5 Frames… With Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H (EI 400 / 120 format / Hasselblad 500C/M) – by Paul Turner

I bought this Hasselblad 500C/M a little over 2 years ago now. It was an eBay buy and back then I was a digital shooter. I always lusted after a medium format from way back and seeing friends shooting film on various medium format cameras, I was curious again. The Hasselblad and its ever so addictive shutter sound caught my attention…

Now I have this camera I have been bewitched by film once more.

I am a colour film shooter and after using everyone’s favourite Kodak Portra in 160 and 400 for a time, the slightly cooler tones of Fujifilm’s Fujicolor 400H caught my attention when a good friend showed me a portrait series done on it. I had done a set of images on Portra and struggled to get good scans from it due to underexposure on a number of frames and it is well documented that Portra can be purple on the undercooked darks, so I tried some 400H. Now always keep a couple of boxes next to the butter. I rate it as an excellent all-rounder and capable of great results whatever you throw at it. The cooler than Portra tones are evident yes but it gives good skin tones and holds up on long exposure shots too.

I recently took the Hasselblad and my Zeiss Planar 80mm f/2.8 C out for a spin wandering the streets of Manchester for a days shooting to see what caught my square eye. As you can see the fuji doesn’t shy away from rendering beautiful evening glows or cold night architectural sets.

Framing waist level can be a challenge, especially with architectural. The 80mm is a great all-rounder of a lens but again with architectural scenes it often takes me a while to get my frame set, and I do sometimes wonder how things might look a little wider, but perseverance is the key. I love how the square can reward when you find a good scene.

This camera isn’t going anywhere unless it’s in my bag. I may well try other colour film stocks but this shows you a flavour of the excellent 400h.”

~ Paul

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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.

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  1. Yay for Fuji 400H Pro. I love this film. I don’t shoot it enough as it’s rather pricey but always love the results when I do.
    I particularly love your first shot here. The blue and pink are lovely in it.

    • Hi Allysse, I am a fan too. The price increases do hurt for sure but I guess it’s the same across the board for film at the moment. Thanks for your comment and for taking a look at my images.

  2. I’ve generally had very little appreciation Fujifilm over the years, but those look quite appealing. I’ll consider some for my 500C next time. Your subject matter is always appealing.

    • Thanks Jason, It is a little bluer than Portra for example but for the kind of images I search out it works well imo. Give it a spin, it’s always nice to experiment a little. It is very forgiving in the exposure latitude too. In that respect it is as forgiving as Portra 400.

  3. Beautiful work, Paul! And welcome to the club of 500xx afficionados.
    I miss the two little V-signs on the left of the frame. I suspect that they might have become victims of perspective control in post-production 😉

    • Thanks Jens, very kind of you. I don’t scan my negs past the frame sides so the V’s don’t show anyway but the perspective control is a must for me when doing this kind of subject. Thanks for the comment and of course looking at my little write up.

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