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Created 25 September 2005 ... Updated 4 March 2007

Hasselblad 500 C
Hasselblad 500 C For years I've been thinking a Hasselblad looks great, is the best camera every built and is horribly expensive, then suddenly I found myself with three Hasselblads: a 500 EL/M and two 500 C. Not bad for a non-pro photographer and a non-surgeon wanna-be photographer  :o)

After having bought the 500 EL/M for a fair price, I found it a too heavy for hand held outdoor use. It was built to be used as a studio workhorse and it sure feel that way. So I decided to start looking for a used non-motorised 500 series body and found the 500 C. These cameras are usually considerably cheaper than the C/M version, they are technically pretty much the same but since they can be as old as 40 years, people prefer to buy the newer camera, which happens to be the 500 C/M. Makes sense when you absolutely depend on your camera, on top of a mountain, somewhere out in the jungle but when have them cleaned, lubricated and adjusted (CLA) before you go and take a backup body with you, which is a good idea anyway, there should not be any problem with older Hasselblads. My 500 C are in great condition so it's works for me.

My 1967 camera did belong to a professional photographer in the Netherlands. The camera is indeed old but since he's a perfectionist and has treated all his equipment with care, the camera looks like new. The tripod plate shows very heavy use and there's nearly no paint left on it but the rest of the body is like new, well, the leatherette is a little dry but that can be expected from a 40 year old camera.

Main reason for me to buy into the Hasselblad system is that after some years of trying out different formats I got hooked to the square format. Of course not all subjects look best in square format but many do and even though we live in a picture-rich era, the square format still looks fresh. Then there's always the possibility to cut a piece off to get a different format anyway. Of course the other way around works as well but 6x7 and especially 6x9 format cameras tend to be very heavy. My Fujica 690 BL rangefinder for instance weighs 2.5 kilos with the standard lens.

Concise Hasselblad model history and Dating Equipment

For a concise history on the Hasselblad system, how to date equipment and other useful information, check out my page on The Hasselblad System.

Type  :  Single Lens Reflex for Medium Format
Manufactured  :  1957 - 1970
Price  :  1983 (prices in DFL, Dutch Guilders):
10022   500 C/M body chrome : DFL 2370
20029   Planar CF /2,8-80 mm : DFL 3005
30074   Filmback A12, chrome : DFL 1223
42021   Folding viewfinder, chrome : DFL 226
54011   winding knob with exposure meter : DFL 464
Lens  :  changable, the standard lens being the Rodenstock 80 / 2.8
Viewfinder  :  changable, but usually a collapsible hood to view the ground glass
Shutter  :  in lens.
Secundary shutter in body only to protect the film from stray light.
Exposure meter  :  none, you'll need an external exposure meter.
A winding knob with built-in exposure meter was available.
Power  :  none, fully manual.
( W x H x D )
 :  100 x 105 x 80 mm : Body including hood and standard winding knob
95 x 90 x 50 mm : A12 Back
80 (diameter) x 50 : 2,8 / 80 mm Planar Lens
80 (diameter) x 110 : 4 / 50 Distagon lens
Weight  :  1500 gramme (including 80mm lens, A12 back, focussing hood and batteries)
Film Type  :  Using different film backs you can use:
  • Roll film 120 (6 x 6) with back '12'
  • Roll film 120 (6 x 4.5) with back '16'
  • Roll film 220 (6 x 6) with back '24'
  • Roll film 127 (4 x 4) with back '16s'
  • 70 mm roll film (7 cm) with back '70'
  • Polaroid film with a dedicated Polaroid back
  • Sheet Film with a cut sheet film back
The back can be swapped any time so it's possible to change the film in mid-film without losing frames
Picture Size  :  Medium format, actual size depending on the back
Special  :  Many optional accessories are available to make the Hasselblad a true system camera. You can have film backs, different view finder hoods, different ground glass, sports finders, flash shoes, cable releases and of course different bags, straps and fan articles

links Internal links
links Hasselblad 500 EL/M
links My first Hasselblad.

links The Hasselblad System
links Hasselblad model history and information on how to date and use the equipment.

links The Hasselblad Guide
links Read and Download an online copy of the Third edition (July 1969) of this Focal Press guide.

All photos copyright of M. Koning 1997 - 2005

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