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Thread: Working with Hasselblad-Equipment in Africa ?

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    Working with Hasselblad-Equipment in Africa ?

    Hey Guys (are there some girls in the forum ?)

    I'm in the process to commit a journey to South Africa and Namibia next year. I've been there already two times, but had Canon cameras with me.

    Now, I'm thinking over to take my H4D and lenses (35 - 210 mm + TC) with me (along with my X-Pro1). It's not about WHAT lenses ...

    Any experiences about that:

    - problems due to heat ?
    - sand/dust/etc problems ?
    - or wtf ?

    There is a video on Youtube showing two guys traveling through Namibia with a Hasselblad. They are powered by Hasselblad South Africa.
    But as I have to pay my equipment on my own, I don't want to come back with a Pelicase full of sand and a non-working camera ...

    Would love to get your experiences or ideas.

    S.

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    New Member michali's Avatar
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    Re: Working with Hasselblad-Equipment in Africa ?

    Hi Stan- I travel to Namibia about twice a year and have been doing so for about 12 years. I used to take a Leica M6 and more recently I take two Leica M9s and the M6 as back up. I've trekked up and down dunes (as you can see from the first image) and have never had problems with heat or dust. It should be no different for your Hasselbald. Be prudent, always be extra careful when changing lenses, batteries etc. in harsh environments and keep a soft brush (my wife's new make-up brush) or blower in your pocket and constantly remove dust from equipment.

    I've recently moved into digital MF photography and am going to Namibia this September with my Hasselblad 503CW, CFV50 and lenses from 40mm to 160mm. I'm really looking forward to trying this kit out there.

    Attachment 61163

    Attachment 61165

    Attachment 61164

    Regards
    Mike
    Last edited by michali; 18th July 2012 at 13:21.

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    Member Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Working with Hasselblad-Equipment in Africa ?

    Have a look at this website:
    Viktor Bentley | Tag archive for Nomads
    This Belgian photographer took his H4D on a trip into the desert.
    Perhaps he can provide you with more info?

    Frans Rutten

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    Re: Working with Hasselblad-Equipment in Africa ?

    Honestly I don't see why there would be a problem, these cameras are not built to be babied. There have been plenty of photographers shooting with Hassy and other medium format cameras in Africa. Steve McCurry also uses a Hassy and he travels all over the world about 9 months a year. I say go for it and just use common sense.

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    Re: Working with Hasselblad-Equipment in Africa ?

    I have been on numerous Namibia trips with medium format equipment, both in my own bag as well as my customers' bags. I wouldn't do anything different that I do with 35mm gear. Just take precautions when the wind is heavy, don't put your camera bag onto the ground if you can help it (use a vest of waist pouch system).

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Working with Hasselblad-Equipment in Africa ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mammy645 View Post
    Honestly I don't see why there would be a problem, these cameras are not built to be babied. There have been plenty of photographers shooting with Hassy and other medium format cameras in Africa. Steve McCurry also uses a Hassy and he travels all over the world about 9 months a year. I say go for it and just use common sense.
    Yet I had a H3DII body pin fail on me causing the back to not power up.

    2500 shots from new too.

    For me I'd have to take two bodies.

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    Re: Working with Hasselblad-Equipment in Africa ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Yet I had a H3DII body pin fail on me causing the back to not power up.

    2500 shots from new too.

    For me I'd have to take two bodies.
    Even space shuttles have been known to fail, there is no such thing as unfailing equipment only varying degrees of sturdiness and reliability. That said bringing some kind of backup is a given.
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    Re: Working with Hasselblad-Equipment in Africa ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Biggs View Post
    I have been on numerous Namibia trips with medium format equipment, both in my own bag as well as my customers' bags. I wouldn't do anything different that I do with 35mm gear. Just take precautions when the wind is heavy, don't put your camera bag onto the ground if you can help it (use a vest of waist pouch system).
    Do you travel with mf and 35mm film at all?
    I am also going out to Africa soon and was curious about the heat, humidity, sand and all out there when using an xpan and medium format Hasselblad kits but mostly shooting film?

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    Re: Working with Hasselblad-Equipment in Africa ?

    There is a photographer i saw his photostream on flickr, he traveled to Africa and around the world with MF [Hasselblad], so it can be done, if i have a lucky time in the future to travel to Africa i will plan to carry my MF, not sure if digital or film, but i will not feel sorry to carry one even if i end up not using it at all, i carried my Hassy to USA back in 2009 and i used it about 2% when i can use it more exclusively if i want.
    Tareq

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    Re: Working with Hasselblad-Equipment in Africa ?

    SA an Namibia encompass a lot of very diverse environmental conditions. The only situation where I am aware of H4d having problems is where there are circumstances involving very, very high humidity and a camera being moved from cool (aircon) to hot and humid conditions where condensation on or inside the camera may have been a factor. This failure occurred in Dubai during the ultra-humid summer season.
    In fairness, this failure, as reported by Dubai portraitist Stu Williamson, is the only instance I've heard of where a camera just refused to work. Forum member Professional has a H4d60 which he uses without problems in Dubai, so one has to ask if this was an isolated case.
    I doubt you will have any issues but the usual caveats about carrying backups apply. Frankly, I would be more concerned about security in SA rather than reliability of gear.
    Best of luck with your trip!
    Siebel
    "In the end, it's all about the pictures"
    www.bryansiebel.com

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    Re: Working with Hasselblad-Equipment in Africa ?

    As an expat and someone who travel extensive with my gear, the gear goes wherever I travel. The issue is in my experience not if you dare to travel to somewhere with your gear but rather of protecting it and caring for the equipment. When I got my first Leaf I went to travel in dusty India. Would I dare bring my Hy6 to Namibia? Of course, but I would ensure to care for it. Would I take my Hy6 to photograph rainy rain forest? Of course again, and to care and protect the gear, but still get the images I want.

    andersloof.com - though my website still need updating of text for images

    You may also search youtube on Joey L's travel to Ethiopia and Indonesia...

    Best regards,
    Anders

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    Re: Working with Hasselblad-Equipment in Africa ?

    Quote Originally Posted by siebel View Post
    SA an Namibia encompass a lot of very diverse environmental conditions. The only situation where I am aware of H4d having problems is where there are circumstances involving very, very high humidity and a camera being moved from cool (aircon) to hot and humid conditions where condensation on or inside the camera may have been a factor. This failure occurred in Dubai during the ultra-humid summer season.
    In fairness, this failure, as reported by Dubai portraitist Stu Williamson, is the only instance I've heard of where a camera just refused to work. Forum member Professional has a H4d60 which he uses without problems in Dubai, so one has to ask if this was an isolated case.
    I doubt you will have any issues but the usual caveats about carrying backups apply. Frankly, I would be more concerned about security in SA rather than reliability of gear.
    Best of luck with your trip!
    True Bryan, but there is always a way for that, i use a Silica gel that absorbing moisture if i need, also my hard case bag is a bit isolated from inside, so i will jot have that big jump in temp in and out, i didn't have issues yet shooting in UAE in different conditions with my Hassy, Canon has more issue as it is not in a great bag to balance the temp inside the bag and outside, the lens has that issue more than the body itself, but i am not that photographer as you or others who will shoot many events in humidity dusty conditions here, and most of the time i keep my bag open in my car while driving and open the windows or don't use the AC before i reach the place i want to shoot so the camera and lens will be ready in no time and free of condensation.

    Best luck for all travelers to Africa.
    Tareq

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