Friday, August 26, 2016

The Most Hipster Thing I've Ever Done

Shortly after becoming obsessed with the goofy Hasselblad/Sony I hadn't even known existed until moments before, I managed to arrange a business deal to get the (barely) used one from KEH winging this way.

What clinched the deal for me was the fact that there exist lens adapters to allow you to fit nearly any old film camera lens under the sun to the Sony E-mount, which is what the Hasselblad Lunar uses. Even before the camera arrived, I'd picked up some cheap Fotodiox adapters from Amazon for Canon FD lenses, Nikon F-mount, and (of course) Leica M39 screw-mount lenses because...

How could I not? Of course, handling the camera with the classic collapsible Elmar 5cm f/3.5 makes me as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I'm not 100% sure that the barrel of the collapsed lens would be small enough to intrude into the sensor box and crash into the surface of the CCD with fatal (for the camera) results, but that's not the sort of thing you want to find out by trial and error.

It took some digging around in the user manual to figure out how to use the camera with the antique lenses mounted. A modern camera likes to talk to its lenses and expects them to talk back to it about things like focus and aperture.

The setting I was looking for was nested in a submenu under "Release w/o lens? (Y/N)", to allow the camera to work when attached to telescopes...or 60+ year-old lenses, I guess.

I trotted out into the front yard in my pyjamas this morning to snap some test photos of the hostas.

The 24MP Hasselblad may be 2012 technology, but considering that the newest cameras I make use of are the 10MP D200 from late '05 and the 2010-vintage 10MP Nikon Coolpix P7000, the Sony NEX-7 sensor in the Lunar feels like it has all the megapixels by comparison.

One thing that was interesting to me is that I'm used to shooting in aperture-priority mode with film cameras, where you set the aperture being very conscious of the lighting conditions and the film you have loaded; this is, in fact, the only setting there is on the little Nikon EM. I've never used it in a digital camera. With the Lunar, even using "dumb" lenses in aperture-priority, the camera still can automatically adjust the ISO to compensate.

This has the potential to be a ton of fun!