Thinking of swapping my Mamiya 7II setup for a 'blad...
I knew, in the back of my mind, that this day was approaching. I guess I knew it the moment I used the M7II for the first time and a little voice in the back of my head whispered "you really want to like this, but you don't."
That pretty much sums up my experience with rangefinders in general, of which this was my first. I love this camera, as a camera. As a piece of engineering. I like looking at it, I like the feel of it, I looove the performance of its amazing lenses (the 80 and 50 specifically). I love the big 6x7 negative. What I don't like is using it. I've given it a year now, trying to force myself to overlook its shortcomings, but I can't seem to. I think a year is long enough. It's not the 7 specifically, it's just the rangefinder experience when it comes to shooting *landscapes*. I really enjoy using it on the rare occasion I shoot street, but for landscapes I'm sorry, it just sucks, for me. It lends itself to a spontaneous, fast-paced style of shooting which I really dislike. I would much rather take my time, set the camera up on the tripod after finding the right composition, perfectly frame the shot, place the graduated density filter exactly where I want it, and then click. I can't do most of that with the 7. Framing is not exact. But it's the GND's, in fact the entire filter experience in general, that I abhor. GND's are a big part of my 'workflow', so it's a deal breaker.
Anyway, I've found that I crop a lot of my shots to square, and the minimalist landscapes I enjoy tend to work well in that form factor, so I thought of a Hasselblad. I'v done some research in the last few days but don't know nearly enough to know what a good landscape setup would be. I'd like to keep the same focal lengths (equivalents, anyway, since it's a slightly different aspect ratio) but am open to anything really. An 80 is a must, as is a super wide (nothing wider than ~24mm in 35mm terms though). This would be primarily for landscapes, but since it's a much more versatile camera than the 7II I might end up branching out with it a bit. I'm not too crazy about waist level finders so I'd definitely be wanting a prism. One thing that's so different and a bit intimidating about hasselblads compared to the mamiya is the sheer number of accessories and money-wasting opportunities out there! With the Mamiya it's: body, 3 lenses, done. Definitely doesn't seem to be like that with hasselblads.
I would like to stay with a modern body, so I was considering the 503CW, which I guess is the newest body. Also, I'd be buying all of this through the boards or KEH. Hasselblad's new pricing is almost as bad as Mamiya USA's. Almost.
In short, looking for advice on a body, 2-3 lenses, and any accessories you guys recommend, conducive to landscapes.
Well, I guess you'll need to stay away from SWC then :lol: That's a lot of rangefinding and inaccurate framing for you (unless you really want to take your time with a ground glass adapter).
I have a 503CW and a CFi Distagon 50/4, which are fabulous together; works great with my Cokin Z-Pro & 4x5 GNDs, and needless to say, CFE 80/2.8 is a classic.
One thing you might consider if you don't want to strictly do landscape on a tripod is a focal plane Hassie, like 203FE. You get to use faster lenses (one stop across the board, except for the 80), as well as the legendary 110/2, and faster shutter speeds (~1/2000s).
I think you'd be fine with a 501 CM body. It's modern enough to have the gliding mirror system. Make sure it comes with the Acute Matte D focusing screen, and you're good.
My two most used landscape lenses are 80mm and 150mm. My ultrawide is attached to the SWC, which it sounds like you'd hate, though it's the best camera I've ever used, personally.
It's fine to start out with one lens just to make sure you like the Hasselblad after all.
I've been very happy with everything I've gotten from KEH.
Yea you can definitely get away with the 501cm. No need to spend the extra bucks on a 503cw. Go with the 50, 80, 150 setup and that should get you by for almost everything.
It's funny cause I'm exactly the opposite from you. I've bought SLR MF cameras in the past, Hasselblad included and I tried and tried to force my self to like them and I just couldn't. I kept going back to my beloved MF rangefinders. SLR's are too bulky for me, and no matter what the lenses just couldn't compare to my Mamiya 6 lenses. To each their own I guess. Good luck!
Yeah, the 6 and 7 lenses are just...amazing. And amazingly sharp. As in you better hide them when you're baby-proofing your house sharp.
Something tells me the Zeiss lenses aren't exactly second-rate though.
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Another route is to go the next step up in format to 4x5. If you like landscapes you can also add roll film backs in 6x12 and 6x17 sizes. LF is all about composition and attention to detail. Then of course there is always ulf and contact prints.
When I bought my RZ67 the seller suggested that I buy a 4x5 enlarger instead of a 6x7 enlarger. He said most people he knew who went into 6x7 eventually went up to at least 4x5. You can see by my avatar that I followed his advice.
I'd skip the Blad and go right for the RZ. Lenses at least as good, much cheaper, more variety, bigger neg, etc.
I'm with John Powers. I own a 3 lens Hassleblad system and use enjoy it's flexibility. But when I'm walking around town shooting without a tripod, I much prefer a rangefinder (Perkeo II). Conversely, when I'm doing serious landscape work with the blad I'm happy but often wondering whether I shouldn't have just brought the 4X5 kit. It's lighter in the field, but back in the darkroom I'm always happier with more real estate.
"There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri
There are very big reasons that SLRs took over. The advantages are huge for most photography. If you prefer SLRs, it is perfectly logical, and there is no shame in it, just as there is no shame in driving a car with power steering and power brakes, as "fun" and "simple" as manual ones can be sometimes (as well as being better suited for a handful of applications). You'll get pix that are just as good with a Hassy, and you will even perhaps get better ones because you find that an SLR is easier to use to finely control your images. Additionally, 6x6 and 6x4.5 system SLRs are not big and heavy beasts compared to a Mamiya 7. They are relatively compact and lightweight.
The good thing for you is that Mamiya 7's still hold a high value, while Hassies do not. So, if you sell and buy a Hassy, you will not only probably prefer using the camera, but will also be able to afford a more extensive system that you have now.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 02-28-2011 at 04:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
Interesting point. My RZ67, Linhof Technikardan 45 and RH Phillips 8x10 all weigh the same. Admittedly they are different types of cameras for different applications, but there is also a world of difference in the real estate.
Originally Posted by 36cm2