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Problems changing lenses on Hasselblad 500 c/m? Please explain

Ronald Hogenboom , Nov 04, 2008; 06:49 a.m.

The last few months have been comtemplating getting into medium format. For lots of reasons I won't go into the Hasselblad 500 c/m looks like a good choice for me.

However, people warn me that when changing lenses, the body and the lens can get 'mismatched', with all sorts of catastrophic results.

My question is not how to prevent this from happening, people already told me. My question is what to do when it has happened.

Cheers,

Ronald

Responses

Ulrik Neupert , Nov 04, 2008; 08:01 a.m.

Body and lens have to be cocked to take them apart. It is the same when putting lens and body together, both have to be cocked. If the body is not cocked, do so by turning the wind crank/wind knob. If the lens is for some reason (user error) not cocked, do so by turning the slotted shaft in the lens bayonett with a coin until it is cocked. All in all, this is not an issue. Really.

Ulrik

Steve Swinehart , Nov 04, 2008; 03:38 p.m.

When you wind a Hasselblad, two things happen - the mechanism that retracts the mirror and baffles in the body is cocked and the shutter in the lens is cocked. There is a drive mechanism on the body that mates with the lens to trip the shutter. Either the body or lens can be in a state where they are partially cocked or totally uncocked. You cannot get the lens to mate with the body in that state. If this happens with the lens on the body - you cannot get the lens off of the camera.

You can, however, recock the body or lens. The problem is that you really need a special tool to do it. You can use a screwdriver - but, one slip and....you can damage things.

If the lens is on the body, the only way you can recock the system is to remove the back, carefully move the baffles out of the way and access the shutter winding screw inside the body.

You can get tools like this: http://www.micro-tools.com/store/item_detail.aspx?itemCode=PK-1

I own this type as it is slip proof on either the body or lens.: http://www.calumetphoto.com/item/AA0300/

Sally Mack , Nov 04, 2008; 03:46 p.m.

Hi, Ronald, I've used a Hasselblad 500 c/m for a couple of years and have never had a problem changing lenses. I've never had to cock the lens in the manner Ulrik mentions. Ulrik's right, it's a non-issue.

I find Wildi's book, The Hasselblad Manual, extremely useful. I think the 3rd edition is the one I bought (used, of course) for my old 500 c/m.

It's a great camera and LOTS of fun! --Sally

Neil Ambrose , Nov 05, 2008; 08:21 a.m.

I've used 4 Hasselblads over the past 6 years. I've only ever locked a body once and that was by my own incompetence. It's not a common occurrence and not something you should be worried about. And it's easy to undo as well - took me just a few seconds using a small screw driver.

Steve Swinehart , Nov 05, 2008; 10:54 a.m.

I've used a Hasselblads of various vintages since 1968. My current 500CM was purchased in 1988. My comment is, you either don't use your cameras very much, or never use extension tubes if your camera has never gotten hung up. If you shoot long enough or use the camera daily, it will, at some point, uncock ...probably at the most inconvenient time (Murphy et al).

While I've only had this happen on three occassions - it's not IF it will happen but WHEN - and it's the when that counts - having the correct rewind tool with the camera ensures that you can get back to shooting ASAP - it really cheap insurance.

Taras Hnatyshyn , Nov 05, 2008; 01:48 p.m.

I found it useful to have the dark slide inserted in the magazine to prevent an accidental trip of the shutter when I'm changing lenses.

Edward Ingold , Nov 07, 2008; 08:55 p.m.

It happened to me once early on, but with due diligence in the ensuing 6 years there have been no repeats. My downfall was a well-worn C50 lens that would trip about half the times it was removed.

If the small catch on the lens that keeps the shutter cocked is worn, it can release the shutter while the lens is being attached or removed. If it is still partly engaged with the coupling shaft, the halves of the coupler can jam together so that each half is trying to rotate in opposition, and the lens cannot be removed, nor the camera discharged or wound. Should this occur the usual "unjamming" method cannot be used. The only recourse is to send the camera to the factory where the coupling is deliberately broken and replaced ($$). This can also occur if you are tentative when removing the lens or change your mind half way through the process, or accidently press the shutter release at just the wrong time.

Q.G. de Bakker , Nov 07, 2008; 09:13 p.m.

"Should this occur the usual "unjamming" method cannot be used. The only recourse is to send the camera to the factory where the coupling is deliberately broken and replaced ($$). "

Wouldn't that be something?

It is, of course, not so. The camera key mechanism can be moved backwards, away from and out of engagement with the lens' axle, through the back end of the camera, allowing the lens to be removed no matter what state it is in.
This is even a method you could use yourself (directions can be found on the web).

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