I am looking to get into a Hasselblad system but know little about it. I will probably only be able come up with $1100 to $1400 to begin with. The variety of body models is confusing and I know little about the features of various models.
So, what is the difference between a 500C and 500CM? Do both have mirror lockup? Will both accept the full line of lenses? For lenses I am a slightly wide to slightly tele kind of guy: so I was thinking along the lines of 60mm and 120 to 150mm to start with........good, bad or what would be better? I like the idea of a 50mm but the cost is way up there. Thanks in advance for all the opinions.
No escaping it!
I must step on fallen leaves
to take this path
the 500C is very old, made from 1959 to 1970. Almost all of them I have seen are badly worn from years of day to day use in a studio. The 500CM was made from 1970 until the late 80's or early 90's. If you get one, look for a newer one. The CM is newer, has interchangeable focus screens, and isn't usually much more expensive than the old 500C.
My advice is to get a late 500CM and a CF series lens. The older C-series lenses are a pain to use because the shutter and aperture settings are locked together. You have to hold in a tab to change either setting independent of the other. I had an 80mm C-series lens and that got real old real fast. The CF lenses cost more, but are worth it for that alone. The CF lenses are still supported with parts by Hasselblad too. The older lenses are not.
A 500CM and 80mm CF Planar and A12 back in nice condition is about $900-$1000
150mm CF lens is about $450
60mm CF Distagon is about $600
I just noticed you didn't want an 80mm lens. If not, you can substitute the 60 for the 80 and add a couple hundred to the price for the outfit.
Not all 500C models are beat up. I've got one that looks and feels like it's brand new. A camera in good shape is a camera in good shape. Age isn't that important.
I don't know about the parts they may or may not share. It's possible that parts for the 500C might be more difficult to come by.
The good news is that both cameras accept exactly the same line of backs, prisms, lenses and accessories.
The C lenses have practically the same glass in them as the CF, but the shutters are different. I only have C lenses because I can't afford getting CF. They work fine, and to me the shutter/aperture adjustment is not a big deal. You get used to it.
If you shoot in cold climates, (like I do), see if you can afford the CF line; their shutters work better in the cold.
The cameras are wonderful to use, but exhibit a couple of quirks you must be aware of. There is a certain process you must follow when you shoot. The darkslide has to come out at a certain point, you can only remove the lens under certain conditions, etc. Most problems with the camera that occur due to misuse can be fixed with a flat head screw driver in five seconds in the field.
And don't forget to service the camera regularly. It's like changing the oil on your car. Should be done once in a while... Every two years or so for body, lenses, and backs is probably a good interval.
Good luck, and good for you that you're able to buy into what I consider some of the finest camera series ever made.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
I find that the locked shutter speed/aperture rings make it easier, as once you meter and set them, you can easily see the options and more importantly, just turn one to get both changed. It's a personal preference issue, though. Thomas does list the primary reason I have C lenses though, after selling off most of my Hassy outfit and having sellers remorse, I found the C lenses (especially the T*) lenses to be optically the same.
I started with a borrowed set of C lens 50,80 and 150 and have since replaced the last two with a C 100 and a CF 150. I think there is more of a hassle to go back and forth between C and CF than to use one or the other. But I shoot on a tripod and the landscape waits the couple of seconds for me to adjust so no problem. The ability to change screens is the biggest difference between the C and C/M. I bought my C/M from David Odess just cause his price was less expensive than buying a camera and then getting a CLA done on it but the 150 lens I did buy off of Photo.net and it works great. I know that the C lenses I am using were not services for over a decade of little if any use and they still worked.
I recommend having a camera bag that is not too big. There are just so many choices. I did not heed Steve's advice when I borrowed the Hasselblad system and ended up needing my own. But I did have an existing bag that limits me to 3 lenses a couple of extension tubes, meter, body and come backs. I had purchased 4 old style backs for about $10 each of which 3 works great so there are some bargains if you take a chance and if you are patient.
If money is an issue than start with a body and the 80 mm lens as that is the least expensive. You said you like to shoot wide and yet your lens selection seemed more on the long side. I find the 50 too wide for me most of the time as I now use the 100 as the standard lens I will soon start looking for a 60. The 50 would perhaps be better match for with a 80. The 120 and the 100 are more expensive lenses. The 150 is less than the 180. With the 60 as your widest if you like wide you might want to add a 50 or 40 later whereas a 50/80 combo might fit your bill.
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You might want to look at a Rolleiflex SL 66; I now have Rollei and prefer it to Hasselblad. It is heavier, but a bit more versatile. You can focus very close witout extension tubes and the tilting front is super! Another thing; when I had Hasselblad I had to get the shutters worked on periodically, one in each lens. The Rollei with a focal plane shutter obviates this. But no strobe unless you buy a lens with a shutter. The lenses for the Rollei are the same as Hasselblad so that is not an issue. Take a look, you might like it!
I agree completely with this. I think it's "penny wise and pound foolish" to get an old model body or lens that will certainly need a CLA, and for which parts are not easily available. As Chris states, try and get the later models, something less than 20 years old.
Originally Posted by chriscrawfordphoto
"The older C-series lenses are a pain to use because the shutter and aperture settings are locked together. You have to hold in a tab to change either setting independent of the other."
Absolute nonsense! The reason for this is so that the EV remains constant if you need a quick shutter speed or aperture change.
I'm into painting with light - NOT painting by numbers!
The older lenses maybe hard to get parts for but they are still a good buy. Had my 500cm for over thirty years with very little problems,only had it serviced twice ,4 lenses 1 body,3backs. Although the last 10years have been very lite duty,the first 10years had heavy abuse and use with very little problems. The 50mm lens is awesome I think,sharp and has little distortion for its coverage. All are cm lens except the 150mm c.
Just wanted to second the suggestion of ordering from http://www.david-odess.com/
Am very, very happy with my purchase from him.