Hassy's don't justify the cost for me

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by hjoseph7, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. When I wanted to get into Medium Format I tried to buy a Hassleblad 500Cm from an Estate of a coworker of mine
    whose husband had passed away. I had about $800 with me which 10 years ago was allot of money for me. The
    camera was located in this antique photography store that has long since gone out of business. I plopped my $800
    on the counter and the guy behind it hands me the "Back" of the 500CM. I asked him where is the rest of the
    camera ? He says that's it, that's all you can get with that type of money !

    He then pointed me to a Mamiya 645 that came with a grip an 80mm f 2.8 lens, a 45mm lens, a strap and I still had
    money to left over to purchase a Gossen light meter and some film. I didn't want to dissapoint my coworker by not
    buying anything from her husbands estate.

    I have been a Mamiya fan ever since. Of course the batteries on this camera are a PIA, the winder is another weak
    spot, but as far as the image is concerned, I don't see that much of a difference if you pick your lenses wisely.

    Since then, the price for Hassy's have gone down tremendously, but not as much as the price for Mamiyas. I have a
    whole assortment of Mamiya lenses now and although I have gone through 2 cameras it wasnt like when my camera
    died it was the death of sibling. Maybe one day I would like to move up to Hassleblad. I sure like that model with the
    Digi back.
  2. Comparing film camera to film camera, why would anyone think that moving from Mamiya to Hasselblad is a move up?
  3. To each his own. I have used the same 500C/m, A-12 and A-16 backs and 40, 60, 80 and 150 Blad lenses for quite a while and would never even consider trading down to anything else. And when the batteries die........oh wait, I don't have to worry about that. And you do realize that Hassy full frame digital bodies go for in excess of $30,000 right?
    But if you are happy with the Mamiya, then stick with it. It's not so much the equipment you have, but what you do with it.
  4. Look at this way; out pro flatbeds that were 800; and another that was 1200 dpi cost more than a new Blad; A12 back and lens
  5. I have the RB67 Pro SD. It's a full manual camera...it doesn't even take batteries. The only thing (IMHO) that it can't do when compared to the Hasselblad is take 6x6 images.

    And somehow, this conversation is leaning towards digital. The OP did mention the Digi back for the Hasselblad and it's noted.

    To me, it's all about the lens...regardless of the format that's being shot. I read once (and I would like anyone to enlighten me of any additional information) that the Hasselblad lenses are a little overly sharp and that the Mamiya lenses perform more like a Leica lens.
  6. If they do not justify the cost, why move up to one?
  7. I guess I don't understand why you're whining about the price of camera 10 years ago...
  8. It's the top dog in the game and they can demand whatever they want. For over 20 years it has been in my mind to get one. I just could not justify to have to pay a few hundreds for a filter after getting a body with a back and a lens. It might be the best quality filter in the game too but a $50 one would not be much less quality behind. I ended up trying out with a Yashica D, a Rolleiflex and a Mamiya C330. I was never really satisfied with the square format because each time I print I had to trim to fit the paper. I had long put that idea behind me. I am now very happily stick to a Pentax 67-II. It's nowhere near to be a top dog so it was much cheaper.
    It's funny that in several occasions when I showed up in weddings with my P67-II it made the pro who was hired really nervous. I had to tell the guy not to worry that I would not shoot when he was shooting.
  9. How is comparing things like Hassy and Leica to Mamiya really any different than comparing a high-end lens to a low-end lens within the same family? Or damn near EVERY luxury item on the planet to something else consumer-grade that serves the same purpose? Be that cars, houses, furnishings...you name it.

    Photography is ALL about diminishing margin of return. You can get 90% quality for $100, 99% quality for $1000, and 99.9% quality for $10,000. You get what you pay for...it's just not linear...it's logarithmic.
  10. I couldn't agree more. They are over-rated and way overpriced for what they delivery. Look at contax and/or mamiya with their awesome zeiss glass. better delivery every single time.
  11. Harry,
    I own and shoot two Hasselblads, an almost complete RB system, a couple of Yashica Mat 124G's, and a Mamiya Super Press for my medium format work. In the past I have owned and shot Bronicas and Mamiya 645's. Those last two are gone, not because of image quality, but because I was not comfortable with the fact that I could not change emulsions in mid roll if desired and I often switch between chromes and black and white on a given job. That's why I've got the two Yashica Mats, and all the others have interchangeable backs.
    All, including the Bronicas and 645's have terrific lenses and delivier fine images.
    Having said that, If I know I'm going to really big prints, say above 20x24, or commercial ad print work that requires the finest detail, it's only the Hasselblad and it's lenses that come out of the safe. Even the glorious old model 180mm on the RB can't match any of the Blad lenses for clarity and sharpness. But, if it's a headshot portrait....that 180mm is way my favorite lens and finest results for smooth skin and wonderful, true skin colors, so then I pull out the RB.
