17. oktober 2011

First Hasselblad and medium format experience \o/

Exiting times!

A couple of weeks ago, I received a Hasselblad 503CW in the mail.

I bought the camera second hand from a very friendly working photographer and the body and lens looks nice and very well taken care of.

I have the "black edition", which doesn't have the brass corners like on the photo.

Also, the same week, I received a whole bunch of various packages in the mail, consisting of films, developers, fixers, negative sleeves for 35mm and medium format and even a brand spanking new Epson v750 scanner.

All I needed then, was the weekend to try and figure out how the camera and lens operated (how to load and exit film, how to mount/unmount the lens safely among other things) and then, later, some helpful people that could model a bit for me.

New stuff:

- New camera and operation
- New film loading procedure, loading the film-back and reattaching that.
- New manual focus and recompose procedure with a split screen ^^
- New light measuring technique, the Hasselblad doesn't have a built in light meter.
- New developing-spool loading procedure

Difference between 35mm and 120 film

- New developer. I ended up using Rodinal  for the shots in this blog entry
- New developing scheme.
- New scanning procedure with my new scanner.
- New negative scanning loading procedure.

Other than that, everything else was known, which isn't much  :)

I wanted to try out Fomapan 100 ASA 120 film, which has dark shadows, some really punchy mid-tones and pretty high contrast. Also, it seems to be less sensitive to red tones, behaving a little like orthochromatic film did in the olden days (dark reds).

I used my Seconic L-358 and my brain to figure out an exposure, worked out pretty well I must say. :)

This was surely what you would call "testing" in the purest sense, so I was very lucky to have three wonderful girls stepping up to the plate for me.

First up, was Sunniva, I've never shot her before, so I brought my 1ds mk II with me as well, and snapped a couple of shots as backup if I were to mess up any of the new variables mentioned above. 

Fomapan 100 ASA, Hasselblad 503CW, Rodinal 1:50 for 9 minutes

Conditions was heavy overcast and late in the afternoon, sun was about to set, as far as one could tell anyway. I was forced to use f2.8 on the lens and a shutter as low as 1/30s to 1/15s.

I had some issues with the focus, as the focus-plane is very very thin at this aperture on medium format, but the tonality in the resulting photos was just wow in my opinion, almost a silvery/metallic feel, just what I am after. =)

And Sunniva was cute and did a great job as well =)

Second shoot was with Eilin.
The conditions on this day, was sunny, low sun/sunset, so I opted to shoot in the shadow as much as possible. Still, I wanted to try at least a couple of shots in the sun, to see how the film coped.

As Eilin is a blonde, and the light was flatter than on Sunniva's shoot, the characteristics of the resulting photos was different. Interesting to see how the same film, same developer looks totally different with only the change in diffused light characteristics:

Fomapan 100 ASA, Hasselblad 503CW, Rodinal 1:50 for 9 minutes

Interesting to note: On the photo where Eilin sit by the three, I have detail both in her skin and in most of her black tights, the resulting scan is deliberatively lower in contrast than the other photos to show this.
Nice to see that this film has a fairly wide exposure latitude, even though it is a pretty contrasty film- type.

The final shoot, was with Sofie.
Again the conditions were different, this time it was lightly cloudy and late afternoon, which made for a little more fill-light than with Sunnivas shot and a little less flat than pure shadow light, as with Eilins shoot.

Fomapan 100 ASA, Hasselblad 503CW, Rodinal 1:50 for 9 minutes

I especially like shot number three here, half profile shot, lovely skin tones, and look at that shiny hair!
Looks like it was taken from a movie with fancy light of some kind ^^
(All the photos in this blog-entry, were shot using nothing but natural light)

I learned a whole heap of things from these three shoots, and I am very thankful to the girls who volunteered for these shoots, as the (any) result was not guaranteed.

My initial goal was to get photos -at all-
Second goal was to get the exposure right :)
Third goal was to get sharp photos by using manual focus
Fourth goal was to create something a little more personal and intimate in the photos and to create a little different mood than I usually do.
Fift goal was to get an impresion of contrast, grain and genereal behaviour of the film in this developer.
....and a gazillion other little things.
Final goal is off-course to leave people like Bresson, A. Adams and the whole oldie-lot in the dust.... haha!
(Hey, if you are to have goals, why not aim high? :P)

I am very happy with how things came out on these first shoots, and I am looking forward using this camera in the future, loving the huge negs and the major "KLAKK!" when you take a photo with the Hassy  :)

5 kommentarer:

  1. Rodinal is an amazing developer. I am not familiar with MF but bokeh is nervous for my taste or the grain from Rodinal giving such an impression.

    I really like the shot esp., the girl on the chair. Very nice contrast, white mini rock with black jacket, wet patches on dry floor, white face with black spectacles...

    keep posting...

  2. ...that said for portraits esp., Caucasian skin will fall on Zone VI which is (-2...-1...0...+1...+2)
    -2 = Zone III
    -1 = Zone IV
    0 = Zone V
    +1 = Zone VI
    +2 = Zone VII

    Just spot meter the face and give +1 to it, then you will be fine with getting the proper exposure. My 2c...

  3. Thank you for valuable tips and comments ^^

    Yes indeed, the bokeh (especially in the first series) is a bit strange. I think this is due to the photos being shot at/near wide open aperture (due to the low light).

    Next round of Fomapan will be souped in Tetenal Ultrafin, going to be fun to see any/the difference. :)

  4. I am curious to see the results and if it is economical, can you compare with Rodinal 1+50(agitation depends on required shadow detail).


  5. I very like the medium-format cameras and photographic equipment,Black and white photos on behalf of nostalgia, mysterious, a feeling of appreciation.