Hasselblad 503CW Camera Body (Chrome)

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Hasselblad 503CW Medium Format SLR Camera Body (Chrome) with Folding Waist Level Viewfinder and Split-Image Focusing Screen

B&H # HA503CWCQ Mfr # 30 10243
No Longer Available

The name "Hasselblad" is synonymous with image quality and reliability. Together with Carl Zeiss lenses, Hasselblad represents the highest standards of photographic craftsmanship and precision. The 503CW features a built-in TTL flash metering system, which automatically measures the light off the film for consistent flash exposures.

The Winder CW, which may be operated by remote control, makes the 503CW convenient to operate in or out of the studio. This completely manual and mechanical Single-Lens-Reflex camera is compact, lightweight, easy-to-use and meets the needs of both studio and location work. This 503CW comes equipped with an Acute-Matte D Focusing Screen with microprism and a split-image rangefinder spot.

The Hasselblad system contains a full line of lenses, viewfinders (metered and non-metered), film magazines (120, 220, 70mm and Polaroid), as well as many accessories. The 503CW is available in chrome or black finish.

New optional Winder CW for automated film advance and infra-red (cordless) remote control
TTL/OTF flash capability; Electronic flash synchronization at all shutter speeds up to 1/500th second
First class Zeiss optics
Acute-Matte "D" focusing screen with microprism and split-image rangefinder spot
Gliding Mirror System (GMS) provides even viewfinder illumination with longer lenses
Rugged one-piece cast aluminum alloy body
Camera Type Manual focus, leaf shutter, Single-Lens-Reflex camera
Format 6 x 6cm format (Actual frame size is 54 x 54mm)
Film Back/Loading Interchangeable type
Film Type 120 film: 6 x 6 (12 frames), 6 x 4.5 (16 frames). 220 film: 6 x 6 (24 frames), 6 x 4.5 (32 frames); 70mm perforated film; Uses 70mm film cassettes which can be loaded with up to 4.7m of film, giving up to 70 frames per cassette; Use of Polaroid 3 1/4 x 4 1/4" pack films possible with backs available from Hasselblad or NPC
Lens Mount Exclusive Hasselblad bayonet lens mount; Accepts all C, CF, CB, CFI, CFE lenses
Shutter Mechanical leaf shutter, 1 second to 1/500th and "B". Shutter speeds in full stops only.
Shutter Release Camera body accepts standard mechanical cable releases.
Self Timer No
Flash Synchronization "PC" socket for electronic flash connection on lens barrel. Flash synchronization possible at all shutter speeds up to 1/500th. TTL/OTF flash capability with Hasselblad D-Flash 40, Metz, Quantum Q Flash, and Sunpak systems.
Mirror Lock-Up Yes - possible with switch below winding crank
Exposure Metering Possible with optional metered viewfinders
Exposure Bracketing No
Exposure Compensation No
Depth-of-Field Preview Yes - with lever on lens barrel
Viewfinder SLR type interchangeable waist level focusing screen (standard Acute-Matte "D" type 42215 Microprism/Split-Image; a total of seven focusing screens are available; One-touch folding waist level hood with built-in 4.5x magnifier. Optional diopter correction lenses. Field of view: 100 per cent of actual picture area
Viewfinder Info No
Film Transport Manual film winding crank located on camera body which simultaneously advances the film, resets the mirror and cocks the shutter; Automatic film advance possible with optional Winder CW (.8fps)
Multiple Exposure No
Focusing System Helicoid (manual rotating mount)
Power Source Fully mechanical camera; no batteries required.
Custom Functions No
Data Imprinting No
Tripod Mount Both 3/8" and 1/4" sockets and tripod plate for rapid mounting with the optional Hasselblad Quick Coupling Accessory (Tripod Quick-Coupling S, #45144)
Dimensions 180 x 114 x 110mm (7.08 x 4.49 x 4.33") LWH (with 80mm f/2.8 CFE lens and A12 film magazine)
Weight Camera body only, 600g (1.3 lbs); with Planar 80mm f/2.8 CFE lens, and A12 film magazine, 1500g (3.3 lbs).