    I also prefer the flexibility of the square format for cropping after the fact. That means I can compose and shoot without flipping either the back or the whole camera which I find distracting in a fast paced shoot, especially when the camera is on a tripod or studio stand.
    Prices for a good 500CM and a few core lenses have come down to the point of being very affordable compared to only a couple of years ago (much less ten years ago that you refer to) so I don't see the price argument as having that much validity unless you are looking at the incredibly costly digital Hasse's.
    Like others have said, it's all in which system you enjoy and with which you have the most comfort.
  12. Harry -
    After being introduced to med format with a gifted Rolleicord V, then acquiring a few Rolleiflex TLR's, I eventually settled on a new 500CM as my ideal 120 camera. No real reason based on experience, just some familiarity with the brand through professional photographer friends. Planned and saved for it, purchased in the late 70's, four lenses, three backs, prism, etc. Pricey? Yes. - Satisfactory? Decidedly.
    Some of my friends swear by Mamiya and Pentax, I'm unable to see a difference in our images, they're completely happy with their choices and so am I. I'd say do some homework, get basically familiar, buy what you like and can afford. I doubt among the major brands you can actually buy an inferior 120 camera.
    I do take exception to the posted notion that the Hasselblad "doesn't deliver," my take is exactly opposite, it has never failed to please me, I've never been disappointed by it. No buyers remorse, never felt the "if only I'd bought _ _ _ _ _ _ instead" sense. Almost surely if I had gone with Mamiya, Contax or Pentax I'd have been equally pleased, I consider all of them to be great performers. The images produced are a sincere pleasure to experience, especially projected slides in my case.
    For my strictly but serious amateur use, my Hasselblad is a wonderful camera to use. With regular, routine services by Hasselblad specialists, it has never failed to operate perfectly and reliably. Even after 30+ years it is a solid performer today, and I expect it will be for whomever I pass it along to.
    For you, Harry, I think EITHER the Hassy or the Mamiya in digital application would be just fine, so long as your viewing abilities match the capabilities of the 120 size sensors. In my limited familiarity with digital technology, I'm assured these do produce a huge file size. It might add up to overkill.
    Best regards
  13. Mamiyas are cheap for a reason but there's no need to get into it here. They work well for some things but issues such as shutter lag and lack of viewfinder options make it less than ideal for some.
  14. Harry, don't fall into the trap whereas hassey owners get VERY defensive about their gear and get all insecure when the great blad god it questioned. They feel a bit silly after spending all that money for "hasselblad" when 1/10 of the funds paid will deliver better results.
    Bottom line is the cheap stuff is never the least expensive Execpt in this case. Put a good mamiya glass in the hands of someone that knows what their doing and it'll knock the socks off of a hasselblad every, single time.
    Anyway, you begun the thread knowing this already, didn't you?
  15. I've owned them both.

    My advice?
    Enjoy what you have! If there's something specific that it's not doing for you, then look for another that will better address your needs. I wouldn't worry one whit about whose brand is better than whose--it's about what you want/need to do. Does the Mamiya meet all your needs?
    Best regards,
  16. Here's the mistake, right at the seed of your judgment:
    " The camera was located in this antique photography store that has long since gone out of business. "
    1. Classic cameras found in antique stores are invariably overpriced. As to the value or worthiness of such an item, it was simply your mistake to take an antique dealer's word for it.
    2. And if you actually did what you said, as you describe? "I plopped my $800 on the counter ", for heaven's sake! .... you are asking to be ripped off.
    3 . You were not buying from the 'estate' but from someone who got there first, and was ready for you.
    4. If you had gone into a reputable camera shop, or two, and asked to look at the range of Hasselblad offers, then with some knowledge return to one of them where the most affordable deals are, ask what's the best they can do on a price for something near your budget. .... (without saying what that was)
    5. Ten years ago? I bought a complete 500C with 80mm T*, two magazines, lens shade and a handful of filters, .. for how much? US$600 in another country with a higher cost of living than where you are.
    6. Sorry Harry, but you seem to be the last person to be making any sort of quality assessment of Hasselblad, simply because you don't know.
    That said, it is important to enjoy your photography, and it sounds like you do. Good. I wish you well with the Mamiya.
    For years I had used Bronica S2A and TLR Yashica. I was very tempted by the price of new Bronicas. Mamiya 330 and 220 were still in production then and affordable. However I took a step into the future with the purchase of my first Hasselblad. That was 20 years ago. Currently owning 3 bodies, 6 lenses and a number of magazines, bellows etc etc., and still adding to the outfit with 70mm magazines. Set up for everything assignment imaginable from macro, precision copy work, portrait, landscape and aerial photography, I am not a die-hard Hasselblad fan who is blind to limitations or shortcomings, but after 2 decades of application, I have absolutely no reason to downgrade, nor do I regret the investment.
