suggest a 5x4 camera with Hasselblad lens

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by paulcooklin|1, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. Hi - Ive been tempted to get in to LF for some time but always chicken out as Im not 100% sure I have enough information to make a purchase. Recently Ive found a lens board which mounts the Hasselblad 500CM lenses which has made me rethink my options. (see here:
    I would like some suggestions on which outfit to go with to start out, baring in mind I would like to use my 500cm lenses, what bodies will work with the above board. Ideally Id like to spend 500 quid or less on the whole kit, including the 150 quid for the lens board above, which I realise limits my options unless you can suggest something considerably better value.
    Im not concerned about prestigous names or brands, and it doesn't have to be built to last a lifetime, if I like and use the LF system I might 'upgrade' at a later date to better quality parts as long as I can use the 500cm lenses.
    Can you suggest an outfit or where to buy you have an outfit to sell or know of somewhere?

    Any suggestions or things to avoid?
    Would a Speed Graflex work with the lens board above?
    Many thanks for your help.
  2. Hello Paul,
    I think the main problem here is the image circle of the Hassy lens. The circle has to cover the area of the negative, which is in the Hasselblad case 2 1/4 x 2 1/4. As you know, the "normal" lens is equivalent to the diagonal of the negative area (in 6x6 cm negative size about 80 mm)
    A lens with a coverage of 5x4 has to have a much larger image circle, the normal lens here is about 150 mm, as the negative and therefore diagonal measurement of the negative is much larger. So if you use a lens, calculated for medium format, you will have the image circle on your negative with the picture inside. The outer part of the negative will not be hit by the light.
    So there is a possibility to use lenses with larger image circles on smaller format cameras, e.g. Hasselblad lenses on 35mm equivalent with adapter, but not vice versa. You could not use a lens for a 35mm camera on your Hassy without the vignetting on the outside.
    For 500 quid you'll get already a good start in LF, including a lens that covers the film area.
    hope this helps
  3. What do you intend to shoot? A Crown Graphic is a good start, as long as you don't need extensive movements. And you can use it hand held.
  4. Im trying not to limit the possibilities too much as my portfolio below is varied and wish to continue that way. Perhaps a Crown might be a good starting point. Im trying to find one with the Dagor lens.
  5. a hassleblad as said is a 6 x 6 camera with a shorter back focus ( shorter body) than a 4 x 5 cqamera.
    A 4 x 5 normally has a 135mm or 150mm lens, wa lenses are sometimes shorter.
    you could use the lens for close up work
    but as said, it may not cover the 4 x 5 negative.
    even with a 120 ro;ll film back. the bellows would be slid way back
    hasslebl;ad does not make lenses
    they use carl zeiss lenses. A german 4 x5 would or may have a proper zeiss lens/
    early hassleblads used a kodak extar lens as sweden would not do businned with the germans or the factories were in ruins - not sure.
  6. A 80mm lens of moderate coverage like a Planar is typically used only for a 6x6cm format. Here with my 2x3 Century I have a 80mm F2.8 Xenotar with a 6x7cm back; but have not tried it beyond its normal range with a 6x9cm back.
    With a 80mm Planar on a 4x5 Speed Graphic one will get a round image; like an 1890's camera; ie dark corners.
    Here is an equally weird combo; 35mm F2.8 Nikkor on a 4x5 Speed Graphic; you get a round image too but way smaller than what a 80mm planar would do.
    Some folks use a dslr on a view camera then a still lens from a smaller format to just have some movements. Here I have a 4x5 scan back and the 35mm lens was for some closeups of a scale model
    Most all folks with a press or view camera do not use MF lenses or 35mm lenses; unless it is for some weird application

    It is not clear what type of images you are going to shoot; thus a MF to LF lens adapter seems a bit odd.
    Many 4x5 press cameras have lenses in the 127 to 135mm range as their normals; many 4x5 views are longer ie 150 to 210 is more common.

    a whole group of LF folks want lenses with alot more coverage that the film; for "movements"; a MF lens has none and will not cover a 4x5 frame; you get a circle. You might have give a few of the "movement Police a heart attack" with this thread! :) :)

