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Hasselblad cwd 203fe conversion a few questions


New Member
Hello everyone,

this is my first post on this forum but i have been reading various thread on this site for a while with interest. Finally I took the plunge- I have just purchased a hasselblad CWD kit (arriving in 2 days fingers crossed). I have a 203FE camera that I want to modify for use with the CFV back. Does anyone have any recent info about the pricing and timing of this conversion from Hasselblad Sweden? I contacted the Australian rep from hasselblad but they have not replied to my emails.

I am considering selling my e12 back (no better than A12 after modification?) and FE 80 lens (I am selling off a lot of gear to pay for the CWD!). Am I correct in assuming that a CFE lens works just as well (full functionality) on the 203FE as the FE lens? I have back up CF lenses.

I will also sell my phase one H5 on ebay - out of interest- I believe Phase One will pay around $5,500AUD rebate on a P20 (based on a quote from phase one's australian reps L&P). If you are planning on buying a high end phase back- purchasing a low end one and trading it in is a very good idea...

I am sure I will have more questions once I get my CWD kit. I hope some of you will be able to help me?

Is it true that the CWD kit does not include a battery charger? I think I read that somewhere. Seems crazy though... I hope I can use it as soon as it arrives.
Actually, while it sounds cheap on their part, the lack of charger and batteries isn't all that bad.

You can get different chargers which I can assure you are better than anything they'd provide with the back. Just be glad it's a common Video camera battery and not like the proprietary ones for the old Kodak ProBack 645 ... which are now as rare as a honest politician. That Kodak back will run forever, but getting batteries for it now is very difficult. My pal has 3 of them that are now dead, and only two left ... yikes!
So I will need a charger and battery for sure? what are the model numbers please?
thanks in advance.
Welcome at the forum Jack.

Any CFE lens works just as well on a 203FE body.
Only thing an 80 FE does better than a CFE is minimum object distance:
0.6 m for the 80 FE against 0.9 m for the CFE.
80 FE and CFE are both of the same optical design.
The lack of a leave shutter makes it possible to increase the lenght of the helicoid.

Keep in mind that new CFE lenses will become obsolete.
Carl Zeiss has already changed the 80 CFE into an 80CFi meaning it lost the databus contacts to communicate with the 200 series bodies.
Of course there are plenty of used CFE lenses available.
Hello Paul and Marc,
thanks for the responses.

I hadn't noticed the closer focal length on my FE lens (although I have made use of it). That is interesting- it is nice to have closer focusing... hmmm.

about the batteries: I have seen Sony NP-F570 listed as compatible- and NP-F550. Marc: do you use the slim batteries or the bulkier long life ones? It seems the bigger ones would look a bit out of place on the camera and get in the way a bit? Also do you use OEM Sony or is there a better alternative?

a penny for your thoughts.
Hi Jack,

as for the battery: i do have both - the slim and the high capacity one. I would recommend the slim one if handheld and when you carry the cam around. The high capacity is too bulky for that - and looks clumsy on the Hassi also. ;) I would use the large on long untethered shootings on tripod only. But thats just me. ;)

Greetings Andy

Slim batteries. Recommended Sony versions, but I also bought a Radio Shack version which was less expensive and worked just as well.
Thanks all,
kit arrived this morning... two batteries included. Neither charged :-(... been waiting a few hours now... little light is still red... patience, patience.

These Rainbow Lorrikeets put on a nice display in the back yard eating apples in the 38c heat. I made a hash of the processing in flexcolor (just figuring it out)- and these are just small crops- but I am happy with the colour.

The back seems quite easy to use.

I was very worried at first- I switched it on- and nothing- the screen flashed grey and went black. Battery charged, card inserted- press on switch- nothing. Then I realised you need to hold it in for half a second (no mention of this in the manual). the V appears and all is well.

must say a little disappointed with the LCD- seems worse than my ipod nano. In fact it's like a polaroid in a way. Lets you know you are on the right track but little help with critical detail...
Oh, and when I said, "Happy with the colour"- I did not mean the balance. That yellow cast in the second image is probably my doing.

Build quality seems good- not like my old phase H5 which you could park a car on with the cover in place- but solid enough.
Hi Jack,

A12 / E12: Right, no difference after modification. You have to
set the speed in the Pr menu.

Battery: Charger and battery are not included. Look for original
Sony or e.g. Radio Shack, so called Sony F series.
I got a nice charger for about $30 works at Ac 100-
240V AND DC 12-24V, car lightner adapter included.

So how did the camera converted for use with CFV? Did you send it to Sweden? If yes, directly or through CR Kennedy? How long was the turn around time? And how much did it cost?

Just a potential 203FE / CFV user trying to include all these extra costs into the budget.

Which battery is the slimmer one???

Jacques: As far as I know, the 203FE body only needs conversion if you want to use FE lenses on it. Just so you know.

I too was disappointed with the display.

You can use a 203FE in two different ways with the CFV BACK .

If your 203FE has no modification , you can operate in C-Mode and use C-type lenses . This requires the use of the sync-cord .
If your 203FE is modified you can use F(FE)-type lenses as well (in F-mode) and do not need a sync-cord .
At the beginning of the modification "time" , the modification could only be done in Sweden . Today it can be done by most HASSELBLAD agencies . Contact the HASSELBLAD represenatives in your country . They will be able to tell you the cost for the modification and all other details .