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Well-Known Member
There is a rumor from a dealer which i can hardly believe .
It is as follows :
Only the CFV back can be used with the 503CWD , but no rollfilm magazine type like A12 or E12 or older types , which can still be used with any other HASSELBLAD .
I can hardly believe this because it sounds absolutely not logical .
Has anyone out there in the HASSELBLAD world heard about this . ? ?
It makes sense. The camera name has a "D" at the end, meaning digital. So i t's probably like the H1D that takes a digital back only. If you want to us e film, get a regular 503CW and the CFV.
Actually it doesn't make any sense because the CFV back is activated by the roll film mechanism ... which is why it works without any connecting cords.

The H cameras that are dedicated to digital are so because they run off of the grip battery and do not need an auxiliary battery for power as well as how they communicate with one another ... like the Histogram being displayed in the Camera's grip LCD for ex&le.

Both the CFV versions require auxiliary batteries, so it's not a power issue.


It'll be interesting to find out why the 503CWD is a digital camera only ... if indeed it is (which I doubt).
They could simply have removed the gear that connects to the gearing inside film magazines (the digital back does not need that at all), to instantly get a digital-back-only camera.

But it's nonsense, nonetheless.

In fact, the 503CWD manual devotes a section to "Film Magazine Use" and reasons why "using film might be either preferable or even necessary".

If you would like to see for yourself:

Page 73 of 82.

There are many dealers that should be tied firmly to something solid, and then done unpleasant things to until they agree that it would be best for all if they made a career move...


I think you can use film behind an H1D too. The H2D is the one that doesn't allow that.
I just verified with Hasselblad USA. The 503CWD is strictly digital back only, you cannot mount a film magazine on it. I thinks the person at Hasselblad is wrong, because the 530CWD manual clearly indicates on page 73 that "The 503CWD also accepts film magazines allowing for greater freedom and versatility".

The H2D is just like the H1D(which I own), that you can remove the digital back and mount a film magazine to shoot film.

A generic 503CW can of course use a film magazine and a CFV digital back.

Great answer and the question is answered too.
I was not aware that manuals can now be downloaded from the HASSELBLAD web pages .
Thank you very much for your 2 good answers .
Best regards Jürgen

Go to the HASSELBLAD web page Q.G. has given in his contribution , and you will see that you were told nonsense .
That's why I said that 'I think the person at Hasselblad is wrong...', because the 503CWD manual(p72.) clearly states that you can use a film magazine.

To this day, to the best of my knowledge, with the exception of Mamiya ZD(not released in USA yet), all MF cameras that use digital backs or intergrated with digital backs(H1D and H2D), can also use film backs.
H2D can't for the reasons I mentioned above.

The CFV can, for the reasons I mentioned above ... and that is confirmed in multiple places in the manual.
It's mentioned on page 8, point 1 concerning the battery " ... in the case of the 503CWD, a film magazine can act as a reserve for emergencies."

I think the H2D can't for no other reason than that Mr. Imacon didn't want it to.

You could run a digital back on power drawn from the camera, have the back and camera exchange data, and still have it removable, make it possible for film backs to be mounted instead. No problem.
The film backs that could replace the digital back might not need to draw power from the camera, nor have anything much to say via the Databus. But that, of course, is not a problem either.

Film backs, however, are not what Imacon is about. So no matter what they may say in the CWD manual, Poulsen does not want us to be able to use film with Hasselblad cameras. So we can't.
Not on the ones he could have his way with, the H2D. And the rest are disappearing one by one.

I hear the ELD is no more. Which one will be next?
Paul's information received from Hasselblad USA just goes to prove that old adage; "good help is hard to find." (it's even harder to keep).
Thank goodness there are forums like this with knowledgeable people to respond to queries.
I wonder how Hasselblad in Sweden would feel if they knew their "official representatives" in what is probably their largest market, were giving out misinformation.
One should always be able to obtain a factual definitive answer from the manufacturer's rep.
Well Q.G., you can buy a CFH-39 to use on a standard H2 which can and does accept film backs interchangeably. Like the H2D, the CFH is powered by the grip of the H2, and can be adapted to view cameras via the H system adapter (which is expensive).

