Tag Archives: 120 film

Film Wedding Photographer UK

Best Film Cameras For Wedding Photos

As you may know I am a UK portrait photographer photographing mostly models but also weddings. I offer my services as a film wedding photographer both in the UK and overseas. Here I cover all the film cameras I have used at weddings over the last 10 years and my favourites.

Film cameras for wedding photography

I’ve used lots of different analogue cameras at weddings over the last 10 years or so I give my pros and cons of each mentioned camera together with a few lens tips.

Wedding Selfie

Wedding film photography in 2022

Film photography has made a huge come back over the last few years. I was an early adopter when film started to make a resurgence so was lucky to be able to pick up quite a few film cameras at lower prices than they are today. Leica, Hasselblad and others. The fact that people are still booking me for weddings in 2022 and asking for film photography or a mix of film and digital is the reason I write this post.

If you have only ever shot with digital cameras but like the idea of film you might not know the best film cameras for wedding photography specifically. Lots of sample photos coming up from some of the film cameras i’ve used for wedding photography bookings.

Hasselblad Wedding Photography
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35mm wedding photography

35mm film is what many people think of when it comes to film photography. If you’re new to film 35mm gives you normally 36-38 exposures per roll and the cameras tend to be smaller, faster and often better in low light. This makes them better for fast paced wedding photography and the entry cost can be much lower than for medium format film cameras. Let’s look at a few examples.

Leica wedding photographer UK

If you follow this blog as the name suggests I specialise in Leica cameras. This is particularly true for digital cameras but I use Leica film cameras too. Leica wedding photography is almost a niche in itself as the brand often attracts those looking for photographers with a camera brand they know of or often they appreciate Leica as use the cameras themselves. Off topic for this article but I currently use a Leica SL, Leica M240 and Leica CL digital bodies with various Leica M mount lenses.

My most used Leica film cameras for weddings are the Leica M3 and Leica M4-P. Here are some sample photos and I will cover the pros and cons of each model further down.

Leica M3 weddings

Click any photo to view full res and to see the camera, lens and film information. *Most photos in this post were taken between 2014-2019 so quality will vary.

Agfa Vista Leica Wedding
Leica M3 Wedding Style
Leica M3 Wedding
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Leica Film Wedding Photography
Analogue Leica Wedding
Leica Wedding - Leica M3!
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Leica Film Wedding Photography
Black and White Bridal Shoot

Leica M4-P wedding

I tend to use a pair of Leica M4-P cameras instead of M3’s if using off camera lighting. See my Godox light posts for more info.

Leica Glow - Wedding Photography
B&W Film Leica Wedding
Leica Wedding - Leica M4-P
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Nikon film camera weddings

Prior to discovering Leica I used to shoot with Nikon cameras. This means I had some of the best Nikkor glass left from using digital cameras like the Nikon D800. Once I discovered film I bought various Nikon film cameras to try out for wedding photography too. SLR cameras are better than rangefinder cameras such as Leica if using long lenses. Some of the photos below are shot with the Nikkor 180mm f2.8 lens so that gives a different look to shorter focal lengths on the Leica bodies. Often 28mm to 50mm.

B&W Film Wedding
Analogue Wedding Photographer (1)
Analogue Wedding Photographer (2)
Analogue Wedding Photographer (3)
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Analogue Wedding Photography
Kodak Portra 400 Wedding

Best 35mm film camera for weddings

So the big question is what is the best 35mm film camera for wedding photography? I can only answer for the film cameras I have used. In good hands you can probably use any camera and get nice photos. The key I think is first make sure the camera is film tested and then pick a camera that is fast to use. Weddings don’t wait for us photographers so if you’re not quick the moment is gone. Here are a few 35mm film camera I have used together with more info.

Leica M2

The Leica M2 would be my first choice if shooting 28mm or 35mm lenses at a bright available light only wedding. Beautiful camera but less useful when trying to trigger off camera flash as have a cold shoe not hotshoe. My lens of choice for a small setup would be the Voigtlander Ultron 35mm f2.

Leica M2 Wedding
Leica M3

As a 50mm shooter I love the Leica M3. To me it is once of the best film cameras ever made. Pair the lens with a fast 50mm lens such as the Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH and for available light photography this is a very rewarding combination. I used to use a pair of Leica M3 film cameras for weddings.

Leica Film Wedding Photography
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Leica M4-P

UK weddings can often be low light affairs so the M2 and M3 are not always the best choices. I bought a pair of Leica M4-P cameras specifically for weddings to use with off camera flash. The M4-P like the Leica M6 have a hotshoe so I can use my standard Godox trigger to fire my strobes such as the Godox AD200. (The Leica M2 and M3 have cold shoes so you can’t use modern flash triggers as easily).

Leica M6

The Leica M6 is perhaps the most popular Leica M film camera. The advantage of the Leica M6 is it has a built in light meter. I am used to copying my exposure settings from the digital cameras to the film cameras so I tend not to need a light meter.

Leica M6 Wedding
Nikon FM

One of my first film cameras was the Nikon FM SLR camera. I think it cost £100 with a 50mm lens. SLR cameras are tough and often great value. Pair them with a nice lens and you now have a cheap wedding film camera. SLR cameras don’t suffer from the rangefinder calibration issues of Leica M cameras and you can sync flash at a much faster shutter speed to help freeze motion.

Colour Film Wedding Photography
Nikon FE2

The Nikon FE2 was an upgrade to my Nikon FM offering more features and a really nice needle dial light meter. I enjoy these older Nikon SLR camera if using small manual focus lenses especially. The Nikon FM2 is also great.

Nikon FE2 Wedding
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Nikon F4

As I started to use autofocus lenses I wanted a film camera that offered me autofocus too. My first choice was the solid Nikon F4 which takes 4 AA batteries. Autofocus at weddings can be useful and some people rely on it. I found I missed some photos because the camera couldn’t hit focus fast enough.

Nikon F4 Bridal Shoot
Nikon F5

The Nikon F5 was my upgrade to the Nikon F4. A pro level do everything except wash the dishes film camera and with faster autofocus. It takes 8 AA batteries so it quite a unit once you have a lens attached. I enjoyed the Nikon F5 for a few years and it’s still perhaps my best choice when using long telephoto lenses.

Film Wedding Photography
Hasselblad XPan

A camera that needs no introduction to many! I persuaded myself that the Hasselblad XPan was the ultimate camera for weddings for that cinematic wide look shot. I got the camera and it is amazing but I found the pano crop rarely ideal for wedding photography.

Hasselblad XPan Wedding!

Medium format film wedding photography

When you think you want to upgrade from 35mm film the next stop is medium format film. Inspired by the early Flickr photographers sharing their work I wanted to offer medium format film wedding photography to my clients.

