hasselblad back


日没を待っています by ChCh Chen
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Polaroids by Manuel Alvarez Bravo

Manuel Alvarez Bravo is generally recognized as one of the masters of modern photography, and as one of Mexico’s most significant artists. He is well known for his black and white images, therefore this selection of never-before-published Polaroids might be a surprise to those familiar only with his signature style. The simple design of the book–a single photograph per page, reproduced in the original Polaroid’s dimensions–creates an ideal context in which to enjoy this segment of Bravo’s work. Colette Alvarez Urbajtel, the photographer’s widow writes: “Although Manuel used a Hasselblad with special backing until his late career, when Polaroid cameras appeared on the market, he was quick to avail himself of their convenience and speed. He started taking black and white Polaroids with the appropriate fixtures, and then moved on to color. His work in color tended to be the result of some sudden impulse, when he had just supplied himself with materials or in quest of a particular effect. It might be at home, on the weekend, when there were people visiting, or when he wished to capture some prank of his daughters …” Beautifully reproduced, Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Polaroids reveals a playful, charming and spontaneous side of the great Mexican master of light and shade, and is the first book on his work published since his death in 2003. It will appeal to those interested in photography and Mexican art in general. [Amazon]

Discussed in Episode 2.20 with Sophie Barbasch

A Guide to the Hasselblad System

When it comes to photography, Hasselblad is one of those legendary names students hear about during history lessons. The name is considered synonymous with high class photography from the most earliest days of the medium, with quality image capturing machines that provide great function and performance as well as versatility. The Swedish company has produced cameras that have been in war zones and space missions, and their largely medium format camera systems are quite hardcore, known for being used by professionals and amateurs that are serious about photography. 

What Is A Hasselblad?

Hasselblad started producing cameras for civilian use in 1948. Their cameras are mostly in 6x6 medium format which have interchangeable lenses, viewfinders and film magazines. Most of their cameras feature leaf shutters built into the lenses, but a few lines also have focal plane shutters. The top of the camera body incorporates a waist level view finder with a ground glass reflex screen. The Hasselblad system is well known for the fact that all accessories are usually compatible with different models, and so can be easily switched around. For most of the V-system camera lines all lenses were produced by Carl Zeiss.

The aim of Victor Hasselblad was to produce cameras which had extremely high shutter speeds and image quality but were also compact and portable. Most of the models that were released remained very similar in general design but evolved in terms of functions and performance as the years went by. Let’s have a look at some of the more popular and significant camera lines produced by Hasselblad.  

{Hasselblad 1600F medium format SLR}


The first camera produced by Hasselblad in 1948 was the 1600F, named after the fact that it had the fastest shutter speed of 1/1600 sec and had a Focal plane shutter. This first camera by Hasselblad was considered revolutionary in its versatility offered by the interchangeable viewfinder, film magazine and lenses, although there were some kinks which were worked out during the length of its production.

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枯れ by sunnywinds*
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Withered Momiji