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01-25-2012, 04:19 AM   #1
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New to medium format -Pentax 6x7 or Hasselblad 500 series?

Hi,

I have had great time with my friends Yashica D which he lent me for a while. My interest in medium format has ever since grown dramatically, and now Im thinking of buying my first MF camera. I have been looking at the Pentax 6x7 and Hasselblad systems mainly.

Pentax seems to be the cheaper option, and they seem to have very good glass available, but it seems to be a bit on the heavy side. Hasselblad is of course a legendary brand with great glass and more modular system.

I shoot mainly landscape, long exposures and also some portrait stuff, with and without strobes.

Could anybody here give their opinions about these two systems? Which one would be better for my intended purposes?

Thanks!

01-25-2012, 10:14 AM   #2
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Two things I would think about is what format I want to shoot--square or 6x7. And whether I want an eye-level or waist level camera--the Pentax is a better eye level camera and a Hasselblad a better waist-level camera although both can do both.
01-25-2012, 10:36 AM   #3
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Having owned a 67 for many years, I can say that on many occasions I had wished I had a Hassy for studio work. (Because of the greater options available). But for outdoor stuff, I was perfectly happy with the 67.
01-25-2012, 10:37 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I have both a P67 (over 20 years now) and a 500C/M. For the record, a Pentax 6x7 with a WLF and 90mm lens weights almost the same as a 500C/M with a 80mm. The difference being the insignificant weight of carrying an extra back for the Hasselblad. Someone said, hey, that is the lightest configuration of the P67; that's not fair. But it is also the lightest configuration of the 500C/M too and an equal configuration.

Yes, the Pentax 67 is a more economical system with a lot of relatively inexpensive glass. If that is important, the choice is clear. The Hasselblad has some nice features for me though and it is the camera I'll grab to go out shooting first. MF film cameras are a series of compromises it seems. But here are some reasons why I like the 500C/M. Your mileage may vary.
  • Hot swapping backs. I can shoot BW on one shot and shoot color the very next shot.
  • Specialized film development. I can devote a roll of film to customized metering and development for compression or expansion of the highlights easier because of the swapping backs (which I do a lot).
  • One filter fits almost all lenses. Buy all your lenses you can as bay 60 and you only need to carry one color filter set for BW work. I have a 50/60/80/100/120/150mm lenses and all bay 60 using only one filter size and a couple of lens hoods. It really cuts the bulk down since I don't do stepper rings.
  • Leaf shutter lenses. Better for handhold, flash work and smaller, lighter tripods when there is no gusting wind.
  • Versatility and flexibility. I can go out not knowing what I'm going to shoot and carry 3 lenses, several backs, an assortment of film and cover a lot of situations on the fly.
Both cameras are fun to shoot and a great system so you can't go to wrong with either.


Last edited by tuco; 01-25-2012 at 12:13 PM.
01-25-2012, 12:36 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the helpful answers!

Tuco made a very good point about the filter size and the swapping of the film backs - Good to know!

Is it easy to set the mirror lock-up on Hassy? And how about the flash sync, I understood that the Pc-sync cord is attached to the lenses? Do all lenses have this option in Hassie land?

It seems that they are both good systems, but now it seems that the Hasselblad would be more for my liking..
01-25-2012, 12:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by _quicksilver_ Quote
...
Tuco made a very good point about the filter size and the swapping of the film backs - Good to know!

Is it easy to set the mirror lock-up on Hassy? And how about the flash sync, I understood that the Pc-sync cord is attached to the lenses? Do all lenses have this option in Hassie land?

You lock the barn doors open and mirror up with a push of a button on the RH side just under the winder. It is easy.

The PC sync cord connects to the lenses and they all have that. I don't know how many times, but a lot, my flashes did not fire on the P67 due to a loose/bad connection of the cord to the body of my 6x7. On my Zeiss CF T* lenses, however, the PC sync locks in and fits extremely snug and I have never had the flash not fire due to a poor connection.
01-25-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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Hasselblad

Look on eBay or local Craigslist and you will find an endless supply of Hasselblad V system parts & accessories. The 500 C/M will also accept digital backs of various vintage & specifications. My two 500C/Ms have only one jammed barn door in 30+ years of service and zero problem on the Zeiss CF lenses. How does that sound for reliability?