    The application of your might be for macro or tilts with a digital MF back or 35mm back/dlsr on a LF camera is my guess.
  7. OK, understood. When I saw that there was a lens board specifically for the Hasselblad lenses I just assumed it was possible to use MF lenses with LF camera's, or why would they exist.
    Im leaning towards the Crown Graphic more so now.
    Are the side shades sufficient or will I need some kind of dark cloth?
    What lens would you recommend for wide angle, perhaps the equiv' of a 50mm in MF and a standard 80mm.
    Thanks again,
  8. A Crown Graphic would indeed be a good choice if you want to use 4 x 5 film-- it's a versatile camera, although it has only vestigial movements. It may be hard to source a Graphic in the UK, but you can always buy from overseas. It would be unusual to find a Graphic fitted with a Dagor, and in any case I don't know why you specifically want a Dagor.
    Hit the books for a couple of months and do more research before you make your decision. Figure out why you need large format, and what you want the camera and lens to do. Your Hasselblad will already do most things a big camera can, and it will do some of them better.
  9. Paul; the image above is of a 1946 Virgina State Police WW2 blackout trim 4x5 Speed Graphic with a spring back; a 1947 model and later is a Pacemaker speed or crown; most of these have a Grafloc back which has 4 sides that pop out around the ground glass. A Grafloc back is what most folks prefer; one can add a roll film back easier; the ground glass is easier to remove etc.
    A common *TRAP* is you see a speed or crown and assume it is a 4x5; but a 3x4 model looks similar and in the excitement of ebay some folks buy a 3x4 model; little if any sheet film fits a 3x4; plus roll backs are rarer. A warning sign on ebay is if the cameras size is not mentioned!
    A speed has a focal plane shutter; its body is thicker; it weights a tad more. It allows any funky lens to be used; even a magnifer! A crown has no focal plane shutter; body is thinner.
    If one wants gobs of movements; a view camera can be turned into a pretzel if needed; but then you need a a lens with alot of coverage too.
    On 4x5 press cameras in the USA a common lens is a 127mm or 135mm; with view cameras a 150mm or 210 is more common.
    Press cameras are fairly rugged beasts. The 4x5 camera in the image went under salt water in Katrina and the focal plane shutter still works; the lens iris works but the leaf shutter only works on 1/25 and bulb. A 3x4 camera that was grumpy before the storm became a mess; the shutter one stuck mess. I hosed both off with water 2 weeks later.
    Sometimes it is better to get a starter old 4x5 press or view rig and just use it; before spending alot on a better rig; then later one will have better idea of what one wants.
  10. Pardon my ignorance. Are 'blad lenses triggered by the body or do they have an external release? If by the body, then even if coverage isn't a problem using one on a press or view camera will be problematic.
    Second the advice re coverage. If you want to shoot a format larger than nominal 6x6, you'll need lenses made to cover it.
    Don't second the advice re back focus. 4x5 Anniversary Speed Graphic (like the one Kelly showed) has minimum flange-to-film distance of 65.1 mm. 4x5 Pacemaker Speed Graphic, 66.7 mm. 4x5 Pacemaker Crown Graphic, 52.4 mm. Hasselblad (except SWC), 74.90 mm. Remember that the 'blad contains a mirror ...
    Second the advice to think harder about ends and means before spending money. If you want to learn more about Graphics, visit and read the FAQs.
  11. Thank you all above for your input, very informative. I will indeed give this some more thought.
  12. Paul; it is sort of like buying ones first bike; mower; saw,car, cellphone, whatever. Once one has used one of them awhile it is easier to figure out what features on wants!
  13. Kelly - I agree, I know exactly what you mean. Ive been back and forth on this for quite a while...each time I go back and put some more thought/research/energy in to it, I get a few different answers, but generally Im heading towards the Crown/Graphic...It wont be used in a studio, I'll be out in the field, quite literally, so size and portability is going to be key. I also like the look of the Gaoersi (what do you think?) as it seems like an oversized 135 or 120 camera..again, more research needs to be done before I commit and buy.
  14. When I saw that there was a lens board specifically for the Hasselblad lenses I just assumed it was possible to use MF lenses with LF camera's, or why would they exist?​
