What's great about Hasselblads?

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BetterSense

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In skateboarding and biking circles, Hasseblads seem to be some kind of fetish camera. I'm not seeing what it is about the camera that makes it particularly suited for skateboarding photography, but it could just be a trendiness thing. So maybe you can clue me in on that aspect first of all.

Second, a local man has an 'early model' 500C with 80mm and 120mm lenses and a spare back, for $500. This seems like a good price, but I think it's a really old model. Should I hold out for a newer model or just forget about it entirely?
 

frank

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the 120 macro lens is worth more than $500 on its own (assuming functional condition) so you'd be getting the camera and 80 lens for free.
 

BrianShaw

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I agree with your 'fetish' comment.

Re: getting one... hold out for a newer model.
 

Mike1234

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I would think that, given the quickly changing compositions of those sports, the square format would be a plus. I can't believe I just said something positive about square shooters because I really don't like them but they would excel at this type of thing.
 
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BetterSense

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The thing is, aren't hassy's waist-level SLRs? I wouldn't expect such a format to be good for action photography.
 

Krzys

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Skaters like the Hassy for its fetish appeal and more importantly its leaf shutter flash sync. Skaters love strobes.
 

Colin Corneau

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Being able to strobe at any speed would be really useful, especially in the more creatively free and dynamic 'boarding subculture.
Larger negs, top quality and (perhaps?) greater availability in a digital landscape are also likely
 
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BetterSense

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35mm and D SLRs often have flash sync speeds of 1/250th. How fast do hasselblad leaf shutters even operate?
 

Q.G.

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The thing is, aren't hassy's waist-level SLRs? I wouldn't expect such a format to be good for action photography.

One thing that made Hasselblad's cameras great cameras was that you can put any type of finder on it you would like.

(I know: other makes allow to do the same. But they were shown the route by Hasselblad.)
 

paul ron

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Get a Bronica ETRS or Si and you'll fall in love again. Why pay so much for an over rated old camera when for the same money you can get a really nice 645, leaf shutter sync to 1/500, prism and some nice glass... Oh and it's a really cool looking black beauty that just fits in the palm of your hand besides.

I like to use a speed grip and a focusing lever for quick action. The focusing lever of a Kowa fits very nicely.
 

frank

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hasselblads including old ones are designed and built to very high standards. they are the leica of mf cameras, imo.
 

removed account4

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maybe the best thing about them now is they are finally affordable!
(compared to $800 for a film back in 1988)
 

edtbjon

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35mm and D SLRs often have flash sync speeds of 1/250th. How fast do hasselblad leaf shutters even operate?

V series 'blads syncs at all speeds, i.e. up to 1/500. But when you compare this you have to take the negative/sensor size into account too as DoF is quite different when you compare most DSLR's APS size sensor to the 55x55mm of the 'blad. The same goes for comparing fullsize DSLR's/35mm cameras to 'blads.

Apart from that I do agree that (in an analogue world) e.g. a Nikon F5/Canon Eos1** or even better a Nikon F6 would be my first choice for action photography.
But again, it's doable with a Hasselblad. It just takes more practice and knowing your equipment very well. When you get it exactly right with the Hasselblad, just about nothing beats that negative.

//Björn
 

BrianShaw

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Having several personal failures... using a Hassy to photograph kiddie baseball and backetball, I wonder how the heck one would foucs fast enough to photograph skateboarding or biking. For me it isn't an issue of synch speed, it is an ability to focus a 35mm SLR (Nikon F3 in my case) a lot faster than a Hassy. There are days when I'd trade my wife for an auto-focus camera and IS in those situations. Oh... and also the relative cost difference for long focal-length lenses. Maybe it's just me, but I can neither focus a Hassy fast enough, or afford long Hassy lenses!
 

bdial

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The easiest way to focus action is don't.

Even with a 35, it's sometimes difficult to follow-focus moving subjects. One way to deal with this is to pre-focus to the location you think will make the best picture, then follow the subject until it gets to that place.
For example, for baseball you focus home plate, or a base then pan with the runner as they approach the base.

Another method is to zone focus, for baseball you might set infinity at the far point of the depth of field.

It takes understanding the action you are photographing and good timing, but takes the mechanics of trying to focus out of the equation, and lets you concentrate on getting the best picture.

Following action with a WLF is possible, but takes practice. However, there are sports finders and prisms available for those who can't get the hang of moving opposite to what you see in the finder.
 

Venchka

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I grew up thinking that a Hasselblad was the end all to beat all camera. Now that I have used one, I have to wonder what all the fuss was about. It's a nice camera, but so are all of my other cameras. As someone here pointed out, if you only have the 80mm lens and one back (as I do currently) a Rollei TLR with 80mm Planar is a smaller, quieter better camera. One more Magic Bullet that didn't fire as imagined.

Aren't skateboarders and BMXers all kids? What do kids know anyway? Ducking for cover.
 

Q.G.

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I grew up thinking that a Hasselblad was the end all to beat all camera. Now that I have used one, I have to wonder what all the fuss was about.

Just keep on using it.
And ask yourself that same question 50 years from now.
:wink:
 

Sirius Glass

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Having several personal failures... using a Hassy to photograph kiddie baseball and backetball, I wonder how the heck one would foucs fast enough to photograph skateboarding or biking. For me it isn't an issue of synch speed, it is an ability to focus a 35mm SLR (Nikon F3 in my case) a lot faster than a Hassy. There are days when I'd trade my wife for an auto-focus camera and IS in those situations. Oh... and also the relative cost difference for long focal-length lenses. Maybe it's just me, but I can neither focus a Hassy fast enough, or afford long Hassy lenses!

1) As with almost all sports, you focus before hand to an place where you will wait for the action to come to you. In this case, shooting a skate boarder close in, an AF could not focus fast enough - not an F3, an F4, an F5, F100, or and F6.

The price for the long lenses are about $500 to $800 in EX from KEH. Not all that expensive for the quality of the glass and we know that nothing beats a good piece of glass.

OP, I would tend to stay away from the early versions of the Hasselblad, considering how much use you will be putting it through. Look for a 503 CX or newer with CF lenses.

Steve
 

Mike1234

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Agree with the pre-focus technique but this works better if you know precisely where your subject is going... for instance bicyclers rounding a curve.
 

bdial

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Well, yeah, one big reason to choose a Hasselblad over a Rollei TLR is to have the ablility to change backs and lenses. If you have only one of each, you may not be getting the camera's full potential.

At least with the Rollei you get a built-in sports finder though.:tongue:
 
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