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These are the classic magazines for shooting 120 film in a Hasselblad.
Even though Hasselblad has changed the magazines across the decades, they all work on all cameras.
These all use the same dark slides, all have red/white cocked/uncocked indicators and numerical film counters.
The inserts are individually hand-calibrated to each magazine at the factory. Don't swap inserts and don't buy a back unless the last three digits of the magazine's serial number match the three digits on the film insert.
If you get stuck with an unmatched set, you may not get proper focus at large apertures. If you shoot everything at f/22 on a tripod, no worries.
There are several variations of the 12 exposure magazines:
There are A16 16-exposure magazines which get sixteen 6×4.5 cm images on each roll.
A24 magazines get 24 6×6 frames on a roll of 220.
A32 magazines get 32 6×4.5 cm images on each roll of 220.
Some sillier versions crop the frame to smaller sizes, like 6×4.5 cm or 4×4 cm, but only give 12 frames per roll.
All Hasselblad. magazines from 1947 through 2013 are completely interchangeable with all the cameras.
All these work on all Swedish Hasselblads.
They don't work on the latest 6×4.5 cm Hasselblads from the Orient.
Although everyone calls these "A12," they aren't really A12s as I'll explain later. The original magazines are simply called "Magazine 12."
These work great on all Hasselblads.
They load a little differently. You don't need to line up any arrows; you simply thread the film and close the back. Open the rear film reminder cover to see the film's paper backing through the long silver peephole. Flip out the winding crank seen above and wind it quite a few turns until you see the first "1" on the film backing. Close the peephole and rotate the crank backwards (counterclockwise) which clicks the number "1" into the window below the crank. Done.
Two advantages of these old magazines is that you can plug the peephole and use a Rube-Goldberg style procedure to shoot 220 film in them for 24 exposures, and that you can see the film moving through the peephole if you're unsure.
You can see the film backing through the peephole, but there is no moving red bar on the left side to show film motion as there is on the newer magazines.
You set film speed as a reminder on the back, as well as film type. There are icons for B&W, and for four kinds of color film: positive or negative and tungsten or daylight.
As of 1970, the magazines have been called A12. The "A" means "Automatic." They're not really automatic; what this means is that these are loaded by threading the film, advancing the film until the arrow on the paper backing points to the red triangle on the spool holder, closing the back, and then just turn the crank about 10 turns until it stops automatically at "1."
There is no hole to look at the back of the film, but there is a red progress bar on the left side to show film consumption.
Turn the toothed ring to set ASA on the film reminder, and you can flip it open to pop-in a film box cover.
In the 1990s the backs have a simpler fixed film box end reminder. It doesn't move; you slip-in a box end through a slot on the top.
1991- A12 TCC, A16 TCC and A24 TCC
In 1991 Hasselblad introduced the 205TCC "Total Contrast Control" camera which had a built-in computer for the zone system which calculated where exposures would fall, taking film development into effect.
For the system to calculate the effects of film development, the TCC magazines have additional dials for film speed as well as a dial that goes from -4 to +3 for film development.
The Hasselblad 203FE and 201F of 1994 were simpler versions of the 203TCC. The 203FE dropped the zone system computer, and the 201F had no meter at all.
Since these cameras dropped the Zone System computer, they don't need to know your planned film development, so they drop the film contrast (-4 to +3) dial. They retain the film speed dial of the TCC magazines.
These magazines work on all Hasselblads, but the 205TCC will presume you're developing your film normally; the "0" setting on the TCC magazines.
The "24" magazines' frame counters use smaller numbers in the counter window. They are numbered for each frame up to frame 10, then only for even numbers up to frame 24.
E24 Magazine from 1996. bigger.
E24 Magazine insert. bigger.
1994- Darkslide Holders
As seen at the E24 magazine from 1996, after about 1994 all Hasselblad backs have darkslide holders.
These weigh a few ounces more than backs without darkslide holders.
Play these videos:
If you can't find a manual for your particular magazine, you can find detailed loading instructions inside Hasselblad's camera manuals of each era. Mike Butkus has everything for you to read.
The only things likely to go wrong with old magazines is foam getting old and needing replacement. This leads to light leaks if not serviced. Gus does all my service.
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