Lets see if I understand this:
The body is basically a box with a view finder. Not much else. The finder is actually not part of the body.
It needs a film back.
The lens comes with a shutter just like a LF lens.
So a working system would include a lens,body,finder and back? It seems that the prices on these have dropped a fair bit. Or am I missing something? I've been thinking off and on about a bronica 6x6 camera [forget the model] but the Hassleblads don't look much more expensive. The downside seems that the lenses are mostly expensive. OTOH I can live with just an 80mm.
a 150mm is also obtainable... it's when you go wide it gets expensive! Factor in the costs of a couple of backs too.
The lenses are more expensive because they are worth it. As with a lot of things in life you get what you pay for. You can't beat German glass. I've had a Bronica with Nikkor glass and it was decent, but no where close to either my Rollei or Blad.
If you are doing any serious B&W work you will want 3 backs. One each for - + and normal development. If all you are doing is color then you could probably get away with 2.
The lenses I use all the time are 50mm, 80mm, and 150mm. I also have a 2x for added length if I need it. A closeup tube is very useful for flowers etc. I use mine with the 150 all the time.
If your buying older Blad lenses they are optically fantastic. Just don't put a UV filter on them and make sure you use an EFFECTIVE lenshade to reduce flare.
These are my experiences, your mileage may vary.
There is no reason I can't add more backs later? I was thinking of looking at a 2x after the basic camera. Intially just getting enough to make the camera work.
yes, add backs and lenses as you go!
I would suggest the 60mm, 100mm, and 180mm lens combination based on user reports of lens quality, though this is probably just splitting hairs.
I have a Bronica S2A system like Eric R used to have, and as he says, the glass is decent (and in some cases outstanding, I would add), and it's possible to build a very versatile system for not too much money. I'm the kind of person who likes to have a wide range of lenses and accessories, so this solution fits my way of working and my budget.
On the other hand there's no denying that the Zeiss glass is special. I have a Zeiss 135/3.5 Planar for my 4x5" system that is just transcendentally sharp and smooth. It would also be very easy to adapt to the Bronica, which was designed so that people using press cameras could easily adapt their lenses.
You might consider getting both--a Hassy with a great lens or two that you can afford, and a Bronica with all the other lenses you might want that for Hassy would require a second, third, and fourth mortgage.
I was thinking of one of those russian cameras for the lenses that get used less. The lens are supposed to be okay. The body should be okay with limited use. They even have limited ability to share parts with the hassleblad. Viewfinders supposedly can be swapped.
The Kiev lenses as far as I know do not have shutters in them. Their backs suck big time, but the prisms are suppose to be ok, although loose. Don't waste your money on a Kiev metered prism.
Supposedly some one is reworking the Kievs so they take hassleblad backs. Would seem interesting. The camera ends up being little more then an adapter to fit the Soviet lenses on to the hassleblad backs.