Need Help with Hasselblad Pricing

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by Oculus, May 3, 2017.

  1. Oculus

    Oculus TPF Noob!

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    I want to start off by saying that I have seen the thread about pricing old cameras, but I have done some research and I am not sure which sources I can really trust. So I was thinking I could maybe ask someone who has experience with these cameras.

    So a few days ago I stumbled across a listing for a Hasselblad 501 C/M with two lenses (80/2.8 CFE T* and 250/5.6 Sonnar CF T*), three A12 magazines (one of those is the latest model), a lens shade (Hasselblad Proshade), a book, and a filter. The seller said that the camera is basically new, and judging by the pictures that seems to be the case, but he doesn't seem to have the original packaging for it. The guy wants about $2800 for the kit.

    According to CollectiBlend the camera would be worth between $2600 and $2800 in mint condition. It doesn't say whether that price includes a lens, but lets assume it does.

    On the site antiquecameras.net I also found a pricing guide for bodies and lenses. So I took the maximum prices for the body and the lenses (didn't include the backs, or any of the other stuff) and according to that site the 501 C/M with the two lenses would be worth $2375.

    And I also looked at a few Ebay listings and most of them ask for more than $2800 with an 80/2.8 CFE lens.

    Which of these estimates is more accurate? What price would you recommend for that kit?

    Here is the listing. It is in German, but I can translate it, if needed.


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    OLd film cameras are worth about what the actually SELL FOR on e-Bay...camera outfits that sellers list for Buy It Now prices like $2,800 will often actually SELL for half that amount, depending on the camera model and its rarity/availability, and current fads in cameras.

    SOME camera models can sell very well at full asking price; Leicas, Rolleiflex TLR's, specialized Nikon F variants, some Linhofs, and so on--sometimes there are eager buyers for those film cameras. Hasselblad (and many other film camera types and models) prices fell, badly, reaching their low-low point probably around 2007-2008; some camera guide books seems to ignore the reralitiers of ewowrld-wide markets, and e-Bay.

    HUGE gluts of cameras in Japan, and the US, plus the ease of reraching thousands of potential buyers, has caused a situation where the "so-called values" printed in camera guide books may not accurately refelvt current marketplace realities.

    Look at completed e-Bay sales for the past six months; that is about what camera gear is "worth", in terms of realities. The asking prices on e-Bay are often ridiculkously higher than actual,completed SALE prices for all types of photo gear. And keep in mind--some nutty guy who just HAD TO PAY full-asking price for a rare item that he had sooooo wanted for soooo long, does not make that price that Joe Bloatedwallet payed the "value"of anything!
     
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  3. Dave Colangelo

    Dave Colangelo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is no need for me to retype everything so you should check out what I wrote on this very topic here. I have a sizable blad outfit at this point and buy the gear pretty frequently still. Since your gear is a bit different than the other lot ill address some of your stuff.

    First and most importantly, with Hasselblads (and any camera for that matter) it does not really matter how they look for most people. What is far more important is how they function. They are complex devices that have more bells and whistles than most cameras and tend to (if left un-used) have issues. Pretty much any blad can be overhauled and for that I would send it to the master David Odess he is a former blad tech and pretty much the best in the biz of overhauling the old stuff. A good CLA (clean lube and adjust) will be $200 assuming there is nothing wrong with the camera. If there is something wrong parts wont be cheap. I would expect another 100-300 to address worn springs, bad winding cams etc. Assuming the camera has been sitting around recently as many have a CLA is going to be a must, I would lop this value off the top end.

    Lets move on to what you have,

    You have two options, sell the stuff in bits or sell it as a lot. The lot is worth less than the sum of its parts generally speaking.

    The film backs are the more desirable as they are A12 which means they take the still in production 120 film. The A24 backs (if you have any) take out of production 220 film. Those are worth $75-$100 each but I also see them sell for closer to $50 sometimes on ebay.

    The 250mm lens is worth in the $200-$350 range depending on condition and reflects what I see them moving for on ebay. I recently paid $100 for the earlier C version (first gen silver coated). The CF T* are worth a bit more due to the lens coating but to be honest, in practice it makes little difference on the outcome.

    The 80mm lens is basically the stock lens for the camera and generally considered in the "normal" range for medium format. As it stands I see them selling on the bay for the 500-700 range which seems a bit high as you can get the earlier generation ones for half that or better.

    I see the bodies moving on ebay in the 200-850 range which is typical of what I would expect. That has a lot to do with timing and if someone is out there looking for that specific camera when its listed. Fair price for one that has been serviced and is known working is on the high side of that and I would expect "questionable" ones to sell for the low side of that. The focusing screen will have a bit of an impact on value. The "bright" Matte-D screen is worth an extra ~50 over the stock screen. The grid screen is worth maybe an extra ~20 if you are looking for one.

    The proshade is worth around $50 if that, they are easy to come buy and it looks like B&H even still sells them.

    Final thoughts: It seems like the prices of this stuff are a bit higher outside of the US as the US seems to have a large used market and a lot of junk floating around. Elsewhere you may be paying a premium simply because there are less of them around. But with that in mind you can compile a way nicer blad setup using ebay (even considering the need to ship overseas) for less than 2600 Euros (~2850 USD). It also depends on the seller, can you get him down to 1500-1800? I would say 2600Euro is high for what he is offering. I have bought a lot of the stuff on that pricing guide you linked and have yet to pay more than their listed minimums (generally I have paid less). If you are patient on ebay, read up on what they have made for the V system over the years and really understand what you are looking at there are great deals to be had.

    In the end of the day there has been a film resurgence but not enough to match the supply of truly professional level cameras out there. Fortunately hasselblad (and other makers) have offered digital back for their older film bodies which keeps them at least a bit relevant in the market. However in most cases people who have kept this gear for years are now looking to get rid of it as its just collecting dust on a shelf. This leads to a lot of list high but sell low scenarios. Subsequently we often then only know he list price and not what it actually trades hands for. The blads are really great cameras, next level great in my humble opinion and well worth owning for the right price.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
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  4. webestang64

    webestang64 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I asked a sales person here at the photo store I work at and he said the last CM they sold went for $650 for a complete body and one 120 back.
     
  5. Oculus

    Oculus TPF Noob!

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    So I looked at completed sales on Ebay. Unless I searched for the wrong thing, most of the ones with a T* lens sold for more than $2600. I also noticed that the listing for that camera has been up for quite a while, so maybe I can get the price down to what you suggested, Dave.

    Are you sure that they sold a 501 C/M, and not a 500 C/M?
     
  6. webestang64

    webestang64 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yep....501.
     
  7. Dave Colangelo

    Dave Colangelo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It depends which T* lens they have as there are a few different types. T* denotes the addition of a coating to the lens to prevent lens flair. The nomenclature was used across various version of lenses that all carried the coating. The earliest lenses for the V system are the C series, they are generally silver. Then came the C T* they are mechanical identical to their earlier counterparts but are generally black bodied (although there are some rare silver T* lenses). Then came the CF lenses, the big difference here was the fact the aperture and shutter speed rings were no longer locked together, optically many of them carried the same design but they feel different in the hand and often have a far bigger area to hold for focusing. Then came the CFi/CFE T* lenses the CFE series has an electronic data bus for use with the 200 series cameras. Some have knocked the CFE lenses as being lower quality than there earlier counterparts but I have never owned a CFE lens so I cant comment. The earlier C/C T*/CF lenses are very high quality all metal construction.

    As for the price if you can, and if you feel its reasonable it may be worth it to make an offer and see where the seller is on the whole situation. Take a look at whats out there and what you can get. Think about what kind of shooting you may want to do. I really like the 50mm and 80mm for landscape work. The 150 is a very nice portrait lens and my 250mm gets the least use in the collection thus far. As I mentioned earlier I dont feel the coating is worth the price premium and my lenses span eras and coated/non coated because I got good deals on them.

    If you can go see the camera in person it would be good to know if everything is working. The lower shutter speeds tend to stick over the years and you should check out the mirror to make sure its lifting all the way and the rear shutter curtain is opening all the way. Chances are the foam is shot but that's always a gamble and usually a simple thing to fix.

    Here is a listing with similar stuff (earlier lenses) that went for 1450
    .

    Here is one with just the 80mm that went for $1150


    Regards
    Dave
     
  8. Oculus

    Oculus TPF Noob!

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    How is that even possible? Just a few days ago I saw someone sell a 503CW with an 80/2.8 CFE for 2000 euros.

    Those are both 501 C bodies. But I see the point you are trying to make. I actually have a question regarding the data bus in the CFE lenses. Since that thing is electronic, does that mean there is a possibility that the lens will stop working at some point? I know the 503CW has a TTL sensor in it, so theoretically the camera should still work, even after the sensor breaks, right?
     
  9. Dave Colangelo

    Dave Colangelo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As far as I know the data bus only matters on the electric cameras. Using it on an all manually body will have no impact as the shutter in the lens is mechanical. The circuitry will remain there but effectively do nothing. The 501CM of course has the advantage of the gliding mirror system but I have never found the vignetting on any of the longer lenses to really impeded my work. Maybe if you are working with the 500mm Tele-Tessar but then again that is a real honker of a lens.

