Useful Photography Tip #187: How to Remember What 120 Film You Were Shooting With

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Most Medium Format cameras don’t have some sort of window on the back of the camera that you can peer into; one of the many way that they differ from 35mm cameras. So then the question becomes how to remember what film you’ve got in that camera? Well, the answer varies but the most consistent one that you’ll find is that you should be using the little note holder on either the back of the camera or the film back depending on what you’re using.

Let’s say that I was shooting some Ilford Delta 400 in my Mamiya 6. What I’d do is take a little tab from the box that clearly notes what film it is and slip it into the little holder. This way, it will stay in place and when I go back to pick the camera up to shoot, I’ll remember that Ilford Delta 400 is in there.

Why not just finish the roll, you ask? Well, 120 film usually has less shots per roll vs 35mm film. Depending on the format, you could have something like 16 shots when shooting at the 645 forma or even 9 at the larger variants like 6×9 format. Because of this, you also tend to be much more heavily selective of your shots. You’ll switch camera backs between color and black and white as well if you’re using an SLR style of camera that allows you to do so. Just to note, a camera like the Pentax 67 won’t let you switch backs but the Mamiya RB67 Pros S will. Otherwise, there’s a possibility that you can go for some time without shooting images with that camera and back, and you’ll just forget that there’s film in there. You may also forget what film you put inside unless you’re the type to really stick to a few emulsions.

First Impressions: Hasselblad H6D-400C Multi-Shot (Medium Format)

The Hasselblad H6D-400C Multi-Shot is overkill for most photographers.

I’m starting the first impressions post on the Hasselblad H6D-400C Multi-Shot with this extremely obvious statement and with an emphasis on the fact that complaining about something like this is useless. There’s bound to be someone that’s going to say, “That’s so expensive.” Well, you’re surely not the customer the Hasselblad H6D-400C Multi-Shot is directed at. I mean, do you own a museum? Do you have need to documenting something at a larger than life detail? Do you need a fantastic tethered workflow? Do you even have a tripod designed to hold such a beast? The honest answer for most of us pedestrians is no–we’re not that high up in the food chain of photography. But the MET and other museums like the Smithsonian or the US government surely have a need for a camera like this. To refresh your mind, the Hasselblad H6D-400C Multi-Shot is a 100MP medium format camera back unit. For those that don’t understand, traditional medium format consisted of a camera body, a camera back with the sensor and brains, and the lens. So you’re essentially shelling out a whole lot of money for a sensor and brains.

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The Hasselblad H6D-400C Can Shoot Up to 400 Megapixels

With the Hasselblad H6D-400C, you can get 400MP images using the multi-shot feature.

Though you may rarely need it, the new Hasselblad H6D-400C multishot camera is claiming to have some really big tech inside. For starters, it’s a camera body using the Hasselblad full frame 645 100MP sensors with 16 bit RGB color readout and 15 stops of dynamic range. If you shoot in TIIF multishot with 6 images to create a 400MP photo, your photos can be up to 2.4GB in size. Additionally, it had flash sync up to 1/2000th. When you’re in the studio, you’ll be able to utilize the USB 3.0 C readout when you’re tethered. What’s more, it also shoots 4K video and has a 3″ touchscreen LCD.

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Your Hasselblad V Camera Can Shoot Fujifilm Instax Square With This Back

The Hasselblad Square Instant Film Back is fully analog and could surely be fun!

Hot on the heels of the Rezivot Instant Film Back Kickstarter is this brand new one: it’s called the Hasselblad Square Instant Film Back. It does pretty much exactly what it says it does. The back, which is looking for funding on Kickstarter, is a plastic, 3D printed back that takes Fujifilm Instax Square film and attaches to your Hasselblad V medium format camera. The Hasselblad Square Instant Film Back has a manual wind system, so that means no batteries are involved and that cuts down the cost of the back over time. It’s a fantastic option for photographers who want to use an Instax back or Instax film with their Hasselblad V camera.

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Hands on: Phase One IQ3 Trichromatic Sensor Digital Back

We got to get Hands on with the Phase One IQ3 Trichromatic Sensor Digital Back

At the recent Photo Plus East, we got to talk to Doug Peterson from Digital Transitions about the new Phase One IQ3 Trichromatic sensor. Most photographers probably won’t understand what’s so different about it, but if you’re a stickler for color in the same way that I am, then you’ll understand why I’m so incredibly smitten with the idea. Lots of photographers will talk about high ISO and dynamic range–but all of that is easily fixable with today’s software. When you get into color and the fine gradation elements, you start to look at things in a much different way.

