hasselblad 503


Amsterdam (Hasselblad 503, Kodak Tri-X 400) by alejandro lifschitz

A Guide to the Hasselblad System

When it comes to photography, Hasselblad is one of those legendary names students hear about during history lessons. The name is considered synonymous with high class photography from the most earliest days of the medium, with quality image capturing machines that provide great function and performance as well as versatility. The Swedish company has produced cameras that have been in war zones and space missions, and their largely medium format camera systems are quite hardcore, known for being used by professionals and amateurs that are serious about photography. 

What Is A Hasselblad?

Hasselblad started producing cameras for civilian use in 1948. Their cameras are mostly in 6x6 medium format which have interchangeable lenses, viewfinders and film magazines. Most of their cameras feature leaf shutters built into the lenses, but a few lines also have focal plane shutters. The top of the camera body incorporates a waist level view finder with a ground glass reflex screen. The Hasselblad system is well known for the fact that all accessories are usually compatible with different models, and so can be easily switched around. For most of the V-system camera lines all lenses were produced by Carl Zeiss.

The aim of Victor Hasselblad was to produce cameras which had extremely high shutter speeds and image quality but were also compact and portable. Most of the models that were released remained very similar in general design but evolved in terms of functions and performance as the years went by. Let’s have a look at some of the more popular and significant camera lines produced by Hasselblad.  

{Hasselblad 1600F medium format SLR}


The first camera produced by Hasselblad in 1948 was the 1600F, named after the fact that it had the fastest shutter speed of 1/1600 sec and had a Focal plane shutter. This first camera by Hasselblad was considered revolutionary in its versatility offered by the interchangeable viewfinder, film magazine and lenses, although there were some kinks which were worked out during the length of its production.

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Paris (Hasselblad 503, Kodak Tri-X 400) by alejandro lifschitz

Hasselblad’s iconc V System comes to a close… 

The company today announced that it will no longer be producing the 503CW medium format camera. This teams the V System line is officially coming to an end.

Hasselblad says that he decision, which is effective immediately, ends “over a half century of evolution” for the company’s original camera line.

The Hasselblad V System was first introduced in 1948 through founder Victor Hasselblad’s wishes to see a camera that’s as holdable as a Leica, but which shoots medium format film. The iconic camera was the choice of Buzz Aldrin when shooting the landing on the moon in 1969, and much loved by famous photographers the likes of: Anton Corbijn, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Annie Leibovitz, Patrick Demarchelier, Richard Avedon and many others. 

The 503CW has been popular among professional and amateur photographers since it was launched seventeen years ago, but Hasselblad says that demand for the camera has been plummeting over the past half decade. “The time has now come for us to reluctantly consign the V System to history,” the company says.

I had the pleasure of owning the system some years ago, and the camera still holds an attraction to me to this day, with it’s beautiful lines, compact body, perfect 6x6 frame and the lenses… sweet beautiful glass!!! 

V System - RIP… 


Canfranc by Santi Navarro

Hasselblad 503 Cx

Distagon 50mm Cf Fle

Aerochrome infrared color film expired 2011

Filter B+W099