    Cheers, Kevin.
  17. "That the Hasselblad lenses are a little overly sharp and that the Mamiya lenses perform more like a Leica lens."
    There is no such thing as an overly sharp lens. A lens is either sharp and has high resolution or it has less resolution. I have no experience with Mamiya medium format. They seem like great cameras. I've owned a 501c since 1996 and it has never let me down. Amazing camera, and the 50mm Zeiss Distagon is one of the best lenses ever made in terms of sharpness and resolution. Glad you found a camera you enjoy at a price you can afford. What one does with it is what matters.
  18. It al comes down to this:
    Can you justify the extra cost of the Hasselblad and their lenses with your abilities and opportunities as a photographer?
    Is your technique up to the level that the, let's face it marginal, gain in quality that such material brings can come to it's right?
    How many of your pictures are you having enlarged to the point where the quality difference between a hasselblad and a mamya lens becomes really noticeable?
    When you can not answer these questions for yourself positively there is no real other need to change other than "I want to have a ..."
  19. I'm not sure I understand the question being posted. Do you mind clarifying what you are asking?
  20. Ha !! Thanks James, that's exactly what I was wondering, and was about to say, so I will:
    So what ?
  21. I'm not sure I see much point to MF if you don't care about things like sharp lenses. Certainly one's choice of Mamiya or Hassy or Pentax or ... (to name just a few) has more to do with personal preference of one camera system over another. If you don't think quality makes much difference I'd argue that you get the most bang for your buck from Holga. That's only partially a joke based on what you said.
    Oh, don't forget Minox!
  22. Barney, my Mamiya RB takes 6x6 images. With a Graphic back. The viewfinder even has 6x6 format marked in the viewfinder.
  23. Tom
    Guess with your tone you just want to bait Hasselblad owners. Cannot think I could get a Mamiya freshly serviced and a three month warranty for less than $50 hence you remarks on one tenth the price may be a slight exaggerated. For the situation I was in and for my choice of aspect Hasselblad turned out to be the best choice, other situations and preferences and I would have chosen a different system. That is why there are 645, 66, 67 and 68 cameras. And did Zeiss make two tiers of lenses, one for the good stuff and one for Hasselblads?
    If any of the systems were so vastly superior (and cheaper) in the professional MF market one would think that the one company would have totally cornered the market. Changing systems seems to me more of a lateral move than upgrade or down grade.
    I've used a 645 in previous job and to the OP unless you are printing in square moving from a 645 to a 66 is not going to be any improvement. I love the square format but that is my personal preference. If you like rectanglar prints than you would be better off with one of the larger Mamiya if you want to "upgrade" as you would get a negative noticably larger. For a project my wife just did we borrowed another MF system as she needed a rectangular aspect and for the size of the final prints cropping the Hasselblad was not the best solution. If you are happy with the Mamiya 645 and have 10 years experience with it why would you want to change it for something else?
  24. I feel the hasselblads are "in general" more modular, compact, lighter then mamiyas.
    Apart for a few cameras mamiyas are mostly 6x4.5 format which I find inconvenient compared to the easily crop-able, versatile 6x6 square format.
    Even with no batteries most hasselblads are operational.
    The older C lens while not as good as maybe the CF/CFI lens are still exceptional, very cheap, and works on all bodies. Same for all backs (including digital for a hefty price) and accessory.
    TTL at 1/500
    For the electronic side of Hassy , Fast FE lens (FE2/100, 2.8/300...)and the 203fe/205ffc (1/2000 speed) bodies are all amazing and getting cheaper.
    All of this to me justifies the cost.
  25. I prefer the Hasselblad myself. Great gear and I think in the used market they are very reasonable. They do cost more then a Mamiya system like the RB67. It's the shooters choice to buy what they feel would work out the best for them.
  26. Why the heck would I want to waste my time and "bait" anyone??
    That's the way I feel, and I feel it strongly, I've owned the 500 c/m and the H1 for years and over time, along with the other systems I own, I find the Hasselblad's at the very bottom of my pile of RZ67 and Contax 645 with a zeiss Planar. Bait my butt, it's an over-rated, very well marketed Camera.
    And I do have a personal beef with Hasselblad, when I got my H1, they just came out to market with the V96c 16meg digital back. They were selling for 9K, I purchased one. Several months later they came out with the 96c (note the "v" missing) for the H1 and charged 14K.
