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Hasselblads...anyone use them?

Andy_B is off-lineSilver Member
27 May 2013 05:15
Andy_B
Photographer
Andy_B
Location
United Kingdom
London
London

Hasselblads were/are very pretty, a design icon and mechanically impressive when they were released, but the design did have several flaws.

The biggest problem was with the mechanical interlocks, and the method used to re-cock the lens shutter. It's not difficult to get this mechanism to lock up, and getting the lens locked on to the body was also common. Hasselblad themselves sold an un-jamming tool (you can also use a long screwdriver to go in through the back of the camera and turn a screw-head in an attempt to unlock).

Hasselblad talked a good game about the precision engineering of their film backs, but the real story is that their design of the light traps around both parts of the back was poor and they were unable to guarantee light-tightness across different batches of backs. Hence the fact that backs are numbered, and the warning that you shouldn't buy or use mis-matched back and insert numbers.

On earlier cameras (before the 503 range), the mirror construct was such that for lenses longer than 150mm you wouldn't see a complete image in the viewfinder.

The Rollei's were better engineered cameras, but relied on battery power for everything. The Bronicas were excellent too - but neither Rollei or Bronica gave you the characteristic cutouts around the film edge that showed on your contact sheets that you shot 'Blad.

Personally I went from an RZ to a 503CW then back to the RZ. Sure, the Mamiya is bigger and heavier - but I've travelled with them and shot in the street too. The interlocks just work, the rotating back is fantastic, film advance is the best of any camera I've used, built in macro ability - and noticeably better results from 6x7.


Anthonygh is off-line
27 May 2013 09:30
anthonyh
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Kent


I have decided to cheat a bit here as I mainly want to see if I am happy getting back into shooting with a square format......shooting with film isn't an issue...both 35mm and MF.

I am going to fit a square mask to the viewing screen of one of my ETRSi bodies so I can only view in square format. I know this wastes a percentage of the neg area...but it is still twice plus the area of 35mm and I'm happy to use a few rolls to see how it goes.

If it goes well I will probably go with the Bronica SQAi for common sense reasons.....I can get a mint copy for half (or less) the price of a Hasselblad 500c/m.....I'm used to Bronica gear...and at the end of the day, Hasselblad or Bronica......my prints will look much the same!!


Thanks for the input...it was very useful...


Anthonygh is off-line
03 June 2013 05:00
anthonyh
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Kent


Decided on a Pentacon 6...after further thought

Two reasons really......I already own one and I dug it out and I had forgotten how well made the thing was...and how nice it was to handle!! I also Googled a few reviews and it is a surprisingly well regarded camera system with more lens options than any other MF system.

So yesterday I dug out some negs from when I last used it (20 yrs ago) and did a scan and print.....very impressive...talk about detail and tonal range!!

Unfortunately the carl zeiss lens I used seems to have stopped working but I gave it an airing around town yesterday with a 50mm lens I have used with it and the film is now sitting in the fridge waiting to be processed. Assuming all is ok I will be using it for part of my next studio shoot..


OldMaster is off-line
03 June 2013 10:39
OldMaster
Photographer
OldMaster
Location
United Kingdom
Hertfordshire
Harpenden

Sluggish, shutter problems, very low synch speed..heavy and cumbersome!! Hope you have fewer problems with yours than the ones I used..just about the most unreliable cameras I ever had the displeasure of working with!

Frankly, I am a bit baffled that you have had folk post 4 pages of forum post advice to end up here!! There is no comparison with this camera to the Hasselblad/Rollei/Mamiya/Bronica!! I used 500cm Blad kit for over 20 years, bodies, backs and 4 lenses..in all that time the only failure was a shutter collapse on a 40mm Distagon..everything else worked flawlessly through 500+ weddings and other jobs!

Take your other kit on your studio shoot..you would do best just to stick to your digital kit


Anthonygh is off-line
04 June 2013 11:50
anthonyh
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Kent


Quote from OldMaster
Sluggish, shutter problems, very low synch speed..heavy and cumbersome!! Hope you have fewer problems with yours than the ones I used..just about the most unreliable cameras I ever had the displeasure of working with! Frankly, I am a bit baffled that you have had folk post 4 pages of forum post advice to end up here!! There is no comparison with this camera to the Hasselblad/Rollei/Mamiya/Bronica!! I used 500cm Blad kit for over 20 years, bodies, backs and 4 lenses..in all that time the only failure was a shutter collapse on a 40mm Distagon..everything else worked flawlessly through 500+ weddings and other jobs! Take your other kit on your studio shoot..you would do best just to stick to your digital kit



Well...it weighs less than my 1V HS, I find it easy to use, it has been going strong for 30 odd years, it gives great images......and it is free as I already own it. So as something to experiment with using the 6 X 6 format it seems pretty ideal to me. If the format still appeals  I can decide where to go next.

The sync speed is low but it has never been a problem in a studio environment.....which is where I will be experimenting. When I used it in town the other day I was surprised how inconvenient  using a hand meter had become...that will be a consideration in any future purchase.



Henry is off-lineSilver Member
05 June 2013 03:30
Henry_Artist
Photographer
Henry_Artist
Location
United Kingdom
Lancashire
Blackpool

If you like using a Pentacon 6 you might want to consider one of these - http://www.araxfoto.com/cameras/arax-60mlu/  

I have the 645 version. It's a splendid camera and excellent value for money.
I may as well do it. I'm gonna get blamed for it anyway.


Anthonygh is off-line
05 June 2013 06:12
anthonyh
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
Kent


Quote from Henry_Artist
If you like using a Pentacon 6 you might want to consider one of these - http://www.araxfoto.com/cameras/arax-60mlu/  

I have the 645 version. It's a splendid camera and excellent value for money.



For the moment I will be using the Pentacon 6 to familiarize myself with the square format again. I might in the end want to revert back to my 645 Bronica system (or stick with that format but another make)...but if I get into the square format again I will need to decide whether the Pantacon is all I need...or I want something different...in which case the responses made to my post will be very useful.

I have to admit I 'like' the idea of owning a Hasselblad.......but I doubt if I will ever 'need' one...surprise




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