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


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 #gear #infrared #review #eir #hasselblad #500c #cir #carl-zeiss #nasa #ttv #victor-hasselblad


  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 (:

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