The Hoff – Rolls 3&4. Learning the Hasselblad 2000fcw

If you are following this I have embarked on a journey to learn to use my newly acquired camera by shooting 52 rolls through it and then putting down my thoughts on this blog.

Last time you may recall I had an issue with the film, there were overlapping frames on the negative and I did not know why. The advice I received was to wind on the crank in a more gentle fashion to see if that helped and if not get the magazine serviced.

Thus I set out on a trip to Brighton (UK) carrying two rolls of Portra 800 as the weather was changeable so I did not know what light I would get.

I choose to load the film on the train down to Brighton. About 20 or so minutes of trying to spool it, it suddenly occurred to me what I had done wrong last time and that I am an idiot ( no no please don’t all rush to correct me).

Turns out I can’t read instructions properly and secondly it seems to be a theme with this camera and I, I feel the need to over complicate things based on its reputation.

What did I do wrong. Let me explain.

Take a look at picture 5. It is showing that the tongue of the paper should be put into the take up spool. Last time I read it completely different. I somehow managed to read that as run the paper through the rollers, not over them. Thus I had threaded the film through one roller at the start then across and under and through the other end before putting it on the take up spool. How did I know this is what I had done, you ask? Because I spent the best part of 25 minutes trying to load the Portra 800 exactly the same way and was getting extremely frustrated at not being able to get the paper in between the first roller. It was then I stopped looked at it rationally and thought. No way would they make it this hard, took another look at the book and had the lightbulb moment of Oh so that’s what they mean. The film was loaded in seconds after that.

As you will see, no issues with frame spacing or camera advance this time.

So what did I learn or take from my shooting for the day? Firstly, the camera does attract a lot of attention. The couple of times I have used it now people have come up to me asking about it and photography in general. Thankfully not saying “wow they still make film for those things”. I don’t mind this at all as it’s interesting to meet people and hear their stories about photography.

The next thing that struck me and this is hard to describe as it’s a feeling, but it feels very intuitive to use. I can fire off a couple of shots almost as quickly as I do with my OM1n the only difference with The Hoff is that I need to meter the scene first. At its basic set up for shooting, it really is not a difficult camera.

The other thing to mention is that I was hesitant buying this camera because of the waist level finder and imagined I would need a prism finder. This was based on the fact that when I used a Yashica Mat G I felt as seasick as a landlubber that had just got on a small fishing vessel in a storm. For some reason The Hoff does not do this to me. I think and Mat G people please correct me if I am wrong but it helps the up and down are the right way, was it the same on the Mat G? But mainly it also helps that the camera is long with a lens, almost like playing a driving game and having the car bonnet in the scene to help.

As mentioned I loaded with Portra 800 a favourite c-41 colour film of mine. There is no doubt it is an expensive film but I can live with that for a few reasons:

  1. Most of my colour shooting is done with slide film and processed E6. Thus the Portra 800 with C-41 development actually works out cheaper for me when you add both the cost of the films and the development and scanning of them.
  2. I love the colours of Portra 800. I have never been a fan of Portra 400 (too warm/orange for my tastes)
  3. It is very versatile film and handles different light, even within a scene really well, You can shoot it rated at 200, 400 or 800 and mainly get good results in terms of colour and exposure. It’s not a miracle worker though!

So in terms of images here are some that I will share today

The one below is an example where I shot a bit too much into the sun. One thing I probably should think of getting, even though unlikely to help in this scene is a lens hood.

The other ‘accessory’ I need to get is a good strap. The one on the camera is the standard thin leather Hasselblad one. Nothing wrong with it, just don’t find it overly comfortable. Now I could be sensible and get a new one that had all the supports and recommendations and looks very nice, I believe Optech (?) come highly rated, but I won’t. This is a beautiful camera and I want a beautiful strap to complement it. I don’t care if that makes me a ‘Show Pony’ yes it’s a working camera but why should it not also be adorned in the finest. Tap and Dye are current top of my list, but I continue to research.

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this update, plenty more to come.

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New York Snow Storm

I was working in New York recently and got caught up in the first snow storm of their season. The traffic was at gridlock and the subway rammed with people trying to get home. Thus I did what any self respecting Brit would do. I enjoyed happy hour (3hrs) in a bar to pass the time. Whilst sitting in the bar I suddenly thought, I don’t know when I will be back in the city, let alone when it is covered in snow. Thus I decided to sacrifice the last 4 exposures that were left in my camera and load a roll of Ilford Photo HP5 and shoot it in the snow on my way back to my hotel.

