Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/30

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Subject: Re: [Leica] M6 21 ASP OR HASSELBLAD 503cm with ?? (undecided)
From: Willie Ju <>
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 01:11:05 -0700

Jim Brick wrote:
> Please, this is not to start an MF discussion/war, but that last sentence
> is pretty off the wall. I would like an explanation.
> I'm curious... what makes a Hasselblad more potable than other MF systems?
> Am I missing something?
> Pentax 6x7, Pentax 645, Fuji GA645i & GA645Wi, Rollei, and the list goes
> on. In my estimation, the Hasselblad is no more portable than any of the
> others, except perhaps the RB67 (big) and the few MF studio view cameras.
> The FUJI's handle like bluffed-up M6's ( much more portable than the Hassy)
> as is the 35mm SLR look-alike Pentax 6x7. I've owned and used
> professionally, two different Hasselblad systems, over the years. Other
> than Zeiss lenses, they really have no advantages over most other MF
> cameras, and are a whole lot less portable than some.
> Advantages are things like interchangeable backs, interchangeable finders,
> large lens selection... but not portability. Most Fuji's and Pentax's are
> far more portable than the Hasselblad.
> Jim

No, you're not missing anything. You're right. I guess I was as vague as
I could be. My apologies. 

Here's my point:

When one makes a purchase decision, one tends to compare equivalent
systems. Since Hasselblad doesn't make a 6x7, there is a tendency to
compare Hasselblads to 6x7 more than to 6x4.5. Moving down to 6x4.5 is
too much of a penalty in film area, especially if one is interested in a
6x7 system.

Portability, for me, has to do with balance, as well as weight and size.
It's how easy it is to hold, handle, use, carry . . . . Well, the RB and
the RZ are arguably bigger and heavier. The Fuji 680 even more so. The
big RF Fujis have fixed lenses, so the comparison is limited. The
Rolleis have a high center of gravity. 

The Pentax 67 only looks like a 35mm SLR; you cannot get past its weight
and bulk. The Hasselblad weighs 1035 grams, the Pentax weighs 1750
grams, both without a lens. The Hasselblad, I could hold in one hand
curled in a tight grip; the Pentax, it's hard to hold it in a stable
one-handed grasp. Try changing lenses. Or giving directions with one
hand while holding the camera with the other. Or loading fresh film.
With the Hasselblad, you slap on a preloaded back. With the Pentax, it's
awkward. Try focusing and setting an exposure. Holding a Hasselblad, you
can set the shutter speed dial, aperture, and shutter release with the
free hand. With the Pentax, you have to do a little dance with the
hands, alternating the hold. After a shoot with the Pentax, the
Hasselblad feels lighter than it is.

The Bronica 6x6 and 6x7 are about the same. The Mamiya 7 is the only one
easier to carry and to handle than the Hasselblad.

I use a Pentax 67 only because of the larger negative and affordable
lenses. Used to own an old Hasselblad 503cxi.