    I don't know why it exists, but here's a guess. Some people use 6x9 and 6x12 backs on 4x5 cameras. The Hasselblad lens might cover those sizes.
    Before I bought my 4x5 I looked over the photos that I liked most from my 35 mm (135) and 6x7 cameras. I noted the focal lengths that I liked to use the most and converted those to the equivalent focal lengths for an image that's 125 mm wide. For instance, I discovered that I could multiply a the focal lengths of my 35 mm lenses by a factor of 3.5 for an approximate 4x5 equivalent.
    E.g. 24 mm (3.5) = 84 mm. A 90 mm lens has a slightly narrower field of view than 24 mm in 135 format. This turned out to be ideal for most of my wide-angle shots.
    I would encourage you to review your photos and do a similar analysis to determine what LF lenses you might want to begin with.
  15. Your best option is get a kit on ebay as the medium format lenses not going to cover the size of 4x5. It's only works if you using 6x6 or 6x7 back, not allowing much movement either as the lens image circle is small and therefore its very limited. The nother problem is that Hassy's havent got a leaf shutter built into the lens as the Mamiya universal or lenses for the Mamiya 7 series so, exposing film is a nother problem, by the way I think Mamiya lenses made for the Universal has larger image coveredge as it covers the 6x9 back but I'm not sure.
    Seing prices on Ebay, kits does come cheaper sometimes than single items. Dont rush take your time and you will find one thats for sure. And yes, Crown Graphic would be good for you but even a Linhof III.
    I have seen a coplete kit with 3 lenses go for $ 450
  16. Sorry, the old 500c has it. they have shutter inbuilt in the lens then dissapered with the F lenses for 2000 FC/M
  17. Its irritates me that I know so little about the subject but back again with my tails between my leggs.
    The exposing the film is the real problem here. The Hassy need the body to trigger even if the lens has the shutter inbuild to it so as the Mamiya series 7. With out the body I find it difficult how one can expose the film. What comes to the lenses made for the Mamiya universal press which has a shutter mechanism with a cable relise would be okay but they wont cover 4x5"
    So if I'm wrong here please correct me
  18. Hi Paul
    I would also recommend a Crown Graphic. I bought mine on a famous auction site from a chap in London called D Duhan, who still sells them from time to time. You can contact him via E-Mail. £500 should get you a good one with change for all the extras like film holders and maybe another lens.
  19. Gareth - thanks for that. Do you have his email please.
  20. The major advantage of shooting a view camera is the perspective control: the movements, the swings and tilts. The Crown or Speed Graphics will normally outlive you (I've had lots of them), and although most of the lenses are reasonably good, they're not usually designed for extreme movements. They're awfully good "starter" cameras, though.
    The Linhof Technica is a very similar camera, and I've seen some that were not too expensive. It would be good to find the lenses that were designed for it though (I think most were Schneiders). For field work, it has most of the movements you need.
    I've seen adapters to put the Hasse onto the back of a view camera, and many years ago I designed a back allowing me to attach a Nikon camera to the view camera. Again, the issues are with lens coverage rather than film size.
    My own kit is a Sinar f with all Rodenstock lenses, and I've worked with it commercially for over 30 years, both in the field and in the studio. My backup is a Linhof Technica with all Schneider lenses. What I have learned is that the lenses don't interchange optically or color-wise. In other words shooting the same scene with a 210 Rodenstock and a 210 Schneider on the same camera even (it doesn't matter what kind of box or bellows they're attached to) will yield images with different color balance among other things.
    My advice is to pay most of the attention to getting lenses that match, rather than worrying about who makes the camera. Almost all view camera lenses are mounted in either a #1, #2, or #3 shutter, and you can buy a lens board (or drill one out to fit the shutter) for almost any view camera. You could buy a Crown Graphic and put good lenses on it and get the same results as a Linhof, etc. Also, almost all view camera lenses are mounted in leaf shutters, which are impervious to almost any environmental condition but since they're spring-operated need to be serviced occasionally to be accurate.
    Good Luck.
    Paul Burd
  21. which are impervious to almost any environmental condition

