Goodbye Hasselblad (sniff)

It is with a little regret and much fanfare that I bid adieu to my short lived stint with my Hasselblad. I've recently moved on to different pastures with my film life. We leave on good terms and hope to remain friends. For all I know I'll be picking up another in the future. But that future is not yet (futures are never yet).

What I'll miss:

  • Lack of battery: Never need to worry about recharging, extras, leaks, age. And the weight.
  • Speaking about weight, for a medium format rig that thing was quite light and compact
  • Dunno what it is about those Western German/Swiss types but they sure know how to make things. The Hassy feels (and is) so well made. From the precise way the lens clicks into the mount (with a tiny fraction of a turn), to the smooth way the the waistlevel finder folds into the body, mmmm.
  • Metal and leather, metal and leather, metal and leather. That's it.
  • Square format. It's vintage, retro and modern. For indoors it absolutely rocks. And no worrying about which way to hold the camera.
  • Image quality. Although my new rig comes pretty darn close, it's not the same.
  • Once you lock in the EV (exposure value on the lens (the aperture/shutter speed combo) changing one automatically changes the other. Neat.

So, ask you my avid reader, why am I saying goodbye? Because (as you must have learned in preschool, unless you're a poor homeschooled child (that's an inside joke, though I'm not sure how inside)) that's what you do when you take leave of someone or something. And why am I taking leave? Ahhh now you're asking all the right questions.

Why I'm saying goodbye:

  • Too hard to focus. I've tried both the waistlevel and the prism and A. it takes too long and B. I couldn't even tell after taking all that time if my image was in focus or not. My hit rate was an abysmal 28%. And when you are paying for film, developing and sometimes scanning, that turns out to be quite a hit in the wallet (and depending on where your wallet is that might hurt quite a bit). And while I could of gotten a new ground glass, I just didn't feel it would do the trick.
  • As much as Iove the old-schoolness of it, there are times when I'd like to have a meter in my camera.
  • Price. Holy Schmoly those Hassy's command a price. Every back, hood, prism, cap, strap cost a finger or two. And while the lenses rock, compared to other medium formats they aren't that much (if at all) better (though you wouldn't know that from the cost).
  • Lens speed. The lens just aren't that fast. Since each lens has a shutter in it it would be too complicated (and therefore expensive) to create a fast lens (larger shutter etc.). And while there is an F series (the "f" stand for focal plane shutter, where the shutter is in the camera, not the lens), with much faster lens (50 2.8, 110 f/2 (yummy), a 150 2.8 and a remarkably expensive 300 2.8), they aren't supported anymore and are hard to repair (though I might pick one up eventually anyways).
  • Shutter speed. The max shutter speed is 1/500. Not much leeway if you're going with a 400 film. (Again the F series goes to 1/2000).

What now? Stay tuned (next post).

I spent the last week scanning in a bunch of film. Many out of focus (see above) and most were underexposed. Why? Because I tend to underexpose. That's why I wanted film in the first place to start nailing my exposures. And when I see that exposure after exposure is off, it makes me get my act together and start paying attention.

Here are a bunch of the semi-decent exposures (and some indecent ones) from my now-on-craigslist Hasselblad 500 C/M. Most of them were with generic B&W film (100 or 400), some with slide and other with color negative. Boy are those color negatives hard to scan! (hence all the color issue at the end)


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