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
Made from wood and metal
1943

First model of the 1600F
Made from wood and metal
1945/1946

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. 


Dominique Provost

Preserving Pedro de Mena’s 17th Century Sculptures

with the Multi-Shot

Using the Hasselblad Multi-Shot system, Dominique Provost had the opportunity to photograph Spanish baroque sculptor Pedro de Mena’s collection of six hyper-realistic 17th century sculptures. These photographs will be of monumental importance for art conservation, future restoration, digitalization, and if necessary, reproduction of these historical pieces.

Read more

Roger Fishman

Narwhals, Icebergs, and the Extreme Landscapes of Greenland

Taking to the skies to capture Greenland from above, Roger Fishman created the largest fine art collection of the island’s extreme remote beauty, entitled Ephemeral & Eternal: Greenland. Collaborating with scientists and hoping to activate the public, Roger’s photographs reveal what is at stake and what we must work to preserve for the future of our planet.

Read more

Roman Jehanno

Portraits of the Incredible Craftspeople of Peru

Finding himself amidst the most incredible craftspeople from Lima to Cusco to Puno, Roman Jehanno traveled across Peru to capture stunning portraits of various artisans, farmers, bakers, and more. Roman’s Peruvian portraits captured with the H6D-100c help to preserve and spread cultural awareness about the lives and work of so many talented, hidden artists.

Read more

Julien Tell

Highsnobiety x Versace

on the H6D-100c

Fashion photographer Julien Tell, in-house photographer at Highsnobiety – the expert on all things trending within fashion, music, and entertainment – put the H6D-100c to use when shooting their latest collaboration with Versace, giving results that brought the vibrant clothing pieces and dynamically curated floral arrangements to life.

Read more

Tom Oldham

Silent Street Portraits with the XCD 45P

Hasselblad H System photographer Tom Oldham was one of the first in the world to put the new XCD 45P lens, the world’s lightest digital medium format autofocus lens on the market today, to the test in the low winter light of London.

Read more

Daniel Rueda & Anna Devís

Pink A Boo: A Visual Game of Hide-and-Seek Inside La Muralla Roja

Within the pastel pink and blue walls of Spain's La Muralla Roja, Daniel Rueda and Anna Devís staged a visual game of hide-and-seek. In our interview with the duo, they share their entire process behind the concept and execution of their project within the dreamlike maze.

Read more

Unimatic Watches

Capturing the Details of Timepieces Unseen by the Naked Eye

Testing out the H6D-100c and HC Macro 120mm to capture their newest timepieces, we spoke to Unimatic Watches co-founder Simone Nunziato, who told us all about the outstanding capabilities of using the H System to carry out the extremely difficult task of photographing watches and all their minuscule details.

Read more

Ruairidh Mcglynn

The Cruel Beauty of Winter in the Scottish Highlands

Seeking out the winter storms of the Scottish Highlands, Ruairidh McGlynn ventured into rain, sleet and snow in weather as cold as -15°C (5°F) with the X1D and XCD 45, where he was intrigued to capture the cruel beauty of the area’s intense conditions, seeing the Highlands from a fresh, snowy perspective.

Read more