Hasselblad: destination the moon

Put on the market after the Second World War, the Hasselblad modular camera was associated with the American conquest of space from 1962, like its competitor Nikon would be later on.

In 1940, the Swedish government asked Victor Hasselblad, a photographer who had worked for Kodak, to design an aerial reconnaissance camera for its air force. Once the war was over, Hasselblad focused on designing a camera based on his aerial model. All its components, from the lens to the film cartridge and including the viewfinding system, were interchangeable. The first model came out in 1948.

In October 1962, astronaut Walter Schirra took a Hasselblad camera with him, which NASA had modified slightly, notably to make it as light as possible. This was the beginning of a long-standing collaboration, still active today, between the agency and the Swedish manufacturer. Since that time, Hasselblad has been designing special models according to NASA’s guidelines to equip manned flights. The Hasselblad was notably part of the Apollo 11 expedition, which took the first pictures of man on the Moon.

Hasselblad Lunar Surface SWC medium format SLR camera, Gothenburg, Sweden, 1968, with frame viewfinder and wide angle lens, for 6×6 cm image size on 70 mm film in interchangeable magazines.
10 SWC models (produced from 1959 to 1980) were prepared for operation on the surface of the moon as an alternative to the EL HDC model but none were actually used, as the decision was made to use the HDC model with electric film advance. This model was designed for shooting inside the lunar capsule.