    I'm an engineer, it was the SAME exact camera back with one small difference. There was small black electrical *type* tape over the screw holes holding in the adapter plate. I purchased a 132c adapter and used the V96c with my H1. $5,000 more for the SAME EXACT BACK!!!!! This is Hasselblad.
    And guess what? They've done this with SO MANY other products. But, we are indeed lambs.
  27. "And I do have a personal beef with Hasselblad, when I got my H1, they just came out to market with the V96c 16meg digital back."
    Hold on now...Hasselblad Purists don't consider the H1 to have anything to do with the classic "V" system. It was made by Fuji, and had that abominable (tongue in cheek here!) 645 format. I believe that camera even came out after Hasselblad was taken over by Imacon. To my mind they really should have changed the name to something like "Fujiblad" or "Hasselcon". I'll agree with you THAT company sucks! But please don't confuse it with the classic V system.
  28. . Why are ZEISS lenses for Contax produced in Japan? Are ZEISS lenses "Made in Germany" better than ZEISS lenses "Made in Japan"?
    Our lenses in Japan and Germany are produced using the same materials, the same design and the same quality standards. Wherever the lenses are made, quality assurance is conducted by Carl Zeiss personnel working with Carl Zeiss measuring instruments. Carl Zeiss does everything possible to guarantee that the same quality standard is achieved.
    So a Zeiss lens is superior to a Zeiss lens if the latter is on a Hasselblad? Learn something new everyday. There must of been a lot of stupid pros in the past....even Ansel Adams was duped into using a 'blad I guess. Imagine how much better his shots would have been with a RB67? LOL
  29. Well, you see, that's my point. The zeiss lenses are wonderful, no matter what body.
    So, there you have it, hasselblad has very little to do with it. And we agree 100 percent on this.
    But I really, keep it simple, very, very simple. I don't need to know about all the "measuring instruments" and
    "quality assurance" et. al., I've learned to let that go a long time ago, it's not those qualities that make the picture, it is I. And I've allowed myself to stop being caught up in the name game, etc.. and very simply, and with much Joy, just look at the picture and allow that vision, that view, to guide me to what equipment is "right" for me.
    This is my point indeed, we get so caught up in the name, such as Hasselblad, we really miss what's important, the picture we've made.
    Hasselblad is wonderful at marketing to us, leading us down this road. I am lamb no more.
  30. "There is no such thing as an overly sharp lens. A lens is either sharp and has high resolution or it has less resolution."

    Russ, the last I checked, there are three qualities to look for when shopping for a lens. Resolution, sharpness and contrast. When there's one of too much quality of those three, at least one or the two remaining qualities are found lacking.

    As far as I know, Leica has tried to have an equal amount of those qualities in their lenses. Nothing wrong with a Hasselblad lens being more sharp than other brands, (as far as I have read) however, simply I'm looking to get lenses that have more the characteristics of the Leica.

    Nothing wrong with a really sharp lens.
  31. Comparing film camera to film camera, why would anyone think that moving from Mamiya to Hasselblad is a move up?
    I very much do. I am not a follower nor a lamb, I can make my own mind up, with my own eyes. And to me, the RZ with my 110/ blows away my 500 C/M as so many levels....
    I really, can't continue, it's almost too funny, good night my lambs.
  32. "Mamiyas are cheap for a reason but there's no need to get into it here. "
    Never thought of the Mamiyas as a cheaply made camera. Never will. Know better.
  33. "...there are three qualities to look for when shopping for a lens. Resolution, sharpness and contrast. When there's one of too much quality of those three, at least one or the two remaining qualities are found lacking."
    I agree with the 3 qualities that make a great lens. All 3 must be present. However it's the subjective concept that a lens may have "too much of one of those 3." That's a personal preference, not a measurable thing. That's why some people prefer Leica lenses, and others Nikon, or Canon or Zeiss. Can't forget about the Pentax Takumars either. It's more about the blending of all 3 elements and more, such as color balance.
    I like my Nikon lenses as much as Zeiss. Just very a different blend of qualities.
  34. I'll gladly stay a "lamb". CF 100mm or 180mm on my 503CW with TMAX 100 on a tripod is gonna' produce some fine wool. Do I here Bahhhhhhhhhhhhh?
  35. This all started because Harry Joseph was an idiot with his money . Go back and read Kevin's post at the top.
  36. I agree, Mamiya's are great cameras.
    But that isn't the question posed by the OP ... which is more oriented toward value for dollar.
    I have a like new Mamiya RZ Pro-II 6X7 with a slew of innovative and useful accessories like a T/S adapter and two short barrel lenses ... and sharp lenses from fisheye to 210 APO including innovative stuff like a Imagon type 180mm portrait lens with variable diffusion inserts. Not only is it able to use a digital back, you can rotate a 645 digital back on it for portrait oriented shots without turning the camera. This camera has performed flawlessly with film or digital for years now. I was very careful in shopping for this gear and paid the lowest prices I could find at the time to get the best value for my dollar.