Hasselblad 500CM + Acute-Matte D Split Screen
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Hasselblad wedding photography UK

I’ve used Hasselblad cameras the most for medium format film weddings so here are a few samples. Photos are shot with either Hasselblad 500CM (2 of) or a newer Hasselblad 501C. I have to thank Victor who introduced me to Hasselblad by paying for his wedding in cameras and lenses! He gave me the 501C as part of the wedding arrangement. In terms of lenses I built up quite a collection to use; 50mm, 60mm, 80mm, 100mm, 120mm, 150mm, 180mm. Each have there role.

Hasselblad Wedding Photography
Hasselblad Wedding
Hasselblad Wedding
Hasselblad Film Wedding Photography
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Hasselblad Wedding
Hasselblad Film Wedding Photography
Hasselblad Wedding
Hasselblad Wedding
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Kodak Portra 400 Wedding

Best medium format film camera for weddings?

So if you want to dive into the world of medium format what is the best medium format film camera for wedding photography? The most common answer is probably the famous Contax 645 film camera. That was my first choice and purchase after seeing the amazing results achieved by others.

VW Camper Wedding

Contax 645

The best feature of the Contax 645 film camera is perhaps it’s Zeiss Planar 80mm f2 kit lens. Sharp enough wide open this combination offers dreamy looking wedding photos. It seems to be the film camera of choice for wedding photographers in the California region in particular. Great light coupled with a capable camera / photographer results in some of the best film wedding photography photos on the internet in my opinion. Sadly my Contax developed an electrical fault so once it was repaired I sold it.

Wedding Film Photography
Mamiya 645 Super

A cheaper option for those not willing to pay the high price tag of the Contax 645 is the Mamiya 645 camera. There are multiple versions but the Mamiya 645 Super is manual focus whereas the Contax is autofocus. The fastest lens for the Mamiya 645 cameras is the Mamiya Sekor 80mm f1.9 lens. Example photo below.

Mamiya 645 Wedding
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Hasselblad H2

If you are looking for autofocus and a 645 format film camera there is also the Hasselblad H series cameras. I used to use the Hasselblad H3D-31 and now I use the Hasselblad H2. The kit lens is the HC 80mm f2.8 so one stop slower than the above mentioned cameras. That said it is a beautiful camera and it is one I still use in 2022 for weddings over others listed here.

Hasselblad Wedding
Fuji GA656

The GA645 point and shoot film camera is not ideal for weddings. It is loud so trying to take a stealthy photo at the church is impossible. The lens is excellent but the autofocus is too slow for weddings. I only used it at one wedding.

Fuji GA 645 - Testing
Fuji GS645

The Fuji GS645 is a manual focus quieter version of the GA645 (similar). Being a folding camera I thought the small size would be good to carry at weddings but the photos lacked the wow factor. Being a rangefinder camera you can’t get close enough to the action to create a shallow depth of field so photos looks more ordinary. Again a great Fujinon lens but not my choice for weddings if you like bokeh shots.

645 Wedding Film Photography
Mamiya 6

The Mamiya 6 is 6×6 film format rather than 645 for those mentioned above. Being a full manual rangefinder camera and with a leaf shutter lens it is one of the fastest medium format film cameras I have to use. Not great for bokeh shots using the kit lens but great with off camera flash. 3 lenses available – 50mm, 75mm, 150mm.

Mamiya 6 Wedding
Hasselblad 501C

If you like square film format the Hasselblad V series cameras are a popular choice. I have multiple bodies and backs so I have backups for wedding days. Personally I prefer the Hasselblad if using available light for group shots as I can set the camera up on a tripod. For faster action shots I find the Mamiya 6 better as I can focus quicker. Hasselblad lenses can be big an heavy so a full kit is not a small setup. Being a modular camera I preload film backs ahead of the group photos so I can swap out without delaying the day. One advantage over the Mamiya 6 camera.

Hasselblad Wedding
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Fuji GF670

Trying to be the best film wedding photographer I could be I bought the Fuji GF670 camera. Extremely sharp lens. I only used it for a few weddings as I decided it was too fragile for such work. Being a bellows camera it is weaker than say the Mamiya 6. The Fuji GF670 is the quietest film camera i’ve used and it offers you both 6×6 and 6×7 film with the flick of a switch.

Coventry Wedding Photographer - Film
Mamiya RZ67 Pro II

If you want a gym workout at the same time as photographing a wedding you might love the Mamiya RZ67 Pro II camera. No doubt one of the nicest cameras to use with the big bright viewfinder and fantastic for close up portraits using the bellows focusing. Better than the Hasselblad for firing off camera flash and gives the same benefit of interchangeable film backs. As the name suggests the RXZ67 is a 6×7 format film camera but I use mine with 6×6 film backs too. I shot some weddings using a Fuji Polaroid style back but that is before the Fuji FP peel apart films were discontinued.

Mamiya RZ Wedding Photography
Mamiya 7

If you like the 6×7 film format for maximum negative size and detail captured the Mamiya 7 might be for you. More rugged than the Fuji GF670 and with interchangeable lenses, the rangefinder camera is fast to use. I used mine for two weddings I think but I can’t seem to find any example images to share. (I will add one later when I find one). My preference is 6×6 film format so went back to square format cameras.

Large format film wedding photography

If your feeling really confident as a film wedding photographer you could offer large format wedding photography. I have three 4×5 film cameras, Pacemaker Speedgraphic with Aero Ektar lens, Sinar F2 and an Intripid. I’ve almost used them at weddings a few times but something always crops up and I don’t take it. They would suit a slow paced wedding for a few key shots during down time or to be used by a second shooter so not to miss all the key photos.

My plan was to use mine with a Fuji Polaroid film back and Fuji FP-3000B black and white film. I bought 20 boxes of the Fuji film from Japan when it was discontinued but then life past by and the one wedding that really wanted this option was postponed for two years due to Covid.

Large Format Wedding
4x5 Wedding Photography
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Best film camera for wedding photography

So in summary what is the best film camera for wedding photography in 2022 and what do I use? Of my mentioned cameras (I know there are many great cameras not listed, especially 35mm), I use different cameras depending on the situation. I’ve stopped using Nikon film cameras as I find Leica rangefinder cameras faster to use. My preference is the Leica M2 and Leica M3 if a sunny outdoor wedding. I use the Leica M4-P if less light or indoor and I’m using off camera flash. I don’t always use 35mm film cameras for weddings (sometimes it’s medium format film only) but they do suit fasted paced wedding days. Best lens is the mentioned Leica Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH.

With all that said, on a bright day i’m very keen to use Leica R lenses on perhaps my Leica R6 SLR film camera. In particular I want to make use of the fantastic Leica Vario-Elmar-R 35-70mm f4 as it one of my best performers.

For medium format I use Hasselblad 500 series cameras if a bright day and the Mamiya 6 if I want to shot 6×6 with strobes. The Hasselblad H2 is faster to use than the Hasselblad 500 cameras with my eyesight so I normally have that with me for non-group photos.

