A while ago, I bought a used Hasselblad 503cw. I eventually acquired two lenses (100 and 60). As time passed, I became more interested in taking photographs more spontaneously (i.e. off a tripod). So I bought the CW winder. This set-up still was awkward to use. So I finally went the distance and picked up a PME 45 prism finder. But this combination weighs a ton and is not fun to use off a tripod. The PME45's meter is good, but one still has to set the aperture and speed on the lens manually. So I find this set-up slow to use, loud, and very heavy. This expensive equipment spends most of its time in its case while I'm out and about with a Rollei TLR, which is much more fun to use. So my question is, have any of you found a way to comfortably use the 503cw/winder/PME prism handheld (not just sporadically but for more sustained use)? I wonder if I'd be better off selling the prism and winder and just using a handheld meter and the basic waist level viewer. Or perhaps I should sell the whole set-up and pick up a Pentax 645N. Thanks.
I would opt for a Mamiya 7 II and all the lenses if it were me for handheld work. But that is just me.
I used one for weddings for years but you are right it is quite heavy hand held, especially with a Metz 60CT added.
I should ask are you using any hand held bracket or just holding it by the bottom. If that is the case the Hasselblad bracket or aftermarket bracket may help you. I had the Hasselblad bracket, and used it ocasionally without the flash and it wasn't too bad.
I use a Mamiya 7II now for personal hand held stuff and I have friends with Pentax 67. Both are much better and eaiser to use handheld, in my opinion. I've never used a Rollei.
Have you considered the Fuji645Zi? - for fast paced medium format its got no be near perfect. Autofocus, autoexposure (with full manual override), up to 32 pics per roll (on 220, 16 on 120), motor drive, and zoom lens. It's bascially a compact that just happens to take roll film - loads of fun.
They're light enough to throw around, and best of all they're CHEAP! Sell the prism and winder on the hassey and you'll have enough to buy one, with change left over. There are a few compromises, but at the price you can keep the heavy kit for formal stuff.
I have got the Pentax 645 and I love it. Not much heavier than a sturdy 35mm SLR and easy to use.
Lenses are quite good.
I used the 503CW with motor and big lens and prism for awhile, always handheld, and it was very manageable. And I'm just a skinny girl. ;)
That said, I gave up the hassey and stuck with my faithful Bronica. I preferred the Bronnie (*gasp*!) and the peripherals were far more affordable.
valdez... i dont think that selling hassalbled/ziess for buying petax is good..lol
i think that the option of using the basic set of hasselblad is the best (u know, camera, weis level finder two backs, and some lenses of your choice). hasselblad is very orgonomic in this combination in my opinion. if u want the light meter u can have the little gossen which is outstanding (there is a topic about it here on apug). and ya rolleiflex is one of the greatest cameras ever, have fun with it, it also capable to produce the top quality (at least the newer ones, so if u are about normal lense it is as good as hasselblad in terms of picture quality, and many times, when u need slower sutter it is even better).
I have practically the same setup as Valdez - 503CW/PME45/Winder CW - and LOVE this camera. I use it all the time. I even go travelling with it! Sure, it's alot bigger than most, but the feel, ergonomics and weight of it are some reasons it draws me.
Thanks for all your informative replies. Interestingly, I have since removed the CW winder and already like the set-up more than I used to. I wonder if the irritating noise had something to do with it. I must admit that the PME45 is nice to focus with.