To add a 205 or 203 body or not

simonpg

New Member
I currently use 510CM, 503CW bodies and a bunch of CF and CFE lenses and have no real issue with any piece of equipment's performance.

But, occassionally out in the field I wonder if there would be sufficient merit in "upgrading" my 501CM for one of the later 205/203 bodies to gain advantage from both the focal plane shutter and "in-body" light metering. That functionality may add convenience and broaden my kit's "useability".

I am very familiar with the CF versus F and CFE lens functionality. BUT I am less familiar with the specific functionality specifications of the various 205 and 203 bodies (I do have Wildi's book).

I'm also reasonably aware of how sophisticated the 200 series bodies were.

My questions of members here who use 205 and or 203 bodies and have used 501 and or 503 bodies are:

Is the extra expense rewarded with valuable functional benefits?

Is the focal plane shutter feature all that advantageous?

Do the extra functionalities and features come at a cost of robust reliability?

If you changed from 500 series to 200 series would you bother again?

In hand-held shooting, is it not easier to keep a leaf shutter camera more steady than a focal plan shutter Hassy?

Is the clever metering specification of some 200 cameras any better than your own judgement, or use of a good hand-held meter?

Is the 200 series TTL flash metering any different to and any better than the 503 TTL flash?

Is / are there specific 200 bodies to avoid; or stand-out "must have" models?

Of the more basic versions with less featuresdo you feel they are pointless or, in fact the more basic itteration has all the features one really needs?

Thanks for the help and sorry for all the questions.
 

gjames52

New Member
200?>

Simon:

I like my 203 because it is very versatile allowing the choice of shutters, especially with CFE lenses, Auto, manual, differential modes, exposure compensation, flash options and fill flash compensation to mention a few features. 2000's shutter speed and of course the use of F series lenses. The metering system is excellent as compared to other internal metering systems.

Frankly, after reading all of your questions, I believe that you will have to answer them for yourself.

Try one, and see for yourself.


Regards:

Gilbert
 

qnu

Banned
Simon,

So many questions...

A feature that to some may seem pointless (and sometimes it indeed is) is the 205's spotmeter. It takes time to use a spotmeter, and automation is often chosen because it speeds up things.
Then the 203's center weighed metering is more usefull. What they should have done is put both center weighed and spotmetering inside one body, giving us a choice.

A related perhaps-pointless-thing is the zone-setting on FCC backs and the zone-mode in the 205.

A 200-series body to avoid is the 202 FA. It has no shutterspeed ring, so even in manual mode you will be using aperture priority automatic exposure, selecting the desired shutterspeed and/or exposure by using the adjustment buttons.
It has no "C" mode either, so you can't use leaf shutters on a 202.

If you want/need exposure automation, you will want to avoid the 201 F too, because it has no metering system. Only a TTL-flash sensor.

The 202 and 201's shutter has a top speed of 1/1000 only. Avoiding the time and effort needed to calibrate the shutter at faster speeds made these bodies cheaper to produce,

The 205 TCC had some flaws ('software'), which were corrected in the 205 FCC.

Any metering is as clever as the person using it. No more. Whether a hand held meter or one built-in, how good it is depends on how it is used.

The TTL-OTF flash metering system in all Hasselblad bodies having it is the same. It's a fairly simple system, with not much room for variation. The ISO-range may differ between models. But that's it.

Hand holding it doesn't matter what shutter system you use. You shaking the camera will cause more blurr (by 'orders of magnitude') than any shutter, and more than the difference between shutter systems.

Obviously, the more complex a system is, the less robust it will be. That goes for Hasselblad cameas too.

The focal shutter has it's advantages. So does the leaf shutter.
The thing is that with a focal shutter Hasselblad camera (the exception already mentioned: the 202 FA), you can have both.

The expense vs benefit questions are ones you will have to answer yourself. How much would you (!) value the features a 200-series camera has and your 503 hasn't?
 

afranklin

New Member
Hi Q.G.,

> A feature that to some may seem pointless (and sometimes it indeed is) > is the 205's spotmeter. It takes time to use a spotmeter, and > automation is often chosen because it speeds up things. > Then the 203's center weighed metering is more usefull.

I disagree. Having both a 203 and 205, the 205, IMO, is more useful. There is nothing you can do with the 203 that you can not do with a 205. If you understand how a spot meter works (not a difficult thing) and understand what you are metering on (as in what zone it is in), the spot meter works great.

Funny, enough, Jim used to say exactly what you say, until he got a 205... and now my impression is he has updated his opinion on the usefullness of the 205 spot meter.

> What they > should have done is put both center weighed and spotmetering inside > one body, giving us a choice.

I entirely agree with that!

> A related perhaps-pointless-thing is the zone-setting on FCC backs and > the zone-mode in the 205.

