Hasselblad 500C/M

Medium format MF film SLR camera


Production details
Order No.:10022 - chrome
10170 - black
System: Hasselblad V (1957)
Imaging plane
Maximum format:Medium format 6x6
Mount and Flange focal distance:Hasselblad V [74.9mm]
Imaging plane:56 × 56mm film
Type:In-lens leaf shutter
Exposure metering:None
Exposure modes:Manual
Physical characteristics

Manufacturer description #1

The Hasselblad 500C/M is a medium format, single-lens reflex camera with manual film advance. With few exceptions, the camera accepts all of the other accessories in the comprehensive Hasselblad system, offering maximum versatility with regard to equipment configurations. In a matter of seconds, the photographer can build a Hasselblad combination to suit any particular need.

The Hasselblad 500C/M camera body is the camera's central unit. The camera body accepts the Hasselblad CF-lens series which offers 14 different focal lengths from 30 mm (fish-eye) to 500 mm (telephoto). All of the lenses in the series are made by Carl Zeiss, West Germany.

The interchangeable film magazines provide wide versatility with regard to film formats, film loads, and film types. There are three different film formats: 2 1/4 X 2 1/4, 1 5/8 X 2 1/4, and 1 5/8 X 1 5/8. Film loads can vary from 12 to 200 exposures per load.

The camera's viewfinder system accepts several different types of focusing screens and prism viewfinders with or without a built-in meter that features center-weighted, through-the-lens light measurement.

The standard winding knob, which can be replaced with a rapid winding crank or knob with built-in exposure meter, manually advances the film while simultaneously cocking the shutter.

On the camera's left side there is an accessory rail for the sports viewfinder, spirit-level, and other accessories. There is a tripod socket for tripod or pistol grip attachment on the camera's underside.

The 500C/M is surprisingly small and light for a medium format camera making it an excellent choice for hand-held photography. With the camera firmly gripped in your left hand, your right hand is free to focus, set the exposure values or advance the film.

The Hasselblad 500C/M is a rugged camera built to handle grinding professional workloads under demanding conditions. The sturdy, light metal camera body shell, which is cast in one piece, contributes to the precision necessary for achieving superior image sharpness.

Manufacturer description #2

Camera type: Single-lens reflex camera with 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 film size (max.). Interchangeable lenses, film magazines, viewfinders, and focusing screens.

Design: Mechanical assembly with a light metal camera body shell cast in one piece.

Viewfinders: Folding focusing hood. The camera can accept different types of focusing screens, prism viewfinders with or without a built-in light meter, magnifying hood, or sports viewfinder.

Film advance: Manual advance with simultaneous shutter cocking. Standard winding knob which can be replaced with a rapid-winding crank or knob with built-in exposure meter.

Tripod socket: 3/8" socket thread and tripod plate for quick-coupling attachment.

The camera body comes with standard focusing screen, focusing hood, winding knob, neck strap, and front and rear protective covers.

Lenses: 14 interchangeable Hasselblad CF-Ienses. The CF series has a built-in leaf shutter in all lenses with speeds from 1 to 1/500s and X synchronization for electric flash at all speeds.

Film magazines: Interchangeable magazines for the following sizes: 2 1/4 x 2 1/4, 1 5/8 x 2 1/4, and 1 5/8 x 1 5/8; and film types: 120, 220, 70 mm double-perforated film, sheet film, and Polaroid film.


In 1962 astronaut Walter M. Schirra walked in to a camera shop in Houston and bought a Hasselblad 500C. Before blasting off on the Mercury mission he smuggled the camera on board the capsule with him and secretly took a number of pictures in space. The rest of the story is camera history, with a small footnote. Every NASA manned mission into outer space since then has taken Hasselblad cameras with them

Today the story is part of the Hasselblad legend, as the camera itself is a legend with great photographers all over the world. It is still said that the 500C/M is built entirely by hand; that all the lenses have to go through more than fifty tests; that it takes a whole year to build each camera. And that the basic construction used in 1957 has remained unchanged and unsurpassed to this day.

Of course legends are not the whole truth. But one thing we know is true. The 500C/M is a living legend that has yet to reach the height of its career.

The Hasselblad 500C/M is an entirely mechanical system camera for shooting in medium format. It's probably the world's fastest 6x6 camera. Not for shutter speeds, the Hasselblad 2000FCW is faster. But when it's a question of changing configuration to meet new challenges.

Transforming a 500C/M with standard lens, focusing hood and an A12 magazine to a camera with a 350 mm telephoto, prism viewfinder and a 70 exposure magazine is fast - just seven seconds. Changing from color to black & white takes three seconds, in midroll, without losing one exposure.

It's no accident that the 500C/M is the 6x6 format camera most preferred by the world's leading professional photographers.

The 500C/M can be used with fourteen different Zeiss lenses, seven film magazines, four viewfinders and more than a hundred accessories. "Maximum compatibility" are two words seldom far from the thoughts of our development technicians.

  • A rugged, mechanical camera with a one-piece die-cast aluminium body.
  • Superb quality Carl Zeiss lenses.
  • Internal shutter with full flash synchronization from 1 to 1/500 second.
  • 6x6 format that takes full scale enlargements.
  • Lenses, film magazines and accessories that require only seconds to change.

The Hasselblad system concept exists to give you, the photographer, maximum freedom of choice. To ensure you get superlative quality, utter reliability and maximum utilization.

Move to the Hasselblad system and you get more than just a camera, you get an instrument to help you translate creative ideas into creative pictures.

From the editor

The weight and dimensions are indicated for the camera body with the 80mm Planar CF lens and film magazine A12.

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Copyright © 2012-2023 Evgenii Artemov. All rights reserved. Translation and/or reproduction of website materials in any form, including the Internet, is prohibited without the express written permission of the website owner.

35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2

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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.


A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/ on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.


Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.