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I’m posting twice today to make up for all the past and future days I won’t be bored enough to do this. Speaking of bored, some poor soul was ennui-afflicted enough yesterday to do 45 views of this blog. My heart goes out to you.

Yes, it’s a gloomy day here in Astro City by gulf, so this is my cure for the doldrums. Today I will dip my beak into the fill’ em well again. I shot some fill’ em in a Hasselblad 501 CM this past week, out in east Texas. It’s a fun experience to do what I haven’t done in so long.

The chance being pretty good you don’t know what a Hasselblad is, here’s a picture of an old HB 500 CM which I also own:


Here it is in Houston. Speaking of Houston, a motorized version, the 500 ELM was taken on lunar missions. Not a version of Houston, but of this camera. It was used to take that famous photo of the earth rising on the moon’s horizon. They just left the Hassies there. Too heavy for lift off from the lunar surface.

This used to be a prohibitively expensive camera for the average person. I worked a night job to pay for mine back in the ’80’s. Now they’re fairly low priced on that auction site.


Here are some of my negatives on the light table with a large blueberry next to one of them for scale. I should have put a 35mm negative there too for side by side comparison, but I didn’t think of it at the time. If you smushed the blueberry it might be comparable. These negatives were processed by my little ol’ self and they measure 6 x 6 centimeters or 2 and a 1/4 inches square as we say in Mission Control. They enlarge quite nicely. Look very closely under the words KODAK 100TMX and see the distinctive Hasselblad signature upside-down V’s. They identify these pictures as having been taken by a Hasselblad. I think they may stand for Victor since Victor Hasselblad was the camera’s developer.

The blueberry did not survive this session, I’m unhappy to report.

Now I will show you how to load film into a Hasselblad A12 fill’ em magazine:


This is your unopened roll of 120 format fill’ em, also called “roll fill’ em. IMG_4612

When it comes out of its pouch the band you see already removed entirely is wrapped around the roll like a jaundiced python. You must tear the band (I use a fingernail) and peel it away from the roll…..ENTIRELY!


You remove the fill’ em assembly from the magazine.


Here it is ready to receive the new fill’ em. I will take the old roll’s spool off from the left side in the photo and place into the take up spool’s position on the right side and close the latch on it. Note the knurled winding mechanism. That’s how the fill’ em will be advanced to the take up spool the required amount before loading fill’ em into the magazine and making it light fast.


I have begun to move the fill’ em over to the take up spool. It must pass under the aluminum clip to help keep it flat and in place.


Here fill’ em paper leader is about to be inserted into take spool slot.


Fill’ em is being advanced until you see…….


The black arrow on the paper line up with the read arrow (or V, whatever you fancy) on the feeder spool latch.

IMG_4619Fill’ em is now placed into the magazine so it can be safely advanced up to frame 1.


This is the little handle that does the fill’ em cranking. Note 0 showing in the window.


Pardon my blur, but I don’t want to reshoot. 1 is now appearing and you’re ready to take those great photos.

And now for a few of the photos taken recently:

Three Trees and Shed 2

Hayrolls 1

Dogwood and Forest 4

These were in east Texas. Last is of some dogwood in a pine forest near Palestine.

The camera has no built in meter. I used a Pentax 1 degree spot meter and based exposures on the shadow areas.

I hope you will explore the possibilities of medium format fill’ em photography!