Hasselblad 500cm or Mamiya C330 for travel

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by greg_seto, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. I have been out of the photography game for a couple of years now, but I'm
    looking forward to getting back in. My best pictures have come from medium
    format and/or while travelling. I have experience in Mamiya RB and RZ systems,
    and previously used the RB with the 90 f3.8 and two backs as my travel rig. As
    you can imagine, this got pretty heavy lugging around Europe, but the 6x7 negs
    balanced that out.

    I have never used the square format, but it seems to strike a good balance
    between size and system weight/portability. Of the myriad 6x6 cameras
    available, I'm interested in the Hassy 500cm and Mamiya C330. I don't tend grow
    huge systems, so the most I'd be looking at travelling with would be a
    500cm/80mm/2 backs or C330/80mm and 55mm. I don't have time to rent either of
    these systems (Hassy or Mamiya TLR), which is too bad, but I have fiddled around
    with both and found them perfectly acceptable.

    I guess my questions are... Does anyone have experience travelling with either
    or both of these systems? What is the weight/size difference between the two?
    When push comes to shove, am I just better off picking up another RB67 system
    and travelling with that again (please say no)? Thank you all in advance.
  2. Hassey is much lighter....smaller....and faster.
  3. Russ is right. Also the Hass lenses are far better.
  4. I've owned both, and the Hasselblad is a no brainer. SLR beats TLR every time.
  5. I should note that I only shoot available light, and when traveling, tripods are out, even monopods. I know this compromises sharpness, etc, but I travel light, except for the medium format camera of course.
  6. If you are doing available light and handheld, the Mamiya will probably produce sharper pictures. The leaf shutter plus no mirror more than makes up for the optics in low light situations. Also, I used to own a C220 with is somewhat less convenient, but lighter so would be worth considering. Lastly, I would not be so sure that a kit with an 80 and a 55 for the mamiya would be heavier. The body is pretty bulky, but the lenses are quite lightweight. In the end, though, I sold my set up and simply went with a Rollei TLR. I used the 80 most of the time and appreciate the low weight, high quality optics and hand hold-ability of the Rollei.
  7. Greg: Neither is that easy to hand hold, but the Hass is easier. For hand holding the Pentax 6x7 is the easiest. But it is hard to load and is not as good as a Hasselblad at all.
  8. I shoot RZ67, C330, plus 7II rangefinder and for travel the 7II wins hands-down. Obviously a rangefinder has its own strengths and weaknesses, but except for film loading the 7II really shines. But the 7II still loads faster than my Leica M6, another fantastic travel companion for those 35mm shooters. Anyways 7II lenses are f/4 or f/4.5, which is slightly slower than matching C330 glass. Coatings on the 7II lenses is more effective. 7II lenses sharpness/contrast are legendary. But 7II is a big chunk of change, even a quality used kit. Perhaps still price competative with Hassey systems? Anyways, Ken Rockwell article on the 7II and the earlier 6 version are worth checking out here: http://www.kenrockwell.com/mamiya/7.htm Photo.nets Gearing Up describes the 7II also. Good Luck!
  9. I have not used the C330 but found the 500C/M very easy to travel with. I too like low light photography and have found there is a difference in the quality of prints taken with a 500CM and a Rolleiflex 2.8F in low light: the Hasselblad wins hands down (and that is without MLU).
  10. I have owned both. The C330f had the 65mm, 80mm, and 250mm plus Porroflex and Paraminder. I was disappointed in the coverage of the 65mm. The 55mm would be much better for Europe. I found the C330 had a high fiddle factor and taking photos were r--e--a--l s--l--o--w compared to 35mm.

    I went shopping for the 55mm lens and ending up trading for the Hasselblad 50mm, 80mm and 250mm. One of these days I will add the 150mm. I can shoot much faster with the Hassy than I could with the C330. The Hassy is lighter and much less cumbersome.

    If you take the C330 I will applaud your efforts to keep the demand for Hassleblad products down. If you take the Hassleblad I will applaud you good taste and wise selection.

  11. From my experience, the Mamiya is bulkier but has one great advantage - there's a lot less to wrong. I used a C330 for a couple of years where I was putting five to ten rolls through daily and it gave me no trouble whatsoever. I've used Hasselblads on and off for forty years and have a lot of respect for them but a Hasselblad mirror box has a lot of possible points of failure.

    I'd be just as torn as you but I think I'd come down on the Mamiya's side. Remember, you'd have two shutters, so if one goes bad you'd still be able to take pictures.
  12. I think there is some confusion over the term 'handholdability.'

    Some people are using it to describe ergonomics and comfort. Others are using it to
    indicate matters of Results, relative to usable shutter speeds.

    I might agree that a Rolleiflex may not Feel like the most logical camera in-hand. But, the
    results should be better than with any SLR, if those results can be influenced by mirror
    slap and/or a focal plane shutter.

    Greg -
    I have both a Rolleiflex TLR and Hasselblad, and have previously owned just about
    everything else in the MF world. If you're sure you're going to want the potential to use a
    second lens, i would probably go with the Hasselblad. If you might be content with (only?)
    a 75 or 80mm, consider the Rolleiflex. The Rollei is smaller/lighter than a Mamiya C.

    But, have you considered a rangefinder? Either a Mamiya 7, or possibly a Fuji GA645zi?
    They're great for travel, and about the only thing they don't do well is close-ups. Plus, no
    mirror slap, quiet operation, quick focusing....

    The Hassy versus Mamiya systems you proposed are not evenly matched if you're adding a
    second film back with the 500. You could get away with only one back, which would match
    the TLR. Depending on your choice of film, you could shoot 220 rolls with the Hassy. Does
    the Mamiya support that? Only some Rolleiflexes do.

    You should see some of the work posted by a guy calling himself "agedsenator" on Flickr.
    He photographed Italy in the 1950s, with a Rolleiflex. Fantastic stuff. Maybe it'll also show
    you you don't need an additional lens.

  13. Derek, mirro slap is a myth. By the time the mirror has "slapped" the picture has been taken.
  14. Both the C330 and the 500cm will shoot 220 film, if you can find the type you want. The 500cm will allow you to switch between different types of film mid-roll. Furthermore, multiple backs allow for fast film changes when you _really do not_ have to time to load a new roll => the C330 does not have those capabilities.

  15. I'll vouch for a Hassy 500CM with a couple lenses. I traveled a lot (backpacking and foreign travel) with a 500CM and 80CF for years and it is light, compact, and so nice and easy to use. In a digital age, the good ole Hassy 500 remains my favorite camera ever. Hand holding it or on tripod, the 500CM with a waist level is my preferred shooting style.
    Good luck. Jerome.
  16. Thanks for all the great responses.

    I have considered the Mamiya rangefinders but I don't like them for a couple of reasons; first, I'm tall, and I prefer the perspective of a waist-level photo, ala MF with a waist level finder. Not to say I'd rather be three feet tall, but to my eye, it makes for better perspective. Second, those cameras are out of my price range.

    I've also considered Rolleiflexes, but apparently a CLA is advised upon taking delivery of the camera, which puts it over or to the upper reaches of my price range. Also, I heard some things can rattle loose if it is aboard a motorcycle (I read this in some thread, don't know if there is any truth to it). That crosses the Rollei off my list as motorcycles are my primary means of transportation.

    So it looks like the Hasselblad might be the winner. However, I have heard bad things about the mirror box; jamming, etc. In fact, I bought a 500cm with a jammed mirror once, thinking I could fix it. I ended up selling it as it was. Can anyone comment further on the reliability of the 500cm vs. C330? The last thing I need is my highly refined Sweedish picture-box taking a crap on me somewhere abroad...
  17. Greg, if the Hasselblad does jam it is very very easy to unjam. Dont worry.
  18. I use Hasselblads for travel and landscape photography. Nothing else comes close IMO - they're light (for MF, at least), small and excellent quality. In terms of reliability - quite simply my 503CW is the most reliable camera I've ever owned (and I've owned a lot). I've used it in all weathers and in several countries with zero problems. The internet throws up stories about stuck mirrors or jammed bodies but it doesn't match my experience. There's no reason for a 500CM to 'take a crap on you', unless of course you buy one that's already broken.
  19. erek, mirro slap is a myth. By the time the mirror has "slapped" the picture has been taken
    Not quite true. It all depends on what shutter speed you're using. If, for example, you're shooting a 1 second exposure on a tripod then mirror slap is a very real factor. But I agree it's not a practical concern when hand-holding. For a start, your body will vibrate more than the mirror does.
  20. Neil, if you are shooting on a tripod then you can use MLU and not worry.
  21. ... or rather MPR. ;-)<br><br>(You can't lock the mirror of any 500-series Hasselblad up. It will come down as soon as the camera is wound.<br>You can Pre-Release the thing though.)
  22. Q.G. Actually the mirror has been released but not returned...
  23. Yes. And not 'locked up'.<br>So it's not MLU.<br><br>Many cameras offer mirror pre-release. But very few offer MLU.<br>If that's what you want, get a Hasselblad 2000-series ody. Their mirrors can be locked up, to remain up for as long as you want then to.<br>They can be pre-released too, of course.
  24. Q.G. It depends how you look at it it. The mirror is locked up whilst the image is being taken,
    so for all intents and purposes it is mirror lock up.
  25. Bob,<br><br>So every time i push the release button, the mirror is locked up for a shot while, whether i use your "MLU" feature or not. But i can do that in advance (as in "pre-") too, and then it is called "lock up". Now i understand... ;-)<br><br>What would you propose to call a feature that stops the mirror coming down as soon as you start using the camera again (as it does, using your "MLU")? A feature that allows full use of the camera with the mirror out of the way, until you allow the mirror to come down again?<br>'Locked mirror lock up'?<br>;-)
  26. Q.G. This is MLU on a Hasselblad - the mirror is locked up whilst the shutter is fired. The
    mirror remains locked up until the film is advanced. If the mirror were permanently locked
    up then you would not be able to see an image on the viewscreen, so what would be the
    point of that. You are of course entitled to call it whatever you wish. I am sure others could
    find additional ways of describing the process. Stop being so pedantic.
  27. Bob

    You fail to see two things.
    First, that the term "MLU" is the wrong one to use, because "lock up" is something else (even though you doubt there being a point to true lock up),

    Second, that some cameras do indeed offer that what really is "Mirror Lock Up". Among those cameras are ("what would be the point of that"?) some Hasselblads. So this, your "MLU", is obviously not "MLU on a Hasselblad". It is, what it is: mirror pre-release.

