Dating hasselblad backs

The business was so successful that in 1908, the photographic operations were spun off into their own corporation, Fotografiska AB.

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Both the lens shutter concept associated with less advanced 35mm SLR cameras, and the moderate top speed of 1/500th of a second worried the critics. Very short exposure time is easily and more accurately obtained using strobe light, in the studio anyway.

The original model stayed in production until 1970.

Ever thought it would be neat to know the year your Hasselblad was born? Turns out that finding that information is much easier than you might expect.

Hasselblad bodies and most film backs have serial numbers that begin with two letters followed by a string of numbers.

To find the serial number for both, simply remove the back from the body and you’ll see the serial numbers on the inner faces of each piece of equipment. VH for Victor Hasselblad.) Each letter in this ten digit code represents a number between zero and nine.

The cool thing about these numbers is that Victor Hasselblad implemented a secret code (less secret now than it was) that identified the year a camera was made. V = 1 H = 2 P = 3 I = 4 C = 5 T = 6 U = 7 R = 8 E = 9 S = 0 Now all you have to do is take the two letters in your serial number and translate them into numbers.

Keep in mind if you have an EL or EL/M there will be a third letter, indicating motor driven.

(“E” for electric)…I believe this is true up to 1978 or so…they may have used a W for the superwide bodies.

If the number is greater than 50, add the prefix 19 to it and if the number is less than 50 add the prefix 20.

For example, in the image above, the camera body (right) has a serial number of UV114133. Seventy-one is greater than 50, so we add a “19” to the front end and voila! Let’s try another: take a look at the magazine on the left, with a serial number starting in RR.

While on honeymoon, Arvid Hasselblad met George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak.

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