Hasselblad 1600 F

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The Hasselblad 1600F camera was introduced in New York in October 1948. Production commenced in 1949, but very few were made the first years due to technical difficulties. It was manufactured until 1953, when the model 1000 F with a modified shutter replaced it.

It is a well known fact that Victor Hasselblad did extensive research, travelled abroad and practised photographing prior to developing the Hasselblad camera. He has certainly studied the Reflex Korelle, and probably found both things to do, as well as not to do, looking at it. However the Hasselblad camera is truly a magnificent and original design.

It is a focal-plane shutter SLR camera taking 6×6 images on type 120 film. It was a revolutionary concept at the time of introduction, being of a modular design having interchangeable lens, viewfinder and film magazine. The shutter curtains are made of corrugated stainless steel foil which is light and durable enough to withstand the high acceleration forces present in this exceptionally fast shutter. The interchangeable magazine allows fast film changing, also in mid-film, without losing a single frame by inserting a magazine dark slide.

  • The First 269 cameras was simply known as the "Hasselblad Camera". The remaining examples of these are extremely rare since 153 were withdrawn and scrapped due to the problematic shutter design.
  • In 1950 1600F was added to the camera name, "1600" indicating the highest shutter speed of 1/1600 sec. and "F" the focal plane shutter. Currently functional cameras are somewhat scarce due to the fragile shutter.

It should be noted that the camera must be wound on before changing the shutter speed setting or removing the magazine, in order to prevent damage and malfunction! Note also that when a magazine, with the dark slide in place, is on the camera, the shutter can't be released. The magazine should be stored without a dark slide inserted to preserve the properties of the light sealing fabric in the dark slide slit.

The Hasselblad camera was initially sold with the Kodak Ektar 2.8/80mm lens supplied by Kodak and, for the US market, fitted at arrival, but later also Zeiss lenses became available. The Kodak Ektar 3.5/135mm was also available from early on.