Shot a Hasselblad without tripod

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by juan_bonet, May 4, 2003.

  1. I would like if somebody takes pictures with a Hasselblad without
    What is the slowest speed that is possible fire the camera at hands?
    Juan Bonet (Barcelona-Spain)
  2. General rule for 35mm don't work for me (shutter speed = 1/focal lenght). Try with 2 steps faster.
  3. Unless I'm using flash, with an 80mm lens anything less than 1/500 (actually more like 1/350 with leaf-shutter lenses)gives me results I could just as well get with a 35mm camera, and I wouldn't bother handholding a 150. However, there are other options between freehand-holding and using a heavy tripod. I often use a Leica table tripod with a small but solid Leitz ballhead, which I rest against any solid object in the vicinity, vertically or horizontally, then trip the mirror pre-release, then the shutter. I've also got a walking staff which accepts a ballhead, and by angling it out in front of me and leaning into it, along with my own 2 legs it makes a facsimile tripod. A last-ditch technique is using the W/L finder, resting the camera against the stomach (holding the breath--yes I know you're supposed to exhale but not with this technique) while pushing down on the body so it's taut on the strap.
  4. 1/250, minimum. Use 800 speed film.
  5. If using a flash I have shot wedding etc at 1/15 of a second and got great shots with a 50mm lens.The flash will stop the action.
  6. Most of the time I use ASA 400 with my HB & 80mm. I don't mind handholding down to 1/15 even without flash. Of course this doesn't always gives perfectly sharp pics but that's not really what I'm looking for in the first place. In fact, the only tripod I own is a Manfrotto table pod which I use every 6 months. I just can't be bothered to bring a pod with me. Guess you could call me lazy..
    Good luck.
  7. I am not sure of the difference between Hassey and Bronny mirror slap, but I found myself sitting on rocks by the Siuslaw river (about 5miles below its starting point as a spring out of the ground so more liek a creek at that point)and holding the Bronny to my eye while wedging myself on the rocks and shooint the the rapids as they swirl around the rocks. The slides came out great. A lot of those shots were at 1/60 while some at 1/250/ The 1/60 came out fine. I really wish I would have had my WLF at that time but I am still awaiting its arrival. I still wanted the shot though so use what you got!
  8. actually you can fire your blad at all speeds. its being said that 800 asa film burns much quicker than 50 asa film though i would not want to handhold it.
  9. I've taken sharp pictures with the ETRSi at 1/30 with a 75mm lens. A lot of places don't allow tripods, or maybe it's not practical to carry one. In those cases, do you miss the shot, or try anyway?
  10. Back in the archives I described an oldtime device for steadying a camera without tripod.It consists of a plasic chain with a foot loop which screws into the camera socket.Simply increasing tension on the chain steadies the camera down and permits resonably good images down to shutter speed equal to lens focal length in MM`s
  11. I use a Bronica SQ-a (very similar size and wieght wise to a Hassy). I use it about %75 hand held. It is very easy to use. I can generally hold it at all the same speeds as 35mm. Though I've never tested a picture hand held to a tri-pod shot.I know there is some loss in quality, but it's still better than 35mm.
  12. The point of Hasselblad is to go hand held. The mirror lock up allows slow speed and you can shoot it like a Leica. I hand hold at 1/60th by using mirror laock up. In fact even when I need to use a 500th I will compose, hit the mirror lockup and then trip the shutter. That is very sharp, With this method I have even shot a 500mm lense with a mutar 2x and project the slide 7' square in a livingroom.

    I regularly do a 150mm lense with 16mm tube adn ct45 flash hand held and then enlarge the portia 160asa to a 20x24. I shoot that at 1/125th.

    no fancy devices just use of the mirror lockup.

    A tripod gives better results but the results I get as described are still excellent.

    Try 400UC it is excellent!!!!!!
  13. switch to 400 ISO film and you too, can shoot 90% of the time without a tripod. with
    a 80mm lens, I try to keep the shutter speed faster than 1/60, but you can still get
    decent results @ 1/60.

    while I have a CF gitzo, I much prefer to use my 202FA handheld and do so except @
    dawn, dusk, or nighttime.
  14. Juan,

    It depends on the person. I happen to be blessed with solid hands and can hand hold relatively slow speeds. I would not choose to go below about 1/60 if possible and never with a longer lens. It does depend on the lens, as a wide angle is safer to hand hold than a tele.

    I find the 'blad relatively easy to hold steady with a WLF. If you have a neck strap it can be used to tension the camera, or you can jam the camera against your midriff (and hold your breath) then a stop or so can be gained. Or use something solid around the place.

