Hasselblad Kills Off the 503CW, Officially Ending the V System Line


On the same day that Kodak announced the sale of its camera film business, Hasselblad had big “ending” news of its own. The company today announced that it will no longer be producing the 503CW medium format camera. This teams the V System line is officially coming to an end.

Hasselblad says that he decision, which is effective immediately, ends “over a half century of evolution” for the company’s original camera line.

The Hasselblad V System was first introduced in 1948 through founder Victor Hasselblad’s wishes to see a camera that’s as holdable as a Leica, but which shoots medium format film.


The 503CW has been popular among professional and amateur photographers since it was launched seventeen years ago, but Hasselblad says that demand for the camera has been plummeting over the past half decade. “The time has now come for us to reluctantly consign the V System to history,” the company says.


With the demise of the V System, Hasselblad is now directing the photography world’s attention to its H System of digital medium format cameras, which it calls “the world’s most advanced camera system.”

Oh, that and its Lunar mirrorless cameras.

P.S. Hasselblad didn’t come up with the name “V System” until the “H System” was announced. It was at that time that the company decided to create a name for the old system to distinguish it from the new one.

Image credit: The HASSELBLAD 503CW by *嘟嘟嘟*

  • sad


  • Dan Scar


  • Gregor_Albrecht


  • Mark Soper

    From the classic 1960’s ads in National Geographic and elsewhere: “The system, not to be confused with a camera.”

  • Dan Ballard

    .. but Hasselblad says that
    decline for the camera has been plummeting…
    Might that have been “demand” rather than decline?

  • Sid Ceaser

    You wanna bring sales up? Gimmeh a damn affordable medium format back for my beloved 503c/m!!!!! Ugh! This is like being told my parents are divorcing. : |

  • MD

    We can all admit that the company now calling themselves Hasselblad hasn’t been paying much attention to these legendary cameras anyways. The vast majority of people shelling out money for a new MFD system were not going to buy a 17-year old manual camera, and those in the market for such a thing probably wouldn’t be interested in dropping $20k for the privilege.

    Maybe it’s a pipe dream, but part of me always hoped Hasselblad would retire the digital V and revert the whole line back to film. Converting the line to digital always seemed to me like a misguided “Kodak move”…made by the same people who thought the Lunar was a good idea.

    I guess we can just hope that the discontinuation will do wonders for the used market as pros move toward another platform. I know I’ve been waiting for a cheap 40mm Distagon :D

  • Sid Ceaser
  • Konrad Beckmann

    This is very sad to hear… I will however not treat my 503cw as a museum artifact, no, I will keep shooting with this piece of elegant machinery!

  • Gord

    So now they’re directing me to a camera system that would require me to give up my firstborn to afford.


    It just goes to show that companies rarely listen to the voices of their customers. So many people worship this rig and spend a lot of cash trying to acquire one, maybe as the Holy Grail of their photographic lives, and yet the company retires it as if it meant nothing.

  • kgphoto

    I second the thought that the reason that this system is falling into disuse is that there isn’t a practical, affordable, digital back. If there was, I would still be shooting with the system on a regular basis and buying lenses and grips and accessories.

    $19K for a digital doesn’t makes sense if you want to compete in the digital sales field today. Even $20K for a digital camera is silly compared to the $500, $3K and $8K and $10K options out there.

    If they would release their current back for $5K, photographers would flock to buy them. There lenses are on par with the “L” glass, in terms of price, so there would be very little barrier to entry to medium format digital.

    Very short sighted in my opinion.

    Kirk Grodske

  • danupix

    Never selling my 501cm……it’s going to in my grave. It’s such a sexy camera.

  • Michael Choi


  • Duke Shin

    No. No.

    Stop trolling us, Michael.

  • Sky

    Hopefully prices will go down… I want one!

  • alex

    more likely the opposite…

  • coondog

    They only listen to the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$