Understandable. After auto-everything, getting used to a focus ring can be quite the challenge.
Originally Posted by ted_smith
As was said, this simply takes practice. Do you have an eye-level prism finder? In my opinion, such a thing is an absolute must for action shots. Yes, infants and toddlers fall in that category! I've not used a Hassy before, but I imagine you can still set up your hands so that one supports camera and has a finger poised over the shutter release, while the second is manning the focus ring. Preset your aperture and shutter speed based upon lighting conditions (or flash distance/guide number). Natural light photography will require faster shutter speeds.
Originally Posted by ted_smith
Just a case of learning a few more skills. You can practice also by setting your F5 into full manual mode.
I must admit, I wish I had your problem… Of owning a Hassy, that is.
I shot weddings for years with a Mamiya C330 but no assistant.
Originally Posted by naeroscatu
You get fewer shots, but a higher ratio of keepers.
Takes a bit of practice though.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
The last wedding I shot was with a hassy and 3 a12 backs. Shot 12 rolls which was 108 frames and I presented 105. (flash did not fire) They were not looking for a high volume shooting and liked my work. They could not of been happier.
Depending on which Hasselblad lens you have, focus can be hard.
In the old C lenses, especially if not serviced, the grease is 40 years old, and probably dry. So turning the focusing ring will be hard and slow, it needs a CLA.
For action, you use depth of field to compensate for focusing errors. You also try to prefocus on a location where you thing the subject will go.
Like learning a new skill, it just takes practice, to get your brain and muscles working together.
Also knowing some of the tricks would help.
We used to use the "sunny 16" and practice shooting w/o using a meter. We would walk about look at a scene and based on the sunny 16 rule set the exposure.
We also trained our hands.
- which way to turn the aperture ring for min and max aperture
- set the aperture to a specific setting w/o looking
- Which way to turn the shutter speed dial
- set the speed w/o looking at the camera
- as you walked about, we would adjust the aperture and shutter speed for the lighting, so the exposure was set before we raised the camera
- which way to turn the focus to infinity
- from infinity how much to turn to reach 10 feet w/o looking at the lens
- you look at a subject and turn the focus ring, the focus was pretty close before the camera is raised, and all you do is fine tune the focus. Or just shoot and let depth of field take care of the focus miss.
- you learned to estimate distance with your eye. (another perishable skill)
- Then set the focus on the cameras w/o looking thru the viewfinder. Like on the old folding cameras. Looking thru the viewfinder was just to confirm or fine tune the focus.
- This also how we set the exposure for manual flash. Estimate distance, set the aperture based on the distance, shoot. This was actually more reliable than the auto flashes, as distance was independent of the scene, which could/did and does fool an auto flash.
You also had to train your eye to know what a focused image looks like.
And to focus the lens quickly, not take minutes hunting back and forth trying to get the lens focused.
I found that many people cannot focus a camera or projector for a SHARP image. They get close, but it still is NOT in focus.
For these people, autofocus is a blessing.
You were one with your camera.
But these were/are perishable skills, you had to keep practicing or you would loose some of the skills.
I can still set the shutter speed and aperture, but I can't set the focus w/o looking.
Today I cannot look at a scene and tell you the exposure. I can only do that for bright sunlight, the easy part of the sunny 16 rule. Shadow, shade, deep shade, overcast, etc, I can't do it.
The sunny 16 rule was easy to remember if you observe the light according to the clouds and shadows cast by the sun generally from mid morning to mid afternoon
Bright sun hard edged shadows f/16
Hazy sun soft edged shadows open one stop f/11
Cloudy bright no shadows open another stop f/8
Cloudy dark dim open another stop f/5.6
But at this point hard to judge, might need to meter
Open shade open one stop from f/16
Closed shade open two stops f/11
Sidelight open one stop f/11
Back light open two stops f/8
This is especially useful when working on the run or if the camera metering is questionable. The sun is a constant one can count on.
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