Hasselblad Dating

Hasselblad Historical and Blue Moon Camera both offer this table to translate Hasselblad serial numbers to year of manufacture:

  • V = 1
  • H = 2
  • P = 3
  • I = 4
  • C = 5
  • T = 6
  • U = 7
  • R = 8
  • E = 9
  • S = 0

That should work for both the body and film magazines, though there are some exceptions noted in the comments at Blue Moon Camera:

Keep in mind if you have an EL or EL/M there will be a third letter, indicating motor driven. (“E” for electric)…I believe this is true up to 1978 or so….and they may have used a W for the superwide bodies.

Dating the Zeiss lenses is a different matter, though. For lenses prior to 1980, a three or four digit date code is stamped at the back of the lens, just inside the mount. The last two digits represent the month, the first one or two digits represent the number of years after 1957. Hasselblad Historical has more detail on how to find the number and how to read lenses manufactured in 1980 and later.

According to all that, my kit was assembled from parts as old as 1963:

  • Body, UPE = 1973
  • Magazine, TT = 1966
  • Lens, 604 = April 1963