Medium Format Forum

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

Hey there new 500cm new member


New Member

just a quick post to say hey. I picked up a 500cm kit a couple of days ago off ebay, and (the first chance ive had) im off shooting tomorrow... ive read the instruction manual several times and think ive got the loading thing down(ive used a bronica before as well)- got a couple of rolls of fp4 and hp5- and i cant wait...

Ive got a couple of quick questions about my new camera tho, any help would be much appreciated...

1- The camera i got came with the non acute matt screen (i think anyway)- the body has the serial RT which would make it from 1986 (thanks Karen Nakamura- excellent site). Anyway, whats the best screen to go for- are the beatie screens brighter than the hasselblad accute mate screens? Also- ive never used a manual focus camera without a split immage range finder (im used to a nikon fm2), but im quite liking using one. Do you users who have the brighter screen find that you can get away without it, or do you find its helpfull? I guess im asking- which is your proffered focusing screen, and why?

2- As well as picking up a new focusing screen, id like to get another back- as im a student, im not loaded, so how old a back should i be looking for (i want one thats reliable, but not to expensive), and how much should i expect to pay?

3- The focusing is alot stiffer than my nikkors- is this normal, or should i get a cla (the speeds all sound fine, so id rather not pay for one now, as it could be quite costly.

4- What sort of light meter do you guys use? Ive got an old weston master to get me started, which works just fine, but ultimately id like to get a new meter, that also does flash. Anyone know what the sekonic L-358 is like- it looks like the kinda thing im after?

Ok, so that turned out to be a bit more than a quick couple of questions, but anyone who reads this and responds, thanks you very much.

Velcome to hasselblad info Adam
I have had Beatie scrrens - you get more light but I actually find forcusing harder with a beatie. The accute from Hasselblad is great.

Work the focusing for a couple af days a lot - if it still stif i would send it of to a CLA - is it what lens is it C, C with T* or CF ??

depending on where you live you should be able to get a back at 50 - 150 USD - if you are ok with a screwdriver the first thing you do is to change the light seal in the mag. A light seal can be bought at about 10 USD - basically it is a bent piece af plastic with a little foam - it prevents light reaching the film when you pull out the dark slide. You coul visit a camera store and buy one used - make a deal with them that you can test it - Shoot a roll - try to get som strong light source like the sun from the side were the dark slide is - when you get the film developed you can easily see if the seal is ok - further more check if the distance between the image/frames on the film are the same (more or less) and that htere are no overlaps.

Sekonic Light meters are ok - the are strong and easy to use

By the way remeber to have the shutter cocked before you you take of the lens !

good luck

> Adam, go for the acute matte screen, and don't bother with the bright

> screen; the sekonic is the tops, and is super accurate; go for a spare > A12 back, about 5-6 years old, go on condition; pay about £175, but

> you can go all the way up to £475 ! second hand. Focussing is dead

> easy, you'll love it. enjoy, regards jerry H.
Cheers for the replys...

Went out shooting today- but the weather was absolutley terrible- here in scotland the rain was bouncing about knee hight. I took 12 frames in shelterd places, and the negs are drying in the bathroom now, so it works!

Anyway, ive got a t* cf lens it has loosend off slightly- i think its how its supposed to be, not sure tho? Also, what lens hood do i want for this lens- im a bit confused by which bay im after?

Also why do both of you advise against the brihgt screen- i dont understand how it can be harder to focus with(especially if it is brighter the the accute matte hasselblad one)? Once i look at todays results, i will see if i need to get a split image rangefinder- i did miss it quite a bit today, but ill c how sharp my images are.

I deffinetly need to get myself a darkslide holder to attach to the back of the a12- dose anyone know where i can get one of these in the UK?

thanks again

I like the acute matte screen and would recommend the Sekonic L558, it will cost a few more bucks, but it has a 1 degree spot meter and radio capability.

Best Regards:



The CF lens takes bayonet 60 accessories.

Don't expect these larger lenses to focus as smooth as your Nikkors. They just do not.

There are two things that can make focussing easier, the first is having a bright screen, without disturbing and confusing texture.
The second however is contrast; contrast between dark and light, but, more importantly, also between sharp and unsharp.

I do not know the Bright screens, but i do know that the Acute Matte screens, though definitely brighter than the 'old style' Hasselblad focussing screens, do not have contrast enough, and are less easy to focus than the older, dimmer screens.

Split image rangefinders, though cluttering up the image, provide the best way of getting critically sharp images. I think an Acute Matte (or other bright screen) with split image rangefinder would be best.

Sekonic, Minolta and Gossen meters are all good. Select one that fits your needs, and wallet, best, and you will not be let down by any of these.

You will have to judge "old backs" individually. Some very old ones (in years) are excellent, some fresher ones have been beaten beyond use.
Expect to have to have the light traps renewed in any back you buy used.

