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Thread: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

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    Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Hi there,

    I posted recently about buying a digital back for a MF camera or even a whole system but for that I would have to get rid of my Leica gear... which I love to bits and I just cant get rid of.. and which I bought a new WATE by the way

    So, that means that my supply of cash is somewhat limited and I just fall in love everytime I see a MF image and I would like to print big : I dont with my Leicas but also because I know if I enlarge them BIG , quality would suffer a bit.

    So I started to look around and I thought about a Hasselblad.. film one.

    Later on, I could add a digital back but to be honest, its not exactly a priority now.

    So Im a plain idiot to think about a 500 CM ? I know I should avoid the C model ( been reading... ) since the M allows the exchangable screen and the price difference between C and CM is negible ...

    What should I look for ? Im torn between going to ebay or just stick with my usual dealer ( FFORDES ) which has been 100% up to now...

    Or I should forget the whole idea and stick with my Leicas ?

    Damn MF, seems like a mermaid, luring and luring...

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    500c/m's are great cameras. If you can, try to find a late one with the upgraded winding crank and an acute matte screen. Otherwise, the difference between 500 series is simply the age, and a few other minor upgrades dealing with winder integration, the gliding mirror (not important unless you use long lenses or lenses on extension tubes).

    Another good dealer to work with is KEH in the US. They have lots of good hasselblads for good prices.
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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Thanks Stuart for your answer ;

    I never used a Hasselblad before but would like to give it a try - they are quite cheap to be honest.

    I have a few questions ( dumb, idiotic questions from someone who never used a V system ) if you dont mind ( or anyone else that chips in and want to anser ) :

    - can I replace the film backs while shooting ? ie, I load up some slide film on one back and some B /W on other back.. can I take couple of slide pictures then "close" the back and change to the BW ?
    - Im aware that the 500 doesnt have any metering at all : a PME prism does. Can it be used on the 500 CM ? Just inserting it ?

    Cheers

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    The short answer to your first question is "YES"! Switching film in mid-roll so to speak (as you described) is one of the big pluses for any MF camera with a removable film back. You just put the dark slide in and take off the film back, then attach a second film back....which is why many folks will have 2, 3 or more backs.

    I have a 501CM and 503CW and the PME prism finders work fine on these cameras, so they may well work ok on a 500 C/M also....but I can't say for sure.

    One thing I can say is that given the relatively low prices on older Hasselblad cameras and lenses now (thanks to digital).....you can get a great camera and fine Zeiss optics for very little $$$.

    And I'll offer a second to Stuart's recommendation of KEH for used equipment. Generally speaking, I think their ratings for condition of equipment are pretty conservative and prices are reasonable. I've bought alot of gear from them over the past few years....never a problem.

    Gary

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Thanks for chmming in Gary ;

    Well thats nice to read ! Thanks for the answers... And yes, it seems almost trivial that for little money ( under 500 pounds at a good dealer ) you can get a 500 Complete with Waist Level, Zeiss 80mm and A12 back ...

    MF has always been a mistery for me but quite intriguing and to be honest I never look at it with great attention because it costed an arm, couple of legs, two livers , wife and dog.

    Now its a very affordable price and for the price of a entry level digital camera I can have a working MF setup from Hasselblad... seems ridiculous to be honest - hence why Im seriously considering taking the plunge and well, if I dont like it I will loose very little money ...

    Problem is if I like it and want to upgrade after to a digital setup...

    Leica nuts + Digital MF = wife in bunny boiler mode...

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Quote Originally Posted by proenca View Post
    Now its a very affordable price and for the price of a entry level digital camera I can have a working MF setup from Hasselblad... seems ridiculous to be honest - hence why Im seriously considering taking the plunge and well, if I dont like it I will loose very little money ...

    Problem is if I like it and want to upgrade after to a digital setup...

    Leica nuts + Digital MF = wife in bunny boiler mode...
    The drop in prices for MF film is how I was finally able to justify/afford getting a Hasselblad also (and then another, and another...forgot to mention the 553ELX and CFV-II digital back).

    I gotta warn you however, despite the affordable entry price, it can be a slippery slope (depending on how much you are afflicted by gear acquisition syndrome) and since you've mentioned being a Leica devotee, I'm guessing you may be tempted to acquire more and more Hasselblad/Zeiss lenses etc. :-)

    In any case, for many of us, getting that first Hasselblad (or Leica, which in my case was an R8) at current prices is certainly a dream come true.

    If you do take the plunge.....I'm sure you won't regret it!

