Almost by definition, Hasselblad is a company steeped in tradition — it’s hard to be ultra-trendy when your camera systems cost as much as a new car. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that the company is only just getting around to halting production on its last V System camera, the 503CW, 17 years after the first models rolled off the assembly line. Interest has simply dropped off quickly in the past five years, the company says. Support will continue, and accessories will sell while they last, but the emphasis from now on will be squarely on digital-first H System cameras like the H5D. Whether or not you’re mourning the loss, there’s no question that the V System has survived a lot during its lifetime, including the transition to digital shooting and new management. We’d say it’s worth pouring one out for a true veteran of medium format photography.
Update: Just to clear the air, the 503CW has been in production for 17 years — the V System in any form has been active since 1957, since before digital was even a twinkle in Hasselblad’s eye.
Filed under: Cameras