Hasselblad H3D Film Back Photos

Hasselblad 645 Photos (A16 Hasselblad 645 Back)(V vs H System 6×4.5 Film)

Here I share some Hasselblad 645 photos using the less common A16 Hasselblad 645 back. (This provides a more economical alternative to the classic 6×6 Hasselblad A12 film back). I also discuss the option of Hasselblad V vs H system for Hasselblad 6×4.5 film images.

Fomapan 100 Classic Portrait

Hasselblad classic 6×6 film back (A12 back)

The standard film back for Hasselblad V series or Hasselblad 500 series cameras is the 6×6 format Hasselblad A12 film back. The classic Hasselblad square format gives 12 photos per roll of 120 film. As much as I love the Hassy square format occasionally a subject or scene is better suited to a rectangular composition. Rather than just crop a square film negative scan to the desired more narrow final dimensions I rather see and compose the final image in camera.


A16 Hasselblad 645 film back

To be able to shoot rectangular format with the Hasselblad cameras I bought myself some A16 Hasselblad film backs. These are 6×4.5 format film backs that give an extra 4 photos per roll of 120 film. 16 photos not the usual 12. Not only does this make it more economical to shoot film but it means I can compose the final images in camera. The 645 film format often suits my portrait images better than a square (for my taste)(unless a Hasselblad headshot). The 6×4.5 crop also works nicely for some horizontal compositions.

Hasselblad Double Exposure

Hasselblad 645 Back + Hasselblad 500CM/501C

Here I show my usual Hasselblad 500 setup whether it is a Hasselblad 500CM or 501C camera. I usually prefer to use the 45 degree prism viewfinder as I find it easier to focus my images. In an ideal situation I would use a carbon monopod and a cable release as shown here. Often I don’t do this but it does help to keep the camera steady if using slower shutter speeds. On cloudy days in Europe I often shoot with a shutter speed of 1/60 with the lens at it’s widest aperture. Again, where possible I use a lens hood but if I have to travel with minimal kit I will use the Hasselblad without it and with a waist lens finder instead. (For the smallest lightest setup).

My Hasselblad Rig! 📷😁 #hasselblad501c #hasselblad #zeiss #zeissplanar #hasselbladlove #6x6 #cameraporn #sirui #monopod #120 #mediumformat #film #lovefilm #ishootfilm #bellows #camera #filmcamera #filmforever #filmphotographer #cameragear www.M

645 Hasselblad SWC /M setup

Here I show my Hasselblad SWC/M camera setup. The SWC is a fixed lens Hasselblad so it looks the same most the time. What you see here is probably the same as most photos you will see of the Hasselblad Super Wide.

Hasselblad 645 Portraits

120 Ilford HP5 Portrait
Hasselblad A16 Back Portrait
Mamiya 7 Double Exposure
Hasselblad 100mm Portrait

More Hasselblad 645 Photos (Hasselblad 501C/500CM)

501c Hasselblad Portrait
Fomapan 100@800
Hasselblad 80mm Portrait
Hasselblad 645 Portrait
Hasselblad 645 Film Back Portrait
Hasselblad A16 Film Back Portrait

645 Hasselblad SWC Photos

In addition to using the A16 645 film back on the Hasselblad 500 cameras I also use it on my Hasselblad Super Wide (aka. Hasselblad SWC/M). With the SWC camera the composition is often a guestimate, as is the focusing. There is no mirror or coupled rangefinder for precision focusing. This makes the 645 format good for me as I just aim at the horizon for a horizontal image.

Hasselblad SWC/M Super Wide Camera
Hasselblad SWC Portrait Photos
Hasselblad SWC/M
Hasselblad SWC-M Fashion
Hasselblad SWC Landscapes – 645 Format
Hasselblad SWC / M 645
Budapest Market B&W
Hasselblad Super Wide 645
Hasselblad SWC/M 645
Close up images with the Hasselblad SWC/M

You may wonder how it is possible to focus so accurately when you can’t focus the SWC camera via a mirror or rangefinder? The answer is you can get a Hasselblad SWC/M adapter to clip on the rear of the camera to provide a ground glass. The camera then becomes a mini 4×5 camera where you focus on the back of the camera. (See the full Hasselblad SWC/M review to see this in practice).

