Christopher
Stoll

1988 Hasselblad 503cx

1988 Hasselblad 503cx
Year
1988
Make
Hasselblad
Model
503cx
Type
single-lens reflex
Film
120 (ISO 16 – 1000)
Lens
Hasselblad V mount
Apertures
n/a
Speeds
n/a
Meter
none
Battery
none
MSRP
$2,800 (equal to $6,600 in 2022)
Condition
4E (received) / 4E (current)

The Hasselblad 503cx is basically just a 500 C/M which is guaranteed to have been made after 1988. The only actual difference which is interesting is the standard Acute Matte focusing screen. Though the screens are changeable, so there is no guarantee that a used camera still has its factory Acute Matte screen. The 503cx also has a special internal coating to reduce reflections and a TTL flash meter, but the internal coating cracks and the TTL flash meter is only useful with proprietary or obscure flash units. At the time I found this camera it was cheaper than 500 C/Ms of the same vintage, which is what drove my decision to get it.

The 503cx is an amazing machine that I have come to really enjoy working with. But, if I am being honest, the only reason I purchased it was because the electronics on my beloved Zenza Bronica EC-II were becoming unreliable. And, before even considering the Hasselblad system, I looked at simply switching to a different Bronica model. The Bronica C and S2 would take all the same accessories as the EC, but those cameras become mechanically unreliable due to wear on internal components. The newer Bronica systems are nice, but are not compatible with the EC. If I was going to get another system camera, it needed to be more reliable. That is how I ended up in the Hasselblad System V ecosystem.

According to a contemporary advertisement

You can’t buy it

Nor is it much to look at: a simplified “box”, black and drab on the outside, even lacking a proper finder…

But… this is the fabulous Hasselblad camera which has made possible the taking of incredible photographs during the American space flights. “Simplified” in order that hands covered by thick space gloves might hold it easily, its simple finder intended for a photographer wearing a space helmet – and yet basically the same camera as you yourself and so many other professionals and able amateurs all over the world have learned to value so highly, the Hasselblad 500C…

Hasselblad

Photos from this 503cx

More photos from this 503cx

External Resources