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Film Back / Magazine Compatibility


Active Member
While I am aware the current A12 film backs sold with the 500 series cameras are not compatible with the 1600F, I wonder if the original "old" 12 film backs can be used on 500 series cameras.

I plan to do a slide film test on my 1600F/Tessar 80mm and shoot the same with my 501CM and its CFE Plannar 80mm lens. So I'd like to use the one film in the same film back to eliminate other factors from the comparison.

I am simply curious about what different characteristics will be seen on slides.

Has anyone here used the "old" backs on a 500 series camera?
My old back witch came with my 1000F worked wrong with my 500. The film do not move from picture 1.
I modified the back my self the back and then it work fine.

Perhaps one have a picture of the back and can explain how it is easy to modify.
Hello Simon and Isidor,

The older backs till about 1955 are not suitable to use with 500 series cameras.
The film transport of the back does not seem to accept the later cameras.

The good thing is later backs are compatible with 1600F and 1000F cameras as long as
they have the opening to accept the pin that comes out of the camera body.
As far as I can remember backs up till the mid eighties have this little opening.

If I remember correctly Jürgen has a rare filmback that is much later and also has this opening.

In fact with the exception of the early backs compatibility is very good and is actually more than 35 years.

The best back to use on both classic and modern bodies will be the one with the later pressure plate and the "brakes"
to keep the film straight.
These backs have the "12" in the release knob of the back.

Thanks Paul and Blowupster.

Paul you are right, Jurgen explained how he does nave a "modern" back with the pin hole.

All my backs are current version A12 no older than 2000 I think.

So, my test will be with the 1600F complete kit side by side with the 501CM complete kit! I am really keen to see the slides under a loupe. Something is telling me that the image quality difference may not be all that much different!!! :)
Hello Simon,

This is one of the rare occasions I think you are wrong. At least in this case I hope so.
If not CZ has not improved much on their designs in twenty years.

Although the Tessar lens was quite good for its time the later Planar design is an improvement.
Stopped down maybe not so much different but at full aperture the Tessar will loose from the Planar.

The Tessar is one of the reasons I like to use the 1000F or the 1600F.
At full aperture B+W pictures have a nice nostalgic touch, definately fifties or sixties.
No need for extensive Photoshop it is all there as simple as can be.

Thanks Paul. Yes of course the Planar design together with its much more modern coatings and glass will win over especially at wider apertures. My comments were to highlight how in normal use I find the Tessar is of very high quality among more modern lenses and that it may take a critical eye to immediately see image quality differences - hence my little experiment. This says to me that for its day the Tessar must have been one of the best designs around.

I very much agree about that 1950s and 1960s look. When I flick through books of well known photographers in the 1950s and 60s, and see the B&W images of iconic people, places and things, the "look" of the lenses of the day appeals to me greatly.

In fact this is a characteristic that made me buy the 1960 Canon 50mm f1.2 LTM lens for my M7. Of course it is no match for the current Summicron-M 50mm at any aperture The "look" in normal use is very pleasing and wide open at f1.2 it allows beautiful separation of the subject and attractive bokeh even if the resolution out from the axis is relatively low due to the design challenges of a 2 plus stops faster maximum aperture.

Canon Lenses from the fifties and sixties are very good.
It is one of the reasons I bought a Canon 7sZ a while ago.
I was impressed by the 50/0.95 lens that came with the camera.
It is the only 35 mm camera I have. In my opinion it beats Leica Ms of that era.
Much more friendly to use. The 7sZ is a rare beast 1967-1968 only.

Checking my early camera stock also revealed a flat version of the Tessar lens.
It is about 1/2 an inch shorter. Have not tested that lens yet.

Talking about older lenses for 1600F and 1000F cameras is not very sensible without some pictures.
I will get some next week of the Kilfitt lenses and also some some of the Tessar, both the standard Tessar and the "flat" one.

The hood project has started. I expect to have a price for the 60/80 mm lenshood and for the 135/250 hood for Zeiss lenses thanks to the excellent original hoods Ulrik sent me.
Rick Nordin offered to help with a Kodak hood that is on its way to me now.

More nice stuff to be announced soon!


Good luck with the hood project . You make me curious with
"More nice stuff to be announced soon" .
I am shure its not a digiback with a 56x56 mm sensor for the 1600F/1000F or the SWA/SW cameras .:z04_kaputtlachen: But what is it ? ? ?

Please put me on the list for both , the 60-80 and also the 135-250 hood .

Regards Jürgen

You were pretty close talking about a digiback.
But that is not what I meant.
Do you know there was a digiback with a 60x 60 mm sensor?
It is no longer available, I have been offered a used one at a reasonable price.
The company that made it is still in business but do not make this back any more.

to be continued.

Paul, that Canon 50mm f0.95 is an AMAZING lens - sure it is soft, but wow what a look it can achieve. It also looks a treat on the rangefinder camera - like no other.

Did yours come with the original hood? Here in OZ I have seen 2 Canon bodies with the f0.95 fitted for sale in the last 5 years and both fetched more than AU$2,500.00. I recall one guy tried to fetch AU$5,000.00 but it never sold. You certainly have a wonderful piece of history there.

By the way keep in mind that the Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f1.0 lens sells here I think for about AU$6,000.00 when I last saw a price quoted.

Good luck with the lens hood project! Do keep in mind that Jurgen is a master of bespoke lend hood manufacturing should you need assistance!! :z04_yes:

Jurgen, Paul has me wondering too!! Maybe you are right and it is a modified CFV!! Time will tell my friend. :z04_photos:

Wow Paul what a story about the full sized digi-back! Now I am certain we are all wondering who the manufacturer was???? :crazy:

I know you are very fond of your Leica cameras.
I happened to stumble across this rare Canon 7sZ with its huge lens.
The lens is so big it tilts the camera when it is put on a table.

