Selling Hasselblad 500c....

Started Oct 8, 2003 | Discussions thread
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
How to un-jam Hasselblad lens.

Hi Peter,

{ There is a special trick to taking off a stuck Hasselblad lens.
If you wish to know what it is, post again, and I will place the
information here. }

Ok, Peter. Here goes. But be warned, please. The operation is tricky to do, and needs VERY CAREFUL work with a screw driver. If you have an accident, you could damage the glass of the lens with the point of the screwdriver.


Hasselblad lenses and camera bodies can only fitted together, and separated again, when BOTH are in a "cocked" ("wound-on") condition. This is because of the sophisticated INTERLOCK which is needed with lenses that have between lens type shutters.

The jamming of the lens, which you describe, is mostly likely caused by the lens and camera body becoming "de-interlocked". The camera is "wound-on", but the lens has already "fired".

This can sometimes happen if the lens is mounted too s-l-o-w-l-y! The lens shutter fires itself a tiny moment before it is fully 'home' and locked. Because the camera is wound, it cannot be wound a second time, and because the lens shutter is 'fired', and therefore closed and waiting to be wound, you cannot see through it.

Result. Total jam-up. The camera will not wind and the lens WILL NOT come off.

Is that consistant with what you see and feel?

If that IS the condition you have, you need to re-cock the lens somehow, to release it. Hasselblad made provision, and this is what you do.......

Take off the film back. It will only come off when the film sheath is in. Fully in!

Behind the film back is a secondary shutter, with a horizontal divide. Press lightly on the shutter blades, and they should swing out of the way against slight spring pressure. Bottom one folds down, top one up. Whilst holding them, look inside the camera with a bright light.

At the bottom of the camera chamber you should see a square section CROSS-MEMBER, positioned under the lens, and running from side to side.
It is black, and fluted with grooves, and has a SCREW visible in the middle.

It is THAT screw we need to re-cock the lens from inside the camera, an operation which can NOW be done without using the camera winding knob.

Here I must state that there are TWO possibilities with regard to the screw.

a) On older Hasselblads the screw you see secures a little cover (the black cross-member itself) and that's ALL it does. The screw must be undone, releasing the cover. Drop the screw and cover out of the camera. (Don't lose the screw.)

The screw we really need is the one UNDERNEATH the cover! It should now be in veiw.

b) On newer Hasselblads the screw you see is the actual cocking screw we seek. It was updated to be long enough to pass right THROUGH the cover, which, therefore doesn't need to be taken off!

OK. Now it is decision time.

That screw needs to be turned, if I remember correctly it is in a counter-clockwise direction, but you can test by giving it a little twist in both directions. It will not move at all in the wrong direction.

However, before you decide to apply your screwdriver and GO for it, please note that it is easy to slip off the screw with the driver and to damage the glass of the lens, which is dangerously close.

So, be aware:-

1) The screw is slot headed, and not crosspoint. It's easy to slip out of the screw. (Only Hasselblad knows why it isn't a cross-headed screw!!)

2) The screw must be turned against spring pressure. (you are winding the lens shutter mechanism from inside the camera) It's easy to start with, but gets stronger and HARDER the more you turn.

3) The screw needs to be turned until it LATCHES positively. The amount of rotation is nearly a whole turn, which is more than can be done easily, without taking a second 'grab' at the screwdriver. That vital moment of latching, when the strain comes off the screwdriver, can seem a long time coming, believe me!

It is at the 'second grab' that the danger is greatest. Whilst you are shifting your grip, the spring can spin the driver backwards and fling it out of the slot --- and onto the lens.

AHGGGGG!!!!!! Don't let this happen to you!

Possible precautions..........

Press a really large, really thick, blob of Blu-tack over the rear element of the lens as protecton. Make sure it is really stuck. Press it on with a blunt stick at the edges. Blu-Tack will not harm the lens surface.

Choose a screw driver which is a very good fit to the screw, and is fairly long. Long screwdrivers are much are easier to keep straight.

Use tape, or more Blu-Tack, to hold the rear shutter doors out of the way so that you can see properly.

Do the whole operation on a firm surface -- nothing slippery.

OK. When the magic moment comes, and the internal lens cocking screw latches the lens into a cocked condition, off will come the lens in the usual way.

Cycle the body a couple of times to get everything moving. Then put it back together and you are done.

Good Luck,

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