It’s been a while since my last post about my Hasselblad adventure and lots has happened since then. Since October I got a few rolls processed, wasn’t really happy with the result, so I learned a lot and in the end, I decided film is the best thing that happened to me!
While I had my first roll of Portra 400 developed by a local camerastore (Verschoore), I decided to get my next rolls developed by Richard Photo Lab in California. I still had a coupon code from #LNDNWLK for a discount on my first order and I wanted to use it wisely. So I saved u and send in four rolls of 120 film and a roll of 35mm film from my Canon AE-1.
I got a bit excited when I dropped the films off to the post office. I decided to use a bubblewrap envelope instead of a package to send out the rolls. Would he rolls arrive safely? How long will it take for them to arrive in Cailifornia? And …. how will they turn out?
This worrying part is one of the good things about film photography. You shoot a roll of film, and it takes a while when you finally can see the results. But, the waiting has taught me to have patience, and nowadays I even wait a week or so before I open and edit my digital files in Lightroom. I first let the shooting experience of that specific day sink in for a while..
Okay, back to the rolls. They arrived safely and rather quick: it took only four days (and € 4,00) to get them from the Netherlands to the United States. The order was ready in 8 days. Richard Photo Lab sends out an ftp download link so you can download your digital files.
What did I get?
1x 135 roll of Kodak Tri-X with dimensions of 3.089 x 2.048 pixels
3x 120 rolls of Portra 400 images of 2.433 x 2.433
1x 120 roll of Kodak TriX with images of 2.079 x 2.048
I opened the each folder and the photos one by one and went through all the photos within a few minutes. I immediately could see the quality of this medium format sensor, crisp photos full with details.. just why I fell in love with this camera in the first place. I watched them again .. and again. Some were really nice, some were a little less, but overall I was pretty happy with the results. They were not smashing good though. I missed some focusing in some photos and some photographs were underexposed (just like my first roll with the Canon AE-1). I think it’s just something to get used to when starting out with a new film camera. There’s no doubt Richard Photo Lab did an amazing job, more on that in a later blog post.
I probably shot at a slow shutter speed (possibly 1/60 or slower) and moved the camera a little bit during some of my exposures. Johnny told me that I need to hold the camera very steady below 1/125 (or use a tripod). Having used Fujifilm/Sony cameras, I never had to worry about low shutter speeds.
While I didn’t write down all the settings for each shot I did take some photos of my settings used on the camera (with the image in the viewfinder) and I’ve noticed I indeed shot some at 1/60, handheld.
I have figured out a system in which I will jot down the settings of each shot, so I will learn more about the outcome of the rolls. I will share that later on my blog.
I got myself a nice light meter, but to be honest, I have been a little sloppy with metering. I need to meter every scene when the light changes. Understand the camera and the way it works with light totally. The new system will help wth that as well.
I have read Johnny’s blog .. many times. And I’ve always rated the film at half box speed. But I should take more time to measure the light correctly. Sometimes I measured in direct sunlight, most of the times in shadow directly facing the camera. But after seeing this post on twitter I will never be afraid to overexpose!
— Johnny Patience (@JohnnyPatience) January 22, 2015
The thing I love about analog photography is the way it makes me feel when I’m taking the shot. It slows me down and I’m much more involved in the moment.. But I learned I should take even more time to meter, compose, focus and take the shot. Slow down.
One of my aims for 2015 is to put more consciousness in my work. One of the things I love film for, you have to work harder to get the good results and, therefore you will learn so much more.
Here are some of the photos.
I also got a lot of personal photos of my family on these rolls which I haven’t included in this post. But nothing beats a nice portrait of one my sons or daughter with a camera like this. Priceless.
THE BRIGHT FUTURE OF HASSELBLAD
So I learned a lot.. and found out that shooting film is a great thing .. my thing. That’s why I decided to invest in an acute-matte D glass with microprism & split image (#42215) to make it easier for me to focus. That beautiful bright screen got even better! Just a day after I bought the screen I saw this beautiful 501cm for sale. From the first owner, fully boxed and in mint condition with the planar 80mm cfe lens, 2 x a12 backs, a PME51 prism finder and an extension tube! I couldn’t resist, so I got a new Hasselblad 501cm camera! And with new I mean that this camera is from 2003, about 30 years younger than my first Hasselblad! So happy with it.
Just before I bought the 501cm I shot a last roll with the 500cm on a beautiful misty morning while wandering the Kampina. I send it out to TheFINDlab to compare it to Richard Photo Lab. Results will follow in the next post.
It’s still magical, on with my adventure!