Hasselblad Camera Cafe London

Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica

November 2015

Camera Cafe

In September this year I bought my first Hasselblad camera and now I cannot image life without it. As someone that has probably always sounded like a Leica fanboy, I never expected to like the Hasselblad camera system so much.

When I get into something I go all in. I bought my Hasselblad 501C medium format camera with the Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 kit lens and also got the Zeiss Distagon 50mm f4 and the Zeiss Sonnar 150mm f4 lenses at the same time. In my head I then wanted to get a longer lens for the Hasselblad, such as a 250mm. I searched online and found there was a place in London specialising in Hasselblad equipment called the Camera Cafe. I buy most of my camera equipment online but loved the idea of bein able to try a lens before I buy. I’m sure the later is the norm for most sain people!

On my next model photography trip to London I made some time to visit the Hasselblad Camera Cafe. It ticked all the boxes as I could refuel with a nice cup of coffee and chat cameras / try lenses all at the same time. I arrived with both my Hasselblad 501C and Leica M240 + Noctilux setup and soon got chatting with the staff. I had just come from their sister store, Aperture Photographic where I get my cameras repaired and had just collected my recalibrated Leica M3.

Here is a photo I took while I was drinking my coffee. There was not a huge amount of light so I used a shutter cable release and shot at 1/8 with the camera rested on the table.  This is my original Hasselblad camera and kit lens.

  • Hasselblad 501C + Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8

Leica M3 Calibration

I then asked if I could try a few of the Hasselblad lenses they had in stock and here are the resulting images.

  • Hasselblad 501C + Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 4/120 CFE

Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 4/120 CFE

I tried some longer lenses but the likes of the 250mm are not really practical for day to day portraits and travelling around as it is so big and heavy.

  • Hasselblad 501C + Zeiss Sonnar 250mm f5.6 CF

Zeiss Sonnar 250mm f5.6 CF

Hasselblad Camera Cafe

  • Hasselblad 501C + Zeiss Sonnar 180mm f4 CF

Zeiss Sonnar 180mm f4 CF bokeh test

As I was on a roll trying the different lenses I then asked to try a Hasselblad super wide fish eye lens

  • Hasselblad 501C + Zeiss 30mm f3.5 CF F-Distagon

Zeiss 30mm Distagon Fish Eye

*All photos shot on 120 Fomapan 100 Classic film (developed in Xtol)

The lens that won my heart on the day was the Zeiss Makro-Planar 120mm f4 and I soon added that to my camera bag (as you may have seen from my Poland trip!).

I really enjoyed my visit to the Camera Cafe and met some fellow Hasselblad enthusiasts, both staff and customers. I will be back again soon and I highly recommend to anyone else with Hasselblad interests. For most other used camera brands such as Leica, Nikon, Canon, Mamiya etc I would recommend the Aperture Photographic store.

Thanks Camera Cafe!


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5 thoughts on “Hasselblad Camera Cafe London”

  1. It’s funny, when I started reading this article, I said to myself, I must recommend to Matthew the 120 Makro-Planar. Glad you got it in the end.
    It’s interesting that most MF photographers stick with either the 80mm or just one focal length either way.
    Next time I’m in the Smoke, I’ll make a point of visiting these two shops

    1. Thanks Jeremy, yes the 120mm for me is a clear gem in the Hasselblad Zeiss lens line up. I have no bads words to say about it. If I could only have one lens it would be the 120mm. Perhaps surprisingly my next favourite lens is the 50mm Distagon. More from that soon 🙂 Thanks

  2. Pingback: Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67 | MrLeica.com – Matthew Osborne Photography

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