    Gary

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    I also own both Leica (M6, M8) and MF (Hasselblad 2000FC/M (for the special F/FE lenses) and Contax 645), and I think having both definitely makes me a stronger photographer. I find that I use them differently, and I think differently. In fact, I am about to add 4x5 to the mix
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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Carsten makes an excellent point....working with medium format (and even more so with large format) is really a different experience from shooting 35mm. Slows you down with time to think about each shot more so than when using 35mm...especially if you use a handheld light light meter etc.

    Gary

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Another place to look for Hasselblads is at David Odess, a well respected Hasselblad repair man. Selection is usually limited however his prices seem very competetive considering what you are getting. With today's prices you can easily buy one and try it out and if is not for you there will little or no loss of money selling it.

    The secret to keeping GAS down is by not having too large a camea bag

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Quote Originally Posted by redrockcoulee View Post
    The secret to keeping GAS down is by not having too large a camea bag
    Good idea, unless your GAS is so advanced that you just buy another camera bag when the last one fills up.

    Besides, finding the right bag for the new gear is half the fun.

    Gary

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Thanks Gary, Carsten and RedRock ?!

    Well good points there and due to the immense difference between MF and 35mm I can see the whole Hassselblad thing working for me and actually slowing me down, making me look at things from a different angle and perspective.

    Plus the square format is something I want to try so baddddddddddd.

    On the GAS thing... well, I tried. And failed miserably.

    Problem is the M lens. Damn thing are small and light. Meaning that any lens holder / photo backpack larger than a cigarette box is due to cause heavy gas and credit card problems.

    Thanks all for the nice input on my thread. It has been quite nice to discover a forum with so many active and helpfull MF orientated users.

    Seems I have a month or two to read on about Hasselblad and its models and scouting for a good one

    By the way, I discard using KEH ( although only hear good things about them ) since Im in Portugal - Europe and customs here loooooove import tax.. So I usually buy inside Europe meaning theres no import duty to pay.

    Apart from the English usual dealers ( ffordes, apertureuk, misfuds ) anyone recommends a good MF one ?

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Quote Originally Posted by proenca View Post
    Thanks Gary, Carsten and RedRock ?!

    Well good points there and due to the immense difference between MF and 35mm I can see the whole Hassselblad thing working for me and actually slowing me down, making me look at things from a different angle and perspective.

    Plus the square format is something I want to try so baddddddddddd.

    On the GAS thing... well, I tried. And failed miserably.

    Problem is the M lens. Damn thing are small and light. Meaning that any lens holder / photo backpack larger than a cigarette box is due to cause heavy gas and credit card problems.

    Thanks all for the nice input on my thread. It has been quite nice to discover a forum with so many active and helpfull MF orientated users.

    Seems I have a month or two to read on about Hasselblad and its models and scouting for a good one

    By the way, I discard using KEH ( although only hear good things about them ) since Im in Portugal - Europe and customs here loooooove import tax.. So I usually buy inside Europe meaning theres no import duty to pay.

    Apart from the English usual dealers ( ffordes, apertureuk, misfuds ) anyone recommends a good MF one ?
    For more good info, many European forum members and pleasant opportunities to share thoughts, views and images....all Hasselblad related.....check out the Hasselbladinfo.com forum.

    Gary

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    if you can afford a 501 CM with the sliding mirror system then go for it, a nice improvement !

    a 501 CM will be younger also... sometimes you can find 501 CM with waist level finder and acute matte for as low as 500$, a real bargain that will last for years !

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    the 503 CW are very similar to the 501 CM, except that you can ad a winder, and you can use TTL Flash (with film only).

    503 cost the double as the 501CM !

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Yes, you are crazy, you should be grabbing a focal plane body and one of those amazing 110mm f/2 lenses.

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    I agree about the focal plane shutter, by the way. The 2000-series bodies (avoid the earliest FC due to shutter fragility) are also very affordable, operate exactly like 500-series bodies, including taking all CF, CFi and CFE lenses, but can also take the F/FE lenses. I have the 50/2.8, 110/2 and 250/4, three really nice lenses, which are faster than anything available for the 500 cameras.
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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Once every 3 times, I have problems with film developing color film here in Istanbul. I'm trying to find my old film tanks etc. to do my developing of B+W flms. But when it comes to slide films, the last reliable lab closed down a year ago. Color negative films are developed without any care, because what remains is the bulk processing labs that print those 10X15cm prints which also give you a very cheap quality scanned files CD.