    Unfortunately, I cannot give this system away now. Multiple attempts to sell it have yielded no joy. Fire sale type prices haven't worked. Nothing has worked. It is without a doubt the worst investment in photographic gear I have ever made. If this is supposed to be such great equipment ... why does no one want it?
    I also put up for sale my Hasselblad 503CWs and a full range of accessories and V lenses from a 40/4 IF to 350/5.6. The entire selection sold in one day. In many cases, I actually broke even, or made money on some stuff. I guess there are a lot of "Hasselblad Sheep" out there ... thank God!
    I would never again buy anything branded Mamiya no matter how good it may be ... unless it was free ... and even then I'd have to think about it because later on I probably couldn't give that away either.
  37. Tim Ludwig-
    Which model Bronica did you have? The only model I can recall which did not take interchangeable backs was th ETR-C.
  38. The Zeiss glass has a slight edge in the "snap" (contrast) dept over the Mamiya glass. But I don't think of moving between the two systems as a vertical situation. One doesn't sacrifice quality ,either build or optical between these two systems.
  39. Marc,
    I'll pay for shipping. Send your Mamiya kit to me.
  40. Jeff,
    That may well have been it. I honestly don't remember which model it was. I had the Bronica very briefly about ten or twelve years ago when I had provisionally bought it used from a friend and returned it after a week or so of being really uncomfortable with having only inserts to plug in and having to shoot a full roll before changing from color to b&w or vice versa. Great camera and great images, but it just didn't fit my comfort level in how I often shoot.
  41. hassys and leicas are like ferraris. none of them justify the price!
  42. >>> had about $800 with me which 10 years ago was allot of money for me. The camera was located in this antique photography store that has long since gone out of business. I plopped my $800 on the counter and the guy behind it hands me the "Back" of the 500CM. I asked him where is the rest of the camera ? <<<
    Made me laugh.
  43. I love Mamiya 645s, I have two. Hasselblads are overpriced in my opinion. I have a full set of Mamiya lenses that I could never have been able to afford with Hasselblad. The lenses are amazingly sharp.
  44. Hey, if you want adventure, thrills, and grinding sounds on film advance for a bargain price try a Kiev knockoff of a Hasselblad (link ).
    Stuck with focal-plane shutters, unlike those wimps in Sweden, thus adding an element of randomness to functionality.
  45. What a silly thread.
    Hasselblads were expensive. So were the big Mamiyas and Rolleis. I know.
    To show that, fortunately, you can indeed give your Mamiya system away, i'll repeat my very serious suggestion to take it off your hands. I'll, of course, pay for shipping. Even add some extra to pay for celebratory drinks.
    No kidding!
    And i'll use the kit too, no worries! ;-)
  46. Some one should tell KEH that they are either overcharging on Mamiyas or undercharging on Hasselblads as the price difference on bodies (not the 645) is not that great although there is one on the lenses. In my case though the "savings" on buying a Mamiya would be less than the cost of having to buy one the lenses that I currently can borrow or the extra bulk and weight of the body. The idea that a RZ would be 10% the cost of the 500 C/M sure are not reflected on ebay or KEH. However the "fact" that the 110 lens from the Mamiya would blow the socks of the 100 Planar is interesting. Must be a great lens. My entire system when I am done will cost about $1750 for a body, three lenses and five backs does not seem outrageous to me. That is still less than the cost of a new F6. A 645 system would have been perhaps half the price and if i wanted to crop from a square image than that is what I would have bougth. Sure cannot be a lamb or sheep if you get the system that works for you as opposed to what someone else thinks is best. If I had not the opportunity to use one for over a year before buying my own perhaps I would not have thought of buying it but I did based on my own experiences and expectations. And if the digital back for a system other than I do own is overpriced it does not make my lenses work any the less.
  47. It's a figure of speech Q.G.
  48. I know, Marc. There will be a queue should you ever do want to give it away. So that's not it.
    You value your stuff higher than other people do. Your expectations are just too high. ;-)
    I don't believe that it was your worst investment in photo gear. You must have gone through truckloads of digital stuff by now, costing each way in excess of what you paid for your entire Mamiya kit.
  49. ". . . [that] the Hasselblad lenses are a little overly sharp and that the Mamiya lenses perform more like a Leica lens."​
    Hmm. Well, I have yet to see a lens that is "overly sharp."