Thus here are the results of my walk. Ilford Photo HP5 shoot at 3200 and thus pushed 3 stops in development. Olympus OM1n.

E6 cars

I have not posted a blog in a few months due to being very busy so I aim to start posting regularly again.

I took my trusty Olympus OM1n to an American car show recently and shot a roll of Velvia 50 and a roll of Provia 100F. Below are some of my favourite images of the cars on show. Hope you enjoy viewing them.

Orange

Sometimes with a roll of film I like to challenge myself with a theme. Thus recently I loaded the Fuji GA645 with a roll of Fujifilm Velvia 100 and set myself the challenge of the theme of Orange. So please see below for the images. Processed E6 by SilverPan Film Lab (in the UK) and scans tweaked in Snapseed.

All images from the same roll, except the chairs one.

The Sound of Sussex – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

If you follow my blog posts you will see I am a bit of a fan of the Washi S film. This is a black & white sound recording film that I really enjoy using but can leave me with mixed results. So far all the rolls I have shot have been 35mm so I was very pleased to see it was also available in 120.

I was staying at hotel in the Sussex countryside for a weekend away with the family so thought I would give it a try there. I loaded the film in my Fuji GA645 and placed an orange filter on the front. All my previous Washi rolls have also been shot with an orange filter.

Let’s get right to the point these are mainly really bad. I have analysed why and believe the Fuji was not the right camera to use for this film. Ok hang before you say a bad workman always blames their tools, let me explain. Previous Washi film shots I have taken were using my Olympus OM1n. With this camera I could meter through the lens and point the camera at various different parts of the scene and then adjust accordingly. With Washi S it can really blow the highlights if you are not careful and conversely if you are too respectful of the highlights all you will get is really dark areas elsewhere.

I did not use a handheld meter with the Fuji and left it to its own metering, I firmly think this film needs to be shot in a camera with full manual settings and use the TTL metering or a handheld meter. I won’t go into all the different types of metering as quite frankly I am a real novice with this and would just be making things up, I just know through practice and experience with my OM1n how the film works for me.

I will try some more Washi S in 120 but this time in the Zeiss Ikon Nettar with my iPhone light meter. Let’s see if it improves. Anyway enough talking now here are the images.

The negative as I thought you may be interested, shot on top of an iPad, hence the funny patterns

The good:

The Bad:

And the Ugly (although love the clouds in these):

Chrome Headlights

I was lucky enough to visit a show in London recently called the London Concours. This was basically a selection of some of the finest sports and classic cars. I anticipated bright sunny weather and knew the cars would be bright and colourful. so packed some slide film for the afternoon.

The challenges on a day like this are basically crowds and reflections. Thus for certain shots I concentrated on the details to avoid both of those challenges.

Here are a selection of shots, taken on a Fuji GA645 with a mixture of Fujifilm Provia 400X and Kodak Ektachrome 200 EDP developed in E6 by SilverPan Film Lab.

Let’s get lunch

I was kindly sent a bunch of Kodak Vision films from @Dizd (Dizzy Cow on twitter). Some 250D and some 50D. I am a big fan of these Vision films especially when they are processed in their native chemicals ECN-2. Nik and Trick in the UK sell the developing kits for this.

I finally had a chance to try a roll a week or so ago, so I wanted to shoot one as practice. All shots are taken on an Olympus OM1n loaded with Kodak Vision 250D developed in ECN-2.

A little side note before sharing the images. Every single roll of film I shoot I see as a practice roll, even if I am going for a specific project. It’s all about learning for the next roll and the next roll and so on. I am never disappointed if I get things wrong in a roll, I am only disappointed if I don’t learn from it. With film photography I firmly believe I will be practising for years and years to come and thus only the last photo I ever take before putting my camera down will be ‘The Shot’

Anyway all this talk has made me hungry, what shall we have for lunch?

The sound of St Paul’s

As followers of this blog are aware, Washi S sound recording film is favourite of mine to try and experiment with. This film really intrigues me and is one I will keep persevering with. It is an extremely high contrast film and there can be very little between the deep blacks and the harsh whites.