    I love using my film Leicas, MF Hasselblad and Mamiya cameras but at the end of the day the results are frustrating because of these problems. I have a Nikon 9000 ED scanner, but the dirt and marks on the film are there.

    I had to change completely to digital now. Only from time to time, I can't resist taking the fim cameras with me too.

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Once you start doing your own processing, you will be shocked at how much cleaner the film is (at least if you do it with care and mix with filtered or distilled water). One of the big things that gets film dirty is the way that they process at most labs -- they use machines with transport mechanisms that run the film automatically. If these are not cleaned all the time, they pick up dirt. Then when they get your film, it is basically dragged through this dirt, which is why a lot of labs give you film that is scratched or dirty. Another problem, even at better labs is that they usually use large replenished chemical baths -- the same chemistry is processing the film for even years at a time. If this is not properly filtered and cleaned, it will pick up deposits and leave things on your film.
    I run a small lab, but all my processing is done by hand with one-shot chemicals. This is a bit more expensive, but the quality is much much better.

    Anyway, sorry for the digression. I also agree with Jeremy and Carsten that a 2000 or 200 series is a good choice. I would go as far to say get either an inexpensive 500c/m, or just spend the extra cash to get a 203FE. I don't really think it is worth it to buy a newer 503 or 501 unless you can get a really good deal. I have seen 203's go for less than 1500 USD, and it is one of the best cameras you can buy -- certainly the best hasselblad (I think the 205 is much more specialized with its spot meter). The ability to use the focal plane lenses, the built in meter, AE, the instant return meter...they are all very nice things to have. So I say either go for the basic, cheaper used model, or spend the extra cash to get the top of the line.
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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Hey, don't drive up the price of the 203FE!

    If you do get a 200/2000, and are interested in the 50mm f/2.8, which is sharper than the older 50/4, then I've got one for sale here in this forum, the F version, i.e. no contacts (but therefore half the price of the FE).
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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Hey, don't drive up the price of the 203FE!

    If you do get a 200/2000, and are interested in the 50mm f/2.8, which is sharper than the older 50/4, then I've got one for sale here in this forum, the F version, i.e. no contacts (but therefore half the price of the FE).
    Carsten, does your 50 2.8 F works on a 500 CM body ? or only in the 200 series ?

    Im pondering now... your lens + 503 CW seems a good deal ( if the lens works ) vs the 80mm 2.8 - I'm more a wide angle guy.

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    The F and FE lenses only work on 2000- and 200-series bodies. The FE lenses have electronic contacts and can communicate with the bodies for setting exposure. The FE lenses are best for 200-series bodies, but these bodies are still very expensive, so this increases your cost a lot, and the FE lenses are often twice as expensive as the optically identical F lenses. The F/FE lenses are more modern, and sharper in general than the older CF designs (although a few were updated and are very sharp, i.e. 40 and 180...). They also have one more stop of light, so if you need more light or a shallower depth of field for some use, they are worth considering. The 2000-series are otherwise like the 500-series, but the 200-series are more modern, some have built-in meters, and are very neat cameras. I will probably move to a 203FE or 205FCC one day, which is why I am collecting FE lenses, and selling the F.

    I own 50/2.8 FE, 110/2 FE and 250/4 FE. The equivalent lenses for the 500-series are the 50/4, 100/3.5 or 150/4, and 250/5.6...

    On the other hand, if you use flash, get CF/CFi/CFE lenses, due to the higher sync speed. These can also be used on 2000/200 bodies.

    By the way, first came 500, then 2000, then 200. The 500-series kept going though, and I believe that the 503CW is the newest body, although the design is still old.

    The CB lenses were budget lenses, although a few of these are also highly regarded. There is no CT lens to my knowledge. It must be C T*, where T* is the name for the famous Zeiss lens coating.
    Last edited by carstenw; 24th January 2010 at 10:28.
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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Proenca,

    I am in France, I have the 501CM with the 80 & 180mm & extender, all latest models, sold the 50 because I wanted to sell the full system to switch to digital. As I didn't sell the all thing I regret my 50mm, the lens I used most.
    I also have a bunch of Leicas, M & R and was a long time LF owner of a 4x5.

    Few notes you may get interested in :

    -If you want to go big print with your Leica you can, depends of the film/treatment combination. I used the Kodak technical Pan in Technidol and get great results but go here :http://www.imx.nl/photo/Film/page166/page166.html

    -Square framing is natural to me and I love it. The pict is inversed on the focusing screen but it never disturbed me at all, I don't even notice but it may be different for you and will force you to think at what you are doing, I see it more as an advantage in fact.