  50. I used 2 mamiya 330s in all my 18 years professional photography. They never, never let me down. I have a full complement of lenses and viewfinders, holders, flash brackets,porrofinders [all used]and never had any quality issues. I believe they were/are seriously underpriced. I found the quality of the lenses to be superb and INMO on a par with anything that Hassleblads turned out. On quite a few jobs they were also more versatile than a Blad/bronica due to bellows focusing. Colleagues using Blads did have some problems with the backs. The only fault I have recently come across with my 330s is the foam light trap detaching itself from the back due to the glue ageing. Soon remedied.
  51. Professional wedding photographers here used to use Hasselblad or Bronica SQ A models at the time I fooled around with some wedding stuff. Both were reliable. Bronica may not have been as solidly built as Hasselblad but the price was attractive and the lenses were high quality. I never learned to easily catch the little forks on the backs to the body without a little pain in the butt when I had a prism finder mounted-only gripe. I like the Bronica and it was a complete system. (I wonder if they can still be repaired or cleaned and who does it?). I never had the desire to sell off my SQA system for chump change,ought to give it to a relative maybe. But then, I tend to keep my old stuff,the collector in me. Some guy on a military base who used Hassy for work, said he found Bronica to more reliable in the field, eg. the electronic shutter didn't need calibration often.
    I realize there must be an implicit question, so I used my powers of mind reading.....Up with Hassy and Bronica and Mamiya. Down with Soviet wannabee stuff...
  52. It depends on weather you want a monti carlo or a corvett...
  53. Harry Joseph,
    "I had about $800 with me which 10 years ago was allot of money for me. The camera was located in this antique photography store that has long since gone out of business. I plopped my $800 on the counter and the guy behind it hands me the "Back" of the 500CM. I asked him where is the rest of the camera ? He says that's it, that's all you can get with that type of money !
    He then pointed me to a Mamiya 645 that came with a grip an 80mm f 2.8 lens, a 45mm lens, a strap and I still had money to left over to purchase a Gossen light meter and some film."
    Did you even know the price of a Hasselblad system at tat period of time. I do know that I never have paid $800.00 for an A12 back in all the time I have owned Hasselblad and I still use them Did the ??? Antique store simply want to get rid of the Mamiyya 645 (You don't state the model) so did you actually get a REMOVABLE back that you can simply swith between color or black and white backs Only a few leaf shutter lenses to gain higher shutter speeds is another draw back and there is no Mamiya match for one of my favourite cameras --the Hassselblad Super Wide Series-yes I've owned Mamiya including their super series--you get what you pay for if lucky. Try phoographing Polar Bears at Churchill Manitoba where you can go in close and leave a camera on a triod for hours and fire remote as you see something you want a picture of-the Hasselblad does it with ease for up to 70 shots if you have the 70 mil back and any of their motorized cameras as far back as the EL model--Can Mamiya do it--saw lots try it but never did get the shots they were after plus they were limited to thirty shots http://www.churchill.ca/ a trip that can easily cost over $ 5,000.oo that I would never consider leaving for without Hasselblad--others have taken them to the moon. If all you require is Mamiya--that is your choice but for me your choice is not even an option I would consider. Man is limited by their choice of equipment and traing plus experiance. I don't want to experiance an angry Polar Bear or hope a picture will turn out but if that happens, I can not blame my equipment.
  54. I agree with my friend Scott Murphy, it is not the camera but you, the mamiya is a wonderful camera, use it a lot and it will bay back for its price.
  55. My photography is 80% photo enthusiest and I own a Mamiya TLR, 645, and 7. And love Mamiya's equipment. I too tend to agree that Hassy's are overpriced, and Leica's for that matter. Although i do agree with the commenter above that the law of diminishing returns is definitely in play with Hassy and Mamiya. The question is, is that extra couple of per cent worth it? For 95% of photography I don't think it is. If I started doing wall sized prints, I might consider a Hassy, but for now, when I want gut wrenching sharpness, the Mamiya 7 is really hard to beat. As for the versatility of Hassy, heck, I don't use the versatility of my Canon System to it's fullest....nor my Mamiya 645 Pro TL. So, I doubt if I'd use Hassy's.
    Ya know, there really should be a paragraph in every OP 'sand commenter's statements/comments on this site, stating his/her level/niche in photography. A pro wedding photogrrapher, artist photographer, photo enthusiest, architectural photographer, portrait photographer, and many other levels.........don't use, nor need, the same type of equipment. And for the beginners here on this site, which there seem to more than ever, all talk of "the last 2% of quality" does is have people spending money on stuff they will never use after the first time. If the "pros" deliniated the type of photography that could ONLY be done with a Hassy, I think viewers of this site would be better served. But, I guess that's asking people to think about things too much.......eh!?
  56. What a very silly idea.
    I doubt there is, say, a pen that can do things that no other pen can do. Does that mean that there is no better or best pen?
