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02-20-2010, 06:24 PM   #1
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Hasselblad 503CW Vs. 645N

Hi guys!

a friend of mine owns a Hasselblad 503CW which he uses for some street shooting

now with all the MF buzz I was wondering how come the Hasselblad manual focus cost $1500 and the 645N is closer to $600 for an AF camera?

whats the difference ?

and if one day I would choose a Pentax MF what is your recommendation?

Thanks!

02-21-2010, 05:00 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by redpigeons Quote
Hi guys!

a friend of mine owns a Hasselblad 503CW which he uses for some street shooting

now with all the MF buzz I was wondering how come the Hasselblad manual focus cost $1500 and the 645N is closer to $600 for an AF camera?

whats the difference ?

and if one day I would choose a Pentax MF what is your recommendation?

Thanks!

The difference is that Pentax makes their living from selling millions of cameras a year, not a handful like Hassleblad!
I recommend the 645NII.
02-21-2010, 10:13 AM   #3
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I have a 500C/M and a Pentax 67. I like them both. But lately the Hassy has been getting the most use. In the case of the Pentax 67, the Hassy has the hot-swapping back which is the number one appeal to me. A 645 format is really not that big. And, for me, if I'm going to shoot 120 roll, I want a decent size image projected on it.

Another reason people choose the Hasselblad is because they want to shoot Zeiss glass. That glass does have a signature. And then there are those that seem to think square format is end-all, be-all in picture frames which I haven't found to be quite that exciting. But your friends Hassy can also shoot 645 format by changing backs in addition to putting on a digital back if you have money to burn.

Last edited by tuco; 02-21-2010 at 11:29 AM.
02-21-2010, 11:38 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
...
what a useless post

the blad is a very modular system. the camera comes in four "parts" that are interchangeable at any time.
1. the "C" lenses all have built-in leaf shutters.
2. mirror box
3. finder attachment, usually a waist level finder with magnifier or a prism attachment.
4. the backs, usually the 6x6 A12 or A24 backs

the blad is especially good if you need to do a lot of flash work because of the leaf shutters. zeiss lenses are great and very consistent. however, it is a fully manual camera. it is kind of a waste to use a blad if you don't like the square format, if you need to crop, you might as well use a 645 or a 67 instead. i've never used a 645, however the blad is beautifully built and a very "logical" camera system.

the 645NII has the advantage of full AE and AF making it an easier camera to use. as well the focal-plane shutter allows for higher maximum shutter speeds.

02-21-2010, 03:49 PM   #5
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Original Poster
Thanks guys!

I think it will be extremely hard for me to focus on the street with such a large format you can see every mistake on such a large film .

the 645N sounds fun with a wide lens for me .

I am absolutely new to MF photography

thanks for the replies
02-21-2010, 06:57 PM   #6
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I think you'll find the Pentax is a lot more affordable and the glass is just as good. The body is set up a lot more like an SLR and is automated to heck. But that is not to everyone's liking.

I haven't shot enough MF to be anything like an expert. But don't forget Mamiya, Bronica and other options as well.
02-22-2010, 01:05 PM   #7
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I supplemented my Hassy setup with the Pentax 645 not long after it's release in 1985.

I use it for faster motorized shooting over the ELM. I find the handling faster for faster shooting. I did not missed the leaf shutter in every lens not the interchangeable backs(you can burn through a roll of 120 in 20 seconds without trying).
In my pro shooting environment there were only a handful of time when I needed the fast sync of the C system. Pentax like all other MF systems has normal and portrait length leaf shutter lenses which were no more difficult to use as opposed to a C/M.

You will see the difference at extreme magnification with certain lenses doing focal length comparisons, Pentax is up to the task even with double page spread ads.
03-05-2010, 10:24 PM   #8
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Zeiss glasses don't come cheap. They are very well built with great contrast and color rendering. I shoot both Hassy and 645N and most of the time I don't see any difference between the two, however, when critical sharpness and contrast required for certain black and white shots, the Hassy is the one to go for. I shoot 645N hand-held while the Hassy always on tripod for landscapes and certain portraits. I love both cameras, however, the Hassy is the one I use the most. Nothing beat the Hassy focus screen, it's just wonderful everytime I look down into the viewfinder. You just have to use it in order to know how wonderful it is.

03-05-2010, 11:16 PM   #9
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A number of years ago, a local photographer brought a neg from his Hassy to me for printing. He needed an 11x14 print of a cropped section of the negative that was slightly bigger than a 35mm frame.
It was a picture of an apartment building that he had photographed from some distance in order to avoid tilting the camera upwards and getting keystoneing.
In the final print, I was able to count the individual bricks and see the texture of them.
That was when my eyes were opened about Hasselblad.
Nothing else touches them for pure image quality.
03-26-2010, 09:46 AM   #10
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I always wanted a 645, but they were always out of touch with my wallet. Now that digital rules the world, they are somewhat less expensive. Having been a Pentax guy for 30 years, I always wanted to remain in the brand, so to speak. I search all the normal used market places and to get what I thought I wanted was still a chunk of change, for me. But I still had a craving. That is until I found another brand medium format for a pittance. I've got 3 backs that I can swap back and forth in the middle of the roll.....thats a huge plus. If I had found a 645 at that price point with the perceived value, I'd have one right now. I may still try to find one in decent shape at some point, just because. Just because has kept me Pentax for a long time. I'm taking pictures for me, so its really not that important. So if any of y'all have one for "a pittance"...........holler at me.
03-31-2010, 01:42 PM   #11
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I'd probably go with the Hasselblad if the prices were even in the same universe. My entire 645 setup with four lenses and four inserts cost less than a single Zeiss lens. The optics for the 'Blad are superb, but the feature I covet most is the hot swapping of film types.

My next 6x7 may be a Mamiya, though. If it is an RB, I already use several of the backs. The optics for the rangefinders have tested out on a par with the Zeiss.
04-01-2010, 01:35 PM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
The optics for the 'Blad are superb,
there are third party adaptors Hasselblad V -> Pentax 645 .
You can use Carl Zeiss´lenses on a P645
Take the best of two worlds
04-01-2010, 01:38 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by veraikon Quote
there are third party adaptors Hasselblad V -> Pentax 645 .
You can use Carl Zeiss´lenses on a P645
Take the best of two worlds
I've noticed that. The best of both worlds would really be if the 645 took the film backs, too.

By the way, that is a pretty big triangle in which you are located.
04-01-2010, 02:13 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by veraikon Quote
there are third party adaptors Hasselblad V -> Pentax 645 .
You can use Carl Zeiss´lenses on a P645
Take the best of two worlds
Wow....I didn't know that. I'll have to look for one of those tonight. Any recommendations on which company makes the best adapters? Can't wait to do a shoot out with the 645NII......my Pentax 67 300mm EDIF lens vs the Hasselblad CF350mm lens.

Gary
04-06-2010, 01:27 AM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
Any recommendations on which company makes the best adapters?
Sorry for the late response- but I was some days off.

IMHO you can make only recommendations on products from manufactures "with brand names" (e.g. Adaptors from Novoflex, Zörk, Voigtländer...). They guarantee with their names for a certain quality and accuracy.
Unfortunately - except the Pentax 67->645 adaptor - the adaptors for the P645 are made by "no name" manufacturers (most back yard workshops in eastern Europe and China)
So I would look more on the distributor /dealer. I bought my adaptor (P6-P645) from a small mechanical repair shop which imports it from Poland. But I know he is doing the QC.

QuoteQuote:
By the way, that is a pretty big triangle in which you are located.
Yes - but don’t worry I have a BC100 from DB (network card from German rail)



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