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04-06-2010, 09:50 AM   #16
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Biggest difference operationally is that the standard finder for the Hassy is waist-level and the Pentax has an integrated prism. How you enjoy shooting comes down mostly to personal preference. Some will argue that a WLF and the square format that doesn't require horizontal or vertical compositional choices is the best way to work on the street. I'd beg to differ. The Pentax offers perhaps the closest thing to a 35mm SLR in terms of ergonomics, and that is not a bad thing as the ergonomics are terrific. (They tell me Contaxes are even nicer, but I've not ever seen one here in the flesh on the West Coast.)

There are prism finders for Hasselblads and other modular cameras, but once you start adding up all the system pieces to put together such a system, the Pentax 645/645N/645NII are revealed to be incredible bargains. That's true even compared to Bronica ETRSi's and Mamiyas of all stripes. Few of the Pentax lenses are real dogs and there are some stellar performers right up there with the best of the best.

04-06-2010, 07:35 PM   #17
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I own a Hasselblad system and find myself using it over any other camera I own for fine work, especially fine art, landscapes, architectural and close-ups. The magnified viewfinder allows for extremely precise focusing when you have the time. There are literally thousands of configurations for the system using various backs, lenses, viewfinders, body accessories and attachments. I have a setup with 50mm, 80mm and 120mm makro lenses that will cover most situations. I have a few extension tubes for close work with the makro-planar and a pair of film backs.

I wondered about trading in for a 645NII, which would work with my Pentax flashes and release, but I think the kinds of photography I would want to use it for would be different. Using the Hasselblad for me is a meditative experience. I can be perfectly happy with two exposures in a half hour in the field, because I'm forced to slow down. I used to use large format for that reason in part but had to stop because of the price of 4x5" sheet transparency developing. The 645NII shooting style would be too similar to the kind of photography I do with a 35mm camera, where I'm not as concern about print size but am trying to document or record.

Finally, the Hassy is built like a tank. If I ever can't find a rock to pound in a tent stake, I could use the Hasselblad.
04-06-2010, 08:07 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Green Chile Quote
Finally, the Hassy is built like a tank. If I ever can't find a rock to pound in a tent stake, I could use the Hasselblad.
Ackkk! Say it ain't so Green Chile!

Very true...they are built like a tank....but a very precise, beautifully made Swedish/German tank.

Even the thought of pounding one of my Hassies on anything makes me cringe (although the camera itself would hardly notice the shock of it all).

Gary
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04-09-2010, 05:42 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ivan J. Eberle Quote
Biggest difference operationally is that the standard finder for the Hassy is waist-level and the Pentax has an integrated prism. How you enjoy shooting comes down mostly to personal preference. Some will argue that a WLF and the square format that doesn't require horizontal or vertical compositional choices is the best way to work on the street. I'd beg to differ. The Pentax offers perhaps the closest thing to a 35mm SLR in terms of ergonomics, and that is not a bad thing as the ergonomics are terrific. (They tell me Contaxes are even nicer, but I've not ever seen one here in the flesh on the West Coast.)

There are prism finders for Hasselblads and other modular cameras, but once you start adding up all the system pieces to put together such a system, the Pentax 645/645N/645NII are revealed to be incredible bargains. That's true even compared to Bronica ETRSi's and Mamiyas of all stripes. Few of the Pentax lenses are real dogs and there are some stellar performers right up there with the best of the best.
The Pentax 645 is the biggest bargain in photography, IMHO, though the coming of the digital model is making it a little less so. No where can you get the quality and features for the price of used 645 equipment, especially the manual focus. I enjoy my rig, but my only niggle is the lack of a waist level option. It is hard to find even a right angle finder for it. The one time I came across a refconverter it cost almost as much as my original 645 and lenses.

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