As rather an impulse buy I thought I would re-enter the medium format world that I remember vividly from my teens. Working with film seemed so familiar and natural. After looking at a bewildering variety of Hasselblads on Ebay I thought I would go up to the Camera Museum in Bloomsbury and look in the flesh. Or rather, I was passing by on the way back from a meeting and dropped in for a coffee in their nice, always quiet coffee shop then could not resist venturing into the little cupboard that is their shop. I went back on Saturday, after killing time in the London Review of Books and dished out on a Hasselblad of mixed vintage. As below:
This is a tricky camera to use. First, even with the modern bright screen it is not easy to focus and composing with horizontal horizons is also difficult. I had the fantasy that anything I took with this camera would be a masterpiece. Sweetly they gave me four free rolls of film and I was quick to get the first roll developed. I wanted to check that the camera worked properly for one thing. The body dated from the 1980s but the back – where the film lives – was much older, possibly from the 1960s.
Here’s two of the 12 frames I took, developed by Rapid Eye in Leonard Street just around the corner from here and scanned by them.
There is obvious light leak apparent in the first picture. And there is more on other pictures – though none apparent on the picture of two friends. A search on Google reveals that these leaks are not unusual on aged Hasselblads. Some say that they routinely replace the light seals whenever they buy a film back. So sadly I will be returning to the Camera Museum to get a repair – under their useful six month warranty. this might not have been so easy had I bought on Ebay – mind you it seems cheap and easy to fit these yourself – as someone at Rapid eye told me. Annoying all the same. You wonder why the camera shop did not do this routinely.
Here’s a nice and short video of someone trying out the same camera – and also walked some of the same route that I took by the Thames. There is even my bridge Southwark in all its green glory in the background. His pictures are so much more interesting than mine.
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