Matthew Osborne Photography / @MrLeicaCom – June 2016
Hello, I finally get chance to share some of the Mamiya 6 Flickr photos from my last model photography trip to Poland. If you read my blog post review in April you may remember that I decided to take the newly purchased Mamiya 6 medium format film camera rather than the Hasselblad. As such you may see a difference in photo style compared to last year when I took my Hasselblad 501C. The other main difference to note is for this year I was shooting the Mamiya 6 mostly with strobes whereas I used the Hasselblad with ambient light only.
Mamiya 6 Fashion
In no particular order here are a selection of model photography / fashion / portrait / beauty photos from Poland all shot with the Mamiya 6. As I get chance to process more I will try to add them to the gallary below.
You can click any photo to see details of film and developing methods used.
Mamiya 6 Flickr – B&W Film
Mamiya 6 Flickr – Colour Film (sorry not many processed yet!)
Mamiya 6 Conclusion
I am happy with some of the photos shared above but I think the Hasselblad 501C takes far sharper images with more clarity and ‘pop’. I took the Mamiya 6 to Ukraine (photos still being processed) but I think for the next trip I will try to pack the Hasselblad instead.
Lastly, as mentioned in the last post a big thanks to all the models and to the agencies (Malva Models and Future Models Management) for the collaboration.
Firstly, sorry for the delay on this Hasselblad vs Mamiya 6 post! I know a few of you asked me about it weeks ago and I said then I’d share my thoughts soon. At least waiting til after two trips overseas using the Mamiya 6 I can now give a fair writeup versus my Hasselblad 501C. As a quick recap I recently bought the Mamiya 6 to provide a smaller alternative to my 500 series Hasselblad for trips abroad (especially). Both cameras are 6×6 medium format film cameras taking 120 film. Both camera are roughly the same price with the Mamiya 6 probably costing slightly more here in the UK due to there being not many Mamiya 6 cameras on the market. My Hasselblad 501C was my favourite camera before buying the Mamiya 6 so expectation was very high. Both cameras seem to receive positive reviews from reading prior to my purchase so without further ado lets crack on.
Size Comparison – Hasselblad vs Mamiya 6
I love the modular 500 series Hasselblad cameras but I only use mine with a prism viewfinder which unfortunately adds both size and weight. I wish I could focus accurately without the prism finder but I really cannot see properly with Acute Matte non-spot screen glass. It is perhaps my biggest disappointment with the Hasselblad as I love the waist level viewfinder view / experience on my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II camera. The Hasselblad 80mm kit lens is the most compact followed by the 100mm from those I have owned. My go to lenses are the 60mm Distagon (second shortest of my Zeiss lenses and gives a very usable field of view) and 120mm Makro-Planar for close up portraits and ultimate image quality (more on that to follow below). The Hasselblad has the advantage of a removable film back so I can use two film backs and have colour film and black and white film running side by side without having to finish a roll. My Mamiya 6 has the 75mm lens which is the smallest of the 50mm, 75mm and 150mm lens line up. The Mamiya 6 design allows the lens to partially retract when not in use making the camera small enough to fit in my Leica M camera bag. The bag I use is a Billingham Hadley Digital and the Mamiya 6 will just fit with lens down into the bag. The size benefit of the Mamiya 6 is not to be under estimated.
Ease of Use – Hasselblad vs Mamiya 6
Being ‘Mr Leica’ is it perhaps no surprise that I love rangefinder style cameras. The Mamiya 6 like the Leica M cameras is a rangefinder focus design and I love the fact that I have a definitive focus confirmation regardless of the F stop. I am a little short sighted and wear prescription glasses for driving but not when using cameras. As such I enjoy knowing that a subject is in focus with a rangefinder when the subject is further away. That said my biggest complaint of rangefinder cameras is I cannot focus as close as I would like. Leica M cameras are my bread and butter so it is just normal for me to not be able to focus at a distance closer than 0.7m. If I then add a Hasselblad 501C to the mix you can imagine my joy when I can focus in really close, especially with the Zeiss 120mm Makro-Planar lens. I love nothing more than viewing subject through the big bright Hasselblad viewfinder. If I could see every day life with the same view the Hasselblad gives I think the world would be a more beautiful place!
The Mamiya 6 rangefinder design lets me work at slower shutter speeds / lower light levels at the same aperture as it has no mirror to flap inside causing vibration. I have shot the Mamiya 6 at a shutter speed of 1/8-1/15 and got a decent photo handheld. I tend to use the Hasselblad handheld too for ease and shoot normally at a shutter speed of 1/60-1/125 with the light levels I am in. That said, if I am honest to myself I think I can get more and sharper photos if go back to using a monopod. I plan to try using a monopod again to compare results. Sometimes I am not sure if I moved or the model moved when using a very shallow depth of field and the eyes are not as sharp as I want. I find the Hasselblad tends to pull me in perhaps too close at times resulting in many close up portraits. The Mamiya 6 on the other hand let me work easily at a distance giving images with a different style and lets me make better use of the location.
Image Sharpness – Hasselblad vs Mamiya 6
The main section of this post and to me what it all boils down to is image quality and more specifically for me image sharpness. The Hasselblad had set the bench mark very high so the Mamiya 6 had a lot to live up to. When I read ‘film vs digital’ reviews online the film camera used is often a Mamiya 7 as perhaps the best example camera film can offer in terms of sharpness, say (excluding large format). To my knowledge the image quality of Mamiya 6 and Mamiya 7 lenses is not noticeably different. As such I expected very good results from the Mamiya 6. To explain further and to cover myself, the Mamiya 6 photos / experience / review is based on the 75mm lenses I own. The Hasselblad has an advantage as I have the Zeiss 50mm Distagon CF, 60mm Distagon CF, 80mm Planar CF, 120mm Makro-Planar CF and 150mm Sonnar CF lenses. I have also owned the Zeiss 100mm Planar CF lens. If I have to place these lenses in order of sharpness I would say 120mm first, 50mm/60mm/100mm about equal (without thorough testing), 150mm and lastly the 80mm. I am rarely happy with the results from my 80mm lenses. The 150mm Sonnar gives a completely different look to the other lenses, a less fine more buttery smooth image. My conclusions of the Hasselblad 501C performance is based on the 60mm/120mm lenses that I use most often.
So how does the image sharpness compare between the Hasselblad and Mamiya 6. The Mamiya 6 does produce fine grained (if I can describe it like that, regardless of film stock) sharp images with lots of detail captured, with the lens shot wide open or stopped down. It is perhaps comparable to a sharp digital image in that the image is flat but sharp. I find it good for further away subjects especially like full body shots. The Hasselblad 501C and it’s Zeiss lenses produces a different sharpness. The next few sentences may make some readers cringe as they have read it a 100 times but I cannot describe it any more accurately. The Zeiss optics on the Hasselblad camera make an image ‘pop’. There is a lot written online about the mystically Zeiss 3D pop look but it is just fact in this instance. The Mamiya 6 photos are very flat and to me lack the wow factor. They are documentary style photos accurately capturing the detail in the scene but they lack the zing. I don’t take photos to capture ordinary. I try to create the extra-ordinary as cheesy as that sounds!
Fluff aside, how do the Hasselblad photos differ and perhaps why? It seems the Zeiss optics have greater micro-contrast which helps give the apparent additional sharpness. The Zeiss optics focus closer which gives a shallower depth of field at the same given aperture helping to give the 3D look. Focusing closer can increase image distortion with wider lenses which can also give a kind of 3D look to an image. Focusing closer to a face naturally lets me see every eye lash and skin pore using the Hasselblad that I can’t see as closely with the Mamiya 6 as I am too far away. As such the Hasselblad photos look sharper to my eyes.
With all the excuses aside, I am 99.99% sure that my Hasselblad photos are a bit or a lot sharper than the Mamiya 6 photos. Some Hasselblad negatives need no additional sharpening after scanning whereas I think I always boost sharpness with the Mamiya 6 film scans. I tend to process all my film scans to bring out the sharpness in a image regardless of the camera I use. All the example photos below have been processed but it is worth noting that each photos is probably as sharp as I can get it without introducing additional grain / over doing it (too much)(to my eyes / taste).
Conclusion – Hasselblad vs Mamiya 6
Hasselblad vs Mamiya 6? Based on the cameras and lenses I use and the resulting photos I would say the Hasselblad 501C camera images appear sharper that the Mamiya 6. I will also say the Hasselblad Zeiss optics render images in a much more pleasing way, to my eyes and taste. I prefer the Hasselblad camera for close up portraits and when working within up to say 1.5m distance. The Mamiya 6 for me is still a keeper due to it’s compact size, rangefinder focus system and being sharp enough for me to use happily. It is not always possible to carry the Hasselblad with me when working with models overseas so the Mamiya 6 is my next best option. If carrying gear was no option I would take both cameras to a shoot and use the Hasselblad for <1m photos and the Mamiya 6 for those at a greater distance. I would perhaps get the Mamiya 6 50mm f4 G lenses for wide shots and have the 120mm ZeissMakro-Planar on the Hasselblad. This combination would also suit me well for film wedding photography for my style of working.
