I’ve just received the first batch of scans back from my new Hasselblad 501cm; the results were ‘eclectic’, for two reasons – firstly, I shot the first roll on Christmas Day after drinking a bottle of Prosecco to myself. I think that’s as far as I need to explain that. The other reason is that I still haven’t got my head around the square composition of the Hasselblad again, after years of shooting 35mm and various none-square medium formats. Something else I struggle with is the back to front image in the waist level finder; it’s all very counter-intuitive, so I may invest in a prism finder.

All the images here I made with the Hasselblad 501cm and 80mm T* lens. All film is Kodak Portra 800, except for the bottom photograph, which is fifteen years expired Fuji reala 100

r1-04431-0008 r1-04431-0030 r1-04431-0015 r1-04431-0032 r1-04431-0014


  1. Hi Phil – This is a great set but I know what you mean about the results being eclectic. I had the same experience when I first got my 501. I’ve been using a 501c/m for about eight months and the prism finder makes a world of difference to the user experience. It draws you in and, I find at least, that you feel ‘in the scene’ as a result, whereas with the waist level finder you’re detached from it. The feeling of being in the scene makes composition much easier.

    There are quite a few different types of prism finder so if it helps, the advice I got from someone who is an expert on all things Hasselblad (here in the UK at least) is that the PM45 is the best one to get. It is larger and it doesn’t have a meter (where others do) but it is the biggest and brightest and allows much more accurate focusing. It is a joy to use and easily makes the experience of using the Hasselblad, the most engaging and rewarding of any camera I’ve used or still own.

    If you can access eBay and then look for a seller called ‘Camley Photographic’, that is the person I bought my whole 501 set up from. His name is George, he’s based in Brighton (which is close to me so I’ve met him in person) and sells large and medium format camera gear as a hobby (he has a professional full time job). He is incredibly knowledgeable, sort of like a Bellamy Hunt for the UK! Hope this helps. Greg

    Liked by 1 person

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