I HAD a Hasselblad

That’s right, had…

As in past tense,

As in previously owned,

As in no longer mine…

In the world of film photography, there are certain cameras that get placed into highly esteemed categories.  Reviews on these cameras drive website traffic, auction sites and for sale posts get searched on the reg for someone letting go of one of these.  When chatting with another photographer, whenever one of these cameras comes up in conversation, it makes the other stop and take notice.

The Hasselblad V series (500c, 500cm, 501, 503, etc) is one of those cameras.  Every time I would see someone positing about one, I had to stop and look at the photos accompanying the article.  The sharpness of the Zeiss glass, the micro contrast, and those notches tho (full frame scans / prints from Hasselblad V cameras show the signature double sideways V notches imprinted by the film backs on the left side of the negative rebate).  I sort of wanted one, not really, but kinda, the cost being one of the things holding me back, and did I love the square that much to invest in a Hasselblad?

I mean I already had a Mamiya C330 and a Yashica-124, what did I need with another 6×6 camera, an SLR at that, other than to be able to change backs mid roll?  I didn’t really need it, but the want won out in the end, and then the search began, I had about $600 set aside, I wanted to see I wanted to see how far it would get me……

Because we here at RTF totally heart Bronica, I thought about getting an SQ-A or B, to maximize my cash money, since $600 in Hasselblad money doesn’t go very far, whereas that same amount in Bronica Bucks can set you up with a pretty good kit.  And I had that $600 just sitting in my bank account, doing nothing, but just hanging around there, and not buying me any gear, like lazy money tends to do.

And then…

I logged into Facebook and decided to check one of the many photography groups I belong to on there (the Film Photo Gear group), and damn it, there it was; a Hasselblad 500cm, complete with 80mm, one A12 back and a WLF, for $635.  I thought about it for like 10 seconds, then I pm’d the seller, “Yeah, I’m going to exchange you US currency for that lovely camera” (not my exact words, but same affect), purchase was finalized, and a couple of days later, the camera was at my doorstep.

After lovingly admiring it for a few minutes, it was off to YouTube to figure out how to load the film back (there’s a particular way to load film on a Hasselblad insert to make sure it’s properly flat), then I was off downtown with some Ektar

Soon after, the Hasselblad became a daily carry camera for me, that’s right, I was carrying that camera every day with me to and from work.  I couldn’t get enough of that mirror slapping sound (it’s truly unlike any other camera) and I produced a number of photographs that I was totally happy with:

So, why did I relegate the Hasselblad to somebody that I used to know?

I’m not sure on that one, it just seemed like one day I took it out of my work backpack, and never put it back in.  Then it just became another piece of unused gear sitting around, and a Hasselblad is too good a camera to sit around unused, so I passed it on to another local photographer who like me, had never owned a Hasselblad, and last I checked in with him, he was getting along with it greatly.

However, I do miss that mirror slap…

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