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Hasselblad V 6x6 manual focus medium format camera system

Hasselblad V series cameras:

  • manual focus 6cm x 6cm cameras with interchangeable lenses, backs and finders
  • work horses of studio & wedding photographers
  • most can be fitted with digital backs for medium format cameras in Hasselblad V mount
  • in 2019, Hasselblad released:
    • a 907X camera body which essentially is a thin, light, mounting interface for lenses and their new digital back whilst providing a shutter release but no viewfinder
      • enables shooting with a wide range of Hasselblad optics, including all XCD Lenses and all HC/HCD and XPan Lenses via adapters (XH Adapter, XV Adapter, and XPan Lens Adapter), and being thin, it allows access to wide-angle lenses including the XCD 21 and 30
    • a CFV II 50C 50mp digital back with tilting touch screen control and USB-C
      • can be attached to most other Hasselblad V system cameras made from 1957 onwards as well as to the 907X camera body

Hasselblad V oddities:

  • H'blad components (but not Zeiss lenses) can be dated by looking at the 2 characters in the serial number which equate to the last two digits in the year as follows:
    • V=1, H=2, P=3, I=4, C=5, T=6, U=7, R=8, E=9,S=0
    • Zeiss C lenses have a 3 or 4 digit number, the last 2 digits are the month and the 1st one or two is the number of years since 1957.
    • Zeiss CF lenses use a different code: one letter and two digits. The letter is the month (A=Jan; B = Feb; C=March; D= April) and the two digits are the year flipped. So 28 = 82 = 1982. So F58 = June 1985.
  • The lens must be cocked before mounting to, or dismounting from, the body.
    The body must be cocked before mounting a lens (this is the most usual cause of the infamous locked body/lens combo that costs money to get apart.). If a cocked back is mounted to an uncocked body, the unexposed film will wind to the next frame. All of the 500 series camera bodies (except the newest 501c, 503 cx/cxi/cw), all of the 2000 series cameras and all of the backs have a little dot that changes from red (uncocked) to white (cocked) to warn of the current state of the cockedness.
  • The M12/A12 backs have no place to store the darkslide when not in use and back/insert combo's should have matching serial #'s in order to insure perfect mating (this greatly affects a backs value as well, so check!).
  • The back inserts also have a clip that must be threaded by the film leader in order for the film to feed properly through the camera. Another distraction (though common to all leaf shuttered, unmotorized slr's) is that the mirror isn't an instant return.

Hasselblad V lenses

  • There have been six V lens series
  • Compur leaf-shutter lenses with maximum shutter 1/500th sec:
    • the C (old constant interlock, single coated), CB, CF, and CFE.

C series

  • see under CF series as many of the CF series were essentially rebadged from the C series although in addition there were:
    • 60mm f/5.6 C
    • 60mm f/4 C

CF Series

  • CF (1982):
    • the C lenses themselves were redesigned and renamed CF lenses in recognition that they could be used in both 500C and 2000FC bodies.
    • Prontor leaf-shutter (a bit more reliable), F setting for focal-plane shutter bodies, EV interlock removed, shutter and aperture move independently (can be EV locked optionally), Printed DOF scale, rubberized focusing and aperture rings
    • examples of CF lenses:
      • 30mm f/3.5
      • 38mm f/4.5
      • 40mm f/4
      • 50mm f/4 Distagon with floating element
      • 60mm f/3.5 Distagon (good choice)
      • 80mm f/2.8
      • 100mm f/3.5 Planar (incredible acutance and correction of distortion - initially designed for NASA)
      • 105mm f/4.3 UV-Sonnar
      • 120mm f/4 Makro-Planar (sensational resolution and the choice of many editorial portrait photographers - see Nigel Parry's work)
      • 135mm f/5.6 Makro-Planar
      • 150mm f/4
      • 180mm f/4 Sonnar (a new formulation and superior to the dated 150mm Sonnar - another great portrait lens for a 'longer' look)
      • 250mm f/5.6 Sonnar
      • 250mm f/5.6 Sonnar-Super-Achromat (in 1990 it was $A9,500)
      • 350mm f/5.6
      • 500mm f/8 Tele-APO-Tessar

