Hasselblad 500c/cm/elm

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by alex_hsi, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. Hi,

    This is my first time post in the medium format forum. I know in 35mm
    when someone ask for what he/she should buy we always tell them to go
    play with it first. Well, I wish I could. Anyway, I'm a 35mm user now
    and I would like to get a medium format just for protrait b&w. I know
    there are lots of great cameras (mamiya, Rolli, etc.) out there but
    I've always like Zeiss and Hasselblad. I know they are expansive but
    I know they are worth every penny. So, my question is: I found three
    cameras used in good conditions, 500C, 500CM, and 500 ELM. I tried to
    search online on their differences but can't find anything in regards
    this. So are their anyone using them right now? how do you like it
    with a 80mm standard lens? Any one would suggest otherwise? Again,
    thanks for giving your opinion.

  2. Unless you 'need' automatic film advance, look at the 500C/M body.
    The 'original' 500C is old, and the ELM is not exactly new, either.

    The 80mm lens is fine for general shooting: the 150mm lens has been the portrait lens for the Hasselblad for a number of years.
  3. The 500 ELX is the best value to be had, skip the ELM.
  4. how is Elx different from the rest? and what is the difference between C, CM, and ELM?
  5. Body = 500 ELX; lens = 120 CF, that is it. No 80.
  6. 500C is the original leaf shutter design (1957)

    500c/m is the same but with interchangable screens (1972)

    500el is motor camera (1965 or so)

    500el/m has interchangable screens (1972)

    500el/x has TTL flash (i think) (1984?)

    553elx has aa batteries and TTL flash (1991?)

    the older 500c and 500el are great cameras, and easily serviced, and can be had a bargain prices. if you dont need chaneable screens, they can be a good value.
  7. I acquired my Hasselblads last year so I know what you're going through trying to pick. I'd recommend picking up one of the excellent Hasselblad books to learn the line of Hasselblad equipment.

    My choice in an SLR was a Hasselblad 500C/M Classic. It was a nearly untouched, still in the box with all the papers, kit which included the A12 back and CF series 80/2.8 lens, as well as an additional screen. I paid a princely premium ($1700 total) for its as-new condition, but to me it has been well worth it.

    Unless you need the motorized film transport, I don't know why you'd choose an EL series model. It adds a lot of weight and bulk to the camera.

  8. Hi Alex,

    I own a 503CW nearly a year and the camera operation is very different from 35mm camera. 500ELM is good with build in a motor drive but it will add the weight. I would rather consider 501CM or 503CW because manual winding is easy and battery independent.

    The 500 series doesn't have a build in lightmeter and I still has problem in metering when using a separated spot meter. I miss the convenience build in auto AE function in 35mm camera.


  9. One important difference between EL(/M) and ELX, besides the TTL-flash control that put the "X" in ELX: the ELX has a bigger, non-vignetting mirror.
  10. On top of all the good advice you've already received.

    The later 500C have interchangable screens just as the 500C/M but are still named 500C. These camera's are real bargains and if you get a new bright groundglass your one happy camper. I like mine a lot. If you need TTL flash get the 503CW, but a good autoflash on an older type can save you a lot of money. I have both an 503CW and a 500C can love them both.
  11. Thanks everyone, I really got a lot more info from you guys.. I will be looking for a 500C or CM with a 80/2.8 and 120 back. This is great, can't wait to get my hands on this new toy.

    Oh, one more quick question though.
    I see Zeiss has the Planar and the planar T*... any differences? preferences? upgrades?
  12. Alex,

    There are more than just the two (non-T* and T*) versions.

    T*, as you may know, is Zeiss' brand of multicoating. Multicoating is indeed better than single layer coating. But by how much?

    Other differences: the Compur shutter version C lenses ("chrome" and black finish) are getting really old by now (last produced in 1981). They are good (if you find one that is in good shape of course), but less ergonomical than later lenses.

    The next version up is the CF. The Compur shutter has been replaced by a Prontor shutter; the lens barrel is of a completely different design; and the ergonomics are much beter.

    The latest, current, version Planar is the CFE. The barrel has been redesigned again, providing smoother focussing and better internal stray light reduction, and the shutter too should last (even) longer.

    They all are equally good lenses, optically, so i'd say the newest you can get/afford.
  13. The ELM/ELX is the best deal in Hasseys,yes it has a motor and is a little heaver. But it also has a instant return mirror, and can be used with electronic cable release. I have a CM bought new about 23 years ago and two ELM bought used about 8 years ago and 2 super wides. But I use the ELMs the most. If you are used to 35mm you will not like the view finder going black after each exposure, the ELM or ELX will not go black after the exposure allowing you to follow the subject- also they cost less.
  14. Russell,

    How do you feel about the 503 CW? It does everything the EL(...) models do (except the digital back interface as found on the ELD), but without having the extra weight and bulk that is the EL(...)'s motor permanently attached.

    I think they should discontinue the EL(...) line. It's a classic, yes, but the CW does it all, and is more versatile. So if they put the ELD's digital interface into all other models too, there's no reason (except nostalgia) to keep the EL(...) line.

    One additional note: to describe the mirror return in the EL(...) models as being "instant" is rather too much. Just like in 500 C(...) models, the mirror is lowered during transport. The only thing that is instant about that is that transport starts the instant you take your finger of the release button. And this is not exclusive to the EL(...) cameras: the same happens when you have a winder CW attached to the 503 CW.
    The viewfinder will (!) indeed go black. Just not for a very long time. But it can't stand comparing to the real instant return mirrors in the 2000/200 series and 35 mm format cameras.
  15. Hello, I will be in gothenburg next month and I'm thinking about buying a secobnd hand hasselblad, somebody told me that 500CM would be a good choice for beginners, and that i could cost around US$500 in gothenburg, does anyone can help me to take a decision. I've heard that some hassel can receive a digital back? wath means 120 and 220 back? are they really cheaper in sweden?
  16. Francisco,<br><br>I'm not current with prices in Sweden, though i don't think they will be cheaper there. Sweden is a country that has a high standard of living, and prices generally are high.<br><br>The 120 and 220 designations are code-names for types of film. 120 film is the more common "roll film". 120 film has a backing paper all along its length.<br>220 film is the same film, but twice as long, so you get double the number of frames you would get on a 120 film. Because a film of that length plus backing paper running all along its length would make the spool to thick, 220 film has a paper leader and trailer only.<br>220 film is less common, and not all emulsions that are available as 120 are available as 220 too.<br>Tranpsort in Hasselblad backs is geared towards the type of film you are using, so 120 film and 220 film need different backs.<br><br>What digital back can be used on what Hasselblad can be learned from a table on the Hasselblad website. http://www.hasselblad.se<br>Click "products", then "V system", next "Digital photography" and you will find two links labelled "Digital backs" and "Digital platform".<br><br>Hasselblad 500 C/Ms are very fine, sturdy cameras. Not a choice you will regret.
  17. Thanks alot for your answer! I've another question, do hasselblad 500CM have incorporated "photometer" ???
  18. Francisco,<br><br>No. There is no meter in any 500 series Hasselblad camera.<br><br>There are several Hasselblad prism viewfinders that have a meter built-in (and a non-Hasselblad one too, and i'm told it's a very decent metered prism too: the Kiev TTL prism).<br>The meter in the prism is not coupled to aperture or shutterspeed, so you will have to transfer the metered value to the lens and it's built-in leaf shutter yourself. Not very fast, but it works great.<br><br>The other (perhaps less expensive) option is to use a separate handheld meter. This will slow you down even more, but is very versatile, and perhaps the best way to get perfect exposure.<br><br>By the way, slowing down a bit is not a bad thing. It makes you think more about what you are doing, and can (and will) easily result in better photography.<br>But true, sometimes you do want/need to be quick, quicker than the uncoupled meter prism or the handheld meter allow. Then, a 500-series Hasselblad (as most other medium format cameras) is not the best tool to use.
  19. If you make it a habit to have in mind to check the light and adjust for the right shutter/aperture combo often, you'll not be surprised when something happends, you'll be prepered, and you can be quick as with a af/matrix-camera. Don't forget to set the distance at infinity or the distance you most likely will use for your next picture.
  20. Coul anyone told me wich medium format does have a meter, wich model of hasselblad or bronica? I mean the cheaper one that does have it.
  21. Francisco,

    None of the Hasselblad 500-series (or 2000-series) cameras have a built-in meter. Some (503CX, 503CXi, 503 CW, 500 ELX, 553 ELX and 555 ELD) have a built-in sensor for TTL-flash control.
    You can, of course, put a meter prism on top of all of the 500-series models.

    The models (not counting XPan and H1) that do have a built-in meter, coupled to shutter and aperture, are the 200-series models 202 FA, 203 FE and 205 FCC.
    I'm afraid none of these rate as "cheaper one".

    You can get along perfectly well with a handheld meter though. So maybe a non-metered 500 C/M isn't so bad at all?

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