    If someone would come here to find what pen is better than another one, how would she or he be served by being told there is no pen that can do something no other pen can do, and that because of it any pen, whether crappy or not, should do?
    I think you have thought about that either too much or not enough. ;-)
  57. So, it's a silly idea to know the background of the person saying something. Hmmmm.....that sure explains a lot of the world's major problems. ;-) I for one, will ALWAYS question the information and source of that information to decide what is best for me.
  58. No. It's silly to suggest that anything will do because there is no single thing that can do everything.
  59. I agree with your last statement....however, I in no way even came close to suggesting that one thing could do everything. I was simply saying that something that could do more than something else, that, that something "more" may never be used by someone not in that area of photography. And without knowing what a particular commenter was saying without regard to the area of photography involved with that statement, tells the beginner nothing about what they might need.
    For instance....a tilt and shift lens is a great thing....IF you are doing architectural photography, or table top photography....but it has little if no application with regard to portrait photography. Wide angle lenses do nothing for the bird photographer. Medium format cams do nothing for the person who will never enlarge anything past 5x7 inch prints. Large Format cameras are excellent for huge enlargements, but are useless for sports photography. And so on. Without the knowledge of what the commenter shoots, their recomendations are next to useless.
  60. In requards to my previous message about Mamiya.. At Churchill, the batteries are a major issue as is the reliable functioning of the winder. At -50F lots of digital cameras failed after an hour or even less but was not an issue with Hasselblads even after four hours.
    The Super Wide series s very close to distortion free picture--great for interiors or exteriors or groups in limited space and is also excellent for landscapes. specs> http://www.bhphotovideo.com/FrameWork/Product_Resources/SourceBookProPhoto/Section01MediumFormat.pdf
  61. I'm new to Hasselblad myself, but I decided to get one because of the excellent reputations of both the cameras, and especially the Zeiss lenses (Am well versed with Zeiss since I use Zeiss lenses for virtually all of my 35mm photography now, with SLRs and rangefinders.). Just wanted to jump in to note that it is really silly for people to denigrate Carl Zeiss lenses made in Japan by Kyocera (Yashica) and Cosina (Voigtlander) because I own both German and Japanese made Zeiss lenses and honestly can't tell the difference between those made in Germany versus those from Japan. Zeiss does have people overseeing the production of its lenses in Japan, first at Kyocera (Yashica), and now, most recently, at Cosina (Voigtlander) and, I believe, as well, Sony, so these lenses, as long as they bear the Zeiss lens designations, are indeed Zeiss lenses.
  62. John,
    You are quite right!
  63. On John Kwok's point again, Leica used to have the same problem with lenses being made, even designed 'off shore'. They selected a number of optical designs by Minolta. Minolta supplied the elements, which Leica coated and mounted in their own metal. Not only that, but in order to keep up with Nikon, the Leicaflex line, which engineered very much as an M3 with an integral reflex mirror and prism, was discontinued and replaced with the R3, a re-badged Minolta. A relatively recent 35-70 for Leica R, was a great performer but a slow seller, because? ... it was a Sigma lens in all but the lens barrel. Neither did Leica buyers want to see "Made in Canada". Production in Portugal and Canada closed. I expect there may have been other factors at play, but that "Made in Germany" on anything optical carries a lot of weight.
  64. Many years ago, asll but the very best lenses were rather poor performers by today's standards. Try a 1936 Zeiss Contax 5xm f/1.5 Sonnar compared to anybody's fast f/1.4 today to see a huge improvement in image quality with today's so-so lens. Yet that Sonnar was a couple of MONTHS' pay for a working man who couldn't afford the camera anyway.
    In the case of high quality, low production cameras, the unit costs are ridiculous. Leica could not compete because it could not, nop, change that, would not make an affordable body and lenses. Hasselblad in many ways went the same route, but their gear was in greater demand by pros for many years longer than obsolescent rangefinder 35's regardless of quality.
    I lusted for both, but fate and my Government employers were no0t kind to me. So I made up my mind that I would rather live in a house and drive a car than have an entire Hassy or Leica system. Eventually I went to a Kiev-88 system, a Zenit system to replace my Minolta SRT stuff, and a FED system. The lenses are all more than acceptable and in some cases almost astonishing! The Kiev88 bodies require precise but not particularly delicate handling. After two quick failures, one of which was repaired and one rep;laced, I have not had a failure of any sort or required service since 2001. I may be slumming, but I've got a goodly number of press and other photo credits taken with this stuff, a 1953 Ikoflex and a few Braun Paxettes as well, and even with a folding Kodak Tourist!. Other than ego-wise, I've never regretted my choices, and I've enjoyed a vacation or two I could never have afforded if I had bought "The High Priced Spread". Think about it. Why buy a Leica R series for $1,000 more than the Minolta XD-11 that lurks under its fancy dress skin?
