Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hasselblad Vs Rolleifelx 2.8

Greetings everyone,

It has been a while! I have been a busy dude doing a lot of things and planning the right steps to achieve specific goals in 2012.  For those that follow my blog, you understand that my work horse (Hasselblad) got stolen.  I decided that I wanted something that was more hand held friendly so I purchased a Rolleiflex 2.8c date around 1955-1960.

The Physical:
I like the little camera.  It is compact, light and quiet.  It feels nicer around the neck when wearing it for a full day of shooting compared to the Hasselblad. Waist level view finder is ok, I am used to it due to how the Hassey was made. This version of the Rolleiflex does no give the opportunity to use a prism view finder so the level that you shoot is different. When I was taking shot of people that were way taller than me, I had to stand on apple boxes or a chair to shoot portraits just to be eye-level.  This is a draw back in my opinion if your subjects are like 6' or taller, but great for some one sitting down or for a full length shot.

Loading the film is pretty easy, but the draw back is there arent any multiple backs.  This really didnt matter to me because on my Hassey, I had only one back. Something I used to use alot was a Polaroid back for my Hasselblad to test my shots. THIS was extremely helpful because when you test on a polaroid, that is what you will 9 out of 10 times will get on the neg.
Since I do not have a Polaroid back to test my shots, I have to rely on my light meter which is fine.  I am confident enough to set my apature correctly with meter readings.  Worst case senario, I test digitally. I find that testing digitally does not render the same in the analog format, but that is my personal opinion and my understanding.

The exposure setting on the Rolleiflex was different.  On an SLR (Single Lens Reflex) setting the aperture  was done on the lens itself. The F-Stop and Shutter speed  on the Rolleiflex is on the body right under the view lens ( top lens) and just above the taking lens (bottom) lens. You can see the aperture change due to the setting window right on top of the taking lens.

The shutter speed on the Rolleiflex is limited, and is not that accurate. There is a 1/50th of s second setting but not a 1/60th so the image may be a little under or over exposed depending on your setting.  So for those that scan, its wise to under expose your negs rather than to over expose, especially for slide film.  With the latitude of film, this should not be an issue.

What is pretty cool is that the Rolleiflex has leaf shutters so it can sync at all speeds. I have 80mm Xenotar.  I have read reviews that the Xenotar and Zeiss Plannar lenses are pretty much indistinguishable up to 20x20 images. But even then, its only really a trained eye can tell the difference. Again, a huge advantage of shooting film is the ability to enlarge to great sizes and still retaining sharp, high quality images. Plus negatives are beautiful.  The physical aspect of the shot is something that can not be rendered digitally.  This makes me want to shoot high speed B&W film and print wall size images.

The Photograph:
This photography was taken with the Rolleiflex and 400ISO Fuji Film.  This was sharpened in Photoshop and color corrected.  I enjoy the quality of light and how it is rendered on the image.  I used a tripod and set the focal length but I was a 2.8 because of the available light. Being this wide, if some one breathes its easy to fall out of focus.

There is a minmum focal length of 3.5' I am having issues with sharpness on the images i create. I have a feeling the view lens needs to be adjusted to the taking lens.. either that, I NEED new glasses =)

Then again it could be just me, but the depth of field  is amazing. SUPER Shallow, fits my style of photography very much. This next shot I used the timer.  Yes people a 1950s camera has a timer and there is not a battery included or needed. I placed the camera on the edge of a table focused and held still because I used available light. I wish it was sharper, its sharp enough.  Remember, nothing will be as sharp as digital, and digital will never have the same feeling as an analog camera. Its like electronics vs chemistry.

I think my Rolleiflex needs to CLA'ed (clean lubed adjusted) but that will cost me maybe 200 bucks depending on whats wrong with the camera. So far the sync works, shutter speeds work ok, and the lens looks good, but there is an issue with focus that I have yet to determine.  I wonder if its user error. We will see.

I like my Rolleiflex, the feel of it in your hands, the style of the photograph belongs to the Rolleiflex. At the end of the day the Rolleiflex and the Hasselblad are two different camreas.. but I do miss my Hassey.  After all, it was the first camera I started with.

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