My portrait kit: Zeiss 120mm Makro Planar + 21mm extension tube

Hasselblad 500 CM
Zeiss 120mm Makro Planar
21mm Hasselblad extension tube

Over the years I’ve had many, many cameras.
(The truth is that none of them made me a better photographer.)

However, I’ve been cutting down my gear and sticking with only specific kits I like to use on different situations. Let me give you an example.

I had two Hasselblad 500 CM bodies, the 60, 80, 120 and the 150mm lenses, the 21 and 55mm extension tubes and 3 A12 backs. After a year and a half using all that stuff I came to the conclusion that the Hasselblad had become my “portrait” camera and for that specific purpose the Zeiss 120mm Makro Planar in combination with the 21mm extension tube gave me some pretty good results.

Full head shots with shallow depth of field and the sharpness of the amazing 120mm Makro Planar which I truly love. As my “portrait” kit, this is it.


Bertone JB Untitled-3-2 galhoz patricia Untitled-10 Untitled-8 Untitled-6 João

My father.

My father.

My mother.

My mother.

Untitled-18A Sonia 2

  1. Derek said:

    “Over the years I’ve had many, many cameras.
    (The truth is that none of them made me a better photographer.)

    However, I’ve been cutting down my gear and sticking with only specific kits I like to use on different situations.”

    EXACTLY the same here. I have s particular camera for every particular scenarios. That’s the only way I get to shoot them all.

    You have two 500cm bodies? Oh you are hoarding expensive equipments there 😉 Well when you decide to sell one in a unreasonably low low price in the future far far away, make sure you let me know, lol.

    The marco planar shots looks sweet! And looking at your portraits reminds me I have sent out 3 rolls of film (all portraits) to a lab which I am waiting for it to come back. I have very high expectations, but I have no idea how any of them will actually turns out. Haha. Wish me luck, i think i need it.

    • I had to sell one of the bodies, 2 of the lenses and two of the backs. Tough times for “hoarding expensive equipments”. 🙂
      I kept only the 60, the 120 and one A12 back.

      This Makro is an amazing sharp lens. The ladies complain a lot because it’s not a very flattering lens when it comes to their skin but I just don’t have the money to get a softar filter.

      You must share those portraits! You sent them out to a lab? Is it color film?

      • Derek said:

        Oh no you have to sell one of them, well but that’s the reason why you have two to begin with!

        Yes they are 2 rolls of Portra and 1 roll of Pro 400H. They should have sent them back out already (seeing they got it last Thur morning). but so far I didn’t get a notification.

      • I will open my heart to you… I’ve been toying the idea of selling the Hasselblad to get a Fuji X-pro 1…
        I just can’t stand still. 🙂

      • Derek said:

        *whisper* .. something is wrong with you!

      • Yes please talk me out of it! 🙂

      • Derek said:

        Alright …
        Digital is too easy. What’s the fun of it after a while? Besides you wanna trade in a medium format to get something apsc. Also you have the ability to change from waist level finder to prism right now. Also you get 1/500 flash sync. And you are setting up a dark room anyways you need something to print with. Also. Your glad doesn’t need batteries. And we all know square is better than rectangular! And come on. You want to let go of your macro planar??

      • Please get out of my mind! 🙂

        You are right Derek, I just got a Ricoh GRD II and I had a lot of fun for a coulple of days and now it’s laying around.

      • Derek said:

        See! Its only fun for a few days or weeks. Nothing can trade for a more personal experience than loading . Developing washing scanning the film. And then print it out on paper with your hands!

      • 100% right.
        Call to reality. 🙂

      • Derek said:

        If you have extra cash I won’t talk you out of it but if you are selling the 500 cm for it you are crazy 😀

      • I think you are right. I can’t talk girls into a photo session if I use some electronic gadget. Must have Hassel charm 🙂
        Just kidding of course, I really think the Fuji is a cool camera but it’s not worth my love for the Hasselblad.

      • Derek said:

        I can keep going. Very easily lol.

    • Hi, i just saw this post, love your work and effort for sharing your knowledge, i want to ask you, when you use the 21 mm extension tube how much do you compensate the exposition? Gracias!

      • Hello Marcelo, so sorry for the late answer my friend. No I do not compensate, not with black and white film but the tube will probably eat up half a stop. It works well with color film.

    • Thank you so much Victor, I’m honored by your words.
      I really like your work.

  2. "Occam Blade" said:

    Greetings from New England–
    OMG. These and so many images on your blog are just fantastic..! I mean they are genuinely so. I’ve decided to resurrect my analog gear after visiting and seeing many of your images so I thank you for the inspiration….

    • Your words are the kindest words my friend.
      I can not thank you enough.

      Above all it’s about passion. It might be film, or any other medium, but it is that “passionate” feeling that can truly motivate us to do something creative.

      I think it was Andy Warhol that once said: there’s no greater feeling that waking up in the morning and to have a roll of film to develop.

      The way I see it, I wouldn’t go to bed if I had a roll of film to develop! 🙂

      Thank you again, I’m honored by your words.

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