Medium Format with the Hasselblad 500 C/M

About a month ago I bought a Bronica SQ-A kit after spotting it on Craigslist. I wanted to try medium format film and I’ve always liked the square 6×6 shape. The big negatives are amazing, and the camera works just fine.

The only problem is that it isn’t a Hasselblad, which is what I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember. After putting a dozen or so rolls throught the Bronica I decided to buy the Hasselblad and be done with it.

The 500 C/M was produced from 1970 until 1994. Mine was made in 1990 and it’s gorgeous! That’s the good news. The bad news is that I couldn’t focus the thing. I don’t know how anyone ever got off any sharp photos with the standard focusing screen. I have since replaced the original with the later Acute-matte D screen with microprism and split window. It’s still tricky, but much better. The Acute-matte screen looks to be about 2 stops brighter than the original. I still need to use the magnifier, but at least if everyone holds still I have some chance of getting it right.

Hasselblad’s V series prides itself on being modular, and compatible. There are many different viewfinders, film backs and lenses available. Here’s a photo of mine with all of the parts separated.

It really is clever, and seems to be built to take years of normal use. I plan to invest in a 45-degree prism finder eventually to see if that helps with focusing, but for now, I’m having fun peering at the ground glass and hoping for the best.

Published by Jack

Partner at Fusionary since 1995. Analog with a splash of digital.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *