Manual Exposure with the Hasselblad

The Hasselblad 500C/M is a favorite camera of mine. I love the images I get from those gigantic square negatives. It’s great on a tripod with motionless subjects when I can carefully meter at my leisure and don’t mind that it takes 10 seconds to move the focus ring from one extreme to the other.

Wandering around using the Hasselblad handheld is another thing entirely. I don’t like using it “in the field” nearly as much. Moving subjects are difficult with any system, but the Hasselblad lenses have a very long “throw” which makes it almost impossible to keep up.

Even when I’m lucky enough to get the focus right, rapidly-changing lighting conditions mean also dealing with exposure. The 500C/M uses no batteries, thus has no meter at all. I’m pretty good at using the Sunny 16 rule with my manual 35mm cameras, but for some reason always seem to get things wrong with the Hasselblad. I can’t explain it. Yesterday I wanted to burn up a roll so went in the back yard, as I do, and photographed the dogs. It was cloudy and late in the day and I simply underestimated the light. While I did get a couple of decent, focused images, the exposure was off by so much that they’re unusable.

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As much as I love the Hasselblad system, recent failures on my part have me thinking of going with something a little more automated. Anyone have a Contax 645 system for sale?