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Hasselblad503CW Camera Body (Chrome)
 
4.9

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Reliable operation (8)
  • Metal housings (7)
  • Interchangeable film back (6)
  • Stable flash sync (4)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Photography (6)
    • Posters (4)
    • Advertising (3)
    • Fashion (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Semi-pro photographer (4)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (5)

    Reviewed by 9 customers

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    THE MECHANICAL ROLEX OF CAMERAS

    By Terry

    from Overland Park, Kansas

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Pros

    • 120 Format
    • Interchangeable Film Back
    • Manual Controls
    • Metal Housings
    • Reliable Operation
    • Stable Flash Sync

    Cons

    • None

    Best Uses

    • Advertising
    • Artwork
    • Fashion
    • Photography
    • Posters

    Comments about 503CW Camera Body (Chrome):

    I use my two 503's mostly for portraiture. They allow me to literally create hand crafted photographs, controlling almost every aspect of what I am given to work with. My "work-flow" is beautifully slow and wonderfully full of time consuming details. Production isn't on a schedule for completion. Rather, I work for the satisfaction of the creative process. The camera body is totally reliable, extremely strong, easy to use, and accommodates the finest quality lenses in the world. It is a camera system that demands concentration, effort, and dedication. It rarely fails to disappoint me.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Still the best in digital or film

    By Noel

    from Australia

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Pros

    • Digital Capable
    • Interchangeable Film Back
    • Metal Housings
    • Reliable Operation
    • Stable Flash Sync

    Cons

    • Out Of Production

    Best Uses

      Comments about 503CW Camera Body (Chrome):

      This camera should never have been put out of production. They do not come better than this. This camera will take first class film images and then mount a digital back and it will take exception digital shots.Before you walk past this camera, have you seen how average the current crop of digital medium formats are like. Cheapish build quality, (I guess plastic has improved nowadays but still not as good a metal.Strong rugged and easy to fix, find parts and lenses that made by Zeiss. I have heard the new Hasselblad lenses are sharper. Yes they probably are sharper but the image rendition and colour out of them still is left behind by the Zeiss glass.Can't go wrong with this. Hasselblad, please reintroduce this camera with a full frame digital back.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (10 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Make Image Quality Your Bottom Line

      By J

      from Luanda, Angola

      Pros

      • Interchangeable Film Back
      • Large Viewing Frame
      • Metal Housings
      • Reliable Operation
      • Simple Ergonomics
      • Tank-Like Robust Build

      Cons

      • None
      • ZERO

      Best Uses

      • Documentary
      • Fashion
      • Photography
      • Posters
      • Travel

      Comments about 503CW Camera Body (Chrome):

      I pack the 503CW, 80mm Zeiss 2.8, an old Pentax spot meter, and an extra film back in a small, old Domke canvas bag full of film when I go to destinations that I know I will never return to. I know nothing will yield a more beautiful, natural tonal curve, and otherwise capture the atmosphere of a place better than this camera / lens combination. If pure image quality, without the electronically enhanced look of artificial digital color, etc., mattters most to you, no matter how many digital "upgrades" come around, you will not perfect on this system. With this simple configuration, I manage to take quick light measurements, and shoot with zero reliance on batteries and electronic displays, confident that when I look at the finished film image, I will be blown away by its subtle color and tonal curves, resolution, and beautiful contrast. The results are so consistently beautiful and true to what I saw with my eyes, that I rarely take my full frame 5D system and L lenses out of the house anymore. It's now time to liberate myself and sell off all the electronic gymmickery. Everything you need is right here in the aperture and shutter speed dials, shot through what is likely the finest lens ever made. No need for furhter comment!

