First roll of film – part 2

I got my first roll of film back from the lab. And as you can see, I also got myself a cheap A3 LED lightbox.

Glad that there are no light leaks in the camera which was my main worry.

My other worry was how the expired film would behave. It has done quite well in my eyes. All of these frames were shot at box speed ISO 100 which I did bracket for the outside sky shot. I’m not going to pay too much attention to the slight green cast on the frames taken in the daylight indoors.

I have to admit that I have already shot my second roll of film.

Wasting a blank frame because of user error on cheaper expired film is no big deal. It would really put me on edge if in the back of my mind that every wasted frame was a couple of quid rather than a few pence. So for the time being, I plan on playing around with expired film until I am comfortable in shooting with the good stuff.

When I had the Hasselblad on loan many years ago the must have accessory was a Polaroid film back. Today that same back would be useless as the instant film for it has been discontinued. I would hate to see 120 film going the same way. So the only way to prevent this is to buy fresh film so that the manufacturers can see there is still demand for it. Deciding what my favourite film is a good dilemma to now have.

Profoto Air with a Hasselblad 500C/M

I was trying to figure out the best way to make my Profoto B10 units work with my Hasselblad 500C/M. I have a Profoto Air remote dedicated for my Nikon cameras and PocketWizard remotes to fire my flash units.

The PocketWizard Plus III has a 3.5mm mini jack socket so getting a mini jack to PC lead should connect up the Hasselblad.

What doesn’t work is putting the Profoto Air remote on a PocketWizard FlexTT5.

The PocketWizards do talk to one another but it doesn’t set off the Profoto Air remote.

Digging around in my camera bags I found a PC to hot shoe lead. It took me a while to come up with the idea of connecting the Profoto Air remote direct to the Hasselblad through this lead.

I am glad to say that this does work and I am kicking myself a bit for not thinking of this before. It is the most direct solution and saves buying one of the Profoto Air remotes that do have a 3.5mm mini jack sockets.

Really glad that I have a chance to think about these technical challenges. Especially when the solutions are the ones staring you in the face.

Lightbox

I went to dig out my old lightbox that I purchased when I was still shooting film to view my first roll of film from the Hasselblad.

Only problem is that I can’t find the transformer plug that came with it. Also it had been sitting in the shed over the years, so I have no idea if the bulbs have gone. So the best thing to do is to get a replacement.

I’m amazed at how much the technology has also changed in this area since the time I got this box. The ones for sale now are super thin LED light panels and not chunky like this one.

My only dilemma now is if I get an A4 or A3 size.

First roll of film

I didn’t want to spend too much on film to just run through the Hasselblad to make sure everything is fine, so I got myself some expired film.

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What surprised me was how slow ISO 100 is in real life.

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For my first roll, I had to use some extra light which was lucky that I had the Westcott Ice Light.

I did also take some pictures outside so will have to see what they all look like when they come back from the lab.

Hasselblad 500C/M

So here it is. I got a Hasselblad 500C/M and also a 150mm f4 lens that was on sale at London Camera Exchange.

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There are very limited places selling used film equipment and I’m not really willing to spend big money on the museum pieces. For whatever reason there is a big trend to shoot film. I do wonder if the hobby of home processing has increased while we stay in more.

What I’m looking for now is a decent 80mm f2.8 lens. And to complete the trinity a 50mm. But do I need a 50mm lens? My gut instinct is that I don’t really need a wide. If I find a cheap one maybe I will change my mind.

Stay tuned for how my first roll of film through this camera was like.

Medium format

I was just digging around my files and found the negatives I shot with the Hasselblad that I got to play with ages ago.

From the looks of it, I must have had access to the camera around the year 2000. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been earlier than that as I wouldn’t have been able to take any frames of a completed London Eye.

I have also been seriously looking around for a Hasselblad within my budget and I think there is one on an online auction site. Hopefully I will be able to update with what I have put a bid on soon.

Why have I been looking for a Hasselblad and not another medium format brand? Yes, there might be a bit of badge snobbery but with all the cameras being out of production it makes sense to get the brand which you know will just keep going. Knowing this means that the equipment that might not be the best looking will still be able to do the job. That means that there is no need to look at the best kept equipment at the higher prices to purchase.

So what am I going to do with this camera once I get it? There is no way that at this point in time will I be getting the new digital back for the Hasselblad. So I will be having to shoot on film for now. But what will I do with the film once I have taken the shot?

Having thought about this question, I have decided to shoot transparency film. My thinking is that I want to see what the results are without the need for scanning or printing. There is also the discipline of being spot on with the exposure for transparencies.

I am really looking forward to having to really think about each frame I take and if it is worth paying for the film and processing to take it.

Wish list – October 2020

I recently discovered that Hasselblad have launched a new camera – the 907X with the CFV II 50C back.

What is exciting about it is that the digital back can fit on many of their V system cameras. And for those who don’t know what their V system is, it is the iconic square film cameras that most studios had before the advent of digital.

I have always wanted to have one of these vintage Hasselblad cameras. Years ago I had the privilege to play with one for a few days and there is something really special about using one.

What has stopped me from getting one is that I never did like getting my hands wet with film. Digital technology was something that I embraced wholeheartedly and this might be the perfect solution to my Hasselblad dream.

Only thing is that these old film cameras and lenses are probably going to shoot up in price as more people want to give it a go. Fingers crossed that given time some of the people will get bored of their new toy and decide to sell on.

I want to have a camera that will slow me down. All the new products coming out having face detect auto focus, in built stabilisation and so on speed the process up of taking photos. I want a system to slow me down and this might be it.

Nikkor 85mm f2.8D PC-E Micro lens

I’ve been thinking about getting the Nikkor 85mm f2.8D PC-E Micro lens for sometime now. Playing with tilt shift is something that I have wanted to try. So with Nikon doing a 10% discount on DSLR lenses until the end of September 2020, I thought why not take the opportunity.

As this is a Micro lens it made sense for me to trade in my Nikkor 105mm f2.8G VR lens. The only reason why I was keeping it was for the Micro function since I also have the Nikkor 105mm f1.4E lens in my camera bag.

Thanks goes to London Camera Exchange for supplying it to me. I was thinking that it might take ages to turn up but I paid for it yesterday and picked it up today.

Really looking forward to using this lens and learning what is possible with it.

Down memory lane

I was watching this YouTube video by photographer Matt Irwin about the cameras he has owned during his career.

Fascinating the cameras he had and the reasons why he got them.

So what is my list of cameras that have shaped my career?

Well, the first camera I can remember using, when I was a child, was a Minolta 35mm film camera with a 50mm lens. I can’t remember what model it was but what I realised years later was that the lens was stuck wide open. This really confused me at the time as I never got a shoot that had a deep depth of field.

I stuck with the Minolta brand when I started earning money by getting a second body. Again I can’t remember which one and now has since long gone.

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It must have been a year or two later when I seriously started getting into photography with the hope of it turning into a job that I purchased a Nikon F301 film camera. And as it was during the film days, it was essential to have a second body for when you either ran out of 36 frames or wanted a different ISO or colour/black & white, so a Nikon F501 was also purchased.

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My next film camera was the Nikon F90x followed by an upgrade to the Nikon F4s. And this turned out to be my last film camera.

The first ever digital camera I got was the Nikon Coolpix 950 at the turn of the century. It wasn’t very good. But to be able to transmit pictures without having to process and scan film was an amazing thing to do when using dial up internet.

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This led to me owning a Nikon D1 and later adding a D1H to the mix.

My employer then purchased a Nikon D2H and when it was time to upgrade decided to move to the Canon system. And even today I am using a variety of Canon bodies.

For my personal use I purchased the full frame Nikon D3 which is arguably when Nikon moved from making digital cameras that were sub par to top of the game.

I then added the Fuji XE-1 and then the Nikon D850 to my collection.

Counting up the cameras I had over the years, it isn’t really all that many. I have always believed in getting better lenses over having the latest camera. Lenses you keep but cameras you don’t.

I am certain that my camera collection would be different if my employer didn’t start to supply me with equipment. Certainly been fun going down this memory lane.

BlackBerry 5G

I’m a big fan of the BlackBerry phone and was really glad to hear today that they will be making a 5G version of the phone.

A lot of people had written off the BlackBerry phone when it was announced that the licensing agreement with TCL would end. I was even worried that it would be the end. But I held on to hope that there was no official confirmation that production would cease.

So today is a very good news day.