How to: Hasselblad 500C

This camera has a huge amount of history. Both to me personally, but also on its own.

The 500-series cameras are famous for being the first set of cameras on the moon. Hasselblad and NASA collaborated to create custom-made cameras to bring along on several space missions. The lineup was also popular with many famous photographers. A lot of historic portraits were taken with this camera.

On a personal level the camera also has a lot of value to me. The camera I own was handed down to me from my grandfather, Åke, in 2020. Åke didn't work with photography but had a big interest in cameras. He bought this camera about 50 years ago in Stockholm. The camera was bought second-hand and most likely only had one prior owner - making me the third owner. Along with the camera body, Åke also bought an 80mm and a 120mm lens, both which was also passed down onto me. This camera ignited my interest in film-photography and set me out to learn all about analog photography. Through this I've gotten a better insight into what a camera is and how a photo is created.

When I first got my hands on the Hasselblad 500C I had absolutely no idea how to operate it. Instead of reading the manual, I tried to find a video to explain the features. However, I didn't find anything for this specific model. Most videos talk about the slightly newer model 500C/M, which is almost the same - but not entirely.

I've used the camera for over a year now and I've put around 15 rolls through it - and finally I can quite confidently say that I know my way around the camera. Maybe I can help someone down the line who is in the position I found myself by creating a easily digestable explainer-video. So.. that's exactly what I did.

Explainer video

This camera is very special to me, and one day I hope to hand it down to my kids or grandkids. Hopefully it can spark their curiosity as it did mine.

Fredrik Gustafson

Fredrik Gustafson

Uppsala