just bought my first Hasselblad!

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by stacy, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. A 500cm...not really a question- just excited. I shot my first roll today and everything is so different. Any tips, tricks etc for a new girl?
  2. Get a good tripod now! Love my 'blad, but have been supprised by how much I shake it compared to a 35mm...I don't even try to hold the camera slower than a 1/60 anymore and like to stay faster than that handheld. Uh, part of this could be due to my age. :-(
    Waste level is a whole different perspective that you have to get used to, and sometimes you really need to be at eyelevel...fortunately, prisms have gotten really cheap lately.
    Go slow, double check everything...just like with a view camera, a 'blad works differently than 35mm's or DSLR's and holds less film, so take your time and get it right the first time.
    Now, go out and have fun with it! :)
  3. Thanks Vick! I do have a nice tripod so I'll give that a try. I tried some 1/60 at 2.8 today- no idea if they will be in focus or shaky- we'll see. And I agree on the waste level finder being strange- hard to figure out which way to move it at times, but it's also sort of magical- like a view-master. Everything seems strangely 3D.
    I think I'm going to love this little camera. I've been wanting one for so long, but have always spent money on my canon system for work. I'm so glad I finally have one- (and glad that I was able to put the lens and back on and load the film). Now I just learn how to use it properly and I'll be set.
    Thanks so much for the response and -"get it right the first time" very good advise:)
  4. Congratulations Stacy! No suggestions, except to hold on to your hat when you see the results. The viewfinder is one thing. A print is another. As for f/stops: you'll find the larger the format you shoot, the smaller the f/stop you'll want to be shooting.
    As for moving it around. Hold it tight to your body, get it level, and don't move it around with your hands—move it around by subtle changes to your body position. It will become natural very quickly.
  5. Congratulations, Stacy. ;-) I still remember getting my first 'blad.
    First of all, the old rule about not handholding slower than the reciprocal of the focal length applies here as to any other camera, so you shouldn't shoot slower than 1/80 (1/125 in practice) with the standard 80mm lens if you want sharp pix. I'd recommend nothing slower than 1/250th, which sort of requires a tripod for most shots.
    As Michael said, you can hand-hold at slower shutter speeds, but it will take some practice.
    I suggest you buy one of the little bubble levels that slips onto the accessory rail on the left side of the body. Very handy little item, and not expensive. Ebay item 300459572257 as an example (just for identification; not recommending this particular one).
    You'll find this camera to be terribly addictive. I shoot everything from sub-35mm through 4x5, but the 'blad gets by far the most use.
    Happy shooting.
    - Leigh
  6. I have one of these cameras too, and you will get tremendous pleasure from using it. For fine tuning your focusing get one of the magnifying prisms. I personally prefer the waist level finder because it has this handy 5x pop up magnifier which really helps you nail the focus. Once in focus, don't forget to push it back down so that you see the entire composition.
    I do have a question for Michael when he said that "As for f/stops: you'll find the larger the format you shoot, the smaller the f/stop you'll want to be shooting." By "smaller f/stop" are you referring to a lower number that will give shallower DOF, or a smaller aperture with greater DOF?
  7. Graham:
    In common usage, "smaller f/stop" usually means a smaller hole, while "smaller f-number" means a larger hole. Not a universally-accepted definition, but more frequently used than the opposite. It's quite common to find view camera lens/shutters that go down to f/45, with many going to f/90 or smaller.
    I think you'll find tripod use much more convenient with a quick disconnect. I have one of a style that I don't like, and it includes a bubble level. You can have it for free. Send me an email through the link on my profile page if you want it.
    - Leigh
  8. Stacy,
    Ref the tripod disconnect above (since I can't edit that post any more) ...
    It's Hasselblad part number 45144. You can find that number using Google images to see what it looks like.
    - Leigh
  9. Generous offer!
    A 500 C/M will not fit in the quick-coupling with bubble level (official name is tripod quick-coupling S) without adapter plate S, so remember to include that, Leigh.
    What's a "waste" level finder, guys? ;-)
  10. What's a "waste" level finder, guys? ;-)
    The term "Waste level" was announced by Konica Minolta on May 17, 2010, and is a measuring system to determine the amount of waste or trash that is left over during the manufacturing process. The system is referred to a "waste level finder". In the late 1970's Hasselblad (always being ahead of their time in innovation) developed an attachment for their 500 series of cameras that is capable of triggering the shutter once the waste that one is standing in reaches as high as one's belt level. It is sometimes mistakenly referred to a "waist" level finder. The part number is URPHAT.
    I am happy to have been able to clarify this issue. :)
  11. Good explanation, Graham.
    I aways thought it was a device they used to determine how thick the layer of waste was they dumped on garbage dump sites.
    Never knew it was something photographic.
    So thanks for confirming my original hunch was correct!
  12. Leigh that is so nice of you! Thank you! sending you an email.
    And I didn't even know that magnifier was in there- that is handy! Wish I would have asked before I shot that first roll...could have used that for sure.
    Sorry about the mis-spelling of waist too...I am a terrible speller--worse after a cocktail :)
    Thanks everyone for your responses- so helpful! I'm shooting a job out of town today but I think I'll bring my new little camera along too- shoot a few rolls and practice!
  13. so pleased for you, stacy - they are sublime machines, indeed! my first was a 500c/m - many years ago! - now i have the lovely 201f & 110mm f/2 zeiss planar! : D http://www.flickr.com/photos/j12t/sets/72157623640914718/ - all the best, ic
  14. Graham, I mis-typed. Smaller aperture would have been the appropriate term<g>. Bigger f/stop number. E.g., Where f/4 might get you decent DOF with a 35mm camera, you might want to stop down to f/5.6 or f/8. That trips up a lot of newbies who find that f/2.8 on their Hasselblad acts more like shooting f/1.4 on their 35mm camera.
