A Lovely and Legendary Digital camera

Movie continues to surge in recognition, and our crew at The Phoblographer is right here for it. Nothing is healthier than listening to a shutter’s sound and advancing movie. Plus, the slower tempo is refreshing. Medium format stays on the high of many wishlists. You actually can’t go incorrect with any choice right here. That being stated, the Hasselblad 500 collection is all the time a good suggestion, and the refreshed Hasselblad 501cm doesn’t disappoint. If colour is your jam, you would possibly rating one of many uncommon jewel-colored choices from the early 2000s.

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I purchased my beloved solar yellow Hasselblad 501cm after I was a sophomore in faculty. The expertise modified my life, and the trajectory has led me on an unbelievable journey. I fell in love the second I stepped foot within the darkroom. Pictures has all the time been and can proceed to be an instrumental a part of my life. Does the 501cm nonetheless maintain up twenty years later? Completely.

The Massive Image

The Hasselblad 501cm equipment continues to be some of the beloved and extremely sought-after medium format movie cameras. This totally analog system is revered for its magnificence and impeccable picture high quality. It’s well-built and has a easy, user-friendly design. If you’re versed in movie, the Hasselblad 501cm is simple to make use of. It isn’t constructed for velocity; it’s a digital camera meant for slowing down, relishing your senses, and indulging within the scene.

The waist-level viewfinder takes a bit of getting used to and offers a singular viewpoint that’s enjoyable to make use of. You should purchase a PM90 viewfinder to appropriate the picture and focus sooner. The CFE 80mm f2.8 lens boasts a built-in leaf shutter with a sync velocity of 1/five hundredth of a second. It’s excellent for working within the studio. Seize a sync cable and a few gaffer’s tape to shoot along with your favourite wi-fi lighting.

I’m giving my beloved Hasselblad 501cm 5 out of 5 stars. It’s a workhorse and retains its worth. The truth is, we’ve seen their costs improve lately.

You may decide one up from Amazon, Blue Moon Digital camera (if it’s in inventory), or eBay. A particular because of Blue Moon Digital camera for growing our movie.

Professionals and Cons


  • Excellent picture high quality
  • Its simplistic design is simple to make use of
  • Superb for many genres of pictures
  • Utterly handbook means rare issues
  • Appropriate with many lenses
  • 1/five hundredth of a second sync velocity
  • Capable of shoot with wi-fi expertise
  • A number of movie backs obtainable for fast transition between movies
  • Digital backs can be found
  • Holds worth
  • Its timeless design is fairly to take a look at


  • Heavy, however that’s the worth you pay for high quality
  • It isn’t the quickest movie digital camera, though I don’t suppose that’s a nasty factor

Gear Used

I examined my Hasselblad 501cm with the CFE 80mm f2.8 equipment lens, a PM 90 viewfinder, and a Sekonic gentle meter. The studio lighting consisted of my Broncolor Siros L 800ws, RFS 2.1 transceiver, Broncolor Para 88, and an old-school sync cable. A number of the pattern photographs had been captured on Fujicolor Professional 400H, which has sadly been discontinued. I additionally used Ilford Delta 400, Kodak Portra 160, Kodak Ektachrome, Kodak Ektar, and Kodak Gold 200. A lot of the movie was developed and scanned at Blue Moon Digital camera.


The Hasselblad 501cm was constructed on the success of the unique 500 collection. Its precise physique design isn’t revolutionary. The introduction of the built-in leaf shutters discovered on the CFE lenses permits for sooner sync speeds and higher efficiency. It was revolutionary on the time and made the system extra aggressive within the movie world. Moreover, the PC port was an awesome addition, excellent for taking pictures with fashionable wi-fi monolights.


The Hasselblad 501cm and CFE 80mm f2.8 lens weighs just below 3.5 kilos. It’s seven inches lengthy and 4.5 inches vast. Though boxy, it’s surprisingly handy to hold round and matches comfortably within the arms. On the entrance of the 501cm equipment is the all-purpose CFE 80mm f2.8 lens. It has the standard depth of area scale adopted by the aperture and shutter velocity dings. There’s a depth of area preview knob and a PC-sync twine port on the underside left of the lens.

On the backside, there are two silver buttons on both aspect of the lens. The shutter button will likely be in your proper. Press the silver button on the left to take away the lens. It has a 60mm filter thread.

That is the highest of the 501cm. Pull the tab to increase the waist-level viewfinder. Slide the black button contained in the waist-level viewfinder to entry the focusing hood magnifier. Squeeze the center to retailer it when not in use.

You may trade it for an additional viewfinder, like a PM90, that corrects the picture when you like. Push the yellow button to take away the movie journal and change it out.

You’ll discover the darkish slide on the left aspect of the digital camera. Prolong the half-moon-shaped movie holder key and switch it to take away the movie tray. The orange ring signifies that there’s no movie, and it turns white whenever you load a contemporary roll.

