I have always wanted one and now I can't get it out of my head. I have been looking for one in my price range of $850 but most are more. What should I be checking if I do find one? Should I stay away from the 500C?
...However, I just couldn’t jive with their unreliability. They jam up often. So much so, that they sell a tool to unjam it in the field... .
...They’re precision engineered to the point that the tiniest grain of dust can lock them up...
....They’re like an exotic sports car. They’re amazing when they’re working right. They’ll make all of your friends jealous. But they spend a lot of time in the shop and cost a bunch to own and maintain.
Strange. I never experienced a jam in the 4 years I used mine. Granted, it is a low-mileage 2002 503CW, perhaps this plays a role? I could imagine that tolerances might become looser with heavy use and this could make the camera more prone to jams... or maybe you just got a bad sample...I got rid of mine. I loved how light the hasselblad was. Also, the lenses were terrific. However, I just couldn’t jive with their unreliability. They jam up often.
I got rid of mine. I loved how light the hasselblad was. Also, the lenses were terrific. However, I just couldn’t jive with their unreliability. They jam up often. So much so, that they sell a tool to unjam it in the field.
They also need frequent work. A lot more so than most cameras. They’re precision engineered to the point that the tiniest grain of dust can lock them up. Due to the price to have the body and lenses CLA’d and the frequency with which they needed the work done,
I got rid of mine ... I decided that camera just wasn’t for me.
Try to get one of the newer bodies, like Sirius suggested, though for your budget that may be hard. I'd go for a 503CX, 503CXi, 503CW or 501CM. As said, avoid the old C/CT lenses that have a metal focusing ring, I don't like the ergonomics of how the shutter/aperture are coupled and the metal focus ring really hurts after a while with the heavy focusing.
I've owned 3, 2x 501CM and a 500ELX. They are impressive pieces of engineering though eventually I sold them all. One died, the others I decided that in the end I just don't really like shooting with them, though the results are excellent.
Goods bits? Amazing results, wide selection of lenses and they are very pretty cameras and very nicely designed.
Bad bits? I've had one die, one needing service for an iffy shutter release, two backs leaked light. You could argue these are to be expected but the service cost is quite high. Other bad bits, the non motorised bodies have stiff shutter releases, makes it hard to get good results below 1/60. Focus is very slow as well (long through and heavy). Everything is expensive (accessories, lenses, back) and these things are appreciating nowadays.
Regardless of whether you like it or not, expect great results and you probably won't lose money if you decide to move on.
I would recommend that you get one of the newer bodies, 1990 or later. I have the 503 CX and the 903 SWC. The date coding is in the serial number HVPICTURES where
H = 1
V = 2
P = 3
I = 4
C = 5
T = 6
U = 7
R = 8
E = 9
S = 0
So ESxxxxx would be 1990, 0Hxxxx would be 2001.
I recommend CF or later lenses. Springs for the C lenses can be hard to find, while parts for the CF and later lenses are readily available. Most CF lenses use the B-60 filter so one set of filters will fit almost all the CF and later lenses.
http://www.hasselbladhistorical.eu/HS/HSTable.aspx Upper Left box for dating
I have bought most of my Hasselblad cameras and lenses from Samys in Los Angeles and Dead Link Removed.
Feel free to contact me with any questions or for advice.
On rare occasion an off camera lens has fired and I had to recock the lens. Once or twice I have had a Hasselblad jam but that was caused by a recently purchased lens that needed a CLA. Most camera jams for any type of camera are caused by an Operator Assisted Failure [OAF: usuage ==> the oaf did this or the oaf did that]
That is just not the case. Of the many cameras that I have owned, the Hasselblad has been better than most cameras in reliability.
Probably the only thing you did right with any camera!
... When it comes to the lens, I would definitely recommend saving a bit extra for the black "T*"series lens, because as Sirius said, they're a lot more recent and the springs can be replaced if necessary...
When I used to work with and around wedding photographers who used film in the film for weddings days, they would all:
1) marvel at how good the Hasselblad was for weddings; and
2) complain at how often they needed to have their cameras serviced.
The servicing was almost never for some catastrophic problem. Essentially, it was just maintenance and adjustment.
I think that the cameras and lenses were designed that way - service them regularly and they would be real workhorses.
|Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. |
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.
PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY: