How to make a Hasselblad Large Format Camera

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Henry Alive, May 3, 2013.

  1. Henry Alive

    Henry Alive Subscriber

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    I am thinking that it would be a good idea to make a field camera using the A12 Hasselblad magazine and a 80 CF Hasselblad lens. Can you give me some websites addresses that could help?
    Thank you,
    Henry.
     
  2. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Why? For movements?
     
  3. Henry Alive

    Henry Alive Subscriber

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    Yes, for movements.
     
  4. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    I've had an Flexbody (basically what you're describing) and it doesn't make any sense to start with a Hasselblad lens and film magazine for a DIY camera. The lens needs to be cocked and triggered and the magazine needs to be wound--how will you do that? The Hassy lenses have very little coverage beyond 6x6, so your movements are limited. Mamiya or Graflex roll film backs and a large format lens would be a much better start.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2013
  5. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    +1, unless you're a masochist in a big way.

    By the way, other makes of roll film backs will do as well for you as Graflex or Mamiya. Note that all but early Mamiya RB/RZ backs have interlocks that you'll have to defeat, also that the lovely S-shaped backs for Mamiya Press cameras are very hard to adapt to standard Graflok backs.
     
  6. Slixtiesix

    Slixtiesix Subscriber

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    Simply buy an SL66!
     
  7. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    A flexbody is what your talking about.
     
  8. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Or a Fuji GX680.
     
  9. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Or a Cambo 4x5 with a Hasselblad adaptor back.
     
  10. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Or a Linhof Super Technika 2x3.
     
  11. Len Robertson

    Len Robertson Member

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    The book "Nature Photography" by Ingmar Holmasen shows a couple of different "tiltable back" (the author's term) modifications to Hasselblad bellows which the author has done. For one version, he uses a 150mm view camera lens. The other is for Hasselblad lenses. There are several copies of the book on eBay, and I suppose the online used book sellers also. My copy is the 1975 edition, although the later editions may also show the same "tiltable back".

    Len
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Nothing you do will make a 6x6cm negative 'large format.'
     
  13. Bob Eskridge

    Bob Eskridge Member

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    It can be done and I have had at one time all the parts to do it.

    To mount the lens you need the front off of an early model Hassy bellows. The back would have to be fabricated from the back plate of a junked Hassy body plus the bottom and top "bits." This works only for the old style A12 backs that have the window in the back. Otherwise it can be very involved to incorporate a film advance mechanism into the back.
     
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  15. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    The easiest way to convert a Hasselblad into a large format camera is to sell it and use the proceeds to buy a Chamonix 4x5. If you'de like to retain some Swedish provenance, feel free to carve a V into the walnut back. :whistling: Best of luck to you, whatever you do. In my experience these ideas are fun to play with, even if they never quite work out as planned.

    Leo
     
  16. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Lots of small view cameras out there, very common now as a digital platform in the studio. You can get a sliding back that has a ground glass and a mount to take a hassy back. That exists. Slide from one to the other, very fast. You probably want a proper view camera lens though, in a shutter, something with enough coverage for movements.
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Even if your audience is used to shooting with camera phones? :wink:
     
  18. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    Matt, you're totally right, except only if they're shooting with their iPads. That's a 6x8 camera - about halfway between 4x5 and 8x10. I assume these guys are cutting their own sheets. I must see 4 or 5 of these LF enthusiasts in Times Square each day as I walk to work. Who says large format is a dying art.

    In all seriousness though, one morning last year I saw this woman with a Toyo 4x5 set up at the base of the square. It was a glorious start to my day.
     
  19. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I would love to see some pics on that.

    If you could scan the pics that would be awesome.
     
  20. David Grenet

    David Grenet Member

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  21. Henry Alive

    Henry Alive Subscriber

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    Thanks to all of you. The post of David Grenet shows something similiar to what I am thinking about.
    Henry.
     
  22. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    It's actually easier to do with Mamiya rb stuff. Get a junked front plate from an old rb67 (they are plentiful) for cocking the lens, and the back rotating plates are easy to find too. How are you going to focus though? The film plane offset on an rb67 back is different than the offset on a graphic or Singer back. I have looked into it and though "Why bother?". I have used rb backs on a 2x3 Speed. That's how I suspected the offset was different. The negatives on film from the rb were just not quite in focus. Kind of like a Minolta 370 I had. I would KNOW I had that image in focus and take it into the dark room and cuss up a storm. The solution to that was called "FM2". Never had an issue after that. Gave the Minolta away to someone who couldn't tell the difference. The solutuion to the 2x3 Speed was just not shoot with a rb67 back.

    tim in san jose
     
  23. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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  24. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I suppose getting a second junk back and affixing a ground glass in the opening with the matte side flush with the film rails would work.


    ...or maybe some kind of a mirror at a 45 degree angle, with a mechanism to raise it... :wink:
     
  25. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I would like updates on your build!!!
     
  26. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Why bother?? If it's just a fun project, I can understand that. But any decent 4x5 camera will do a far better job, and dedicated view lenses
    are apt to perform better too with a lot less weight and fuss. Plus you can choose from any number of roll film backs if you need to.