    -Twelve frames may be going fast, not for me, I seldom snap more than a handful. That's the reason the Leica film last me a life time the development is always a surprise as I forgot what's on. So the 12 frames are very fine with me.

    -The digital back CFV cost an arm & a leg, while I would like to get one the cropping factor is a pain, the wider lens is 40 far too long focal for these backs, so I don't miss it.

    Michel

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    One minor correction: the image on the ground glass is reversed (side-to-side), not inversed (upside-down)
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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    I really really should try to find a lens for my 501CM as soon as possible, the more threads i read here and there about getting 500 series killing me that i have one and didn't use it at all yet, and i am confusing between buying a used lens which easy or wait to buy a new lens which is a bit pricey and not sure if it is worthy to buy new, but really i don't like to have a second hand or used gear even it is in excellent mint/condition, i always has a bug that i should get new so i never complain later if any issue there.

    I was thinking a lot and i feel i should go with used lens but that 80mm one, because i will not use it that much maybe, i want to get that 50mm or 400mm as i love landscapes and i want to be in wide angle side so i may use this FL more, but i am again confused with the models available, C, CF, CFE/CFi,...

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Professional, if money is no issue, and you want new, buy this:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Distagon.html

    If that is too much, buy this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Hasselblad-50mm-...item2c52dbeaab
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    500 c/m are great . I use mine very often and I'm never disapointed. I have a hasselblad 500 c/m gallery on flickr:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/westerw...7605926582275/

    Cheers,
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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Quote Originally Posted by emmawest72 View Post
    500 c/m are great . I use mine very often and I'm never disapointed. I have a hasselblad 500 c/m gallery on flickr:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/westerw...7605926582275/

    Cheers,
    Nice photos William. I will be checking your gallery as I too enter into the MF world of photography with a Hasselblad.

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Thanks Wjlapier. Glad I can be of some inspiration..hopefully. I have had my 500cm for almost 10 years with a 80mm lens and some of the pictures I value the most have been taken with this cam/lens. I find this combo really excellent as you can do more or less everything with it, from portraits to landscape. Infact, I have very seldom felt the need for an additional lens.

    Enjoy the fun!
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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    I was thinking a lot and i feel i should go with used lens but that 80mm one, because i will not use it that much maybe, i want to get that 50mm or 400mm as i love landscapes and i want to be in wide angle side so i may use this FL more, but i am again confused with the models available, C, CF, CFE/CFi,...
    Hard to beat the 50mm Distagon for wide angle....it's one of my favorites. I also have the 40mm CFE IF and it's a beauty.....but MUCH more expensive. I never would have bought it alone, but it was part of my 503CWD-II package.

    I think if I was going to have a two lens setup it would be a 50mm and 100mm lens (or maybe the 120 Makro Planar). A three lens setup would be the 50, 100 and 180.

    If you can afford them, buy the CFE/CFi versions.

    Gary

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Professional, if money is no issue, and you want new, buy this:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Distagon.html

    If that is too much, buy this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Hasselblad-50mm-...item2c52dbeaab
    The first one is in my list long time ago, i know about it, but pricey, not because i don't have the money, but because i also investing on something else [H3DII-39 lenses line, and now traded-in H3DII for H4D, Profoto lights,....etc]. So i hope i will save or get money somewhere to fund this lens, definitely 50mm is my top lens to buy for 501cm.

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Hard to beat the 50mm Distagon for wide angle....it's one of my favorites. I also have the 40mm CFE IF and it's a beauty.....but MUCH more expensive. I never would have bought it alone, but it was part of my 503CWD-II package.

    I think if I was going to have a two lens setup it would be a 50mm and 100mm lens (or maybe the 120 Makro Planar). A three lens setup would be the 50, 100 and 180.

    If you can afford them, buy the CFE/CFi versions.

    Gary
    For this 500 series, i may agree with you, but, 50mm is definitely the top priority, and i may or may not get 80mm, but i will go with 150mm instead of 100mm, also i want to have 40mm but it is really crazy expensive, so i think i will limit myself with 50, 80, and 150.
    Why i didn't go with 120 makro? because i will buy 120 macro for my H series camera [I have now H3DII and i traded-in for H4D].

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    Re: Im thinking to buy a 500 C/M - Im nuts ?

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    ...working with medium format (and even more so with large format) is really a different experience from shooting 35mm. Slows you down with time to think about each shot more so than when using 35mm...especially if you use a handheld light light meter etc.
    I'll tell what slows me down, is having an important shoot you have spent months of preperation on. The size of the camera has nothing to do with it for me.

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