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If it could only be ONE


Active Member
Things have been a bit quiet around here lately; so, to help liven things up, I pose this question:

If you could only keep one MF camera and lens, what would they be? Of all the gear you own, which one camera and lens would you keep above all else and why?

For me, the camera would definitely be my 503CW. But one lens? Gee that is a tough call since my favourites are 120mm and 60mm but I feel either would be a bit restrictive in a one-lens kit. So, maybe my answer is 80mm - just where I happily began.

Okay Simon, I'll play.

Hasselblad H3D/39 with a HC100/2 lens

Relatively small and fast. Modular in design. Auto focus swift enough to replace many DSLR applications. Resolution able to rival scanned MF film. Cutting edge technology that can be constantly tweaked by firmwear and softwear versions. Suberb controls, informative viewfinder, and excellent flash control. 100/2 lens is already a favorite ... with tubes it becomes a macro, with HC1.7X it extends its' reach.
That would be very hard as I would be happy with any lens between 38 and 180 mm for "general purpose". But - looking at frequency of use - I am sure I could not give away the SWC (and hide the 503 CW with 4,0/150 or something similar in a deep pocket).

Yes Simon

My favourites would also be the DISTAGON CF3,5/60 and the MACRO-PLANAR CFE4/120 .
But if i had to choose one camera and lens , it would be my 203FE and the PLANAR CF3,5/100 . This lens is outstanding and in combination with the X1,4 converter you would also have a superb 140mm lens . As this lens has no electronic contacts , i could not fully use the automatic exposure , but i could very well live with this "little handicap" . Additional to that , i would not like to be without my PM(E) 45 . As i wear glasses , i get along much better with this viewer than with the waist level finder .
you got me. Ok, it will be the 203 FE with CFE 2,8/80 and A12.


(now how do I hide that 1,4 XE from your view ;-)
oops, change to the last post, I have to take the 100 mm lens (the 80 is not compatible to the 1,4XE that you do not know about)

My answer mirrors Ulrik's: would never give up my SWC/M (but would seriously consider an ALPA 12TC or SWA with the 48 Helvatar -- too bad the 38 Biogon option is kaput -- if I had to dump/sell everything and keep/acquire only one MF camera and lens.)

To stash away a 503CW, CFI 100 and 1.4XE teleconverter in a deep pocket would, however, be a serious temptation
Well with those of us with only 2 MF cameras to choose from - 503cw or Flexbody - I would have to go the 503. As for lenses my only options (at the moment anyhow) are 50mm, 80mm or the 120. I would have to go with the 50mm for travelling around with doing landscape photos... but if it was just for work I would keep the 120 for product shots etc.
Hi All,

I'm just in the process of planning a trip to Denmark, Amsterdam and then on to Capetown, so I was just wondering which single body and lens to carry, probably 500 C/M and 80mm. Boring? - not for me I'm still in awe of the results this combination can give. No batteries, extreme reliability, stunning resolution. If I was prepared to carry more then the 50mm would come too, but including the lens case it's heavy!

Regards to all,
to be honest - I've both 503CX and 553ELX, and in spite of that 553ELX is bigger it's not much heavier than 503CX... so probably trip

option for me is 553ELX. mostly due to bigger mirror and showing whole frame. batteries work longtime and I can work liek: exposure- crop-focus-button without rewinding and stop-shooting.

anyway - no matter what we take, it's still great Hasselblad camera and wish the pictures would be great also.


Ohhhhhhh please excuse , that i tried a little bit of cheating , i thought you might not notice

But you must admit , that the 1.4XE converter is a very good addition . The weight is low and the gain in focal length is great .
Yes , gerard , with a purely mechanical 501CM/503CW you are absolutely independent , but you must have an additional lightmeter . If the one you use , needs a battery , you can also use a 203FE and you have one piece of gear less to carry with you .
I donot understand the point of taking mechanical - maybe 503CW with winder is fine option for me. I've made about 40 films on one set (5 batteries) in 553ELX, a half of that were 220 rolls. batteries still work. no signal to replace them. I think today's alcaline batteries are enough to take electrical hass

in a trip. maybe weight but rather size of ELX may be limit. for lightweight traveling I would went towards Mamiya 6/7. or something more hassy like panoramic 35 from hasselblad. all depends what you need and prefer.


Marcin Rusinowski mail:

I think Gerards idea of beeing indepedent was under the assumption of the theme of this thread : "If you could take only one , which one would you take " .
Now regarding motorized HASSELBLAD's . I have a 500EL/M which i only use from a tripod and i have a 503CW , with winder , which i find , for my hands , much better when working "free hand" . But mainly , I think it is a question of , how good you can handle the 2 completely different cameras . I you prefer the 553ELX , then its fine , go on and use it .
For fast street photography i prefer my BRONICA RF645 , good in my hands and fast and the images are much bigger than 35mm images .
Photography is an art, dependent on Photographer + Camera + film = photograph.

Every photographer has a different perception, preferences, and needs, that is why there are choices.

Now we have auto focus medium format with digital backs for an expansion of the Hasselblad heritage.

How long will the Manual Focus Hasselblads be used? 25 years? 50 years? 100 years?

How long will the 'current' Auto Focus digital Hasselblads be used? 3 years? 6 years? 12 years? 24 years?
> 903SWC.

> Allows one to get in close, and still get wide vistas when > necessary. Plus you don't have to worry about running low on > doesn't use any.
I was very complacent until I read this. It is against my better judgment to answer this, but 203FE 80mm CFE instead of the 110mmFE because of the c shutter option.

Please Simon, aren't there better things to do in the spring down under?


Thanks everyone for playing - it was getting very quiet around here lately.

Good for you Jurgen catching out Ulrik like that!

You all will have noticed the question focused on what you actually have. Now let me adjust that to the following:
"of all the MF gear about today, if you could have any / only ONE body and ONE lens, what would they be?"

My answer - Jurgen took the words right out of my mouth: 205FE and Planar 100 f3.5. And if like Ulrik, we could cheat a little, I'd hide a 1.4xe giving me 2 wonderful focal lengths.

BUT, Marc has raised a hugely tempting option to the 205FE and Planar 100 in his 39MP H camera and the Fuji 100mm lens...... mmmmmmmmmm....... maybe!

And, Wayne is the only person who hinted at non-Hasselbald kit in the Alpa he's so keen on.

So, what WOULD it be then gentlemen?