Hasselblad 500 C/M

The Victor Hasselblad company was originally formed to produce aerial cameras for the Swedish air force. The first civilian Hasselblad Camera (1600F) was introduced at a press conference in 1948. It was an instant success. The Hasselblad ues 120 film providing a 6 x 6 cm (2 1/4 x 2 1/4 in) square format that eliminates the need to turn the camera sideways for landscape or portrait. The primary use of the Hasselblad is commercial and portrait photography. The extremely high quality Zeiss lenses complement this high end camera and provide the high quality images required by the advertising and fashion industry. A unique system consists of a body, lens, removable film magazine and interchangable viewfinders. Each lens incorporates its own leaf shutter. The design has been copied by several other medium format camera manufacturers. Although recent models incorporate electronics, the bulk of the cameras are totally mechanical incorporating intricate interlocks. The use of interchangable film backs allow a photographer to change film types in mid roll. The 500 C/M was in production from 1970 until 1989. The actual camera shown at the left was made in 1975. A Hasselblad camera or accessory can be dated by a 2 letter code in the serial number. V H P I C T U R E S represents the codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0. Therefore a two letter code UC in a serial number indicates the year 1975. Hasselblad is still manufacturing high end professional cameras with emphasis on large sensoor digital cameras

One of the highlights in Hasselblad history was its role in the US space program. The moon camera used by Neil Armstrong was a Hasselblad 500EL/70 (special model 500 with a motor drive and a 70 mm film back). Due to weight restrictions only the film (backs) returned to earth with the astronauts. There are 12 Hasselblads available free, for the next person who visits the moon.

  • 1975 - Victor Hasselblad AB, Sweden
  • Carl Zeiss Planar T*, 80mm - f/2.8 (interchangable)
  • Synchro Compur B, 1.0 to 1/500 second
  • 120,220, 70mm or Polaroid film backs
  • Free Hasselblads can be found on the moon