View Full Version : Old Hasselblad...some help

14-11-09, 13:17
Hi all

I am new here and by FAR a professional when it comes to cameras and photos. So, I hope some can help me.

I am dreaming of a old Haselblad, late 60`s or early 70`s. Why?
Well, my dad had one back then, and looking at the photos he did take, brings back so many memories.
That is why I like to have one to, and use it now, maybe not to all my photos, but now and then.

But, how are these old cameras?
I know they was good back then, but today?

Is it hard to find a good one, and use it today?

All help is good for me.

Thanks for looking


14-11-09, 13:53
It is still possible to find and use an old Hasselblad today. However, they are NOT cheap.

Ffordes Photographic has some Hasselblads and you can buy 120/220 format film. It will cost you about 15 pounds to buy and develop a roll of film.

The camera itself is about 1000 pounds: https://secure.ffordes.com/index.htm

If that's really what you want and you have the money to run a medium-format setup, then go ahead...but if you want nostalgia for less money then 35mm cameras are the way to go. I would only run a medium format setup if you have a lot of money, you want a lot of nostalgia and you are serious about quality. Hasselblads were what the pros had ;-)

14-11-09, 14:18

Thanks for the reply and the link.

Well, yes, I am after quality, easy to use, easy to have repaired today (when needed) and the nostalgia of it all.

I am after, thinking, of a Hasselblad only for the fact that my dad had one, and even today, the quality on the photos he did take, are great!

That say a lot to me about the camera.

But, as you say, it is a lot of money, for a old camera, maybe it is crazy to do so........For the same money I can get a nice Leica, nostalgia there to....hmmm.

All help, information, pro and cons regarding my Hasselblad dream is good.

Thanks for helping and good information here on the forum


14-11-09, 15:30
Yes, I was thinking that for that money my brain would instantly think 'Leica M'. A 35mm camera, even one that isn't a Leica will give excellent results.

Also, your dad had the Hasselblad because maybe it was one of the best cameras of the day...if you were to follow this you could get one of the best cameras of today, maybe a Nikon D300.

Pros of the Hasselblad: Excellent build quality, superior picture quality.

Cons: VERY very expensive, manual camera so needs some getting used to.

Do you have 900-1200 euros/pounds whatever to spend on a camera? It is a lot of money after all!

14-11-09, 15:51

Yes, 900-1200 $/ is a lot of money, and its a lot to use on a old camera....

Pros: A good Leica from that time, is also close to that in price.....But, film is easier to get.

I think, guess, it is more the nostalgia, the feeling of that old camera, taking picture`s with a quality not all cameras today can match, the heavy old style on all these old cameras. Giving me a, made to last, feeling.

Well, will seek around, maybe some more members will stop by and say what they feel, think. Maybe there are some old Hasselblad users here?

Dont get me wrong Alex1994, your help, info is of great value to me:), thanks a lot.


Don Hoey
14-11-09, 18:10
Hi, vegard,

I have no experience of using Hasselblads. Always way beyond my reach financially so I used a Bronica SQA for the best part of 10 years instead.
I realize cost will be a major consideration, but from a perspective of age and therefore possible repair/servicing costs I would not suggest looking at models earlier than 500C/M. If you can get one with the Acute Matte focussing screen which was standard from the 501C/M then looking through that will blow you away.

While Alex favours 35mm as a film format, my experience while I had my Bronica was that I favoured 6x6 on 120 film by a considerable margin, even though I had two Nikon F2's for 35mm use at the time. Due to the film area 120 will always beat 35mm, just as 4x5 will always beat 120 and so on. As for Hasselblad or other quality 6x6 then I doubt you could tell the diffence from the pics.
Late 60's or early 70's period for a camera is a bit limiting in terms of advances in the mechanics of cameras and is probably not important in terms of image quality as it is the film available to you that will have a far greater influence. A greater consideration is potential repair/servicing costs. Hence in the Hasselblad range I suggested 500C/M onwards.

Perhaps to a degree film format should perhaps be the initial consideration if the price of a Hassleblad is a bit over the top and you are unsure as to 120 v 35mm.
Next up will be if you have a preference for European manufacture or not. Always remember other than the world of the 120 SLR there were some very good twin lens reflexes.

If you are still seriously considering Hasselblads then I will try and find a bit more info as from the research I did before getting my Bronica there are some early Hasselblad models best passed by.


14-11-09, 18:22
As an occasional (read: nostalgic) Rolleiflex user, I'd agree with Don regarding 120 format vs. 35mm. Alex's pricing for a roll of 120 D&P is about right here in the UK too. At about €1.50 per shot for contact prints, it soon gets pricey. It does focus the mind wonderfully on lighting and composition though........

I'd also agree with Don about not really being able to see the difference in quality between a 'Blad and another brand. If you've got your heart set on a 'Blad, then there's little point in suggesting anything else, purely because of the emotional attachment the brand has for you.