I am not interested by a Mamiya 7 as I prefer the 6×6 film format of the Mamiya 6 (versus 6×7) and the retractable lenses of the Mamiya 6.
Below are lots of example images using the Hasselblad and Mamiya 6 with different models, different film, different light so you can make up your own mind on what camera produces the ‘nicer’ images to your taste. I have also included a sneak peek of a few images to come from my Poland and Ukraine trips as I didn’t have enough examples photos from the Mamiya 6 in the UK.
I organized another model photography trip to Uzhgorod, Ukraine to catchup with model friends and hopefully also meet some new ones. After recently visiting Poland to shoot with the model agencies I had some ideas of what cameras I may like to take for this trip. I take only hand luggage on all my trips so it depends on the airline as to how much camera gear I can pack. For Poland I had a backpack and my small Billingham Hadley Digital bag so took 4 cameras, a strobe and a compact travel tripod to use as light stand. For Ukraine I only have the backpack.
I took my newly purchased Mamiya 6 to Poland as it is smaller than the Hasselblad 501C. I packed the Leica M 240 for digital and brought the Leica M6 to shoot more film. I selected the Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 lens for its size, sharpness and lack of flare. The Leica Summicron 50 f2 v5 flares too much for me so I left that at home and instead of packing the slightly larger Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 went one ‘better’ and brought the Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO. The 75 APO is my sharpest Leica M lens and maybe sharpest any lens and it lets me focus closer than nearly all standard Leica M lenses in terms of magnification. Another camera I considered was my old Nikon FM plus Voigtlander 40mm f2 pancake lens but in the end I chose the M6. In addition to all of that I squeezed in my Leica Elmar 50mm f2.8 collapsible lens and a speedlight (+ reflector). No tripod though.
I currently favour 120 Fomapan 100 black and white film for my medium format cameras but I thought I better use up some existing film in the fridge before buying more Foma. As such I packed mostly Kodak Tri-X 400 film plus a few different rolls to use up. For 35mm film I wanted to shoot more colour so brought along some Kodak Portra 400, Fujicolor C200 and for black and white 35mm Fomapan 100.
One thing I like about Fomapan 100 is I can shoot it at ISO 50-400 and develop as if at ISO 100. I can also push Foma to 800 easily without any real issues. If I am planning to shoot ISO 50-400 I would go for Foma. For ISO 400-800-1600 range I would use Tri-X 400. The weather for the trip was forecast unsettled so Tri-X might be the right choice.
I like to make the most of my model photography trips overseas so managed to shoot 17 girls in 3.5 days shooting 9:00-21:00 back to back. I worked with the local model agency, One Models, who kindly provided a few models that were available and not out on contract overseas. I also worked with some of the girls I knew from previous trips and also a few new faces, friends of friends.
The weather was not as kind as I would have liked (for the time of year) and we had a fair bit of rain. As such I did more photoshoots inside the hotel than I planned to so I had to think a bit more. The speedlight was a life saver in the low light conditions and I used it for the majority of the photos. I do tend to favour using lights for most of my model photography and I think adding light can sometimes make a photo look more like a fashion photo which I like. The speedlight helped me keep my ISO at 100-400 for almost all photos and I also had the lenses stopped down. The biggest limitation was the flash sync speed of the Leica M6 of 1/50. I noted on the film scans for a shoot we did outside in the rain that there was motion blur as the models were moving more than I noticed. The Mamiya 6 has a max flash sync speed of 1/500 so that had no issues.
As I had no light stand or tripod I had to handhold the speedlight for the majority of the photos. This is not ideal as it is difficult to exactly replicate the same light when swapping between cameras (digital and film) but better than nothing (for my taste). I didn’t use the reflector at all so may leave it behind next time.
Leica M 240
I noticed my Leica M 240 needs the rangefinder recalibrating again (the second time) so I was shooting 99% with the 35mm Voigtlander Color Skopar lens stopped down a little. I did use the Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO for a few photos but I focused with the LCD. The mis-calibrated rangefinder was less of an issue than it may sound as my current style is favouring lenses stopped down to match the film cameras for easy alignment of settings. I shoot digital with ISO, aperture and shutter to match the film camera then when the model looks good I switch to film cameras. I have some nice Sekonic light meters but find at the moment I am not using them. When using strobes I like to see the digital preview of the light prior to shooting film. With daylight I would be happy to meter once then shoot film without chimping on the digital LCD.
