Hasselblad Launches 'Rent a Hasselblad'

Hasselblad Launches 'Rent a Hasselblad'

Hasselblad have been a bit of an obsession of mine since I first saw the 500C/M. It's such a beauty and I will one day make the leap and buy one. However, the new Hasselblads are a financial commitment tantamount to a high end vehicle or a house deposit. It's a shame for me as the Hasselblad H5D Multishot is perfect for the commercial work I do, but not quite worth being homeless for. Hasselblad are stepping in to the rental arena to offer direct rentals at less eye-watering financial outlays.

Hasselblad are aware that even entry level cameras of theirs are expensive off the shelf with Hasselblad Marketing Manager noting that even successful and highly paid photographers may not be able to justify the purchase. For me, this raises questions of their price point if the successful and highly paid photographers can't afford their cameras. To whom are Hasselblads aimed at if that's the case? Wealthy photography enthusiasts cannot be the demographic they aspire to lock down. It seems to me that these successful photographers are exactly who they would like using their medium format cameras, but it tends to be only studios and the 1% who have deep enough pockets. Regardless, Hasselblad resolves so bridge this gap with their rental scheme. Bronius Rudnickas, the aforementioned Marketing Manager continues to say:

Consequently, many professional photographers and enthusiasts haven’t had the opportunity to see what they’re able to create with Hasselblad’s medium format technology. The ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ program is designed to change that and we’re looking forward to seeing what photographers are able to produce having easier access to our photographic tools.

The service is in its foetal stages at the moment, with limited options available. That said, there are numerous outlets from which you can rent from, with 3 in London alone.  I was able to see the prices for rental of one camera body and two lenses:

X1D-50C 4116 Edition — £78 per day (approx. $103)

XCD f/3.2 90mm — £24 per day (approx. $32)

XCD f/3.5 45mm — £19.20 per day (approx $25)

This price was consistent throughout the three London locations which leads me to believe it is a standard price sheet. Interestingly, one of the London locations is the well known Wex Rental. I compared the prices and found that rental of the body through Wex is nearly twice the price of renting directly through Hasselblad, while the lenses were marginally cheaper. To give you an idea, here is a quick price comparision:

Rent a Hasselblad: For 7 days of the X1D-50C + XCD f/3.2 90mm = £714 (approx. $942)

Wex Rental: For 7 days of the X1D-50C + XCD f/3.2 90mm = £1,141 (approx. $1505)

That is a gargantuan difference. Of course, rental outlets vary in prices, but if renting equipment is something you do or might need to do for a shoot, Rent a Hasselblad is looking financially competitive. With the X1D-50C body only costing $8,995, I would have to seriously ask myself how many rentals I'm looking at making per year and whether it would be prudent to invest in a purchase instead, but for those rare occasions it's an interesting proposal. I would of course like to see a more diverse range available in both bodies and glass, which Hasselblad have insinuated will be the case in the near future.

To see your most local pick up points and to get the rental prices, click here.

Robert K Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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I once visited a small Hasselblad-Broncolor trade show just outside of Washington, DC. I was there looking at the Broncolor equipment when I spotted a Hasselblad camera. I forget which one it was. But, it was definitely an older digital. The presenter let me walk the room taking shots with it. I wasn't really familiar with how it worked. So, was learning as I went. Man, the images I got back were tremendous!! I wasn't even trying to do anything special and the results were awesome! Props to Hasselblad. But, the price! I don't think I'll ever own one.

What is needed is monthly fare renting with purchase options. You rent the camera and have it full time, and in some years is yours.

like a car or a house, agree. but there are already options like that out there now.

Pretty sure Samy's and others already have payment plans like this. Lease to own the camera. Usually 600 a month or so depending on the price of the back and number of years involved.

Many camera retailers have leasing plans that offer this sort of thing. Though you end up paying significantly more for the camera in the long run just like any "rent to own" services.

There is also the option, if you are a business, of getting a small business loan to pay for it, which would be essentially the same thing, it would probably cost less in the long run than a lease. (Though I wouldn't recommend this route unless you had a strong sense of the income benefit that taking on this sort of debt would incur)

What I find interesting is that Hasselblad does all this marketing stuff to attract buyers and I have requested a demo four times in the last couple of years, never got a response from the company. I shot for 30 years with four cases of Blads, was personal friends with Professor Ernst Wildi. This group is not the Hasselblad of old for sure.

Daily rental is excitingly cheap compared to Wex/Calumet.

Hopefully, all rental houses will shift their prices to follow...