Contax 645 Wedding :)

Best film for wedding photography

If you ask wedding photographers what is the best film for wedding photography the two most popular answers are probably Kodak Portra 400 and Fuji Pro 400H. Fuji gives richer greens and blue tones so would be my choice in that setting. Both can be over exposed a lot and you still get great images. Fuji actually looks better slightly over exposed and is the popular look I mentioned in California.

For black and white film weddings I use Ilford XP2 Super. Why? It is a C-41 B&W film and I lab develop my film for wedding clients to be safe. C41 films are cheaper to lab process and XP2 Super 400 gives very fine detail and is great for scanning. Ilford Delta 3200 can be amazing for very low light and I like the fine grain of Kodak T-Max films too.

Hasselblad Wedding Photography

Black and white film wedding photography

Black and white wedding photography is my preference as I shoot B&W for most of my personal work. I offer the incentive of a 20% discount if couples opt to have all the digital photos in B&W. I think for 35mm film especially B&W film looks better as the grain adds to the image for me. On a grey day such as in the UK black and white definitely wins. If you have sun and a nice blue sky there is a strong argument to shoot some colour film too.

Bridal Photography on Film
Wedding Film Photography
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Bridal Photography on Film (2)

Bridal photography on film

As I work with a lot of models, sometimes it is nice to do a bridal themed shoot to show what could be possible on a wedding day. Without the time pressures of a wedding day and working with someone that enjoys having photos, it can be very rewarding.

Nikkor 50mm f1.2 Portrait
Leica M3 + Leica Summicron 75mm APO
35mm Wedding Photography
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Wedding photography and film packages

I offer three price options for digital Leica wedding photography. For film photography I offer it as an extra at close to cost price to benefit the wedding couples. See all my wedding photography prices here.

Camera lens tips for different wedding photos

Group photos on wedding day

When taking family group shots at weddings a normal length lens often works well. 35mm – 50mm for example if you have space to fit everyone it. Anything wider than 35mm can distort the people standing at the edges and longer lenses give a limited depth of field so it’s easy to mis-focus the eyes. The deeper the group of people the more you need to stop the lens down to ensure eyes are sharp from front to back. Medium format cameras have a more shallow DOF verses 35mm cameras so even at f8 you might have soft focus on the eyes of some guests if they are too far from the plane of focus.

Film Wedding Photographer UK
Wedding veil shots

For me a wedding veil helps to improves the look of the wedding photos as it is nice for posing and can look very elegant. Fast lenses can help create a nice shallow depth of field for head shot portraits and hiding part of the face can often look very attractive I think.

Hasselblad Wedding
The wedding dress

Having a bride that selects a wedding dress that works with her figure really helps when it comes to nice wedding photos. After helping style female models for over 10 years I probably notice this more than most. You can use a macro lens for detail shots or most lenses to capture the dress as a whole.

Wedding Dress Photo
Beautiful wedding venues

Don’t under estimate the impact of a nice wedding venue on your final wedding photos. A stunning location can transform the photos for the better if used creatively. I enjoy using wider lenses to capture more of the backdrop in these situations. If it’s a non-photogenic wedding location perhaps crop in closer to focus more on the bride and groom and or shoot up to omit unsightly distractions.

Hasselblad Wedding - 60mm Distagon
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Amazing wedding cakes

It’s always nice to carry a macro lens or a lens that focuses closer to capture wedding cake pictures and especially the finer details.

Film Wedding Photography
Brides bouquet and wedding flowers

Wedding flowers always make for beautiful wedding photos. Wedding bouquets can be used for posed shots and don’t forget the grooms button hole too. Again a macro lens can be useful as seen here for close ups and fast aperture lenses for shallow DOF dreamy looking photos.

Kodak Ektar Film Wedding
Full body wedding photos

Longer lenses often give a more flattering look for full body shots. Telephoto lenses help compress the background and give minimal distortion. You can get dramatic shots with wide lenses too so it can be personal preference.

Nikkor 50mm f1.2 Portrait

That’s my 2p worth. I hope you found it useful!

If you enjoyed this article you can now Follow me so not to miss future posts! Check out YouTube for future videos and to support the blog please consider Patreon.

Thanks Matt

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Digital Leica Wedding Photography

Best Medium Format Film Camera? (645 Format)

Large Format Cameras

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Tenerife Photoshoot – 2018

Tenerife Photoshoot (Polish Model) 2018

Photoshoot Blog Diary (Written May, 2018)

Blog Diary

My first model photography trip to Tenerife was in September 2017 which was just me and Lindsay. I then went again in January 2018 in a small group. After the first two trips I felt the photos were generally better when I worked 1-2-1 with one model and when we were both solely focused on making good pictures without other distractions. 

This Tenerife photoshoot would again be 1-2-1 and this time with Polish model Aneta. We are both very results driven and hard working so I expected non-stop photos for the full 3 days. Writing this blog on the flight home this was an understatement ha. Aneta’s wish list and supply of clothes was endless and even using almost every hour of daylight each day we still probably needed at least 1-2 more days to complete all we wanted to do. 

Rather than split this into three days and say what we did each day I will just talk more about the cameras (as the days blurred together).

New Blog - Tenerife Photoshoot (Leica M3)
Leica M3
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*Click images to view full res and see camera/ lens/ film/ developing details

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Camera Gear List

Film stocks for the trip

  • 35mm Kodak Vision 3 50D 
  • 35mm Kodak Vision 3 500T
  • 120 Fomapan 100
  • 120 Ilford HP5 400
  • 120 Fuji Neopan Acros 100
  • 120 Kodak Portra 160 
  • 120 Kodak Ektar 100
Nokton 35mm 1.4 Portrait
Leica M3

Medium format cameras

As you may have spotted from my camera bag list above I brought a lot (and that was after weeks of trying to decide what to take).  For this trip I wanted to focus more on medium format film and just have one 35mm camera for fun photos (or fast snaps or as a colour alternative if the 6×6 cameras were shooting black and white film.

Hasselblad SWC-M

I expected to use the Mamiya 6 camera the most and Hasselblad SWC-M the least.  The opposite was in fact true and I used the SWC-M the most.  The Hasselblad 500CM was somewhere in between.  I’m not sure the results will be any good using the SWC-M but I got a great workflow going and just loved the size of the camera and point and shoot (almost) approach.  My method was to measure the distance with a Leica camera rangefinder then read the distance off the Leica lens then dial it in on the SWC-M lens, copy the exposure setting, compose and click. 

Hasselblad SWC/M Portrait
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Hasselblad SWC Fashion
Hasselblad SWC /M Camera

I took the Hasselblad SWC-M instead of a 4×5 film camera believe it or not but it didn’t pan out like that. I planned to shoot carefully composed images on a tripod but it was 99% handheld rushed photos, trying to catch a nice pose before Aneta moved. I found my eyes were naturally seeing wider scenes than the Mamiya 6 75mm lens or Hasselblad 500CM 60mm lens could capture.  I don’t think the wide lens necessarily suited every image I shot but I’m really excited to see the results.  The fixed 38mm f4.5 Zeiss Biogon lens (35mm 21mm equivalent) is extremely well regarded yet I’ve not used the camera as much as I had hoped. Maybe I will going forward now I’ve got my own method of using the camera. Fingers crossed!