CB series

  • CB (1997)
  • Lower-cost 80mm Planar lens sold with 501CM kit, one less element than regular CF Planar (7→6), no F setting for focal plane cameras (use B setting instead)
    • CB 60mm f/3.5
    • CB 80mm f/2.8
    • CB 160mm f/4.8

CFi series

  • CFi - Better internal light baffling to reduce flare, stronger shutter spring, easier focusing, improved DOF preview lever, PC terminal lock
    • CFi 30mm f/3.5
    • CFi 50mm f/4
    • CFi 60mm f/3.5
    • CFi 100mm f/3.5
    • CFi 250mm f/5.6

CFE series

  • CFE (1997) - Databus communication with 202/203/205 series camera bodies (allows for open-aperture metering)
    • CFE 40mm f/4
    • CFE 80mm f/2.8
    • CFE 120mm f/4
    • CFE 180mm f/4
    • CFE 350mm f/5.6 SA

lenses without the leaf-shutter, designed for the 2000/200 series

  • F series (1977)
    • CZ 100mm f2 Planar F
      • 1st gen 1977
      • issues with blades sticking in open position
  • FE or TCC series (1991)
    • addition of databus communication with 202/203/205 series bodies, communicates aperture setting to body
    • CZ 100mm f2 Planar FE
      • 4th gen 1991-1999 close focus 0.8m; 5 blades; 750g; Bay 70 size filter adapter system for 77mm filters; 1)
      • 5th gen 1999 - replaced the two rear lens elements with a cemented group and a rear baffle was added but this gives squarish bokeh orbs wide open
  • as the F (and later FE) lenses were more expensive and more limited than their C/CF/CFE counterparts, they had limited popularity and are rarer on the secondary market.
  • when used on other cameras, it must be used with manual stop down metering via the aperture preset button which closes down the diaphragm

Hasselblad 500 series cameras:

  • last models were 501cm, 503cw, 555eld
  • 500 series are completely mechanical cameras (except for the motorized EL series) and do not have a focal-plane shutter nor do they have in-camera metering - so you needed to buy an accessory prism meter which would only provide uncoupled metering or meter handheld.
  • closest focus with the leaf shutter lenses is about 1m without using an extension tube or diopter (whereas the Mamiya RB/RZ have in-built bellows to allow easier close-up photography.
  • 500c (1957) - oldest (problems with CF lens); The 'C' indicated the Compur in-lens leaf shutter mounted in a Zeiss lens.
  • 500cm (1970) - added interchangeable focusing screens
  • 1988: All four existing Hasselblad camera bodies were reintroduced as the updated models: 503CX, 553ELX, 2003FCW and 903SWC. The three SLR models featured the new Acute-Matte focusing screen. In addition, the 553 ELX and 503CX both offered OTF dedicated flash.
  • 503cx (1988) - adds an acutematte focus screen, ttl flash metering (via SCA adaptor), flash ready and OK lights in finder and palpas interior coating.
  • 503cxi -
  • 503cw:
    • accepts another new winder model specific to this camera (the CW) that winds at a rate of 0.8 frames a second. There is an IR remote release set for use with this newest winder that allows remote release and frame rate mode change.
    • the 'gliding mirror system', (which means that the camera sports the longer mirror of the 2000/200 series cameras) and the lack of the 'body cocked' indicator.
    • A new 90° meter prism , PME90, incorporates a metering system that includes spot and integrated as well as incident metering modes
    • $A3328 body only (2005)
    • $A4500 body + 80mmCFE + A12 back (2005 shipped from Germany via EBay new)
  • 501cm (1997):
    • identical to the 501c with the exception of two additions: It is standard as a chrome body and adds the Gliding Mirror system, which cures the finder top cutoff of lenses 120 through 500mm. It's an interesting, less expensive alternative to the 503c/w.
    • with 80mm, A12 back student kit $A3300 (2005)
  • motorised winder models:
    • no longer functional due to discontinued batteries:
      • The Nicad battery Varta made for the EL/ELM/ELX has been officially discontinued. This greatly affects the future usability of these cameras and most wouldn't now recommend that anyone purchase any but the latest versions (553 ELX with AA holder) of this camera.
      • 500el (1965) /elm (1970) - motorised, elm adds the changing screen
      • 500elx (1985) - adds the Palpas coating and and a longer mirror to prevent finder image top blackening with lenses longer than 150mm (This doesn't affect the film image, just the view and haunts the 503cx/501c with the 180mm on up, still), plus dedicated flash capability.
    • 553elx (1988)
      • it adds the Acutematte screen, TTL flash with viewfinder OK and ready signals and makes use of AA 's - powered by five batteries, providing up to 4,000 exposures.
    • 555eld:
      • current model (2005), adds Integrated data bus connections for digital backs
      • $A4592 body only (2005).
  • 503CWD (2006?):
    • limited edition of 500 cameras with 16mpixel digital backs

