Hasselblad 500C — Bang, Zoom, Straight to the Moon!

16

The 500C is a camera of outstanding quality. In fact, the quality is so high that NASA chose to use it as the camera to be used on Project Mercury, NASA's first mission to put a human in orbit.

Image from shooterslab

Introduced in 1957 by Victor Hasselblad AB, the 500C was the camera that really established Hasselblad as one of the front runners of professional medium format photography. The quality of this new camera was so outstanding that NASA chose it for their first human space flight (the camera used was actually a slightly modified 500C.)

The camera is completely modular, i.e. everything is interchangeable, the lens, the viewfinder, the film magazine — and you can change them while you shoot! This really comes in handy when you loaded the camera with 100 iso film and are suddenly in a dark basement bar: Just take off the magazine and put on another one with faster film, and finish the first roll another time.

But this camera is more than just a piece of fantastic engineering art. It really has soul. Looking down the dirty viewfinder of this bulky camera, you’ll suddenly find yourself in slowly moving world of the past. You’ll feel like you are looking at the world through a cloud of cigarette smoke, and that sensuality in pure form is dripping down the walls just behind the narrow depth of field of the focus screen. If you put on a yellow filter (which I often do) the effect will multiply, and the world on the other side of that Carl Zeiss lens will seem like a mystical fairytale told by Wong Kar-wai.

It is my hope that I have been able to show a glimpse of the magic of this camera, which is my all time favorite. Below you’ll find some of the pictures I’ve taken with the 500C.

written by larslau on 2009-06-02 in #reviews #nasa #victor-hasselblad #hasselblad #infrared #cir #carl-zeiss #500c #eir #ttv

16 Comments

  1. lomodirk
    lomodirk ·

    OH YEAH!!! Hasselblad is a nice "toy", gets you a total different angle of photography. Great review, great gallery (lots of EIR), well done Lars :)

  2. breakphreak
    breakphreak ·

    Okay, yeah, best lomocamera ever :))) I can see those colors many times, truly. Or in short, Thanks :)

  3. tommynorth
    tommynorth ·

    my all time favourite camera and i cant even afford one

  4. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    what a camera! And your EIR shots are stunning... great review Lars! :)

  5. anarchy
    anarchy ·

    Awesome!!! =))))

  6. rater
    rater ·

    I want one!

  7. larslau
    larslau ·

    Thanks for all the nice comments. Not all the 'Through The Viewfinder' shots made the cut to the final review, but come check them out here: www.lomography.com/homes/larslau/albums/ttv-of-the-hasselbl…

  8. dogma
    dogma ·

    Fantastic camera!

  9. stouf
    stouf ·

    Hooo !!! This camera is my dream... And your gallery is incredible !!! Camera review of the century !

  10. lomographics
    lomographics ·

    love the gallery

  11. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    A great cam - but really not that cheap to get.....I love the gallery!

  12. larslau
    larslau ·

    @eyecon: I saw someone selling two Hasselblad 500C/M including lenses for €150 each half a year ago... It seems that used camera prices are dropping like crazy these days (:

  13. lomollete
    lomollete ·

    Wicked cool photos

  14. akillerbluesky
    akillerbluesky ·

    good review. i own a 500c/m. its the best camera in my collection.

  15. jbrown363
    jbrown363 ·

    Since I found out about the amazing hasselblad I've dreamed of having one. I finally saved up enough and bought a 500c/m on ebay yesterday I'm Soooooo Stoked! Great gallery i can't wait to shoot my own

  16. itsdebraanne
    itsdebraanne ·

    wow. I want one (:

More Interesting Articles

  • Fresh from the Lab: One Roll of Film and the Lubitel 166U

    written by fadjaradiputra on 2014-11-07 in #lifestyle
    Fresh from the Lab: One Roll of Film and the Lubitel 166U

    Adi, Ekeu, and I did a lomowalk around downtown Bandung last Saturday, the beginning of November. We planned to use our Lubitel cameras with only one roll of film each. We were inspired by the One Roll of Film Project by four Tokyo-based photographers with their Hasselblad cameras. This is about the one roll of film I shot with the Lubitel 166U, which made me love shooting in medium format even more.

    8
  • Lomography Belair X 6-12: A Camera That Can Do Almost Everything Part 1

    written by simonesavo on 2014-07-24 in #reviews
    Lomography Belair X 6-12: A Camera That Can Do Almost Everything Part 1

    The Lomography Belair X 6-12 is more than just a medium format camera. It is lightweight, compact and is capable of shooting photos in 3 different sizes: 6x12, 6x9 and 6x6. Equipped with high-quality interchangeable lenses and automatic exposure, it can give you beautiful shots with every roll. It can also take 3 different film formats: 120 film, 35mm and instant film. Read on to find out all about this fantastic camera.