Excluding the recalibration issue, the Leica M 240 is on good form and I love it more and more each day. I would still say the Leica M9 and Leica M8 make better B&W photos (more filmic) but the M240 is no slouch and I am getting good results both B&W and colour.
As mentioned the Leica M6 max flash sync speed of 1/50 is a killer for strobist work. It is just too slow unless used in very controlled conditions. I did get some nice black and white film scans but I also lost a few due to model motion blur outside. The Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO pretty much lived on the M6 but strangely I found it too tight for my current taste on location. I was loving the 35mm focal length on the M240. I might take two 35mm lenses next time to match the view for easy composition across the two Leica cameras.
After getting some quite nice results in Poland using the Mamiya 6 medium format 6×6 rangefinder camera, I was excited to see what I could do in Ukraine. (Poland photos still to come when i’ve edited a few more). I am enjoying the size of the Mamiya 6 camera very much and it is very easy to carry it in my little Billingham Hadley Digital camera bag together with one complete Leica M camera or 2 Leica M bodies and 2 Leica M lenses packed down. I still have my Hasselblad 501C vs Mamiya 6 post to write but in the meantime it is safe to say the Mamiya 6 is a keeper. I still only have one lens, the 75mm which I like due to it’s smaller size and lighter weight (vs. 50mm and 150mm lenses) and the focal length. That said I would like to use a Mamiya 6 50mm f4 G lens if I see one for sale at a reasonable price. I think the wider view would be great for film wedding photography to capture a wider scene.
I have been travelling to Ukraine for quite a few years now and I must say the level and quality of modelling from the girls this time is the best to date. The resulting photos may have been helped a little by me not having any majority camera issues (unlike previous trips) and being armed with more photography knowledge and experience. In addition to that, I meet more and more models each visit so every follow up visit I pick the best of the best to maximise the chance of making photos I will like. I always try to better my best work with every shoot and although it may not always be possible it keeps me fired up and as keen as ever.
As with all my trips, a huge thank you to all the models I worked with, to One Model agency and to the makeup girls where applicable. I didn’t experience a single cancellation so that was a real breath of fresh air compared to the usual UK (and now Poland) high cancellation rates of 50-60% plus. Big big thanks!
I have started to develop and scan some of the black and white film but the colour film is still to follow.
My latest camera purchase is a 1989 Mamiya 6 medium format analogue rangefinder camera. The camera has a 6×6 film format and came with the 75mm f3.5 kit lenses. There are 3 lenses available, 50, 75 and 150 and all use the built in camera viewfinder with rangefinder patch.
Why did I buy another camera?
I had overseas model trips fast approaching and I wanted to take a medium format film camera with me. The 6×6 Hasselblad 501C continues to be perhaps my favourite camera to operate and the results it gives but I use it with a prism viewfinder so it’s not as compact as it could be. I have smaller medium format cameras already, Fuji GF670 (6×6 & 6×7), Fuji GS645 and Fuji GA645. I tried to love the GF670 again recently as it ticks most of my boxes but didn’t really work for me. The GS645 shutter sticks so needs repair but is otherwise a nice camera. The GA645 is too automated for me but that was the camera I had planned to take as it is super compact yet has the crazy sharp Fujion 60mm f4 lens. The camera however also recently died on me and had an electrical fault preventing the camera from finding focus and therefore letting me depress the shutter to take a picture. The Mamiya 645 Super is a slightly larger camera but smaller and lighter than the Hasselblad. Upsettingly I seem to have feel out with love with the M645 also as the results have not been good enough recently.
I have always been tempted by a Mamiya 6 or Mamiya 7 camera so I think it was just a matter of time. I nearly bought a Mamiya 7ii when I bought the 35mm HasselbladXpan to take to New York in December and then resisted.