Hum. Well, I'd strongly disagree with that as well. I take it you haven't used a 205?

Regards,

Austin
 

qnu

Banned
Hello Austin,

I stuck to my Gossen SpotMaster, having the very same Zone-programm (should i need it), and is more flexible than a tripod mounted 205.


Although i do agree with you (and Jim now too apparently) that there are definite benefits in spotmetering, it still isn't as quick as center weighed or integral metering.
You will always have to watch what is filling the 'spot'. Much less with center weighed and integral.
It's a choice though, and opinions will differ. Hence the "to some may seem'.

You, by the way, are the person who perhaps best can explain the difference between 205 TCC and 205 FCC, and why the latter would be the better choice of the two. Would you?
 

afranklin

New Member
Hi Q.G.,

> I stuck to my Gossen SpotMaster, having the very same Zone-programm > (should i need it), and is more flexible than a tripod mounted 205.

Certainly, but I don't mount my 205 on a tripod ;-)

> You, by the way, are the person who perhaps best can explain the > difference between 205 TCC and 205 FCC, and why the latter would be > the better choice of the two. Would you?

I did do exactly this some years ago...so it should be in the archives of the "other" Hasselblad list (HUG) ... If you can't find it, let me know, and I'll try to dig it up. It was a few years ago though...so it may take a bit of digging, and the list archives may be faster.

Regards,

Austin
 

afranklin

New Member
Hi Q.G.,

> You, by the way, are the person who perhaps best can explain the > difference between 205 TCC and 205 FCC, and why the latter would be > the better choice of the two. Would you?

I found it easier than I thought!

>> 1) TCC does not have autobracket mode >> 2) TCC does not have fill flash programmability >> 3) FCC shutter controlled from 34 minutes, TCC from 16 seconds >> 4) Control dial is laid out differently

though I believe there may be some thing this list may have missed...

Regards,

Austin
 

jotloob

MFF-Patron
Simon
In 1994 , when the 201F came on the market and the 205 already was (but who could afford ? ? that flagship) i decided to sell my 500C/M (which was a failure , regarding from the collectors side) and bought that 201F . The decision for the 201F was not the focal plane shutter , but the different mirror mechanism . This mirror problem is absolete today , but was not in 1994 . So i could use all my C and CF lenses as ever . But then some years later , when the budget was better i found the 201F had more to give and i was saving money for a FE110 which i think is a great lens .Today that 210F is my working horse number one , and the 501C/M is number two for works , where i use a tripod . Today i have also got a 203FE and that was a great aproach . For handheld photography , great metering , very short exposure times , if required , and i can still use all lenses (some with restrictions) . So i love my 203FE because of its versatility . The 205 was never of interest for me , as i use a handheld spotmeter (minolta) . FE lenses are currently quite cheap to get through E-BAY , for ex&le the FE250 . But the FE 2,8/50 is also a great lens . (but heavy) . So , if you can afford , i can only recommend the 203FE . (there are many other good features with that camera , like auto braketing )
 

qnu

Banned
Simon,

Just so there is no confusion over the "some with restrictions" Jürgen mentions:

The restrictions concern 'handholdability', right?

There are no restrictions in what lens you can use on the 201/203/205.

With the shutter in "C"-mode, it is effectively a 500-series camera with cloth rear shutter. All C/CF/CFE/CFi/CB lenses work just the same as on a 500-series body.

When using the focal plane shutter, you can use all these lenses too (the shutter of C and CB lenses set to "B", on CF/CFi/CFE lenses to "F") plus the shutterless F/FE lenses.
 

qnu

Banned
Austin,

Thanks!
I can't remember, but were there not also some issues with the way the modes/a mode worked, i.e. minor ergonomic disasters?
Or am i imagining things?
 

afranklin

New Member
Hi Q.G.,

> Thanks!

My pleasure.

> I can't remember, but were there not also some issues with the way the > modes/a mode worked, i.e. minor ergonomic disasters?

I don't recall...

> Or am i imagining things?

I'm not qualified to make that determination ;-)

Regards,

Austin
 

simonpg

New Member
Gentlemen many thanks for so much good "user" information. While I can read and do have Wildi's and others' books on Hasselblad, it is the "user" perspective you have all added that is so helpful.

While I had "impresions" from the camera's specifications, nothing matches "user" experience.

QG, you have put the differing features into a useful perspective and Gilbert, Austin and Jurgen have helped a lot with some good debate.

I certainly would not plan to commit a 200 series body just to my tripod. Today that's the domain of my lovely 501CM while I use my 503CW as a hand-held shooter and find it excellent.

If I did add a 200 camera I'd use the 503 on the tripod and get the benefit from the CW winder remote control and the 200 would be a sensible hand-held shooter.

