Contax IIIa in exchange for a Hasselblad 500 EL / M

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by rui_ferreira|1, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. The deal: I hand over a Contax IIIa in full working condition with a Zeiss Opton Sonnar 50mm lens and get in return a Hasselblad 500 EL/M body and back with serial numbers that do not match. No lens included. The camera has been serviced recently.

    Is this a good deal? Any advice?
  2. SCL


    Personally I wouldn't, but you will have to judge if the deal works for you.
  3. Which camera was serviced - the ELM or the Contax?
    I'd look at eBay sold listings for each and then decide if it were fair.
  4. The EL/M was the one recently serviced.
  5. I agree with Anthony & Stephen.
    I never used a Contax myself, heard they are complicated (inside) but assume they might be ahead of Leicas of their time. - What I am trying to say: yours looks barely used and you know it is working. - Everybody else has to either try happy go lucky or pay an repair tech $2-300 for a soothing CLA, if they buy a vintage RF.
    To me the EL/M is not very appealing. From my understanding its a 500 with built in motor winder with proprietary NC battery? - I have a motordrive for a 35mm with such collecting dust. - 1st: the NC cells don't last forever. - They can be exchanged but that involves money. By now I'd need the 3rd or forth set for my pack. - How hard are you shooting 120 film to need a winder? Have you loaded Hasselblad mags? - IMHO its nice to exchange about 3 but you'll need an assistant / apprentice to reload them in a somewhat timely fashion if you are shooting like crazy.
    How valuable is a motorwinder? - Every cool guy cobbled one on his AE 1 back in the 80s to look slightly pro, but honestly: when did 2FPS ever make our days? - I can't recall, but I surely missed more shots due to complicated switching on of both camera & winder with Pentax. The Hasselblad is surely winding even slower, but should be easier to get ready. - I'd go for a handcranked version anytime. Film seems meant to slow us down; for clicking away there is digital by now. And I'd guess half the Leica M fanboys wouldn't mind a hand cocked shutter as seen back in the Epson RD 1 on their digital bodies. With tiny 35mm cameras there used to be arguing via ergonomics; i.e. Winders made holding heavy lenses more comfortable. I'd doubt that to be a valid point on Hasselblad. Summary: no matter what it diod cost new; I see the EL/M as a less desirable version these days, but I used to walk around with my MF gear, YMMV with studio like shots.
    If you are going to buy a digital back and plan to shoot like crazy with it: Go ahead! but I am wondering if a seasoned MF body is the ideal starting point for that. I'd also suspect your purchase candidate to have seen a lot of professional use and wear that comes with it back in its days. - "Recently serviced" doesn't mean "restored / refurbished".
    Upon the Contax: RFs aren't everybody (else)'s cup of tea. - So if trading it in gets your shelf decluttered: Go ahead!
  6. Jochen,

    Im almost feeling guilty by even consider to make the trade...

    I appreciate very much your insight. My shelf gave place to a dedicated room a few years ago. I`ve only recently put some of the cameras into use. Im not a pro, im just a photography curious.
    There are a few medium formats but no Hasselblad yet and I am really getting into the square format.
    Which Hasselblad model would be fair to trade for the Contax as is, in your opinion?
  7. The EL would not be my first choice in a Hassy. I would go for any of the mechanical versions in the 500 series. But I would gladly give up the Contax for a Hassy. For my purposes and IMHO, the Hasselblad is still a usable, working professional tool while the Contax (no offense meant to Contax fans) is more of a collector's item.
  8. My experience with several Contax rangefinder cameras with rollerblind shutters is not good thus I no longer buy that camera, try to trade it for Hasselblad model 500 instead of the one with built in motor!
  9. Sorry for getting back late, but I really don't know my way around the Hasselbalad system. I think the classic cranked cubes are called 500 or V?
    I never managed to turn pro with film, heard Hasselblads are fine cameras, shot one roll in a friend's older one (I suppose instant return mirrors got introduced some day?) and fiddled with reloading mags. - I'm sure the Zeiss glass beats my Mamiya TLRs' or Pentacon's but I can't be bothered to check it out. - 1st of all I'd need a hell of an enlarging lens or scanner to maybe notice differences. 2nd I'd need to shoot a lot of slow film from tripod or with strobes to become really aware of them.
    To me MF just meant (and still means if I'll demothball) more fun in the darkroom and bearable 8x10 prints from pushed TMY.
    My arguing against the EL/M is based on experience with 35mm Pentax. I collect(ed) too much gear myself too for sure. - But I am not able to tell camera values for these (to me) exotic brands.
    I surely don't want to convince you to skip Hasselbald entirely. - If it attracts you and you see a chance to get hold of lenses to make it interesting / rewarding: Go for it!
    I picked my stuff back when prices were higher and it was what I could somehow afford. - I'm quite happy with the TLR concept, sure using a paramender for closeup shots is a bit fiddly & annoying, but not focusing through my softeners or dark color filters seems worth it.
    If I was you I'd look up Hasselbald's focusing screen evolution. - I believe they introduced something called "Acute matte" or similar that seems absolutely droolworthy to me. - Unfortunately there were no 3rd party clones for my Mamiyas in reach. - Old MF cameras' conventional ground glasses can be annoyingly dim, especially behind the wider lenses.
    Good luck!

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