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  1. #1
    Katie's Avatar
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    Blank developed negatives from my Hasselblad 500C recent purchase

    So I found a Hasselblad 500C on CL for $300 ... with the Planar 80, 12 back (not A), 24 back, WLF, assorted filters, and some random film (some Tri-X, color slide film/chrome, and something else....) and I bought it. I am NOT familiar with the Hasselblad system, let alone the 12 back - so the first roll I ran through it I wasn't surprised when it came out blank. I watched several you tube videos on how to properly load the tricky 12 back; and the second roll I made sure that I loaded correctly - watched for the 1 through the peephole and then set the counter at 1. When I took the first shot on the roll, I noticed that I had forgotten to take the dark slide out. But the shutter fired anyway! So - I ran the roll - developed it - and nothing AGAIN. Totally blank. No exposures at all. So I tested the camera AGAIN. Watched the shutter fire - checked the rear curtains/flap - everything that I found to do on this forum to check the camera. I even tested the dark slide and it DIDNT fire with it in while testing. It seems to work fine as far as that goes.

    So my question is - would an improperly loading back cause blank negatives?

    When I completed the roll - the film was advanced to the takeup spool. So it DID advance. But why would it fire with the dark slide in while loaded with film but not when dry firing to test? What can I do?

    Keep in mind that I have contacted the seller and am asking him what I should do as well; so there is a possibility of returning it (he said he had lots of inquiries from his listing, so I'm sure he could sell it to someone else...).

    Thanks for any and all info!

  2. #2
    vedmak's Avatar
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    "So my question is - would an improperly loading back cause blank negatives? "

    unless you put the paper upside down, although that is highly unlikely, also when you say film is totally blank do you see a frame numbers on the developed film? If not you used fixer before the developer
    Multum egerunt, qui ante nos fuerunt, sed non peregedunt.

  3. #3
    John_Nikon_F's Avatar
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    That's a possibility. Another possibility is that the back isn't working right. The shutter release should be locked when the dark slide is installed, even if there's film loaded. If that's the case, I'd pick up a good A12 and not bother with the old school #12 back. The rest of the gear sounds about right, price-wise... The only other thing I can think of is that the mirror's going up, then dropping down before the shutter releases. Easy way to tell is to set the shutter to 1 second, then fire the camera while looking at the front element of the lens. It should be synched. Mirror goes up, shutter closes, then opens for a second, and closes, before the light trap flaps @ the back close. A couple times, my 500c/m (actually a late 500c, but it's essentially a c/m) would do that, but only while dry firing. Ever since that, it's been working perfectly.

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  4. #4
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    If you have watched the camera operate like John suggested and it seems to work properly, I would next suspect the film. I assume you used the film the previous owner threw in, and I don't know what would make film come out blank (except mixing up developer and fixer in the darkroom; there is another thread going on about this right now.) So go buy some fresh film and try that. Maybe a roll of color film and send it to a good lab to rule out darkroom errors on your part. If you get pictures back from the lab, you know the camera is working. Then shoot another roll of fresh film and develop yourself. In other words, rule out one thing at a time until you find the problem.


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  5. #5
    Katie's Avatar
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    It's not the film - or the processing. I used new film - the same used in my Bronica - and it developed perfectly last night. It for sure wasn't backwards - I've done that once, and not likely to do it again.

    So, in testing the camera - I cocked the shutter, which brought down the mirror so that I can view through the WLF (which I don't like, btw ... hard to focus). When I press the shutter (looking through the back of the camera without the back attached) the rear flaps open, and the shutter closes, then when I take my finger off the shutter, the rear flaps close. I don't see the mirror at all. When I cock the shutter again, and peek through the rear flaps, I can see the mirror down - so it is obviously going up upon the shutter firing.

    When I took the lens off ... I can see the mirror down. It is really pretty scratched up.