    Paul, perhaps an overstatement? Standard leaf shutters certainly aren't weather sealed, and I have drowned one once. I also have one or two old shutters which are sluggish in the cold, but work well at room temperature.
  22. As some have pointed out, you need to be concerned with the image circle projected by the lens. Any lens you plan on using for 4x5 at minimum needs to be able to cover the diagonal of the film.
    Therefore, any lens used for 4x5 must have an image circle of 6 1/2 inches, or approximately 165mm, to just barely cover the film if no movements will be used.
  23. Yeah the old greeze with dust gets sticky in the cold but the new lubrication technicaly speaking stand better against the cold. Get them re lubricated. Got some too but they were 40 years old. :)
  24. Most of the LF negatives ever shot are with press cameras; most LF negatives ever shot too have no movements; that was when alot of pros used LF.

    Today most LF is by amatuers; thus the camera to get is a "do all camera" often costing a grand or twos.
    Sort of like saying to by a chrome plated 15 speed bike that cost 2 to 3 grand.
    Thus while a dumb 150 buck 4x5 speed graphic with a 127mm Ektar will shoot a tack sharp 16x20 print;
    the "movement police" quickly preach movements; lenses that cover acres and varnished pretty bodies; a camera that can be turned into a pretzel.
    A dumb 127mm Ektar will not cover a 4x5 format for a purist; it really is a 3x4 lens, But it still makes a fine 11x14 print or 16x20 too.
    The issue I have with preaching too much at first is it drives many folks away from LF; when new blood is really needed.
    The 150 buck rig becomes a 1500 buck rig on many of these threads and thus LF is viewed as a rich mans club.
    The same sort of thing happens in ham radio. A used good 100watt Icom 735 might cost 150 to 400 on ebay; or a brand new barefoot rig 700 to 1000. Folks will parachute in and mention linear amps; big towers ; a TenTec radio and then the starter system is 5 to 15 grand.
    Rosenthal shot the Iwo Jima shot with a 4x5 Speed Graphic and 127mm lens; the rig the movement police here like to have folks "move up and away from " to a more proper LF rig.

    In all fairness; it really doesnt matter what LF camera is used for a starter rig.

    If you do not like that 200 buck rig it does not have much to loose if you want to go further.

