The Hasselblad series began with the revolutionary C, one of the most iconic cameras in photographic history. Modified throughout the years, the series cameras represent the pinnacle of Victor Hasselblad's V System. With multiple prototypes in the works in , the final Hasselblad C was launched in Replacing the previous design of a focal plane shutter from the F, the C utilized a leaf shutter design with its range of high-quality Carl Zeiss lenses. Its leaf shutter design allowed for flash synchronization at all shutter speeds with the use of electronic flash. It could also focus at full aperture thanks to an automatic aperture stop-down.
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Ming Thein Photographer. I may well do a piece on the former in the future. I suppose you could think of it as the distilled essence of the V series — unlike the s, it lacks TTL flash metering; unlike the series, it still relies on a lens-based leaf shutter and remains completely mechanical. But at the same time, the camera has interchangeable focusing screens and the gliding mirror geometry of the CW to prevent vignetting with longer lenses.
I have a brief intro to the Hasselblad V series here. The right hand operates the lens rings and winding crank. I prefer to cradle body and lens in my left hand, using my left hand for adjustments and my right hand to shoot and wind; the only problem here is that the ridges on aperture and shutter rings are positioned for use with the right hand, and can require a bit of fumbling to find the first time.
The best place to find vintage gear is on the secondary market in Japan — send an email to Bellamy Hunt of Japan Camera Hunter ; he can source to spec and budget.
Send him an email and tell him Ming sent you! Prices are the same as normal, however a small portion of your purchase value is referred back to me. Images and content copyright Ming Thein mingthein. All rights reserved. I love it. Do you know of an affordable decent digital back for it? One of the older Phase One P series, perhaps. But all will have crop factors that make the whole thing render very differently to film….
Brilliant series, thank you very much for these. Yes, of course. In excellent condition, boxed, c complete kit. Never shot with one, always only dreamt about it. I saw the photo… and avoided reading the article right away.
I have suffered GAS pretty bad this year already. But these seem such compelling value used. Will arrive in a few days. Or are there other resources for the completely uninitiated? What have I got myself in to???!!! Haha, congratulations! Thanks, great. I know you are fond of Neopan Acros. SWC is next up. HI Ming, I have admired your work for a while and wonder where you process your film and if you print your digital in studio. Thanks mike. Thanks I process my own film and the digital printing is handled by my friend and printmaster Wesley Wong….
I am in love with your process!!! I think it might well be. The FOV is very similar to a 50mm, but the big difference is the way it renders — 80mm gives you much more separation even at comparable apertures. Hehe, it ws designed for a Professional who had assistant for loading the film. If film loading would need electricity to load the cassette, the assistant would have needed an extra body… I think hasselblad V series is the greatest middle format SYSTEM.
If you just have one body and lens, it is not a system and you miss most of the good stuff…. Thanks Jukka. For those of us without assistants — have a few spare backs and preload them, or shoot with the digital backs…. When you travel out of Malaysia, such as Fukuoka, how much film do you bring with you?
Or how much do you shoot with the hasselblad? Or do you tend to buy all film on location? Hi What about a nikon D4 review? Would be nice to have your opinion Cheers Laurent.
I have several lenses and misc accessories and in all this time nothing have ever failed me! Also, put me down as another one interested in your scanning rig; I check your blog nearly every day with great anticipation to see an announcement in this regard…. Thanks Alan! The scanning rig is taking longer than I expected — seems like precision manufacturing in small runs is both expensive and not so simple to accomplish.
New target is end-August. I tried this on some of my images and I liked the effect of slightly "roughing up" a digital image. But then my mind drifted off in the direction of what should digital look like and what should film look like and never the twain shall meet etc. Do you have any views or thoughts on this topic? Grain I can live without, personally. But, if anyone would ask me what my favorite camera of all time was, the one I enjoy above all others I own or have ever owned, I would not hesitate to say it would be the Contax In terms of haptics, I also enjoy my Contax RX 1s all 3 of them!
To each his own, but if you love medium format film and have not tried a Contax , at length, you perhaps should.
Just a suggestion. Thanks Larry. Do you still own the Contax? I do still own it, and it sees regular use. There is the support issue, but that is more theoretical than real up until the point that something were to fail, for which possibility I obtained a back up body just in case.
Up until recently factory support was available, though I think the time limit may have expired on that. You pays your money and you takes your chances, as they say. The camera has been such a joy to work with I would not have wished to have deprived myself of it on the off chance that it would fail.
At any rate, built like a tank, and, yes, the lenses. Using the Coolscan is anything but fast, and certainly not a labor of love. Will be following the progress on your solution with interest. Thanks, again. After a Hasselblad, a Rolleiflex, and a Yashicamat, the autofocus on the seemed to me a miraculous godsend. Then again, if I am at a track meet trying to capture meter hurdlers at the crest of their rise over a hurdle, I take the DE.
It should be noted that not every one of those great lenses is autofocus, the APO Makro Planar for example. Hope this helps. Haha, very true. Then again, if you happen to zone focus or be nearly at the right distance with the Hasselblad, that might still win…. Accuracy, on the other hand is critical. Thanks for the info! Firstly regarding ergonomics, each hand has two purposes. The left hand cradles the camera and fires the shutter as noted.
The right hand winds the film and focuses. The latter function is easily achieved by extending ones right index and middle finger into a V shape to engage the handle of the Quick-focusing handle Hasselblad The handle replaces the rubber ring on CF lenses mm. Once mastered, you will find this actually quite rapid. This number is also found on the lens. Once EV is set on the lens, the shutter and aperture rings may be rotated in unison with the cross-coupling button.
And lastly, when working on a tripod, the pre-release function is always used to eliminate camera shake. It releases the mirror and then the lens shutter is released via cable. Thanks for the tips! The trouble now is that obscure V series accessories are really quite tricky to find.
The leaf shutter itself is very, very low vibration though. My goodness Ming, Trying to read these posts without lusting over this gorgeous gear is a Sisyphean task! I believe that the classic Hasselblad is a camera that one either loves or hates. There are some quirks due to the all-mechanical design cocking the shutter in the lens , but the modularity and craftmanship are very nice in this day and age of throwaway cameras. All accessories seem to be designed with the whole system in mind and while expensive at least originally , they do work.
Hasselblads are actually pretty compact too considering the large film size. One nice aspect is that the shape of the body makes it very nice to operate on a tripod; 35 mm SLRs tend to be front-heavy, but with the smaller lenses Hasselblad is pretty balanced and the center of gravity is low.
Of course shooting hand held is part of the fun. The only thing with the lenses is that the pentagon-shaped aperture becomes a bit of a cliche after a few closeups.
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