Hasselblad Arcbody, where have you been all my life?

Arcbodt actual

Those who know me are aware that I have a camera system fetish. Seems I have never really been satisfied with any system I own and am always looking for nirvana!

Well seems like I have found it. Have recently been looking to exit some digital gear to get one of my dream cameras, a Hasselblad SWC. A couple of weeks ago I listed a couple of my Sony Zeiss Zooms and my Rolleiflex 3.5F on Trademe, and have been scouring the world film camera sites looking for a deal on an SWC.  Last Thursday morning I was up early having a coffee and was looking at progress on Trademe, to see if anything had moved, and my search for Hasselblad systems identified a Hasselblad Arcbody with 35mm and 45mm lenses in Auckland. Cutting along story short, and after the suitable amount of grovelling at home, I bought it.


Well over the weekend I put a few rolls through it and am stunned by the results. There is a lot to remember when you use this camera system and mistakes are plentiful in the early attempts, but when you get it right wow!

Taking photos of the dark slide, not setting camera back from the viewing aperture and not closing the shutter before I remove dark slide are my most common mistakes:)

I am primarily a tripod user so a system like this that requires  a tripod is right up my alley. It is not a fast camera to use by any stretch of the imagination and there lies the attraction for me. Being a Hasselblad it is an engineering master piece, not cheap, but you really do get what you pay for in this world.

The Rodenstock 35 4.5 is also a masterpiece. It is tiny, a little slow for most people’s taste, but not me because I shoot landscapes and cityscapes so I am never wide open anyway. Not sure there are to many lenses wider than this in Medium/Large format, I estimate it is in the 15-17mm range when compared to 35mm.

Arcbody Col-3

The ability to shift and tilt is not only useful around the city with ARChitecture but also very handy with landscape shots. I like a lot of foreground interest in my landscapes and often setup at ground level. So a little upward shift can remove distracting immediate foreground and straighten up whatever it is that I have as the foreground interest.

The system is incredibly small, basically a light box with a lens attached, filter holder and film back. Smaller than your average DSLR and because it all breaks down, it packs easily in a mid-sized bag. The Arcbody with 35 4.5 + Sony RX-1 + Nodal Ninja panorama head will be my kit of choice, especially when we are in Hawaii at end of July.

Arcbody Col

Have I mentioned yet this Rodenstock 35 4.5 lens is amazing:) I love wide angles and this darling is really wide and to my eye distortion free.

Well I will continue to add photos taken by the Arcbody.

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