September 20, 2018

Hasselblad H1 with Film Back Review

For Photographers

There are many film cameras I have owned, from medium format to 35mm, by far the best has been the Hasselblad H1 with a HM-1632 back. This camera is robust, featuring a fast AF system and a line of high quality lens.

Pros & Cons


  • Fast AF system for a medium format camera
  • High quality lens
  • One back for 120 and 220 film
  • Excellent metering system
  • Still serviceable Hasselblad
  • Auto advance/Film wind on and off
  • Dark slide is built into back (can’t lose it)


  • Hard to load (similar to Pentax 645)
  • Requires 3 CR123As if you’re using battery grip

Image Quality

This lens and body combo is sharp, and when I say sharp, I mean digital looking sharp. If you’re looking for the Contax 645 soft focus look, this camera and lens combo is not for you. The lens, made in Japan, are of exceptional quality. They perform well with AF and have a manual focus ring if that’s your gig. Let’s looks at some images from the Hasselblad H1 to get an idea of what it photographs like.

side-profile-portrait portrait-of-man man-posing-on-airstip

Fuji Acros 100 – Hasselblad H1 + 100mm 2.2 -Dev and Scan – TheFINDlab

Loading the Back

The Hasselblad H1 does have a removable insert, but it is inverted, similar to the style of the Pentax 645. I find this style of film back participial hard to load and it can be cumbersome on a wedding day.

Modular Systems

The Hasselblad H1 system is completely modular. There are 5 pieces to the Hasselblad system.

  • Viewfinder
  • Body
  • Battery Grip
  • Film Back
  • Lens