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.

Mirror up on 503CW


New Member
I am considering buying a 503CW and i need to know if it is possible to put the mirror up and keep it up while taking multiple shots without having to push or keep down any extra buttons other than the shutter release.

If this is possible would it also work with a winder cw attached to the body?

I ask because in the near future i plan to use the 503CW with a winder and digital back (a V96C??) to shoot multiple shots remotely, without the mirror moving around and with minimal user interaction with the camera.
Very good question James. I can't really answer it.

I have a 503CW and use it with the mirror up a lot, but for single shots on a tripod. When I advance the film forward for the next shot the mirror returns to its normal position, so I have to push the mirror up release again for the next and subsequent shots.

I also don't use the CW grip, so can't say if that enables (some way that escapes my mind) a semi-permanent mirror up position between multiple frames. I can't visualise how the CW grip could have the mechanical means to do so.

From a mechanical perspective (might apply in the same way to the 501CM as well), I can't see what you can do to avoid the film advance crank (and the process of re-cocking of the shutter) repositioning the mirror for the next exposure. The action of cocking the shutter strikes me as being critically linked to repositioning the mirror as well as winding-on film for the next exposure (this latter function can be removed from the physical action since the film back is removeable).

Single frame multi-exposures is a different issue since one can re-cock the shutter with the film back removed, so they are not critically linked, thus allowing effective multi-exposures; whereas the mirror positioning seems to me to be critically linked to re-cocking the shutter (the lens cannot be removed unless the shutter has been re-cocked).

I just don't see how you can avoid being physically present to push the mirror up button between exposures.

Hopefully another user will be able to give you a definite answer (and a corrct one at that).
> [Cheers Simon. The problem i have to solve has to do with keeping the camera perfectly steady. I am a photographer and would be perfectly happy shooting with any of the V system cameras but i need to set up a solution for shooting stop motion animation for an animation company i own. I want to use a a Hassy with a digital back kept steady on a tripod to shoot each frame of the animation. The trick is that the camera can't move or shake at all during the entire shoot!

Is there another V camera that would be better suited to my needs? Perhaps a 203FE or something like that? > ]
James, I think your real question is: "what MF camera enables mirror "free/up" during a sequence of images?"

Logic tells me that there may be only one type of camera with that capability - a rangefinder MF camera.

So, what MF rangefinder enables the optimal imaging of at least 6x6 image size, and allows interchangeable lenses; would be the next logical question.

Experience suggests a Mamiya 7 or 7II especially considering their comparatively excellent lens optics.

Along with all MF rangefinders (by definition) they are "mirror free". While the Hassy SWC is too, you are limited to 38mm and you have no motorised film advance.

So my suggestion is that you need to buy or rent A Mamiya RF or similar for that purpose. I just can't see (but will stand corrected) an SLR type enabling continuous mirror up shooting.
> Good morning, With the 503cw you can make dubble exposures but it is a complicated thing. The mirrow gets always in the first (down) possition when you took your shot. Than you have to put the dark slide into the back, take them of the back, wind the camera for your shutter, put the back and than you can take your second shot (or more). good luck. Marc
There are no MF range-finder cameras that take digital backs, and only one 35mm type ranger-finder digital camera as of now.
There are no digital backs for the 200 series cameras either.

I suggest contacting a digital back expert and inquire wether a multi-shot digital back will do what you need done for your application.

Other than that, what you are trying to accomplish must be done with a locked down camera, just like it's always been done.

I do stop action sequences for what's called Photomatics (same principle as cartoon sequences only using photographs for making test TV commercials)

Basically we use a Canon 1DsMKII on a heavy tripod with a large head. Once in position the tripod is sandbagged for rock steady stability. We use a cable release because even finger pressure will cause registration problems one image to the next.

The way to do it with a 503 would be to use a 96C on a 503CW with the winder, and use the remote release that comes with the winder. Lock down the camera as stated above and shoot your animation sequences to the Imacon Image-Bank. These images would then be layered in PhotoShop and can be clicked on and off to inspect the animation sequencing.

It works, I do it all the time.
BTW, the camera to get for such work is the 555ELD which is digital ready out of the box. I believe it also has a mode where the mirror stays locked up and the motor winds only the shutter.
Alas, the mirror in EL(...) models always comes down between shots. No matter what mode is selected.

The only Hasselblad cameras that have mirror lock up were the 2000-series (not 200) models.
The 2000 FCW and 2003 FCW models will take a motor winder too.
I guess i have to resign to the fact that the mirror will have to move up and down each shot.

Can anyone tell me though what shutter speeds will cause me to see noticable vibration in a photo caused by the movement of the mirror? If there is any at all?
If at all, the effects of the flapping mirror will be noticable at speeds around 1/15 - 1/4.

But it is indeed highly doubtfull they will be "noticeable" at all.

2000 FCWs and 2003 FCWs can still be found. You can lock the mirror up permanently usingthese models. They take all available lenses too.
Maybe an option?
> The 553, and I presume the 555, have a RS setting. The camera is > pre-released (main lens shutter closed, diaphragm stops down, > mirror swings up, aux shutter opens) and it remains in this mode > until the mode selector is manually returned to the "O" ( normal > mode) position. Camera reduced vibration is kept to a minimum since > most of the camera actions are pre-released (much of above is > "borrowed" from the manual).
I have a suggestion which might be a little strange for HASSELBLAD users but i have an ARCA SWISS 6x9 cmm large format camera and use only lenses with PRONTOR PROFESSIONAL shutters .this is a self cocking shutter. I can attach Hasselblad magazines and digi backs as well. So multiple shots are no problem at all . The same you can do with a Linhof 679cc.
I think i will do some tests with a 503CW and see if there are any noticable effects and wether they are tolerable.
If there are problems with the 503 body then i will have to look at getting a used 553 or 555 to hook up to my lenses and digital back (when i get them of course!!).
Qnu using my 500EL/M in RS Mode looks like this.
The mirror does NOT flap between the shots but the aux shutter will open and close.

Are you sure?

On the EL/Ms i know the mirror does go down, and up, between shots. The difference between A and AS/RS modes being the state the camera starts in and end up in, prereleased in AS/RS mode, only.

The mirror does not stay up, it returns to the up position between shots.
Between shots, it is brought down again, together with the rear shutter closing.
I tested again . In RS Mode , yes i must confess , the mirror flaps as well . I could not hear the flap (very silent on my model) and i had to take out the screen to see it . In fact the mirror flaps. A new experience to me . So thank you for your question "Are you shure" . One never stops learning . Thanks again .
What they did when creating the "mode selector" is provide a way to select different points in the camera's normal release cycle where to start and stop.
Not add a mirror-disengagement feature.

The fact that they consistently advertise the AS/RS mode as one in which the mirror only does something at the beginning and end of the series helps hide the fact they chose to do 'the easy thing' rather than 'the difficult thing'.

There are/were more such 'strange features' on the EL(...) models.
For instance, the LOT-switch doesn't switch the power off, but merely blocks (mechanically) the release. If you keep pressure on the release button while switched "off" (keep it in a bag stuffed full of things that may push the release button. Was easy enough especially with the large "space release" plate), the batteries will drain.
The "camera-ready" signal on EL(...) models always was a bit of a joke: it was a fixed bit painted white behind a tiny round window. Doing nothing at all. The idea apparently was that with a motor driven camera, the camera is always ready. So why bother with a mechanism?
Why indeed. But why bother with a fake signalling window?