I've used the Hasselblad V system for a long time and recently got into the Mamiya TLR system. Both are great systems with high quality mechanicals, good optics, and extensive accessories. If you're carrying around a camera body and a bunch of lenses, the Mamiya system will be smaller and lighter. For the camera and 1-2 lenses, the differences in weight and bulk are marginal, with the Hasselblad lenses taking more space.
I've been delighted with the Mamiya TLRs and currently have both the C33 and C330 cameras. The C33 is heavier, but beautifully made camera with no plastic parts--I think it's my favorite of the line because of the design, solid build, and auto shutter cocking (absent on the lighter C2xx cameras). However, they're all nice cameras--and the lenses are available at a fraction of the price of the Hasselblad glass. The Hasselblad Zeiss lenses are better performers in absolute terms--especially wide-open and to the far corners of the frame. In practice, the Mamiya lenses are excellent--especially if you stop down a bit. You also gain 1-2 stops by the ability to shoot the TLR more easily at lower shutter speeds.
Try a Mamiya TLR first and see if it meets your needs. If you're happy, you'll have saved a lot of money.
Last edited by Barry S; 06-05-2011 at 05:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.
For a 2 or 3 lens kit, the Mamiya is definitely easier to pack.
I have both a C330 and C220 body. The C330 is faster to operate, while the C220 is lighter and slightly smaller.
I note that you are thinking of 50mm and 80mm lenses. The widest Mamiya C lens is 55mm, and at f/4.5 it isn't particularly fast.
My preferred travel kit with the Mamiya TLRs is a two lens kit - 65mm and 135 mm.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Mamiya TLR kit will be much less expensive, if that's a criterion for you.
I have a 55-105-135-180 C330 kit, and my problem was to find a bag for it. In a way, since Hassy lenses are larger, they're more similar to 35mm/DLSR-size zoom lenses. In contrast, the Mamiya lenses being of a much different format required me to do some creative work with the padding of my backpack.
Look at your available backpack options. Being light is not the only value of a package: being tight is another.
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, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
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I find both of these systems relatively easy to carry. The Hasselblad seems more streamlined, due to it's shape. However, the Mamiya C system is not difficult to carry.
The real difference is that one is a TLR and one is an SLR with exchangeable magazines. The SLR with backs will be more versatile when traveling. Say you want to take a picture in color and black and white, or on any other two different films, or give different frames different developments. The Hassy is the camera, IMO.
This being said, I have done quite a lot of traveling and hiking with my C series cameras.
"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."
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The Hassy film magazines can be useful, but they come with a price. The complex mechanisms of the magazines are more prone to problems--generally frame spacing issues. I've had a brand new back develop spacing issues for no discernible reason. The film path of the Hassy magazines also puts a bend in the film if it sits in the magazine. The Mamiyas have a nice straight film path. I'm sure the Hassy magazines were indispensable for pro's on assignment, but they seem a little less useful for art photography use.
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I own a Mamiya C-33 (which I am trying to sell right now) and have very briefly handled a Hassy 500C. In terms of portability, I would definitely go with the Hassy because the Mamiya is huge and its awkward shape does not help (the main problem being the protruding focusing wheels). They are both great cameras with their respective pros and cons, but the Hassy wins the portability battle IMO.
Having used both a russian hassie clone (Similar in size and weight), an SL66 and a C220...
Will take a battering. they were ugly when they came out the factory, most are more ugly now. You bash a hasselblad and you feel bad, you bash a mamiya and "that's what it was built for"
Is fairly easy to repair
Bellows focus, allows you to get closer
Lens quality, IMHO, isn't up to that of the Zeiss lenses. That said they're a lot cheaper
This can be mitigated a little with a hood, but these make the mamiya system more bulky
Parallax. I find I have a lower hit rate than on an SLR, as I can see exactly where things are
Ability to change backs is handy
I've been using a C33 with 2 lens for street & landscape for the past 2 years. Great results, fun to use. Just got a user 500c today and will be using that too. Some observations: The hasselblad is a lot smaller than I thought and seems a bit lighter than my C33. Much brighter viewing screen, seems faster handling. I've been using a lot of Mamiya glass recently (RB, 645 & C33) and have been pretty happy. Curious as to how the 80 2.8 Planar compares. I'll post some frames in the next few days.
I have had both. I found that handling the C330 was clumsy. The 65mm and 80mm automatically cocked with the winder; the 250mm lens did not. I did not like the lack of ergomatics. I dumped it with the lenses and almost every accessory for it to buy the Hasselblad and I never looked back.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
Reference someone else's previous post: I have had a few Hasselblad backs that had spacing problems and the Hasselblad technician at Samys adjusted them while I waited at no charge. Does anyone want to blame the Hasselblad for their having problem loading 120 on to development reel? Maybe blame Hasselblad for slowing down the rotation rate of the Earth?
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
I know you mentioned the WLF, but if you're traveling a lot you might consider the Mamiya 6. Stunning lenses and super light/portable.