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500C question


New Member
Hi, I'm new in the hasselblad world and I have a question.
I'v bought an 500C recently and I notice in something different that I don't know what it is and I can't find in the manual what are these for, in fact in the manual pictures this doesn't even appear!

What I would like to know is what is this two holes are for (A and B)?

Thanks for your help
Renato Andrade

You are the lucky owner of an early 500C (pre 1962)
Hasselblad had the intention to fit a winder for the manually operated 500C and in fact a few prototype winders were built.
The two holes served as a way of fitting for these winders.

The winder option was abandonend later to make room for the motordrive 500 EL that appeared a few years later.
Depending on the exact age your camera may have other features that distinguish it from later cameras. Strap lugs that are not completely round but flattenend at the bottom, an old style waist level finder with visible struts at the sides, intestines can be different as well.

What year is your camera (see letter code of serial number)?

Sorry for the delay! The camera is from 1962.
Do you think that it has the intestines different?
the Strap lugs that are not completely round but flattenend at the bottom, as you said!

"Do you think that it has the intestines different?"

To answer that question you need to give the complete body number.
It shows that no matter how old Hasselblad cameras are bought to be used.
These early 500C cameras attract attention from collectors.
Spares for the first generation of 500 C cameras are hard to find.
Sorry again, I've been without internet.

The body nunber is this: TH47468

An other question, with the extension tubes we can shoot closer to the object and still manage to focus correctly, is this right?

with the 80mm planar T lens I can use any extension tube? Can anyone give me the minimun focal distance for each tube?


The math is somewhat easy, although I don't bother with it - to get 1:1, you double the length from 'nodal point' (in lens shutter point I think that is) to film plane ... 80+80. You can add ext tubes to ext tubes, if you have a few of them.

This is a newer chart but I believe it should give you the same answers (unless I missed something about the earlier 80 Planar).

Someone else here who really knows what they are talking about can probably add some better advice.

Cheers, Colin

Your 500C has the mechanics from the second series.
That is good news parts for these bodies are still available.

With extension tubes you can focus closer to the object.
It makes full frame possible of smaller objects.

For the 80 mm lens the following applies:

With 8 or 10 mm tubes minimum object distance (MOD) will be about
0.5 m.
An object of 0.3 m covers the frame of the negative completely.

With a 16 mm tube MOD is about 0.3 m object size is 0.2 m

With a 32 mm tube MOD is about 0.2 m and object size is 0.11 m

With a 56 mm tube MOD is about 0.12 m object size is 0.07 m

Because the magnification increases the amount of light that reaches the film decreases.
Exposure time needs to be longer.
It works that way for all 80 mm lenses regardless their model or age.

Hi Colin,

Good chart that helps explain macro photography.
Thanks to all for the explanation!

I don't have any extension tube, but I'm trying to get one, and I think I will try to buy an 8 or 10, I think that is more than enought for some one who is starting to know hasselblad world!

Thanks one more time!
G'Day Renato:

When you get your Ext Tube, please remember this.

Always, always ...

To use the tube:

1 First, cock the shutter
2 Remove the lens
3 Put Tube on the Camera Body first (as if it was the lens)
4 only then, Lens onto Tube. Voila! Ready!

To remove:

1. Cock the shutter
2. Remove the lens from the tube first.
3. Only Then, Remove the tube from the body
4. then lens back on the body (if you wish).

Many happy extensions ...


Renato, not only follow Colin's excellent advice, but ALWAYS look at the rear of the tube and the rear of the lens and make sure the winding mechanism slot is pointing at the dot. If not, use a coin to wind it until it does.

Make it a strict habit to ALWAYS wind the camera, and ALWAYS check the rear of the tubes or lenses, before doing anything.

As far as tube sizes are concerned, an 8 0r 10mm used with a 80mm will allow you to get a little closer to a subject, but not Macro close. If you want to shoot Macro images I suggest starting with a 32mm tube.

If you do not own a tripod, I would also suggest saving up to get one along with a cable release.

