need help shooting Hassy handheld

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jgcull, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. jgcull

    jgcull Subscriber

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    I'm thinking about trying to find a way to shoot my Hasselblad handheld before selling it for something I don't have to use a heavy tripod with. I looked on KEH for some kind of "grip" (?) but all I see is flash brackets. Just what should I be looking for? Thanks for any help you can offer.

    Janet
     
  2. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Have you tried shooting it handheld without a bracket? I've never had any problems. I find using the neck strap can help to stabilize it.
     
  3. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I am also looking for a grip. For the hassy they are called flash brackets. I have not yet got one though. I would be getting it for a different reason though. I would be getting it for the reason of speed with a prism. The way the prism rests against your eye is not the same position that your hands wants to hold the camera. With the flash bracket it will put my hand in a better position. Also the flash brackets sometime have a release built in. I will be getting one soon from a photographer in my town, it is also the same guy I actually bought the camera off of. I will let you know when I get it.

    What kind of finder do you use?
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The pistol grip that fits under the camera works well but it's best used with a prism finder. There are various other grips that are labeled as flash brackets, as you've discovered. The flashgun bracket #45071 has a similar shape to the pistol grip, and would might work for you, especially if you'd like to operate the shutter with your left hand, but would also work best with an eye-level finder.

    What sort of problems are you having with hand holding?

    Like Jeff, I don't have hand holding problems with my Hasselblad, but one of the reasons I like them is that they fit my hands well. Certainly "your mileage may vary".
     
  5. jgcull

    jgcull Subscriber

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    I use the waist level finder.

    I just find it awkward holding that little box, focusing, and shooting without moving it. I love so much about it, but it doesn't lend itself to the type of shooting I do... much of the time. I've thought about selling it and getting something else, but I don't know what. And I'm afraid I'll regret getting rid of it. I do love the large negatives, and I like so much about the images when I get one I like. But I cannot move quickly with it.
     
  6. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    I was using my flash bracket this week. seems best used w/WLF because of the angle of the grip. I was out shooting in the snow and it helped me control the camera while I was under-dressed for the outing.

    doing a shoot this weekend of a 2year old with the bracket and a Nikon SB 28 flash and a slaved mono light to fill the room.

    I like the bracket in things like this because it has a release and I have a firm grip on the camera.

    before the Hassy I had a Mamiya 645 1000S and a grip too with a release. much lighter and I could walk about with my hand open but the strap on the grip kept the camera in place. I miss that aspect, the Hassy is bigger and bulkier.

    Don't give up on the camera yet. I also have a trekking pole with a 1/4-20 on top I use.

    Lee
     
  7. Morry Katz

    Morry Katz Member

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    As Jeff Bannow suggests, use the neck strap to stabilize the camera. Here's how. Shorten the strap so that the camera hangs mid chest. Put your hands through the strap from each side and cradle the camera in both hands. Press the camera against your body and pull your elbows in, close to your body. It will be very stable. Before you press the shutter, take a breath, let half of it out and hold. Press the shutter. Try it. It'll work.
    Morry Katz
     
  8. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Consider a monopod. They are light, relatively inexpensive, and can make a big difference.

    I can't hold a Rollei or a Hasselblad. I use a tripod.

    Peter Gomena
     
  9. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    To each his own, but i think using a flash bracket makes handholding more difficult. Not easier.
    What it does is move the weight out of your hand, and out on the end of a lever. The fulcrum of that lever coincides with your wrist, i.e lies at the extre end of the lever arm.
    So what using a flash bracket does is put a strain on the wrist of your left arm, making it work constantly to keep the lever arm - and camera - level. Not good.
    And it will make you bring in your right hand to support the camera as well. Which works, but you have to use that right hand to do other things as well.

    Without a bracket, keeping the camera in your left hand, you support it from below. Which is a far more stable grip. And far less of a strain.
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I posted this in another thread recently and you probably don't want to do it but one of my father's friends once drilled a couple of holes in the base of his Hasselblad to make it fit onto the Mamiya RB67 left hand grip!

    I think I would have removed the pins from the grip instead.


    Steve.
     
