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First impressions



I do not know how often I had the 501 CM and other 500-series Hasselblad already in my hands - always just at the point of buying one.

But everytime I hesitated. I love the design/appearance of it, It feels good in the hands and it is a pleasure to focus (with the newer models) thanks to the bright screen.

But on the other hand the film loading is not really my favored ways and since I do not want to use a prism-viewfinder, I do not have any metering with the body.

Since handmeters are not my thing, I decided for the Rollei 6003, but everytime a I see a 500 in a dealer's window, I have to stop and look at it

I would be interested to know how you use your 501 and whether you find the absence of the metering build into the body a painful restriction.

Some background data:

The 501C was introduced in 1994 and has the new style (wide) shutter release. You could buy the 500C only in a promotion-package with a 80mm C lens, which vcan not be sued on the focal plane cameras.

The 501C/M came out in 1997. It uses the same mirror geometry as the 503CW. It has a "cocked/released" indicator window at the rear buttom and a removable winding crank.
I don't beleive the 501C/M has a removable windng crank. At least mine does not. The 503 CW does.

BTW, I use my 501 C/M with WLF and 80mm CB lense as my all purpose, general camera. I take photo classes at ICP in NY and use the 501 C/M for class projects. The 503CW stays in the wedding case as a backup to my Mamiya 6.
I don't find the absence of a meter an issue at all. When I don't want to lug that around I will take my Nikon or Leica M7. I figure that the Hasselblad is already so big compared to the Leica that the meter is not an issue. I prefer to use a handheld meter anyway when I go out for serious shooting.

You could also get the metering knob, that would give you metering without adding to the bulk of your system
Not having a meter directly with the body is really not an issue for me at all. First there are cases where you can figure out - just by looking with your own eys what the exposure should be and also, I usually end up using a handheld meter with other cameras too (Contax G2 and XPan) when doing "serious" photography...
I can't see a problem about the "missing" TTL-Meter. For serious photography I prefer the Gossen meters, the little Sixtino 2 for general purposes or the Variosix f for Flash and more difficult tasks. I use the handmeters with my Contax G2 and the Nikon F4 as well.

Sure, for family and party I apreciate the built in meters too. But it is not the field for my 501 C/M.
The only internal metering system for Hasselblad I can recommend is the internal 205FCC spot metering (but have spare batteries ready ...). The PME 45/90 are fine, but their spot metering system is not handy enough for zone metering in b/w photography.

A much cheaper and more flexible solution is the Pentax Spotmeter V with attached zone scale. For flash photography I use a Gossen Variosix F, which is also a good combination with the Pentax Spotmeter V if integral metering or light metering is needed. If you don't need flash metering and you need an integral meter with zone metering capabilities, try Gossens Profisix.
I tend to go with Stefan (Sprasser) on the meetering isue. I use a sekonic flash meter l-328 with an attached spotmeter head l-328 VF as an extra accessory. It is not a current model (about 10 years old) but has never faild me. For snapshot light meetering I use leica M6. I only use dias film, so Francois Ligers comment on "figuring" the light out without meetering is not an ussue for me.
I think you should go for the Hasselblad unless you absolutely love your 6003!


I use a spotmeter for more serious work, then I'm usually shooting with the Pentax 67's. For travel photography I shoot Delta 100 in the Blad and Supra 100 in the Contax G1. I transfer the meter readings from the Contax to the Blad. I use to know a professional that gave me the advice to shoot nothing but 100 film for everything. Works great for travel where weight and bulk are a big issue.
"...You could also get the metering knob, ..."

What is this. I have never heard of it and would be interested to know how to use it with a 501C/M.

What is a rough price for it and how reliable is the metering with it?

Dirk, the metering knob is okay for some work.
It makes for a very portable set-up. It just replaces the current knob, and can be used on or off the camera. It is no longer made, so you have to be sure it is in working order.

HOWEVER, take your camera with you to buy one. They do not fit all bodies. I bought one and had to return it because it wouldn't fit my 501CM.
I use the metering knob when I want to sling the camera over my shoulder and and not be encumbered by a lot of paraphernalia. The selenium cell might not be as accurate as a modern meter, I don't know if I'd trust it with transparency film, but with HP5 it's plenty close enough. You can meter in reflective or incident mode. They were made by Gossen. Neat little accessory.

Brad >
Accuracy is not determined by the type of cell. Like any "new" item, one is cautioned to try it first and learn its abilities.(Angle of acceptance for ex&le) When I was much younger and my Contax "1" was the only camera I owned, I used selenium celled meters for exposure verification with Kodachrome 11 and X
Seldom were any of my slides discarded due to wrong exposure!
This handy,dandy little meter knob is great. I owned one when I was a 'Blad user for a short while. Never, never use an exposure meter only to determine exposure; use that body part sitting on your shoulders!
I just purchased a used 500CM on Ebay, upon inspection I noticed (see attached picture) The chrome was chipping away. Has anyone experienced this problem? Is it possible the newer cameras are not constructed as well as the older ones.
Thanks Dirk. What a pain. Legal action might be expensive though. It seems to be more than one person causing the problem or is it one pretending to be others I wonder.

Best wishes,

... we are checking this next week. But currently we have still too much work with the server crash...
A seller offers me a F201 (NEW) with lens and back for $ 3,500.00.
Is it a good camera? Is it better than the 501 CM?
Is it a good businnes ? I know that the F201 is not produced since 1998 so it’s just 7 years since the seller has it in his store.
What you suggest to me?

US$ 3,500 is a lot of money for a 201 F with lens (what lens?) and back.

The 201 F is (haven't we been through this before?) a perfectly good camera, equally as good as a 501 CM, yes.
Just consider the 201 F a 501 CM with additional focal plane shutter.

It even offers the possibility to add a motor winder, use F- (and other shutterless) lenses, make double exposures without having to remove the back, a built-in electronic self-timer, and has TTL OTF flash control. Things the 501 CM can not offer.
thank you! Really I have already put the question (non completed) in other forum.
The lens maybe the F 80/2.8.
The seller said that the normal price is $ 5,000!
I think that $3,500 are too much for a old (it's correct that the F201 is not produced since 1998?)camera that has a small advantage on 501CM.
Are you agree?