Does anyone here use a Hasselblad for everyday photographic fun?
Further to http://www.apug.org/forums/forum45/9...ar-stolen.html, I have been weighing up whether to restock on Nikon equipment, or move to film Hasselblad.
I've never, ever, considered Hassies before because I had so much Nikon stuff that I didn't want to sell and Hassies were always so expensive and beyond my reach. But now that's all been stolen, I know I won't be able to replenish all that Nikon equipment with the money I've been given by way of compensation (£1,500). So I'm thinking of just treating myself to a H System Hassie - I've always dreamed of owning one but never had the money to get one, and while I had Nikon equipment, I didn't see the point in necessarily discarding it all. In addition, my style of photography these days is mostly that of landscapes and photographing my kids with the occasional wedding here and there (friends of friends). Gone are the days or rolling around in muddy fields photographing dog shows and things like I used to with my Nikon kit.
I've done my research and gather that the V system, 503cx, is the way to go and for £1,500 I could get a decent one with standard 80mm Zeiss lens. OK, I won't haver the range of optics I had before, but I'll have a camera setup which I can be really proud of and which should be suitable for most of my photography needs (landscapes, family shots and I'll be the business for those occasional weddings).
I'm just worried though that somehow it won't be for me. Hassies are for top level fashion photographers and the like - not people like me who shoot the odd landscape, the odd wedding and their kids playing in the park. So I'm not sure if it's an overindulgence. So my question is - does anyone else here use a Hassie for "everyday" photography, or are they only ever used by pros?
And lastly, just how much better is an 80mm Carl Zeiss Plannar lens over a 50mm 1.4 manual focus Nikon lens? Is the quality difference enough to merit the price difference? YouTube sugests it is as everyone raves on about the colour and contrast that CZ lenses produce. But I'd be intrigued to get a more knowledgable verdict.
Last edited by ted_smith; 12-20-2011 at 10:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Correct H System to V System, as originally intended.
Hasselblad 501CM...my 2nd love.
The "H" system is the newer 645/digi series.
The 6x6 500 series is the "V" (for victor) series.
IMO while you can shoot action with a 'blad its not where it excels.
Focussing with a 500 series is quite bit slower and you can miss some in the moment shots although this will come down to your experience/skill with the camera.
Zeiss for hasselblad will deliver contrast, and punch with color materials.
Wether you like the look is down to your vision.
I certainly do.
Last edited by brucemuir; 12-20-2011 at 10:52 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Hasselblads were always to domain of wedding photographers. Ansel Adams used a Hasselblad for landscapes. Fashion photography is not dominated by Hasselblad users.
The important consideration is this, does the format work with your photographic expression?
I recommend testing before buying. Make sure it is correct for your photographic eye before spending money.
I use a 500 C/M for pictures of my family and landscapes. I shot a roll at a tractor show last year and it worked well for that. It is not my primary most used camera and I tend to rotate between several different cameras depending on what I want to use. It works well for what I use it for, but sometimes I ask myself if I could only have one of my cameras, which would it be? I really don't know.
For faster paced work, I generally prefer my Mamiya 645. I've never shot a wedding, but if I did I would probably choose the Mamiya.
My suggestion would be to find a Hasselblad to borrow and see if it suits your style.
I used a Hasselblad for pretty much everything for a couple of years. Landscape, weddings, portraits, low light long exposures, hand held it a lot even...
Once you get used to it, it's actually a very versatile camera. It isn't particularly quick, but once you have the film wound to a new frame the only thing left that takes a bit of time is focusing. It's also tough to change the aperture on the fly, IF you have sudden changes in lighting conditions.
I would vow that using it as an every day camera for nearly everything, it would be wise to try one out first.
"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
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For a long time it was the only camera that I used. I carried it daily, mostly handheld, lowlight, bright sun, professional jobs, street, i used it for everything, and it was great. Focusing is a tad slow for me though. It was and still is a great camera.
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.
Last edited by AgentX; 12-20-2011 at 11:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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.
I use my Bronica S2A for general photography, including family snapshots. A bit slower than 35mm perhaps, but with a little experience it works well.
As folks above have said, it's a hand-holdable rig but not as fast to handle as 35mm. I almost always have mine on a tripod, but that's just me. Yes, the lenses are great and you'll notice a difference in image quality and contrast over 35mm, but remember that you're making a bigger negative. You're going from 1.5 square inches of film to 5 square inches. That's a big difference. (Compare transparencies from 35mm to Hasselblad. It's an experience!)
If you're a zoom lens shooter, you'll miss that capability. Get used to moving the camera around more or just not making shots that can't be zoomed into a tighter composition. I don't consider it a handicap - I just make a different-looking shot than could be made with a zoom lens.
I really like the system in general. If you look through the camera using the acute-matte screen and the prism finder, you really appreciate the quality of the optics. As my eyes age, I much prefer it to squinting through a 35mm viewfinder. I use my camera primarily for landscape and other outdoor work, but it was a standard tool for the wedding industry.
Ditto folks' advice to borrow or rent one for a few days. Rent a couple of different lenses if you can. People have very different views about their favorite lenses. I don't have a particular favorite, but I find I use the 120mm as much or more than the standard 80mm. Again, that's just my preference and how I shoot.