    I think some of the prices you are seeing better reflect the European market than the US market (which is far more saturated with used gear and far less people that want it). There is something to be said for looking at local pricing vs. global pricing but since many EBay shippers will send stuff across the pond it could be in your best interest to buy something from abroad.

    Can you give us an idea of the kind of shooting you do, the kind of stuff you want out of the camera etc? that may help us drive the discussion a bit better.

    FWIW you could could even try and pick up this set for a reasonable price then sell the 80 CFE to someone who needs it for their 200 system and use the money to buy an 80 Ct* and any of the other CT* (40,50,60,110,120)

    Regards
    Dave
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  10. webestang64

    webestang64 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I asked him again.....it was not in the best condition.......if it was in mint condition he would have priced it around $1800.
     
  11. Oculus

    Oculus TPF Noob!

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    I was thinking of doing that as well, but unfortunately I would have to pay quite a lot of import taxes. If I was to buy a $1400 kit, I would end up paying an extra $350. So I doubt I would save much.

    I mainly do street photography. I know these cameras are not really the number one choice for that kind of photography, but I would like do a bit of landscape and portrait photography as well. And I don't think I would have too many problems using a Hasselblad for street, because I currently use a Nikkormat FT3 and Praktica MTL 5B, so I am used to fully manual cameras. In fact those are the only kinds of cameras I use. I actually saved up for a Nikon D750 for a long time, but I somehow fell in love with the Hasselblads. I know a DSLR is a lot more versatile than any film camera, but I once tried to use a D3000 and it somehow didn't feel right.

    I also messaged to seller and asked him a few questions about the life of the camera. So the guy said that he thinks it is from 2005, so the last production year, but he will check asap. The last time he used it was 6 months ago, and he estimates that he only shot 30 to 40 rolls at most. Apparently he also left the camera cocked most of the time and made sure that the mechanics in the camera get some movement from time to time.

    One thing that sort of concerns me about such little use is, that it is possible that one of the parts is faulty, but it still hasn't broken, because he hasn't use the camera enough. But maybe that is just the engineer in me talking (stress analysis and stuff like that :D). Also should I be concerned that he doesn't have the original packaging anymore?
     
  12. Dave Colangelo

    Dave Colangelo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a feeling we are quite similar people.... Nikon, hasselblad, engineering, any chance you also like air cooled Porsche's? Airplanes with one engine up front and pens that make use of a nib?

    On any note, I did not know about the import tax which of course changes the game a bit. I have used my blad for street photography plenty of times. I will admit its heavier than my D3300 but it has a totally different feel so its hard to compare. I have a Nikon FT, F3 and have had an EM and FE. 35mm is perhaps a bit more conducive to street photography just because of portability and frames per roll. But the best street camera IMO is the Rollei 35, hands down no contest. However medium format has a way about it that makes it unlike 35mm and IMO superior for many things.

    On any note the D750 is admittedly more versatile than a blad but, lets be honest, way less fun...

    It sounds like the camera is fairly new which is always a good thing. My 500C/M is (I think) from the 80's but ill check the serial number when I get home later today. Mine had the pretty standard slew of issues but it had been sitting for at least a decade before I got my hands on it so that was expected. 30/40 rolls of 120 is a pretty good amount of film and if they came out ok the camera may be in really good shape.

    Most if not all blads are stored cocked. The blad has one design flaw (if you can even call it that). The lenses can only be removed and put back on when the camera is cocked. Thus most of the bodies out there are left cocked to facilitate the removal and installation of a lens. Damage can be done by putting a lens on an uncocked body or an uncocked lens on a cocked body so most people leave everything cocked to solve this. I would hardly call this a concern as it is the way the camera functions by design.

    If its been sitting I would expect that cycling the shutters in the lens and the body mechanics a few times before running film will get all the oil moving again. A CLA may be something to consider for piece of mind unfortunately I don't know anyone in Europe to suggest for that.

    I never got the "original packaging" thing. Some people save boxes some don't, I would hardly say it reflects the quality of the camera. I will admit there is a huge difference between "having the original packaging" and "in the original packaging". I happen to have some boxes for some of my accessories mostly because it seems like the previous owner never really used them and thus they were stored in box most of their life.

    Its hard to compare my D3300 or a D750 to a Hasselblad. On one hand you have an entry level camera that takes marvelous photos, then you have a pro-sumer camera that will get you through what you need and then some. Then of course you have a camera this is beyond professional, not just a camera that works but a camera that is, by many accounts flawless. A camera that you could pair with an Omega Speedmaster and be ready to walk on the moon. A camera that has seen more famous moments than most people will in a lifetime.

    Regards
    Dave
     

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