Mamiya to Hasselblad


New Member
Hi, I am new here simply becuase I feel like switching over to hasselblad. Currently I own the Mamiya RZ, but I do more field work and only some studio where I think the Hassy would fit in very well. I am probably looking at a CX for field work and a ELX for studio. I just need to know I am doing the right thing. In the end it is my own choice. Something of interest to me that I find in many books and publications is that Hasselblad and Pentax67 images are always alot sharper and seem to have more detail than any thing shot with Mamiya equipment. Another question, with the CX having vignetting on longer focal lengths, how long are we talking about? and does it appear at f16 or smaller? I notice in one post someone said the CX dosn't have the Acumatte screens, I thought they did.. or didn't I read correctly? Last question for the day... Both the CX and ELX have mirror lock-up yes?

Thanks, hope this isn't too much all in one post.


Hello Steve,<br><br>First the vignetting. It is the viewfinder image only that is affected, not the image on film.<br>Vignetting is visible using lenses of 120 mm and increases as lenses get longer. However, maximum vignetting is reached with 250 mm lenses, it doesn't increase with lenses even longer.<br>Vignetting also increases when focussing closer. So *all* lenses will show some if enough extension is added.<br>Vignetting is caused by the mirror (too short, so it will not hit the rear of the 80 mm lens when swinging up), and is not affected by aperture. Hence it is visible at all apertures.<br>Why not consider a CW instead of the CX? The mirror in the CW is larger (possible because it moves backwards, away from te lens when swinging up).<br>All ELX and ELD models have a large enough mirror too, so do not vignet.<br><br>Next, the mirror lock up. Both C(...) and EL(...) models have mirror pre-release. None of these models has true mirror lock-up. The mirror always has to come down after the exposure is made.<br>The EL(...) models "pretend" to have a lock-up (mirror stays up between exposures) mode (called "AS"), but what actually happens is that the mirror actually comes down and flips up again, and ends up in pre-released state (i.e. with the mirror up. Mirror induced vibration can not (!) be avoided in this mode.<br>You need a (discontinued) 2000-series camera to have true mirror *lock*-up.<br><br>The 500 CX cameras were all supplied with Acute Matte screens (the first, non-"D" generation). However, since the screens are freely interchangeable, that does not mean that a 500 CX camera found today still has an Acute Matte screen installed. So beware.<br>You can recognize Acute Matte screens by the (four line) reference cross: on old style screens the lines are black ink, on Acute Matte screens they are extremely thin raised parts of the plastic underside of the screen. When placing a screen flat on a surface, the reference cross on old style screens remains clearly visible. The cross on Acute Matte screens becomes virtually invisible.<br><br>And last, your choice.<br>Why not consider a 503 CW instead of the set of two cameas you mention?<br>The CW has the better (non-vignetting) mirror, better anti-stray light coating, has TTL-flash control too, and can be equiped with a motor if and when you want it (with wireless remote control). It does all your chosen set does.


Active Member
Hi Steve.

I second the recommendation to consider the 503CW over the CX for all the reasons quoted above. It is a much better camera if for the mirror alone.

If, and only if, you have the means, I would strongly recommend the 555ELD over the ELX as a studio camera. Even if you do less of this type work, the 555 will hold it's value better over the long haul. The reason is because it is a digital ready body. In the long term you will never be caught "system" short should film become to expensive. As digital backs progress, the generation prior to the latest will become much more affordable. I can envision
a good digital back for under $5,000. in a few short years. $5,000. is not much when you factor in film & processing over a few years time. And you still can shoot film at will (something you can't do with a 35mm digital SLR)

Lastly, I would have to be honest with you and say that the RZ images are just as sharp or sharper than anything out there. I have both systems and feel your field work issue is reason enough to go with the more portable 503CW...but sharpness isn't a good enough reason IMHO.


