Dec 16, 2010

Hasselblad 500 EL/M - First Photographs (Circus Giovanni Althoff - Heidelberg, November 1982)


I did a lot of mistakes in that day!
The first time that I tried to load a roll of film on the camera magazine, I lost half of its exposures. I must have forgotten to wind it to frame one, before I started shooting...
The plane of focus was obviously not correctly placed on some pictures, and I had some bad surprises about the shallow depth of field that I got in some negatives...
The shape and weight of the camera didn't help me to feel confident either. Being much different to hold than a Leica, or any 35mm SLR of that era, I didn't have yet the opportunity to master the "left-hand Hasselblad grip". As far as I remember, all these frames were done handheld.
The focusing hood was a little disorienting, with its reversed image, left-right (nowadays, it really doesn't matter if it's reversed or upside down, or whatever, I got so used to it!).
Having only twelve frames per roll, definitely seemed too short for me, at least for capturing moving subjects...
On some situations, I could have benefitted from the use of another focal distance, but all I had at the time was the normal lens, the 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar, supplied with the camera.
I also recognize that it was difficult for me to come to terms with the square shape of the format. A few pictures could be improved with some cropping... I opt to show you the full frame instead (when I die, please don't change it! This is the way that I want it!).
Fortunately, I was accustomed to fully manual controlled cameras. I also knew well my Minolta Autometer, so using an external meter was not new for me.
All I had to do, was to go out and get the pictures done! Enough of excuses for their success or failure... I was the only one to blame!
Here they are...

All the photographs above, were indeed made on the very first day that I used the Hasselblad 500 EL/M, the nice grey camera that I have introduced to you a couple of posts ago.
Two days later, I came back to make the other photographs, apparently feeling a bit more at ease.
Maybe the light was just a little better that day... Moreover the film was correctly loaded on the A12 magazine...

The Ilford HP5 negatives are hard to print on the traditional darkroom, and they surely are a pain to scan, at least for poor unskilled me and my Epson.
Yes, I am barely satisfied with the results, I should admit...
In any case, I do like some of the images, regardless of their flaws.

So I find it appealing to show you my very first atempts on using this noble camera from Sweden, a brand that so many professional photographers have cherished for generations.
A Hasselblad used to be an investment for life!

In fact, all this equipment keeps on working, as it always did on the last three decades!
We should try that with our digi-dings!...

Well, that can't be me, I believe...

To become invisible is not an easy task to accomplish, when you carry a grey Hasselblad 500 EL/M in your hands...

The noise of the motor can be rather annoying and irritating when you don't wish to catch all the attention from the neighborhood...

Despite that, I believe that most of these photographs show natural looking people, people that don't seem to be intimidated by a camera pointing at them.

They just kept doing what they had to do.

I just kept trying to do what I wanted to do!

Was I effective? The decision is left to you...

Technical data:
Camera - Hasselblad 500 EL/M (for the ones who are lazy to read the whole story...)
Lens - Carl Zeiss Planar 2.8/80mm
Film - Ilford HP5 (the old one, of course!)
Developer - Ilford ID-11, dilution 1+1
Location - Heidelberg, Germany
Date - November 1982

Scanner - Epson 4990 Photo

Circus Giovanni Althoff was in town!


1 comment:

  1. Hi Rui,

    I had the same phenomen with almost every "new" camera which includes the Hasselblad 500C/M. My theory is that it takes some time with every new partner - now matter how much you fell in love. LG, Det