However infrequent, camera body jams and lens jams can occur but don't feel daunted by that. They are not show-stoppers.
If you do decide to move forward with a purchase, consider picking up a copy of The Hasselblad Manual by Ernst Wildi. In it you'll find detailed information on the operation of just about every piece of Hasselblad equipment.
Thanks for the helpful replies, gentlemen, especially Mike. I'll look closely at the 500C transitional body thing. A little homework will be needed to be certain I can positively identify that body compared to a "C".
Originally Posted by mikebarger
The tell tale signs of a "transitional C/M" are the focussing screen retainers. Without seeing those, you can't be certain.
Don't pass on good 500 C/Ms looking for a transitional C though.
Compared to the number of C/M-badged cameras about, there are not that many "transitional" bodies. (Even though Hasselblad historian Rick Nordin estimates the number of transitional bodies to be at the very least 15,000 - compare that to 5 times as many C cameras, and 15 times as many C/Ms.)
Very true - the 500 C/M bodies are really cheap too. And they often come with the newer waistlevel finder, which I find much quicker to use.
Originally Posted by Q.G.
Nice story, but too bad they didn't say what part, so that we could have looked it up in the service letters.
Originally Posted by jeffreyg
But there is an explanation, Jeffrey. In fact, there are even two.
Originally Posted by jeffreyg
One is that your camera is not the way it should be. Cameras that are 'in spec' simply do not do that.
So it's that, or that other thing: user error.
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I have pretty consistent problems with my 503cx. I suspect the camera is "out of spec" as Q.G. says.
I usually have it on a tripod, mirror locked up. If I then accidentally bump the winding knob, the camera will lock up. The lens fires without opening the rear shutter doors. I then have to re-cock the lens before I can use it again. The film is not affected. Sometimes it seems to happen if I just look at the camera the wrong way. The same thing happens if I accidentally lock up the mirror after the last frame on the roll has been exposed. This causes a lot of aggravation in the field. It's due for a tuneup, so I'll bring it to the tech's attention.
All other Hasselblad V-System reflex cameras use the very same lens to camera interface, use the same extension tubes, and bellows, so should suffer the same jams.
Yet no (that is: no) reports at all about jams and unjamming of 200/2000-series or EL-series cameras.
Well, there is now. My 201F jammed for no apparent reason; it is not fifth-hand, has had all of about ten rolls of film through it, and the lens was not being mounted or dismounted at the time. It worked perfectly when I dry-fired it to check the flash, then jammed after winding the film to frame 1). When I get around to it, I will send it off to Hasselblad, if only to get the lens off intact.
I also have a 501CM which locked up after the fourth exposure on a roll, all on a tripod and without manipulating anything other than the winding crank and cable release between exposures. Some coaching by David Odess let me get the magazine and finder off, but the usual unjam procedure would not allow the bellows or lens to be removed. This is probably true mechanical failure, but the fact remains that these cameras are a) complex, and b) nontrivial to repair.
Don't get me wrong--I love the 'Blads, but there is a certain amount of mythology about them (such as the notion that all V-system components are intercompatible) and a great deal of partisanship (along the lines of "They never fail" versus "They routinely jam"). My personal take is that owning one is sort of like owning a top-of-the-line German sports car: the performance potential is undeniable, but if you aren't willing to budget a large percentage of the purchase price for routine maintenance, the perhaps something a bit less exotic would suit you better.
Could be a battery failure.
Originally Posted by greybeard
Have you tried the reset-procedure? (Press center portion of the wind crank during start of turning the crank.)
That's the thing.
Originally Posted by greybeard
A thread about possibly buying a camera of brand X based on the assumption that there is a "routinely occuring failure" to deal with if you do is just crazy (unless that brand X happens to be Kiev ).
Everything mechanical will wear and break eventually. Well made mechanical things will do so rather later than sooner. Abused well made things probably sooner again.
The sports car analogy isn't the right one though. Sports cars are tuned for performance, and to achieve more of that, reliabilty has to give. With these cameras it's the opposite: they are tuned for reliability, and not 'mph' or 'bhp'.
Depending on how you treat them, Hasselblads can go on working flawlessly for many, many decades. Take care of these machines, and they will last a life time.
But this jam thingy...
If it happens, it really is down to either one of two things: using equipment that is out of spec, or user error.
And it's not (!) a common thing. On the contrary.
(I would dispute that these cameras are complex and difficult to repair - because they are not - but that's perhaps stuff for another thread.)
Last edited by Q.G.; 12-29-2010 at 06:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The problem with extension tubes is that if you remove the tube off the camera then try and take the lens off, the tube can fire the lens,all you have to do is re cock the lens and all is resolved, if you try and jam the lens on the body with an uncocked lens then trouble awaits, as long as you make yourself aware of how to use the camera you should have no problem whatsoever with, in my opinion the finest MF camera ever made.
Guess all this jamming talk will help keep prices for used stuff down. I'll be getting a 40mm if this thread can go another couple pages...