Mamiya 6 vs Mamiya 7 / 7ii
When considering this purchase I looked at both the Mamiya 6 and Mamiya 7. I am still not a big fan of 6×7 film format. To me it is almost a waste of film as the resolution is far higher than I need for online use. I shot the Fuji GF670 in 6×7 format a few weeks ago but found I still prefer 6×6. The Mamiya 6 was therefore the obvious choice, partly due to the film format but equally because the lenses retract into the camera body making the camera only slightly deeper than the Fuji GF670 folding camera. The Mamiya 7 lenses don’t retract and it has the 6×7 format. Some people prefer the Mamiya 7 / 7ii as it can accept a wider lens 43mm lens but for my model photography that is not something that interests me (at the moment). The Mamiya 6 and 7s are highly regarded to be well built with sharp optics so they hold a higher price tag compared to the Fuji 645 medium format camera range. I was tempted to get another small Fuji to try but decided to pay more and get a camera that will hopefully last me a bit longer.
Hasselblad 501C vs Mamiya 6
As written above, I do love the Hasselblad 501C especially when working within 1m distance of my models for tight crop head and shoulder (or closer) images. For photos at a distance greater than say 1m I prefer a rangefinder like my Leica M cameras to focus. Rangefinder cameras have the disadvantage that they cannot focus very close to a subject. The Mamiya 6 has the same issue and will only focus from 1m-infinity on the 75mm lens. As such, if I pair up the Hasselblad 501C and Mamiya 6 I get the best of both worlds and all the photos would it theory blend seamlessly with the same 6×6 format. If I was covering a wedding with medium format film cameras this will now be my go to setup I think. The Hasselblad and Mamiya 6 lenses are of a similar speed with f3.5/f4 being quite common. The Mamiya 6 has the advantage of being a rangefinder so can be used at a slower shutter speed handheld without the mirror slap vibration of the Hasselblad. If I get the 50mm lens for the Mamiya 6 I think I would use that setup for wider and the 120mm / 150mm lenses on the Hasselblad for telephoto. I have no interest in getting the 150mm lens for the Mamiya but others rate it highly.
Requirements list for my camera purchase
Leaf shutter lenses – to give me a fast max flash sync speed for strobist work. The Mamiya 6 like the Hasselblad will sync at 1/500 vs the Leica M6 of only 1/60. This is a deal breaker as to which camera I will use if using strobes in daylight.
Well built – hopefully reliable and fun to use. The Hasselblad 501c is a perfect example. Leica M cameras are great too as long as the rangefinder is correctly calibrated. The Fuji GF670 is not fun to use (for me). The Fuji 645 camera range are both not reliable enough and some are too automated for my taste (Fuji GA645).
Small and compact – (as possible) so I can take the camera overseas reasonably easily. I have flown with my Hasselblad 501C but a smaller medium format camera to fit in my Billianfham Hadley Digital camera bag is ideal. All the Fuji film cameras I own fit in the bag but the Mamiya 6 somehow looks made to measure and easily fits in the bag with a Leica M body and 2 Leica M mount lenses. I actually pack two Leica bodies and the Mamiya 6 camera but it is
Decent rangefinder – so I can focus accurately at wide apertures. I am used to Leica rangefinder cameras like the amazing big and bright Leica M3 so i then struggle to use a less capable rangefinder viewfinder such as the Olympus 35RC. The Fuji GF670 is a little small and not my favourite to use. The Mamiya 6 however feels big and bright and gives me confidence when focusing. As long as it is correctly calibrated I should hopefully get in focus images every time.
Time to test the Mamiya 6!
Resulting images coming soon. I shot a quick roll before my trip overseas and here is the photo I scanned in the earlier hours before the flight rather than sleeping than night!
In December 2015 I took my Hasselblad 501C medium format film camera to teach a 1-2-1 model photography workshop for a week in New York. I took two Hasselblad lenses; a Zeiss Sonnar 150mm f4 CF lens and a Zeiss Distagon 60mm f3.5 CF lens.
Here are some of the colour film negative scans, lab developed and scanned. I have split them by film stock and model. Some models got more keepers depending on the light on the day. I used an old Hasselblad A12 6×6 film back and it seems to have a light leak top left of the images. On bright days photos were more affected I think.
In December 2015 I took my Hasselblad 501C medium format film camera to teach a 1-2-1 model photography workshop for a week in New York. I took two Hasselblad lenses; a Zeiss Sonnar 150mm f4 CF lens and a Zeiss Distagon 60mm f3.5 CF lens. I took all photos on 120 Kodak Tri-X 400 film which was then developed at home in Xtol and scanned with an Epson v800 flatbed scanner.
Here is a selection of 6×6 Hasselblad portraits from the models we worked with on the first of two photography workshop weeks in New York. Click any photos for more details about the model, lens and developing.
