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Old foam coming apart


New Member
Hi all,

Have just been cleaning my 500c/m and noticed black dust on the mirror. Closer inspection revealed the source to be bits of foam from just inside the lens mount on the top of the camera - it seems to either protect the mirror when it slaps up or form a light trap.

Is this something that needs to get fixed? Can this be done by myself or does it need a pro as part of a full CLA?
Raoul Endres (Raoul)

Have your camera serviced, the old foam needs to be removed and replaced. What is happening to you foam is common to that material. Ozone has caused its structure to deteriorate. In time it will no longer provide cushion to the mirror and can damage your camera. The fix is less expensive than repair to a damaged camera.

I would recommend you have a qualified Hasselblad technician provide your camera with a cleaning and service.
I sent my original 500c back to Hasselblad USA after about 15 or 20 years to have the foam replace. The same for my old Nikons. One went to Nikon USA the other to Professional Camera Repair in New York because it was about 21 years old at the time and Nikon did not have the parts it needed. It was my dad's camera the I inherited.

James A. Bryant
James A. Bryant (Jbryant) & Raoul Endres (Raoul)

Well James seems as we have a lot in common, I too had a few Nikons from the 1960s which had the same problem of 'foam' deteriorating, Nikon was unble to fix them in the late 1980s. So I very carefully used a sharp exacto (triangular blade) to remove the foam. Then used foam from the hardware store (weather striping) cut to the size of the old foam which had its own stickum under a protecive coating.

I used alcohol to clean the surface first before adding the foam tape. All three 1960 Nikons still function correctly and the foam protection is still plyable.

If one uses care, it is a good fix, in lieu of any unavailability of factory service.
This piece of foam acts as a shock absorber for the mirror when it flips up, and they do deteriorate with age. Replacing this piece of foam is not something that I'd suggest that you do yourself.

To replace the foam, the camera must first be removed from the shell. Then the top plate must be removed. Then the old piece of foam is removed, and the new piece of foam is glued in place. Then the top plate is re-installed.

While you could probably do this yourself, there is one catch. It is important that after re-installing the top plate, that the height and flatness of the ground glass be checked and adjusted, if necessary. A qualified Hasselblad technician, such as myself, has the proper factory tools to measure and adjust the height and flatness of the ground glass.

David S. Odess