Using the Red Filter with my Hasselblad 500 C/M

I had been keen to try out the Hasselblad Red Filter that I purchased for my Camera as I wanted to make more contrast in some of my black and white photography.

My first attempt at using the Red Filter the other month was a complete disaster. I had looked at the filter guideline, which I understood as altering the exposure on the light meter by 2.5 stops.

The results ended up with some very under exposed shots that were pointless scanning.

I spoke about my results to the London Camera Museum (where I originally purchased my Hasselblad from) and they said to just expose as normal and ignore the 2.5 stop alteration.

I therefore exposed as per the light meter reading without any adjustments, using the Rollei RPX 100 film and I decided to take some photos of the fishing boats at Brighton Marina and here are the results:

These photos came out just as I’d hoped so I’m really happy. They have the contrast and gritty feel that I was hoping to capture of the fishing area at Brighton Marina.

On the same day, I also took photos of some white fluffy clouds in the sky using the red filter:

Here is a photo I took of the clouds with the cliffs underneath:

I particularly like this photo I took of Roedean School on the Cliffs with the clouds:

I used the 80mm lens for all the photos and will definitely be using the Red Filter again when I want some dramatic contrast in my black and white photography.

Instagram: natalie_smart_photography

10 thoughts on “Using the Red Filter with my Hasselblad 500 C/M

  1. Hi Natalie
    I have been following your blogs on using the hasselblad as I own a hasselblad 500c
    When you say they recommended just exposing as normal as that not taking into account that when using a red filter I would have thought that the exposure would have needed at least another 2 stops more exposure with the red filter attached
    That is why I am a bit confused that you exposed your shots as per the normal light meter reading without not taking into account that when the red filter is attached it would need more exposure
    Sorry, maybe I don’t quite understand why your second set of photos came out looking perfectly well exposed

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely understand Norman. I was confused too, but all I can say is when I exposed normally, the photos came out fine and previously when I altered by a couple of stops, they came out under exposed. I’m not sure why? I’d be interested to know if you get different results to me when using a red filter and yours actually works by adjusting by a couple of stops. I’m just thankful that I managed to get some decent photos this time πŸ‘


  2. Nice stuff!
    My guess is that you subtracted two stops on the first roll rather than adding . The good exposure on the next group may be due to your metering technique, film latitude, processing compensation or luck. For continued success add to stops to your normal exposure (f11 becomes f5.6, etc)OR reduce the ei setting on your meter. e.g. 100 becomes 25 when using the red filter

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oddly enough I was considering getting a filter for my Bronica!

    I’ve had my shots from Devon and Cornwall back and love the contrast but am sure a filter would add so much more.

    Your photos prove this and I love the depth you have captured with your images.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely series, I’m also a little confused as a red filter will definitely reduce the exposure by at least two stops. Not being familiar with the camera but even using a metered head, one and a half stops would still be required to keep the film within the centre portion of its exposure curve.
    Have you looked at Ansel Adams series of books:
    The camera, print and negative, well worth getting from the library if you haven’t. They are full of interesting and useful film and camera information as well as developing techniques that never go out of date.

    Liked by 1 person

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