    The H'blad handle is good for support too, especially with an eye level finder.
  15. The point that a Hasselblad is difficult to hand hold for ultimate
    sharpness of image is true. But that is only half the advantage of
    MF. So what if there is movement in some images? You get that
    with 35mm also, and it is aesthetically acceptable. But try to get
    the tonal gradations of a MF with a 35mm. Especially with
  16. Personally unless I'm going for 40x40 prints, there's no problem hand holding the 500c/m at reasonalby long exposures, say 1/60 for the 80mm lens.

    I dont see what all the fuss is about, I shoot lots of weddings, all hand held, mixed flash and ambient, or ambient only, rarely a problem.
  17. I've gotten excellent photos with a 500CM+80mm lens in the 1/30 to 1/60 second
    range of shutter times, and with the 903SWC down to 1/8 second. I don't see what
    the big deal is. Of course, I prefer to work with a tripod, but the same is true of
    35mm and even digicam ... results are far sharper ... but there are times when a
    tripod makes certain pictures impossible to take.

  18. r s

    r s

    When handholding the hasselblad I have noticed an improvement if I use an extention cord to trigger the shutter.
  19. I usually hand held the camera and set the speed to 125th second in most situtation for snapshot (using ISO100 slid film). I need a tripod when the shutter speed is less than 60th sec. It took sometimes for me to develope the hand held skill and it was awful at the very beginning with picture composition and hand shake.

    Don't hesitate and take more practice.
  20. I've used my 501CM with 80mm handheld at 1/30s without prereleasing the camera for pictures of children on a stage using the stage light and some fill flash (Metz 45CT4 at 1/2 or 1/4 of its power) with ISO 100(Provia 100F). I'm satisfied with sharpness and the colours of the chromes. I was handholding the gear with my elbows on my knees while sitting.

    For longtime pictures I use tripod and cable release, but mostly I use my Hasselblad handheld. Often with the camera prereleased (if shutterspeed is 1/60s or slower). And I always try to get some support for my body if there is time to do so.
  21. You might want to look in Ernst Wildi's books "The Medium Format Advantage" pp. 67-75 (2nd edition) and "Achieving the Ultimate Image", pp. 21-24. Wildi is an exclusively-Hasselblad photographer and his books have stood the test of time. He has specific suggestions for making handheld photography work -- e.g. the stance --and he makes it clear that handheld photography with the Hasselblad is not only possible but that the camera was actually designed for it. (By the way, all the 50,000 or so NASA photographs made with the Hasselblad are handheld -- no tripods were used in the Mercury, Gemini, or Apollo missions!) If you have not done so, it is worth buying a copy of "The Hasselblad Manual" by Wildi -- you may find an older edition in a used bookstore, the new is about $65. It covers almost everything you would want to know about the camera.
  22. Godfrey is right, sometimes the sharpest shots are handheld because there is no
    tripod version. I shoot low light handheld all the time, but I don't make big prints
    (5x5). One thing that works well is get on one knee and put the camera on the other. I
    don't know if this is handheld but you can get pretty good shots at very low shutter
    speeds. Tables work well also, maybe even better than a tripod.
  23. One of the main reasons I bought a Hassy over the other 6X6cm SLRs is that it is easy to hand-hold and still get great shots. Its ergonomic design is excellent for this. Using the WL finder, with the stap around your neck, just push up on the mirror release button with your right forefinger and then press the shutter with your left forefinger, all while maintaing some tension with the neck strap. Do this procedure at the end of exhaling. Using this procedure, I can get better handheld shots with the Hassy at relatively slow shutter speeds than handholding 35mm SLRs.
  24. me too I do have good results shooting without tripod even at 1/30sec. A few tricks will help such as elbows close to the boby, camera on the chest... of course if your hands are shaking for some reasons (too strong coffee...)...
  25. I have a pic that looks slightly blurred on A3, but is treasured by the shy subject's relatives, as it captures a happy expression.

    Provia 100, overcast, England, Hasselblad 555 ELD:

    I held the camera, and I told his 10-year-old daughter, who was sitting on my lap). "Push the button when you think Daddy looks Hansom"
  26. I've done a number of images at 1/60th without mirror lock-up on my 501cm, and the sharpness seems excellent for 14x14" black and white prints. In short, even though I nearly always handhold it, the Hasselblad typically gives far better definition/grain etc than I can get with my Leicas.

    THAT SAID, has any good research been conducted which compares a Hasselblad's sharpness within a handholdable range of 1/60 to 1/500 (when NOT using mirror lock-up) versus the sharpness achieved by TLRs such as the Rollei 2.8FX or GX or versus the Mamiya 6 or 7s?

    ie, is there any evidence that mirror slap on a Hasselblad actually lessens sharpness at all within the 1/60-1/500 range, or could I truely achieve sharper handholdable shots with the Rollei TLRs or with the Mamiya rangefinders at the above shutter speeds??

