Although I'm fond of my old Rolleicord, it's kind of like a wheezy old sheepdog - better left by the fire than dragged around and made to work. The finder is a bit dim, and yes I know it's improvable, but is it worth it? Also, last weekend I came back with a roll of slide film that had being totally blown away by a light leak. And so it goes on. Anyway, I've decided to get a second hand MF kit. I want square format, and interchangeable lenses, which narrows it down to Hasselblad, Mamiya 6, Bronica SQ or Rollei.

Bronica's are OK, but don't feel too nice, and given the choice between Rollei and 'Blad, then I'll take mechanical simplicity any day of the week. So, down to Mamiya 6 or Hasselblad.

The Mamiya 6 is an easy buy, as there's only one body and a few lenses, but I'm wanting to do some informal portraits and understand that closer focussing isn't the Mamiya's speciality. I borrowed one for a few weeks a year ago and liked it for general work, but don't feel it'll give me the flexibility. I only want to buy this camera once, then use it for the next N years, and don't think the 6 will "carry" that far.

So, 'Blad then. A 500 series seems the best choice, with 80mm, A12 back and waist level finder (I love WL) to start, but what else should I look out for? From which model onwards can I count on say another 20-30 years of useful life? I know that's pretty hypothetical.

Anybody got any other suggestions? Is this why every MF user seems to end up with a Hasselblad?