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Modes of Winding


New Member
Hi there
Just got a 553ELX from ebay, anyone can explain the different abbrevation on the winding modes, like the AS, A, 0, S RS
Thanks in advanced.
This is yhe info I got from Q.G from this list when i purchased a 553 elx a couple of months ago:

(I hope it is ok that I cite you Q.G., as I could hardly describe it better my self)

The LOT-lever has three positions, L, O and T.

- In L-position (Lock) the camera release is blocked.

- In O-position (Ordinary) the camera is ready for use.

- When moving the lever to the T-position (Time exposure), the camera is
released, but the release cycle is stopped, just as if you would press the
release button and keep your finger on it.
You will have to move it back to "O" again to complete the cycle when the
exposure is done.
It is the same as using the tiny lever on the release button of 500 C and
C/M cameras.

Should your ELX be a 500 ELX, i.e. the one with the big accu, the LOT-lever
must be set to L or O when charging the battery in-camera.

The selector dial has five positions: AS, A, O, S, and SR.

- O-mode is the normal, single frame operating mode. The camera works just
like a 500 C(...), except that after taking the finger off the release, the
motor automatically winds on.

- A-mode (Automatic) is the "continuous" mode: the camera takes pictures as
long as you keep the release depressed. In between exposures the camera
cycles completely, i.e. the mirror goes down and goes up again. After you
let go of the release the camera ends up in O-mode.

- S-mode (Speed) is the same as the prerelease on 500 C(...) cameras. When
the selector is moved to S the lens shutter and diaphragm closes, the mirror
flips up and the auxillary shutter opens. You press the release to make the
exposure. The selector dial moves back to O-mode.

- SR-mode (Speed repeat) is the same, except that the camera returns to
prereleased mode after winding. You will have to return the dial to O to get
out of this mode, but with the camera already prereleased, you will not get
the viewfinder image back until after you release the camera. Take off the
film back before you do if you do not want to waste a frame.

- AS-mode (Automatic Speed) is the "Great EL Fraude". Changing the dial to
AS prereleases the camera (S-mode), and sets it to "continuous" mode. When
you press the button, the camera will start taking pictures until you let go
of the button again. Just like what happens in S-mode.
Now do not make the (easy) mistake in thinking that, since S-mode suggests
prerelease, there is less mirror induced vibration: the mirror will come
down and go up again between exposures just as in A-mode. The only
difference is that the series begins with the mirror up and ends with the
mirror up again. So only the first (!) exposure in a series will have the
benefit of a prereleased camera. All following exposures will not!
Thanks Ruben for all the detail info. I believe what other 553 owners has commented that this is one great camera to own and will serve us well.

Thanks again. I m loving it.
Here is a description of the functions for the settings on the rotating selector dial:

"O" stands for "operate", and is the normal setting. When you press the release button, one exposure is made, and then the camera stops in the normal position with the mirror down and the rear flaps closed.

"S" stands for "side", or "pre-release". This setting is used to eliminate the vibration caused when the mirror flips up and the rear flaps open. You would use this setting when the camera is on a tripod, and you are using a very long lens or long shutter speeds. When you move the dial to the "S" setting, the mirror flips up and the rear flaps open, and the shutter in the lens closes. No exposure has been made yet. When you press the release button, the exposure is made. The camera is now in the normal mode, with the mirror down and the rear flaps closed.

"SR" stands for "side release", and is the same as the "S" setting, with the exception that when the exposure has been completed, the camera returns to the "S" setting, with the mirror up, the rear flaps open, and the lens shutter closed. This setting would be used if you were making a number of exposures in a row, using the "S" function setting. Not a commonly used setting.

"A" is the "automatic" mode, where the camera takes pictures at the rate of about 1 frame per second as long as the release button is held in. After the camera makes the last exposure, it returns to the normal position with the mirror down and the rear flaps closed.

"AS" is the "automatic side" mode, and operates exactly as the "A" mode, with the exception that after the last exposure is made, the camera returns to the "side" mode, as described in the "S" setting above. This setting is rarely used.

Here is a description of the features of the "LOT" switch:

"L" stands for "lock", and the camera can not be fired in this position. You would set the switch to this setting to prevent the camera from accidentally firing, when not being used, or when transporting the camera.

"O" stands for "operate". You would set the switch to this setting when using the camera.

"T" stands for "time exposures". You would set the switch to this setting when making exposures for longer than one second. Let's say that you wanted to make a five second exposure. You would set the shutter speed setting on the lens to "B". When you want to start the exposure, you would move the lever to the "T" setting. This begins the exposure. Five seconds later, you would move the lever from the "T" setting to the "O" setting to end the exposure. The lens shutter would close, ending the exposure, then the camera would wind to the next frame, the lens shutter would open, the mirror would be in the down position, and the rear flaps would close. The camera would now be in the normal setting.

I realize that this may all sound a little confusing. So here's what I'd suggest ... Put a lens on the camera and remove the film magazine. Then "dry fire" the camera at all of the different settings, and observe the functions of the camera and the lens. Once you see what happens at each of the different settings, it should be much clearer to you.

One other thing to note ... when using shutter speeds slower than about 1/30 second, make sure you hold the release button in until the exposure is finished. If you let go of the release button before the lens has closed, the camera will start to advance the film before the exposure has been completed, causing a streaked image.

David S. Odess

Factory trained Hasselblad technician

That last thing makes some things a bit more clear about holding in the release button - by the way my 553 ELX has the big wide black release button - what kind of cable release can I use ?


Hasselblad makes 3 release cords for the electric bodies:

Release cord FK 30
Product code #46043
0.3 meters in length

Release cord FK 300
Product code #46051
3.0 meters in length

Release cord FK 600
Product code #46078
6.0 meters in length

To use any of these release cords, you must remove the release button from the camera body, and plug the release cord into either of the sockets.

Hasselblad also makes a release cord that plugs into the 5 pin socket on the right hand side of the camera body. This lets you use the release cord without having to remove the release button from the camera body.

This is the release cord SK 150. The product code number is 46086, and is 1.5 meters in length.

David S. Odess

Factory trained Hasselbld technician
Thanks a lot David - I think I will try to get hold of the one that goes in the 5 pin socket - I kind'a like the big blak button to stay on the camera - cheers Ruben
> I believe the "big button" was originally designed for the Apollo > astronauts where they had to handle the camera with the large gloves . > It became popular enough that they offered it to the public as an > option ( had to be there to appreciate all the "buzz" in > marketing the moon landings caused). The 5 pin connection is also used > by many of the remote radio triggers, "long" electric wire based > releases, etc.
Hi David and Ruben

Just wonder have you encounter this problem, that is after triggering the shutter release button in "A" mode, the shutter and mirror keep triggering though finger is off the button, it wont stop until u switch off. Even removing the batteries and re-inserting the batts does not work. After much panic moments, I pressed the pin that pushes towards the film magazine it stop the triggering. I also realised that my 553 also was erratic when it was left switch on for a while, when you set the mode to "A" the winding is sluggish, it still winds but not the 1 frame per sec but a few seconds. It is on a fresh set of batts.

Thanks in advance.

The problem of the camera running continuously is typical of a worn or dirty magnet or solenoid. The problem of the body winding sluggishly in the "A" mode indicates that it needs a cleaning and lubrication.

David S. Odess

Factory trained Hasselblad technician