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Cases for easy use


New Member
I wonder if I might ask members for suggestions about how they carry their Hasselblad 5 series camera with the 80mm lens and extra film so that the camera is easily accessible and the weight is distributed comfortably. Space to carry another lens...say the 40mm or 50mm... and another magazine would be nice, but not absolutely necessary. I know the Hasselblad will never be as portable as the Leica or similar camera, but there should be a way to make it possible to walk about a small European city with one's MF gear so as to make use of the camera just a bit less intimidating for those of us over 60 years of age. I know of no Hasselblad Ever-Ready case that will contain the camera with the PME45 finder, and the 80mm lens with there one?

Thanks for suggestions. I know cases are a very personal decision, but ease of use and weight considerations are very important.

When I take a lot og Hasselblad gear I use a large lowepro aw trekker rugsack - they come in all kind of sizes and there are probably one that just squeze in the amount of equipment you describe. Rucksack way of carrying is a good way of distributing weight and not hurting you "old" back. When I "only" carry my SWCM or my 500CM I wrap a cloth around it and carry it in my small domke shouldebag (looks like an old schoolbag). Nobody suspects you of having expensive cameras in something that looks like the domke bags - its more like "a nerd - trendy by coincidence"-look so you will be able to walk more freely and safer around :) so my advice is - dont go for a Hasselblad brand bag get something anonymous
Rucksack 25

Works well for me and always seems to have room for more. And pouches are easily adapted. I have a very bad back and it allows me to carry the load.


Hello Elliot, I like to take picture on the road. I like to do it with Leica. But I do it with my 503cw, and I have the same problem. My solution is to carry my serie 5 system, body, back, finder and lens(in my configuration, I use the 180mm) and for the last travel, in Argentina, I used the LowePro solution, the S&F TopLoader 75AW, it was just made for all what I needed to use. For the second lens you can use one S&F Lens Case, like the 1 or the 1W but it depends of your lens, and you can fix it on your belt, or if you want more things you can use the S&F Light Belt, where you can fix more accessories of the S&F. It is nice because very adaptable of your needs. What it is nice, is that you can use the Hassy on the road too, not only in the studio. Laurent
Hi. I have a 501CM kit with 80, 50, 180, 250mm lenses and a few odds and sods such as filters etc. I happily carry it around as a complete kit in a Lowepro AW650 Stealth Street bag (the model number is correct but I am unsure about the name). It it the rectangular bag with a zip in the centre of the top flap that closes at the front of the bag for quick access.

The one I have is the latest version which got a design update - the top flap with the access zip is now padded. before it was not and was a worry about gear being hit from above.

I took a long time selecting this and it is one of 4 Lowepro bags I have for 35mm, MF and LF kits. I like Lowepro's quality, design and they understand bags a lot from Lowepro's original days making mountaineering bags and packs.

I am very happy with it for 3 reasons: 1. This is the only shoulder bag that flexes / curves around your body - ergonomically very good. Others are to rectangular and become uncomfortable. 2. the bag includes a rain cover that is easily accessed (need a big storm to require it); 3. the top covering flap is padded.

It comfortably fits my gear including a PM45 fitted to the body.

For flash (I use a Metz CL45) is put that in a large Lowepro lens case and attach it to the bag when I need to take it. I attach my Cokin filter wallet to the other side of the bag.

Weight! Heavy but comfortable with the huge padded shoulder strap for good distances.

The AW650 is the largest in this model and anything smaller is a waste of money in my view.
Hi Gil: I have a Billingham....or should I say several ( as I suspect many of us do ), in assorted sizes for various outfits. I agree they are nice bags and can be configured to hold much gear, but the cases are heavy ( well padded so that the outifts are protected ). I have not found that the Leica gear is that easily and quickly removed from them, and the way the bag hangs on the shoulder makes the weight increasingly noticeable as the hours go by. Who makes the Rucksack? It is a shame that Hasselblad ( or a third party provider ) has not seen fit to make more of an Ever-Ready case ( I have seen one, but it wasn't very good...provided by Hasselblad ) that might hold the camera and the prism plus lens shade protected and over the shoulder ready to go. One would have to transport the camera and associated equipment to a site with the Billingham, and then put the camera into the "ready case". One might then carry another lens and back ( film too ) on one's belt in one of the pouches alluded to by others. Sounds like a good project to think about during a retired physician with some surgical skills I wonder how one might proceed.


