Quote Originally Posted by puketronic View Post
I'm fancying a medium format SLR but I have some questions. I'm mostly leaning towards hasselblad 500cm:

-Mechanical Shutter

-Hold it's value because it is digital-forward
-Small-ish.

Mechanical shutters are not as accurate as electronic shutters and require maintenance. Given the latitude of C-41 film and to a lesser degree B&W film it may not make a difference. But electronic shutters such as those in the Rollei 6000 can be set in 1/3 stops. Plus electronic shutters are accurate across the spectrum from 1/1000 of a second to 30 seconds.

If you buy a good used MF camera at this stage none of them are going to drop in value by 50% any time soon. If a camera is worthwhile and its price was going to drop it has done it by now. That has nothing to do with being "digital-forward." If you ever look at digital backs you will realize the price of the camera body is nothing compared to the price of decent medium format back.

Hasselblads are no smaller than any other 6x6 camera.

Quote Originally Posted by puketronic View Post
Oh and I plan on using a tripod so mirror shake isn't that much of a concern.
Mirror shake has nothing to do with using a tripod. They are for the most part two separate concerns. You will need a good solid tripod. A cheapy plastic one bought at a local consumer electronics store will not cut it. Depending on the dampening in your camera and what shutter speed you will shoot at mirror lock up can be vital. If your camera has substantial mirror slap a tripod won't cure that.

Quote Originally Posted by puketronic View Post
1. I like Square but sometimes I like rectangle; however I do not like cropping because I print full-frame. There is a 645 back, I see some on keh.com for reasonable prices.
-Can these rotate? I assume not.
-Is there a mask for the viewfinder? Or do you just visualize the 645?
645 isn't that big of a deal but it would add to the versatility. If I like 645 so much then I'd just get a 645 camera.

Don't know about Hassies, but my 6008i came with a rotatable 645 back. I believe there are other systems out there with similar capabilities. I think your main problem is you picked a system and are now trying to make it work for you. I would first figure out what I need and then pick a system. As I pointed out three of the things you listed are irrelevant. The one thing you did spend a lot of time discussing is something that is solved very easily by a Rollei 6008i. I was very patient and basically ended up getting a sophisticated 645 magazine for the same price as a 120 magazine. The beauty of that magazine is it shoots 120 and 220. So I often load a 120 magazine with B&W film and shoot it square and load the 645 magazine with Portra 220 film and shoot it rectangular. People really like to charge a lot for the Rollei 645 rotatable magazine. I wouldn't pay too much more for it than a regular 120 magazine.

Anyway Hassies are great cameras but they aren't necessarily for everyone. No camera system is the best in all categories. If you like all kinds of weird niche accessories then Hassies are unbeatable. Some truly innovative stuff came out for the Rollei 6000 series which makes a lot of Hassy stuff look poor... good luck finding it all at a reasonable price in a timely fashion. In photography world you cannot have you cake and eat it too. Figure out the compromises you are willing to live with and then go and shoot.

Quote Originally Posted by bdial View Post
The only real advantage of the 645 back is that it gives you 16 exposures, aside from that, as stated, if you want to compose for a rectangle you can perfectly well do it in the 6x6 frame.
That's pretty much the final conclusion. If you aren't into saving money and reducing the number of roll changes in the field just shoot square. Also if you can't find a good 645 back that works for you at a reasonable price don't bother. I saw the magazine I eventually got for sale at multiple places... people wanted almost $500 (used)! I was fortunate. Otherwise I would just be shooting square and dealing with it.