The 905's lens (indeed redesigned) has the CFi barrel (which gives smoother focussing, different grip surfaces, different typeface, better grip of flash cable, longer lasting shutter main spring inside).
Early 903 SWCs, up to 1995, have the first style tripod quick mount plate underneath, later 903 models and the 905 has the present style plate.
And that's it.
Oh, and the 905 SWC comes with a lens hood, which you had to buy separately before.
Thanks for the prompt reply and info. Would the 905 have the same tripod quick mount plate underneath as the 501CM, which I presently own? I am considering the 905 for interior shots on libraries, courthouses, and churches in addition to not so tall buildings for exterior shots. Would this lens be appropriate?
Yes, the 501 CM has the same plate as the 905 SWC (and the later 903 SWC); the one that fits the quick coupling cat.no. (30)45148.
The plates were changed to the new design on all cameras about 10 years ago. All cameras made since then (including all 501 CMs) have the same plate, and fit the same quick mount.
I think the Biogon would be an excellent choice for all the applications you mention, yes.
Though the lens has a 90 degree view angle (comparable to a 21 mm lens on 35 mm format), the 72 degree horizontal angle is not that spectacular (comparable, i believe, to something only a bit wider than a 28 mm lens on 35 mm format).
So do not expect too much of a wide angle.
Sometimes, movements (tilts and shifts) would be nice. For that, the 905 definitely is the wrong camera.
Thanks Mr. Bakker for the feedback. Perhaps for building exteriors not too tall it would suffice. I also have a 4 x 5 view with all movements for real tall buildings. I have come to appreciate Medium Format more in the last 3 to 4 years as a primary camera. The ease of carry, setup, and relatively decent size negatives are desirable. I like the big negatives from 4 x 5 but the set up and carry is cumbersome and slow. I suppose next is to find a 905SWC at a good price which may be impossible. They seem to hold their new retail price very close to the MSRP.
I used to shoot Architectural photography with my old SWC/M and got excellent results, but now I am on H1. Have not tried yet, but I was going to try to shoot some pics with H1 and stitch them to together and remove the converging lines with the use of Photoshop CS. That seems like rather inexpensive solution. Also shooting multiple exposures and stitching them together should give a rather excellent quality.
If you are on a budget the the later SWC/M with the CF lens and the 903 SWC will give you just as good shots as the 905 - so 800+ dollars more is a bit to pay for better grip on the focus and for glass that is redesigned but not as far as I know better If you are not on a budget buy a new 905 and support Hasselbad! I have been at times a bit ... on the SWC/m for not having rise and shift etc. On my Fuji 680 that does have it I cant get a decent wideangle so last week I bought an old Linhof Technica 6x9 (it takes 6x7 and 6x9 rollfilm back and small sheet-film-casettes - I was actually looking for a Silvestri but ended up with the Linhof - Life takes interesting turns sometime - Today should be a bright sunny day so I guess I will have to give it a run today - One thing I am sure of - it will not replace my SWC/M - once you get used to one of these little gems they are there to stay.
> There have been debates ( here and elsewhere) as to whether the change > in glass made the earlier 903 slightly better than the later 905. In > practical terms, I think they are equal. Pricewise, keep your eyes > open. I found a 903 a year ago as a vendor's in-store"demo" unit, and > paid 1/2 the price of a "new" 905.