Thanks Laurent. I'll go to the LowePro site and take a look. Sounds like a viable the camera quickly and easily available to you? I realize, of course, that Hasselblad will never be like using a 35mm such as Nikon or Leica in ease and speed of use, but it would be nice to be able to move just a bit quicker in order to take advantage of the wonderful lenses and equipment we have invested in.

Thanks Simon...but do you carry all of your gear all of the time when you venture out to take photos? What do you do when you want to carry just the body with one lens, and another along to vary the viewing angle? No need to schlep all of the gear every place one goes, all of the time is there? Do you put the camera into a smaller bag, and thus carry less weight? Again....can the Hasselblad be "more like a Leica" for every day use, or does the weight and bulk have to be that limiting? I suppose that one might reply, simply, that a Leica ( or Nikon, or Canon, or brand X ) is simply better for walking about and taking pictures. But then one has relegated the Hasselblad to a certain somewhat limited niche. If that limitation is the reality then there is no other choice. After all, cars don't fly, and planes don't travel on small country roads...physics cannot be changed...

Good question Elliot. First, I don't find the Hassey ideal or even good (but that is me) for walk around shooting. If I did I might take only the 80mm like I use my Leica witha 35mm as a normal lens for street shooting.

When i take my Hassey kit for a day out I find I take the lot except maybe a film back or 2 and the flas gun. My view is why have the range of lenses only to regret leaving one at home!! That kit in the Lowepro plus a tripod is acceptable. I've come to terms with carting kit about!!

But, If I am going out for a specific purpose I will likely take 2 less lenses and so on so have a comfortable kit to cart about.

Finally, these days if I want to street shoot with MF, I take a wonderful Zeiss-Ikon Super Ikonta B (6x6) which has a great Carl Zeiss Tessar T f2.8 75mm lens (late 1950s folding camera with a tac sharp rangefinder). I can fit it in a coat pocket! It is also handy out in the field - set up the Hassey on a tripod and wander around with the Super Ikonta taking shots I might otherwise miss.

In terms of kits I might load up as follows:
1. Serious outing (1 or more days) - the whole kit including 3 backs; flash; Kokin kit and tripod. Use the Lowepro 650.
2. Specific shorter purposeful shoot - 2 lenses (I always include the 80mm); Kokin kit; 2 backs and tripod. Use a Lowepro AW450 bag - nice and compact and light.
3. Minimum kit - camera with 80mm lens and PM45 and the one back.
NB if ever I have trouble with fit in a bag - I dump the PM45 in favour of the waste level finder which I really like anyway and I find enables pin sharp focusing.

I get the the minimum kit into Lowepro's largest snout bag (just)which also accommodates my EOS 1vHS and the very big f2.8 24-70mm lens and hood.

It is amazing what a fuss planning a kit to go out with and the best bag for it can be. I have learnt over the years that no one bag does all jobs; just like no one camera is best for all jobs.

I am now looking for an older / rough looking but structurally sound Pelican case that I can dump one or 2 lowepro bags of gear into to put in aircraft stowage and not worry about.

I hope I have helped Elliot.
Given everyone's contributions, I have some further thoughts on cases to share for this discussion:
1. Ever-ready cases for 35mm and early MF folders are sensational - original master ex&les of great German design. I have a number of classic cameras from the 1920s through to the end of the 1960s all with original ever-ready cases.

Unlike today's snout bags for 35mm SLRs and pouch bags for more compact cameras, these are truly functional - open the front and fire away. What has amazed me is that some of the old cases (always made in beautiful thick and superbly finished leathers) are badly roughed up - did their jobs well; only to find a mint camera inside - well protected for up to 60 years!!

Why can't the likes of Canon add some "feel" back to their products and offer such master that add to one's pride of ownership! For AU$5,000.00 why not give a customer a nice ever-ready case for your flagship product!

Some of the different ways the old ones fit to the camera body and enable use of winding and other mechanisms are sensational.

2. Fortunately Leica has some good sense - I just ordered an ever-ready for my M7 to avoid messing about with separate soft bags and zips (God I hate zips). Leather also develops a charm as it gets worn, so I won't fuss too much about knocking it about.

3. Zips (and velcro) - thank God the German engineers did not discover zips or velcro. That horrible sound of velcro is enough to make you puke - try opening a velcro tab when shooting a wedding inside the church!!! Yes nylon zips are reasonably quiet - but be aware that it can be very damaging!!! As you pull a beautiful black Carl Zeiss lens out of a bag it rubs even one side of the zip, it can cause you much disappointment if it leaves a permanent mark on the lens barrel!!

4. Rucksacks: I was planning a 4 week trip to China (1 week business and 3 weeks holiday) and took my complete EOS kit - fast and heavy lenses etc.. So I realised I needed a rucksack style bag - bought a Lowepro trecker (largest). It carried about 15 kilos all up, which I often lightened up by 5 kilos. I have a small issue with a lower back joint so am very careful with ergonomics and good orthopaedic design of bags. Not only did the unique Lowepro design and system for height and fitment into the "small of the back" make it feel 50% lighter and prevent back ache, it actually improved my back condition!!! Yes, every week I carry it for an hour or 2 as a preventative measure!!! This is not an ad for Lowepro - but worth telling.

Shoots lots of pictures!
I have to agree with you Simon on the rucksack design of lowepro - they are really great and makes a lot of weight "disapear"
I think the lack of nice leather everready cases are a question of style/fashion and that the camera makers believe that a nylon velcro bag/case apeals to the amateur-tourist-shooter while the semi-pro-shooter prefers having their 10x?x$ camera rolling around on the floor of their car in order to get a more authentic pro-look patina. The camera makers probably also think that nobody would like to look like someones grandfather with a kodak retinette in a brown leather eveready bag/case. I like the old eveready bags Rollei TLRs came in and especially the bags the folding Zeiss Ikons came in - more like a little bag were you pull the camera entirely out of before shooting.
And yes without these sturdy small eveready bags/cases not many of these cameras would have survived 60 + years.
Over the years I have sold a lot of equipment to my photodealer when getting new and in the beginning he always asked if it was my backup camera and stuff like that because the were almost minty - after som deals I could just call him over the phone and he was always ready with a "best" price for my used equipment because he knew they would be in the best condition - so did I never use them - I did put plenty of film trough them but I always wrapped them in a piece of cloth/towel before putting them back into the bag and after a shoot I put them into a plastic bag with silica gel.
Apart from that when I was at home with the kids I let them play around (supervised) with my cameras until a point when the simply lost interest and after that I never had to worry about them abusing my cameras or trying to parashuting them from the second floor into the garden:)
By the way Simon - the only camera I have ever regretted selling was my super ikonta, did it some 15 years ago - needed the cash then - it was a true little gem.:)
Great to hear your story Ruben.

While trying my best to stick to this discussion topic, your comments reminded me of a couple of things I do a lot now.

1.I keep plastic bubble wrap in the sides of my camera kit bags with big rubber bands. So when in a hurry or when I need to leave the items in the car or what ever, I quickly wrap a bit of the bubble plastic around them. When travelling by air I add some sheets inside my Trecker rucksack to add some protection and prevent movement of items.

2. Like you I always keep silica jel packs inside all old camera cases to prevent that dreaded mould appearing inside lenses.

3. I also always keep silica jel packs in various parts of my Hassey and other kits. I'm surprised how few people do.

4. I put a heavy duty bubble wrap bag over my tripod head before putting it all in a padded bag for air transport on holidays etc.. Seems to give the head good protection (I can tell by the number of bubbles that have burst after a trip).

Those Super Ikontas as sensational and I can't see them ever becoming redundant. While I have pre and post WW2 versions; my metered (yes it is accurate as well as active) coated Tessar T version is a perfect buddy for the Hasselblad and so easy to use! Even my un-metered model III (end of the range in late 1950s) is so light, strong and compact it fits in my jacket! Who would believe that you could have such an MF compact! Whenever I show big prints people say - "gee I see why you love that Hassey".

Finally, I ran some film through a 1939 Ikonta C (6x9) folder that looks as it it was burried with dog bones but sports a nice uncoated Tessar f3.5 135mm lens in a Compur Rapid shutter - I nearly died when I got the prints. I explained to friends that the prints were from my 45 megapixel 1939 digi camera! That shut them up.