The 4×5 Camera Effect

One thing I really noticed in Tenerife this time but also at home is after buying the Intrepid 4×5 camera and viewing a lot of 4×5 film images on Instagram, I find I want to shoot nice light on pretty much any subject. Most often buildings. When Aneta was getting changed I often found myself photographing the hotel – the corridor, the outside of the hotel, off the balcony and even a half cooked approached at long exposure night photography. 

Hasselblad SWC/M
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Hasselblad SWC-M Architecture

The Hasselblad SWC-M and a 4×5 view camera are obviously very different beasts but the SWC-M feels like my new pocket 4×5 camera somehow (you would need a big pocket but vs. a 4×5 camera and tripod the SWC handheld is quick and easy and portable and yet hopefully still captures quite nice photos for those landscape or building shots.  I will certainly pack the SWC-M as my first medium format camera for future overseas photoshoots and next time I will try to make time to take more non-model photos with it.

Hasselblad SWC /M
Hasselblad SWC 38mm Biogon

Taking a few location shots this trip was better than I normally do and also it provides a nice visual memory of the location I was at rather than a sequence of model faces that could have been shot anywhere (sometimes).  So I guess the bad news for people that follow me for the nice girls is more non-girls photos to come this year but for anyone that appreciates general photography hopefully I will capture a few nice scenes.

Hasselblad A16 (645) Film back

What caught me out the most in Tenerife this time was juggling a 6×6 standard Hasselblad A12 film back with the crop 645 Hasselblad A16 back between the Hasselblad 500CM and SWC-M cameras. So many times I forgot I was using the 645 crop back and composed for the 6×6 square view I saw on the focus screen.  I think I will lose a few shots sadly with chopped off head and feet but hopefully not to many. (My fault for trying to work fast with 3-4 cameras at once). 

Hasselblad SWC-M Fashion
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Hasselblad SWC/M

The 645 back also gave problems where I wanted to shoot vertical crops so had the Hasselblad 500CM on it’s side using the WLF ‘cack-handed’ (feeling upside down and back to front while trying to compose). A 45 degree Hasselblad prism finder overcomes this but adds bulk and weight to the camera so I had to leave it in the UK.

Hasselblad A16 Film Back

I was using one Hasselblad back with 120 B&W film and the other film back with 120 colour film to start with but at one stage both backs were shooting black and white. I was using two different B&W film stocks so again I got myself confused and metered the wrong exposure for some photos. I shot all the colour 120 film I took and a lot of black and white too so hopefully I will get some nice ones even after all the errors I know about. 

Use a Hasselblad H camera instead for 645

*Update – I would now use my Hasselblad H2 for 645 format film portraits. Autofocus and much easier for vertical orientation portrait format.

Hasselblad 500CM

My Hasselblad 501c camera was out of action awaiting repair so I took a Hasselblad 500CM body instead. My 501c is my most modern Hasselblad V series camera but the older 500CM does exactly the same job. Having 2 film backs with your Hasselblad, whether different film formats (6×6 and 645) or 2 different film stocks loaded, gives it an advantage over the Mamiya 6.

I took the Hasselblad 500CM mostly to work in close  to the model (using the cross hair focus screen) but also a few shots from a distance with the split prism focus screen. I find neither screen works as well in reverse (for the mentioned styles of photography, for me). Ie. split prism screen up close I struggle with and cross hair screen from distance I can’t see to focus accurately. 

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Hasselblad Beauty
Hasselblad Portrait

Mamiya 6

For me, the Mamiya 6 camera is better than a Hasselblad to carry around all day as it is smaller and lighter, especially if fitted with the 75mm lens.  Being a rangefinder camera, the Mamiya 6 is also faster to focus and can be used at slower shutter speeds from my experience.  I prefer a Hasselblad for close up portraits but enjoy the Mamiya 6 for wider scene/ environmental portraits

Mamiya 6 + Fuji Acros
Mamiya 6 75mm Portrait
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120 Fuji Acros 100 Portrait
Fuji Acros 100
Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100
Mamiya 6 75mm lens
Mamiya 6 Fashion
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Mamiya 6 Portraits
Mamiya 6 Camera

I shot many rolls of 120 film in total which is good for recent times (and 4 rolls of 35mm film).  It was great to have a good model that I enjoyed shooting with to ‘invest’ in shooting 120 film with. I’m getting picky in my old age so it now needs to be deemed portfolio worthy in my eyes to shoot 120 film.  It is too expensive and time consuming to develop to shoot photos that I will never use. 

Leica M3

Originally, I planned to take two film Leica bodies but then realized I only have one pairs of hands so didn’t need to take even more cameras.  I wanted to shoot mostly 120 film and I only shoot film when I think a digital photo looks worthy of shooting on film.  (This can result in very few film images or it can result in lots of film photos like on this trip.  It depends on the model and the available light).  

As I shot most of the colour 120 film quite early into the trip I was glad to have 35mm colour film as a backup.  The Leica M3 was without doubt the fastest film camera to operate and is always a joy to use.  It has 50mm framelines but I shot a lot with wider lenses too (35mm mostly) and used an external viewfinder to focus (or just guessed).  Hopefully even if I screwed up a few 120 film shots I got others on 35mm film.  (By shooting the same outfit / location on 2 different film cameras it gives some protection from accidental errors).

Kodak Vision3 50D Portrait
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Summilux 50mm f1.4 ASPH
Leica M3 Colour Film Portrait (2018)
Leica M3 Portrait (2018)
Summilux 50mm Film Portrait

Leica M240

The digital Leica M240 was my primary camera for Tenerife.  I packed a few different Leica M lenses as they are all relatively small and gave me options for different styles of photos.  The most used lens was the 35mm Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4 I think so I must of being seeing the world as a wider scene. I did use the 90mm Macro-Elmer more on the last day too. 

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Leica M240 Fashion
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4
Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.4 Flare
Leica M3

No Flash / Available Light Only 

For once I packing no additional lighting at all. Not even a single speedlight.  I didn’t even use a reflector (not once). (That is probably why I had the extra luggage capacity to take so many cameras!). The weather was not blue sky sunshine much of the time and we even had a little rain one day but I enjoyed working just with available light and it was bright most of the time.  I think these Tenerife photos may have a slightly different look to my norm as I normally use a lot of lights in my photography. I enjoyed the simplicity and speed of working with daylight and I think it makes you work a location harder when using exiting light rather than just making artificial light wherever you want it.  Both lighting scenarios have there pros and cons of course but for me different is interesting and fun. 

