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  1. #1

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    Hasselblad 500c/cm versus Pentax 67?

    I'm looking to get into medium format but i don't want to spen a ton of money. Someone recommended a used Pentax 67 but I found a used Hasselblad 500c for $250 more. The 500cm is about $350 more. They are also a lot lighter than the pentax and seem easier to hand hold. Is it worth the extra money? Which do you prefer?

  2. #2
    jss
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    i own a pentax 6x7 and rented a hasselblad. in the hand they are completely different. if you can, get to a store and hold new models of both to see the difference. i have the wood grip for the pentax and find holding it not too bad. it feels more like a slr and less akward to me than holding a box (hasselblad), but your mileage my vary.

    while the hasselblad is not that quiet (not like the sound of a tlr at all), there's no mistaking the KA--CHUNK of the pentax.

  3. #3
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    I think that the Mamiya 645 Pro or Super with a winder grip is great for hand holding. Of course, the negative is smaller than the Hassy or the Pentax, so it might not be what you are looking for. Another camera to consider along the lines of the Hassy but with lower prices (much lower on lenses) is the Bronica SQ series. They are 6X6 with interchangable backs and leaf shutters in the lenses.

    Have fun!

  4. #4
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    If I only shot B&W and I just wanted to get into medium format, I would get the mirror lock up version 67 with a plain prism and use a spot meter for determining exposures. For color slides, the 67II with the AE prism is a better choice.

    I originally got the Pentax for the 6x7 format for black and white. I got into taking slides with it, as well as black and white, and ended up buying a 67II for that. Now, I use the 67, unmetered, for B&W and the 67II with the AE prism for slides. But, if I had to do with just one, I would go with the 67II and the AE meter prism with a 105mm and 200mm lens. I would have to think about the wide angle lens. I have a 45mm and I would want to try a 55mm. The 45mm is a little much, but I wonder if the 55mm would be wide enough. Also, I have heard the 55 is not as sharp as the 45mm. The later 45, 105 and 200mm lenses are all very sharp with good color and contrast.

    That said, I have had a Hasselblad for a long time and I would not part with it. It’s just that, today, at the entry level, I think the Pentax would be a better choice. Start with it and, later, if you need more, get into the Hasselblad system.

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    Dear Bryan,

    90% personal taste, 10% the advantage of the bigger neg.

    I sold my 500C 20 years ago to a fellow professional and he is still using it. I sold it because in the days before scanning your own stuff you had to relinquish control of cropping your trannies to purblind art directors who would often crop the wrong way -- so I went to RB67, where the orientation of the image at least gives him a clue.

    Just lately I've been thinking of buying another 500-series Hasselblad because I mostly shoot B+W with 120 nowadays and I've been getting gorgeous quality from a KowaSIX I inherited from my wife's late father. The Hasselblad is nicer to use than the Kowa, smaller, lighter, with better lenses and interchangeable backs (and has a higher bling factor) but I'm still not sure whether I'll bother to make the change.

    In the 70s I used Pentax 67 professionally (came with the job, I didn't buy them) but I never really liked them: great clunky things. Also you need a second body to use with Polaroids if that's how you shoot (which we used to in those days).

    Even so, with a 6x6 cropped to a rectangle you're shooting 645 and a 6x7 neg is effectively 50 per cent bigger, not the 20 per cent that you get from a crude comparison of area.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com -- go to the Gallery section, France, Church of St. Martin, for pics shot with the Kowa).

  6. #6
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    If you are thinking of a Hasselblad, unless you KNOW with absolute certitude the ownership history of a 500C, I would NOT buy one. For several reasons -

    One: the 500C is limited to using the original (not very bright) focusing screen and can only be adapted to a bright screen by a technician.

    Two: (more important than One) The 500C is now totally obsolete, and repair parts are getting harder to come by. Many 500C's were used long and hard by working pros, and as such, they are worn out on the inside. They are more prone to requiring major repairs.

    Three: Your wrists will thank you at the end of the day with the Hasselblad since cradling the camera from beneath is a much more natural way to hold something. Carrying a Pentax 6x7 by the wood hand grip all day will apply significant torque to your wrist.

    If you LIKE the square format, get the 500CM. It is significantly lighter than the Pentax 67, handles like a dream (I've been able to handhold mine with the 80mm lens as slow as 1/15th second because of the way you hold the camera), the lens selection out there for it is second to none, in terms of quantity as well as quality.

    To me, the argument about the cropped image area being so much larger with 6x7 vs 6x6 is somewhat specious - MOST use of images shot on these formats is not larger than tabloid paper size (11x17). At that size, there is not a significant quality loss from 645, 6x6 or 6x7. If you think you're going to shoot for a billboard, then rent a 6x7 camera.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the replies. I shoot only black and white Ilford HP5+ and i have a spot meter so the metering system isn't important. I did go to Adorama and see the two cameras and the Hasselblad was SOO much lighter and smaller. I do a lot of shooting in Brooklyn and NYC on the street and the Hasselblad seemed like it would work for that pretty well. Not sure if i should trust Adorama or BandH or save some money and go with EBAY??
    Thanks,
    Bryan Murray

  8. #8
    bill schwab's Avatar
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    Hasselblad hands down. Used to have 2 of the Pentax 67s. Both needed repair several times, were clunky, awkward... ugh. Of course it is a matter of personal preference, but I would never recommend a 67 over a 500.

    Bill

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    Bryan-

    go to KEH for used Hasselblad gear. They're cheaper than B&H or Adorama, have higher quality gear (their grading system is notoriously conservative- what KEH calls a Bargain grade most people in their right minds would call Excellent+), and a truly no-hassle service/return policy. I once bought a film back from them for my Hassy that had an issue. I discovered the issue five days after the return period. I called, they said send it back, your choice, repair or refund, no questions asked.

  10. #10

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    There was a thread I was reading about a week back concerning the handhold abilities of the Hassy. Just to mention, there was talk about the fact that when shooting street you need to keep the shutter speed higher for sharpness. You might look up the thread which appeared either here on on P-net.

    I own a Hassy and have handled the 67II and older Pentax's. I was very surprised by the 67II btw; Lighter then I thought and nice features, and I think that if I could afford one, it would be a nice addition to my collection. You'll have to check prices on the older more reasonably priced Pentax stuff. I have seen deals now and then, but the cameras do come with their own limitations concerning sync speeds, verticals on a tripod, weight etc. There's just tradeoff's with every system. Prices for Hassy lenses and accessories are still pretty high, and of course you will get what you pay for on E'boink if you go that route.... Plan to spend money for CLA's..... I'm pretty impressed for the money with Rollei TLR's if you can survive with one lens till you have cash for a better MF slr system. They keep their values and are easily resellable. There are also some good folders out there that will do you justice for much lower prices just to get started with. Many times Bronica's are suggested for pricing, and their apparently good optics, but watch if it becomes too popular as prices will rise... For a first camera I'd consider a 6x6 TLR, followed later by a 67II or maybe if able to spend more money and affording the optics a 6008i Rollei. If needing to go digital at some point consider a 645 as a first or second system. The above reference for the 645 is a low cost more handholdable body with accessories within price reach when shopping. You might consider getting a Mamiya 645, but with the 80mm leaf shuttered lens for higher sync speeds.

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