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Brock Saddler Shows You How to Hack the Bronica ETRS to Shoot Fujifilm Instax Mini Film

“Not for the Bronica unfortunately, unless you could possibly bring the tripod mount into it, rigging something to the back to hold it in place,” says photographer Brock Saddler (follow him on Instagram) about his Bronica ETRS hack when I asked him about whether or not he’d still need to use the rubber bands. “…something for the next person to think about.” Brock is amongst the many photographers and hackers we’ve interviewed here on the Phoblographer. His hack specifically has to do with the Bronica ETRS. Last year, we interviewed him about hacking his Bronica ETRS to shoot Fujifilm Instax mini film and he was still in the process of refining it. But he got really close to making it absolutely perfect.

Brock, unfortunately, has no plans to make it commercially viable. “This was just something to do on a rainy day,” he tells us. And to that end, he’s given us permission to share his post on how he did it.

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The New Phase One IQ3 100MP Achromatic Shoots 100MP Black and White Photos

Today, Phase One is introducing their latest step forward into the world of black and white: the Phase one IQ3 100MP Achromatic medium format back. This back attaches to Phase One’s cameras and integrates into the rest of their system. That means you’ll get to use a ton of different lenses, get access to a bunch of cool features like a seismograph within the camera, etc.

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Mercury Camera Promises a Truly Universal System

Ever wanted to use your medium format Hasselblad lenses with your Bronica ETRS or something along the lines? Well a new Kickstarter called Mercury Camera wants to do something just like that. But it wants to go even further and let you adapt nearly any 35mm, medium format or large format lens with pretty much any negative or instant film back. To boot, you can also adapt any medium format digital camera back.

Just imagine the possibilities!

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Useful Photography Tip #126: Bring Seated Subjects to the Edge of the Seat


Chris Gampat The Phoblographer 85mm vs 50mm portrait test Sigma 50mm f1.4 other (1 of 1)ISO 2001-640 sec at f - 2.8

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Besides straightening a subject’s back and adjusting the shoulders, another really important part of the body to look at when shooting portraits are the thighs. Human beings are taught from day one to sit back and sit up straight. When shooting a portrait, this is a giant faux pas.

If a subject sits all the way back in a seat until the backs of their knees touch the edge, then all of the weight is distributed on the rear and their thighs. What this ends up creating is outlines and arches that make your subject look much wider than they actually are. So to make them look more flattering, ask your subject to bring themselves to the near edge of the seat. But in order to make them not fall off, have them sit so that their thighs aren’t on the seat.

In effect, what you’re doing is putting all of the weight on the rear, and making the thighs look much thinner. From here, you can do a multitude of different poses: and we have lists for men and women.

Beyond this, other strategies that you can do have to do with the overall body shape of the person and it can number anything from:

– Crossing their legs

– Sitting with the legs apart

– Stretching them out and having one foot crossed over the other

It all depends on what kind of body language you’re trying to get across in the photo.

Phase One’s New A Series Medium Format Cameras Remove the Mirror



Update: Phase One has issued a letter about the camera system. Check below

Though they’re not exactly what you would think of as a mirrorless medium format camera (unlike the Mamiya 7 II), Phase One is releasing the Phase One A series of cameras–and it’s a pretty close solution to what you’d typically think aboutt. They seem close to what Hasselblad did years ago with some of their cameras by eliminating the mirror and pentaprism–except that this is a digital version. Because it is digital, it’s using a live viewing screen and another screen on top that lets you shoot from the hip the same way that many medium format users used to do.

We will keep you updated on more. But so far, we’re getting this info from Digital Transitions.

More info is after the jump.

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First Impressions: Phase One IQ250


When the Phase One IQ250 was announced, it was expected to outdo every DSLR in terms of image quality out there because of the large CMOS sensor. But when you get to the medium format level, you’re only as good as the body and the lenses. The IQ250 can output great images; but it isn’t without its drawbacks.