    Many thanks for your replies!
  27. Good question John !

    I also wonder if everything we hear about loss of sharpness due to mirror slap is not just crap.

    For some shots it happened to me that I just shot forgetting to triger MLU and than decide to make another shot using MLU, just to try : No difference on the light table, even with a cheap SLIK tripod.

    Regarding the first question I would say :
    - 1/60 when pressing the Blad against my chest.
    - 1/30 if I can find another support for help (like kneeling down and use my knee as support)

    Of course these figures depend on your own stability and the focal length of the lens you are using (in my case they are valid up to 150mm)
  28. I have taken many sharp pictures at 1/60 (and occassionally 1/30) handheld, lens
    wide-open (100mm f. 3.5), without mirror lock-up, using the PME45 finder pressed
    against my face. With a steady hand, you can get excellent results. I mostly use Delta
    3200, but have also used Kodak 400UC (indeed a great film!). Anyway, its the picture
    that counts, not sharpness,
  29. I also don't see what the fuss is about. I hand hold the 501cm w/ 80mm easily to 1/60 and enlarge to 16 x 20. I use only the waistlevel finder which allows me to use the front of my body and both arms for support. The prism may not be as stable a setup. I use the mirror lockup also handheld.
  30. When shooting handheld with my 500CM, I always use the
    Hasselblad Flash Gun bracket -- the release built into the hand
    grip allows for better ergonomics. As I type this, I am looking at a
    razor sharp 16x16 print on my studio wall that was shot at 1/30.
    If you have an opportunity to try out the bracket, by all means give
    it a try! Happy shooting!

  31. We all want black and white answers: this brand lens is better than that; this camera has more mirror slap and therefore more blur; this brand has lenses with better background blur. What speed can one hold a Hasselblad. But all is not black and white.

    Yes, there are great images made handholding Hasselblads. Yes, some are quite sharp even at 1/60 of a second. Yes, I have had a hard time in some cases seeing the difference between 2 consecutive photos where I know 1 was without MLU. Overall, better sharpness will result from use with tripods and MLU. However, of course one can get great photos hand holding Blads. It's one of the many attributes of the slr design: see the exact image, hand holdable, mlu for tripod use, and on and on. For this reason, slrs are great all around cameras, and the Blad is a great all around MF slr. But let's remember that being "all around" usually means some compromises. If you are ONLY hand holding, and not doing close-ups, rangefinders have advantages. If you are ONLY doing tripod work, larger format (6 x 7,6 x 8, 6 x 9) MF cameras may have an advantage. And Large format much more advantage in quality of image. The more specific the purpose a camera is built for, the better it probably will be at that purpose. A Blad is a very good generalist of a camera: good for use on tripod, good handheld, OK for closeups. That means it's probably not the ultimate at any of these purposes, so you will read about "problems" hand holding, or "problems" at tripod mounted landscape work compared to other cameras. This does not mean that you can't use it for these purposes. It just means that for any individual purpose it can be beaten.

    Specifically addressing your question: For me, tripod and mlu give the best results. For hand held, above 1/60 is best. But in reality, the speed at which it can be hand held is UP TO YOU: try different speeds and see how you like the results in the size print YOU like. See how your clients react over time. You'll have your own answer, which may chage over time, depending if you get technically more demanding, or start feeling the technical is less than the any case, pay attention to what YOU see and what pleases YOU.
  32. I use a Hasselblad 500c/m (with 50mm and 150mm Zeiss glass) and would just like to echo and add a little more emphasis to someting Lawrence Smithers refered to earlier in this thread: Handholding any camera works best when the shutter speed (in seconds) exceeds the reciprocal of the focal length (in mm) of the lens being used.
    In other words, if I am using a 50mm lens, I use a shutter speed of 1/50 of a second or faster. For a 150mm lens I use something faster than 1/150 of a second, etc.
    This should work well for a person with a steady hand (and body). If you are not that steady, then "borrow stability from your environment". Lean against a tree, sit down and prop your hands (and camera) between your knees, anything to help absorb any possibility of vibration.
    I do a lot of hiking (typically 5 to 15 miles round-trip in the Cascade Mountains) to get to great landscapes and scenics. I rarely carry a tripod on a hike, so almost everything I do is hand held. (But I almost always find a technique for borrowing stability from the environment.) I have a lot of tack-sharp scenics done this way that I'm very proud of.
    Ernie Fosse (Seattle)
  33. I had the same question in mind ; so i decided to buy an old TLR Rolleiflex.
    You can really get great pics at 1/15 with 100 asa.
    Of course the are some dissadvantages like parallax error and fixed 75 mm lens.
    Maybe this doesn´t work for everyboby but for me , as an amateur, it´s great if you get used to it .

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