    And we thus are left with the question what you would call that feature we do call MLU. "Locked Mirror Lock Up"?

    Stop this foolishnes, use the right term and call it what it is (you are not entitled to call it whatever you wish). Then i'll stop too. ;-)
  28. Q.G., you are obviously very knowledgable about many things hasselblad but last time I
    looked the English language was not yours to define. MLU is a perfectly correct way of
    describing what happens. Get over it.
  29. A language thing?<br>So, Bob, i asked twice before already. Now educate me: what would you call the mirror lock up that the 2000-series Hasselblads, and the Olympus OM-1, and the [etc.] offer?
  30. Q.G. The question is whether the 500CM has mirror lock up, the answer is yes it does. How
    different cameras implement it is neither here nor there. You call it pre-release. Fine. Many
    other people call it mirror lock up. Live and let live.
  31. Bob: "Mirror slap is a myth."

    I'll elect not to take your word for it. Sure, the mirror has been moved out of place by the
    time the film is exposed. But, the mirror has to stop, and it usually does that while causing
    vibration. So, maybe it's always a semantics game with you. Perhaps the "slap" doesn't get
    you, but the vibration caused by the slap does. Whatever. Try a Pentax 67 and tell me the
    mirror has no effect on practical shutter speeds. That camera is widely known to suffer
    from this issue in a given shutter speed range.

    But, forget that. My experience has shown me that medium format rangefinders and TLRs
    are all better than SLRs with regard to "mirror impact-related" issues. I've owned the
    following: Rolleiflex TLR, Mamiya 6MF, Fuji GA645zi; Mamiya RZProII, Pentax 67 and 67II,
    Mamiya 645AF, Hasselblad 203FE and 503cw, in addition to essentially the same
    comparison between Leica M7 and Contax G2 versus Canon, Contax, Nikon and Minolta
    SLRs. Fact is, even though some SLRs are better damped than others, they still don't work
    as well in this respect as the RFs and TLRs.
  32. Bob,<br><br>Now answer the question: what would you call the mirror lock up that many cameras (like the 2000-series models - but not the 500-series cameras) offer as well as mirror pre-release?
  33. Derek,

    I have never experienced any negative effects from "mirror slap" with my 500CM - it is a
    myth. At any speed where it would hypothetically make a difference (say 1/30 sec)
    movement from holding the camera far outweighst any effects of shutter slap. If you
    actually look at the mirror in the 500CM and look at how it operates and how it is
    dampened and then look at the weight and heftiness of the body you will see that it can
    have very very little effect on camera shake if any.

    Q.G, you seem to be confusing mirror lock up duration with the feature itself. I understand
    that Hasselblad use the term pre-release to differentiate this type of mirror lock from the
    more permanent type but it is perfectly corrrect to describe what is happening as mirror
    lock up.
  34. Bob,<br><br>I'll explain then.<br><br>When using mirror lock up, the mirror is moved up, and locked (hence the name) there. You can go on releasing and winding the camera, again and again, and again, and again.<br>The camera is fully usable, for as many shots as you like, for as long as you like. Until you decide to unlock the mirror, it stays locked up.<br><br>The thing you falsely call mirror lock up is nothing more then a pause in the normal release cycle. The cycle is halted after the mirror went up, before the shutter operates.<br>The mirror is not locked up: there's only one thing that can happen next: the shutter is released, and the mirror again does (as if it ever did something else - it didn't, nor doesn't) what it always does.<br><br>So now it's your turn again: what would you call the feature that locks the mirror up, as opposed to the one that keeps it in play?<br><br>You're not going to answer, are you?<br>Because you can't.<br>;-)
  35. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    My Bronicas have a switch that allows one to lock up the mirror for a single shot ( returns after each wind-on) or continuously (stays locked up till you alter the switch position to release it. They call all this MLU in the handbooks and the use of MLU-single, and MLU-continuous seems a decent and intuitively useful solution to the nomenclature issue without needing to use "prefire".

    But then they're Japanese- what do they know about terminologies in English? Not terribly important is it?
  36. Until I got my Mamiya 7 I carried the 500cm. 80mm, waist level finder, two backs --
    everywhere, on my shoulder, just in case. Very light and with WLF you can take shot
    sideways from a cafe table!

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