Find out when your Hasselblad was made:
Date Code Letters:
Year of production:

New on Hasselblad Historical

A concise tabulated history of Hasselblad camera models

by Stefan Heymann and Q.G. de Bakker

Early Models  -  1600 F & 1000 F
The early models are not compatible with the current V-System (only the finders can still be used)
1948/1949-19531600 FFocal PlaneThe first "Hasselblad". Format 6x6 cm (2 1/4 x 2 1/4 "). Shortest shutterspeed 1/1600 s
1953-19571000 FFocal PlaneShortest shutterspeed 1/1000 s. Replaced the 1600 F

V-System  -  500
6x6 with leaf shutter, Carl Zeiss lenses
1957-1970500 CLeafLeaf shutter in the lens. Shortest shutterspeed 1/500 s. Flash synchronisation at all shutterspeeds. Replaced the 1000 F.
1970-1994500 C/MLeaf+ Screen changeable by user (some C/Ms were still labelled 500 C)
1990-1992500 ClassicLeafA special 500 C/M. Only available as a kit, with 80 mm lens and A12 back. From 1992 on the 500 C/M was again available as a standalone body.
1994-1997501 CLeafOnly available as a kit, with 80 mm C-Planar. Only in black.
+ New shutter release button
+ Acute Matte D screen (brighter finder)
– No 'body ready' indicator
– Transport crank not detachable
1997-2005501 CMLeaf+ Gliding Mirror System (GMS: no vignetting of the finder image with focal lengths > 100 mm). Available as a kit or standalone body. In chrome or black.

V-System  -  503
6x6 with TTL OTF flash system and later models also with winder connection
1988-1994503 CXLeafIn addition to the 500 C/M. With TTL-OTF flash system. New Palpas coating in the body to reduce flare.
1994-1996503 CXiLeaf+ Winder connection
1996-503 CWLeaf+ Gliding Mirror System
From 2001 to ~2005 available in different colours leather: black, yellow, red, green, blue
2006503 CWDLeafA special 503 CW kit, with CFV digital back (16MP, 36.7x36.7 mm, Crop 1.5) 2.8/80 mm CFE lens, silver crank and screen with sensor border indicators. The 503 CWD is a limited edition (500 items), celebrating Victor Hasselblad's 100th birthday.

V-System  -  500 EL
6x6 with built-in film winder. Production ceased in 2006.
1965-1970500 ELLeafIn addition to the 500 C. Contains a built-in film winder. A modified version of this camera has been the camera for the NASA moon missions.
1970-1984500 EL/MLeaf+ Screen changeable by user
1984-1988500 ELXLeaf+ TTL-OTF flash system, larger, non-vignetting mirror
1988-1999553 ELXLeafAA batteries instead of proprietary batteries. New Palpas coating inside the body to reduce flare
1998-2006555 ELDLeafElectronic Databus contacts for digital magazines, optional IR receiver

V-System  -  2000 & 200
6x6 with focal plane shutter. Production ceased in 2004.
1977-19822000 FCFocal PlaneShortest shutterspeed 1/2000 s.
1982-19842000 FC/MFocal PlaneBetter shutter protection when the back is off
1984-19882000 FCWFocal Plane+ Winder connection
1988-19912003 FCWFocal Plane+ Winder Connection. New Palpas coating in the body to reduce flare.
1991-1994205 TCCFocal PlaneTTL-OTF flash system. Built-in spot meter. Film backs with electronic coupling to the camera
1994-1998201 FFocal PlaneTTL-OTF flash system, without exposure metering
1994-2004203 FEFocal PlaneBuilt-in automatic exposure metering
1995-2004205 FCCFocal Plane205 TCC with improved electronics
1998-2002202 FAFocal PlaneLike 203 FE, shortest shutterspeed 1/1000 s. No manual mode, no bracketing, not compatible with C-Planar and CB lenses

V-System  -  Superwide
6x6 with a fixed Carl Zeiss Biogon f/4.5 38 mm lens
1954-1958SWA & SWLeaf"Superwide Angle": fixed Carl Zeiss Biogon f/4.5 38 mm wide angle lens. SW: 1956 slightly changed lens barrel construction.
1959-1979SWCLeafWith silver C lens, from 1969 with black C lens, from 1973 with T*
1980-1988SWC/MLeafSuccessor to the SWC. Ability to attach a polaroid back. From 1982 with CF lens. From 1985 onwards: spirit level in new style finder, removed from body.
1988-2001903 SWCLeafSuccessor to the SWC/M. New Palpas coating in the body to reduce flare.
2001-2006905 SWCLeafSuccessor to the 903 SWC. The Biogon had to be recalculated for new environmentally friendly lens materials. Now comes as a CFi lens.

V-System  -  Miscellaneous Cameras
1995-2003FlexBodyLeafTilt and shift, bellows
1997-2001ArcBodyLeafTilt and shift. Special large format lenses from Rodenstock.

See also: "Hasselblad Compendium" or "Hasselblad System Compendium", both by Richard Nordin.

Hasselblad Compendium, Richard Nordin, Cloak Hill Communication, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9869188-0-3Hasselblad Compendium
Richard Nordin
Cloak Hill Communication, 2011
ISBN 978-0-9869188-0-3
Hasselblad System Compendium
Richard Nordin
Hove Books, 1998
ISBN 1-897802-10-2
Hasselblad System Compendium, Richard Nordin, Hove Books, 1998, ISBN 1-897802-10-2

Digital backs and V-System cameras

The rear 'interface' of all V-System cameras (with only a few exceptions - see below) is the same.
As a result, digital backs that can be used on one V-System camera can be used on all (!) other V-System cameras as well. Regardless of model and age.
A digital back that will work with, for instance, the latest 503 CW, will also work when combined with the oldest 500 C you can find.

Focal plane shutter models will need to be used in C-mode, using the leaf shutter in C, CF or CFi/CFE lenses. As a result, digital backs cannot be used with 1600 F and 1000 F models.

The other exceptions are the 555 ELD, modified 203 FE and 205 FCC cameras, and the 202 FA.

The 555 ELD has electrical contacts on its rear interface that can be used to transmit signals to a digital back. These signals are used to synchronize the back to the camera's release cycle, removing the need for a cable running from the lens' flash synchronization contact to the back.
This of course only works with backs that are designed to make use of these contacts and the information they transmit. Backs that do not can be used on a 555 ELD the same as they would on any other V-System camera. Backs that do will very probably work on any other V-System camera too, using a cable to synchronize back and shutter instead. Consult a back's specifications as supplied by its manufacturer for details.

The 203 FE and 205 FCC cameras also have electrical contacts on their back plate. These are used to transmit the film's ISO value, set on the film back, to the metering electronics inside the camera.
These cameras can be modified, changing the function of these contacts to that of the contacts found on the 555 ELD.
After this modification, these cameras still need to be used in C-mode and with leaf shutter lenses when most digital backs are to be used. The Hasselblad CFV and CFV2 backs will then even allow use of shutterless F and FE lenses.
When film backs are to be used on these modified cameras, the ISO value of the film in use has to be set manually on the camera, using the program-mode.

The 202 FA, though having the same contacts, lacks a C-mode, and the use of digital backs would be restricted to shutterspeeds of 1/90 and slower, making the 202 FA unsuited for use with digital backs.

Copyright 2006, 2008, 2011 - Stefan Heymann, Q.G. de Bakker, Hasselblad Historical. All rights reserved.
All material on this site is protected by law. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
- Hasselblad Historical -