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Once you go Blad you never go back……..almost.

I finally gave in to my long term desire and found the Hasselblad of my dreams – a 500 C/M with a chrome Carl Zeiss 80/2.8 T* and the classic 120 back (as this means the whole camera has the chrome trim and no plastic bits anywhere, including the older fully chromed WLF).

The hard part was always going to find a chrome 80/2.8 that had the T* coating; as second hand dealers will have you believe they are so rare and special that they deserve the inflated price tag that is often double or triple the cost of the regular black lens. Finding one without the T* is easy and cheap, but it is worth waiting till you find the right lens at a reasonable price as they really are not that rare.

A few weeks later and the start of some test films show that this was the right choice for quality of the lens and the smoothness of the operation of the body and the amazing syncro setting.

And just as I was about to write the definitive Hasselblad article (comparing it to the great Hasselbladski – the Kiev 88)  – the shutter stuck and without opening the bottom of the body up myself, it won’t unstick.

So, a few test films in and it has to go to the Uncles in TST who have the experience and skills to fix the shutter mechanism before the article can be finished.

Until then, here are a couple from the few films so far processed that are making me excited about getting it back in working condition and using it much more.

The first was shot on Portra 400 in really grey and raining conditions in Hong Kong and the second a few days later in blinding morning sunlight in Sri Lanka on Ektar 100.

The size of image on the blog are not sufficient to show the amazing effects of the lens and so click on them to see the stunning DOF.

Posted by simon on January 27, 2012
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. 01/28/2012

    As I’m currently facing the same decision (owning a Kiev 88, want a Hasselblad), I’m definitely looking forward to your comparison!

    • 01/28/2012


      As soon as the Hasselblad is fixed I will do the comparison. The fundamental truth is that they are really different cameras and one runs much better than the other. Other than that, medium format just makes such a massive difference that no matter what medium format you use, it is likely to take better images than 35mm every time.

  2. 01/31/2012

    Have you ever used the beast of a camera that is the Mamiya RZ67? I’ve found those lenses to be easily as sharp as Hasselblad if not sharper and a more pleasing bokeh too. Even images from a Mamiya C330 look nicer overall than Hasselblad to me.
    Not to take anything away from your lovely new camera but I do tend to read a lot of Hasselblad users experiencing sticky shutter problems.

    I look forward to seeing more of your images on this wonderful blog.

    • 01/31/2012


      Thanks for the message and since buying the 500 C/M I am finding that the shutter sticking is probably the most common fault with these cameras. As they tend to be a few decades old and in many cases, desperately in need of a CLA they have probably never had, so it isn’t a surprise.
      I have tried an RB67 and just am not a fan of 645 or 67 format – I have nothing against them but for me MF is all about using 66 or if I go wide then I go to 69 (I use a GW690 that is also tack sharp).
      My best 66 has to be a Rolleiflex K4 from ’51 that has died from take up roller issues unfortunately.
      I guess at the end of the day it is all about giving anything a go and finding what you like (which is why film is so much more expressive than digital – which feels more like work).


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