This turns out to be a costly affair: the Italian guy where just I bought a very clean 250 lens
for the 1600F also has a mint 25 mm Canon lens with viewer for sale complete with leather case.
This lens is meant for the early rangefinders.
He asks five times the price of the 250 lens so it seems older Hasselblads are a bargain now!
Paul that is great.

The Canon 50 f.12 I bought already came with the Leica M bayonet mount fitted to the Canon's original Leica thread mount - perfectly fitted. This was a bonus because I understand fitting the mount to the lens and getting the range-finder and view-finder correctly aligned can take much time.

The other bonus was that the Canon lens came with it's original hood (very big!!) But it has the cut-outs to limit view-finder overlap.

To protect it I have a B+W UV multi-coated (both sides) filter on it. I also think this will help overcome any coating "limitations" the 1960 lens may have. It seems the 50mm f1.2 is quite well corrected for flare. But at stops below f2.0 one does need to take care.

Did your f0.95 come with its HUGE hood?

I also understand that Canon's 50mm f1.4 (or is it the f1.8??) is considered one of the very best 50mm lenses of the day!

Personally I do not like the Leica M Summarit f1.5 of the day - IMHO poor contrast and fine definition in the field. The first Summilux f1.4 IMHO was not much better - I hated the astigmatism in my sample shots. A keen Leica M user disagreed that the Summilux could be that bad - so he did a test himself and came back and apologised to me and cancelled his order. So for me the best very/super fast 50mm in Leica M mount is the Canon 50mm f1.2! BUT, I say that when excluding the Leica Noctilux of each vintage - I've never used one, but images I have seen were beautiful.
Hello Simon,

You have just managed to spoil what looked like a perfect day.
I do not have the hood for the 0,95 Canon lens and are still looking for one.
I will even buy another lens with the hood just to get that hood, silly is not it?

I have been on Leica territory but decided some thirty years ago it was all too beautiful.
Especially prices for Leica gear.
I traded a mint M4 with Summilux 1,4 for my first Hasselblad in 1976.
Never regretted it. It was about the last 35 mm camera I had except a short lived love affair
with a Contax 167 fitted with a Planar 1.4.
I even found a Distagon 35/1.4 for this camera. A great camera with built in winder.
The first 35 mm to offer auto bracketing and 1/4000 s shutterspeed as well.
Possibly one of the best 35 mm SLR cameras of its day but I grew over the 35 mm format.

I think you are referring to the Canon 50/1.4 a great lens.
A good friend who changed his photo gear more often than I can remember owns a nice
collection of Canon Rangefinder cameras lenses.
Many lens designs for range finders from the fifties and sixties are still going strong.
All superfast lenses, not Ferrari's btw, are fighting the physical limits of nature.
Nevertheless lenses that beat the human eye are intriguing.

Paul said: " Nevertheless lenses that beat the human eye are intriguing." How true and my sentiments exactly.

I agree with your decision to get another 0.95 for the sake of its lens hood - the f0.95 CERTAINLY demands a lens hood. Have you considered making one up? I'm sure that would be hard to do though.

Yes Contax has a great legacy - range-finders as well as SLRs. The CZ 35mm lenses for them are superb and today have become affordable.

I an interested in the fact you do not shoot 135 format at all (or only have the one 135 camera now). If I recall correctly, Jurgen is the same as you in that respect - just the one 135 camera (and a rangefinder at that!). Now that is dedication to MF!!

It is just a matter of adapting to MF.
Most opportunities to take pictures are not more difficult with MF than with 35 mm cameras.
You once wrote a wonderfull essay about how MF changed the way you take photographs
over the way you used to work with the smaller format.
When using MF a photographer is more deliberate in composing and selecting
aperture/shutter speed than with 35 mm systems.
It is the way I like to take pictures most.

Last weekend I met a number of colleague moderators as well as chief Dirk in Recklinghausen.
We talked about forum matters, had some good food at an Italian restaurant.
We stayed at the Albers hotel in the center of the city a place that welcomes guests since the 17th century.

All the others had 35 based DSLR cameras and shot pics like it was about the end of photography.
One early riser had 80 pictures even before breakfast!
I just shot a modest 20 pics some of them with the Supreme Wide angle.

The Hasselblads I brought attracted the same amount of attention
I received many years ago at a meeting with classic BMW motorcycle guys.
I showed up at the meeting point with a Harley Davidson Duoglide in the narrow streets of a small Dutch town.
The HD made a thunderous sound.
Best comment: I could have invited my mother in law as well if "that" is coming along.

I have never been asked to swop bikes as many times since that day though.


The first camera I had , was a Voigtländer Vito B 35mm with a Color Skopar 50mm lens . I had that camera exactly for half a year . At this time I found out , that the 35mm size is nothing for me . My fingers were always somewhere , where they should not be . On the lens , the viewfinder , etc.

So I decided to go for MF . The best decision I ever made in my photography life .

In the meantime , I aquired a KONICA HEXAR RF . A wonderful camera . But it sits here , almost unused , because my fingers are always somewhere in the wrong place .

Is there something wrong with my fingers ?:uhoh::uhoh::uhoh:
Hello Jürgen,

I think mother nature blessed you with a perfect pair of hands for MF photography.
This condition is rather rare and is almost non existant in countries like Japan.
The Japanese cannot even manage a Leica R camera of the later series.
One of the reasons Leica lost sales in Japan.
Why people in Japan bother to buy Hasselblad cameras is a mistery to me.
It takes two Japanese photographers to hold one Hasselblad.

Do not worry about your hands. Consider these hands a special gift from nature.
Come to think of it my hands are not so small either.
Probably one of the reasons I too chose Hasselblad many years ago.