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HELP 203FE Locked Up just as I go on Holiday


Active Member
To continue the plague of technical difficulties this year, my trusty 203FE had locked up with a 50/2.8FE mounted. Seemingly for no apparent reason ... and of course just as I was about to leave on Holiday.

I pulled the 203FE out of it's case, checked that it was cocked, checked that the 50/2.8FE was cocked, mounted the lens and went to check it for battery power and inadvertently triggered it.

It released, but then dead locked up. Mirror up. No response.

Pulled the battery tray out and put in the battery from the other 203FE which I use with the CFV which I know works ... nothing. Locked up.

Swapped battery drawers with the good battery in it. Nothing.

Any suggestions as to what to do? 203s are relatively new for me.
if you are absolutely sure that it has nothing to do with the battery (better test with a fresh one) try if the camera at least works in C mode. First cock the camera with the knob in the middle of the winding lever depressed (check if electronics come back to life now). At least you should be able to take off the lens now. Set the shutter speed ring to C. Does it work then in the battery-independent C-mode?


This forum is GREAT !!!!

Ulrik, I owe you man. Anything I can do for you in future please don't hesitate to ask.

I better re-read the manual ... good stuff for the flight.

It's all working now. Must have been a dead battery. I had another new one in the bag. But until I did what you said, I couldn't make it work even with the new battery.

Do you guys store the camera with the battery out of it? If it's in the camera, what setting do you leave it in?

Thanks again.
I am glad it works again. When I put the camera in storage I take the battery tray out. I do not care what mode it is in.

I had a very similar situation with my 201F some time ago and I know today , that it was caused by a dead battery . This was discussed in an earlier thread in this forum .
I know today , that the 201F (at least the one I have) drains the battery , even when I did a "clearing cycle" , which is pressing the button in the crank and winding once .
My 203FE behaves as it should and the battery is alive , even after a very long time .
The same is valid for my 2000FC/M . No need to remove the battery .
If the camera is blocked it is worth a try to turn the transport knob with the center button depressed like making a double exposure.
This often clears the setting of the electronics and releases the shutter. It also prevents the battery from draining as the shutter circuit becomes isolated again from the battery.

A fresh battery is a good friend to keep around.
There are pros and cons against removing a battery: pro it is save for the camera and the battery cannot drain.
Cons if the battery is left out long time the contacts may oxidise and refitting the battery tray does not clean them enough to re establish contact.
I always store my 200 series cameras with battery removed from the tray, and the tray left in place on the body.
Hi Terry,

You are absolutely right.
That is the savest way to store a 2000 or a 200 series camera.

Jürgens 201F still bothers me. It should not drain the battery the way it does now.
I have this problem occassionally - say twice every 100 exposures. Very sure it has nothing to do with battery because it happens even with new batteries.

Rather than a locked up camera, the second shutter does not close and the mirror stays up. Easily fixed using double exposure button and rewind the camera but a few times, the photo opportunities (and film frames) were lost.

When a CF lens is used, sometimes the shutter (body shutter) does not open at all.

Welcome here at the forum.
Your first post here and bad news.

What you describe is not a normal problem that can happen occasionaly.
Cameras from the 200 series have an excellent reputation for reliability.

I would recommend to have the camera checked for mechanical problems with the shutter.
The problem can also be caused by electronics.
With a CF lens I suppose you use the leaf shutter of the CF lens and the camera shutter acts as an auxilary shutter.
I had a similar problem with one of my 203FE but in my case it would happen every other shot. I knew it wasn't the battery because the other body would work flawlessly with the same battery. The only solution was a trip to the dealer to be service by Hasselblad. 3 weeks and $260 later the camera is working as a ch&.
You might need to have it serviced.
At the moment I keep using the camera despite that fault. I don't have faith in CR Kennedy, Hasselblad distributor here. They dismantled a 205TCC to fix the self timer and then couldn't put it back together. If the fault gets much worse, then I'll send it directly to Sweden.

I spoke to a technician and he suspect it's the shutter magnet that's causing the occassional glitch.
Have had the problem if I paused to use the camera for more than
a day. @ Sweden they fixed it by ''cleaning the magnets'' incl.
checking 160 Euro.