Rainy days

In winter when the weather’s not at its best it’s a good time for housekeeping – I’m trying to apply a file naming system to make sense of the over 2000 scans I’ve made over the past few years. Not an easy job.

I have a stack of books to read, and not to mention a handful of new cameras to play with. And the flash shoe mount on my Hasselblad.  So to take a break from the file naming I did some more playing around with the side mounted flash on Vlad. Here’s a reminder of the set up.

I also have a new (to me) 250 mm lens for Vlad – so I tried that out too.

Now I was a bit wary of tilting Vlad on his side so I could try the effect of bouncing the flash off the ceiling, but rashbre had asked, so I made sure everything was screwed up tight and gave it a go.

come on

Geek details – auto flash bounced off  the ceiling shot at f/5.6  1/30 250 mm lens

To be honest, I think the manual setting worked better – here’s a couple using different lenses.


This was taken on the manual setting  by reading the distance vs iso number and bounced off the wall behind the camera.  Shot at f/5.6 1/30 with 250mm lens.


This one was also manual, bounced off the wall behind the camera  and shot at  f/5.6 1/60 and the 80mm lens. This is my favourite – there’s a lot of white wall to bounce the light around but though I was quite a way from the camera, the $20 flash did pretty well.



  1. Hey, that looks good! I need to give it a try as well. I haven’t quite figured out how to expose (and how to set my flash in terms of flash power) with the Blad. I’m still used to my other cameras where you set the shutter speed to X-sync (1/30s for the Pentacon six, I believe) and try to figure out the diaphragm by taking ISO and flash power/distance into account. Not that I’m a big user of flashes anyway, not even in digital.
    Congrats on the new lens! I’m still missing a bit of a longer lens for my Blad. But for the time being, the 150mm will have to do. And what do you mean by “a handful of cameras”? Ok, the Diana, but is there more to it? I’m looking forward to your uploads.

    By the way, my Blad still does not have a name. But while doing some ice climbing last WE, it occured to me that my ice axes have some similarities with it: They are black and chrome and are bloody sharp tools (http://www.flickr.com/photos/schoeband/3090892304/in/set-72157607240270404/). Maybe I can find a “sexy” name around that comparison.

  2. It’s easier than you think. Because the 500C/M has a lens shutter, you can shoot at any speed, but at lower speeds, below 1/125 ambient light will be visible in the shot.

    The Hasselblad Manual by Ernst Wildi is a really good source of info on just about everything you need to know – I think the 1st and 2nd editions are best for the 500C/M.

    As to names – there must be a good ice axe based one. It will come to you, I’m sure.

  3. Very interesting work.

    Your new 250 shows some real potential for portraits judging from the first 2 pix. You seem to be able to isolate the plane of focus quite nicely to give rewarding depth of field.

    Its also great how the hair tones have come out, which I suspect might not have shown so much without the flash. It’s subtle though, especially the top photo, which doesn’t really give away the use of the flash.

    You’ve got some really good catchlight in your eyes, especially on picture 2. Very sparkly. Were you using another reflector or window behind the flash? It’s worked well.

    There’s also no edges from the flash in the top two, which is also a good sign so early in the experimentation.

    Great fun. BTW instead of twisting Vlad sideways, another approach to play with might be a softbox? Margarine tub and tinfoil required.

  4. Margarine tub softbox? I can hardly resist that one.

    It’s really useful to have another pair of eyes on the shots – I hadn’t noticed many of the details you mention.

    I really do need to get Vlad mended – the apparent flash fall off in the last shot is likely due to the shutter problem I’m having which manifests as a dark band at the bottom of the frame. You can also see it on the 1st shot on the left side, as this was tilted sideways to get the ceiling bounce.

  5. Interesting to see the flash being used with the Hasselblad. I haven’t really considered it until recently when I got tired with only being able to use it in the daytime (especially during these winter months)

    Which flash did you use, and are there only specific ones that will work with the 500CM?

    • Hi Jayna,

      I’ve been experimenting with flash for exactly the same reason.

      The good news is you can use any flash so if you already have one you just need a hotshoe to pc connector to link the flash with the pc connection on the lens.

      I also used and a flash shoe so I could attach the flash to the camera – see this post http://debrabroughton.com/2010/01/02/vlad-goes-flash/ for more details

      These shots were taken with a Quantarary QB350A which I got cheap and has 2 auto settings.

      Hope that helps – good luck if you give it a try.

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