Hasselblad D-40 Flash

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by arthur_gottschalk, Dec 26, 2020.

  1. Anyone using the Hasselblad D-40 flash? I'm thinking of using this as fill in TTL mode for environmental daylight portraiture with my 503CX. Any suggestions?
  2. I have an Hasselblad adapter for a Q-Flash, which is supposed to work like D-40. Frankly, I get better results with a Nikon flash which has an automatic mode with a photocell.
    rodeo_joe|1 likes this.
  3. A long time ago, i posted a comparison between the D40 and a Metz hammerhead. The results of the D40 were not that different, the extra reflector of the Metz proving to be useful as well, providing extra control (direct + indirect ). The D40 can be used as bare bulb flash, which the Metz can't emulate. But frankly, the bare bulb light is horrible.
    So i rather use the Metz.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
  4. A bare bulb must be used about 30 degrees to one side of or over the subject, and in a small (e.g., dwelling) room. That way you get modeling, and fill from the walls and ceiling. That was standard practice at the newspaper where I worked, because it worked well for halftone printing and was very simple to set up.
  5. I've never used a bare-bulb head, but I can't imagine it's that much different from an upward-pointed speedlight wearing a translucent push-on diffuser.

    What say you Ed?
  6. A bare bulb provides much more contrast than a diffusion cap, but can be modified by moving it further away. That contrast was important for news work like people and places stuff, because halftone does not reveal much detail in highlights. In the day, I removed the folding reflector and put the flash on a stand with an ordinary extension cord to the camera. In those days, most flash units had a household two-pin socket. I'd use the flash about 8' away from the subject.

    I have rarely used a bare bulb since the 60's. A pair of studio flash units, sans reflectors, did a good job evenly illuminating a wedding reception. With digital and high ISO availability, even that is unnecessary.

    Flash is much easier to use now, and getting better with each generation. I don't even need flash in most circumstances. The huge dynamic range tends to keep shadows open. If I need flash, the diffusion cap, pointed toward the ceiling or tilted 45 degrees forward does very well. The fill mode works very well for outdoor events and weddings.
  7. Bare bulb is indeed very harsh. Nothing like an upward pointed yoghurt tub.

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