Hasselblad Flex Body

Discussion in 'Equipment & Media' started by Pete Askew, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Given that we have been discussing tilt and shift lenses, and seem to have started taking pictures of cameras, I though this might be interesting. This is the Hasselblad Flex Body (fitted with a 50mm lens). A mini technical camera if you will with 14 mm of rise and fall and 28º of tilt both left and right for the film back. There is no movements on the lens plane but it includes a bellows with up to 22mm of extension. So, you can focus with the lens and by the bellows and adjust the focal plane and correct perspective etc. All of this is done on an Acute Matt focusing screen either by using a straight magnifying hood or, in this case, a right-angle viewer. Once you have composed the shot you remove the screen assembly, half depress the shutter release (cable) to close the shutter, fit a back and remove the darkslide (or fit a digital back) and then make the exposure and then replace the darkslide. There is a crank to advance the film and a knob to recock the shutter and, if turned again, to open it for viewing.

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    To illustrate this, here are two shots of a Hasselblad 503CW fitted film an A12 film back and the 50mm lens from the first shot. They are taken using the Flex Body fitted with a 60mm lens at f/4.0 onto a PhaseOne P20 back (rotated 90º on the tripod to give lateral tilt). The first shot is with no tilt and the second is with ca 4º tilt applied. These bodies are useful as a compact location camera (there are more options available these days for digital backs especially) or to achieve artistic images with very narrow planes of focus.

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    Minor PP in CaptureOne and LR/Nik. Shot using natural light from roof light and silver refelector from front left. Incident metered.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  2. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    nice looking kit, and what an amazing quality to the images from the digi back!
    how much would a set up like that lot set someone back then Pete?
     
  3. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    You can still buy a 16MP back and a 503CW from Hasselblad (503CWD). Not sure of the current price but I guess with a 50mm lens you'd be looking at about 10K. A second hand Flex Body (if you can find one) would be between 1500 and 2000 and a good 50mm lens would be about 700 - 1000. A good 503CW body with WLF, 650 - 800. They don't make the P20 any more but secondhand theay are probably between 3 - 5K. The H20 would be cheaper but you have to shoot tethered. You coud use a P45 (39MP) and PhaseOne often have refurbished backs at 8-9K. I know it's expensive but the quality and lack of noise is amazing (the sensor in the P20 is 4cm x 4cm) and the whole system can be incredibly flexible. I use my PhaseOne backs on V (P20 and H20 - square format 16MP) and H (P45 - 5x4 ratio, 39MP) bodies and on large format cameras using a Phase One Flex Adapter (sliding back with auto-stitching capability in CaptureOne).
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  4. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    ... More than I can afford then .. One day!
    Whats the least expensive route to mf digital photography then?
     
  5. Vic Shaw

    Vic Shaw Senior Member

    ask Pete nicely I would guess!

    Nice shots Pete, only fault I can find is the 3 spots on the table, oh and it needs a crop!
     
  6. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    What, you mean you missed the dust spot on the bottom 2 (1/3 of the way up on the left)?!! Crop indeed!! ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  7. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    For the most cost effective route into larger format photography I would go down the DSLR on the back of a LF camera. But that doesn't get you the nice large sensors and that's the expensive bit. Putting a sliding back on a LF camera is a more expensive route and a decent one (even S/H) is going to be 1500 - 2000. There are some older LightPhase backs around selling for less than 1000 or a H5 / H10 - see eBay links below (they are Contax 645 mount though - no you can't change them). Hasselblad V mount is probably the most common followed by Mamiya RB / RZ. You could probably get some sort of S/H digital solution based around a RB67 for under 2000 (maybe a Hasselblad C/M + 80mm even). Another route would be to shoot film and scan the negatives!

    I have a friend with a Megavision back (V mount) that he no longer uses as he has retired. I can ask him how much he would sell it for. It would need to be very cheap though as the firm no longer exists and were nowhere near as good as PhaseOne (probably why the no longer exist).

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Phase-One-Dig...565?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2a121e2b9d

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Phase-One-Dig...240?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2a11a0efc0

    I've always bought my PhaseOne gear from https://www.teamworkphoto.com/shop/index.php (and some LF stuff). It might be worth giving them a call.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  8. Vic Shaw

    Vic Shaw Senior Member

    ah yeah missed that one, I see it now.....talking of dust spots you should see how many I see when I use the pinhole!!! very scary ( a little OT sorry)


    :)
     
  9. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

  10. Darren Bradley

    Darren Bradley Active Member

    I'm incredibly jealous of your kit, Pete. I'm sure it does wonders for architecture photography.
     
  11. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Oooo, very nice Pete, price is a little gulp-worthy though!
     
  12. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Luckily I use them in my work!
     

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