Saturday, December 29, 2012

Finding Filters

Hasselblad 500c/m kit, Andrew D. Barron©12/29/12 [645 PRO for 4S]Aftermarket metal lens hood: fits!, Andrew D. Barron©12/29/12 [645 PRO for 4S] I have yet to say clearly that all of this trouble is worth it for me to make the best possible photographs I can. Digital photography has helped me learn what I am after and how to do it. The antiquated techniques and equipment that have made their way to me are part of an older tradition that I choose to learn out of deep respect for the past. In these last two years of film photography, the cost of all of this fun has been a fraction of what a new, but soon to be obsolete camera costs: a decent full frame dSLR or high end dSLR hit $3,000 and $6,000 respectively, without lenses! That being said, I have spent a lot on film, especially instant film since I started with the Instax 210 in January 2011 (blog entry). It appears the Instax 210 was on a lot of Christmas lists because of the spike in Instax-related search traffic here. Right on!

I’ll be collecting my thoughts and research into using filters on the Hassy. Most of what follows is preparatory for a renewed black and white effort.

Hasselbad accessories
I picked up a number of small accessories for my Hasselblad 500c/m kit. I am amazed at the wide availabilty of parts. Most of which seem to come from Chinese manufacturer Fotodiox, but available at significant discount from Amazon, especially with Prime. As much as I wanted this strap, it is no longer available. A good thing really, since it is nearly five times the price as this one. It clipped right on and is surprisingly soft.

So here she is! ->

I will soon be shooting some Fuji Reala, an asa100 c-41 film. This film is apparently discontinued, so I hope I don’t like it too much. Expires 12/2014, so it seems like there will be Reala available for a while. (An aside: I first saw the film at B&H, but my router got a weird bug and would not allow further searches at that site. The dlinksearch browser hijack is discussed here, but explained well at the bottom of this page. Turns out that the dlink DNS lookup wasn’t working at that moment, giving the impression of a hijack. Life can sure be complicated.)

Filter attachments for obsolete systems
I consider filters essential to black and white photography. As much as I love my Leica IIIf, I am challenged by the small negative size and lack of metering. The 1951 Leica takes an unusual filter type which press on. Besides original Wratten filters, the only option is a SummitarSNHOO-to-E39 adapter, which can be further stepped up to accept 52mm filters with this ring. I may jump to 58mm with this adapter. Filters for the Hasslelbad are rare and often pricey. I have practically given up putting filters on the chrome Distagon 50mm, although I did manage to get a lens hood to thread into it. It took some work to get it to go and went only after I ran pencil lead deeply into the thread grooves.

At right, the lens hood on the Distagon 50mm.

The lens hood is important because the lens is wide-angle and uncoated, thus prone to flare. As below:
Woodroof Creek meets the sea, Andrew D. Barron©4/26/12
The above scan was from the lab I sent the film to for processing. Tonight I scanned the negative again and used ColorPerfect to invert and adjust. What do you think?
Woodroof Creek meets the sea, Andrew D. Barron©4/26/12 [Hasselblad 500c/m, 50mm ƒ4, Ektar 100]
The next frame shows more flare of the Distagon 50 ƒ4. I apparently opened up the lens and reduced the exposure time. Splendid!
Woodroof Creek meets the sea, Andrew D. Barron©4/26/12 [Hasselblad 500c/m, 50mm ƒ4, Ektar 100]

The Zeiss Planar 80mm has a Bayonet 50 in the front; newer 80mm lenses have a Bayonet 60. In searching, a Bayonet 50-to-threaded adapter is an economical route for filter attachments on the main lens of the Hassy. I went with a 58mm adapter to steer clear of any possible vignetting, though the 52mm adapter would likely work. Now that a standard filter size is on the front, I can try some filters: red, yellow, ND, graduated ND, circular polarizer, or even some close up filters. That means that I am finally ready to get going with my own black and white film processing.