    Ed Lukacs
  65. "You value your stuff higher than other people do. Your expectations are just too high. ;-)"
    Perhaps Q.G., perhaps. I attribute that to low standards on the part of other people rather than high standards on my part ... LOL!
    "I don't believe that it was your worst investment in photo gear. You must have gone through truckloads of digital stuff by now, costing each way in excess of what you paid for your entire Mamiya kit."
    I do. Every piece of MF digital gear was paid for by charging clients a digital capture fee ... the Mamiya RZ system came out of my pocket. Big difference IMO.
  66. Marc,
    You summarized this thread beautifully "[Brand X] don't justify the cost for me - That is to be attributed to your low standards".
    For Harry, Brand X was Hasselblad. For you Marc, it was Mamiya.
    Oh. For me, it is Kiev (though i'm not quite sure my - or anyone's - standards can really be low enough...)
    I just can't see how to justify the cost of getting into Kievs to me. Any ideas that might help, anyone?
    You see what you did wrong there, Marc? You should have let your customers pay for the Mamiya as well. ;-)
    But seriously, though you got every cent you paid for the digital gear returned to you by your paying customers, there has been more money spend than would have been necessary, with the only return for it being time.
    I know this is a hasty world, full of people who would like to have things done not tomorrow, not even today, but yesterday.
    But they are only fooling themselves, lulling (in a haste, if that can be done) themselves into a false sense of (self)importance. "Time is money" is an old adage, that only has been with us as longs as it has because people knew it was nonsense, and behaved accordingly. Everything still got done (mostly better than things are done today) and the world was a better place because of it.
  67. Edward,
    People were willing to pay more for the Leica marque, which represented to them both the finest in optical and mechanical quality (Though it does say much about Leica's technological skills at designing 35mm SLRs that, from the Leica R3 through the R5, and to a lesser extent, both the R6 and R7, its SLR cameras had an all too obvious Minolta heritage.). For years I have heard that the 24mm Elmarit - R lens was actually a Minolta Rokkor built at Minolta's factory under Leica specifications. But, unlike Zeiss, Leica did not have both the extensive quality control and personnel on site to ensure that its products were being produced in Japan under its rigorous supervision (That is the difference to a large multinational corporation like Zeiss and the much smaller firm that is Leica Camera Gmbh.).
  68. kevin b.: "Classic cameras found in antique stores are invariably overpriced. As to the value or worthiness of such an item, it was simply your mistake to take an antique dealer's word for it."​
    my experience has been quite the opposite. i bought an immaculate '51 rolleicord and two immaculate/mint yashica TLRs from a local antique consignment shop [at different times over the years, one was stolen later and one given away]. they were each perfect in every way, and sold at rock bottom... i probably got all three for less than a photo dealer would have asked for one of them. whereas the medium format cameras i got from photography shops all had problems to a degree. i asked myself whether the guy who really knew cameras would tend to get everything he could out of them -- whereas the people who spend most of the time with dishes, tablecloths, clothes and furniture would let it go at some price that seemed reasonable, not really looking into function and condition that much?
  69. Q.G., the unfortunate aspect of commercial work is that most everything went digital very quickly... especially printing. Nothing in the advertising or promotion world has ever been on a slow track ... film photography was tolerated only because the technology was what it was.
    The minute digital was good enough, it all changed ... virtually no one was willing to pay additional for high res scans that took even more time. For clients responding to minute changes in the competitive marketplace, time is indeed money.
    The Mamiya RZ system is somewhat less suited to digital work because the sensors are 645 based and the lenses are 6X7 based. Mamiya never released the promised 43mm, so there is no wide angle lens under 50mm for use with a 645 sensor. So using it, buying a digital back for it, and charging the client for digital capture is and was problematic compared to a 645 based MF camera system.
    On the other hand, for others it would be a killer system for both film and digital capture on a personal photography basis.
  70. I would love to own a Hasselblad 503 or Mamiya RB67 outfit. The sad fact is that I can't afford either. I use a Kowa Super 66 with a 55mm and a 110mm Macro with a meter prism. Is this as good as a Hasselblad or Mamiya outfit? Probably not. But they are what I can afford and I am happy with the results.
    I really don't think that Hasselblad equipment is inferior at all, but I do question the prices. Some Hasselblad lenses cost more than my Ford Ranger. Where does the point of diminishing returns begin?
  71. what do you think of Leica S2 jumping into the Medium Format market? Is it really Medium Format? Do you think that its small size is going to move any of you over? Will Canon or Nikon come up with a competitive sensor? Would like to hear the experts on this topic.

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