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chrome hasselblad 500cm

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by photogirl, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. photogirl

    photogirl Member

    Hi - I'm buying a hasselblad 500cm, I like the look and feel of the chrome models but realise they are older. I have found a chrome one which is dated 1972 and a black one dated 1988 for body and 1987 for back, the condition and state of both seeming fairly similar. Some reading/advice says the chrome ones often last better than the black ones and as the black is layed on top of the chrome that flaking in the coating can be a problem - but I have also read conflicting tales which include the black ones being the better lasting, age really mattering and there being difficulties in repair/servicing of the chrome ones...

    any views to share or advice to give?

    many thanks
  2. grahamm

    grahamm Member

    Hi photogirl

    Years ago I had a choice between 2 nearly identical motorcycles and nearly chose one because I liked the colour. The dealer pointed out that the last thing I should chose on was the colour because you can learn to live with the colour. He was right and I kept that bike for 25 years, and I think the same probably applies here.

    Forget the colour and look carefully again at the condition of the two cameras.

    I have a chrome 500CM and love it to bits, it really made me slow down and think about my photography, and helped me produce some wonderful shots...

    There are other issues apart from the cosmetics... Does the film insert number match the back? If not you may get spacing issues between fames. Have you checked for light tightness and the condition of the felt seals? (try using a torch in a dark room)

    16 years older is an awful lot older. That could be an awful lot more wear on the lens shutter. I think all the 'Blads (and more importantly the lenses) of that age are now 'unsupported' but I'm sure you'll still find independents who will look after them.

    Is the chrome one a C rather than a CM? In which case I don't think you can change the screen yourself (I replaced my screen with a Beattie one which really improved focussing). I can't remember the exact details but some reasearch on Google will help.

    I understand that the black does tend to rub off with age/use, but if it hasn't by now then it's probably well attached!

    Hope I've been of some help in guiding your choice.
  3. photogirl

    photogirl Member

    Hi Grahamm, thanks for your generous and helpful response.

    Unfortunately I am buying somewhat blind as due to location I'm reliant on a very well respected camera shop mail order process - hence my hesitations, feels v odd to buy unseen even with return option and guarantee in place. I'm sure the decision would be easier if I could get my hands on them.

    I have decided on the 500cm for similar reasons to those you outline, I want to be back thinking and making decisions about shots and enjoying the camera functions in a more direct way - I started on fully manual 35mm's as my 10th Birthday present was a camera way older than me from my Dads kit - and having researched MF for some months and looking at a range of cameras determined the 500cm matches my needs, preferences and price tags. Dad is threatening to pinch it mind and went all dewy eyed. Great to hear you love yours.

    In terms of these two cameras : they are both cm's - and had the screens changed (to grid screen but not sure of make - thanks for Beattie tip, I'd read they were useful). The lens for the older one is being cleaned prior to sale which the shop claims means it 'will be like new optically', the black one has a v v small amount of dust in lens that is apparently unlikely to be problematic. The chrome one is in slightly better shape than the black one, and I'm told both are good for light tightness.

    Like you I think the age difference is considerable, which was what was tempting me away from the chrome finish -- although the guy in the shop said if he was choosing he'd go for the chrome one, and he had them in his hand and was recommending the slightly cheaper one. It was the age difference that made me think I ought to go for the black one despite my aesthetic preference as I do realise that is a more secondary issue, so I was suprised when he said that, for him the lens service seemed to swing it.

    I appreciate your advice on repair options - good to know they are in the same position for that.

    Ohhh decisions, decisions, what a difficult life!
  4. grahamm

    grahamm Member

    As you say... decisions! An enviable position to be in :)

    Since the shutter is in the lens having it serviced (or is it just a clean?) is of great value. Perhaps since this is sight unseen the thing to do is trust the recommendation of the man on the spot!

    I don't know who you are buying from, but there are plenty of other dealers out there if this one doesn't have exactly what you want. I have bought s/hand stuff in the past from several dealers who I would highly recommend including:

    Good luck and enjoy your 'new' camera

  5. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Actually that's not so. It is true that the chrome version was being made before the black type appeared, but both types were then produced in parallel until replaced by the 501 model.

    What you should perhaps avoid unless very sure of yourself are the old chrome Zeiss lenses for Hasselblad. It was announced by Hasselblad quite a few years ago now that the spares they held for this type were effectively exhausted, meaning the only way of repairing a broken lens was to cannibalise another.

    If chrome lenses appeal, the good news is that Zeiss have announced three 'classic style' lenses for the so-called "V-System" 'blads (that's the 500 series cameras to you and I). So far there are 50mm, 120mm Makro and 180mm on the way. If these are successful I'm sure the other most popular focal lengths will follow.
  6. photogirl

    photogirl Member

    Thank-you Tim, that is very useful. The one I have been looking at is a T* which I think means it may not be chrome - but I will check as I think a few chrome ones did get T coated.

