Fitchburg Rides, 2014

In what promises to be the first of many years of this event, I recently attended Fitchburg Rides on June 21st. It featured a vintage bicycle exhibit at the Fitchburg Historical Society, which hosted a similar event last year. There was a bike swap, a display of BMX stunts, even a competition up Fitchburg’s steepest hill, near the old Fitchburg High. This was indeed a very packed day. I packed the Hasselblad, Nikon F3, and Nikon D300. Here are some Hasselblad shots taken with the 150mm, and Ilford Delta 100. Semi-stand developed in 1:100 Rodinal for one hour.

Fully restored Mini-Twinn Schwinn.

Fully restored Mini-Twinn Schwinn.

Another restored classic, the Schwinn Lime-Picker.

Another restored classic, the Schwinn Lime-Picker.

Schwinns were everywhere!

Schwinns were everywhere!

Other bikes really did have that vintage look.

Other bikes really did have that vintage look.

Sharing stories.

Sharing stories.

Colon Cycles

Colon Cycles

Master Schwinn bicycle restorer, Pedro, is interviewed by Fitchburg Access TV.

Master Schwinn bicycle restorer, Pedro, is interviewed by Fitchburg Access TV.

I plan to post more about Pedro when I get up my 35mm negatives He truly is a craftsman.

Memorial Day

Statue that commemorates the battle at the North Bridge, inscribed with verse from Ralph Emerson's Concord Hymn.

Minuteman by Daniel Chester French- statue that commemorates the battle at the North Bridge, inscribed with a verse from Ralph Emerson’s Concord Hymn.

I brought a second roll of film on the recent visit to Concord, a roll of Tri-X. Unfortunately, this roll was a major struggle in the darkroom to load into the tank, with multiple jam ups with the Patterson reel. But I am very happy with two of the surviving shots, timely for this upcoming great American holiday. Once again, the 500c/m, and 150mm Zeiss Sonnar-

Old North Bridge replica that was built in 1956, based on drawings of the bridge built in the 1760s. It was then restored in 2005.

Old North Bridge replica that was built in 1956, based on drawings of the original bridge from the 1760’s. It was then restored in 2005.

 

“By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.” Concord Hymn, Emerson

 

Enjoy this Memorial Day.

More From Concord

Walden Friends Of The Performing Arts

Walden Friends Of The Performing Arts

This town has big history, as well as little, quaint scenes. It really is Hasselblad heaven. Walking around with the camera downtown, it really does not seem to draw as much attention, questions, from other pedestrians. Which made it much easier to find nice shots, focus, and compose. Once again, the nifty 150, and Delta 100.

 

Beautiful windows can be found everywhere in the architecture downtown.

Beautiful windows can be found everywhere in the architecture downtown.

This next shot really surprised me, as my 150 has the Carl Zeiss T* coating, and I use a lens hoot. Despite that, lens flare can still happen-

Flare in the lower right of frame.

Come on up….We’re really nice! Flare in the lower right of frame.

That could also be uneven developing. Still, a cool shot. The amount of detail in the rope and tag is incredible.

Really Great Things!

Really Great Things! Stairway to an antique/gift shop in Concord.

Really Great Things! Stairway to an antique/gift shop in Concord.

This was just too cool of a shot to resist. The amazing thing about walking around downtown Concord with the Hasselblad in this configuration was that the 150mm really is not that much larger, or longer, than the 80mm. It’s not like walking with a D300 and 70-200mm. It was surprisingly compact. And, long enough, yet not insanely so. From the same roll of Delta 100, developed in D-76, 1:1.

Concord architecture is beautiful and timeless. Guessing this does not look that much different than it did in the 1700's.

Concord architecture is beautiful and timeless. Guessing this does not look that much different than it did in the 1700’s.

My window display and reflection obsession always gets in the way-

Deed-Rooted Wisdom

Deep-Rooted Wisdom

There truly are some Really Great Things in Concord!