Decent A12 backs sell for about GBP 100 to 150 (on eBay. Just keep an eye out, and don't be too eager to get one.)
The number on the insert has to match the last three digits in the shell's serial number. Unmatched pairs do not sell for as much as matched pairs!
Adam - the best way to describe what is wrong with a bright screen is you just get so much brightnes that you can not se the softnes, the sharp and unsharp the depth of field etc. A bit like when you put salt on the food you eat - initially you put salt on to enhance the flavour of the food and the other spices but at a certain point you just put to much salt and you can not taste anything but the salt.
My last A12 back I got from a copenhagen photo dealer with ½ year warrenty at £ 70 - the light seal/trap was broken and the dealer had it fixed under the warranty and the repair shop even did some luping and adjusting without charge :)
If you shoot a lot of landscape a sekonic with a spot metre is great
Thanks again guys...

I see what your saying about the bright screen, i think i will go for the accute matte blad one.

I think a spot meter would be usefull, but im not big on my landscapes- i mainly shoot people, so an incident meter should do me fine. If i had the spare cash, i might go for one with a spot, but im short on money at the moment, and i still need to get a new screen, and a back or 2.

Im gonna have a look about for a good back, but i think i might hold off a bit- unless i see one at a really good price. One other thing i dont get tho- are the light seals the bits where the cartridge joins the holder? From what i can see on the back ive already got, it looks like the metal lips should stop light from getting through?

Also- im looking at my negs now- im pretty chuffed at what ive got... Today i went out shooting, and as i do to test new equipment i was just doing some street stuff. Because of the weather i was only able to shoot under shelter, i included the alley way in which i was shooting as part of the framing- which fitted the square format perfectly. They look cool, but ill need to do some prints and see how they turn out. Looking good so far tho...

Guys, Gossen is the device for measuring light since mid 30's. Gossen has also made most camera integrated measuring units.

Kerkko K.
Guys, Gossen is the device for measuring light since mid 30's. Gossen has also made most camera integrated measuring units. >

Yes, and I have a 45 year old one, but when I bought my Sekonic L508, Gossen did not have an intergrated spot meter unit. The Sekonic has never failed to perform and has excellent battery life, etc.

The light seal that needs changing now and again is underneath the face plate, sealing the slit through which the dark slide slides.

The ridges on the camera's back fitting in the grooves on the magazine's face plate form a light trap too.
Though the lower parts of the upright ridges on the camera's back get a good beating during years of magazine attaching, they will suffer cosmetic damage (loss of paint) mostly. Many, many years of use could 'erode' them away, but i have never seen that on a camera.

The seal in the darkslide opening however consists (mainly) of a foam, which deteriorates with time, all by itself. Inserting the dark slide will help speed it along, of course. Leaving the dark slide in when not in use for long periods of time does too (it compresses the foam).

cheers for the advice on the darkslide- ill know what to look out for. Ill need to check out the one i have as well- but i think its fine- ive used the camera outdoors.

I think im definitely gonna go with the sekonic L-358. I dont need the spot meter, and it seems to do everything i want, at a decent price. Ill get one in the next couple of day- im wating on some money clearing off several cheques from ebay sales.

I just thought id include a photo that came from my first ever roll through a hasselblad, and that im pretty chuffed with. Ive scaled it down, alot- i scanned it on an imacon at collage, and the quality is fantastic- the detail resolved is amazing, and i was using 800 speed film! Definitely a step up from 35mm. Comments, critisism(hopefully not to harsh) are welcome. Anyway- frame 10...


Comments, critisism(hopefully not to harsh) are welcome.>

Nice shot, I perfer slower speed film which lends itself to better resolution. BTW what aperture did you use?



I too preffer slower film speeds (well sometimes, depends what im going for, but deffinetly if resolution is what im after). This was the first time out with the camera tho- and i was really just testing it, checking it actually worked- stuff like that. I was plesently surprised at the results tho. I would ususlly use my fm2 for street type stuff, but i didnt have anyone to photograph, the street was all i could photograph at the time.

I havent yet got a tripod sturdy enough for the hasselblad, and it was a dimly lit day (and pouring with rain- which is clearly visible in the full size image). 1/60th of a second at f2.8 and the film is ilford hp5 pushed one stop to 800, then developed in illford dd-x for 10 mins(for anyone whos interested).

Adam - I think you mentioned you live in the UK
Try or
I think they still sell the EFKE 25 ISO neg. film
Scanning a 25 iso "old style" neg. in 6x6 really blows you away!
By the way I think you managed to cope fine with the contrasty lightning especially considdering it was a iso 800 film - look foreward to see more pictures - best Ruben

cheers for the link ruben- i think ill have to try that out. (with the weather were having in scotland at the moment ill need a sturdy tripod tho). I just got prints back of the pics i took the other day, and they blew me away- they were only 8" square, but the detail and contrast were amazing- i would never have got that much on 35mm at 800... i love this camera/lens!!!

ive got alot of plans to shoot a hundred and one things, now all i need to do is find the time- ive got a variety of about 30 120 films just wating to be exposed...

oh, and i bought another back as well- got it of ebay for a really good price, but havent recived it yet. the condition looks really good, but ill have to wait and see. I look at it this way- id like to one day be able to carry out all the repairs my hasselblad will ever need, why not start with fixing a back (thats if it need it, which to be honest i dont think it does).

anyway, ill let you know how the back is when it gets here in a couple of days- maybe with more pics to show.