Upload & Sell: On
I was underwhelmed.
Now, I don't have a lot to go on, because all I got to do was hold one in my hands for a minute or two in the meeting room. But compared to the old Blad gear the one I handled felt cheap, like they put it together from a bunch of plastic parts. The reps did nothing to sell me on it, either: it was like, Hey, we're Hasselblad and you're just a 35mm guy who wouldn't understand. Sad, really.
On the field day at Paine FIeld, the reps were having, well, a field day, shooting...Show more →
Interesting Zim. There were two Blad employees that I really hit it off with decades ago, the first was Professor Ernst Wildi, Blad photographer of historical proportions and writer of all the manuals, hard cover books, etc. The second guy was my rep, Rob Logan. Rob was just a wonderful person, no hype or arrogance to either of those gentleman. They were there to support their loyal Blad customers and that they did. I put two Halliburton cases in the lake during a sailing regatta years ago. The new SuperWide had just been released and Rob had gotten me the first one to enter the US. Three 500 C/M's and a host of lenses, along with my new SW spent about an hour in a boat that had a waterline slightly above it's deck line. We had gone in to lunch at the yacht club, returned to the dock an hour later for the next race, but found an odd sight. The four mooring ropes were taught and disappeared into the murky lake. Our "water to water" platform was at the wrong end of the ropes. Halliburton cases are a lot of things, but water proof doesn't happen to be one of them. When they pulled my two big Halli's out of the boat, water poured out the hinges that ran along the back of them. I took that as a bad sign.
I finished the race work with 35mm Nikon gear and called Rob on my way home. He told me to put all the bodies and lenses in a cooler filled with clean water and bring them to the Blad service center in Dallas. He then called the director of the facility, it was a Sunday, and asked if he'd meet me there. Fast forward..... the director had two techs come in as well and we all stood looking into three coolers filled with clear water and Hasselblads. A day later, the verdict was in, all that gear had become property of The Hartford.
I didn't have a 4x5 then, so all my architecture and most of my annual report work was shot on my Blads, the SW being the primary architectural tool. Competitive Camera was more than happy to rush order all the 500 bodies, backs and lenses, but I had sunk the only SW in the country, and it wasn't coming back. I was out of the architectural business, and had work coming out my ears, it was the 80's the Reagan years, and business was great.
Lo and behold, my phone rings and it's Professor Ernst. He introduces himself in a thick German accent and proceeds to explain that he is in Goteborg Sweden, at Hasselblad. He tells me that he has Blad building me a new SW, but in the interim he has already overnighted his personal brand spanking new Super Wide for me to use until my new one arrives. Rob had called Ernst and told him of my plight, and Ernst jumped on it. I shot with The Professor's SW for a month, until my new Blad arrived. Ernst, Rob and I became fast friends through all of that and our friendship endured.
So Zim, you and I are of the same opinion. "Real" Hasselblads are no longer. One only has to pick a new one up (as you so accurately described) to realize that they have been supplanted with plastic bits and pieces and lenses not befitting the Ziess moniker. And, it appears, they are being marketed by people too impressed with themselves to care if anyone buys their product. Eastman Kodak implemented a marketing plan very similar to that years ago. I got to witness a bit of the result of that when I photographed all their Gulfstreams for a broker.
Too bad. I do have one Hasselblad left, the shiny 500 C/M that God gave me, sitting on a shelf at HQ. It has worked hard, and well, and it has served as a constant reminder for three decades, through thick and thin, of the promise "For I know I have plans for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 And that He has.
Guess we'll stick with our meager 35mm gear and let the esoteric breath the rarified air, huh? Until there is no more.