    It is better to buy a zebco 202 and do some fishing before one buys a 2000 to 3000 buck fishing reel and pole.
  25. For 500 bucks one can buy a dumb 4x5 speed graphic with 127mm and a 4x5 B&J view camera with a 210mm lens and after 1 year know a heck of alot more about the ultimate dream camera
  26. I agree with you, I begin with a very simple 4x5 linhof kardan standard which I brought for $70 and got it for many years brought one lens that was a little bit more expencive and I still have that one left. And I dont think I have a better equipment today either as I got this Linhof color s and an old Technica III. and I'm still happy with both. It does the job for me.
  27. The Hasselblad "adapter" is a joke. It looks like an old-style, 10mm Hasselblad extension tube screwed to a lens board. You could do that yourself for half the price (about $100 for an used extension tube).
    The shutter in an Hasselblad lens is cocked and released from the rear (notice the "screwdriver" shaft). Without an elaborate mechanism, you'd have to remove the lens board to do either. There are Hasselblad lenses which have no shutter, which would work if you have a Speed Graphic and use the focal plane shutter. I suppose you could use a shuttered lens that way too, by cocking it with a coin, leaving the shutter open, and using the DOF preview to manually control the diaphram.
    Even so, an Hasselblad lens covers an area only slightly larger than the intended 6x6 cm film size - a mere hole in the middle of a 4x5. Finally, the flange-to-film distance is fixed at about 60 mm regardless of focal length - too close for any movements, and possibly closer than physically possible on a Speed Graphic.
    Then there's the matter of focal length. A "normal" lens on a 4x5 has a focal length of 150 mm to 180 mm. A 90 mm lens is considered very wide and a 75 mm lens (the shortest most people will ever use) is super-wide. An expensive lens for a 4x5 would cost about the same as a used lens for an Hasselblad, and probably (due a simpler design) produce sharper images. Either would cost more than an entire Speed Graphic kit with a 127 mm or 135 mm "standard" lens and a bunch of film holders. Film to lens distance for common LF lenses is roughly equal to the focal length, so even the shortest 4x5 lens allows more space than any Hasselblad lens.
  28. OK, thank you.
  29. Paul
    Check your E-Mail for the guy's contact details.
    For me, the pleasure of LF is in the large negatives and the lovely prints. I have taken the Graphic up onto the ski slopes, there's so much light you can easily shoot hand held with ISO 100 film. It really is a great camera to learn all the in's and out's of LF
  30. I did overstate about leaf shutters being impervious to the weather; they're not sealed like the new camera lenses are sealed, but what I've always appreciated about them is that, like the old Timex commercial "they'll take a licking and keep on ticking." A lot of my career has been spent photographing architecture, and when I get an exterior assignment I always start out before daylight and shoot the light until mid-morning and vice-versa, and I'm nearly always there four hours at time. Interestingly, it seems that a lot of those assignments occur in January/February.
    I've literally been standing behind the camera for hours in -20 F with 20mph winds. A typical digital camera (a D-200 in my case) stops working after about 20 minutes--the battery simply gets too cold to work--and even by keeping one battery warm in an inside pocket and swapping it when the other stops working, I'm pretty limited as to how long I can shoot. The view cameras with leaf shutters have never stopped working for me--not when I was shooting in high winds and driving rain from the top of a crain, and not when I was shooting at -30F and my hands were so cold I could barely cock the shutter. I do, however, take the lenses in and have the shutters checked and lubed at regular intervals.
    I don't get too many view camera assignments anymore--most everybody wants digital and they don't really care if the perspective is skewed. While my next piece of professional equipment will be a D3x with the 24 mm PCE lens, I still feel that nothing offers the perspective control of a view camera, and in many situations it is still by far the best tool for the job. I've spent plenty of time behind both Crown and Speed Graphics, and they have done their jobs admirably even with the 1940's lenses: they did what they were designed to do and they did it very well. Most of my LF work does involve large swings and tilts, however, so I usually go into the field with the Sinar and Rodenstock lenses which for what I do seem to be the best tools for the job.
    If I were starting over today and really wanted to learn about photography, I'd buy a cheap Speed Graphic and upgrade the lenses (I prefer Rodenstocks for most focal lengths), and it would probably do everything I needed it to do (maybe I'd have to use a little ingenuity for those extreme movements).
  31. I can think of two reasons for this kind of adapter to exist, apart from the possibility to use a Hasselblad lens on a 4x5 for closeups. There are small format view cameras, using 6x6 or 6x7 backs. Linhof makes one meant for digital use. One could also want to use a V system digital back on a view camera with Hasselblad lenses to get some movements. As the sensor is smaller than 6x6 film, one could get a bit more shift than on full frame film, and with back tilt or swing the movement would of course only be limited by the bellows. For this to work, there would need to be some way to use the lens shutter. Hasselblad made a flexbody back that was based on similar concept, enabling movements with Hasselblad lenses. This lens board would be a cheaper way to achieve the same for somebody who already has a view camera. I have a Hasselblad film back adapter for a 4x5 so I can use normal view camera lenses and movements with a 6x6 Hasselblad film back, or a digital back.
  32. With my 35 and 50 megapixel 4x5 scan backs; the active scan is 7x10 cm. With a lens for MF that is used for closeups; at 1:1 than 6x6cm lens will cover about 12x12cm on the film/sensor. Thus a MF lens if decent for closelups is useable in the 1:1 to say 1:4 range; if one just uses a 7x7cm scan at 1:4. None of this is really new; it has been done since LF scan backs came out in 1995. Here I often use a MF or LF enlarging lens with closeup work.

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