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Model

I have worked with Aneta a few times now after she first approached me via email. We work well together and she knows how I operate and I know she is there to get the results she needs.  Aneta did an amazing job bringing lots of nice clothes after weeks of me email her suggestions and photo ideas (plus her finding her own ideas too).  Aneta always looks good to me but she put in the additional physical training ahead of our shoot to look at her best for Tenerife.  That meant that pretty much every item of clothing looked good, very good or just made your eyeballs pop out on stalks!  I was so happy I made the choice to shoot higher resolution 120 medium format film as some images I think I will look back on forever.  Hopefully timeless classics and where only a few models I know could produce the same image. 

Aneta is very body confident and for some photos I need that confidence combined with the amazing physical form. Helmet Newton came to mind when I was shooting some of the photos. I’m not one of these photographers that lies near naked girls on a car bonnet or straddling a motorbike (I can’t think of anything cheaper looking) but like Helmut Newton, sometimes some nudity can look amazing and I think it celebrates the female form. I hope Aneta can look back on some of the photos when she is old and enjoy seeing herself at her physical peak. Equally I never saw myself shooting nudes or mostly nude photos a few years ago!  I just seem numb to it now so that might be why some of my Flickr or Instagram photos are racier than they once were. Hopefully still tasteful though. 

Location Shoot

Aneta and I did well in trying to use as many different backdrops as possible during the 3 days. A polar opposite to some of my past shoots in Poland where many girls were shot up against a white hotel wall (often due to rain outside and limited daylight).  Hopefully that will add to the interest and variety in the photos even with the same model.  My brain is a bit fried after 3 bust days but I think from memory the balcony shots might be the ones I am most likely to print. I want to start printing more of my work so I hope I got the results I needed. Coming soon.  

Next Time – What would I do differently?

If I think positive and the photos are as good as I saw through the film cameras, next time I won’t change my setup too much. I will leave the Mamiya 6 camera behind and the Zeiss 60mm lens and use the Two Hasselblad cameras both with A12 6×6 film backs. I would take the Leica Summarit-M 50mm f2.5 for the Leica M3 as I rarely shot the Summilux wide open at f1.4. The Summarit is a smaller lens and balances much nicer on a film Leica. Lastly I would take more colour film as I enjoyed shooting some colour for a change (I shoot mostly black and white film on grey days in the UK and in the studio).

Whatever the film photo results, thanks Aneta, I think we both gave it our all and some of the digital photos we’ve taken looked amazing on the Leica M240 LCD.  Aneta pushed me by giving me scenarios she wanted me to photograph (that I may not have thought of) so I think I come away a stronger photographer (and I never stop learning using my various film cameras).

Film Developing Mistake

I was developing some of the 120 colour film late at night while multi-tasking and I got the chemicals and Paterson tanks mixed up. The times, temperatures and chemical mix were all wrong but I still got something. More of a lomography look. Luckily I had shot enough film that most negatives were not affected.

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Damaged Film
Hasselblad A16 Film Back
Hasselblad Double Exposure
Hasselblad SWC-M Portrait
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*Update – Does the camera really matter?

As I’ve now covered in some of my YouTube videos, the cameras matters much less than the subject/ scene and the light.  I can have the “best” / most expensive cameras and lenses but if I don’t like what is in front of the lens then I will never use the images (or possibly not even be inspired enough to take the photos).  Luckily, in 2018, Aneta approached me after finding me on Google as she wanted to get back into modelling.  She even paid for the nice apartment in Tenerife so that we could make the best photos we could.

Similar to the example I share in my video, I would say that most people (including myself – note to self!) would be better to spend £1000 as; £200-£400 on a camera + lens(es) + film and the rest on travel (flight and hotel) + a professional model, if that is your interest, rather than £1000 on a new camera or lens.  (Or on a model photography workshop if that is your interest)

Over that last 10 years I have been guilty of spending 90-95% of my budget on camera equipment and 5-10% on cheap travel.  I still enjoyed it but the nice cameras had less impact on the final photos than the models I recruited for the shoots.  For my next trip I might take the budget Nikon FG-20 + Nikkor 50mm f2 AI to try to prove this idea.

18+ Images from this trip

A body confident model in a hot country results in nude and semi-naked photos. I can’t share them here as I try to keep this a family-friendly-ish site but I do post them on Patreon. These photos are not supposed to be the main reason to join Patreon but it is nice to be able to share the images I make.

Need a Mentor? Join Patreon for support, tuition + more content!

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Hasselblad HC Lenses + Portraits + YouTube

Hasselblad HC Lenses + Sample Photos + YouTube Review

Hasselblad HC lens portraits using a Hasslblad H2 camera plus Hasselblad H film back (645). Comparing images from the 4 Hasselblad HC lenses I use and why I use each of them. (Including full res images as featured on YouTube).

Hasselblad / Tri-X Portrait

Best Hasselblad HC lens?

So in this post I share the four lenses I use for my Hasselblad H2 medium format film camera. The best Hasselblad HC lens depends on what you are photographing and how you like to work. I use a Hasselblad HC 50mm, 80mm 100mm and 120mm lens and each have their strength.

Hasselblad H wide lens

The standard Hasselblad HC 80 kit lens is great but it is not wide enough to use for my film wedding photography. I wanted a Hasselblad H wide lens to capture both the subjects in the photo and also the fun happening around them. This is especially important for indoor photography when a wider lens is needed for tighter spaces. In portrait terms I wanted to create wider environmental portraits vs standard portraits of 1 to 2 people with the 80mm lens.

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Hasselblad HC 50mm f3.5 lens

After enjoying using my Zeiss Distagon 50mm lens on the Hasselblad H2 in Portugal (via an adapter) I got on eBay when I got home. An auction was ending one lunch time with seemingly few bidders and a low price point. I bid slightly higher just in case to test my luck and to my astonishment I won the auction! So I’m now the lucky owner of an autofocus Hasselblad HC 50mm f4 lens in mint condition which will be perfect for Hasselblad wedding photography especially. Fast and accurate focusing for my moving subjects. Very pleased!

Portraits with Hasselblad HC 50mm f3.5

Hasselblad 645 Portrait - H2
Hasselblad H2 Fashion
Hasselblad 50mm Portrait
Hasselblad 50mm Portrait
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Hasselblad H kit lens / Smallest Hasselblad HC lens!

The standard Hasselblad H kit lens is the trusty Hasselblad HC 80mm f2.8 glass. For many camera systems a kit lens is “average” at best but in this instance the 80mm lens is a great performer.

Hasselblad HC 80mm f2.8 lens

The biggest advantages of the Hasselblad HC 80mm f2.8 lens is the small size. The 80mm HC is the smallest lens available for the Hasselblad H system / series cameras. It makes the H2 setup almost portable and this is my preferred one lens setup for overseas travel if I need to pack as light as possible. The 80mm is a good all rounder but doesn’t offer any special look. It isn’t wide, it isn’t fast glass and it isn’t a macro lens, it’s just normal. I guess that’s why they call the 50mm equivalent focal length (in 35mm terms) a normal lens. Great performer for anyone looking for a Hasselblad H one lens setup.