But I don't want to spend money for the sake of it. I'm interested in having the advantage of in camera metering (convenience); AE exposure mode (again convenience for every day shooting).

I don't have much hunger for increased fast shutter speeds (never been an issue yet and I carry 100, 400 & 800 film backs). But I do like the idea of variable shutter speeds that help enable even more accurate exposures.

BUT, is using the Zone system all that helpful and valued as a feature?

Having recently added a CW winder to my 503 I discovered that such a tool can not only do its job but more importantly for me added a "new dimension" to using my 503 - it has increased my use of the whole camera by 30%! So its value was way greater than its cost!

Looking into the 200 series, I feel it may (as a replacement for my 501) have a similar effect.

However, a big issue (hope I am not making too mch of it) is this: do you feel that jumping into a 200 camera after Hassy has stopped production, is wise? Do I risk owning an orphan that will be increasingly difficult to service? Your views?
 

gjames52

New Member
of it) is this: do you feel that jumping into a 200 camera after Hassy has stopped production, is wise? Do I risk owning an orphan that will be increasingly difficult to service? Your views?>

Simon:

Hasselblad will still service it- I have not had any problems with mine. With your current equipment I think you are in a good position to make the purchase. If you were just starting and wanted new equipment then I would have some reservations as a lot of things are hard to find. Very few stores in California, the USA are stocking Hasselblad, much less the V series and the 203 and 205's are very hard to find.

BTW-I was browsing and noticed that the Leica R Digital back is $5,795 so with that in mind if I could find a 203FE I know what I would do.

You should probably rent one and see if it is something you would appreciate.

Enjoy shopping!

Regards:

Gilbert
 

simonpg

New Member
Thanks Gilbert - a very good idea to rent one (my dealer would lend it to me for a couple of weeks anyway). And good points you raise.
 

gjames52

New Member
Patrick:

I do not know, but I would recommend "The Hasselblad Manual" Ernst Wildi, Focal Press.

I do know that Hasselblad USA requires a S/N before they will sell one to you.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Regards:

Gilbert
 

fotografz

Active Member
Simon, what did you decide?

Somehow I missed this specific discussion and would have weighed in in favor of the 203FE. The additional shutter speeds are terrific when using some of the faster FE lenses like the 110/2 wide open to isolate the subject from the background. The meter is very accurate in my experience. I use this camera for handheld wedding work and have been completely satisfied with it. As to service, Hasselblad has to provide service for 10 years.
 

simonpg

New Member
Thanks Marc - Happy new year.

That's interesting to hear about the 200 series. If I had the bucks to spare I'd be seriously tempted.

Just did a portrait session for a celebrity planning a performing arts comeback. she was brilliant to "shoot". Compositionally, I was very pleased and felt I "got" her. Time will tell if I got the light right - bit tough without a bit of portable studio type of light units. But, the need to improvise is a good learning experience.

Anyway she saw what I did for fun with her ex-husband and said to her manager "no shots unless that bloke does them!" So since I'm no expert I agreed on condition that money for film and processing only unless the images are actually used, then I'll accept payment but they have to prove the use. That allowd me to be relaxed.

In that 2 hr session I felt the conventional 500 gear was perfect and 120, 150 and 180 lenses were a joy to frame the images. I think the 150 was the "ideal" as she liked to work "closer".

That 110 f2 must be a total joy to work with and I see what you mean about the 200 series body enabling you to get the "most" out of it.
 

qnu

Banned
I find the f/2 110 mm not always a joy to work with.

Opposed to what often is said, with that little depth of field, focussing is hard. Not easy.
Keeping to the "portraits" ex&le (i.e. getting rather close, where the reduced depth of field is really apparent. For portraits, by the way, this lens is rather too short): even the slightest of movements, and the thing you focussed on will be out of focus again.
And turning the focussing ring back and forth, it is very easy to miss the point where the thing you like to be in focus is in focus.
So focussing is slow, and you need to pay a lot more attention to it than usual.
A focussing aid, like a split image rangefinder, is, i feel, a must.

The results however can be quite interesting.
But it really must make full use of the short depth of field; the depth of field must be the main feature of the image. Else, it looks like a photo that just didn't 'come out well'.

The out of focus bits sometimes show double contour lines. A manifestation of what is know as "bad bokeh".
That can be very disturbing, and almost makes your eyes water. This 'double vision' really has you feeling you want to rub your eyes, to get a clear view again.


The photo is not a very good one, but it shows what i mean a bit. Look at strings and the folds in the sweatshirt. They are not just out of focus, but have grown in number too.

When not used for its 'special character', the 110 mm is just another lens. Unless stopped down to f/5.6 or so, not a particularly good lens either.
 
Top