Concord

Concord is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 17,668. The United States Census Bureau considers Concord part of Greater Boston. Concord is notable for playing a significant role in American history and literature. – travel.yahoo.com

Concord, Massachusetts is historic, having been founded in 1635, the oldest European-settled town in New England beyond tidewater. – http://www.newenglandtravelplanner.com

I shot some Polaroid in Concord a few years ago. This past weekend, I took the Hasselblad into the historic town, one of the birthplaces of America. As my 80mm is being CLA’d, the 150mm was put to very good use here. Ilford Delta 100 is so silky smooth. Developed in D-76.

This woman does not seem to see me or the Hasselblad, but at the same time, does not seem to be very happy, at all-

Hasselblad Street Photography- not easy, but it can be done.

Hasselblad Street Photography- not easy, but it can be done.

Shooting wide open allowed for a nice window view of S. (San) Pellegrino bottles. Medium format allows for crazy, insane shallow depth of field-

S.Pellegrino is the Italian water preferred by top chefs and fine dining lovers all around the world.

S.Pellegrino is the Italian water preferred by top chefs and fine dining lovers all around the world.

Clothes and artisans were everywhere. These stylish hats were irresistible-

Vintage Style Hats

Vintage Style Hats

I also took a roll of Tri-X, which gave me a wrestling match in the darkroom. But this roll of Delta was a complete success. Much more to come. And, the struggle with my Patterson-style tanks have prompted a purchase of some new kit for development of medium format. More on that to come.

Two More Hasselroids

Trees Near My Office

Trees near the office.

Finished up the pack of Fuji FP-100C with the Hasselblad while walking around at lunchtime, on a sunny Spring day. Shot with the 150mm Carl Zeiss Sonnar. Maybe my favorite Hasselroid prints, nonetheless, maybe the last I take. It was a brief experiment that really did not yield the results I would have liked. Maybe 70mm, or 35mm? The idea of a digital back had unbelievable appeal, until I read today that there is, yikes, a crop factor with the CVF-50! 1.5X. Really? On a Hasselblad? An 80mm would be a 120mm. Or, a 50, a 75, closer to a normal than a wide angle. A 50 megapixel back now sounds much less attractive. Like Hasselroids, it sounded good at first. Can’t someone, anyone, develop a practical, yet affordable, digital back for these gorgeous instruments? Something less than $17,500 US?  And, one without a goofy crop factor? I digress.

Maybe the last Hasselroid for a while.

Maybe the last Hasselroid for a while.

This truly was, at times, a fun pack to shoot. At times, mostly during scanning, a frustrating one. Mixed blessings, for sure. But photographic experiments can be that way. Back to roll film, what the Hasselblad was made to do. And, for Polaroid? The Land Camera Models 230, 240, and 450 all have a lot more packs to shoot. Maybe the Big Shot does as well, with the pack of Magicubes that were given to me at Photographica. I have always been a strong proponent of the “best tools for the best use” mantra of photography. I love both Hasselblad and Polaroid as fun to shoot, iconic film formats. Still uncertain as to if they mix nicely.

Office Space

Shade Under The Tree

Shade Under The Tree

Walking around outside the office park, I took these Hasselblad frames at lunchtime, in the harsh New England midday sun. The 150mm Sonnar, and Ilford 100 Delta Pro, developed in Kodak D-76.

This little gully is a stone's throw away.

This little gully is a stone’s throw away.

I do have a yellow filter, which may have been somewhat useful here. But, I admittedly didn’t have the patience, and these were really quick, test-like frames, as opposed to creative ones. Still, really happy with the depth of field, or, more accurately, the lack of DOF. As well as the tonality, which is complemented so nicely with Delta 100. I have loved the film in 35mm, and it may also be my favorite B&W emulsion in medium format.The 150mm focal length is incredibly versatile. A small office park can make for some really big, cool shots.