I have used and still use many different film cameras and digital cameras and I think my 500 Series Hasselblad is the best of the best. I enjoy using the Hasselblad and I love how it makes and ordinary scene look really special with minimal effort. Some of my film photos may look perhaps over edited but in reality all I do is adjust contrast, sharpness and remove dust specks to the majority. The Hasselblad does the rest.
I do like the small size and convenience of Leica cameras (as seen on the second NYC workshop) but when I revisit Hasselblad portrait photos I think the extra effort involved is more than repaid by higher image quality. By this I mean the weight and bulk of the Hasselblad camera (and if I use a monopod too) is worth the effort as I get higher resolution images from the medium format film and Zeiss lens combination. Medium format gives me sharper sharp areas and softer soft areas next to each other all in the same photo. With 35mm I can have soft or sharp, not both in the same image. The Hasselblad XPan 35mm rangefinder camera bridges the gap with resolution to match a 6×7 panoramic 120 film image yet shot on 35mm film. An awesome combination that you will see much more of!
Colour film Hasselblad portrait photos still to come from NYC plus all those photos with the Leica M3, M6, M8 and XPan on the second trip.
Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica
I have owned my Mamiya RZ67 medium format film camera since summer 2013 but have only recently bought my Hasselblad 501C. Here is a post to compare the Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67 giving information on each camera system and then a few example images.
Mamiya RZ67 6×7 – Camera gear
Over the last two years I have done Mamiya RZ67 fashion photography, Mamiya RZ67 wedding photography and Mamiya RZ67 Polaroid photos. I have a selection of Mamiya Sekor lenses for the RZ; 65mm f4, 90mm f3.5, 110mm f2.8 (my favourite lens on the RZ) and the 180mm f4.5. I also bought different film backs for the Mamiya; RZ 645 film back, RZ 6×6 film back, standard 6×7 film backs and lastly a Polaroid film back. To focus the RZ67 I use the big and bright waist level viewfinder and until this experiment I have only shot the RZ handheld.
Hasselblad 501C 6×6 – Camera gear
If you have read my recent blog posts you will be aware of my Hasselblad v-system camera equipment but to recap I use the following Hasselblad lenses; Zeiss Distagon 50mm f4 CF, Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 CF, Zeiss Makro-Planar 120mm f4 CF, Zeiss Sonnar 150mm f4 CF and I use two 6×6 Hasselblad A12 film back. To focus I use a Hasselblad 45 degree prism finder and try to use the Hasselblad on a monopod for the sharpest possible photos. I have a waist level viewfinder but found it very difficult to focus with the acute matte screen (without split prism). In the last few months since purchase I have already done a Hasselblad wedding and Hasselblad fashion photography. I absolutely love the Hasselblad portraits with the 6×6 crop factor and can honestly say that I think the Hasselblad has had more beneficial impact on my photography than any other camera.
Mamiya RZ67 6×7 – User experience
I have always loved the big bright RZ viewfinder and 6×7 rotating film back. The 110mm f2.8 lens give both sharpness and a shallow depth of field. The size and weight of the Mamiya RZ has not deterred me but that said I have not used it a huge amount and it has never been overseas on model photography trips. I have always been happy with image sharpness and camera handling. One of the features I like the most on the RZ is the bellows focusing system as I can get as close as I want to my subject without the need of additional extension tubes. Perhaps my only complaint is the fact that the Mamiya RZ requires a battery. I found I used the RZ more without a battery and at the 1/400 fixed shutter speed. The Mamiya RZ is great for 6×6 Polaroid photos and I like how the image is captured in the centre of the film rather than being offset. I have used the Mamiya RZ with Polaroid back for events and the Polaroid photos produced are great. I always used the RZ handheld and never really thought to do any different despite the weight.
Hasselblad 501C 6×6 – User experience
From my recent blog posts and the rave reviews you may have noticed that I am a huge fan of the Hasselblad camera. I really struggled to focus with the original waist level viewfinder but now I am happy using the 45 degree prism finder. My favourite lens is the super sharp Zeiss Makro-Planar 120mm f4 CF lens as it lets me focus closer than the 80mm Planar kit lens and is incredibly sharp. As such I have hardly used the 80mm kit lens that most people seem to keep on their Hasselblad 500 series cameras. The Hasselblad is smaller (lighter and more compact) than the Mamiya RZ and as such it has already been overseas with me to Poland for model photography location shoots. The Hasselblad is 100% mechanical so requires no batteries which I love and the build quality is on a par with my Leica M3 film cameras (I think). It is a very rewarding camera to use!
Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67 Shoot Out
As I own both cameras I was interested to compare the Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67 Pro II. Here are a few images from each camera from my shoot with Julie in the studio. All photos werer shot on expired 120 Ilford Delta 100 film and developed in Kodak Xtol developer. Film negatives were scanned with a Epson v800 scanner and finished in Photoshop. Both cameras were used on monopods to make it a fair test. I fitted the Mamiya RZ with a 6×6 film back so both cameras were 6×6 format. Click on any photo to see the lens used and additional information.
Mamiya RZ67 Portraits
Conclusion – Clear Winner?
Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67? Both camera systems are capable of producing very sharp images and I cannot call a clear winner here. As such I think it comes down to what camera I enjoy using more. The Hasselblad is smaller, lighter, arguably better built but also more expensive than the RZ. If you are on a tight budget I would say you can capture equally good photos with a Mamiya RZ but if you want a camera system for life I would get a Hasselblad everytime. The Hasselblad 501C will still be with me together with the Leica M3s for years to come where as I think the Mamiyas will come and go. That is my rose tinted 2 cents worth anyway.
Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica – November 2015
Finally I can share a selection of Hasselblad medium format portraits taken in Poland during my model photography trip last month. There are still plenty of film negatives I have not yet edited but here are some of my favourites so far. I have split the photos by film stock used. Details of camera lens, filters, camera setting, developing method and model can be obtained by clicking on the any photo.
All photos were taken with a Hasselblad 501C 6×6 medium format film camera and shot with available light only.
Hasselblad Medium Format – B&W Portraits
Hasselblad + 120 Fomapan 100 Classic film Portraits
Hasselblad + 120 Fuji Acros 100 film Portraits
Hasselblad + 120 Ilford Delta 100 film Portraits
Hasselblad + 120 Kodak T-Max 400 film Portraits
Hasselblad + 120 Kodak Tri-X 400 film Portraits
Hasselblad Portraits – Colour Film
Hasselblad + 120 Kodak Portra 400 film Portraits
Hasselblad + 120 Kodak Portra 160 film Portraits
Hasselblad + Expired 120 Kodak Portra 160NC film Portraits
Favourite Film Stock?
It is difficult for me to chose one film stock as a clear winner as conditions were different each day and each model has a certain look. As mentioned in a recent blog post, I think 120 Fomapan 100 Classic offers excellent value for money (being the cheapest film I used). I have just stocked up on 120 Kodak Tri-X 400 for the winter months and again I think it is an excellent film. One of my favourites. Kodak T-Max 400 was also a very strong performer and to be honest no film resulted in a sub-standard image. The expired Kodak Portra 160NC worked fine despite being out of date, without a foil wrapper and with an unknown storage history. In these photos I preferred the Kodak Portra 400 to the Portra 160 but that might just be the lighting. All in all I was happy with all the films chosen for the trip and the Hasselblad medium format film camera made everything look great!
Do you have a favourite film stock? It would be great to hear your thoughts!
Big thanks to all the girls again – Agnieszka, Irmina, Natalia, Marta, Marta, Teresa, Weronika (as included here). With the help of these amazing models and my new Hasselblad 501C film camera I think I may have produced some of my best work to date. I travelled to Poland with less cameras and a clear goal which was to take fewer but hopefully higher standard photos. The Hasselblad medium format camera seems to have helped me step up a gear with the quality of images I am now able to capture.
Favourite model? I’m not sure I am allowed to have a favourite but if you think one girls stands out above the others let me know and I will feed it back to them. I’m sure they would be thrilled to hear!
As always I cannot wait to get back to Poland. My model photography trips overseas tend to be my highlights throughout the year. Before I return to Poland I am heading out to New York City to teach 1-2-1 model photography for a week. It will be my first visit to NYC and only my second visit to the US so you can imagine how excited I am! Coming soon! 🙂
I hope you enjoyed these images as much I did. I think my most photogenic blog post so far! 🙂
In September this year I bought my first Hasselblad camera and now I cannot image life without it. As someone that has probably always sounded like a Leica fanboy, I never expected to like the Hasselblad camera system so much.
