Hasselblad 500 C/M.

Hasselblad was the first maker of commercial medium format SLR‘s.

They have been around for 40+ years, and the cameras made back then are still functioning perfectly if they were kept right etc. The 500c/m was made from 1970-1994, and was the replacement to the 500c. The only major change from the 500c was that the focus screens were interchangeble, so this single component could now be replaced, instead of the entire system.

The 500c/m is fully mechanical, and therefore requires absolutely no power source. The Hasselblad 500 series camera system consists of 4 major parts. The body, which is where the mirror is located, and is the central part of the system. The Finder, there are many different types of veiwfinders, but in this review the waist level finder (WLF) will be covered. The lens, which is where the leaf shutter, aperature and shutter settings, focus, and flash hookup, is located (so the lens actually does more than the body). And the 4th component is the film back.

These some in 6×6 and 6×4.5, but I use 6×6 backs so thats all I can speak for, although the only difference is a film mask inside them.

Medium format was and still is for the most part, the inductry standard for fashion and advertising photography, because it can be blown up to enormous sizes. when considering how large an average dslr shot can be blown up, You ask, I wonder how and 8×10 will look…no, no, no, with MF think BILLBOARDS. Also the 6×6 format is a really great format to explore composition wise, and because it is a square, there is no difference between portrait or landscape.

The use of this camera, WILL take some getting used to when switching from a normal SLR or DSLR. it is shaped much differently, and has no “grips” so you must only hold it how you feel comfortable. Also because there is only one mirror involved with veiwing the image, when you look into the WLF it is backwards, and controls are inverted. But you will overcome that by your first couple shoots.

Vital Stats:

6 x 6cm format

Film: 120 film: 6 x 6 (12 frames), 6 x 4.5 (16 frames). 220 film: 6 x 6 (24 frames), 6 x 4.5 (32 frames); 70mm perforated film, Plaroid film. (each requires film specific backs).

Exclusive Hasselblad bayonet lens mount; Accepts all C, CF, CB, CFI, CFE lenses

1 second to 1/500th shutter speed, but shutter can be manually opened for long periods of time 24 hrs +

flash sync at all speeds

flash connected via PC socket in lens


Extremely high quality
Zeiss lenses used
functionality of system
film can be switched mid roll via seperate backs
fully mechanical no batteries needed
syncs at all speeds


Accessories are very expensive
no metering system, seperate light meter reqiured or metered finder which are pricey
can be complicated at first, but everything is easily learnt


This is a great camera for someone looking to do controlled studio type photography, but it isnt very prectical for anything other than that. When used for skateing flashes will have to be used, because of the 1/500 maximum SS. This camera will take getting used to, but once you have adjusted to it you will love it and the images it produces. A full system can be bought for as low as $600, but that would include body, WLF, 80mm f/2.8 lens, and a 120 back. Accessories for this camera are very expensive, so if you want to have a wide range of accessories, Bronica or Mamiya may be a better system for you (the fisheye alone is $7000+ new).


10 responses to “Hasselblad 500 C/M.

  1. Ricardo, its again a wonderful post celebrating great cameras. Talking about the 6×6 format … have a look at the iPhone app 645 pro, you can play there with these formats. You are right, its lovely. Cheers, Ute

    • Thank You Ute, for the app tip to iPhone, but 1st I need to buy one (at the moment I’m a android OS user).
      And thanks again for passing by and leave your precious comments.

      Kind regards.

    • It looks like a really great app for iPhone, as my dear friend Ute said in the previous comment.

      If your photos on your blog are shoted with this app it’s pretty awesome.


      • That is the starting point for most of the images I have captured. It’s advantage is really that it saves a larger “less” compressed file than the native iPhone app. Plus the different backs are great to play with.

        Always enjoy reading your posts. Keep it up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s