Tokyo is an easy city to shoot, even with the Hasselblad H6- usually a digital but for this trip it reverted to its roots with the addition on a film back.
Back in the day the Hasselblad square format was the “go to” camera for some big time photographers names like Bailey, Weston, Avedon and many more. I first encountered a 503cx when I started as an assistant many years ago and subsequently learnt my trade on this body, from that point on I was hooked.
The square format worked for me and still does even though the larger Mamiya cameras were more common and your average art director seemed more at home with the rectangular format the lenses with their Zeiss optics made the images from the little Swedish box shine with a special something.
Fast forward to digital and even Hasselblad has moved to the more common 6 x 4.5 format and so it was with a back loaded with Kodak Ektar that I hit the streets of Ginza.
Colour negative film has a certain latitude that transparency or positive film does not but still it requires fairly accurate metering to get the best out of it and the H6 managed quite well, it also helps that I have access to one of the best scanners made- the Hasselblad X5.
Film has the benefit of being scalable, meaning you can pretty much produce a file that will print to any size given the right scanner especially the larger medium format film- this is where the medium format quality comes into its own, big pictures.
Ginza is premium shopping district in Tokyo so all the big international brands are there and no one shops like the Japanese, it’s a national pastime and obsession. I don’t think I know of any country that takes consumerism to the level that the Japanese manage.
All in all its a great feeling to shoot a camera designed with a 100mp back in mind using film, it really is an experience even though it isn’t square or 6 x 6 for that matter.
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