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Created 25 September 2005 ... Updated 31 December 2005

Hasselblad 500 EL/M
Hasselblad 500 EL/M After quite some time thinking about buying into the Hasselblad system I finally settled for a basic 500 EL/M system, they were the real studio work horses so you have to be careful that everything is still working and in good order. The complete system that I've bought seems to be collected together from different sources. The back insert has a different number than the back itself, which is not a big technical issue but it shows it's not the original combination, all the body caps were there but more than one body needs and the lens itself was built after 1978, which is the year the body was built. The camera is in perfect working order however and it's great on a tripod. I wouldn't want to carry it around for a long time though as it's quite heavy with it's 2.5 kilos.

10 Years on the Moon anniversary model

Something I was not fully aware of when I bought my EL/M is that this camera is the highly collectable "10 years on the Moon" anniversary model which has been produced from 1979 to 1980. Of course I knew it to be a special version but since only 1500 of them were built, it's very special indeed. My camera has the number 0549 and came in its original box with the original booklet. The camera itself is very much the same as the standard EL/M but has a different front on the motor part und the lens. It includes a stylished picture of the moon and has the special edition number engraved. Original price in 1979 was 4500 Deutsche Mark. But even though this item is highly collectable, it was bought by me to be used, not to spend its life as a show piece in a glass box.

Concise Hasselblad model history and Dating Equipment

For a concise history on the Hasselblad system, how to date equipment and other useful information, check out my page on The Hasselblad System.

Hasselblad 500 EL/M

Type  :  Single Lens Reflex for Medium Format
Manufactured  :  1972 - 1984
Price New  :  1983 (prices in DFL, Dutch Guilders):
10065   500 EL/M body chrome : DFL 3820
20029   Planar CF /2,8-80 mm : DFL 3005
30074   Filmback A12, chrome : DFL 1223
42021   Folding viewfinder, chrome : DFL 226
56081   NiCad battery I : DFL 133
Lens  :  changable, the standard lens being the Rodenstock 80 / 2.8
Viewfinder  :  changable, but usually a collapsible hood to view the ground glass
Shutter  :  in lens.
Secundary shutter in body only to protect the film from stray light.
Exposure meter  :  none, you'll need an external exposure meter
Power  :  2 hard to find NiCad rechargable batteries. Note that most original batteries are past end of their live. Make sure you'll get new ones from Hasselblad or use one of the occasionally offered, self-made battery packs. Stay away from the 9 volt kits, the voltage is too high and Hasselblad actually sent out a warning not to use them as they might shorten life of the engine.
Dimensions  :  90 x 150 x 135 mm (L x H x D including A12 back and focussing hood)
Weight  :  2130 gramm (including 80mm lens, A12 back, focussing hood and batteries)
Film Type  :  Using different film backs you can use:
  • Roll film 120 (6 x 6) with back '12'
  • Roll film 120 (6 x 4.5) with back '16'
  • Roll film 220 (6 x 6) with back '24'
  • Roll film 127 (4 x 4) with back '16s'
  • 70 mm roll film (7 cm) with back '70'
  • Polaroid film with a dedicated Polaroid back
  • Sheet Film with a cut sheet film back
The back can be swapped any time so it's possible to change the film in mid-film without losing frames
Picture Size  :  Medium format, actual size depending on the back
Special  :  Many optional accessories are available to make the Hasselblad a true system camera. You can have film backs, different view finder hoods, different ground glass, sports finders, flash shoes, cable releases and of course different bags, straps and fan articles

links Internal links
links Hasselblad 500 C
links The other Hasselblad in my collection.

links The Hasselblad System
links Historical, technical and practical information on the Hasselblad system. links The Hasselblad Guide
links Read and Download an online copy of the Third edition (July 1969) of this Focal Press guide.
Hasselblad 500 EL/M

All photos copyright of M. Koning 1997 - 2005

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