Film Got myself a Lunar!

ajramirez

Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Antonio
Well, not exactly a Lunar, but its older sister: a Hasselblad 500CM, complete with a A12 back, 80mm 2.8 Planar, 50mm 4.0 Distagon, and 120mm 5.6 S-Planar. Of course, there's a story that goes along with it. The kind of story that probably only happens in small towns.

In the town of Cabo Rojo, on the Southwestern tip of Puerto Rico, there is a tailor shop by the name of Governor´s Suits, where you can get bespoke suits at a very reasonable price. The shop has been in operation at least since the 1940's, and is currently run by the three sons of the original tailor. My very first suit, bought in 1981 for my 9th grade graduation ceremony, was made by them, and I have been getting my suits from them since then.

One of the brothers also runs a successful photography business in Cabo Rojo, complete with a studio and lab. We have chatted about photography over the years and some time ago, he gave me a tour of his analog processing facility, which was all mechanized and very impressive. This time, he explained that after a few not so good years, he had converted the lab to a full digital lab and was once again doing quite well. His daughter is also a photographer and runs the day-to-day operations of the studio.

He mentioned that he had a suitcase full of Hasselblads that had not been touched in years. I said that if he wanted to get rid of them, I might be interested. We went to the studio and his daughter pulled out a large case which contained the following: 3 Hasselblad 500cm bodies, 2 prisms, 4 film backs, 1 Polaroid back, assorted accessories, and four lenses: (2) 80mm, 50mm and 120mm. The entire kit looked like it had worked for a living (certainly not collector grade), was quite dusty, but appeared to be in working order. I offered her $500 for the full set, which she readily accepted.

Back home, I cleaned everything up, and picked the best body, back, and 80mm lens. I kept those and the 50mm and 120mm, and sold (very inexpensively) the rest to a good buddy of mine who is also into film photography.

I took the camera out for its maiden voyage last Saturday, but found out when I developed the film that the back had a light leak. I ordered the seal kit from eBay, installed it last night and took the camera for a spin this morning. I hope to post some shots after I have developed and scanned the film.

In any event, this is my newest acquisition:


1977 Hasselblad 500CM by ramirezaponte, on Flickr

Cheers,

Antonio
 

Luke

Super Moderator
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
I've always wanted one of those. In fact, I nearly bought one about a week ago because I thought it was too cheap (although I had no intention of ever getting into film photography). I just love the look of those old cameras...and that one is a classic. Did you get any "cool" light leaks or were they all garbage? Enjoy your new camera....I enjoyed the story. Can't wait to see what you get with it.
 

pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
A fantastic deal, I'm suitably (and sickeningly) envious.

I owned one for 24 hours and wish I had kept it ...
 

ajramirez

Hall of Famer
Jul 9, 2010
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Antonio
Did you get any "cool" light leaks or were they all garbage?
Unfortunately, all garbage. Very disappointing. The growing pains with this one have been sharper than with any of my other cameras. Two wasted rolls due to the light leaks, and a third roll torn because of improper loading. Should have watched that YouTube video showing how to properly load the camera BEFORE going out shooting.

I did shoot two rolls this morning that I hope to develop tonight. Hoping for a few keepers.

Cheers,

Antonio
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Nov 8, 2012
New Mexico
Larry
Yes, they can be tricky to load. My first roll in my first Hasselblad went in paper toward the lens. No light leaks, though!

I got 500CM almost a year ago now, with 80, 50, and 150 Zeiss lenses. What a sweet (not so) little machine. I've bought and had to return a couple of leaking backs, so am now using an A16. It works; they are cheaper to acquire, but you really have to keep track of your shots or you'll shoot past 12. No one makes 220 any more, and since I always hated loading it on a reel, I can't say I'm sorry.

Anyway, congratulations. I'm sure you'll have a blast with this amazing machine (and lenses).

$500!! That's a bit more than a third of what I paid for my kit. Nice deal!
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
Down Under
Mark
Congratulations Antonio. A monumentally beautiful piece of kit. I hope she gets daily use. I love these kinds of stories; be honest my first reaction was jealousy but that was quickly replaced by happiness; could not have happened to a nicer guy. $500 :eek:

Sent from my GT-I9100 using SeriousCompacts mobile app
 

trisberg

Regular
Jul 5, 2011
New Hampshire
Congrats! Super nice kit, have been thinking of getting a 'blad every so often but just wouldn't know what to do with the negs since I only have a 35mm scanner. Enjoy the new kit and post some pictures.

-Thomas
 

pniev

Student for life
May 13, 2013
Congratulations! It is very nice that these cameras are saved for future generations and used. I promised myself to own a MF film cam.
Thanks for sharing the story and photos.
Peter
 

trisberg

Regular
Jul 5, 2011
New Hampshire
Nice, really like the first one. Did you have these scanned or do you do that yourself? I think I'm in trouble now - heading over to ebay :biggrin:

-Thomas
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Nov 8, 2012
New Mexico
Larry
Not to push anyone toward a purchase, but if you don't have a darkroom or a medium format scanner, you can always get a digital back for a 500CM
 

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