    Stacy, Shooting Hasselblad's after (or during) cocktails, is a whole 'nother genre of photography.<g>
  15. Congrats Stacey. I used to shoot the 'blad, but now I've got the RB67. I have a Hoya B60 Skylight [1B] and a special tool that helps you unjam the 'blad if required, that you can have if you want, just cover the postage.
  16. After years of shooting with my 503CW I still, on occasion, forget to crank the advance knob until it stops after mounting the back on the camera body. (No, this won't get you 14 frames from a 12 shot back). I have also goofed (twice) regarding the proper "S" pattern the film must take when loaded from the fresh spool then under the clamping rail and onto the take-up spool. This really causes a head-scratcher around frame 5 or 6.
    Bottom line: develop good camera handling practices early on and always handle the camera the same way and in the same sequence. The camera does very little for you automatically but once you get the "craft" work flow down pat practice, practice, practice. Afterwards, those multi-function-mini-computer-with-a-lens-soon-to-be-superceded blocks of plastic will feel pesky. (I have one of those too, I know) LOL.
    P.S. - Get yourself:
    1. THE HASSELBLAD MANUAL by Ernst Wildi (the edition that pertains to your model).
    2. The shutter re-cranking tool (about $19). You will, at some point, need it and it is the safest way to reset a lens shutter.
    3. A sturdy, wide-legged tripod. The camera, lens, finder & back & me went into to drink once while fiddling with a weaker model. This is no area to skimp.
  17. A 500 C/M will not fit in the quick-coupling with bubble level (official name is tripod quick-coupling S) without adapter plate S, so remember to include that, Leigh.​
    Hi Q.G.,
    I was not aware of that. It apparently provides a beveled foot to match the quick coupling, since the base plate on the 500C/M does not have beveled sides. I do not have that adapter plate.
    It would be a simple matter to dismount the 500C/M plate and file a bevel on each side to match the coupling. I guess that will be left as an exercise for the student. ;-)
    Thanks for the info.
    - Leigh
  18. I'm sorry to have to report this, Leigh, but that will not work.
    There's not enough 'meat' on the existing quick mount foot to create something that would fit the Quick Coupling S, and there's not enough room between the 500 C/M's foot and the body for it to fit anyway.
    You could try to transplant the foot from a later camera (503 CW, 501) to the 500 C/M, but you would run into problems with holes not being in the right place for screws.
    So the only feasible solution is to use the adapter plate S, which is screwed onto the existing quick coupling foot of the 500 C/M.
  19. OK. It would be easy enough to make an adapter out of a chunk of aluminum. This is a pretty simple item.
    Maybe I should produce some of these for sale. ;-)
    Thanks for the update.
    - Leigh
  20. Thanks everyone for your replies- I appreciate all the advise! Just home from my trip- shot a couple of rolls- one at a wedding and one at a topiary garden- can't wait to get them developed and see if anything is on focus! Pretty low light about 8pm and I'm not real confident. Now I'm wondering if I had the film in the "proper S shape" too- ha!
    I did order the hassleblad manual so I'll read up on that too and Ty I'd love to have those --thank you! You can send me a PayPal invoice to my email for postage if you want. Or I could send you a check?
    Ian- very pretty photos :)
    Thanks everyone- happy Sunday!
  21. I'd recommend the Hasselblad Spirit Level, that slides on to the side accessory rail of the camera body. I've had one all along in my Hasselblad shooting days and its a priceless tool for me to keep the camera perfectly level when I need it to be. They can be found used on the auction site for around $25-35 most days, and they are worth it!!
    Most public libraries have the Wilde book, look there first.
  22. > 3. A sturdy, wide-legged tripod. The camera, lens, finder & back & me went into to drink once while fiddling with a
    > weaker model. This is no area to skimp.
    I just hope the model was over 18...
  23. Well the good news is that there are images on the negatives so I loaded the film correctly and the exposure seems fine. Some are a bit soft, but I'm still pleased overall! I'll post some to my blog in a bit- just snapshots, but I still want to show off what my new camera made :)
  24. a few more here: http://blog.swellphotoblog.com/?p=550 let me know what you think - I'm just so excited that the images are there I can't think straight...and more cocktails- ugh
  25. No matter what camera, Stacy, you do make great pictures.
  26. Thank you Q.G! That a very nice compliment :)
  27. Hi Stacey
    I also recently bought a 501cm with a 80mm/f2.8. here are the things i have discovered so far as a new H user.
    • I still havent remembered to write down what my camera settings are when im actually taking a shot - no EXIF data on these babies to look back on.
    • accurate focusing using the waist level VF is harder than i thought, escp at larger apartures (low numbers), if the subject is moving... forget it!
    • After loosing half of my exposures on the first 2 rolls i watched a video of how to load film correctly on utube - very handy.
    • taking long exposure shots in low light conditions also means its really hard to focus properly due to the lack of light reaching the screen.
    • I still need a proper hardcase for carrying my set-up
    • Taking your tripod and Hblad kit with you on walks is heavy!
    • 80mm is not wide enough for a lot of landscape shots :(
    • Everything Hblad costs £££££££'s !!
  28. "accurate focusing using the waist level VF is harder than i thought, escp at larger apartures (low numbers), if the subject is moving... forget it!"
    This made me laugh because I was thinking the exact same thing :) I'm practicing every day though...and practicing guessing distance too. If you see a girl with a tape measure...just me!
    Thanks for your reply- could not agree more :)

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