How to go digital with old C lenses?

ecopix

New Member
I still have my beloved 500cm bought when an apprentice in 1978, and a less loved 553ELX, which I bought for a digital back that never came from my employer.

And I still have lovely 50mm, 80mm, 120mm and 250mm C lenses sitting in the dark (I sold the 500mm when sanity temporarily prevailed).

I'd love to use these lenses digitally in my retirement (sad to say, I'm over film - been shooting digitally professionally since 2004 and don't intend to go back to film).

Trouble is, I can't justify it in practical terms. The latest full frame cameras are so good that I don't NEED to shoot medium format. I have a stepping rig for them and also a stepping back for the Blad lenses, if I want to step the smaller cameras behind the larger image circles.

So the budget is tight to use the old gear again, just for old time sake.

Question is, given the technicalities and costs, I'm torn between a used digital back of modest resolution, and risk the old lenses not synchronising, or buying a used Pentax 645D with lens adapter, and laying my old camera bodies finally to rest.

Which way would forum members go? Many thanks for your thoughts.
 

dirk

MFF-Founder
Administrator
Question is, given the technicalities and costs, I'm torn between a used digital back of modest resolution, and risk the old lenses not synchronising, or buying a used Pentax 645D with lens adapter, and laying my old camera bodies finally to rest.

Which way would forum members go? Many thanks for your thoughts.
Hi ecopix,

What would be the price of a Pentax 654D system in your area compared to i.e. a Hasselblad X1D with adapter for the old lenses?
 

camerafocus

New Member
If you can find a used Hasselblad CFV back you will not need to worry about syncing the back to the camera. The digital back is fired by the same pin that used to release the A12 Mag position lock. I used to work for Hasselblad UK in technical support when these were first launched and the results of the CFV 16 were better at the time than higher resolution DSLR's. Obviously if you can find the later CFV-39 or CFV-50 they are better but the sharpness of the images in not only governed by the pixel count but also the size of the pixels. If you use a DSLR fully stopped down, the refraction of light with small pixel cells means that the image will be soft. I also spent time working for a UK PhaseOne dealer and I know that the sync to body was a big issue.
David
 

jotloob

MFF-Fan
Using the CFV-16 , CFV-39 and CFV-50 with a 500 series camera is no problem at all .
As described by CAMERAFOCUS in the previous post .
I use the CFV-39 and CVF-50 with ARCA SWISS , HASSELBLAD 500 series and with ALPA cameras from a tripod only . In flash sync mode I use the HASSELBLAD electronic release cable 3043370 to wake up the back . Additional , when using a 500 series camera , I always use "mirror prerelease" . No further cabling required .
 

astan

New Member
I still have my beloved 500cm bought when an apprentice in 1978, and a less loved 553ELX, which I bought for a digital back that never came from my employer.

And I still have lovely 50mm, 80mm, 120mm and 250mm C lenses sitting in the dark (I sold the 500mm when sanity temporarily prevailed).

I'd love to use these lenses digitally in my retirement (sad to say, I'm over film - been shooting digitally professionally since 2004 and don't intend to go back to film).

Trouble is, I can't justify it in practical terms. The latest full frame cameras are so good that I don't NEED to shoot medium format. I have a stepping rig for them and also a stepping back for the Blad lenses, if I want to step the smaller cameras behind the larger image circles.

So the budget is tight to use the old gear again, just for old time sake.

Question is, given the technicalities and costs, I'm torn between a used digital back of modest resolution, and risk the old lenses not synchronising, or buying a used Pentax 645D with lens adapter, and laying my old camera bodies finally to rest.

Which way would forum members go? Many thanks for your thoughts.
I don't have any C lenses, but I have many Hasselblad CFE and CFI and some FE lenses and have used them with a Pentax 645D camera with a Photodiox Pro HB - PT645 adapter. Works very well. I would recommend that solution.
 

ecopix

New Member
Thanks to everyone for their info. Very helpful, and it's impressive to see such knowledge and experience. I didn't know that the CFV's used a different system altogether to the usual suspects from Phase etc.
Dirk, my research in Aussie dollars: X1D roughly A$10 000, CFV-50 $11 000, CFV-16 (UK) A$5 000, Pentax 645D under A$3 000 with modern bells and whistles. You can see the attraction of the adapted Pentax, although I agree a nice CFV would be the preferable solution.
No rush, will keep on the lookout. I'm still a working dog with a new Z6 to acquaint myself with for now...

PS Congrats on the way MFF now looks and runs. Very well done.
 

wengolee

New Member
I am the owner of CFV 50, 500 and 2000 series cameras. The combo is very unreliable. I would not recommend them to anyone.
 

jotloob

MFF-Fan
Wengolee
Your contribution is not very helpful : You do not describe , why you say , "the combo" is not reliable . What do you exactly mean by "the combo"
And what is not reliable ? ? ?
I have a CFV39 , a CFV50 and cameras of the 500 and 2000 series , including the 905SWC + lenses from 40mm to 250mm focal length .
The only thing , which is a bit tricky , is focusing , unless you use a split screen matte .

So please go ahead and describe , what you find unreliable . That would be very helpful , also for other users .
 
Top