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Novice and 501CM again


Yesterday, for the first time, I could inspect Hass 501CM kit in person. I was surprised to hear that this model was discontinued. Only 503CW is now currently available, I think the only V system representant.
My feeling was that the camera was very solid; it is a piece of machinery not commonly encounter today in this plastic and battery dependent digital world. That the camera is built to last forever I could see according to a specimen of the cast of the body (reportedly produced in Switzerland) that the dealer showed me. I estimated the side thickness was about 1 mm, maybe even more.
It was not uncorfortable to hold 501CM in hands at all, as I previously thought. Actually it was very pleasant to hold it in hands. And when I release the shutter, what a nice sound! It seemed to me that it was not so easy to focus as precisely as I am accustomed to with RF camera without glasses or with it. Is it a matter of longer practice? Can focusing hood magnifier with + or – diopters be of help? In connection with this observation I ask what focusing screen is the best for the easiest focusing the lens? Also the blind VF with shutter unwound appears to me not very practical. Do you feel this feature as drawback during taking pictures outdoor (I myself am not a studio photographer)? Not every time I shoot what I can see in VF, so how long can I leave the camera wound without danger of damage – days, weeks…?
Anyway, I reserve this beauty to have time to make a decision. A copy of The Hasselblad manual, 5th ed. is waiting for me at the post office. I am going to spend a part of week-end studying this book to be able to decide competently.
I would welcome your comments.


PS: How long the discontinued Hasselblads can be servised? What price of the kit is acceptable?
Ok, one at at time:
Sweden not Switzerland
Focsuing will be come faster with practice, use the split image. Also move the focus quickly until the image is sharp continue until it starts to lose focus, then change direction and slow down.
"PS: How long the discontinued Hasselblads can be servised?" => You should live so long. Hasselblad still services 500s made in 1957.


For how long you can get a discontinued Hasselblad still serviced is difficult to tell.
You can still have almost everything they ever made serviced by either Hasselblad themselves or some 'third party'.
Don't worry about it.

You can leave the camera wound for as long as you like.
After a couple of years, the lubricants will begin to dry up a bit, and you should 'excercise' the camera a bit. But that's it.

By that time, your film inside the camera will have gone bad. So it's not very likely you will keep the thing unused for years, right?

The non-instant return mirror is something you'll get used to very quickly.
You don't need a viewfinder image until the camera is ready to shoot again. And then, of course, the mirror is down and the view has returned.
It serves as a great camera-not-ready indicator too: you'll never again press the shutter release to find you haven't wound the camera!

Best, and easiest to focus is a bright screen with split image rangefinder. The Acute Matte with split image is perfect for that.
Unless you don't like focusing aids in the middle of your view. Then i would even prefer a non-Acute Matte, standard screen (better contrast). But only if light is plentiful!

The lens in the folding focusing hood is about the best you can have for precise focusing. Depending on your eyesight, it may indeed be a good idea to change the lens for the correction lens that suits your eyes best.
The non-foldable chimney finder is good too. Especially because it offers diopter-adjustment. But it is rather large when it comes to stowing the camera away.
The prism finders generally have a lower magnification, and though very usable too, are not quite as easy as the folding hood.
Hello, I have a 501CM. I got mine while working for a camera store. as an employee I was entitled to special deals.
Hasselblad offered us a special low price plus the camera was built by one of the senior techs who built the whole camera by himself making sure the camera was 100 percent. Our name was engraved on a silver plate on the side of the camera.
I love my camera.
The 501cm was the last mechanical hasselblad made. They now only make the 503CW model.The last of the V cameras.
The 501CM should have the new film back which has the built-in slide holder. the camera also has the new sliding glide mirror. This mirror allows you to seet the whole image, with lens of 150mm or greater. the camera should have the new cfi or cfe 80mm lens.
If other parts are put on the camera. this is not a 501CM.
If you get one of these camera you can't go wrong. Also get the camera with a acute mattte D split image screen.
Good luck,
Thank you all for your nice effort to help me in my ignorance of MF systems. As I can see from a brief look into The Hasselblad Manual, 5th Ed. (btw, great book and in like new condition) the system has large variability so it seems to me rather intricated. But I can see here and there that the things give a sense. It is sure that the practice in RF 35 mm photography cannot be fully tranferred to MF - Hass routine. It is not as intuitive as Leica M sytem. If I decide to buy 501CM I will have to know and learn many new things and get qualitatively new habits, and, of course, many new questions will arise. Could be anything better than that?

Wishing you to have a nice day and week-end.