Shooting weddings or similar pressure situations with Hasselblad film backs

Discussion in 'Weddings' started by ted_smith, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    Curious to know if anyone here shoots weddings using a 501CM with film backs?

    I am loving my Hasselblad 501CM but am finding changing rolls every 12 shots to be a little tricky, especially when under pressure. I've not used it for a wedding or anything like that, yet, but if the opportunity arises, I intend to do so.

    When I got married, back in 2002, the photographer used a Hasselblad (though I don't know what sort - I didn't know much about MF then) and seemed to have no problem taking the 250 shots we'd agreed in advance. He may well have had a stash of pre-loaded backs but for 250 he must have had 20 backs!! Surely not? Having looked up the cost of second hand backs, they're about £350-£450 each!

    Ted
     
  2. rhcgn

    rhcgn Member

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    Hi Ted,

    I would assume he would have had 2-4 backs and an assistant to change rolls while he was shooting?

    Hendrik
     
  3. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    No, he was on his own!
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I have buddies that came from the days when MF cameras were the cameras of choice for Weddings, it is fun to here them talk of being sent out with two rolls of 120 and being told not to shoot it all, I'm not suggesting that.

    Typically weddings are hurry up and wait affairs. Just load during the waits and have enough backs to get through each hurry up.

    If you know basically what shots you really want in each hurry up and when they will be, you can plan for that plus a bit extra.
     
  5. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    He was most probably using 220 film in A24 backs.
     
  6. Ed Bray

    Ed Bray Member

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    I shot weddings on MF for years initially just using a Mamiya C330f before moving on to a Hasselblad 500CM. I usually shot 5x rolls of Fuji NSP160 (60 images) in the later periods I pretty much exclusively used 120 sized Fuji Reala.

    There were no film backs for the Mamiya C330f and I learnt to change films pretty quickly. RH suit pocket for unused films and LH suit pocket for used. I opened each film from its box and foil packaging before I got to the wedding so all I had to do was undo the sealing strip and insert into camera.

    When I got the Hasselblad, I was spoilt with having 2x A12 backs which made life a little easier but you could not always guarantee that they would not run out at an inopportune moment.
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    For my father's first wedding sent out on his own, he was given ten glass plates and told not to waste any.

    Is it possible that your wedding photographer also used 35mm, just using the Hasselblad for the posed shots which he thought would be ordered in larger sizes?


    Steve.
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Jose Villa mixes MF and 35mm as you suggest Steve, I think that is a great way of working.

    The other thing he does that I think is really smart is that when he sees something happen that he thinks is important, but he can't quite get the shot he wants as it happens, he'll ask for a re-do.

    I'm not saying he stops the ceremony to get a shot, just that the photographer's job is to get the shots the couple wants. The PJ mentality in style today has forgotten that to a large extent.
     
  9. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I used to shoot weddings with a pair of Mamiya C330f's and used Kodak Vericolor 220 film I preloaded the cameras before going to the gig which gave me 48 shots before needing to change films which was plenty for the actual wedding as well as giving me a back up camera in case of mechanical failure, and I could change the films in the time allowed after the wedding and before the reception.
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Ted, where are you getting the prices for your A12 backs from Harvey Nichols :D, look at Ffords you can get an Ex ++ one for £99 and a Ex+ one for £79 with their six months warranty. http://www.ffordes.co.uk/category/Medium_Format/Hasselblad/Hasselblad_V_Series/Film_Magazines
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2012
  11. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    lol....oh yeah!! I was looking at eBay...I always forget about ffordes. Excellent...I will remember that for when I get round to buying some extra backs.

    These replies are al very interesting. As for my photographer when I got married - no, it was all MF. I actually got the negatives recently because the franchise he worked for went bust. I now have 250 MF negs of Kodak Portra 160 or similar, I think it is. So there was no 35mm going on with him. As someone said above, maybe he had backs that loaded more film into them.
     
  12. Dashcraft

    Dashcraft Member

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    I worked weddings for 28 yrs w/2 bodies and 3 A12 backs. There is almost always time to reload and if not everybody understands when you have to stop to do so. The trick is to reload a back whenever the time allows, don't wait for all the backs to be reloaded at once if you can.

    David
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Many e bay sellers are just after a fast buck, you're much better buying from a reputable retailer who give a warranty and I recommend Ffords I've bought several items from them recently, and they have all been excellent.
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Most of my weddings were shot with a single C330. I carried 35mm equipment for emergency backup, but never had to use it.

    I used to mix 220 and 120.

    Every once in a while I'd have to waste a shot or two (e.g. to ensure a fresh roll for the newlyweds' walk down the aisle) but generally it was enough to understand the timing of things and working within that.

    You get quite good at unloading/loading film :smile:.
     
  15. photopriscilla

    photopriscilla Member

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    I that this is great! I am just making the transition to film and using the opportunity at weddings. I have no shame in the redo. It is only selective as I am a PJ at heart. A mix of everything is good!
     
  16. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    ^^^
    I got along fine having 4 backs to instantly put on my ETRSi, and loading new rolls of film during the many 'waits'. Having 220 rather than 120 further eased things.
     
  17. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Ted 220 24 on 120 backs are cheap these days because of the limited availability of 220 film, but Kodak Portra is still available in that size and cost about £69 for a pack of 5 rolls which should be plenty to shoot a wedding with. Check this out http://www.ffordes.com/product/10072316352953
     
  18. analoguey

    analoguey Member

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    Did you all only use one type of film? What ifu wanted to shoot bnw and colour?

    sent from tap-a-talk