Portraits with Hasselblad HC 80mm f2.8

Digital camera that shoots film?
Hasselblad H3D Film
Hasselblad H3D-31 Film
Hasselblad H3D-31 Film
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Hasselblad H macro lens / portrait lens

One feature of standard kit lenses is they normally can’t focus very close to a subject for detail photos. As an ex-macro photographer (before turning to portraits and weddings) I still appreciate the finer details. For this reason I think is it always nice to have a macro lens available for wedding photos. Many macro lenses also double as a great portrait lens which is helpful.

Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 macro lens

The best tool for this job for a Hasselblad H camera is the Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 macro lens. As the name suggests it offers macro photography but with a 120mm focal length it can be perfect for portraits too. Macro lenses are also crazy sharp (for any camera system) so they are a good lens to use if you enjoy high resolution images.

The seller that listed the Hasselblad 50mm lens also had a Hasselblad 120mm f4 macro lens for sale. The auction finished shortly after the 50mm lens mentioned above so I was able to bid on both items. Again I went in with a late and low yet slightly higher bid and won that lens too! I couldn’t believe it! What a crazy day that was. Two new Hasselblad HC lenses ready for my analogue wedding photography booking the following weekend. (Sadly the COVID-19 virus then swept the world so all the 2020 wedding bookings were pushed back to later dates. No Hasselblad H2 wedding photos yet but hopefully soon).

Hasselblad V to H lens adapter

The Zeiss 120mm f4 macro lens is also a real favourite of mine on the Hasselblad 500 system. I have shot many 6×6 portraits with the Zeiss 120mm f4 CF lens on Hasselblad 501c and Hasselblad 500cm cameras.

The Hasselblad V to H lens adapter let me use the Zeiss Macro-Planar 120mm f4 CF lens on my Hasselblad H3D-31 camera too. Check out the Hasselblad H3D-31 review for example photos. It was that setup that lead to me buying the autofocus Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 macro lens!

Portraits with Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 macro

Hasselblad HC 120mm Macro Portrait
Hasselblad 120mm Macro
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Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 Portrait
Hasselblad HC 120 Portrait
Hasselblad H2 Film Back
Hasselblad HC 120 Portrait lens
Hasselblad HC 120mm Portrait
Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 Macro Portrait
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Hasselblad fast lens / dreamy bokeh lens

Dreamy bokeh is a look many photographers enjoy but as a portrait and wedding photographer this is even more important. I use fast lenses on the Leica cameras such as the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1 but sadly it is less easy for medium format cameras. Unlike 35mm camera lenses where there are f1.0 lenses, f1.2, f1.4 and so on most medium format camera lenses start at f2.8. There are some exceptions including the Mamiya 645 80mm f1.9, the amazing Contax 645 Zeiss Planar 80mm f2 or the Pentax 67 105mm f2.4 lens.

Mamiya Sekor 80mm f1.9

The Mamiya 80mm f1.9 lens gives a nice shallow depth of field to portraits but as a manual focus lens it is easy to miss focus. I use mostly manual focus cameras and lenses and the Mamiya 645 misses more than average for me. When it nails a shot it is beautiful but I wanted an autofocus lens to have a much higher hit rate.

Mamiya 645 Super Portrait
Mamiya 645 + Mamiya Sekor 80mm f1.9 lens

Contax 645 Zeiss Planar 80mm f2

The autofocus Zeiss Planar 80mm f2 lens is amazing and it give a look like no other for dreamy portraits. Sadly I sold my Contax 645 some years ago and now the prices are so high I wouldn’t want to buy another. The SLR style autofocus camera appealed to me for wedding photography and I lusted after a lens like the 80mm Planar.

Stacy with Contax 645
The Dancer - Rodinal Stand Development
Zsaklin with Contax 645
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Hasselblad HC 100mm f2.2 lens

I think I just found my dream lens! The Hasselblad HC 100mm f2.2 lens offers a look comparable to the Contax 80mm f2 lens but mounts on my H2. Like the Contax lens the 100mm HC Hasselblad lens is compact and fast. It will be the ideal lens for the Hasselblad H2 camera to create the Contax 645 look. I feel the shallow depth of field really suits wedding photography and this is the best lens in the Hasselblad line up for the task.

Used Hasselblad HC lenses on eBay

Ebay strikes again! After doing my research and due diligence I had been watching a Hasselblad 100mm f2.2 lens on eBay. More as a bookmark than anything else to be honest. The price of this lens is more the the 50mm and 120mm lenses so I didn’t really want to spend the money. After forgetting I had even looked at this lens one day I received an eBay. Hasselblad 100mm f2.2 lens – 25% off one day offer from seller! My eyes need popped out my head. That made the lens now almost too to good an opportunity to miss. If it makes the unique analogue wedding photography images I was lusting after it was priceless. Done and with a wedding booking a just a week away it was perfect timing! (I’m all set now for after the Coronavirus lockdown anyway!).

I enjoy offering different style of photos to the masses. Even though I don’t advertise my wedding photography other that listing it on my homepage I do really enjoy it. Yes wedding photography editing takes time but if the images are shot creatively it can be enjoyable post processing work. I guess compare it to editing photos of your favourite model or old car. If the photos look nice it is fun. If Hasselblad wedding photography images inspire me from using this 100mm lens I will be more likely to start chasing after wedding bookings. How good would it be to use this lens every month for a wedding!

Hasselblad H2 vs Contax 645 Selfie Test

When I had my Contax 645 camera I did a mirror selfie with the Zeiss 80mm f2 Planar lens. As a non-scientific comparison I decided to do a mirror selfie with the Hasselblad H2 and the 100mm f2.2 lens. Here are the results.

Hasselblad HC 100mm f2.2 Portrait
Hasselblad H2 + Hasselblad HC 100mm f2.2 lens
Contax 645 Selfie
Contax 645 + Zeiss 80mm f2 lens
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Portraits with Hasselblad HC 100mm f2.2

Hasselblad H2 100mm f2.2 Portrait
Hasselblad H2 100mm Portrait
Hasselblad 100mm Portrait
Hasselblad 100mm HC Bokeh
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YouTube: Hasselblad HC Lenses + Sample Photos

You may also like

Hasselblad H wedding photography

Here is a link to a wedding a shot with my Hasselblad H3D-31 with 31MP digital back. All photos were shot with the Hasselblad HC 80mm f2.8 kit lens – Hasselblad Wedding – Sarah & Cris.

Hasselblad H2 Review

Hasselblad H2 Review + YouTube Video

The Hasselblad H2 replaced my H3 which sadly died due to water damage. Here is a quick Hasselblad H2 review with sample photos + YouTube video. An amazing camera and reasonably affordable for a Hasselblad camera system.

YouTube: Hasselblad H2 Review!

What is a Hasselblad H2 camera?

The Hasselblad H2 was released in 2006 and followed the first Hasselblad H camera, the H1 announced four years earlier. The Hasselblad H system was the new camera design from Hasselblad and it replaced the classic 6×6 Hasselblad V series cameras (Hasselblad 500 system). Both the Hasselblad H1 and H2 cameras are basically the same with the H2 just having a firmware update. The H1 and H2 cameras are designed to take both digital backs and film backs and have more of an SLR camera design. At the time of the Hasselblad H2 release a film back is said to have cost $2000 and a digital back $20-30,000! Thankfully these cameras are now more affordable, reletively, in Hasselblad camera terms.

Hasselblad H2
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H Bodies: Hasselblad H3D-31 vs Hasselblad H2

You can see my reviews of my Hasselblad H3D-31 camera on the blog already so I won’t repeat myself too much. Using the Hasselblad H2 seems identical to using my H3D camera body. The only difference is on the H3D-31 I used a 31MP digital back and a film back. On the H2 I shoot only film now but I could buy a used digital back if I saw a need. Film is my preference so I’m loving the H2 as it is. It’s worth noting that I use the same Hasselblad HC 80mm lens and film back as I used on the H3D on the H2. The Hasselblad H prism viewfinder is the same model but replacement copy.

Hasselblad H3d-31 camera - with film back
My late Hasselblad H3D-31 camera with film back and 2 rolls of Ilford film

Hasselblad 500 vs Hasselblad H2

Common differences between a classic Hasselblad 500 series cameras and a Hasseblad H2:
  • Film format – Hasselblad 500 cameras give us the classic 6×6 square images. The Hasselblad H film back is 6×4.5 format (“645”).
  • Manual vs electronic – The 500 series cameras are fully manual but the Hasselblad H2 is electronic and battery operated/ battery dependant.
  • Lenses – Hasselblad 500 system camera lenses are made by Zeiss. Hasselblad H camera lenses are made by Fuji.
  • Lens focusing – The Zeiss lenses on Hasselblad 500 cameras are manual focus only. Hasselblad HC lenses as used on the H2 are autofocus lenses.
  • Lightmeter – The Hasselblad 500cm and similar cameras have no in camera lightmeter. The Hasselblad H2 has a built in Lightmeter.
  • Shutter speed – The maximum shutter speed on a Hasselblad 500 is 1/500. The Hasselblad HC 80 lens on a Hasselblad H2 has a maximum shutter speed of 1/800. Flash can sync at the maximum shutter speed on both cameras.
Similarities between a Hasselblad 500 series camera and the Hasselblad H2 are:
  • Modular design – Both the Hasselblad 500 cameras and the Hasselblad H cameras are modular camera designs. This means the camera lens, viewfinder and film back can all be removed and swapped out. This gives great flexibility for a professional photographer using multiple lenses and film backs. It also allows for upgrades as lenses from your existing cameras can be used on the latest camera body release. It also means you can use digital backs on your existing film cameras (*But please check first for compatibility).
  • Sharp lenses – Hasselblad HC lenses and the former Zeiss lenses used on Hasselblad 500 lenses are both stellar performers and offer amazing optics.
  • Expensive – All Hasselblad cameras are expensive when compared to some other film camera options. The Hasselblad H cameras have become cheaper so now the cost is more comparable to a Hasselblad 500 series.
  • High Quality – You do get what you pay for with Hasselblad. The image quality and functionality of Hasselblad cameras is exceptional (and a joy to use).
  • Leaf shutter lenses – Hasselblad camera lenses whether for the Hasselblad 500 (Zeiss) or for the H system (Fuji) are leaf shutter lenses with the shutter built into the lens body.
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Hasselblad H2 – On a shoot in Portugal

Hasselblad H2 photoshoot – Portugal

The Hasselblad H2 camera arrived to me just in time to take to Portugal for a model photography trip. Below are some photos shot with the Hasselblad H2 camera in Faro using two lenses. The Hasselblad HC 80mm f2.8 kit lens and the older Zeiss Distagon 50mm f4 CF lens from my Hasselblad 500 camera system. I also included a few portraits taken in the UK using the Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 macro lens. Click on any photo for more details.

Lens adapter – Hasselblad V to H adapter

Are you tempted by a more modern Hasselblad H camera but already own a Hasselblad 500 system (aka. “Hasselblad V series”) model? Good news! You can use the amazing Zeiss glass from the Hasselblad V camera on a H body via an adapter. The Hasselblad V to H adapter lets you mount Hasselblad Zeiss glass on your H body. You can use any of the Hasselblad V lens lineup whether the C version, CF or otherwise. I enjoy the Zeiss Distagon 50mm f4 lens on the Hasselblad H2 for a wider lens setup particularly.

Hasselblad H2 portraits

120 Lomography Potsdam 100 Portrait
Hasselblad HC80 Film Portrait
Hasselblad H2 Portrait
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Hasselblad H2 Portraits
Hasselblad H - V lens adapter
Hasselblad H2 Film Portrait
Hasselblad H2 50mm Portrait
Hasselblad HC 120mm Macro Portrait
Hasselblad HC 120mm Macro Portrait
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More Hasselblad H2 sample photos

Hasselblad H2 Test Shot
Hasselblad H2 + V Lens
Hasselblad HC 80mm f2.8 Photo

YouTube – Hasselblad H2 Review

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Hasselblad H2 review – Summary

I’m loving the Hasselblad H2 camera right now. It is giving me most of what I ask from a film camera. Sharp images shot wide open. Easy and fun to operate. Reliable results (which becomes less easy when working with older film cameras) and the ability to use existing camera lenses. The 645 film format is perfect for my portraits and I prefer this to 6×6 for my model photography. The H2 is a fantastic 645 format SLR style camera that is fast and intuitive to use. A real gem and I would say as good as or better than the very popular Contax 645.

Hasselblad H2 + Camera bag for the photoshoot

Hasselblad H2 wedding photography

For my analogue wedding photography bookings I can’t wait to treat the clients to some Hasselblad H2 film photos. I like to offer clients the best so I decided to invest in some new HC lenses for weddings (especially). I used to enjoy my Contax 645 wedding photography so here is a sample of what i’m talking about. The following photos were all captures with the Contax 80mm f2 Zeiss Planar lens. The lens I just got for the Hasselblad H2 should create the same look!

Contax 645 - For Sale!

Contax 645 wedding photography – as a reference

Wedding Film Photography
Bridal Photography on Film
Film Photography - Bridal Shoot
B&W Film Photography - Bridal Shoot
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Contax 645 Wedding Photography
Contax 645 Asian Wedding
Contax 645 B&W Wedding Photography
Contax 645 Wedding
Contax 645 Wedding :)
Wedding Film Photography
VW Camper Wedding
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Hasselblad HC lenses + Sample Photos

My Hasselblad HC lens review post will follow once I have some more example images to share using each lens.