The drawback on the V system are squareness, not easy to handheld and relatively heavy for its' size. According to urban legend, shutter speed of 1/125 or higher is a must when hand held any CF lenses in order to avoid mirror/barn door vibration. I did get away with 1/60 or higher on a 50mm lens.

Ditch the "standard" 80mm lens if you mainly shot landscape & portrait, unless you need the speed of f/2.8 or compactness. This lens is sharp at at all aperture, so you can pretty much crop the image anyway you want for enlargement.

Last edited by MJL; 01-25-2012 at 04:54 PM.
01-25-2012, 09:20 PM   #8
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I am less interested in name dropping e.g. Pentax vs Hasselblad, and much more interested in fundamental photographic / visual skill.
You either love it or loathe it: the 6x6 vs the 6x7 (which is also the "ideal format as it needs no cropping) is generally an acquired taste that you will only get the hook of by taking the plunge one or the other, and see how it goes with you. The 6x6 (the format among several I favour for my Zero Image 6x9 multiformat pinhole camera) is attractive if you know how to fit the subject to the square and fill it; the 6x7 takes more skill to fit the subject to the frame. Remember that what is ideal for others may not necessarily be idea for you; the only way to know if 'fly blind' and go for what instinct tells you. Then go out and photograph. :ugh:

01-26-2012, 09:56 AM   #9
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I was thinking of getting a Fuji GX680III for studio and landscape - what do you guys think of this? Yes, it's quite bulky (probably like a RZ67) but it comes with soo many great features that the 67 or the Hassy just can't provide.
01-26-2012, 10:22 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by phonoline Quote
I was thinking of getting a Fuji GX680III for studio and landscape - what do you guys think of this? Yes, it's quite bulky (probably like a RZ67) but it comes with soo many great features that the 67 or the Hassy just can't provide.
At ~10lbf (4.5kgf) with a 135mm lens, yeah, I'd say it gives the RZ67 a run for the money on size and weight and it looks like one damn nice camera. How is the availability of lenses for that system, I wonder.

Last edited by tuco; 01-26-2012 at 10:31 AM.
01-28-2012, 04:21 PM   #11
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Hey

Love my Pentax 67, with a 75mm f/4.5 Super Takumar. Great set-up
01-28-2012, 05:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by phonoline Quote
I was thinking of getting a Fuji GX680III for studio and landscape - what do you guys think of this? Yes, it's quite bulky (probably like a RZ67) but it comes with soo many great features that the 67 or the Hassy just can't provide.
It is a great camera. It does better in the studio because of the size. But I am also a believer in using what inspires you. I am sure you can get it working as a great field camera.
01-28-2012, 06:35 PM   #13
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I picked up a Mamiya Super 23 kit with 6 x 7 back, wide angle finder plus wide angle and standard lens in London. Jacobs were having a clear out of medium format giving additional 30% off when some were already 50% off. Anyone used the super 23. I was intreged by it and haven't tested it out as yet. Cost me 300 for the whole kit...with a 12 month warranty!

here she is:



Last edited by itshimitis; 01-28-2012 at 06:45 PM.
01-28-2012, 06:58 PM   #14
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MUP (Mamiya Universal Press) series are great RF cameras, have a huge line of accessories, so you can shot I think up to 4X5 film and Polaroid (Fuji now). I think the Super 23 was the last MUP model they made and Polaroid has a run (600 & 600SE) on that. The price may be a bit high, but I think they are usually more expensive in Europe. Congrad!
01-29-2012, 04:47 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
At ~10lbf (4.5kgf) with a 135mm lens, yeah, I'd say it gives the RZ67 a run for the money on size and weight and it looks like one damn nice camera. How is the availability of lenses for that system, I wonder.
The availability of lenses for the GX680 system isn't the prob. The prob is the availability of the camera itself (III)! Very hard to get as it looks (for a reasonable price).

QuoteOriginally posted by Yamanobori Quote
It is a great camera. It does better in the studio because of the size. But I am also a believer in using what inspires you. I am sure you can get it working as a great field camera.
Did you ever work with it? How good are tilt/shift exactly? Probably doesn't come close to large format cameras, huh?
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