October 03, 2020
Hasselblad SWC Superwide
Hasselblad SWC Superwide Camera with Carl Zeiss Biogon 38mm f/4.5 lens. Made in Sweden by Victor Hasselblad in 1954.
I bought this camera in around 2005, a totally unplanned purchase which was offered to me when people were giving up film cameras for digital cameras. I thought it would be interesting to own as it would allow me to take wide angle square images. It's light and easy to carry and it complements working with the Rolleiflex and Mamiya RB67.
The Hasselblad Superwide is the widest angle medium format film camera on the planet so it is amazing for interior photography as often you are working in a restricted space. When I was commissioned to photograph Preston Hall Museum, what became my series Forward to the Past, it became very useful on pictures like 'Bedsit'.
I have used it recently when photographing in launderettes for my series A Short History of London, I am yet to release these artworks but I plan to launch them at A South London Makers Market on 1st November. This is a virtual event hosted on Instagram, it is an amazing place to discover individual creative brands, a shop small independent business paradise.
I also used it when photographing the Victorian seaside promenade shelters when I was shooting on the East Sussex Coast in September 2020. I am just making the contact sheets of the negatives of these today and hope to make prints to release soon.
I am constantly amazed by the Carl Zeiss Biogon Lens, the sense of depth and how it responds to light and colour, despite its age the optical quality is immense. There are limitations to using the camera though, because you can't view or focus through the lens, you look through a sight so you have to use a lot of experience and imagination to make it work for you.
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