24 Jul 2015

Magical film

 I have owned my Hasselblad for just over 3 years but I have taken very few photos with it.
Turn the clock back 20 years and I really wanted to own a Blad-the king of cameras-but the prices of both used and new Blads were way out of my price range.Now of course it is a very different story as used Blad prices are rock bottom and wonderful outfits can be purchased for modest sums.So three years ago encouraged by friend Roger in the UK who had just bought a Blad outfit for the same reasons I acquired a vgc 500C camera body,a film back and two superb lenses for A$500 locally and then picked up a few more bargain lenses and accessories along the way.

Owning a Blad and using a Blad are two different things - which may explain why my vintage model is in such great condition.The camera and lenses are very heavy.The camera really shakes when you fire the shutter(s) so best results are from high shutter speeds or from using a tripod and I really dislike using a tripod.Loading the film is a science and nowadays buying film and getting it processed is neither cheap nor convenient.So my Blad has not had much use but two weeks ago I dusted it down and took it out and ran three films through it.Out of 36 shots I ended up with two which I am really pleased with -a ratio which I consider acceptable.
 I am using Kodak Portra 400 colour negative film.It is a beautiful film.The colour rendition is wonderful and the film has a unique "look".I wish that it had been available 20 years earlier.Film still is magical.

The first photo is heavily cropped as the horizontal format suits the subject and it shows an abandoned oyster farmer's shed at Bensville on Brisbane Waters on the Central Coast of NSW in late afternoon.
The second shot was at dusk on the rocks at Terrigal Haven also on the Central Coast of NSW.
The oyster shed was taken with a 150mm Zeiss Sonnar lens and the seascape with the 80mm Zeiss Planar-the so called Hasselblad standard lens.Both are beautiful lenses but the 150mm is big and heavy.Not something you would even consider taking on an overseas trip-unless you had a porter with you.

Both shots were scanned in using an Epson flatbed scanner.I had to do some retouching-dust is a problem and I am not happy about the cleanliness of the processing -but I have not changed the colour renditions at all.
It may seem to rather defeat the point of shooting on film to then scan the photos into the computer-hybrid photography-part analogue-part digital-but in practice the scanner and the computer can pick up all the info -particularly the shadow details- on a negative or a slide much better than traditional printing.
Encouraged by these results I have decided to give the Blad more regular exercise in future despite all the hassle.

1 comment:

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