How much does a Hasselblad 500cm cost

Tips for buying a used Hasselblad

It has never been so cheap to fulfill your dream of owning your own Hasselblad. Many professionals and committed amateurs are currently selling their Hasselblad gear to switch to digital. Even if they may one day regret it, this is the ideal time for buyers to purchase a used Hassi. This page is intended to give you a few tips.

Where from?

The main source of supply for a used Hasselblad is likely to be, like it or not, eBay. If you observe the usual precautionary measures there, you can buy a good camera from a reputable seller. There is an opportunity to watch some auctions to see where the prices are going.

In addition to eBay, there are also specialist dealers and advertising papers and photo magazines where you can find used Hasselblads. The specialist dealers have the advantage that they have the camera checked before it is sold, otherwise the dealer's warranty would be too dangerous. On the other hand, of course, this also ensures significantly higher prices - compared to eBay. In return, you can expect good advice, a thoroughly checked camera and help with problems after the purchase.


The selection will be limited to the cameras of the 500 line simply because of the large range. In addition, I would like to advise against the focal plane shutter Hasselblads (1000, 2000, 200): focal plane shutters are no longer repaired by Hasselblad due to a lack of spare parts. A focal plane shutter Hasselblad should only be bought by those who absolutely need the specific advantages of the focal plane shutter (shorter exposure times, exposure time independent of the lens, sometimes more powerful optics).

The others should concentrate on the specific advantages of the central shutter: flash synchronization at all times up to 1/500, much lower vibration, better availability of housings and lenses, lower prices.

Here again the most important V-models with central locking:

  • 500C, 500C / M, 501C, 501CM: The "classic" Hasselblad, fully mechanical
  • 503CX, 503CXi, 503CW: Additionally with TTL OTF lightning sensor; from 503CXi winder connection option
  • 500EL, 500EL / M, 500ELX, 553ELX, 555ELD: With built-in winder (larger, heavier, unwieldy, battery required)

A common question is where the differences between 500C, 500C / M, 501C and 501CM lie, so these are explained in more detail here:

  • 500C: These housings are quite old nowadays, with heavy use they can be a little "ridden down" mechanically, and there can be problems with spare parts (especially with the lenses from this time). The biggest disadvantage of the 500C, however, is that the focusing screen cannot be easily changed (the focusing screens of the 500C are screwed on and have to be laboriously adjusted so that the focus level exactly matches that of the film). Nevertheless, a well-maintained 500C can still take great photos today.
  • 500C / M: That should be the most built Hasselblad. Here you can change the ground glass yourself and also very quickly (remove magazine, remove viewfinder, change ground glass). The 500C / M is available in chrome and black, it has provisions for a self-timer, the transport crank can be removed. At that time there was an exchange knob with a built-in selenium light meter, but these days, due to the old age, these are probably no longer able to measure accurately.
  • 501C: This camera was only delivered in black (you have to like that ;-) It no longer has any provisions for a self-timer. For this, it was supplied with the bright "Acute Matte" focusing screen, which has a significantly brighter viewfinder image than the "standard focusing screens" of the earlier models. The transport knob can no longer be removed (or only with a screw).
  • 501CM: This case is again available in chrome or black. The main difference to the 501C is the "Gliding Mirror System" (GMS). Here the mirror is a little longer and is pulled back by a special mechanism when it is folded up so that it does not touch the front edge of the housing. With housings without GMS, the viewfinder image was shaded in the upper area when lenses with a focal length of more than 150 mm were used (only the viewfinder image, the image on the film was of course complete). So if you can foresee the use of such long focal lengths, you should get a camera with GMS (the 503CW also has the GMS).
  • 503CX / 503CXi / 503CW: These cameras differ from the 500/501 models mainly in that they have a TTL-OTF sensor for flash photography. This can then be connected to an SCA adapter. The 503 models are also fully mechanical, there is also no battery in the housing, the power supply for the electronics for the TTL sensor comes from the outside.
    From the 503Cxi onwards, a winder can be attached (the transport knob on these models can be removed for this purpose).

The complete overview of all available models and the differences between them can be found in the history of Hasselblad cameras.