Hasselblad HC 100mm f2.2 Portrait

Hasselblad Camera Specific Posts

Hasselblad H articles
More Hasselblad blog posts

Hasselblad 645 Photos (A16 Hasselblad 645 Back)(V vs H System 6×4.5 Film)

Hasselblad 645 Photos (A16 Hasselblad 645 Back)(V vs H System 6×4.5 Film)

Here I share some Hasselblad 645 photos using the less common A16 Hasselblad 645 back. (This provides a more economical alternative to the classic 6×6 Hasselblad A12 film back). I also discuss the option of Hasselblad V vs H system for Hasselblad 6×4.5 film images.

Fomapan 100 Classic Portrait

Hasselblad classic 6×6 film back (A12 back)

The standard film back for Hasselblad V series or Hasselblad 500 series cameras is the 6×6 format Hasselblad A12 film back. The classic Hasselblad square format gives 12 photos per roll of 120 film. As much as I love the Hassy square format occasionally a subject or scene is better suited to a rectangular composition. Rather than just crop a square film negative scan to the desired more narrow final dimensions I rather see and compose the final image in camera.

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A16 Hasselblad 645 film back

To be able to shoot rectangular format with the Hasselblad cameras I bought myself some A16 Hasselblad film backs. These are 6×4.5 format film backs that give an extra 4 photos per roll of 120 film. 16 photos not the usual 12. Not only does this make it more economical to shoot film but it means I can compose the final images in camera. The 645 film format often suits my portrait images better than a square (for my taste)(unless a Hasselblad headshot). The 6×4.5 crop also works nicely for some horizontal compositions.

Hasselblad Double Exposure

Hasselblad 645 Back + Hasselblad 500CM/501C

Here I show my usual Hasselblad 500 setup whether it is a Hasselblad 500CM or 501C camera. I usually prefer to use the 45 degree prism viewfinder as I find it easier to focus my images. In an ideal situation I would use a carbon monopod and a cable release as shown here. Often I don’t do this but it does help to keep the camera steady if using slower shutter speeds. On cloudy days in Europe I often shoot with a shutter speed of 1/60 with the lens at it’s widest aperture. Again, where possible I use a lens hood but if I have to travel with minimal kit I will use the Hasselblad without it and with a waist lens finder instead. (For the smallest lightest setup).

My Hasselblad Rig! 📷😁 #hasselblad501c #hasselblad #zeiss #zeissplanar #hasselbladlove #6x6 #cameraporn #sirui #monopod #120 #mediumformat #film #lovefilm #ishootfilm #bellows #camera #filmcamera #filmforever #filmphotographer #cameragear www.M

645 Hasselblad SWC /M setup

Here I show my Hasselblad SWC/M camera setup. The SWC is a fixed lens Hasselblad so it looks the same most the time. What you see here is probably the same as most photos you will see of the Hasselblad Super Wide.

Hasselblad 645 Portraits

120 Ilford HP5 Portrait
Hasselblad A16 Back Portrait
Mamiya 7 Double Exposure
Hasselblad 100mm Portrait

More Hasselblad 645 Photos (Hasselblad 501C/500CM)

501c Hasselblad Portrait
Fomapan 100@800
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Hasselblad 80mm Portrait
Hasselblad 645 Portrait
Hasselblad 645 Film Back Portrait
Hasselblad A16 Film Back Portrait

645 Hasselblad SWC Photos

In addition to using the A16 645 film back on the Hasselblad 500 cameras I also use it on my Hasselblad Super Wide (aka. Hasselblad SWC/M). With the SWC camera the composition is often a guestimate, as is the focusing. There is no mirror or coupled rangefinder for precision focusing. This makes the 645 format good for me as I just aim at the horizon for a horizontal image.

Hasselblad SWC/M Super Wide Camera
Hasselblad SWC Portrait Photos
Hasselblad SWC/M
Hasselblad SWC-M Fashion
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Hasselblad SWC Landscapes – 645 Format
Hasselblad SWC / M 645
Budapest Market B&W
Hasselblad Super Wide 645
Hasselblad SWC/M 645
Close up images with the Hasselblad SWC/M

You may wonder how it is possible to focus so accurately when you can’t focus the SWC camera via a mirror or rangefinder? The answer is you can get a Hasselblad SWC/M adapter to clip on the rear of the camera to provide a ground glass. The camera then becomes a mini 4×5 camera where you focus on the back of the camera. (See the full Hasselblad SWC/M review to see this in practice).

Hasselblad SWC/M Focus Screen
Zeiss Biogon Bokeh
Hasselblad SWC 645
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645 Hasselblad Photo – Camera Options

The two common options to shoot 645 Hasselblad photos are –

  1. Hasselblad V series camera + Hasselblad A16 film back
  2. Hasselblad H series camera + Hasselblad H film back

Option 1 is covered above in this review where I use my Hasselblad 500CM, Hasselblad 501C and Hasselblad SWC / M cameras.

Option 2 was covered in my Hasselblad H3D camera review using a 645 film back – Digital Camera That Shoots Film!? (Hasselblad H Film Back)

Hasselblad SWC-M Portrait

Hasselblad H3D-31 Camera

The Hasselblad H3D-31 is a brilliant camera as the platform lets you use either a standard Hasselblad H digital back or a Hasselblad H film back.

Here is an example photo using the Hasselblad H3D camera with it’s 645 format film back. You can find a full review of the Hasselblad H system together with example images at – Digital Camera That Shoots Film!? (Hasselblad H Film Back)

Hasselblad H3D Film Back

Best Hasselblad 645 camera setup

What is the best Hasselblad 645 camera setup if your love Hasselblad and want to shoot 645 film rather than the standard Hasselblad 6×6 format? You should check out the mentioned Hasselblad H3D film back article (Digital Camera That Shoots Film!? (Hasselblad H Film Back) to draw you own conclusions but for me the H3D camera gives better photos.

This might be purely down to the autofocus lens of the Hasselblad H3D or the fact that I use the 80mm f2.8 lens on the H system. On the V series cameras I tend to use other focal lengths whether shorter (say 60mm) or longer (100mm, 120mm, 150mm..). There should be enough example images from both cameras shared to let you decide what camera setup would suit your taste best. If you are in the market for a Hasselblad 645 system that is.

Hasselblad H vs V system – What is better?

So what does better mean? Hasselblad H vs V system. In my conclusion I am looking only at the final photos. I am not considering all the pros and cons of each camera. To me it is usually the image that is the most important aspect of a camera. You can have a cheap simple camera that takes amazing photos and likewise a beautiful expensive camera that takes average photos. (I will perhaps write a Hasselblad H vs V system camera comparison in a future article).

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My preferred Hasselblad H3D camera setup

Hasselblad H3D camera body + 645 film back + Hasselblad HC 80mm f/2.8 kit lens.

Hasselblad 500 vs Hasselblad SWC – In more details

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