The Hasselblad SWC/M: Heading to Thunder Bay


I am fogged in at the Island Airport. The Linhof camera and tripod were packed into my suitcase at the expense of clothing; most of my carry-on consists of film holders loaded with Ilford 4×5 sheet film [black and white] and the Hasselblad SWC/M camera that I bought 15 months ago. When it came to choosing a second camera for my vacation, I have to admit that I am blessed enough to be spoiled for choice. The Canon 1DmkIII would have let me shoot wildly and ensure that I came away with easily uploaded images. The Leica M3 would have let me be discreet and shoot in low light; great for cafe photographs. The Hasselblad 501 would let me take two lenses…and then V.’s new Mamiya Pro TL is dying to be used-it is a brilliant camera that is light and fully featured with great lenses. So why the SWC/M?

The SWC is a fingerprint camera. Nothing else looks like it and every photograph is clearly an SWC photograph. When I went online to search for images of Thunder Bay, there were no professional images worth mentioning. Therefore, this is unique opportunity to produce work worth shooting. V. and I will each learn to use the Linhof Color view camera for what I hope will prove to be an iconic series of northern Ontario landscapes with a seldom used film format. The rest, the restaurants, the city and the natural scenes, I hope to capture with the looming superwide angle 38mm Biogon lens. Unlike any other medium format camera, the SWC produces a photograph that is deep in field, sharp in focus and at interesting angles.

Fog has lifted…time to hit the road and header farther North than I have ever been before.


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