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Medium format first timer: a few months on with the Hasselblad 500C/M – by Rick DavyMedium format first timer: a few months on with the Hasselblad 500C/M – by Rick Davy

Medium format first timer: a few months on with the Hasselblad 500C/M – by Rick Davy

It’s been a few months now since I came into the world of medium format and became a Hasselblad owner. I have to say, its the most pleasurable camera I think I’ve ever owned.

The first time I picked it up I thought the weight might be an issue, not in the slightest. If anything its an advantage. Steadying the camera is a dream and it’s solid and super comfortable to shoot with.

I love the fact that when the Hasselblad comes out of my camera bag, the reaction from everyone who sees it. Those who recognise it, love it and those who don’t, stand back and admire it.

I must admit, it makes me smile time after time

 

Focusing

I love the waist level viewfinder. It’s clear, crisp and very engaging when you look into it. With the addition of the magnifier, this makes focussing a breeze. I’m a full-time glasses wearer and without the magnifier, I reckon I’d struggle. Maybe that’s just me or I’m just getting old… Hell!!

 

The lens

My Hasselblad came with the standard Zeiss 80mm Planar C 2.8. I’ve run with Zeiss for years. Their lenses are always-pin sharp and outstanding quality.

The 80mm focal length puts me on all of the subjects I’ve shot so far but the more I use it, the more I’m tempted to invest in some more glass, just to get a slightly wider angle or perhaps closer to my subject matter.

 

Sample images

Since my last article, I’ve shot a few more rolls I’d like to share. They were all shot on Kodak 120 film in a mixture of Portra 160, Portra 400NC and Ektar 100, both fresh and expired.

 

 

Conclusion

Without doubt the Hasselblad 500 CM is the best camera I’ve had the pleasure of owning – and I’m a massive Leica owner and fan. I’ve had several conversations with other like-minded individuals since owning my Hasselblad and I’ve urged them all to go medium format, but more importantly, go Hasselblad.

A final note if I may. I really do believe that if I’d discovered medium format and the Hasselblad 500CM earlier, I’d be a better photographer today. I really do…

Thanks for reading,

~ Rick

 

 

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About The Author

Rick Davy

I shoot real & vivid. No tweaks...

9 Comments

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  1. rick davy

    Thank you Eddie. That info is really useful

    Reply
  2. Eddie Mallin

    On a cautionary note having used them for about 15 years, the Hasselblad film backs do need maintenance. The older ones can be problematic and need to be serviced regularly which adds a little expense. If buying try get the latest model you can. One really good back is better than two mediocre ones. The light seals also need to be replaced which is an easy enough job to do yourself. I’ve just this week purchased a second all black CM body and meter prism.

    Reply
  3. Oops nevermind the prism then, sorry. You could use Chimney but people generally don’t like them if they can achieve focus without, and you can obviously get a focus with the waist. If you ever get 60 or 150 lens you may not be able to use waist anymore because wide open is a stop darker: in that case prism is good but raises eye-point and a tripod would be best for that.

    Reply
  4. rick davy

    I dont use a tripod. I always shoot hand held

    Reply
  5. Nice kit and those large diameter lenses make for a difference you can see.

    Since you use a tripod you might want to know the numbers for accessory stuff:
    Magnifying hood 52094. 3x mag + built-in adjustable diopter for plus or minus 3
    Magnifying hood 42013. 2.5x mag + built-in adjustable diopter. These are older
    45 deg magnifying prism PM5 42308 or 42307. 3x mag no dioper
    45 deg magnifying prism PM45 42309. 2x mag with adjustable diopter (plus 1, minus 2) brighter than PM5

    – You can also get a swing-over viewfinder magnifier to add to your 45 prism (42459 for PM5, 42462 for PM45) as an accessory to the prism; it has adjustable diopter (plus minus 3+) and makes everything +6 magnified and you really can’t miss with those two items together.

    Reply
  6. rick davy

    I did todd. I do develop B&W but not colour. I send all my 120mm colour films to the guys at AG Photolab. They offer a great service……

    Reply
  7. Steven J Parkes

    Super photos, and I’m drooling over that ‘splitty’ as well as the 500CM!

    Reply
    • rick davy

      thank you Steven. A very rare splitty indeed.

      Reply
  8. Todd Reed

    Did you shoot all at box speed, and did you develop yourself?

    As I too reach my upper 50’s, the 500CM is on of my retirement dream cameras! Thanks for the nudge!! May have to sell the Pentax 645.

    Reply

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