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  1. #11
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    For many decades I used 35mm slrs exclusively. I inherited my father's Mamiya C330 with every device, attachement and lens in the know world for it. I never liked it as a teenager, and liked less as an adult. I traded it in for a 503CX and never looked back. I also have a 903 CF SWC. Now 35mm is for when I do not have time and just want to grab photographs on the fly, for example when I am travelling lightly. For everything that is serious, I use the Hasselblad even when I am off-roading [read: action photographs and landscapes]. I use the Hasselblad on almost all trips and vacation. If I will want to make quality prints I use the Hasselblad. This includes taking photographs of the grandchildren.

    The Graflex Model D and the Pacemaker Speed Graphic are used when I want to experiment with 4"x5" hand held or for using shift and tilt movements to learn about them. I choose LF over the Hasselblad FlexBody because of the cost of the FlexBody and limited movements. If I really get into movements, I may reconsider the FlexBody. My Zeiss lenses will work on the FlexBody; the ArcBody would require purchasing Rodenstock Lenses.

    When I want to play around and experiment, I use LF. If I want to product high quality work or do not plan on experimenting with movements, the the Hasselblads are my go to cameras.

    Steve
    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.

  2. #12

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    The 503cw is my primary camera. I absolutely love the handling and output of the hasselblad v series which is a fabulously manual body.

    Last week in the woods, I turned to see a large buck headed like a freight train right for me. It decided to veer off and pass/cross in front of me and then it stopped and stared. I wanted to reach into my camera bag, compose a shot and click... but knew the only picture I could take on the fly before the moment was over was in my mind's eye. There have been other moments like this. Gone...

    Nevertheless, it is still my favorite camera. I absolutely love the method of measuring the light, setting the exposure values and manually focusing... but again -it's a slow endeavor. Oh - and the focus rings have more tension than my old Canon equipment. One must grab the lense around the barrel and turn - not just nudge it with a finger. Depending on your style of shooting, some of this may be an issue.

    Naturally there are no black and white answers and no one can make the decision but you yourself. Give it a try! I add to those who encourage you to rent first. It may generate other questions for which you'd like some feedback or seal the deal for you whether it's a yay or a nay. Cheers!

  3. #13
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    For many decades I used 35mm slrs exclusively. I inherited my father's Mamiya C330 with every device, attachement and lens in the know world for it. I never liked it as a teenager, and liked less as an adult. I traded it in for a 503CX and never looked back. I also have a 903 CF SWC. Now 35mm is for when I do not have time and just want to grab photographs on the fly, for example when I am travelling lightly. For everything that is serious, I use the Hasselblad even when I am off-roading [read: action photographs and landscapes]. I use the Hasselblad on almost all trips and vacation. If I will want to make quality prints I use the Hasselblad. This includes taking photographs of the grandchildren.

    The Graflex Model D and the Pacemaker Speed Graphic are used when I want to experiment with 4"x5" hand held or for using shift and tilt movements to learn about them. I choose LF over the Hasselblad FlexBody because of the cost of the FlexBody and limited movements. If I really get into movements, I may reconsider the FlexBody. My Zeiss lenses will work on the FlexBody; the ArcBody would require purchasing Rodenstock Lenses.

    When I want to play around and experiment, I use LF. If I want to product high quality work or do not plan on experimenting with movements, the the Hasselblads are my go to cameras.

    Steve
    The 503CX with the 45 degree angle finder handles like a slightly large 35mm camera with changeable film backs sans a zoom lens.
    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.

  4. #14

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    I really love MF and the Hassy V system, but it is rediculous as an every day camera (my opinion, please feel free to feel otherwise)... just like LF is rediculous as an every day system, and I love that even more. I use 35mm film as my every day system. If I had to start over again I would have to consider "the other alternative" (not Hassy, though) since film/processing is getting more and more scarce, and the standard expectation is quick turnaround or "the other alternative" media.

    It all depends on what is meant by the term "every day photographic fun". I generally intrepreted that as taking pics of family, kiddie sports, and places visited. My selfish fun ALWAYS consists of MF and LF.

  5. #15
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Try something in medium format first before you decide.

    Personally, I like having lots of choices available to me. Many prefer to have their choices limited.

    The 645 cameras are decent compromises.

    This: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum379/...em-lenses.html

    and this: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum379/...otor-grip.html

    will give you some sense about what you can get in fairly complete Mamiya 645 systems for your money.

    I wouldn't start with a full system though - you need to decide for yourself first which approach to take.
    Matt

    “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

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Friday View Post
    I had a similar experience to Thomas. I bought a Hassy 500 series camera and used it for general photography for about a year. They are excellent cameras. Extremely well built and the lenses are very good. I sold my camera because I never did get used to the square format. I found I ended up cropping most photos to fit 8x10. I ended up with a Mamiya 7II. The 6x7 frame fits my vision much better than the square format. I also picked up a cheap Mamiya RZ67 for use in the studio. Your milage may vary. If you want to shoot the square format, then it is hard to beat a Hassy. Before plunking down the money, try to rent or borrow one first.
    Me too ... Love my mamiya 7.

