Hasselblad advice

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by rpj999, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. rpj999

    rpj999 TPF Noob!

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    I need the advice of Hasselblad shooters out there on whether my idea is workable or completely ridiculous.... Both my partner and I have been (D)SLR users for many years but it's always been a wish of hers to give a Hasselblad a try. I've found a shop in town which hires out the 501CM (with back and lens) for a very reasonable price and as it's her birthday coming up, I thought it would be good to rent one for the day.

    However, neither of us have ever used one before. So, my question is, am I completely mad considering this? Or with the help of the photographic rental shop and some basic instructions, we should be able to peek into the world of medium format?

    Any thoughts/suggestions/links appreciated!

    Rob
     
  2. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    Yes, it would provide you a peek. An expensive peek, prolly. And no more than a peek indeed, in only one day.

    Besides, depending on what you want to do that day (Plan! Plan! Plan!) you'll probably also need some lenses and accessories. Like tripod, cable release, light meter, flash, flash remote cable (or wireless), UV filter, pola filter, ND filter, grad ND filter, etc.
    And that's only for starters, and for outside only....

    To be honest, if I could afford it... I wouldn't! I don't think it makes much sense for only one day. Too much hassle, too limited, too expensive. I would probably end up with more frustrations that I started with!

    It's like: if I could rent Michael Schumacher's Formula 1 Ferrari for one day on the race track, would I? Should I?
    I submit I wouldn't be able to steer it's 980 horsepower through the first corner in one piece!

    Bottomline: really great equipment requires a very experienced user and a lot of time to be used to any worthwile effect.
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What can it hurt to rent one for the day and shoot away? Why not? You might enjoy it. Used Hassys are getting pretty affordable these days with digital working its way toward a 100% market share. I think you could put together a 501CM system pretty reasonably on Ebay, for example.

    You can put a digital back on it, if you like. Used 5mp backs are also pretty affordable these days - a few hundred dollars while a new 39mp back would be several thousand. The poor resale value of digital cameras is a problem for sellers but a bonanza for buyers.

    I sold my babied Mamiya RZ67 system in 1999 for $18,000. I could replace that system used today for $4,000.
     
  4. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Bear in mind that all sorts of medium format cameras are being sold off now, so you may actually be able to buy a medium format camera and lens for less than the cost of renting one. Especially if you don't only look at Hassys but also look at (for example) Bronicas, and if you consider getting a TLR instead then I guarantee you can get one cheaper than the rental price of the Hassy...
     
  5. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Rob, you've got nothing to lose and a lot to gain from renting out a Hassy. It'll give you (and her) the feel of the camera, its possibilities and limits and if you like it, then you can find one for sale. There are plenty on Ebay to choose from. My guess is that both of you will be hooked once you start shooting with it. It happened to me and now I own two bodies (500CM and 500ELM):)

    One thing to be aware of, with Hasselblads. Do not take the lens off or put it on if the shutter is not cocked. Both the camera and the lens have shutters, the 'real' one being in the lens and the camera one being just a set of two light baffles that close entirely after you fire the lens' shutter. If you take the lens off and the camera/lens shutters are not cocked, then you'll have a jammed camera. Not a big deal if you know how to unjam it.

    Have fun and post some pics you both took with it. :wink:
     
  6. rpj999

    rpj999 TPF Noob!

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    It looks like I'll have to give it a go! With regards to the costs, I'm amazed at the bargains which can be had on eBay for used Hasselblads. However, I can rent a 501CM, A12 + Planar 2,8/80mm for less than €50 for the day. Of course, I need to add in numerous (!) rolls of film & developing costs but it's not a day that will break the bank. Mind you with Mitica100 saying
    I should prepare myself and my credit card!! :D

    I also found this useful guide which I think is about as basic as you can get, but anything else you think would be useful to read up on, let me know! http://web.mit.edu/vap/images/guides/camera_hasselblad.pdf
     
  7. Johno

    Johno TPF Noob!

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    I'd say give it a rip, what have you got to lose? I'm sure you already know this, Don't forget to bring a hand-held light meter with you!!
     
  8. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Great! Have fun...

    Here is a link with a free Hasselblad EL manual in pdf format. The EL is very close to your 501 in operation so you can have a better idea of what to do and what not to do.

    Hassy_EL
     
  9. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a Hasselblad 500cm it a very nice camera and fun to shoot, but I am finding it harder to find inexpensive labs that still works with 120 film, because of this I am now mostly shoot b&w and do the development and low end scanning myself, as for scanners there are some OK flatbed (low to mid end) models that work with 120, but a good 120 scanner is going to cost you $1000-2000 US, IMO digital has more upfront cost and film more a long the way
     
  10. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You would be surprised how good a job a consumer flatbed photo scanner can do. I have an Epson scanner that cost just a couple hundred dollars and it will scan up to 4800 dpi. Personally, I've never used it above 1600 dpi because the files get too big. It is painfully slow compared to a high end film scanner but it sure isn't expensive.
     
  11. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have that one, and have not been real happy with it, the scans do not even come close to shots straight out of my 6 & 8mp DSLR(s), mine Epson will not scan over 1600 dpi it give a memory warning and canals itself, guess the computer needs more memory, also I have never got the hang of working with color negative, but B&W, positives & prints work OK

    back to the hassy, the traditional prints are very nice
     
  12. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No kidding. I can't really tell a properly scanned slide from a direct digital shot. It works pretty well for me. Below is a 72 ppi jpeg that was originally scanned at 1600 dpi from a Velvia transparency into a 25 mb Tiff file. I think it looks pretty good even at 72 ppi.

    [​IMG]
     

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