That is the movie tray. Load the position on the left and insert the movie’s backing into the middle slot of the empty spool on the best. Hold turning it till the arrows on the movie line up with the purple arrow.

The digital camera’s proper aspect is house to the winding and movie winding crank. The small circle on the backside is the body counter. You may connect a neck strap to the 2 silver buttons on the best and left aspect. And a tripod plate is on the underside.

Construct High quality

Hasselblad’s 501cm is constructed like a tank. Its mechanical design is forged in a single aluminum alloy shell. The lens is product of premium Zeiss glass. It isn’t weatherproof, however it does high-quality in average moisture and excessive temperatures.

Ease Of Use

There’s a studying curve to utilizing the 501cm when you haven’t shot movie pictures or it has been some time. Nevertheless, it turns into second nature after getting loaded a couple of rolls of movie and eliminated the movie journal a time or two. Be ready for a slower tempo and revel in it. A lightweight meter will likely be your finest pal for a bit of bit.

The 501cm’s waist-level viewfinder feels overseas at first. It’s a wholly completely different vantage level than fashionable cameras, and the picture is flipped. It may be difficult to see your topic and obtain focus particularly gentle at waist stage. A easy treatment is to make the most of the focusing hood magnifier. I get pleasure from utilizing the waist-level viewfinder, though some conditions are higher served switching it out for the likes of a PM90 viewfinder. It’s my go-to when photographing trend or mannequin exams within the studio.

The Hasselblad 501cm has a sync velocity of 1/five hundredth of a second, which is improbable within the studio. You too can use it with wi-fi monolights when you’ve got a sync twine. I like to recommend grabbing gaffer tape or a rubber band to safe wi-fi transceivers. Hasselblad’s all-around CFE 80mm f2.8 lens is a workhorse and simple to make use of. Should you’ve shot with a Fuji X-series or a Leica, you should have no drawback with this lens.


Reaching focus with a Hasselblad 501cm isn’t tough. Choose your required aperture and shutter velocity. Then flip the focusing ring till you see it’s sharp on the focusing display. The flipped picture within the waist-level viewfinder could throw you off at first, however it’s simple to get the texture of it. In vivid circumstances, I like to recommend accessing the focusing hood magnifier. It makes it simple to look at the picture come into focus. If the waist-level viewfinder isn’t your favourite, you’ll be able to all the time buy an additional viewfinder.


The Hasselblad 501cm proved to be very correct in our Sunny 16 exams. Photographs are nicely uncovered with particulars in each the highlights and shadows. Tonality is great. Ansel Adams could be proud.

Picture High quality

Hasselblad is revered for its picture high quality, and the 501cm retains that legacy. Photographs are sharp with loads of bokeh whenever you need that. The CFE 80mm 2.8 lens creates lovely colours and glorious distinction. The 6×6 movie format offers sufficient particulars for high-resolution movie scans. There’s sufficient info to edit them in Seize One or Photoshop when you select.


The Hasselblad 501cm equipment with the 80mm lens produces creamy bokeh that melts into the background. Get near your topic and {photograph} vast open for one of the best bokeh. It additionally creates enough background separation in tight areas. It’s nice for capturing portraits.


Photographs will likely be fantastically sharp so long as you are taking the time and obtain focus. Landscapes provide improbable sharpness with delicate corners at f2.8. Stopping down minimizes the softness and reduces it to the outermost corners of the body.

Lens Character

The Hasselblad CFE 80mm f2.8 is equal to a 50mm full-frame lens. There’s minimal distortion with a slight pure vignetting alongside the sting. Spotlight fringing isn’t a difficulty. Your movie selection and lighting circumstances will closely affect the distinction and colours. That is the place you get to have enjoyable and select between poppy and vibrant, retro, pastels, or gold throughout golden hour.

Additional Picture Samples

From day one, The Phoblographer has been big on transparency with our viewers. Nothing from this evaluate is sponsored. Additional, numerous people will submit critiques and present numerous enhancing within the images. The issue then turns into that anybody and everybody can do the identical factor. They’re not displaying what the lens can do. So now we have a piece in our Additional Picture Samples space to indicate edited and unedited images. A few of these photographs are from very outdated scans; please be mild. However from this, you can also make a call for your self.

Who Ought to Purchase a Hasselblad 501cm?

Medium format has all the time been a favourite amongst portrait photographers, and the Hasselblad 501cm is a powerful selection. It’s additionally an awesome workhorse for any software. Any photographer could be completely happy to have this lovely piece of artwork of their assortment. I bought my 501cm for a bit of over $3,000, and it’s maintained its worth. The equipment has bought for over $4,000, relying on its situation. And I’d gladly pay it yet again.

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