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Hasselblad 500c


New Member
I recently purchased a hasselblad 500c, as this is my first medium format i have a few questions/issues:

firstly, i cannot fire the shutter!

however if i take the back off it fires fine at all speeds

i'm hoping this is just me being stupid and not an issue with the camera itself!

thanks in advance

You did take the darkslide out of the camera back did you?
As long as that is in you cannot release the shutter.

@ Wilko and Charlie,

Thanks Wilko but Charlie may need some more information about his 500C.

A download of the 500C manual with an explanation to load the pre 1968 film backs will get him started I think.

For a download go to

Register as a user. The 500C is not listed as a camera to register so select the 501C camera and fill in the number of your camera.
This number can be found below the auxilary shutter after you remove the film back.
Then select downloads, go to manuals and select 500C

In the 500C manual the later, post 1968 film back and its operation are described.
Quite a few 500C cameras have the early film back that does not have the winding crank on the RH side.
Operation and loading of the early style back can be found with the 1000F camera.

Do not hesitate to ask questions after reading the manual.
The forum will be glad to help you with any questions that you may have after reading the camera manual.

Thanks for your advice, i got hold of a pdf of the 500c manual, and also registered the camera on the hasselblad webiste...
i also have been in contact with the gentleman i bought the camera from, he said that the shutter will not fire unless you have film loaded in the camera and the dark slide is out?

so, i got hold of an old 120 film in order to practice loading film into the magazine, and also to make sure everything functioned correctly.
The camera appears to be functioning ok at all shutter speeds, only now i cannot seem to release the lens?

The shutter must be cocked in order to release the lens.
Two ways to know if it is cocked -
1. If you can see an image in the viewfinder, and
2. If the little round window at the bottom of the camera, underneath the winder, and close to where the back latches on is white. If it is red, the shutter is not cocked.
This little window is also on your film back. If it is red, the film has been exposed. If it is white, the film is fresh and ready.
Always be sure that both windows, the one on the film back and the one on the body are the same color. When the camera is cocked with an unexposed film at the ready, both should be white, after you take the picture, both should be red. If one is red and the other white, remove the back and either fire or cock the shutter, then reinsert the back.
The lens will only come off when the body window is white.

To get the feel of the camera you can fire the shutter even without film.

The following conditions needs to be observed:

1.The camera and shutter has to be cocked.
2.The darkslide must be removed.
3.The filmback must allow an exposure; after the max number of exposures, depending on the film back 12, 16 or 24, the back needs to be reloaded or reset if you want to practise without film.

All these have been built in on purpose to prevent mistakes.
It seems complicated but you will understand the reason for this set up after some use of the camera.

The book vandevantersh referred to is the Hasselblad Manual by Ernst Wildi.
Up till the sixt edition is to be recommended for 500 series cameras.
The sixt and later editions have information about digital.
At the same time early cameras were described less detailed.

Take your time to get acquainted. You will love the camera and the results you get from it.