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Hasselblad metering prism

Mark Green

New Member
Hi everyone, I need some infos.

I've got a Hasselblad 503 CX equipped with the Planar 80 2.8. At the moment, I'm planning a reportage with this camera. The point is... focusing through the viewfinder is driving me insane.

How can I avoid this ? I mean... Do you thing I need a metering prism ?

If so, which one ?

Thanks in advance.
Question is how much do you want to spend and is metering important? The ultimate is probably the spendy PME45, but for film cameras the PM90 or PME 90 is a very nice unit. The PM5 is fairly light weight and maybe in the $350 range.

Good luck. T
I have a PM90 and a microprism/split image focusing screen. Focusing is a snap and dead on every time. Do you really need a metering prism? Get a good indicent/flash meter like the Sekonic L-358 and you are set.
I used to have a 503c/x and it is a great camera. Does your camera have the acute matte focusing screen or a standard one? I think they were fitted with an acute matte as standard but I bought mine second hand and it had a standard screen. If yours is the standard focusing screen, I'd try to get hold of an acute matte screen. My eyesight is far from perfect and the acute matte screen was a big help to me. My other comment is that the Hassy 500 series cameras aren't really optimal for reportage style photography. Clearly, it's your choice but getting the focus nailed (with the viewfinder screen or a metering prism), sorting the exposure and composing the photo might mean you miss a fair percentage of opportunities. You can, of course, zone focus and, assuming the light isn't too variable, just compose and shoot - but, with only 12 on a roll, you might end up wishing you had a 35mm to-hand.
I have a pme 90 and a pm 45 on a CM 501 and the latter is my clear preference. The PME 90 is much too heavy and brings the camera completely out of balance when hanging around your neck.

When doing a reportage I would use a high speed film (ISO 400 and above) so that at daylight you have f8 or higher and hence a reasonable depth of field and sharp images even if you havent 100% precisely focused. i personally have moved from the 80 mm to the 50 mm where the DOF is even larger.

I use this setup (cm501, pm 45, 30 mm lens) with the digital back CFV 50c-II and am perfectly happy as I typically dont even use the lightning metter but make an educated guess for the aperture stop. This is right in most of the cases and if not, then I see it immediately on the back screen and can adapt it for a second shot.
That was my fault, missed the year LOL. But I have just started spending time with the CFV 50c back on my 503cxi, and the PME makes focusing for the digital sensor a lot easier. I use a tripod, so I don’t mind the extra weight. Sorry for the old revival!
Are you aware of what "hyperfocal distance" is? It is also called zone focusing. Do you have a microprism/split image screen? If not, invest in one.
@500CMfan, if you are asking me about hyperfocal distance, yes. For far landscapes (coastal) that is all I use. However, closer focusing and portraits show poor focus techniques quickly just as high resolution digital shows camera movement faster.