Hasselblads...anyone use them?

Hasselblads...anyone use them?

37 posts
22 May 2013
anthonyh
Photographer
anthonyh
I am thinking of going back to a 6 X 6 film format and have been watching a few cameras on eBay.

Part of me thinks it is time for a Blad.....but another part of me thinks the Bronica SQi makes more sense. Obviously they are a lot cheaper and having used an ETRSi (my current MF camera) I know the build quality etc etc and I am still amazed when I see A2 prints from the negs I scan.

I also lust after the Mamiya RF just to complicate things.  But back to Hasselblads.....anyone use them?...and are they 'that' good ref the expense of ownership? And status of course...surprise
Posted 22 May 2013
Henry_Artist
Photographer
Henry_Artist
Yes, I've used Hasselblad 500 series MF cameras. Would I own one? No. For what they are they are fantasically overpriced. It's like owning a thoroughbred racehorse or an Aston Martin - great at what they do so long as you look after them very carefully but horrendously expensive if something goes wrong. The accessories tend to be priced on the high side of extortionate too. I much prefer using an Arax CM/MLU.
Posted 22 May 2013
LaurenceJPower
Photographer
LaurenceJPow..
Yes, and I completely disagree with the above, built like tanks, very reliable. Yes expensive to repair, but they used to last a lifetime.

Posted 22 May 2013
anthonyh
Photographer
anthonyh
Never heard of that company but have found it via Google. As it happens, I have a Pentacon 6 stored away somewhere.....sort of basic but useable. Until the lens stopped working! ...still thinking the Bronica is the sound choice.....
Posted 22 May 2013
magpie1
Photographer
magpie1
When employed as an industrial photographer, I used a Hasselblad on and off every day for 20+ years and never had any reliability issues. They do, like everything mechanical wear and need servicing. The magazines seemed to require most attention. It is subjective, of course, but the Zeiss lenses do have a certain 'something' whereby the images just seem more 'real' difficult to describe but you know it when you see it.
Pricing is on the rather high side and as a previous replier points out the little bits are very expensive but some used stuff is around, sadly quite a lot of crap mixed in as many 'pros' dumped hammered gear onto the market when switching to digital. a lot of the good stuff can still be found in excellent condition but takes a bit of searching.
Also other stuff (makes) are pretty good and when put through scanning I think a lot of the differences go.
Its very much my PERSONAL view but I'm not a fan of 'hybrids' I think if you shoot on film the best output is analogue, through an enlarger for the final result.

Posted 22 May 2013
Edited by magpie1 22 May 2013
jivago
Photographer
jivago
LaurenceJPower

Yes, and I completely disagree with the above, built like tanks, very reliable. Yes expensive to repair, but they used to last a lifetime.


Totally! - "Built like tanks" is corect - And with superb optics. Highly reliable. No silly geeky 'GWC' gizmos - With Leica the best. They are not expensive repair:- Phone up Hasselblad Uk and ask for the associated 500 series repair company.

Posted 22 May 2013
Andy_B
Photographer
Andy_B
Unless you really want to shoot square, go 6x7.

If you crop to oblong at all, you may as well own a 645. And 645s are blown away by most modern digitals.

I used to own a 503CW. Lovely camera, but I preferred my RZ67II.

Posted 23 May 2013
jimbojetset
Photographer
jimbojetset
Im selling my 501c with 80mm planar and mnt condition for £900.

Posted 23 May 2013
Daz_S
Photographer
Daz_S
I was an RAF photographer for 9 years. Before we went digital, our workhorse camera was a Hasselblad. Built like tanks is phrase commonly used, but totally justified in this case! I dropped one out of a SeaKing from 150ft (not on purpose), I retrieved it and carried on using it!! The lenses are awesome and we used to print images upto 40"!! The ONLY bad point is cost (not a problem for me in the military!). There is a lot on second hand stuff out there, but Hasselblad holds it's value well, so even second hand isn't cheap! You can however be sure that your Hasselblad won't lose much value over the years. If you want a free one, there are 6 of them on the moon - free to those who can collect them!!

Posted 23 May 2013
anthonyh
Photographer
anthonyh
"If you crop to oblong at all, you may as well own a 645. And 645s are blown away by most modern digitals."