  7. #17

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    I have a 500CM and 503CX as well as a 4x5 field camera. I use the Hasselblads for most of my images having switched many years ago from a Bronica S2A. Before that I used 35mm. I do have a couple of Nikons but rarely use them. Since I do my own printing (BW) I prefer the larger negatives and the square negatives can be cropped to be verticals or horizontals if desired. Once you get used to the equipment and format it becomes second nature. That said I do have (dare I say a DSLR) a DSLR that comes in handy for family gatherings and snapshots. So the bottom line is what has already been mentioned is what do you find most important in your photographic pursuits ? Go with the equipment that suits your need the best. It's the photographer that makes the picture not the camera.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  8. #18
    Laurent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentX View Post
    I don't use a Hassy for general photography, but a Rollei...

    If you don't need the interchangeable backs and are planning on sticking with an 80mm, could be an option as well. I prefer the quieter operation without the moving mirror and consequent finder black-out. If parallax would be a massive problem for your photos, that could be the deal-breaker, but unless your shooting regularly requires scientifically precise relationships between objects, it's likely to be a non-issue. I prefer waist-level finders, so the Rollei's ergos work nicely for me...at eye level they kind of suck.

    Also not the greatest for close-ups, but the Rolleinar attachments are really quite good and have worked excellently for me close-in with baby and pets.


    Mamiya TLRs might be a cheaper and more versatile, if bulkier, option to try out 6x6 for a while, with interchangeable lenses to boot. Parallax can be completely negated with them if you're shooting static subjects from a tripod, too. (Or a Mamiya 6?)

    Very best thing you could do would be renting or borrowing a Hassy 500-something and giving it a whirl for a few days.
    I have both, and would agree with you on this. The Rolleiflex plus Rolleinars, a table-top tripod and some filters make a very versatile kit. It's, at least for me, much easier for "action" (see my gallery to see what I consider as action... A workshop is somewhat challenging in terms of reactivity) shooting than the 'Blad.

    More than the time to focus or change the speed/aperture, it's for me due to the fact that, with the Rolleiflex, I do not lose the subject when I shoot, so I have a better view of what ACTUALLY happened when I tripped the shutter. In the workshop again, this made a difference (I tried the Hassy in the same conditions, and soon used it more for closeups than action).
    Laurent

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    Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast (Oscar Wilde)

    My APUG Blog

  9. #19
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    Hi

    Thanks for all the tips guys.

    Several of you have mentioned Mamiya 645's. I've done a quick search on eBay, and there are several listed - much more affordable!

    I have looked at the links posted by Matt, and they look like good deals. I note from the Wikiepedia entry that The Mamiya 645 Pro-TL (discontinued) was first released in 1997 and The Mamiya 645AF was first released in 1999. These are more recent models than some of the others and I'd prefer to get one from that era rather than the 70's range.

    Of the two, 645 Pro-TL or 645AF, obviously the AF allows autofocus but is there any difference in image quality compared to the Pro-TL? What about the Mamiya 645 AFD, that was more recent still in the early 2000's? I have my eye on this one : http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mamiya-645...item20c02da6f3
    Last edited by ted_smith; 12-20-2011 at 05:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ted Smith Photography
    Hasselblad 501CM...my 2nd love.

  10. #20
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by ted_smith View Post
    Hi

    Thanks for all the tips guys.

    Several of you have mentioned Mamiya 645's. I've done a quick search on eBay, and there are several listed, ranging from as little as about £300 to £600. That is about two thirds the cost of Hasselblads. As examples, the following are listed :

    1) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mamiya-645...item1e67bc6283
    2) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mamiya-645...item20c02da6f3
    3) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mamiya-645...item45ff3cb71b

    I have no idea which of these 3 is the most recent or best. Are these really as good as everyone seems to say? I'm thinking that as a gentle intro to Medium Format, this might be a cheaper "in", and if I like it, I could sell it and go to Hassie later on, maybe?

    Ted
    I'd say "yes" to a Mamiya 645. The first link is a 645 Super, the earliest of the "new" 645 line. There were subsequent bodies, the Pro and ProTL with additional features you can research. The Super with a plain prism, 80/2.8, and winder grip was my first MF camera five years ago. The second is the 645 AF. The last is an early 645, the old "heavy metal" variety which I think are too old to bother with now.

    These are more 35mm-like in handling and ergonomics than a Hassie. The latter 645 series takes interchangeable backs, allowing film swaps mid-roll. Lenses are good and affordable in popular focal lengths(55mm/80mm/150mm). You can get metered prisms but a plain prism and a decent light meter are more versatile. A winder grip greatly improves the handling and lets you keep eye contact. Skip a WLF--they're all but useless unless you shoot everything in landscape orientation. The IQ improvement over 35mm isn't subtle. BTW UK prices are a bit scary vs N. America!

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