New Member
Hi Steve. This is a difficult one. I used to have an RZ and switched over to a 503cw. (Actually I got a Contax G1 for snaps and was hooked on the Zeiss lenses)I dont think Hasselblad are sharper, but colour rendition is preferable to me for portraits. The Hasselblad is about a million times lighter and you really can hand hold it. Thats what mattered to me. Also the potential for TTL flash was a factor. Ive no regrets but do I miss the RZ at all? Yes there are a few things;

The close focussing/bellows was brilliant. If that matters to you its a real asset. Also the electronic shutter up to 8 secnds and potential for AE aperure priority prism (if you can handle the whole thing!)

Are you OK with 6x6 format. The rotating back 6x7 is really wonderful. Some image is usually lost cropping 6x6.

Finally, second hand mamiya kit is really very reasonable compared to Hassy.


Steve -why not go for the fuji gx 680 III 6x8 - you get revolving back, fully digital interface, and tilt shift on all your optics - and the optics are just as good as zeiss - apart from that I have semi converted to Hasselbad to, as the the fuji is a bit heavy for field work - though if i was forced to choose I would pick the Fuji. The swc/m thoug berats the fujis wideangles any time. On the other hand the 180 mm 3,2 is a dream for portraits and landscape. I have only tried the RZ a couple of times and I was not to happy abut it - and it is certainly a special feeling to hand hold a hasselblad - what ever you work out - good luck and welcome to the Hasselblad forum - regards Ruben


New Member

If you like a camera with a meter, that is easy to use, with programmable features, and has several operating modes I would consider the 203 FE.

Good Luck



New Member
Does anyone have any experience with the new 40mm IF lens? Particularly, is the distortion at the corners noticeable?


Steve, Given that you will usually end up cropping the 6x6 to probably more like 4.5x6, have you considered a Contax 645? Uses Zeiss lenses; provides aperture priority/shutter priority and total manual. Also has built in flash meter (really works!). I've owned both Hasselblad and Contax. I now only use the Contax.
When I bought it I just knew it was the one...sold all others! And you get 4 or 8 more exposures per roll+ mirrir lock up with or without D/A.


New Member
Thanks for your advice, I think I have decided to keep the RZ, and will get a blad when the time comes. For now I will enjoy the posts and learn about the hasselblad. I have used 6x6 before from owning a Mamiya C series TLR and found the square format quite enjoyable but would like a 6x6 SLR instead of adjusting for paralax.

Thanks again. Steve.


New Member
You are mistaken to think the Blad/Zeiss will be better than Mamiya glass, if you have a problem with Mamiya it's more than likely a technique issue. The Blad is easier to carry in the field but does not lend itself to the same type of images as the RZ. people do not want to admit it but all the MF players out there are capable of producing professional results in the right hands, give a bad photographer a 20k MFsystem and you'll still get bad image's.


>Dermot Conlan - so very true - For publishing purposes I have recieved stunning images from photographers using Mamiya and Bronica and lousy ones from photographers using Hasselblads - personally I like to use Hasselblad and Fuji and though the longer lenses for my Fuji gx680 may be more "colour consistant" then the zeiss the only difference when stopped down to f16 is the format 6x6 vs.6x8. I have tried to use the Fuji somtimes in the outdoor for field-photography and its a bit bulky and heavy so for that I prefer the hasselblads. Again you are very right about putting zeiss glas in the hands of a bad photographer will not save the day - ruben > >


New Member
Hasselblad has advertised that a Japanese magazine tested certain Zeiss Hasselblad lenses vs. Mamiya 6x7, with favorable results with Hasselblad. No reprints of this Japanese article were available. The Zeiss website had an interesting reprint of the Camera lens News #14, Summer 2001. This was an interview by a Japanese magazine. Zeiss described their workmanship, standards and quality control as being superior to the competition. However, they say, "quite many enable pro image results" regarding Pentax/mamiya/Bronica MF. Zeiss has also had a paper "When is it advisable to improve the quality of camera lenses? by Dr J. Kammerer. Zeiss has also stated the results of film curl having a negative result on sharpness. Therefore--vacuum backs for the Contax RTS III and Contax 645, and the likely continued evolution of the Hasselblad V-backs (matched insert, film clutch designs to take up slack, etc.). So it seems that technique and skill will still be the deciding factor.