5 Frames/A Year With My Hasselblad SWC/M – By John A. Bennett

After four years of shooting with my Hasselblad 500C/M, I wanted to try a SWC, the Super Wide Hasselblad used by photographers like Lee Friedlander.

The first difference I noticed comparing the 500C/M and the SWC/M was that the latter makes almost NO sound when the shutter button is pressed. On the other hand, the 500C/M emits a very audible “THWAPPP!” In fact, the SWC/M is so silent, at first I didn’t think it was working. One very close-up selfie resulted when I turned the camera around to check. The SWC/M is solely a distance-focusing camera, and with no mirror to slap, there’s just the faintest “click” at the moment of exposure.

And with no focusing screen or mirror — hence no need for a modular camera body — the SWC/M  feels much smaller. It’s basically a Hasselblad A12 film back and a f4.5 38mm Carl Zeiss lens. Because of its size, I imagined that the SWC would become my “everyday” camera, and that I’d take it with me everywhere. That hasn’t exactly happened.