Hasselblad - 120 & 220 film blank, intermittantly

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by beverly_hall, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. I'm in Panic mode! Help! Have had several intermittant rolls of 220 and 120 film be completely blank. 7 out of 11 in one job, 1 out of 4 another job,. Am now holding off any bookings until I find out what is wrong. The shutter is opening/closing fine when I take off back and chk. No lens cap. No flash attachment ( camera set on X) I recently purchased a used 220 back and 220 film ( in 30 yrs, have never used 220 before and am still trying to figure out why now that I see how I love the reduced amt. of time spent loading.reloading film!)) and this is when problem began, but it is also doing it when I switch backs during my shoot and use 120. I am using 1 yr. expired Kodak film, but have done that for yrs. with no problem.When I first used the 220 back, I had a bit of a glitch in that the camera seemed to lock or not advance after just exposing about 12 shots and I tried to force ( I know,,,wrong! ) the crank and ripped the film into. But after I seemed to get the feel for the 220, that didn't happen again. But now worse problem....absolutely completely blank entire rolls! Horrors. Now must do shoot over and am afraid to book new jobs. I use a cable release with Blad on tripod always. 60spd/4 aperture all shots. I read a suggestion that film loaded backwards would come out blank, but that when you took it out of the back it would be black. That has not been the case...It is not the black side showing. What could possibly be wrong???? This is NOT the season to discontinue photo shoots of children for Christmas. I'm a wreck trying to figure it out. Pls. don't say it could possibly be because film is 1 yr. expired (10/08) as I purchased 256 rolls! Need help quick.... Beverly
    p.s. the rolls that did turn out were fine....all images perfect exposures, etc. no overlapping either. I did have one of the first rolls of 220 I tried, to have a few blank frames, scattered thruout. I attributed it to me using 220 for first time and thought perhaps I had advanced it wrong somehow ( altho I can't figure how) Took me by surprise that you have to roll it for a bit longer just to get to the 1st frame. ....moreso than 120.
  2. Hmmmmm, this is a tough one, even more troubling since it is an intermittant problem. I think this one needs to go see the doctor..............
  3. I don't belive it's the film.
    If you are using the equipment for clients - earn money- I would get a CLA of everything.
    I don't ever want to be concerned about equipment when shooting a gig, in my case, usually a non-repeatable gig.
    You know, the five P's. (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!) There is another P you can insert after the Prevents but I won't do it here.
    I keep everything in top shape and cross it off from the worry list when I'm at an event. I've got a lot more things to be concerned about than equipment failure. So far, I haven't had failure and I haven't ever resorted to panic mode. It takes a lot of BST (blood, sweat, & tears) to get to this point.
    Hope this helps you.
  4. B everly,
    This sounds as though it almost has to be a problem with the shutter not operating properly. If you have a repair service that deals with Hasse's, pack up both the lens(es) and the camera body (this is only happening with one lens, right?) and send them in for a total evaluation. this could be the lens shutter only, or a sequencing with the body shutter not firing the lens shutter appropriately. I know of no way that a back could cause this kind of problem.
    I have had good luck with KEH's repair department in Marrietta, Ga, but the are Hasselblad authorized repair services out there that might be even better.
    Best of luck.
  5. I did use expired film for more than 3 years, they did have a different taste but the images I have captured are all there, so this is not a problem with the film.
    I bought my two Hasselblade cameras while and still on holiday in Thailand, I did shoot one fresh film but still could not find a place to process this film, I am also concerned to check these two cameras before I return home next month , if there is a problem with the cameras, there are many repair shops here where I can take them but at home it will be too hard for me to repair any problem there.
    Most likely your camera lens is not opening and do not expose your film, you need to remove the back and check shooting at different F stops, this is a mechanical camera and if you get the lens opens at all different F stops which you could check it on low shutter speed or on B, then the camera and the lens are having no problem, good luck my friend.
  6. Rule out film.
    If you use only one lens it could be the shutter of the lens although it is strange that the lens shows no problem when tested.
    A tired spring may be the cause of shutter failure
    Did you check the shutter looking through the back of the camera?
    You can rule out the film backs because the problem arises with both of them.
    A good repairshop may be able to give you a loaner while they are servicing your camera and lens.
    Keep in mind Hasselblad gear is purely mechanical.
    That means it deserves a CLA every year when used professionaly.