Hasselblad 2000/200 camera series:

  • The older, non-electric databus (though still battery powered) F cameras are called the 2000 series and are renowned for their excellent optics, compact size, and extraordinarily ridiculously high original retail price in Japan, Europe, and the United States.
  • 2000FC (1977)
    • titanium foil focal plane shutter camera with a 1/2000 second shutter speed, and five F lenses without shutters and thus allowed wider apertures and closer focusing than the leaf-shutter lenses, the C lenses.
  • 2000FCM (1981)
    • focal plane shutter opened automatically when the film magazine was removed to resolve the problem of the 2000FC which had the same problem of the 1940's 1600F/1000F, namely that photographers had the unsettling problem of putting their thumbs through the fragile and expensive titanium foil shutter.
  • 2000FCW (1984)
    • added motor-winder capability
  • The 2000FCW and the 2003 FCW are the most reliable cameras in the 2000 series (and the only ones that Hasselblad will still repair) and the only models you should seriously consider buying. Otherwise, get a 200 series.
  • The advantages of this lesser known, 'other' H'blad system include the ability to use either the bodies 1/2000th of a sec. focal plane shutter or the C and/or CF lense's, leaf shutter; the ability to use superspeed (and extra close focusing) Zeiss lenses, a choice of three mirror modes, the 'Gliding mirror system' and better used market pricing.
  • The 200 series doesn't seem to experience the lens jamming problem of the 500 series. However, if you run out of batteries then the 200 series camera may exhibit what looks like a jam: the mirror will raise, the lens shutter will release or the mirror , but the mirror won't fall again. You can't wind on and the lens won't bayonet off. Clearing this jam is easy. Just push in the multiple-exposure button in the middle of the winding crank. This will allow you to crank the camera, winding the shutter and resetting the lens.
  • The newest 203FE, 205F and TCC offer TTL flash metering, motor capability, Acutematte screens as standard equipt (these features are also common to the 201F and 2003FCW) and H'blad's first TTL, fully coupled metering system.
  • 2000FCM + 50mm f/2.8 lens 2nd hand ~$A2500
  • 202FA + 80FE + E12 kit new $A6622 (2005)
  • Hasselblad 200 series:
  • Launched in 1991, it solved the problem plaguing the 2000 series by using a relatively tough silk-cloth shutter curtain instead of fragile titanium foil, ECC film backs with electronic data communications, new series of F/TCC lenses (now called FE lenses), while the initial, high-end 205TCC added built-in metering - the 1st in a H'blad.
  • 205TCC (1991) - high end; aperture-priority, spot & zone metering.
  • 201F (1994):
    • the basic model, is very much like a 2003FCW except that it loses the titanium foil curtains, and the 2000th of a second top shutter speed and replaces it with a far more reliable and durable, cloth shutter. This shutter, common to all of the latest 200 series cameras, max's out at a 1000th of a second (2000th on the 205 FCC).
    • no in-camera metering
  • 203FE (1994):
    • Based on high-end model 205TCC, new series of CFE lenses (in 1999) and E filmbacks with electronic databus communications
    • coupled open-aperture metering (center-weighted), aperture priority automatic exposure but no zone metering
    • perhaps the most popular model of the 200 series and is readily available on the used market.
    • $A8386 body only (2005)
  • 205FCC (1995):
    • Based 205TCC with 203FE additions + adds auto-bracketing to 205TCC
  • 202FA (1998):
    • Based on 203FE with some features removed, can only use its own focal-plane shutter, cannot use C lenses at all, cannot use leaf-shutters in CF/CFe lenses, top shutter speed of 1/1000 sec, voted “Most Disliked Camera” in the 200 series
  • The most important improvements to the latest 203FE and 205T and/or FCC models are only fully enabled with the very latest 'databus' equipped backs and lenses.
photo/hasselbladv.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/24 11:21 by gary1

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