Or at least that what we’re finding so far…

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Photographing a 299 Year Old Stradivarius Violin with the Phase One IQ280


Image courtesy of Phase One and Søren Jonesen

When one stumbles upon an incredible rare find, the documentary of the object is often an extremely exciting process. And in a recent behind the scenes video, Phase One definitely didn’t disappoint. If you were a String Orchestra kid growing up (or even if you are now) you’ll be positively awestruck by the video after the jump.

Seeing the way that Soren operates and capturing the images using the Medium Format touchscreen is also quite interesting as you’ll get to take an indepth look into the life and process of a studio photographer.

Phase One teamed up with photographer Søren Jonesen to document a super rare find: a 299 year old Stradivarius violin. This is a very sought after model of violin but finding them in such great condition is extremely rare because of just how thin the wood is and just how fragile violins really are. It’s easy to snap the bridge during tuning or have the tuning pegs become extremely loose. Plus, violin bows often require rosin to give them that sound. Rosin is made of tree sap, and it can break down over time and affect the finish of the violin.

The company published a gallery of the images on their Google Plus page, but there are also more of them on their website.

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Lomography Adds a 35mm Film Back to Their Bel-Air


The Lomography Bel-Air is one of the most exciting film photography products to be released in the past couple of years. And today, the company has announced an interesting addition to the Bel-Air system. To refresh your memory, the Bel-Air is a medium format (120) camera system. It can shoot a variety of different formats including the very interesting 6×12. But now, it can also shoot 35mm film with a specific back.

Unlike many other medium format interchangeable lens cameras, you can’t put a dark slide in the back–which means that changing backs mid-roll is pointless. But that’s not the selling point of this back. Instead, it encourages you to shoot panoramic images across 12 exposures at a time.

It’s available now for $69. We’ve got a couple of sample images available after the jump.

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DIY 4×5 Film Backs Are Apparently Easier to Make Than We Think

One of the users over at FilmWasters Forum has created an awesome 4×5 film back. According to user Damland, it’s easier to do than we think. Damland used bass wood, a knife, ruler, and fast drying wood workers glue. The photos in the lower section of the photo below were shot with the camera back, and exposed on Ilford direct positive paper; which can be tough to work with to begin. Ilford paper is very popular for this type of stuff, and I’ve interviewed another photographer that used it as well when I worked for B&H Photo.

Of course, this can’t always be done by everyone. It needs very careful analyzing and ensuring that the back is light sealed with no issues at all.

Check out more over at FilmWasters Forum.

Mamiya’s New Leaf Credo System Wants You to Put Your Fingers All Over It

Mamiya and Leaf combined their awesome medium format powers a while back, and they are flexing them quite a bit in the form of the new Leaf Credo medium format back. Available in 40MP, 60MP and 80MP CCD sizes for the 645DF system, it is full acknowledgement that the megapixels wars are still on.

Mamiya/Leaf claim that the sensor will have up to 12.5 stops of dynamic range: which still can’t beat film at 16 stops.

Plus, there is also USB 3.0 and Firewire interfaces, 1/4000th shutter speed, 1/1600 flash sync, and 1.2fps shooting.

But the cool part isn’t about the fact that you’ll be able to take a photo of a model and find every single blemish on their face. The back of each back has a 1.15 megapixel resolution touchscreen with multi-touch abilities: just like your iPhone or Android device. In fact, the whole panel seems to work with a touch interface.

According to Pop Photo,” The Credo 40 starts at $19,500. The 60 checks in at $32,500, and the Credo 80 will set you back a serious $39,000. And remember, you’ll need a camera body and a lens to go with it, so make sure to leave room in your budget.”

Phase One Announces Achromatic + Black and White Specialty Medium Format Digital Back

Those of you that love shooting medium format or in black and white will probably really want to take a good look at the new Phase One Achromatic + 39MP medium format digital back. It’s really new and interesting technology and the first commercially available medium format digital back to do what it does. With a 49.1 x 36.8 CCD sensor with no RGB filters, the camera is meant only to shoot black and white images. With ISO sensitivities of 50-800, 12 stops of dynamic range, and a 2.2″ QVGA TFT LCD with 230,000 pixels it seems pretty solid (minus the screen). More about the technology can be read here and see it in action here. The back seems very targeted towards scientific professionals. It seems to be available for $41,990.