Hasselblad SWC/M Focus Screen
Zeiss Biogon Bokeh
Hasselblad SWC 645

645 Hasselblad Photo – Camera Options

The two common options to shoot 645 Hasselblad photos are –

  1. Hasselblad V series camera + Hasselblad A16 film back
  2. Hasselblad H series camera + Hasselblad H film back

Option 1 is covered above in this review where I use my Hasselblad 500CM, Hasselblad 501C and Hasselblad SWC / M cameras.

Option 2 was covered in my Hasselblad H3D camera review using a 645 film back – Digital Camera That Shoots Film!? (Hasselblad H Film Back)

Hasselblad SWC-M Portrait

Hasselblad H3D-31 Camera

The Hasselblad H3D-31 is a brilliant camera as the platform lets you use either a standard Hasselblad H digital back or a Hasselblad H film back.

Here is an example photo using the Hasselblad H3D camera with it’s 645 format film back. You can find a full review of the Hasselblad H system together with example images at – Digital Camera That Shoots Film!? (Hasselblad H Film Back)

Hasselblad H3D Film Back

Best Hasselblad 645 camera setup

What is the best Hasselblad 645 camera setup if your love Hasselblad and want to shoot 645 film rather than the standard Hasselblad 6×6 format? You should check out the mentioned Hasselblad H3D film back article (Digital Camera That Shoots Film!? (Hasselblad H Film Back) to draw you own conclusions but for me the H3D camera gives better photos.

This might be purely down to the autofocus lens of the Hasselblad H3D or the fact that I use the 80mm f2.8 lens on the H system. On the V series cameras I tend to use other focal lengths whether shorter (say 60mm) or longer (100mm, 120mm, 150mm..). There should be enough example images from both cameras shared to let you decide what camera setup would suit your taste best. If you are in the market for a Hasselblad 645 system that is.

Hasselblad H vs V system – What is better?

So what does better mean? Hasselblad H vs V system. In my conclusion I am looking only at the final photos. I am not considering all the pros and cons of each camera. To me it is usually the image that is the most important aspect of a camera. You can have a cheap simple camera that takes amazing photos and likewise a beautiful expensive camera that takes average photos. (I will perhaps write a Hasselblad H vs V system camera comparison in a future article).


My preferred Hasselblad H3D camera setup

Hasselblad H3D camera body + 645 film back + Hasselblad HC 80mm f/2.8 kit lens.

Hasselblad 500 vs Hasselblad SWC – In more details

More Hasselblad Camera Specific Blog Posts

You may also like… What Gear I Use for Portraits!

  • See full details of my portrait photography lighting kit – HERE
  • See full details of my portrait photography equipment kit – HERE

8 thoughts on “Hasselblad 645 Photos (A16 Hasselblad 645 Back)(V vs H System 6×4.5 Film)”

  1. Enjoyed your article and have also used this 645 set up / option. Not sure I ever considered the cost savings concerning image count? I also enjoyed not cropping at printing and why I used 645 option. Your images are excellent, but would like to know more about your film, development, paper choices for the images – those are great!

    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Hi Alan, thanks. I’ve inserted a Hasselblad YouTube video link I forgot to add if interested. Good to hear you enjoy the 645 setup too. I use many films (see various film reviews on this blog) but my developers are usually Kodak Xtol and or Rodinal. (See film developing blog posts). Click any image to see the specific film/ developing details. I don’t current;y print so I have no preference there. Thanks Matt

  2. How do you feel about shooting portrait with the Hasselblad 645 back? Does the eye piece feel natural handheld or do you always use a tripod? Just curious.
    Great images too

  3. Hi Matthew, enjoyed the article and your lovely photos. I have the 500CM, A16 backs, and a 90 degree prism, and I’m just wondering if you use a particular grip when you take shots in portrait orientation.

    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Hi David thanks, I think I do it without thinking. Search Hasselblad on my YouTube and one video shows me in Budapest using that setup.

  4. Hi David! Just a small question about using the 645 Back: Do you use some kind of mask or so for the viewfinder? I guess just putting an A16 Back to my 500c Hassi will not be the solution for the whole thing? Best, Martin

    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Hi Martin, i’m not sure if this is directed at me (Matt) or someone who commented but i’ll answer. No I just estimate by composing in the centre of the frame for A16. It always seems to capture more than I expect and works well. The only difficulty is portrait shots without a prism as you soon get neck ache using WTF haha.

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