  7. I thank all of you guys immensely for the quick responses....I am sooooo relieved that the concensus seems to rule out I blundered in purchasing those 256 rolls of expired film! I had been so full of myself thinking what I had pulled off! one of the rare times I thought I had scored big time. So,I will take the camera body with 150mm lens (which has not been removed in many yrs.), both 120 & 220 backs, and my hysteria to camera repair as soon as I finish my cup of morning coffee. Wish one of you guys would make the call to my customer , who drove hr. & half to come to me( mother with 2 daughters ) to break the news that the 3 & half hrs. they were here and all the effort we expended during that shoot were all for naught. I have a feeling that 13 yr. old will refuse to go thru it all again....and worse part is that all the shots were gonna be great.
    Paul, what do you mean by "You can rule out the film backs because the problem arises with both of them." Was thrilled to read that Rashed has used expired film for up to 3 yrs....that's encouraging. Rashed, will you share with me where you get yours?? I went thru heck trying to locate any a mo. ago.
    And Bill, I spent a ridiculous amt. of time trying to figure out what the other P was! I'm drawing a complete blank, and knowing me, I will probably let this bother me for hrs. ha.
    Am very appreciative for the input from each of you....isn't this forum great !!!! Have a beautiful autumn day wherever you are.....Atlanta is awash in glorious color at the moment.. I have kept my NikonD80 on front seat of car for 2 wks., making U turns constantly to go back and get yet another great shot! Happy Th'giving to all. ~beverly hall~ www.beverlyhallphotography.com
  8. I seem to recall experiencing this once... way back when. For me I think it was not be disciplined in remembering what was wound and what wasn't. It was a matter of proper discipline: wind the camera and back before swapping backs -- every time the same way. I think that not maintaining this discipline is how one can end up with a back that was wound, being mated to a camera that wasn't, which then winds the back again ("skipping" a frame) when the camera gets wound.
  9. Brian, what you say makes perfect sense, but only on a once in a great while basis. That is one of the idiosyncrasies or working with the Hasslelbads if you change backs before advancing the film.
    It sounds like Beverly is experiencing multiple frame failures on the same back and roll and that points heavily to shutter failure.
  10. Beverly,
    Unfortunately, failures do happen and they always seem to happen on a tough assignment like litte kids and a client who is liekly to be inconvenienced. That's one reason why PPofA has indemnification insurance as part of their membership fees.
    This is an incident where you are honest with the client, then refund the session fee, offer to reshoot for free and even give a 25% or 50% discount toward print orders.
    What you will gain in good will and professional reputation will far more than offset the money you are out. She might tell the story of the camera failure, but she will certainly include how you handled it, either good or ill, so make it good.
    Good luck.
  11. Hi Beverly,
    That was my military saying!
    Contact Dave Odess. He should be able to help you.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
  12. Okay, the verdict is.......shutter of 150mm lens is broken - am having to purchase another asap-
    will get used somewhere tho....I'm actually relieved it is that rather than the back or the out
    of date film.....I will be back in motion by end of week probably...thanks again for your input because
    it helped me calm down greatly after a sleepless night....camera repair said that my lens was
    probably 40 yrs. old....~beverly hall~ p.s. what does CLA stand for???? Clean, Lube, ? ????
  13. Beverly, You indiciate you are in Atlanta. Call up KEH or go to KEH.com for their selection of great used gear. I bought my 150mm CF from them about five years ago and it has never failed me. They are jsut down the road from you in Marietta.
  14. CLA means Clean, Lube, Adjust
  15. Beverly,
    "Paul, what do you mean by "You can rule out the film backs because the problem arises with both of them."
    It is highly unlikely that two film backs develop the same problem at the same time.
    Please note unlikely. It is not impossible but stands a very low chance.
    Always look for a common factor. In this case the lens was used with both film backs.
    A pro user should keep his or her gear in good shape by spending some hard earned money with a good camera technician.
    That will make the chance that a thing like this happens a lot smaller.
    Why not explain to the 13 year old what happened and ask him/her to help you out in this unhappy event.
    I suppose you must have developed some sort of trust during the session.
    My hunch is this will give you a fair chance to do the shoot again.
    It may surprise
  16. My friend, I still keep a great number of those 120 expired films with me, I bought them at home from Fuji delear and kodak, no much people using 120 films like before and that why those expired films I buy and store them in a frigerator in my studio room.
    I also found few days back in Bangkok Ilford 125, 100 & 50ASA films which are more than a year expired and bought them, I will take them home with me, I enjoy shooting expired films and they turn all good with me.
  17. here is an expired 120 100asa film used by me on my Mamiya C330 camera:

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