    Also - the lens. When I have it set at 2.8, I cannot see the shutter blades at all through the front of the lens. When stopping down to anything larger than 2.8, I see the edge of the shutter blades slightly (making the hole narrower). It doesn't change, though, from 4- 22). Is this normal?

  6. #6
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    Katie: It sounds from your description like the camera is operating normally. I just put an old 80 on my 500 CM and went through the process you described. By the way, be careful "peeking through the rear flaps" that you don't damage them. Also remember to have both the lens and camera cocked before removing or installing a lens. So maybe it is your back, although I can't understand what it could be. When the darkslide is removed there is nothing between the film and lens but the camera shutter, mirror, and rear curtains. When you release the shutter with the back on does it sound exactly the same as it does with the back off? My suggestion would be to find a back that you can borrow (maybe from the person who sold you the camera?) and test to see if there is something wrong with the back.

    RE the lens: I can never see the aperture blades when on f/4 or smaller unless I press the DOF preview button on the side of the lens.

    And RE the WLF: I have never had good luck with that either. I do better with a 45 degree prism finder. They are pretty cheap at KEH.

    Dan


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  7. #7
    Katie's Avatar
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    Thanks Dan for your input. So the lens is normal. From my amateur testing, the body is functioning properly. I do have another back - the 24, however I don't have any NEW 220 film. I do have a roll of Tri-X pan that he gave me that expired about 8 years ago. I don't think I can develop that film, though. Can I use HP5+ 120 film in the 24 back?

    Also, I have already loaded another HP5+ roll onto the stupid 12 back. Should I go ahead and do ANOTHER test roll with it or is there a way I can take it off (like in the dark) and respool the leader to use again later? I will probably just go ahead and shoot it as another test roll and make sure that I have exhausted all possibilities before I take her to the camera doctor. It is a haul to get to town and I'm sure not cheap for a checkup.

  8. #8
    maarten m's Avatar
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    hey katie,

    you can use the 120 film in the 24 back, but you might lose your last frame, which can't be a problem for testing
    (i load the film about 1/4 to 1/8 turn shorter when i use 120 film in the 24 back and till now never lost a frame).
    if the darkslide isn't inserted fully, the camera might fire with it inserted, so that might be explained.

    my very first attempt to load a film on my older 12-back, i had gone winding through the whole film before it appeared to me it doesn't stop (like the A-backs)
    at the first exposure. i did not have a darkroom nor changing bag, so i opened the back and manually respooled and reloaded the film under the blankets in my bedroom
    worked just fine ...

    try taking off the back, setting the lens to 1 sec (or B) and f11 and look at/through the barndoors as you fire without a back installed.
    the doors will open upon firing and you should be able to see clearly through the lens (shutter opened, diafragma at f11 opening) for about 1 sec (or till you let go of the shutter).
    if you can see this, the light will have hit your film and neither camera nor lens is defect.

    maarten.

  9. #9
    Athiril's Avatar
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    I've used HP5 (non plus) from the 80's, came out fine, you can overexpose and underdevelop to compensate, though perhaps just overexpose 1 stop (at 200) and leave it at that, its only 8 years... in any case, you'd still get pictures regardless of using old film.. they may be foggy and dense with the actual picture ifo thin itself. But it wont simply be 'nothing'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Katie View Post
    When I took the first shot on the roll, I noticed that I had forgotten to take the dark slide out.

    ...blank negatives?
    Not taking the dark slide out will cause blank negatives every time.

    It has to be taken out or no light will reach the film.

  10. #10
    ChrisJarisch's Avatar
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    I hate to admit it, but when I first got my Hasselblad, I did the same thing for 3 or 4 rolls of film... My problem was not loading the film right. I have an A12 back, and there is an excellent video on youtube that explains it step by step. I finally got it working, and now, it's second nature to load the film. I'm guessing you might be having the same problem. Hasselblad back are tricky to load at first, if you're used to a different camera. Everything seems backwards/upside down/weird. But, keep trying... you'll love your camera!
    Good luck

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