The images you will see in this blog have all been shot using my favourite camera the Olympus OM1n using either a 50mm f1.4 or 28mm f2.8 lens with an orange filter.

I generally use an orange filter just because that is what my research told me. Reflecting on this now, I’m not sure this film needs the added contrast of a filter, so next roll will be no filter to see how that goes.

So back to the details. For this roll I picked a subject of St Paul’s Cathedral. Partly because it is very close to my work, but mainly because it is one of my favourite buildings in London. My plan was to start at one corner and walk around the cathedral taking photos. This walking around did not mean I had to stay close, just that I could see it. All images were taken over the course of about one hour.

So enough talking, come on the walk with me around St Paul’s and see what you hear from this sound recording film.

The starting point a bit of artistic inspiration

I dragged myself out quickly as otherwise no photos would have been taken

Then time to cross the road starting with the mystery door

Then the steps

Time to climb the steps and look out from the main doors

Back down and a couple of images from the front

Time to head into Paternoster Square

From here I headed toward a small shopping centre called One New Change

One the roof of One New Change there is a restaurant and a bar, but more than that there is a place to just admire the views

By now it was time to wait for the lift to get back down again

Couldn’t resist one more shot of this view

Now time to get around the other side and see what shots I can get from there

Moving towards the front of the building again

And finally time to reflect on the walk I just did

I hope you enjoyed walking with me, look out for the next in the series of ‘The Sound of….’

The Holiday rolls 4&5:  Kodak Vision 250D

Firstly apologies for the time taken for this update it has been a bit busy recently.

So quick recap I took 10 rolls of film with me on holiday recently to Malta and I have been sharing my results here.   So far we have had

Roll 1: Oriental Seagull 100

Roll 2: Kodak E100VS

Roll 3 : Velvia 50

Roll 8 : Film Washi S

Roll 10:  New Lomochrome Purple 

In hindsight probably should have done them in order.

For this update I shot two rolls of Kodak Vision 3 250D.  This is a cine film designed for daylight shooting.  The film has a remjet coating so is not processed by most labs.  It is also designed to be processed in ECN2 chemicals but can be processed in C41 chemicals once the remjet has been removed.  

I mention this as I was lucky enough that these were processed in their native ECN2 chemistry.

I get my Cine films from https://ntphotoworks.com/ they are also who I use for getting them processed.  They now sell ECN2 kits for those who home develop.  These were developed (and two rolls of Vision 50D) in ECN2 to test the kits, as for Cine film this is not their current standard offering and I was very happy for them to use the rolls as test rolls.   Please contact them directly for any further info.  (This is not a sponsored blog btw)

Thus back to the setting.  At this stage in the holiday my meter had broken on the camera so I was bracketing more than normal.  In hindsight, especially with this film stock it probably was not as necessary as the differences between one stop were not huge.

The location was M’dina Malta.  This is known as the quiet city.  It is full of narrow streets and paths and is set among the hills.  The city was also used for quite a few scenes in Game of Thrones.  All the photos have been taken using an Olympus OM1n.   IMHO the Kodak Vision films are one of the best colours film out there, better than any standard colour C41 films and easier to handle than slide film.  See what you think



The Holiday:  Roll 3/10. Velvia 50

Those of you that know me or follow me on twitter (@givemeabiscuit) will know I am a big fan of slide film, with Velvia 50 a personal favourite of mine.

Thus there was no way I was going to Malta and not shoot a roll of this lovely film.  This time however I wanted to try something different and practise long exposure.  Thus I also had with my Lee Filters (10stop ND & 0.6 soft grad).

I tried some daytime long exposures with both filters and some at dusk with the soft grad.

When writing these blogs I always like to ensure I share both what works and what does not work.  It helps me clarify in my mind how/what to do better next time and hopefully provides you with some insight also.

So here come the images.  

The black slides are unsuccessful evening shots

Some normal exposure, (but I still over exposed!)


And daytime long exposure.  Lesson one get the framing right next time, lesson 2 if shooting into the sun, either don’t or at least have a the lens hood and lesson three read up on exposure techniques for this film more thoroughly


And in case you are wondering what total over exposure looks like, it is a completely clear slide that scans like below

Yes this really is the scan

There are some slides the lab did not scan (understandably) but I can see something is there, so will get them rescanned and check them out.

In conclusion, I really really ballsed up the roll of film.