Spring is here and it is time for me to start my eighth season working on my Memory Pods series, especially since my back yard Aloe Vera subjects are sprouting their bloom stalks (see below). In 2016 I had acquired a 32-E extension tube (32mm) for my Hasselblad with the 120mm Makro lens. After using this combination for a couple of years I realized that I might need to purchase a longer extension tube to fill the frame even more with this Makro lens. The next longer tube for the camera would be a 55 (55mm) tube, while also realizing that I did not need an E version tube which would be needed if I was using an electronic flash. A simple mechanical extension tube also equates to a less expensive investment in this used equipment. Done (above), a nice e-Bay purchase.
No photographic results to show yet as the expired film (Fujichrome 100) requires processing and scanning to evaluate. It does not help that with the pandemic, the volume of film to be processing has substantially decrease for my pro-process lab, thus it is taking a longer turn-around time while they acquire the volume of film to batch process.
I will admit that with this extension tube with my 120mm Makro that my subject really does fill the frame. Which reminds me that I should perform a side by side comparison between the 32 and 55 extension tubes, so something on my to-do list tomorrow morning when we have a hazy foggy morning that provides a wonder light on my subjects. With the 32 extension tube I was on the cusp of needing to modify my film Exposure Index (EI) as the use of the extension tube reduces the light to the film. So with the 55 tube I am reducing my film’s EI by half; thus my Fujichrome 100 is set at an EI of 50 on my spot meter to calculate the exposure parameters.
Also quickly noted that with the 55 extension tube that it creates a very shallow depth of field in conjunction with the 120mm Makro and focuses only at very close range. There will not be any broad landscapes with this tube and lens combination.
Earlier when I was discussing my 32-E extension tube to investigate my Memory Pods series, I also included some do’s and do-not’s for working with the Hasselblad V cameras and their extension tubes; these are fussy, fussy, fussy. Worth repeating; if you do not follow a specific routine for mounting and unmounting the lens and extension tube from the camera body, it will create a loads of trouble for you and probably require your locked up camera to go into the camera repair shop (as my did on a couple of occassions). Trouble is that there are fewer and fewer camera repair shops with experience to work on these older mechanical cameras. So don’t say I did not warn you.
For now with the 55 extension tube; so far, so good. I can never tell how a small change in my equipment might inspire creative options for an on-going series.
May 7th – 29th, 2021, Southeast Center for Photography (SEC4P), Greenville, South Carolina. A group photographic exhibition on the theme of Flora, juried by Wendi Schneider. Opening concurrent with Greenville’s First Friday events while there will not be a formal artists reception of this exhibition due to the pandemic.