www.urmonas.net/manuals/500cm/500cm.html

    And last but not least, here's a link to the Hasselblad user form.
    http://www.hasselbladinfo.com/cgi-bin/discus/discus.cgi

    Now... 3 times in one month??? Hm... anyone give you strengthening exercises for this???
    Jeanette
    .................................................. ................
    Isaiah 25:1

  3. #3

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    Thanks, Jeanette, I'll follow those links.

    Yeah, three times. The first time was when I picked up my watch from the bedside table, a week later was when I reached for a book from the bottom shelf of a bookcase and this morning was when I picked up my shoes to put them on. I could lift an old VW beetle if I had to but I can't bend over for squat! Getting old sucks.

  4. #4

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    See:
    http://www.photoethnography.com/Clas...html~mainFrame

    I have a 501 C/M and a 500 C/M, and prefer the 501. It happens to be in better condition and also has the brighter acutte mat (sp?) screen. My advice is go for KEH's "bargain" rated equipment. "Bargain" grade to them is at least an 8+ on anyone else's rating scheme and is often closer to 9. They have some wear but everything functions perfectly. And the optics are perfect. The only exception I'd recommend is to go for an "excellent" back as they can be finicky. I've never figured out the film back thing, except that I wanted an A12 back over a 12 back.

  5. #5
    blansky's Avatar
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    I'd get the prism finder as well, with or without the light meter, depending on your situation.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  6. #6
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Shively
    Idle hands, a wandering mind...
    Much better than having an idle mind and wandering hands.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  7. #7

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    I dunno about that. Wandering hands can be very satisfying in the end.

  8. #8
    BWGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    I'd get the prism finder as well, with or without the light meter, depending on your situation.


    Michael
    I bought a 90deg prism finder from KEH ('bargain' grade... perfect glass with the diopter adjustment) and it was one of the best things I've ever done.

    I was having a devil of a time shooting from a tripod when I'd go on waterfall trips. I'd either have to turn the camera on its side, or stand on railings to get my shot. But with that 90deg finder, things are perfect!

    If you have back problems, that waist level finder could be a potential problem since you are kind of bent over the camera.

    Now... about that back... do some stretches before you get out of bed every day... slowly bring each knee individually up toward your chin, holding it with both hands. Hold it there, then slowly let it go back down. Just do a couple to start... work up to about 10 on each leg, each day. Your back will feel great, and you will be able to toss out the Advil! (Hey... more money for film!)
    Jeanette
    .................................................. ................
    Isaiah 25:1

  9. #9

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    Going against the grain, and since you are thinking about this purchase, may I ask if have you considered any other 6x6 slr while at it? I only bring this up as a 501 owner who thinks the Rollei, in particular, is a better buy and a better camera, and that the Bronica's seem very well liked and might just suit your purpose at a reasonable cost savings. I own a 501CM, for sale btw, and while it doesn't suit me per se', of course you may find it the cat's meow, but seriously, I would spend a day with one before plopping down my hard earned cash. Every camera has their odd little features and handling charcteristics, and I just don't see a Hasselblad having the best of any; And btw, I don't find them particularly light, so forget very light shooting.

  10. #10

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    I bought my Hasselblad, a 503cx about a year ago. I wish I'd done it 10 years earlier. I don't use the metered flash functions at all -- it just happened to be the body in the kit I bought, and I didn't pay extra for it.

    With 3 lenses and other gadgets, it's not particularly light, but no worse than a big 35mm kit. I plan to lighten my tripod to a carbon-fiber model before long, though.

    I've thoroughly enjoyed using this fine piece of equipment, and I'm sure it will last me for many years. It has its quirks and foibles, but any camera does. It's a matter of figuring out the camera and playing along.

    I'd buy the latest model 501 series you can at the best price you can afford, and then add lenses as they come up. One back will do for starters, but you'll want two.

    I have mild arthritis in my back that can be fairly painful on occasion. I've found yoga works wonders. Find a community education class if you can, and ask the teacher to emphasize some back work once in a while.

    Peter Gomena

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