I saw on an online auction site the sale of a Hasselblad Zeiss Planar 110mm f2 lens. It was being sold by a German seller and the price they were asking for it was much less than the Japanese dealers. However, there was a reason for the low price. This lens is stuck wide open and would need repair.
The seller was open to offers and I wasn’t expecting my £250 less than the asking price to be accepted. They accepted it pretty quickly and I now regret not asking more off. I wish that I had as there is also a bill of £165 by the courier company for the import now the UK is out of the EU.
Why buy a broken lens you ask? Well, I have seen in forums and elsewhere that it is a well known problem for this lens to get stuck. My thinking is why pay for a lens at double the price if there is a high chance of it breaking in the future. I’m going to be shooting wide open most of the time so wouldn’t really be stopping it down. Besides, I have the 150mm f4 if I needed a smaller aperture.
I have no idea how much it will cost to repair and won’t investigate it until things are a bit more normal.
Still haven’t shot a roll of film with the lens so I won’t know if I have brought a lemon.
10 April 2021 The film has come back from the lab and here is one of those frames.
There is some slight movement in the aperture blades from f2 to f2.8 but from the testing I did it makes very little difference to the exposure. So we are all good.
However, there is some light leak on the film. I don’t know if it is a bad roll of film or if it is the film back that has a broken seal. I know it is not the camera body as the light leak is in between the frames on the film.
What I will do now is to try out a different roll of film to eliminate that as a factor. But if it is the film back it is supposed to be relatively easy fixing it so I may give it a go.
19 April 2021 Putting a new roll of film into the back I was last using has also given me some light spots on the developed film. They are in the exact same positions as before, so it is pointing more to a broken seal in the film back.
Going to try the other back I have just to be certain there isn’t an issue with the camera.
I said I would test out Ilford XP2 C41 film cross processed in E6 and this is what I discovered.
Apart from marking up the film going to the lab that this C41 film was to be processed in E6, I wanted to check with them that I wasn’t going to mess up their chemicals or systems. The reply I got back from them was that it was possible, they rarely did it and that the results are going to be pretty strange.
From my research I knew that it would give a blue tone to the film rather than a black and white result. And over exposing the film would give you back something to work with.
Both these images were over exposed by 2 stops and they have come out better than the frames I exposed correctly and by 1 stop.
Some people might not like the look of these frames but I actually do. It is a way of making a night time scene during the day. Well worth exploring more with the rolls I have left and what subjects work with this technique and what doesn’t.
10 July 2021 Have just discovered that Polaroid are producing a Black & Blue Duochrome 600 film which produces very similar end results as what I’m doing with the cross processing of Ilford XP2.
My final film review is the Fujichrome Provia 100F Professional transparency slide film.
Anyone following along will know that I purchased some expired rolls of this film to practise and test the cameras on. I may have been lucky with the expired film I got as I have not seen any noticeable loss in quality. I might be wrong when I run through a fresh roll of film.
When I purchased this roll it was still fresh. But now that I have come round to opening the film it has now expired. It hasn’t expired by much and I did keep it in the fridge but is it worth taking the same test pictures as the ones I shot on the Ektachrome and Velvia?
My instinct is not to bother. I have pretty much already decided that Provia is going to be my go to film of choice. If I want to have a different look I can always get a roll of Ektachrome or Velvia for whatever I want to achieve.
What I want to test instead is to see how well the C41 black and white Ilford XP2 film is when crossed processed in E6 to give a transparency slide. So watch this space.
Below for completeness is the tech sheet for Provia.
From the research I have done it seems that using Velvia is not the best option for skin tones but I wanted to see for myself. I mean what is the point of testing unless you know for yourself what something can or can’t do.
For this roll of film I also shot some frames with CTB and CTO gels in front of the Profoto B10, which I didn’t do on the previous test roll of Ektachrome. What I didn’t realise was that the first CTB gel I pulled out of the pack was the double CTB. Which does explain why I was getting a much lower exposure reading when taking those frames.
This film is much warmer than Ektachrome. I had the mistaken belief that Velvia would make skin tones radioactive but in actual of fact it seems quite pleasant to me. Adding a CTO gel to the lighting, does give a late summer afternoon feel.
While Ektachrome seemed to like being under exposed, Velvia looks like it might like being a little over exposed. I can’t guarantee that the lighting was 100% the same for the two rolls of film, but this is not a scientific experiment. This testing has been for me to figure out what tools are out there and how I can use them to my advantage.
In conclusion, I would not discount this film as not fit for purpose but would be worth getting if I had something specific in mind.
There are plenty of resources if you decide to play with film photography. One of these resources is Lomography and they produce a very handy scanning mask that you can use on any light box.
The mask uses magnets to hold your film in place. Back in the day I remember the 35mm scanner I was using had a really annoying holder that would never shut properly and would bend out of shape just by looking at it.
Getting this holder and using my newly purchased Nikkor 85mm f2.8D PC-E Micro lens to capture the file means that I don’t have to splash the cash on a dedicated scanner.
I don’t plan to scan every single frame I take on film but is handy when I do want to share something online.
Like this frame from the test roll of Ektachrome 100 transparency slide film.
The journey to discover my favourite E6 transparency slide film starts with the most expensive, Kodak Professional Ektachrome E100.
A quick search about films results in plenty of comparisons of what is available. But these results mean that I will be relying on how others are using the films and not the exact way I will be using them. Therefore these tests are how I plan to use my film camera in a “studio” setting.
Looking at the film, it does feel a bit cool to me. The skin tones look okay but without having anything else to compare it with I don’t really want to pass judgement too quickly.
I actually like the slightly under exposed frames rather than the frames that my light meter said were correct. I’m sure that it isn’t specific to this film but all slide films don’t do well when over exposed.
This might be a minor point, but to seal the film once it has been all exposed you need to wet the tape as it is not self adhesive. During these days when hand washing and wearing face coverings is the right thing to do, licking an object that has been in contact with goodness knows what is not the most sensible idea.
Below is the tech sheet from Kodak about this film. I would normally just say here is the link and send you to their website but I do worry that Kodak and Fuji may shut up shop on these products in these financially strained times. Better to have them permanently here rather than sending you to a dead link.
A few weeks ago I had no idea what the Hasselblad V system consisted of. I knew the 500 series are the iconic cameras that everyone recognises. What I didn’t know was the existence of the 2000 and 200 series with their focal plane shutters.
So what does this mean? Well, in the 500 series the shutter is inside the lens rather than in the body of the camera. While in the 2000 and 200 series, the shutter is in the body of the camera and this allows them to have a top shutter speed of 2000th of a second compared to 500th of a second in the 500 series.
When I was looking around for lenses for my 500C/M camera I was seeing F and FE lenses for sale that were typically a stop faster than the C versions. I’m not going to pretend that I know why this is from a technical standpoint. What was frustrating was seeing these faster lenses but knowing they are no good to me as they do not work on the 500 series cameras. So, I started to look around for a cheap 2000 series camera.
You may well ask why am I obsessed with fast glass. It isn’t for the bokeh. The truth is that in the short grey days of a UK winter there really is no option but to use fast glass if you don’t want to lug around a lighting rig.
Now that I have both types of camera these faster lenses are now an option for me. If I can find one for sale, I would love to have the 110mm f2.
I got my first roll of film back from the lab. And as you can see, I also got myself a cheap A3 LED light box.
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.
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.