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A beginneracutes question


New Member
Maybe I'll buy a hasselblad camera, but I have to investigate because I know near to nothing about this cameras.
The hasselblad 503 body includes a photometer? and TTL sistem? I would thank every advice or links you could give me
Hello Luis,

Hasselblad cameras can be quite confusing because there are many models that are sometimes very different and models differ not often by only one letter with substantial difference in possibilities.

All 500 series cameras are supplied without metering system.
These can be fitted as TTL by exchanging the standard viewer for a prisma at your choice 45 or 90 degrees.
The value found for exposure needs to be transfered manually to the lens by choosing the shutterspeed and aperture.
The 503 Cx, 503 CXi and the 503 CW have a TTL flash metering system.

The 500 series cameras are all related to the first 500C camera that was released in 1957.
With a few exceptions all parts of this system are fully compatibel.
This makes it the most versatile and strongest system in medium format.

When you give some more information about what you would like to do with the camera it will be easier to help you choose the right model.
It is a good time to start as there are many good offers of friendly priced cameras available.
Thanks Paul.
I'm studying photography on my own,and I hope to be a photographer some day. Now I work with my Nikon D80 and an old minolta camera of my father. I'm learning, so I really don't know what kind of photos I will make on the future...i try to learn everything and i use to shot everything. I specially love landscape and portraits...but If i want to be a photographer maybe i will have to do other things. Surely i will do some studio works, and i also like photojournalism. The hasselblad cameras are amazing...they inspire me. I love their machinery. My idea is to buy a hasselblad 500 (i have to decide the exact model) and later buy a digital back. This way i will have a great film camera and a great digital camera, and all this with the same lenses and the same accessories.

What do you think about all this? I'm wrong? Which is the right model for me?
thank you very much
Hello Luis,

I would start with a body, A12 back and a 80mm lens.
It gives you a chance to get used to the system while shooting any subject you want.
It is possible to start with a set from about 750 USD.
This will get you a good 500CM with 80 mm "C" type lens and A12 filmback.
Many students start with a set like this.
For about twice that price you can find a 501CM with a later CF lens and A 12 back.
The 501CM has an improved mirror system, is a later camera and will last at least another 10 years without serious trouble.
If you opt for the second option make sure it is a 501CM.
The 501 C is a different camera.

Thanks paul...I have so many questions for you..

There are many differences between 501CM and the 503 models?
Which are the differences between 503CW, 503Cx and 503Cxi?
Its a good idea to buy a new 501CM with 80mm lens and A12 for 2.800€, or it's better to look for a cheapest 2nd hand one?

Sorry for all those questions...but I,ve been saving money for so many time to buy a good camera...and I don't want to make a mistake. I have time, i mean, I don't need to have the complete gear now, because I have the nikon and the minolta...For ex&le, I don't want to buy the 500CM body because it's cheaper and then I can buy also the 80 lens and the A12, if later I would want to buy the 503 body. I want to buy a camera I could use...ever.It sounds a little bit silly but I think that if I buy a good hasselblad I can use it all my life
If you are going to be getting into flash . . . get yourself a 503CW.
I would buy used from KEH.

Other models will use a flash (obviously) but the 503CW and a D40 make if fairly painless. You can also add a winder to the 503 body down the road. It makes the camera bigger and heavier . . . but easier to hand hold.

Though you can buy other models cheaper and they will still give you great Hasselblad quality shots.
Hi Luis,

I have a 500cm and I love it. It is a great camera, for the lenses I would say, get a CF ore a more recent lens. The older lenses C-type are cheaper but if you have a problem with it could be difficult to find a repairshop who still have all parts to fix it. For the CF lenses there is no problem, they still have all the parts.
The 503cm has also the very accurate TTL-flashsystem.

Get a decent lightmeter, like Gossen, Sekonic or Minolta and learn to work with it.

Going into Hasselblad is a never ending story, first you got the body and the 8Omm, than comes the 50mm and 150/180mm, the flash etc...
You need a good back to put the stuff in, and it is all very heavy stuff.
But it is worth every cent.

Good luck

I have been reading about hasselblad history, and now I know more things about each hasselblad model, but your experience with those cameras it have a great value for me. Thank you very much for share it with me.

Also I still having an important doubt. It's sure to buy a hasselblad camera via internet? (ebay, keh...). You can't know how it really you have any tip for me? What parts of the camera can be in bad condition?
Buy new or 2nd hand?
Let me weigh in on this....

I have bought and sold a lot of camera gear on the last four years on the Internet. For the most part, every item that I bought has been good working quality. However, there were a few exceptions: a Hassy 180mm lens with a sticky shutter that was resolved with a CLA (clean, lubricate, adjust); a Nikon 80-200mm that required a total rebuild by Nikon.

Over the last two years I have purchased four Hassy kits from working photographers over ebay, and have sold off the parts that were duplicates or that occupied kit bags "gathering dust" (in a dust free environment). Soon I am going to part with more stuff that is not being used and tieing up much needed ca$h for more toys --- equipment.

I am currently using a 503CW + winder with a Leaf Aptus 17 back. The 17 was a Leaf refurbished demo. Using the Zeiss glass I have been thrilled with the quality of image produced. It is superior to my Kodak DCS14NX (Nikon lenses) which I still use a lot.

Buying on ebay: Buyer Beware! Check the feedback of the seller. Buy from established persons/companies when spending the big bucks on technical toys. Look or ask for a return policy. Ask for more photos. Items from outside the country must come from reliable established persons.

When I was looking for digital backs for the Hassy I followed the Kodak DCS back on ebay, and noticed that a number of fraudulent listings were being placed over and over. Be careful on such high ticket items.

Since nothing is perfect, be prepared for basic maintenance (CLA) on parts bought.

Hello Luis,

If you do not need TTL flash a 501CM is a good choice.

If you think TTL flash may be usefull for you any 503 body will right.
In short what you can expect from the later models:

503 CX TTL flash (basicly a 500CM with TTL flash)
503 CXi like 503CX but also takes a winder, has Palpas coating inside for improved contrast.
503 CW like 503CXi but has the larger mirror that does not vignet the image on the focussing screen.
The 501CM is a 503CW without the TTL flash option.
The 501CM also has the larger mirror with the Gliding Mirror System.

The 501CM and the 503CW are the best options.
They are later models of which the 503CW is still in production.
KEH in Atlanta is a reliable source for used equipment.
Their rating system is very conservative.
Keep that in mind when you compare prices.

A brand new 501CM will serve you several decades if you treat your camera nicely.
The price is about right which does not mean you should not not try to knock something of or get a free lensshade with the deal.

Buying on Evilbay takes some experience and a lot of luck.
A reliable dealer will give you better service and usually guarantees their used equipment.

Do not forget to mention what you have decided. Nice to know.

I think the 501CM will be my choice. The price difference between the 503 and the 501 is to much, and the TTL system doesn't cost that for me. I will try to find a good price in, it seems much more secure than ebay.

Thanks a lot everybody!!

Paul, you are an interesting philosopher

Hi, Luis - I chose a 501CM ealier this year. I don't use flash and so I didn't need the TTL features. I've been very happy with the choice. You can find reputable buys on *bay if you are careful. I watched a new 501cm kit from Calumet Photo go earlier this week for $2,000 complete with boxes warranty, etc. So don't be afraid to look around.