Good Friday

Stations Of The Cross

Stations Of The Cross

Last Friday, I had already shot a roll of Ektar is another area of the city, I had a roll of TMax 100 in the other magazine. While walking across the common, I came across a Good Friday service. I decided to swap out the PME-5 with the waist level finder (WLF), and use the built in magnifier for fine focusing The lens used here is the 150mm Sonnar.. At the risk of offending some Hasselblad purists, I am so happy Hasselblad had so many image-corrected mirrored prism options. Focusing with the WLF is, well, a challenge. At least for my eves. I do wear corrective lens eyeglasses. When using the PME-5, I do remove them. But, I noticed in these frames, and the others that I shot that day, that the perspective has a slightly angled look. You can almost tell that a WLF was used! Anyways, thrilled I was able to capture some great moments. D-76 was the developer.

I believe this was a multi-faith, ecumenical service.

I believe this was a multi-faith, ecumenical service.

As the crowd moved from station to station, I was fiddling with my focus, and returned the magnifier back into the WLF. The sound of the WLF as opened is maybe the only inelegant  noise a Hasselblad makes. But shortly after switching down the magnification option, I was able to capture this shot-

img098

Station To Station

Overall, I do prefer the correct orientation the PME-5 focal field has to offer. Maybe that comes from having shot so much 35mm. But, the WLF can be fun for street and environmental candid portraiture. Of course, the Hasselblad system, designed from the ground up as a true system camera, offers so many choices. In meeting other Hasselblad photographers, I have yet to see any two configured the same way.

The Nifty Hasselblad 150

Four years now on and off with Hasselblad photography, and the only lens I have used is the standard Carl Zeiss 80mm f/2.8 Planar T*. While, of course, wonderful glass, the time came to pick up a telephoto lens, from the great folks at KEH. I read great things online about the 150mm Sonnar T*. Offering a focal length roughly equivalent to a 105 in the 35mm Nikon family, this lens is sized perfectly for head and shoulders portraits. I cringe when reading reviews overly emphasizing sharpness, as there is so much more to what makes for great optics. While it is indeed insanely sharp, it is so much more.

This model, the “C” T*, features, of course, the multicoating that is so desirable even today, While cutting down dramatically on lens flare, the metal lens hood is still a great idea, and allows for great protection of the front element, in addition to practically eliminating the possibility of flare. The coating has magical properties. Carl Zeiss still uses the coating, modern variations of it, with their current lens lineup. Most certainly, this will help with wider focal lengths, such as on the 80mm, and the 50mm Distagon, which I’d love to add to the bag someday.

It also, to this eye, seems to be even more contrasty than the 80mm, which, of course, has spectacular contrast in its own right. But this is off the charts.

The overall results? Magic.

Masquerade Ball

Masquerade Ball

Yes, I am a fan of reflection off of glass window displays. But, for a first shot with this lens? Love it.

img063

Thinking the 150 might still be a favorite for wedding photographers.

A fellow Hasselblad photographer I chatted with at Photographica mentioned to me the Softar filters, the #1 in particular, for portraiture. I may try one, but, to my eye, the lens does not seem overly sharpened. It seems just right. Sharpening scanned negatives in Photoshop may feel unnecessary.

Oh, want shallow depth of field? Even at f/8? No problem…

Bikes parked outside the hair salon.

Bikes parked outside the hair salon.

Compared to the 80mm, I was expecting the lens to be a Godzilla-like behemoth. It is surprisingly compact and lightweight. I have even read online about some folks using it for street photography, and street portraiture. Not quite that brave yet, but thinking that for event photography and large gatherings, it might be ideal. For portraiture, it’s hard to imagine anything better. Sure, others may argue the 180mm, but I’d ask, what kind of portraiture do you enjoy doing? I like head and shoulders- this is the right focal length for the Hasselblad system. If you do want face only tightness, the 180 may be your way to go. Before choosing the 150, I did read some very spirited 150 vs. 180 showdowns in several forums. Pointless, maybe as much as the film vs. digital debates. Different tools, for different jobs. They could easily, I’m sure, quite peacefully coexist in the bag.

For now, I’ll take the Nifty Hasselblad 150.