The "classic" set for beginners is a case with 80 mm optics and A12 magazine. The normal lens offers good opportunities to enter the format. It can be the only lens. The 50 mm lens is quite common in the wide-angle sector, but a 40 mm or 60 mm lens can also be the better choice, depending on your own style. In the telephoto range, the 150 mm lens is common for portraits, but here, too, there are good alternatives with the 120 mm macro and the 180 mm lens. The 100 mm lens is considered to be very sharp.

35mm equivalents and descriptions of the lenses

30 mm18 mmFisheye
38 mm28 mmBiogon, only available on the Hasselblad Super Wide Camera (SWC). 90 ° angle of view, practically free of distortion.
40 mm28 mmDistagon, similar angle of view as the 38 mm Biogon, but slightly worse image performance, can be attached to any body
50 mm35 mmDistagon. Quite common optics with universal WW characteristics
60 mm40 mmDistagon. If it shouldn't be that wide-angled. Not quite as common, but good looks.
80 mm50 mmPlanar. Normal lens, all-round lens, lens for all situations.
100 mm62 mmPlanar. Considered one of the sharpest Zeiss lenses for the Hasselblad.
120 mm75 mmS-planar or macro-planar. Optimized for close-up shots, therefore well suited for portraits.
150 mm100 mmSonnar. Quite common all-round telephoto lens, especially for portraits
180 mm110 mmSonnar. Relatively new bill, since it was only published in 1990. Is considered very spicy. Same light intensity as the 150mm Sonnar.
250 mm150 mmSonnar. Quite a strong telephoto, very sharp with an open aperture, therefore well suited for portraits
350 mm200 mmTele-Tessary. Strong telephoto

The KB focal lengths are only approximate values ​​so that you can get a feel for the MF focal lengths. Since KB is a strongly rectangular and 6x6 a square format, an exact conversion cannot be carried out anyway.


The most popular magazine is the A12 magazine for 12 exposures each 6x6 cm on 120 roll film. The non-automatic magazines are simply called "12".

The A16 magazine is available for 16 pictures in landscape format 6x4.5 cm on 120 roll film.

I advise against magazines for 220 roll film (A24, A32), as such films are almost no longer available (there are only very few exceptions and they are difficult to obtain). It is possible to use 120 roll film with these magazines, but you have to be careful not to stop exposing after the 12th exposure.

I especially advise against magazines for 70 mm film. These films are practically no longer available.

How much?

Unfortunately, I don't have time to follow the price development for the various housings, lenses and accessories. So please don't ask me if a certain price is OK for a certain camera. I just do not know. It also depends on the condition.

A good way to get a feel for prices: watch the respective auctions on eBay for a week or two.


You will need the following things in addition to the Hasselblad (housing with ground glass and light shaft, lens, magazine):

  • Light meter. The built-in exposure metering of your 35mm camera will do the job for a start, but in the long run it becomes a nuisance. There are good Belis for example. B. from Gossen or Sekonic.
  • Films: Rollfilm 120 is the cheapest available from Internet mail order companies such as B. Phototec, Foto Brenner, FotoImpex.
  • Tripod. For reasons that I don't know or understand myself, the most common Gitzo tripods at meetings of Hasselbladians. Maybe because the quality of these tripods best matches that of the camera?
  • Cable release
  • Quick-change tripod adapter: A Hasselblad already has a dovetail on the underside. So it pays to buy a Hasselblad removable disk, then you don't have to screw anything onto the camera. There are models with and without a built-in spirit level.
  • Spirit level: Either to attach to the accessory rail or in combination with the tripod quick-change adapter
  • Interchangeable magazines. This is the only way to take full advantage of the cube. You can load different types of film (slide, black and white, negative) or different sensitivity levels (100, 400) or you can prepare the films for different developments (N, N + 1, N – 1).
  • Lens hood. Only those from Hasselblad that can be attached to the outer bayonet of the lenses work here
  • Filter. There are filters for the inner bayonet of the lenses (mostly B50 or B60). There are also adapters that can be used to attach normal screw-in filters (e.g. adapter from B60 to E67, i.e. from 60 bayonet to 67 mm screw-in filter). However, this is fiddly and can lead to shadowing of the edges if there are several filters.


Here are a few more links that can be useful:

And after the purchase?

I am happy to answer any further questions: [email protected]

I am happy to answer questions about these pages or about Hasselblad in general. If you are in doubt which variant to take: I prefer the "you" :-)

Stefan Heymann, last change 2013-07-17