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Hasselblad 500C/M Focusing Screens

The Fontane

New Member
Hello everybody. I'm new to this forum and am a long time Hasselblad user, but by no means an expert or authority on anything Hblad. I've been shooting on a 500 EL/M for a number of years, with a PME51 Prism/Meter. I've taken some great shots with the EL/M over the years.

Recently I purchased a 500C and took her out for a shoot. I popped the PME51 on there and put half a dozen rolls through it, using a planar 80mm lens. When I got the rolls back the model was out of focus on every single shot on all the rolls, despite her being in sharp focus whilst shooting.

My question is could this focusing issue be related to the incorrect focusing screen being fitted in the 500C? The 500C has the same style focusing screen release clips as the 500CM, so it's either a mislabeled 500C or it's a 500C with 500CM parts??

If the issue is the focusing screen (I think the screen it came with is an Acute Matte) does anybody know or can recommend which focusing screen should be used in this camera, and whether or not newer screens are compatible with it?

If this topic has been already covered, then I apologize, I did do a search but couldn't find the exact information I'm looking for.


New Member
I am by no means a Hasselblad expert.
I had a 500C 50 years ago, and sold it after a year because I was getting better results with my Nikon F.

I recently got back into Hasselblad with a 500C/M, and got a Leaf digital back. The first thing I noticed with the digital back, was that with the standard 500C/M GG (which is just a plain piece of GG) - it is very hard for me to nail the focus every time. The digital back really tests the accuracy of just focusing on a plain groundglass. I think this may be why I had preferred my Nikon back then, even though I didn't realize exactly why at the time.

I believe I read that repair people modified 500C's fixed GG to C/M's removable GG. If that is the case, yours might be one of those - and it was just not done well. The 500C/M's do have four little screw posts under the GG to adjust the height of the GG. there is a special tool to adjust the height of the screws (the screw posts have a spline around the top). I read that there is also a special jig that attaches to the lens mount you can use to visually adjust it.
If some repairman did modify your camera, see if they did it with the adjustable screws, they might not have.

The other thing I have read, is that sometimes the mirror can sometimes not return to the correct position because of wear of the stops (which throws the focus of the GG off).

As far as I know all GG are interchangeable. I have a couple different styles and they all seem the same in my camera.

The Fontane

New Member
Hi Richard,

Thanks for your reply, it's quite thorough. The guy I bought the camera from pretty much sold it as is and in unable to offer any further info on it. I would suspect that it's a 500C that's been modified with a CM's fitting for a removable focusing screen. I think the best solution is to rent a digital back and play around with this until I can get the focusing right.

I'm overseas for a couple of months, won't be able to get to this until I return next year. I took the EL/M with me on this trip, I'm not trusting the 500C.

Chris Livsey

New Member
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When the c/m model was introduced Hasselblad badged a number, not known how many, of the new c/m bodies as C. The astute buyer knowing C sell for less than C/M looks for a C badged C/M which is what you have. I am not aware of C bodies being changed to C/M as there were other internal changes as well as the screen change. You will have, probably, a 1970 model C/M.
On the OOF issue it can be from a number of causes and a technician with a body jig can calibrate focus and check mirror return, I also found focus to be a challenge with digital on a 500 series as is shutter shock, from the mirror slap (mirror up is advised) film was/still is more forgiving.
The C to C/M change is documented here: Hasselblad Historical web site (URL is blocked)