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        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Hasselblad 503CW

        By ZV76

        from New York

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Pros

        • Interchangeable Film Back
        • Reliable Operation

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about 503CW Camera Body (Chrome):

            I bought this camera about 15 years ago It's a teriffic piece of engineering and craftsmanship combined. I use it for landscape photography only and as long as Fujichrome Velvia is available I will keep this system. I haven't encountered any problems with the camera so far. It's a very simple a beautiful mechanical camera for those who have patience and expect nothing less than superb images.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (13 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Solid Quality

            By Mark

            from Scottsdale, AZ

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Pros

            • Metal Housings
            • Quality
            • Reliable Operation

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Advertising
              • Architecture Landscapes
              • Photography

              Comments about 503CW Camera Body (Chrome):

              Hasselblad cameras are lifetime investments that will produce brilliant images from day one and for decades to come. They retain their engineering integrity and resale value far better than any digital camera, although (rental) digital backs are avialable (I shoot on film then scan and print digitally).
              Most important is the character and quality of Hasselblad film images...they have a look that can't be duplicated by razor-sharp, but soulless, synthetic digital images.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              This the product to buy again and again

              By Tony

              from Pakistan

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Can attach winder
              • Carl Zeiss lenses are gre
              • Interchangeable Film Back
              • Metal Housings
              • Reliable Operation
              • Stable Flash Sync

              Cons

              • A little heavy

              Best Uses

              • Advertising
              • Artwork
              • Fashion
              • Photography
              • Posters
              • Use for any type of photo

              Comments about 503CW Camera Body (Chrome):

              This Camera is wonderful for those want to enjoy medium format.
              Use the film back with its different lenses from Carl Zeiss you shall enjoy the owner ship of the camera. The colors are true and images are razor sharp.
              Manual Mechanical camera would provide correct focusing. This camera forces you to use your skills. Expensive but you will fell in love with this camera. A lifetime investment with cmmera lenses. As long a film is available keep on enjoying it .

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (16 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Excellent Camera

              By lgpod1

              from Palo Alto, CA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Interchangeable Film Back
              • Metal Housings
              • Reliable Operation
              • Stable Flash Sync

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Photography
                • Posters

                Comments about 503CW Camera Body (Chrome):

                I photograph old buildings and urban landscapes at night using only available ambient light. The 503CW is a beautifully precision built medium format camera.

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                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Still an amazing camera system

                By sc_david

                from San Francisco

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Metal Housings
                • Reliable Operation

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Photography

                  Comments about 503CW Medium Format SLR Camera Body (Black) with Folding Waist Level Viewfinder and Split-Image Focusing Screen:

                  I am an art photographer who uses digital, medium format and large format camera systems. I have found that consistently my best images come from the 503CW. As a modular system, there are a large number of components to meet almost any requirement. The lenses are spectacular with great sharpness, contrast and color saturation. The build quality of all the components is excellent.

                  The camera is a pleasure to use. All the controls fall easily to hand and adjustments become second nature. No electronics, no batteries, and all metal construction means that it will last a life time.

                  Hasselblad customer service has been good when I've had questions or I needed to CLA the equipment.

                  This is an expensive system, but worth the cost.

                  Ultimately, I find this camera almost magical in the way it puts light on the emulsion.

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                  (11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  The Hasselblad 503CW Experience

                  By Waruna

                  from Colombo, Sri Lanka

                  Comments about 503CW Medium Format SLR Camera Body (Black) with Folding Waist Level Viewfinder and Split-Image Focusing Screen:

                  Worth every penny spent.A wonderful tool to use in many areas of photography. Any one who is even an amateur who loves to come aboard the medium format system will get a hold of this machine and its simple controls with a 10 minute crash course. There is a signature clap sound when the trigger is released which may be annoying to some. As it is a module system you can add components to the body (ex: electronic winder, TTL prism light meter, Digital backs) as one moves on.Compact design. The chrome body and A12 back is my preference. Always buy the kit with the Planar 80 / 2.8 which will save some money. Most of the previous Hasselblad/Zeiss lenses can be used.

                  Expertise: Chartered Architect / Architectural Photographer

                  Problems Encountered: Dust and rain can get into the viewfinder easily as it is placed on the vertical axis. Ground glass is very expensive. It does not have shift capabilities as this is not an architectural 'lens - camera' system. Hasselblad should continue PC Mutar shift adapter.

                  Previous Equivalent Item Owned: ZEISS DISTAGON 40 IF CFE

                  Items I Recommend: A good sturdy tripod with a ball bearing head. Cable release, Kinetronics Lens cleaning fluid / Panther clothe.

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