When I get into something I go all in. I bought my Hasselblad 501C medium format camera with the Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 kit lens and also got the Zeiss Distagon 50mm f4 and the Zeiss Sonnar 150mm f4 lenses at the same time. In my head I then wanted to get a longer lens for the Hasselblad, such as a 250mm. I searched online and found there was a place in London specialising in Hasselblad equipment called the Camera Cafe. I buy most of my camera equipment online but loved the idea of bein able to try a lens before I buy. I’m sure the later is the norm for most sain people!
On my next model photography trip to London I made some time to visit the Hasselblad Camera Cafe. It ticked all the boxes as I could refuel with a nice cup of coffee and chat cameras / try lenses all at the same time. I arrived with both my Hasselblad 501C and Leica M240 + Noctilux setup and soon got chatting with the staff. I had just come from their sister store, Aperture Photographic where I get my cameras repaired and had just collected my recalibrated Leica M3.
Here is a photo I took while I was drinking my coffee. There was not a huge amount of light so I used a shutter cable release and shot at 1/8 with the camera rested on the table. This is my original Hasselblad camera and kit lens.
Hasselblad 501C + Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8
I then asked if I could try a few of the Hasselblad lenses they had in stock and here are the resulting images.
Hasselblad 501C + Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 4/120 CFE
I tried some longer lenses but the likes of the 250mm are not really practical for day to day portraits and travelling around as it is so big and heavy.
Hasselblad 501C + Zeiss Sonnar 250mm f5.6 CF
Hasselblad 501C + Zeiss Sonnar 180mm f4 CF
As I was on a roll trying the different lenses I then asked to try a Hasselblad super wide fish eye lens
Hasselblad 501C + Zeiss 30mm f3.5 CF F-Distagon
*All photos shot on 120 Fomapan 100 Classic film (developed in Xtol)
The lens that won my heart on the day was the Zeiss Makro-Planar 120mm f4 and I soon added that to my camera bag (as you may have seen from my Poland trip!).
I really enjoyed my visit to the Camera Cafe and met some fellow Hasselblad enthusiasts, both staff and customers. I will be back again soon and I highly recommend to anyone else with Hasselblad interests. For most other used camera brands such as Leica, Nikon, Canon, Mamiya etc I would recommend the Aperture Photographic store.
Firstly sorry for the lack of new blog posts recently. There are a lot in the pipeline when I find time!
120 Fomapan 100 Film
Fomapan 100 Classic is a traditional panchromatically sensitized black and white negative film made in the Czech Republic. To my eyes it is as sharp as B&W films from Kodak such as T-Max but had a more classic grain structure more similar to Ilford FP4+ or perhaps Kodak Tri-X. Again from my experience, Fomapan 100 prroduces low contrast negatives in normal lighting conditions. Some of my Fomapan 100 photos are higher contrast due to developing or lighting used.
Fomapan 100 film is my current favourite / best value for money black and white film in 120 format. I enjoy using various B&W films from the likes of Kodak, Ilford and Fuji but Fomapan manage to price their film below the competition and the results are actually quite nice. I pay around £3 a roll for 120 Fomapan 100 film and the next cheapest would be I think £4 a roll for the likes of Kodak Tri-X 400, Kodak T-Max 100 & 400 and Fuji Acros 100 and then £5 for Ilford Delta 100 and 400. I try to find the lowest prices!
What I like a lot about Fomapan 100 is I can shoot it at ISO 50-400 and develop it at box speed. This may be true for other films but I have not noticed it. For medium format film photography shooting in available light ISO 400 is normally the go to film speed for me in the UK. In the studio I shoot ISO 100 films more. Fomapan gives me both. For ISO 800 exposures I would rather shoot Kodak Tri-X 400 or T-Max 400 films and push them
one stop in developing.
I constantly swing between the different film stocks trying to find a favourite but as yet there is no clear winner. Kodak Tri-X has some of the nicest tones and Kodak T-Max also. Ilford Delta 100 and Pan F 50 are amongst the sharpest films I have used and can look almost digital in 120 format. I would say I prefer Fuji Acros to T-Max 100 especially for portraits but both can create nice images. At this stage I prefer Kodak Tri-X to HP5 for the tones and overall look of the pictures.
Since getting my Hasselblad 501C I have been shooting much more medium format film and 35mm film is currently on hold! Here are some examples of me shooting 120 Fomapan 100 film.
Hasselblad Film Portraits
Firstly a sneak peek from Poland! Full post to follow.. 🙂
Next, more 120 Fomapan 100 film portraits shot in the UK
I am also using Fomapan 100 4×5 sheet film in my large format cameras so those results are to follow too!