|Photographing my favorite subject Lake Tahoe with my Hasselbad Camera|
Image by Martin Gisborne for Apple Inc.
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I often receive inquiries about what cameras I use and why. So here is the rundown on my camera collection and what specific types of photography each are used for. I am currently using 3 different camera systems depending on the subject matter and the amount of traveling involved in a shoot. These are the Hasselblad H5D 50, the Nikon D800E, and the Panasonic GH1 which has now been replaced by the Panasonic GH3. I will be writing about the Nikon and Panasonic in future posts. Here is the low down on the H5D-50:
Hasselblad H5D-50: This is my main workhorse camera. It is a 50 megapixel medium format camera by Hasselblad. I have been using Hasselblad cameras for the last 10 years, and started out the with 22 megapixel back that required a separate (large) battery pack that I had to carry around in a modified purse. Thankfully Hasselblad has continued to develop and improve their technology over the years and has provides a clear upgrade path so users can keep up with the latest cameras.
I regularly make prints that are greater than 30" wide, and often up sample images with On One Perfect Resize to create prints up to ten feet in the longest dimension. To make such big prints I need a lot of high quality megapixels. The large sensor size (6132 x 8176 pixels with a sensor dimension of 36.7 x 49.1mm) of the H5D 50 along with 16 bit color depth results in noticeable improvement in the quality of a fine art print when compared with almost all other camera systems. The Hasselblad sensor captures true 16 bit color, which basically means it captures a broader range of colors than be captured by a standard DSLR sensor. Most DSLRS capture colors in the 12 bit or 14 bit range, which is about 25% (in the case of 14 bit) of the color data captured by a 16 bit sensor. Granted this is an oversimplified explanation of bit depth, however functionally what I find with 16 bit files is that I am able to perceive a broader range of colors and shadow / highlight details from the image files when I make them into prints.
In addition the lens quality of the Hasselblad H lenses are stunning. The optical quality is designed to bring out the best in the high resolution sensor of the Hasselblad. Since the unique patented shutter is in the lens and causes no vibration, it is possible to capture images that are tack sharp at any shutter speed since there is no detectable shutter vibration once the mirror is locked up. The combination of very high quality lenses, 16 bit color, and 50 megapixels on a very large sensor make it possible for me to capture the best possible image quality. Of course this requires using a tripod for all image captures, since hand-holding a camera like this results in a decrease in image quality due to mirror slap and camera movement. I use the Really Right Stuff L bracket and the Arca Swiss Cube Head on a Gitzo tripod to ensure a stable platform, and I use a cable release with mirror lock up.
I use an assortment of Hasselblad Lenses. In my bag are the 28mm wide angle, 35mm wide angle, 50-110 zoom, 300 mm telephoto, and the 1.7x converter which makes the 300 mm into a 510mm lens. I also use a special macro adaptor that allows my existing lenses to focus at a closer distance to take better macro images. Here are some images I have taken with the different lenses (all images ©Elizabeth Carmel):
28mm Very Wide Angle
|Summer Bloom Lake Tahoe|