    Nice to know Hasselblad are bringing them back -I do think they look smart, and cameras should be beautiful (as long as they are also high quality & effective of course). But might be a while before I can afford a new Zeiss lens!
  7. Rhys

    Rhys Sasquatch

    I think the older chrome lenses aren't coated (as said, look for the T* which denotes the coating). Never know the older one may not have been used as much as the newer on and might possibly be in better condition?
    You can always trawl ebay as well, the 80mm CF lenses aren't greatly expensive being the standard size. I picked up mine for a couple of hundred. You could always go the route I origionaly went - which was to buy a body, then a back and finaly a lens. Ask for deatiled photos of the cameras - and a guarentee.
    Whatever you do I hope you end up with a realy nice example - you can't beat that 'Plock' sound of a 'blad firing.
    Another thing is, you can always upgrade bits as and when you choose as they are all interchangable.
  8. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Oh, and when checking the back, ensure both the back and the insert have the same serial. Mixing and matching might not work so well together as a pair.
  9. photogirl

    photogirl Member

    thanks again to everyone - that is great to know the importance of the back matching as I wondered if that would make any difference. That cuts a few out of the offers I have been made. Have asked for reassurance over the T* status of the chrome lens just to be sure, waiting a reply, then can balance that against the other factors. Getting to want one in my hands, but realise rushing in isn't the answer!
  10. Rhys

    Rhys Sasquatch

    I remember taking some pics while at college on a 500cm - I was getting ghosts appearing (was in a churchyard at the time - spooky eh?) anyway, I got a great shot of the main church window from outside with light rays coming from it. No-one at college could explain this wierd phenomenon (they even sent the pic to the local paper) until my old photography lecturer explained it ws due to light getting in the dark slide slot - a sometimes common occurence with older backs. She knew this as she had used blads for many years and I think it had happend to her at some point. Just thought it was worth mentioning.
  11. Blad_the_paler

    Blad_the_paler Well-Known Member

    Hey, I hope you got your Hasselblad. Chrome lenses are not T* coated but produce a far superior 'old style' image which is a lot softer and more acceptable than the newer CFe lenses. These are far sharper and a lot more contrasty. Think of a Nikon lens. Chrome Blads wear a lot better than the black ones and it makes no difference how old your Blad is. They will always be repairable. Mine dates from Milan, 1973 and is as good now as it ever was. I use A12 and A16 backs and a whole host of lenses. I use CFe's and CFi's and of course, an old chrome C just for effect. As camera's go, only a Leica is going to be as prestigious or maybe a Rollei. Plastic Japanese rubbish is exactly that, plastic rubbish. I hope you got your wish and I hope you use it with pride. They are an establishment not just a camera. How many more can say that...?
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Maybe a Rollei? Maybe a Rollei? No contest, Rolleis win hands down! :D
  13. photogirl

    photogirl Member

    Wow - I'll put you down as a fan then! Yes, thanks, went for chrome and now have 2 chrome lenses haveing bought a 150mm C as well. I am really enjoying using it all and no problems as yet re equipment (touch wood)

    It is amazing how many people stop me to have a look at it and ask questions - seems there are a lot of people out there who would be happy to have it!
  14. photogirl

    photogirl Member

    ahhh but a Hasselblad in the hand is worth two rolleis in the bush Nick! But I'm not complaining if someone wants to give me a rollei - bring it on!!!!
  15. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Dreadfully sorry, but you can't have one of mine! :D
  16. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Be honest Nick - how long would it take you to notice one was missing? Counting your Rolleis must be like painting the Forth Bridge! ;-)
  17. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Hmmm, you have a point! :eek: :D
  18. ceb83

    ceb83 Member

    Hi photogirl,

    Enjoyed :eek: a similar experience whist shooting my very first roll of 120 on my first 500CM last summer.

    Driving along, came across a field of flax just off the road. Couldn't resist. Pulled up onto the grass kerb, all wheels off the road.

    Set-up tripod, metering, ND filters, etc..

    Honestly, within 5 minutes had been joined by a Nikon-wielding American couple, followed shortly afterwards by a husband and wife visiting from Australia; she wanted to know what, "the little blue flowers were", whilst the husband wanted to know more about the Hassie.

    If you encounter problems in the future, get in touch with Camserve at Herstmoncaux in Sussex. They're excellent. Fast turnaround, good guarantee, etc. and cheap!!

  19. Blad_the_paler

    Blad_the_paler Well-Known Member

    There you have it. Don't believe anyone into Rollei. The lenses are no better and, ultimately, they produce the image. Anyone who is anyone is going to connect with a Blad. I have a whole load of lenses and they are stunning especially with Kodak Tri-X film if you're into mono. The old C type T* black 50mm is an absolute corker but my fave is a CB 160mm. Yes I know, people slag it off but they don't know what I know...!!! ENJOY...!!!
  20. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    But Rollei lenses ARE better - you can have the same Zeiss choices as Hassel, or go for the top-rate Schneider lenses. :cool:

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