Remember though, any camera is perfectly capable of taking bad pictures in the wrong hands. It's YOU that takes the picture, not the camera. Get the subject and composition wrong, and it's wrong, regardless of the badge on the front. Buying expensive kit is no guarantee of taking good pictures.

14-11-09, 18:27
Some excellent advice there Don. Medium format will always beat 35mm when it comes to resolution; the only reason I can recommend 35mm is because both the film and the cameras will be cheaper, whilst still giving enough qualilty. 120 film and larger was usually for serious enthusiasts who wanted big prints and of course professional photographers who needed the best. 35mm still gives you more resolution than you will probably ever need, unless you want to enlarge a print to cover a wall, where 120 or larger is the way to go. If you plan to have just 5x7 inch prints then 35mm will serve you well--in fact a 35mm negative can be enlarged to A3 size without any drop in quality.

Bronica is also a make to consider, as is Mamiya, both made quality cameras.

14-11-09, 18:54
Hi all

Thanks for all the help and good information.

Well, first, yes, the old style has the nostalgia in it for me. But, not sure that is all one need to buy something....But, still, the idea of a old camera in 120mm is getting back to me.

Don, Thank you for the good information. Yes, it is expensive......it is. But, so is ALL makers from that age. I will take your advice and look around for something like a 500C/M and up, like a 501 C.

But, then I also hear the words of a coworker, who say: No, get a Rolleifix!!!
Witch brings me over to yelvertoft and his words.

Yelvertoft, thanks for the info. you use the camera a lot? How old is it?
As you say, the price keeps you`r mind in focus when taking pictures. Pricy, but that is just the way it is.....

I do know and understand that a professional will take better photos than me using a Hasselblad and the professional using a low priced 135 camera.

I am not looking nor hoping to be a professional, I am seeking the good old style, feeling and quality of that old cameras. Be it a Hasselbald or a Rollo.

Haver to say, the Rollo is good looking to.

Yes, I have my mind set on a European maker.
So, as you say yelvertoft, I will seek around, try and find out more, before I buy something.

Thanks for helping me all

14-11-09, 19:13
Yelvertoft, thanks for the info. you use the camera a lot? How old is it?
As you say, the price keeps you`r mind in focus when taking pictures. Pricy, but that is just the way it is.....

Is it mine? Yes
How old? 1938 Automat Type II
Do I use it a lot? No, very rarely these days, it's just too expensive to keep feeding it.
Price and repair? How much do you want to pay? Can be cheap to buy, can be very expensive, it depends which specific model you get.
Quality, as long as it's clean, with no fungus in the lens, and light tight, it'll have the capability for very good technical quality. But - it's down to YOU, not the camera.
You can see a picture of it below

If you get something like this, you'll need to buy a lightmeter too, or use the table on the back with suggested settings.

14-11-09, 19:17
Hi, thanks for the reply and information.

Well, boy, that is a nice camera, just had a look at google.

Yes, it is expensive to buy and keep running, like a old car.
But, I keep looking at them, yes, I know it is crazy for me. A amature looking for a professionals camera, and on top a old one.......ai ai ai.

But, I will have one!
Just need to learn more about them, how to use them and so.

Thanks for all the help.

14-11-09, 20:39
You mention that you want something that can be fixed, and serviced. It can be a personal thing, but reality is mechanical medium format Hasselblads have more of a following so command higher prices than electronic controlled Bronica's and Mamiya's, in the same way a good manual pre-owned Nikon FM2 fetches more than a far more advanced, but electronic, F90x. Personally, I would go for a 'blad everytime. There is a reason why prices start at around 700 for a body,waist level finder,back and 80mm lens (though an EL/M will set you back around start price of 500, but I wouldn't recommend unless it comes with service history and has had the battery conversion properly done).....that reason is quality.
Many medium format Rollei's are on average great collectors cameras, with plenty of pomp and ceremony, but they generally aren't that hot in terms of users. I'm sure there's many a Rollei fan out there who'd shoot me down in flames, but really, they are over-priced!
Leica M's might be rather high, but an older 35mm film rangefinder M39 screw body with lens typically start from around 300 for a user

14-11-09, 20:48
Hi Joe

Thank you for the reply and info.

Well, the more I read around here, and other sites, the more I want a old Hasselblad.

So, the hunt is one!

LOL, yes, I am seeking around now for a used, Hasselblad.

If I am doing the right thing? Do not know yet, but it feels right. And that is part of why we do these things, getting out and buying old things to use them cars, cameras,watches and so one......

Thank you all for helping me

14-11-09, 21:03
this is probably the cheapest (but not recommended) Hasselblad option, the link explaining some of the pitfalls of this model. Power issues and now non existance of spares probably rules it out;

I would recommend a C/M, but you might find an older C around if you hunt a little? (and some spare parts are available believe it of not!)

14-11-09, 21:41
Joe, Hi

Thanks for the links and the information.

Well, I will seek around to I find a C/M model from Hasselblad.

Now, I have to read some information about Hasselbald.....

Thanks for helping me