Back in 2016, prior to shooting my first wedding with my Hasselblad, I got it serviced along with the 80mm lens and the A12 back it came with, just to make sure it was in tip top condition. At the same time, I bought a 2nd A12 film back for the Hasselblad 501CM from FFordes.com. I bought that so I had two backs to use, to enable rapid reloading, given that 12 frames a roll is not hugely convenient for wedding work. But, I didn’t get that second A12 back serviced.
It was OK. I used it for that wedding and I’ve used it for other events since. However, I have gradually began to notice that I sometimes seemed to get light leaks coming in at the side of the frames. Not serious and not generally even that noticeable, but it was noticeable enough for me to decide at the start of 2020 that I should get it checked over.
Many years ago, I was referred to a now retired Hasselblad Elf who has been running a camera repair and servicing outfit for quite a while now (I’ve known of him for ten years). I used him in 2016 to service the Blad, and so naturally I sent this second back to him for servicing too.
His outfit is called GR Enterprise Services (GRES) and his website is www.gres.co.uk and he is Graham Rose. Such a nice guy; spoke to him on the phone each time and he really knows his stuff. I hope he carries on for a long time yet because his expertise is quite fantastic and increasingly rare these days. For obvious reasons, he is busy and getting the equipment can take some time. But it’s worth the wait if you can be without the equipment for a while (that’s why I chose January to send mine).
He checked over the entire thing, cleaned and serviced the transport and spacing gear ratchet assembly, lubricated the mechanisms, rollers, spindles, fitted a new dark slide light foil, brushed up the foam trap and cleaned the boot lace strip. To finish, he even painted the internal space and removed the old paint that was beginning to come away. It has come back to me like new! I love it and it will probably be accurate and reliable for years to come. We have to take care of our analogue equipment. Spares are increasingly hard to come by but if you get your camera stuff services by someone like Graham, you can be assured of its longevity for decades to come. Almost my entire V-System has now been serviced in the last 4 years except for my other two lenses : the 120mm and 150mm lenses. I’ll get them serviced when I can just so I know the entire set is done.
I also believe he services other brands besides Hasselblad including Nikon, Sony, Canon etc. Pay his website a visit. It’s well worth it.