Question for the group:

wasn't there an adjustable extension tube made for Hasselblad? What info can you share on this. I've never seen one.
The "adjustable" extension tube is called : variable extension tube . The HASSELBLAD number is 51691 . This extension tube was introduced in 1985 but is not built anymore .
The minimum extension is 64 mm and the maximum extension is 85 mm .
This tube can be used with almost all lenses , but has no electric contacts as the E16 etc. tubes have .

When used with a C (CF) MAKRO PLANAR 5,6/135mm , this lens will focus from 1,20m to infinity .
This MAKRO-PLANAR can only be used with either the variable extension tube or with the bellow unit .

Occasionally there is a variable tube offered on @bay . The one I could acquire was never used , but also rather expensive .
Thanks Jurgen.

I'll have to keep my eye out for one. I have the Bellows unit, but it's pretty big for travel : -)
Never owned the 135 Makro-Planar. How does IQ compare to the 120?

I found the images taken with the CF MAKRO-PLANAR 5,6/135 are not as sharp as with the
CFE MAKRO-PLANAR 4,0/120 , which I think is an outstanding lens .
But the before said can also be a subjective impression .

The big disadvantage of the 135mm macro lens is its widest aperture opening of f5,6 whilst the 120mm macro
has f4,0 . That one f-stop allows you to work more comfortable , especially when you have to wear glasses .
The later Makro-Planars from the CF series differ from the S-Planars from the C series.

The S-Planars are more optimised for close range, 1:5 ratio, than the later Makro-Planars.
Carl Zeiss decided to improve performance at infinity for the Makro-Planars at the expense of quality at close range.

S-Planars from the C series the 120 and the 135 can be picked up for a song and give amazing results used at close range.
Both S-Planars are rather slow with 5.6 max. aperture compared to the 120 Makro-Planar.
Hi Renato,

8 or 10mm is a bit short for my taste. I have a 21mm ring which suits my work better. It also fits neatly with the Sonnar 150mm for portraits.

In case you are interested, I have a like-new 55mm for sale. Works nice when you are into macro with somewhat longer lenses, like the 120 S-Planar. Longer lenses with macro help you to allow the subject to be lighted without the lens/camera etc getting in the way. I just do not do enough macro work to keep it around.

Thanks to everyone you is helping!
This is a nice and closy internet group. I'm pleased for being part of it!
I have a doubt, With a 55mm extension tube I can get the results that I would get with an 21mm? Sorry if it's a silly question
When using extension tubes the idea is to record a small object full size in the picture frame.
So you figure out starting with the size of the object and the lens you have what extension tube or combination of tubes will suit you best.
A 55 mm extension will give you full frame for objects from 7 till 8 cm.
For 21 mm extension tubes the object size will be about 17 cm.
All figures mentioned are for the 80 mm lens.

These values change when using lenses of different focal length.
Here's another way to look at it.
You need to understand magnification ratios somewhat, and how big your subject is. "Life size" magnification means that the subject will be the same size on your film (56mm x 56mm for the Hasselblad), as it is in real life. So, If you're photographing a coin that is 2 inches in diameter (about 50mm), it will also measure 2 inches (or 50mm) on your film. "Half lifesize" would mean this same 2" coin would measure 1" on your film, 1/4 life size the coin will be 1/2".

Now, in order to reach Life size, or in magnification ratio terms, 1:1, you need extension equal to the focal length of your lens. For your 80mm lens you would need 80mm worth of extension in order to produce a life size image on film. This will also result in a 2-stop reduction in light, meaning you will need to increase your exposure by two stops.
40mm worth of extension will provide you with half life size, or 1:2 magnification ratio. This will result in a 1-stop reduction in light.
20mm worth of extension will provide you with 1/4 life size, requiring a 1/2 stop of exposure compensation.

Thus, the 55mm extension tube will provide you with a little better than half size reproduction on your 80mm lens (slightly greater than 1:2 ratio), requiring a 1-stop compensation in exposure.
Keep in mind here, that all of the above is measured with your lens focused to infinity. Higher levels of magnification are possible if you use the built-in helicoid along with the extension tube.
Michael H. Cothran