‘With the new high ISO CFV-50c back I can use my V System Hasselblad once again for photojournalism.’
Hamburg-based photographer Arne Weychardt has used Hasselblad cameras all his working life, and particularly appreciates classic V System models. Now the launch of the new CMOS CFV-50c is enabling him to shoot at ISO speeds he could once only dream about…\
It was always Arne Weychardt’s dream to make his living behind a camera – a Hasselblad camera.
From the moment he set off to college at the age of 19 to take his first step on the road to making photography his career, a V-System camera has been by his side, a consistent partner for the past 30 years and one that continues to reward him with loyal service and quality results that match his vision.
Now the launch of the latest CMOS powered CFV digital back has given him the opportunity to enhance his kit with cutting edge technology, and he’s relishing the chance to work with ISO speeds that until recently were the sole domain of the 35mm-style DSLR. “When I graduated at the age of 21 I became a photojournalist in Berlin,” says Arne, “and some people questioned whether the Hasselblad was the right camera for that particular job. However, whenever there were more considered photo shoots to undertake I was the one who got the job: I loved the chance to slow down a little and I would shoot 12 frames and come away with 12 wonderful pictures.”
These days Arne is one of Germany’s most celebrated portrait photographers, and his services are much in demand from big name editorial clients. While the jobs he takes on might have become more high profile he’s never lost his regard for the simple, reliable functionality of those now-vintage Hasselblads that have accompanied him on his journey, and he’s been able to continue using them, thanks to the development of bespoke digital backs.
His first CFV model, which he still uses, offered 16 megapixels of resolution and produces files that clients are delighted with. Given his considerable experience of marrying new and classic technology Arne was a logical target when Hasselblad was looking for someone to put the latest CFV-50c CMOS digital back through its paces.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with my V System cameras,” he says, “and I’ve used them for many of my professional and personal projects over the years. I love the 6x6cm format and they are so easy to work with: I can adjust the aperture and the shutter speed on the lens, for example, and don’t have to go diving into a menu to do things. The people I’ve photographed – especially for my long-running ‘Golden Camera’ series -include some of the world’s top celebrities. And they too love to see me using vintage cameras. If they were to see a 35mm-style camera they wouldn’t give me the time, but when they see I’m using a classic Hasselblad they are happy to cooperate.
I photographed Clint Eastwood with my Hasselblad and later photographed him while he was being interviewed, this time using a 35mm-style DSLR camera because I was working reportage-style. He stopped the interview, smiled and said to me: “Didn’t you have a real camera before? What happened?”
Right Up to Date
While he might regularly be focusing on Hollywood A-Listers, the people Arne chose to test out the Hasselblad’s latest digital back on were from a different walk of life entirely. The pictures produced were a continuation of Arne’s Langeneß project, a tiny island off the coast of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany. It’s a location that is home to around 100 inhabitants and 58 households and, captivated by the simplicity of the way of life that still exists there, Arne has been documenting its people for many years. This was his third visit.
The chance to extend his shooting capabilities excited Arne and reminded him in many ways of how things were when he first started out as a photojournalist all those years ago. “The CFV-50c CMOS back gives me a lot of new possibilities, to shoot on location under different conditions and circumstances,” he says. “For me this new CMOS technology makes a huge difference, allowing me to shoot in available light on Langeneß using ISO speeds right the way through the range of the new back up to ISO 6400, and I was delighted with the results.
I also appreciated the ability of the back to offer me clean, noise-free images even at extended shooting times. It opened up plenty of new opportunities to me to shoot images under challenging conditions, and I found the flexibility I had increased enormously.” It wasn’t just the ability of the new back to deliver great results under a wider range of shooting conditions that impressed Arne.
He also loved its appearance and was impressed by the thought that had clearly gone into making it a perfect match for the V-system’s classic good looks. “The design of the new CFV-50c CMOS back is just stunning,” he enthuses. “It fits perfectly into the design of the V System and sustains the beauty and heritage of the camera. I also loved the new high resolution LCD screen. It is so sharp and so easy to see that I found I was able to edit on location again and evaluate my work in the field. “It’s a stunning performance. The CFV-50c is a superb fusion of old with new; the traditional and classic look and feel of the V System body linked to Hasselblad’s advanced image capture technology is, for me, the perfect mix.”
‘The CFV-50c CMOS back gives me a lot of new possibilities, to shoot on location under different conditions and circumstances’