THE VERY FIRST 1600F
As a passionate photographer fascinated by bird watching, Victor Hasselblad wanted to create a camera that could capture the beauty of nature and easily fit in his hand – a portable, high-quality piece of technology.
THE FIRST HASSELBLAD 1600F NR. 0001
In October 1948, he introduced the world to the Hasselblad 1600F, the world’s first single lens reflex camera for medium format. With its sleek, innovative design and modular build, the 1600F was a truly groundbreaking feat of engineering and one of the most influential models in the history of photography. In preserving Victor’s legacy, the Hasselblad Foundation in Gothenburg, Sweden has the very first 1600F (serial number 0001) and its prototype models on display at the Gothenburg Museum of Art. And to further the preservation of this momentous first camera, Hasselblad documented it with the H6D-100c.
The Hasselblad, as it was originally called before the introduction of the 1000F, is a historic example of photographic innovation. Not only was the 1600F smaller and lighter than most models of the time, but it was also a system camera, which meant it boasted a modular design. As the first of its kind, this gave extreme flexibility with interchangeable lenses and the ability to attach a viewfinder. Most importantly, this modularity allowed for removable film magazines; because of this, photographers today can attach a digital back in place of the film magazine and use the camera. It wasn’t until 10 years later that full frame producers adopted this type of modular construction. In addition, the innovatory choice to utilize a Fresnel lens in the focusing screen of the 1600F allowed for a much brighter viewfinder image. Using a focal plane shutter with a top shutter speed of 1/1600 sec, roughly 3000 1600F cameras were made between 1948 and 1952.
FIRST MODEL OF VICTOR’S “IDEAL” CAMERA, 1943
MADE FROM WOOD AND METAL
FIRST MODEL OF THE 1600F, 1945/1946
MADE FROM WOOD AND METAL
The original prototypes of the 1600F, made of wood and metal, were constructed in 1943 and 1945/46. Hints from Victor’s work with the HK-7 shined through in the camera’s design, in the form of interchangeable film magazines and lenses as well as its compact build. Sixten Sason, the Swedish product designer behind the designs of previous Saab automobiles, Electrolux vacuums, and airplanes, was part of the 1600F’s prototype design, styling the iconic smooth edges and rounded top of the boxy camera.
With the powerful 100-megapixel CMOS sensor of the Hasselblad H6D-100c, high resolution imagery of the very first Hasselblad 1600F, and in that, the very first SLR medium format camera and its prototypes, is digitally preserved for future generations of camera historians, dedicated Hasselblad users, and photography aficionados the world over.
CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO ZOOM IN
More Hasselblad storiesAll stories ⟶
Pausing New York With the X2D
Every photographer knows about the Hasselblad brand, whether they're an amateur, enthusiast, or professional because the history of photography is on the shoulders of Hasselblad. For me, it's an investment in my career, to move to the next level. It's always important to have the right tools in the right moments to make great photographs.
Iceland in Mesmerising 100MP Detail
For me as a photographer, the X2D is what a Stradivarius violin might be for a violinist. It's the ultimate camera.
Magical Realism With The X2D
The X2D is like a camera for painters. The pictures have the taste and technical background of a painting. I almost couldn't differentiate the two because it's just so perfect. This camera produces all the data I could ever use to convey the tales I want to tell with my pictures.
Discovering his new home of Doha, Qatar through the lens of street photography, Heath Holden explored the older and more traditional neighborhoods of the historical city.
A Love Affair with Aviation on the 500C
Unable to become a pilot due to his eyesight, the young Swiss photographer and later professor of technical thermodynamics Walter Janach channeled his passion for aviation into capturing these majestic flying machines on his 500C.
Donald Michael Chambers
60 Minutes of Silence
No talking. No phones. No distractions. For 60 minutes, Donald Michael Chambers sat with each of his 30 subjects in complete silence. Once the hour began, Donald gave no direction and simply decided when to click the shutter button.
Pleating Paper into Sculptural Headwear
South African photographer Gavin Goodman had a vision to create a series influenced by traditional African headwear done with a modern and simplistic touch. Commissioning a local origami artist as a unique way to bring this vision to life, they transformed delicate paper into beautiful African-inspired sculptural objects.
Tomás Karmelo Amaya
Native Love Stories
Born for the A:shiwi, Rarámuri, and Yoeme tribes, creative Tomás Karmelo Amaya’s ongoing series Native Love Stories illustrates the abundance of Indigenous circles, including love, service to others, community strength, and the ability to thrive.
CINEMATIC SCENES IN SERBIA
Inspired by the greatest film directors and DOPs, Serbian photographer Luka Trajkovic creates images that appear to be taken right out of a film.
Artisans of Southern France
Creating his dream roadmap that took him from Monaco to Bordeaux with all the stops in between, Roman discovered the rich multitude of craftwork and ancient practices still being used by his fellow countryfolk in France.