The Hasselblad V system comprised equipment for superlative photography. It was a camera system representing the ultimate in precision and dependability. The system offered the photographer options for tackling every conceivable photographic situation. That is why the Hasselblad V-system cameras and lenses were the choice of professional photographers and advanced amateurs all over the world, in space, on land, and beneath the sea.
A system with maximum interchangeability was the concept behind the Hasselblad V system. This means that the various camera models, no matter when they were made, accepted the system's accessories almost without exception. That is why Hasselblad cameras and lenses retained their value over the years and represented an investment that really paid off in the long run.
The cameras belonging to the Hasselblad V system can be divided into five series:
- The 500 series (500C, 500C/M, 500EL, 500EL/M, 500ELX, 501C, 501CM, 503CW, 503CWD, 503CX, 503CXi, 553ELX, 555ELD) - fully manual cameras that used in-lens leaf shutters with flash sync across all shutter speeds;
- The 2000 series (2000FC, 2000FC/M, 2000FCW, 2003FCW) - cameras with electronically-controlled focal plane shutters and a top shutter speed of 1/2000 second;
- The 200 series (201F, 202FA, 203FE, 205FCC, 205TCC) - cameras with electronically-controlled focal plane shutters and the aperture priority auto exposure mode in addition to the fully manual mode;
- The SWC series (SWC, SWC/M, 903SWC, 905SWC) - fully manual cameras with fixed lens and without mirror mechanism and reflex focusing system. Like the 500 series, they used in-lens leaf shutters with flash sync across all shutter speeds;
- The FlexBody - a technical camera with a tiltable and shiftable back and a built-in bellows.
In the camera names, the "F" stands for focal plane shutter, and the "C" for the (Synchro-) Compur leaf shutter. The 500 "EL" series were electric motor-driven cameras; the motor undertook the mechanical tasks of advancing the film and cocking the shutter. The 500/2000 "W" series were compatible with a winder, an optional accessory that performed the same tasks as the built-in motor of the 500 "EL" series. The "M" means a modified version, while "D" means compatibility with digital backs. The "TCC" (later renamed to "FE") stands for Tone and Contrast Control.
The Carl Zeiss leaf shutter lenses can be divided into four series:
- The C series - the first lenses for the Hasselblad cameras. Had a design with interlocked aperture and shutter speed rings. Originally matt-chromed, all C lenses were supplied in black trim from 1969 to 1981. In 1973, Zeiss developed the multi-layer, anti-reflection, T* multi-coating. It was used first on lenses in the 30-80mm focal length range. Since 1974, all lenses were multi-coated and carried the red T* symbol;
- The CF series - a more modern design with improved ergonomics and a newly developed Prontor shutter with double the life-expectancy of the earlier Compur shutter. Replaced the C series in 1982. On CF lenses, aperture and shutter speed rings were no longer interlocked but could be locked together when desired. This series and future lenses that had a designation "F" and an "F" setting on the shutter speed ring could be used on focal plane shutter cameras;
- The CFi series - lenses with the flash connector equipped with a cable locking device;
- The CFE series - identical to the CFi types but with the electronic databus connections for the light metering system in the 200 series cameras.
In the CB series, Carl Zeiss eliminated some features like the "F" setting. CB lenses can be used on focal plane shutter cameras (except the 202FA), but the exposure must be made with the shutter in the lens.
The Carl Zeiss lenses designed for focal plane shutter cameras can be divided into two series:
- The F series - originally designed for the 2000 series cameras. Had no electronic coupling to the camera body. These F lenses had a wider aperture and shorter close-up focusing limits than the C series;
- The FE series - TCC types with electronic databus connections. Introduced with the 205TCC camera.