  • Lomography Belair X 6-12: A Camera That Can Do Almost Everything (Part 2)

    written by simonesavo on 2014-08-05 in #reviews
    Lomography Belair X 6-12: A Camera That Can Do Almost Everything (Part 2)

    The Lomography Belair X 6-12 is more than just a medium format camera. It is lightweight, compact, and capable of shooting photos in three different sizes: 6x12, 6x9, and 6x6. Equipped with a high quality interchangeable lens system and and automatic exposure, it can give you beautiful shots in every roll. It can also take three different film formats: 120mm, 35mm, and instant. Read on to find out all about this fantastic camera.

  • Shop News

    Feed your LC-A 120 the finest emulsions and save!

    Feed your LC-A 120 the finest emulsions and save!

    Shoot more with LC-A 120 without breaking your budget! The Phoblographer Editor’s Choice Award Winner now comes in a Bundle with 120 format film at 15% off!

  • A Salute to the Masters: The Sirius Space Mission to the Third Planet (A Tribute to Peter Mitchell)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-05-06 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: The Sirius Space Mission to the Third Planet (A Tribute to Peter Mitchell)

    Imagine an alien space mission from a planet of the Sirius Star System to an abandoned industrial zone of Como, a city situated in the North of Italy. The alien photographer named sirio174, used a powerful futuristic camera, called Lomo Lubitel 166U loaded with a Kodak Portra film roll. Yes, no digital, because the future is...analogue! During his journey, he learned the most common language of our planet -- English -- and he wrote this article for us. Read more after the jump!

  • Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-22 in #gear #news
    Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    Capture the world and all its contours in vibrant, wide-angled photographs any time, any where! The LC-A 120 is an adventure of its own with lots of exciting functions to experiment with, like seamless long exposures or full ISO control. It's also super-fast and ultra-compact - perfect for your everyday. If you're worried about the Medium Format film, don't be! You are free to use any 120 Film you want and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, that's what makes this camera so versatile! Scroll through this gallery for a little taste of the glorious shots this nifty invention is capable of.

  • Playing Detective: An Interview with Derek Woods, the Man Behind the Controversial True Detective Photo (NSFW)

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2014-05-03 in #people #lifestyle
    Playing Detective: An Interview with Derek Woods, the Man Behind the Controversial True Detective Photo (NSFW)

    Derek Woods is an Los Angeles-based photographer who previously got involved in a controversy surrounding a photo that was used in the opening credits of the HBO TV series "True Detective." Coincidentally, Woods happens to be a member of the Lomo community, and it became vital to interview him regarding the issue. The interview was successful and was published in May last year. His current project, 365 of Lomography, will chronicle his day-to-day exploits with Lomography cameras. To jog your memory, and to re-acquaint you with Woods, we are republishing our interview with the controversial photographer. Please take note that some of the photos are NSFW.

    4
  • Shop News

    The Lomography Experimental Lens Kit opens up a new, creative photographic domain!

    The Lomography Experimental Lens Kit opens up a new, creative photographic domain!

    Satisfy your hunger for creative snap-shooting with this lens package made especially for Micro 4/3 digital cameras! Don't miss the 20% discount!

  • Fresh from My Darkroom: The First Game of the New Rugby Season

    written by sirio174 on 2014-10-15 in #lifestyle
    Fresh from My Darkroom: The First Game of the New Rugby Season

    Last Sunday, the local rugby team Rugby Como played the first match of the 2014-1025 season. Rugby is my favorite sport to photograph, and for some years I've been documenting almost every home match of this young team. This time I used a 1959 Zorki 5 camera with a vintage 1958 Industar-50 lens loaded with a timeless film, the Ilford HP5+ developed in a century-old developer, the mythical Rodinal. Take a look after the jump!

    1
  • Awesome Albums: Fun! Fun! Lomo'Instant Splitzer by gocchin

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-04-26 in #world #lifestyle
    Awesome Albums: Fun! Fun! Lomo'Instant Splitzer by gocchin

    The Splitzer is indeed a handy tool for creating superbly surreal and playful images, as perfectly demonstrated by one creative community member!

    1
  • Newcomer of the Week: keis

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-04-26 in #people #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: keis

    Most, if not all, of the photographs in Keis Iguchi's LomoHome were printed using traditional darkroom processes. He likens film photography to using cassette tape and relies on his favorite combination of LC-A and Ferrania Solaris 800 in creating evocative images. In this interview, our Newcomer of the Week from Tokyo Japan shares more about his affinity for analog photography.

  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • A View Split in Two

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-04-26 in #world #lifestyle
    A View Split in Two

    Inspired by the LC-A+ Splitzer aesthetic, we scoured vintage archives for brilliant examples of halved frames. Fair warning: We still need your undivided attention to fully appreciate the dualities.

    1
  • Thesndx is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-04-26 in #world #news
    Thesndx is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to thesndx for winning Home of the Day!

    1
  • Faces and Places Through the Fisheye Cameras

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-04-26 in #gear #news
    Faces and Places Through the Fisheye Cameras

    Say "hello!" to these wonderful lomographs scoured from the community's most popular bunch and find out how you can earn piggies and have your very own Fisheye snaps be featured on the Online Shop!