frequently Asked Questions
 
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How do I date my Camera?

Hasselblad bodies and magazines are dated by a code where the last two digits of the year of manufacture are replaced by the corresponding letter where 0-9 are represented by the letters V.H. Pictures, as shown. There were some models/years when a third letter was used, but the year is designated by the first 2 letters. In 1990 Hasselblad added two numbers to indicate what kind of body or magazine it is. E.G. 10 for a CM, 11 for a 503CX and 19 for a 503 CW.

V
1
H
2
P
3
I
4
C
5
T
U
R
8
E
9
S
0
CS
CV
CH
CP
CI
CC
CT
CU
CR
CE
1950
52
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
  TS
TV
TH
TP
TI
TC
TT
TU
TR
TE
1960
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
  US
UV
UH
UP
UI
UC
UT
UU
UR
UE
1970
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
  RS
RV
RH
RP
RI
RC
RT
RU
RR
RE
1980
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
  ES
EV
EH
EP
EI
EC
ET
EU
ER
EE
1990
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
  SS
SV
SH
SP
SI
SC
ST
SU
SR
SE
2000
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
How do I date my Lens?

This is a little more difficult than the bodies and magazines, but on some CF lenses there was a number stamped on the inside of the lens barrel which was the year of manufacture reversed e.g. 58 would indicate that the lens was manufactured in 1985. For the other lenses you would have to refer to the excellent Hasselblad System Compendium written by Richard Nordin (available online from this site!), or e-mail me!

What's the difference between C, F and CF Lenses?

The "C" lenses were the original range of leaf shutter lenses for the 500c and are broadly split into two types. Chrome from 1957 to about 1972, then black until about 1982. The F lenses were made for the 2000 Focal plane shutter cameras from 1977 to about 1990. Without the restriction of a shutter in the lens, the F lenses could have a much faster aperture, but obviously could not be used on the C cameras. In 1982 Zeiss brought out a new range of lenses called the CF lenses. The CF lenses were designed to be used on both the "C" range of cameras (leaf shutter) and the "F" range (Focal plane shutter) by selecting either a shutter speed or the F setting on the lens. The CF lenses are still referred to as the "new" lenses. Confusingly Hasselblad introduced a new 80mm f2.8 C in 1994 which looks like a CF but the F setting was omitted.

What's the difference between the Flexbody and the Arcbody?

The Flexbody was introduced in 1995 to allow tilt and shift movement using Hasselblad lenses and magazines. Although Zeiss lenses cover a greater area than 6x6 cm the amount of shift is limited, especially at wide apertures. Tilting the lens is not a problem as the film stays within the coverage of the lens. The limitations of movement of the Flexbody were overcome by the introduction of the Arcbody with its new range of Rodenstock lenses. These lenses, a 35mm Apo-Grandagon f4.5, a 45mm Apo-Grandagon f4.5 and a 75mm Grandagon-N f4.5 have a much greater coverage allowing much more movement. The Arcbody will not accept conventional Hasselblad lenses, but will take the standard Magazine. The decision of which camera to use depends on what type of photography is required. Generally for landscape or product photography the Flexbody is ideal, especially for a photographer who is already a Hasselblad user. For Architectural photography, however, the extra coverage of the Rodenstock lenses is extremely useful.

Who makes Hasselblad's Lenses?

Whilst the name that is always associated with Hasselblad is Zeiss, several other optic manufacturers have been used over the years.

Originally Kodak Ektar lenses were used, probably because Hasselblad were the distributors of Kodak products in Sweden at the time the Hasselblad camera was developed. The lenses were mostly made in 1949, but sufficient quantity was made so that it was the mid 50's before stocks finished. Cook and Perkins of London made a small quantity (113) of Dallmeyer 508mm super telephoto lens in 1956 and 57.

Schneider made a 140-280mm f5.6 Variogon C in 1977. An F version was also made in small quantities. In 1988 a CF Variogon was developed, several years after Zeiss developed the CF lenses. The last manufacturer to provide optics for Hasselblad was Rodenstock, with three lenses for the Arcbody, a 35mm Apo-Grandagon f4.5, a 45mm Apo-Grandagon f4.5 and a 75mm Grandagon-N f4.5

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