The difference is one of price. The H2D/39 comes with a camera/prism/lens attached, and is many thousands of dollars less than a CFH/39 back alone.

Hasselblad offers 10 Imacon backs, and 3 HD dedicated kits. All of the 10 backs interchange with film magazines and 8 work on cameras besides Hasselblad.

BTW, I have the CFV back and use it interchangeably with film backs. I also use the H2D/39 and decided on that "dedicated" route because I knew I'd never use the camera for film work ... preferring my bigger neg. 6X6 & 6X7 cameras for that.

Yes, you're right.

The problem, of course, is that having the digital back attached to the camera permanently is that you cannot use any other back. Seeing how quick things have developed upto now, it makes investing in such a machine somewhat 'difficult'.
That's the reason they do come off on the H2.

The problem with backs coming off, is that people might entertain the possibility of putting film backs on instead.
There's a solution to that: up the price of film backs.

Another problem is that people might want to put other manufacturer's backs on your camera. But the solution to that is an easy one too, of course.
But people buying your cameras, not your backs, put money in the bank too...

Anyway, i don't think that technical restraints are why the 'dedicated' H-cameras are that. Strategic marketing.

Strategy, aimed at weening us off film, might be behind the rumour that the CWD is digital-only too.
If so, it would win a price for being extremely silly. And i do not believe it is anything but someone not knowing what he's talking about.
Yet, we have seen extremely silly things before...
Yes, you guys are correct, both the H2D and the H2D/39 cannot use the film magazine at all. Only H1D can use both the attached digital back and optional film magazine. Since I currently have the H2 and H1D, the logical upgrade for me, if I wish to upgrade later, is to upgrade from the H1D to the H2+CFH-39 NOT the H2D/39. The H2+CFH39 let's me use both the CFH-39 digital back and film magazine. When I talked to Hasselblad USA, one person will tell me one thing, then another will tell me something else different, so user forums like this this keep us informed of the real deal.
One should always be able to obtain a factual definitive answer from the manufacturer's rep>


I agree, but as I mentioned the demise of the 503. The same pro department manager of ten years employment with a large LA based store, told me that the V is gone after the special edition, and their long time Hasselblad Rep is gone and the new Hasselblad reps only rep the digital products. So, if the size of Southern California can be used as an indicator the future is now.

In the past the service department in New Jersey has been helpful. I hope some stay, but since the headquarters moved the Washington State, how much longer will it last.

Best Regards:

"The problem, of course, is that having the digital back attached to the camera permanently is that you cannot use any other back. Seeing how quick things have developed up to now, it makes investing in such a machine somewhat 'difficult'. That's the reason they do come off on the H2."

Sorry, if your referring to the H2D cameras, that's incorrect. The H2D/39's back is not permanently attached, and IS removable ... as is the H2D/22. Upgrades are done to your existing back ... for ex&le a 22 meg back can be upgraded to a 39 meg back for $5,000. So as developments move forward you can opt to upgrade as they do.

If you were referring to the Mamiya ZD, one would hope they'll offer the same sensor/firmware upgrade service ... but the whole thing is so inexpensive (relative to Phase One, Sinar, and Imacon backs) I doubt it will happen.

Other backs such as the Imacon CFH can be upgraded to multi-shot backs ... and so on. Imacon has always provided an upgrade path on it's professional digital backs as do other high level digital back makers.
There is a company in T&a, Florida called DTGweb, a division of Digital Technology Group. They have an internet sales website, under the Product and Categories select the following:

Digital photography-->Digital Camera Backs--->Camera Back Upgrades

You will see 10 variations of Hasselblad/Imacon digital back upgrades and pricing.

I was considering the pros and cons of having removable backs from the perspective of a company (Imacon, lumbered with Hasselblad) that thinks "film" is four letter word.