Would you sell your Leica gear for Hasselblad gear?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by michel_girerd, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. OK, here is the deal...I'm a student and I’m also working, and
    things being what they are right now, money isn't a easy thing to
    come by these days...:) now, I've always had quality taste...:(
    I purchased 3 years ago a Leica M6 (Black Paint Lhsa), along with a
    50mm Noctilux and a 21mm Asph, which i love very much indeed.
    Now, i'm seriously considering to move to medium format (my interest
    being fashion and landscape photography). I have been studying MF
    gear online, and decided to go with a Hasseblad 503CW kit (80mm) and
    a 180 CFE lens....
    At this point I have two options: Charge my friend "Credit
    Card"...or sell my Leica gear, which would be enough to cover the
    But I'm sure that at this point that selling the Leica would be a
    huge mistake that i would regret later on (i just love the object
    You two cents will be hugely appreciated.

  2. You'd regret very much selling your Leica & gear. They are like
    apples and oranges, and if you got the MF, you'd be able to do
    your fashion and landscape AND then use your Leica for street
    shooting, informal portraits, sports, travel, etc. Hey, you might
    even be able to make the MF pay for itself in a year, and then
    you'd have the best of both worlds.
  3. I agree with Josef - you need to keep both. Perhaps start with just the 503CW, and instead of the 80mm lens, consider getting the 100.
  4. Michel,

    Medium format probably wouldn't replace your need for 35mm. I thought that it would for me and it hasn't. I suspect you would regret selling the Leica for many years. You could always try some used gear first to make sure you like medium format. I found that I did not like the square (though many do!) and prefered 6x7 instead. I'm glad I didn't invest a lot in my first mf cameras...


    Jim Seaman
  5. Don't
  6. I think you've already answered your own question. Keep the Leica gear.
  7. If you have to sell something, sell your 21mm, but you will regret the Leica and the Noctilux, there is simply no equivalent camera/lens combination anywhere for night shooting.
  8. Michel, absolutely keep your Leica gear and start to think about a Rolleiflex in good condition. I shoot with both systems and is like having everything. Fashion and Landscape with the Rolleiflex is a dream and almost all the rest can be done with the M. Moreover, using the "sport finder" in the Rolleiflex, you'll discover you can use the Rollei very much in the "snapshot" Leica mode. A winning combo!
  9. If you shoot mostly color: sell it! For me 35mm film systems are only useful when I (a) travel; (b) shoot with telephotos (eg., bird photography); (c) do black and white and print in a darkroom. (d) if really wide angle photography (in the 14-20mm range) is what you shoot, a film camera is great. Otherwise, go digital...to me cameras (even Leicas) don't seem to be the best way to invest one's money.

    Look at 6x7 medium format especially the Mamiya System for film. Or take a look at a used Fuji Rangefinder (sans meter) in the 6x7 or 6x9 format. Why pay for an Hbad? It is just a camera with a name and a larger than needed price tag.

    By late 2005 be ready to move into full frame 35mm digital.

  10. Handling (or fondling for the Leica guys...) a quality machine an experience in itself. I don't know much of the Blad 503 but the questions you may want to consider are: Do you want 6x6? Is it digital ready?

    I have a C645 and want a Leica 35mm also, there are times when you just won't want to carry an MF camera, nor is it appropriate for some things. Keep the Leica, buy a used M645 (dirt cheap, but not a cheap camera) and when you have the clams for the Blad, go for it.

  11. Best to keep all your camera gear as you might end up buying it twice if you sell. I use the Leica for personal shots, travel, and as a fun camera. For land scapes you might want to consider LF and for fashion, digital. It doesn't have to be one or another. Why not have a family of cameras.
  12. No, but I would sell it for Rollei 6000 or Mamiya RZ67 gear. Frankly, I'd sell my Leica gear for MONEY, while I could still get something for it. Pretty soon, like all other 35mm gear, it will be worth quite a bit less than it is now. Then I'd buy whatever I wanted to with the proceeds.
  13. I don't think the resale value of Leica will drop. The situation is analogous to classic mechanical watches. For $100, you can get a reliable high-tech quartz watch, which you can compare to a digital Rebel or something like that. But there will always be people who are willing to drop $20000 on an antique Gruen, because they appreciate hand-made fine mechanical technology, or they like to fondle classic watches, or whatever, and that's the same niche as the odd brotherhood of Leicaphiles.

    Robert and Luis and others are right on the money, though. Michel should get a MF camera of the non-Hassy persuasion, and keep the Leica gear. 35mm is a compromise, but you always need to have it around.
  14. As a student I don't see any reason for you to assume that getting a MF
    camera is going to help make you into a fashion photographer. The first thing
    you should be doing is to practice taking fashion shots with friends you know
    and experimenting and learning with your current equipment. It doesn't take a
    MF camera to do that. If you can't take a fashion shot with a 35mm camera you
    can't do it with a MF camera. Second, if that is truely your interest, I'd be
    looking for an assistants job as of tomorrow. Take a portfolio with you. Third, I
    checked your portfolio, and I see cats and landscapes. Anything else around?
    Realize that making money at landscape photography is very hard to do, and
    takes quite an effort not only from an artist perspective, but as a businessman
    as well. We'd all love to be the high paid fashion photographer working for the
    major magazines, or the wilderness treking landscape photographer who
    goes to exciting places all the time, but it takes paying ALOT of dues and it
    most always comes down to who you know. Since you seem young, or
    youngish, you have alot of time ahead of you to play the change the
    equipment game, but I'll tell you right now, it's a fool who goes down that path
    thinking that a peice of equipment is going to change things for them. I've
    bought many peices of equipment thinking that "if only I had that" I could do
    this or that. Ha, what a joke. Use your Leica, shoot your ass off, shoot
    everything and put together a dynamite portfolio before you start buying more
    or trading equipment.

    I checked your portfolio.
  15. You don't have Leica gear, you have esoteric collectors gear, some of the most overpriced items in Leicadom. Sell them to those that will caress and covet them and buy working gear for half the price, you'll easily have enough left over to buy those Hasselblad items.

    M6TTL LHSA: $2200

    Noctilux: 1500

    21ASPH: 1400

    TOT: $5100

    Then buy:

    M6 $1100

    50/2 600

    21 C/V 300

    TOT $2000

    That will net you $3100 for the following (used, mint-)

    Hasselblad 503CW: $ 900

    80CF 500

    A12 (later style) 300

    180CF 1400

    TOT $3100
  16. Jay's recommendation is the most sensible one I know. If you are attracted to photography itself, not the luxury item. You could always get a Noctilux in the future.
  17. can't argue with jay on this one. i've got a kit as above (no 180) but with a pme-45 (45 degree metered prism finder), plus extras for sale. if interested contact me.
  18. Jay's response is right on.

    I have both systems and use them for different purposes. One doesn't replace the other.
  19. I too agree with Jay, except I'd get, instead of the M6 and 50mm Summicron, the Hexar RF kit including the 50mm Hexanon-M and another body, a Voigtlander Bessa R2. That would give Michel 2 NEW bodies rather than one used one: one would be an AE motorized body (The Hexar RF) and one would be a manual body, (the Bessa R2). And, this would cost a couple of hundred less than just the used M6 and Summicron 50.
  20. Sell it and don't look back.(Iv'e been there with the Noct and Summicrons) Go out and shoot for your folio with a Blad and 2 lenses but buy them used in excellent condition and choose CF lenses, you will save loads to put towards a prism and winder. Also consider a 100mm lens (stunning) instead of the 80mm, great combo with 60 & 180.
  21. I said exactly the same thing as Jay on the Leica forum in answer to your question Michel.

    Let me add something to that.

    Like Jay, I own both the M and a Hasselblad system. I wouldn't dream of shooting most, if
    not all, my commercial work with a M camera (with the exception of wedding candids).

    The same goes for you, the type of work you want to do is far better expressed with the


    Here's a perspective beyond that of most people here who are photographers: In my "real"
    job I am an Executive Creative Director for an Ad Agency. Art Direction was my path to
    that CD position, and I still exercise the craft of Art Direction. Images for commercial use
    have some pretty hefty demands put on them. Many are either shot on MF film and drum
    scanned, or shot with high meg Digital backs on MF cameras. There is some work done
    with the Canon 1Ds and probably some will be now done with the Kodak 14n now that
    they have supposedly fixed it. But a vast majority of money generating work still comes
    from MF workhorse cameras like the Hasselblad V series. Fashion and Landscape work
    both are often used for very large reproductions where 35mm gets pushed to the limits in
    terms of tonal gradations which much larger formats handle much better.

    BTW, I agree that you should get the 100/3.5 instead of the 80/2.8 if you can manage it,
    but that could be difficult as most Hasseys are sold as kits.
  22. Michel, I have done exactly that. But because I have also a few other 35mm cameras, of which perhaps my favourite being a Contax RTS2, this made it slightly easier to give up the Leicas.
  23. Michel - You would soon regret selling your M6. I have a Rolleiflex and an M6 and the differences are vast. As to image quality you need only worry about it if you blow up to more than 12x16. There is no doubt that my Rollei produces sharper images on very large prints. But, oh boy, is the Rollei clumsy . Compared to a Leica it's all fingers and thumbs and terribly slow. Focussing is not as easy for accuracy and of course you are limited to 1/500th. But I like using the Rollei if I can take lazy planned pictures. For spontaneity the Leica is king.
  24. Hi Michel!

    You have probably made your decision by now. My response is based on your apparent decision to use film based equipment not digital.

    As an earlier responder suggested I personally would sell your present Leica system - repurchase a less expensive one and use the difference (profit) to purchase a Hasselblad system after renting/borrowing one first to see if you can adapt successfully to the square image format. This can be a very real problem for some photographers. The Bronica GS-1 is a decent camera that handles all formats 35mm to 6X7. While not a Hassey it is a fine camera/lens system (IM0). Also quite a bit less expensive than 'Blads.

    I shoot primarily stock photography and use mainly 35mm SLR equipment (Nikon). My Hasselblad system (ancient 500c with three chrome lenses) is used for black and white images only.

    Quite often art directors do prefer square images so that is a definite consideration(MF)which argues for format flexibility (35mm vs. MF).

    However, digital photography is now quite often the preferred medium commercially due to immediacy of previewing results, unlimited image modification (quality and sizing), and electronic transmission capability. If you do stay with film you will need a high quality scanner and possibly a printer. I am an old guy (68) so will stick to film for the remainder of my photo career.



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