Here is a Leica lens with a press on adapter for 42mm Kodak series VI slip in filters, and the Zeiss Planar 80mm fitted with a 58mm polarizer and UV filter I got at Walmart last year.
Obsolete filter attachments, Andrew D. Barron©12/29/12 [645 PRO for 4S]

Home Developing
Home developing kit, Andrew D. Barron©12/29/12 [645 PRO for 4S]
Fuji Reala into A12 back, Andrew D. Barron©12/28/12 [645 PRO for 4S]
There are only a handful of labs that do b+w processing and they are out-lab services in the $10/roll range. Ouch! In order to shoot black and white economically, one has to process their own film. My tanks and powdered chemicals are sitting here all together for the first time. I dug back into Ansel Adams: The Negative. I am immediately overwhelmed by the life-long experience packed into those books. He carried with him intimate knowledge of the entire photographic process, from visualization, to camera, to film, to exposure, to film processing, to which kind of paper to print it on. It is truly humbling. Right now, I have only one type of developer, D76 (@ Freestyle). I have heard good things about HC110 and Rodinal-equivalent as well. I must remind myself here that this pursuit takes a good deal more time than grabbing up the latest DSLR and running around.

Loading the A12 Back
I learned that I didn’t know how to load the A12 back properly. This video straightened me out as well as explain my many 10.5 frame rolls. There is a mark on the film that shows you where to go. Unfortunately, as I went to load the Reala tonight (Friday), I noticed the seals were wacky on the top part of the dark slide insert. So, I added a seal kit to my list of things for this set up. At $13.50 shipped from California, it was a no-brainer. This ebay seller appears to specialize in these kits. Amazingly, it may arrive on Monday. Here are the instructions I will review when the seals arrive.

Macro Work

I am interested in extension tubes for the Hassy, a good way to go for macro work with the Zeiss lenses. They range from 16 to 55mm and are more than $50 each. ebay contents. This flickr image shows an 32mm extension tube in use. Here is his set using them. You can read in the manual for the Hasselblad extention tubes in this scan (pdf).

Some love for the Fuji Instax 210
With the short days, some change in my pocket, and very little time spent out playing music, my core interests have returned to photography. To wit, I am totally lusting over this silver Fuji Instax 210 Wedding edition, at right.

I may just risk it and order one from Holgadget and tell you all how it went. There are also a few bordered Instax Wide film available overseas. Hello Kitty, wedding, and some other cartoon ones. The border does little for me. I would really like some solid colored ones, akin to the the Impossible NIGO varieties. But what everyone needs for their Instax 210 is the clear case. How do you get one in the US?

Darkroom printing/other thoughts
One far off goal is to make black and white 8x10 and larger prints from 120 roll film negatives. Perhaps a large format camera will find it’s way to me, but there is no way I can do that until I figure out all of the processing and scanning aspects. One thing is clear: it is unlikely I will make color enlargements. The learning curve is steep, the knowledge base rare, and the materials rising in price. I will still shoot color film and look for satisfactory printing from scans of them. Just as soon as I figure out how to shoot, process, and scan them :)

This shot was so badly messed up on the negative I could not figure it out. This is a first cut at saving it. Some of the problems with this roll were due to the light leaks in the A12 back that I just now figured out.
Agness poppies, Andrew D. Barron©5/25/12 [Hasselblad 500c/m, 80mm ƒ2.8, Portra 400]
This is another “light leak a-coming” shot from last weekend.
Bikes in the snow, Andrew D. Barron©12/22/12 [Hasselblad 500c/m, 50mm ƒ4, Portra 400]
This is a shot from the mine tour. The hardest part, over and over with these negatives is making the sky look natural.
Miner’s Quarters, Pershing county, Andrew D. Barron©12/21/12 [Hasselblad 500c/m, 50mm ƒ4, Portra 400]

I’m only halfway home, I’ve gotta journey on
To where I’ll find, I’ll find the things I have lost.
I’ve come a long, long road, but still I’ve got some miles to go.
I’ve got a wide, a wide river to cross.

Buddy Miller
Wide River To Cross

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