35mm in Hasselblad

Over-burning sprocket holes.

Over the summer break I’ve had time to catch up on alot of little experiments that I’ve wanted to do for ages, or “Research & Development” as declared on my Tax Report..

One of those things was putting 35mm thru the ‘Blad. This wont really mean anything to you unless your a bit of a photography nerd, but for those of us who are, read on.

Its relatively simple, and since we all like dot points..

Fitting 35mm film in your Hasselblad back:
* Get yourself an empty 120mm roll
* Cut/Grind/File the roll down until in fits in the 35mm Roll snugly. I did mine with a Dremel because I’ve got one and its easiest, but you could do this a million different ways, a sharp craft knife will suffice.
* Once in the 35mm roll, you want it to be the same height as the original 120mm roll, keep lining them next to each other and checking. Remember its always easy to grind more away, don’t go too hard to begin with.
* Load the film as you would a normal 120mm roll. It may look a bit wobbly, this is natural but also why you want to grind little-by-little so you can get a snug fit. All should be ok though.
* Re-insert the cartridge into the housing.
* Voila!

Things to note:
* When shooting, if you’ve got a normal waist-level view finder, remember that your film is running vertical, not horizontal. This caught me off guard at the beginning (thus my whack cropping below).
Trying to shoot Landscape will actually prove a bit difficult because you will need to rotate your camera and look-in from the side.
* When you can’t wind on any more shots, and you think its the end of the roll. It wont be. Remember, the standard A12 ‘blad back is only designed to get 12 shots off. But your 35mm film is alot longer than the 120mm film. So the way around this to keep shooting is, once you’ve reached the last shot, you need to disengage the cartridge from the back momentarily. That will reset the counter and let you keep winding on.
Obviously do this in the dark, or under your t-shirt or something, your tempting fate here exposing your roll to the light.
* When you do actually finish the roll, you cant wind-off the film like normal. Its a case of popping the cartridge and rewinding the whole roll manually. Its best/easiest to do this in a dark bag, which you should have if your a film nerd anyway.

That’s it. Simple Yeah?

Have fun.


9 Responses to “35mm in Hasselblad”

  1. 1 Dane February 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Epic. I have a few rolls sitting in a box that I have not scanned yet because I only just bought the right attachment for my scanner. I hope they come out this crispy!

  2. 2 Tonuri de apel April 5, 2012 at 3:03 am

    I am amazed how you managed to take pictures with the camera so old. 🙂

  3. 3 RetroGunCounty February 13, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    I have a question. How far did you know to wind the film each time? Isn’t the size of each frame different (i.e. not 6×6)?

    • 4 scattergunshutter February 22, 2016 at 2:15 am

      Hi, the magazine will treat the film as if it were 120 format, so length per wind will be 6cm (actually a little less about 56mm) Frames will be spaced apart as normal (if magazine is working to spec)

  4. 5 Michael Przewrocki July 27, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    I would aim emulsion to the subject….

  5. 6 Michael Przewrocki July 27, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    I would prepare 70mm-spools with 35mm spacers on both sides and use 70mm-back or try with rubber-strings. see elsewhere via google. Long-roll 4.6m or longer are possible depending film-thickness.

  6. 7 Mark August 16, 2015 at 10:26 am

    One solution to the 12 exposure problem is to use a C-12 back, which you can reset to 1 without removing the film….

  7. 8 siavauchsaleki September 29, 2015 at 1:36 am

    I’m going to start doing this.
    Does the hassey magasine is restricked to a certain number of frames? I mean does it blocks after 12 shots?

  1. 1 Karim Aïnouz « Hollywood in the Hood Trackback on April 12, 2012 at 2:54 am

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