  11. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I think i would have bought one of the very many, inexpensive Hasselblad left hand grips instead ...
    :wink:
     
  12. film_man

    film_man Member

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    Perhaps a prism would be helpful? I generally don't find holding the camera without a grip an issue but I can see how focusing with the magnifier can affect framing and then framing will affect focusing. If that's what you mean?
     
  13. marco.taje

    marco.taje Member

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    Well, if a MF doesn't fit your kind of shooting, that is one thing. But personally I'm very confortable in shooting handheld with the Hasselblad. Just waist-level finder, nothing else attached. You have to use it a bit to get the hang of it -and the left/right inversion- but then it becomes absolutely natural.
    But everything comes down to each one's taste. I can only recommend you to try a bit further, don't let yourself be scared away at the beginning.
     
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  15. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    One trick to improve your handholding: get a (cheap nowadays) EL-model.
    The added weight really does wonders to stabilize the camera, while still not being enough to make it a bit of a burden (like the RB/RZs).
     
  16. jgcull

    jgcull Subscriber

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    I've not heard of the EL model, but you're right - bodies are relative cheap and I've got everything else.

    As far as the strap goes, it seems at sometime distance past I saw the name of someone who made or sold straps for these. Anyone know who that might have been? I'll google it, but just wonder if anyone knows right off.

    Thanks to you all for your replies!
     
  17. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    EL-models are the ones with the electrical motor drive fixed underneath. Modified versions of which were taken to the Moon by NASA and used in the U.S. space program until they went with digital still cameras only.
    They were made from 1965 (500 EL) until 2006 (555 ELD). Three other versions inbetween: 500 EL/M (1971), 500 ELX (1980) and 553 ELX (1989).
    The motor and batteries add weight (and height), which makes for stable handholding.

    For some reason, people don't want to buy these machines (probably to bulky? A fear of batteries?), and consequently they are rather cheap.
     
  18. segedi

    segedi Member

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    Before I bought a 503CW, I held one with the CW Winder/grip and it had a 45° prism as well. I found this to be the perfect combination for me as far as ergonomic handholding. But it's still a heavy beast!
    Strap and WLF is going to be a lighter setup and once you get the hang of holding it from the underside, I think you'll like it.
     
  19. marco.taje

    marco.taje Member

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    I use a strap made by Optech (US). Good stuff, very comfortable for your neck.
     
  20. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    Cradle in your left hand and release the shutter with your index finger, wind on with the right hand, the same applies if you use a prism finder. What's the problem? Use the right hand to focus and steady the camera.
     
  21. skahde

    skahde Member

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    My thoughts exactly. This was the one investment that really helped me for hand held shooting. I don't mind the reversed view when on a tripod but handheld I get more keepers with a prism.
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I have always used a prism and I have never had a hand holding problem with my Hasselblad.

    Steve
     
  23. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    What adding a prism finder does is make you raise the camera a bit more, away from your chest, in front of your face.
    So though it still is not hard to keep a camera still that way, i don't think it provides a better grip than the waist level one.
     
  24. skahde

    skahde Member

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    We could discuss back and forth if extra weigth, a strap, holding the camera in your right vs. left hand (hassi-grip!) helps or aggrevates the problem, with no result. All I can say with confidence is, that using a prism works for me.
     
  25. tokengirl

    tokengirl Member

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    Janet,

    I feel your pain. I'm not getting the hang of hand holding mine either. I've come to the conclusion that working quickly with this camera is just not going to happen for me, which is OK for what I do.

    But I looked at your gallery, and I can see where this camera would be challenging. Perhaps something like a Mamiya 6 (or 7 if you want a rectangle) would be easier to work with?
     
  26. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Don't forget that the MF rangefinders are not as dinky as Leicas. Using one of those, you are holding s lot of camera up in front of your face.
    Lots of camera that needs to be supported by your arms. Waist level cameras allow pressing the elbows against the sides of your body. Having to raise a camera to eye level makes that a bit more difficult (that's why 45 degree prisms are so good - the perfect compromise between handholdability and prism viewing), depending on where the release button is (usually on top) even impossible.
    So not necessarily more stable.
    :wink: