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Hasselblad lens 1 sec off


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Hi there


I'm new to the forum but I've already read a ton of threads.


I recently bought a 500cm with some lenses. When I set the 250mm to a 1 second shutter an stop the time it takes a little longer than 1 second. Does this mean all shutter times are off? Or could it be just the longer ones?


Thanks and best

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The shutter speeds below 1/60th rely on a slow speed geartrain and governor to yield the right speeds. Yours is probably sticky/gummed up. If 1 second is off, all the others are too. A cleaning will fix this. If you are daring, there is a video on Youtube that is about an hour or so long that walks you through this exact problem on a 80mm Plannar. The shutter on your 250mm is the same.
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It's hardly surprising that a 40 year old camera and lens could need servicing. The shutter speed ring of a properly serviced lens should turn smoothly across the full range, cocked or uncocked, especially to the highest speed. The 500cm should wind smoothly, without any "lumps" or resistance, and the auxiliary shutter should open and close without any hesitation.


Roughness setting the shutter speed is a real danger sign. I ignored it, and had pieces fall out of a C50 into my hand. My 500cm has worked perfectly since it was serviced 15 years ago. CF lenses seem to be more robust than older C versions. I don't miss the saw-blade setting rings either.


If the shutter speed were off by 50%, that's only a little more than 1/2 stop - not a game-stopper.

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Heavy or uneven resistance in the shutter ring feel is a big red flag in the older C lenses, as Ed_Ingold warns: get the lens serviced (or replace it altogether) ASAP if it has that symptom. His experience of total mechanical failure with his 50 C mirrors mine with a 120mm S-Planar.


If the ring turns with consistent, normal resistance between speeds a 250 may or may not need immediate service depending on C vs CF, what you paid and how you use it. With the oldest silver or black all-metal 250mm C especially, the value of a frighteningly expensive service is debatable right up until the lens completely fails. This is because the 250mm C is effectively "worthless" in market terms vs other Hasselblad lenses: easily found in working or mostly-working condition for $150 or less. Given the price of a Compur shutter service from reputable specialists has climbed north of $400 in recent years, one really has to think twice ( if not three times) whether they will actually use the 250mm often enough to amortize that cost over 6-7 years.


With its f/5.6 maximum aperture, the 250mm is primarily an outdoors, tripod-based lens. If the faster speeds seem to be working well, and most of the slower speeds, I would not worry too much about 1 sec dragging or even sticking. I've owned enough C lenses to know from experience: it is common for sticking/dragging to limit itself to just 1 sec, or the range 1 sec to 1/4 sec, while 1/8 thru 1/500 remain fully usable for years. Just pay attention to how the shutter is firing in use: if the slow speed governor fails entirely, you'll notice all speeds btwn 1 sec and 1/30 will drag interminably or hang. From then on, if you can live within the durable range of 1/60 and 1/500, you can still get away with not servicing the lens.


Note the previous paragraph assumes you acquired a 250mm C lens in the past few years at the current fire sale price of under $150, it isn't your go-to or often-used focal length, and you don't shoot subjects that require the full range of slow shutter speeds. If 250mm is a critical lens in your work (not just a dalliance because you found one for peanuts), it is advisable to upgrade from the ancient C lens to a newer CF. If your current failing lens is a C, you can trade up to the more reliable, more ergonomic CF for less than the cost of servicing an old C (of course if your current failing 250mm is already a CF, just get it serviced).


There are potential risks involved in changing lenses rather than repairing, but the risk is fairly small vs the comparable cost of repairing an ancient C. A 250mm CF advertised as fully operational with money-back guarantee at $350 is likely to keep working well for quite some time, is much more comfortable to operate, and holds value better than a silver or black 250mm C. Unless you are very attached to a particular 250mm C for sentimental or performance reasons, or desperately need to retain B57 filter commonality with the C 80, 100, 120 and 150 lenses, IMO spending $350 to upgrade to a CF is a better value proposition than spending the same amount repairing a 250 C lens. Shorter, more-versatile, more market-desirable C focal lengths are a different story: they can still justify their repair cost if one prefers an all-C lens kit over CF.


Patient, attentive shopping can net a good 250mm CF for under $250. Look for cosmetic flaws like worn lettering or missing/cracked plastic trim ring behind the diamond-pattern rubber focus band: these have little to no effect on function, but easily knock $100 off the sales price.

Edited by orsetto
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