I am afraid I don't agree with that statement.......I use a 645 format camera and a 5D and when I compare large prints from both there is no doubt the Bronica print has a quality the digital can't match...and that quality comes from the aesthetic qualities of silver being the basic structure of the image.

However…..that is for B+W. I wouldn't consider colour film anymore as digital is both cheaper and easier to use and at a pinch I can use software to try and introduce some semblance of structure to the image for print purposes.

I have considered the larger formats such as the Mamiya 7 RF........but I don't think I will ever need larger negs than the 645 produces for print purposes...but I like the aesthetics of the square format, have worked with it in the past, and am tempted to go back to using it. I don't want a large bulky camera just to crop down to 6 X 6.
Posted 23 May 2013
Edited by anthonyh 23 May 2013
Andy_B
Photographer
Andy_B
anthonyh

"If you crop to oblong at all, you may as well own a 645. And 645s are blown away by most modern digitals."


I am afraid I don't agree with that statement.......I use a 645 format camera and a 5D and when I compare large prints from both there is no doubt the Bronica print has a quality the digital can't match...and that quality comes from the aesthetic qualities of silver being the basic structure of the image.


The 5D is eight years old. It isn't a modern digital by any strech of the imaginaton.
Posted 23 May 2013
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Andy_B

The 5D is eight years old. It isn't a modern digital by any strech of the imaginaton.


+1

I have a 17 mpix 1DsII and it has the appearance of being almost twice as sharp as the 5D in perfect conditions (more pixels coupled with weaker AA filter on the sensor). 


As for comparing with silver prints, you can upscale the digital image (factor of~2-4x) and then apply a grain simulation overlay, it's somewhat unfair to compare a silver print with a direct digital print as all this highlights is lack of processing knowledge on the digital image by the user.
Posted 23 May 2013
magpie1
Photographer
magpie1
The Mamiya 6x7 rangefinder is a super camera in many ways, but IMHO quite limited to wide angle- standard focal lengths. Like all rangefinders they get flaky with long lenses, the relative viewfinder area gets ever smaller, or you buy an "advisory" auxiliary viewfinder. The 43mm is stunning particularly for architecture and landscape, but has a viewfinder to attach, my favourite all purpose lens was 65 mm. Film loading needs care to make sure there is no slack.

Posted 23 May 2013
OldMaster
Photographer
OldMaster
I have used all of them professionally. Starting with an RB67 back in 1972 when my Dad brought back one of the first ones before they were imported into the UK.

I would avoid Bronica, not because they are unreliable but because they have been out of production for years and the company no longer exists.

I would avoid the 67 unless you want a tripod/studio camera.

There is the Rolleiflex TLR, particularly the 2.8f, which is just stunning, but lens restricted of course, getting long in the tooth and you need to pay a lot to get a really serviceable one..but whisper quite, fabulous optics and probably the ultimate street camera..the preferred choice of Helmut Newton and Bailey to name but two.

You could look at the Rolleiflex 6008 as they are going cheap these days but as ever, there is really only one answer, the Hasselblad 500 V series. There are many reasons why this was THE professionals choice and they include dogged reliability, all mechanical, no batteries, superb lenses, fully serviceable despite the fact that Blad have just announced they are to stop production of the V series...and retro compatibility with virtually every accessory made since the 50's.

And one more thing, they just feel so right in the hand. Fit a bright screen and its like looking at real life! I regret selling mine, still mint after years of service and in all those years and all those weddings it never dropped one shot!



Posted 23 May 2013
anthonyh
Photographer
anthonyh
Andy_B

The 5D is eight years old. It isn't a modern digital by any strech of the imaginaton.



It might not be......but it is considerd by many to have the best IQ of any Canon to date within its 'comfort zone' regarding aperture and ISO settings......and it is considerably younger than the Bronica it is being compared with. I will be using both for a shoot a little later...laugh

I have used a 7D and  1Dsmk3.....they don't produce better prints than the 5D in the settings I use....pixel peepers might spot a difference at 200% on my iMac I guess.....maybe.

Posted 23 May 2013
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