Hasselblad CFV II 50C brings 60-year-old medium format V cameras back to life!

CFV II 50C digital back and Hasselblad 907X

Hasselblad cameras are separated into an older ‘V’ series – the classic medium format SLR models used by generations of wedding, fashion and social photographers and today’s digital ‘H’ models.

So although Hasselblad's announcement of the new Hasselblad X1D II 50C has caused a stir, there's more to medium format than the latest digital cameras. Older cameras are also  back in vogue as photographers rediscover the joys of simple analog hardware…  but don’t necessarily want the expense and hassle of an analog film  workflow.

Hasselblad CV II 50C digital back

The new Hasselblad CV II 50C digital back is self-contained unit that will clip straight on to the back of an old 500CM modular DSLR with no extra cables or connections.

Hasselblad CV II  50C digital back

It’s not the first digital back Hasselblad has produced for its older modular film cameras, but this one will be bang up to date, with Hasselblad's latest 50-million pixel imaging technology and a tilting screen. Using it could hardly be simpler as it will clip straight on to the back of a Hasselblad V-system camera in place of the regular film back, with no extra cables or connections. 

The CV II 50C will be entirely self-contained, capturing high-res digital images straight from your old and cherished 500CM – and its lenses.  We bet you’re glad you  didn’t put it on eBay now.

Hasselblad hasn’t yet released prices and availability for  the CV II 50C yet, as these are expected later in 2019.  We’re not expecting it to be cheap, but if the price is similar to that of the new X1D II 50C at around £5,000/$5,000, we’d expect a big uptake.

The Hasselblad CM500 and V-series cameras are in a unique position in the digital world. Their modular construction  means it’s possible to swap  analog film backs  for digital backs  in a way that’s not possible with classic DSLR and rangefinder cameras.

Hasselblad 907X camera

The Hasselblad 907X 'camera' will attach to the CV II  50C so that you can fit Hasselblad's mirrorless XC lenses directly.

Hasselblad 907X camera

The CV II 50C digital back was not announced on its own. Hasselblad has also announced the development of a new modular 907X camera that will let the CV II 50C digital back work with Hasselblad’s latest mirrorless XCD lenses.

‘Camera’ is rather a big word for what is effectively an interface between  the digital capture back and the lens. The wafer-thin 907X is really just one module in a system, which is why it’s so incredibly small and light.

So why get the 907X and not an XCD? You could get both or either and mix and match to your heart’s content. Hasselblad could hardly have anticipated all  those years ago that it’s modular camera system would have such importance in the future, but but the CV II  50C digital back and 907X camera look set to breath new life into an old camera system, and in a way then lets it work seamlessly with the latest hardware. Bravo!

Read more:

• The best medium format cameras you can get right now
• The best cameras for professionals
The best used medium format film cameras

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com