Handcrafted Hasselblad

Guy Fairbank

Web Editorial Assistant

Out-of-this-world photography meets Italian design

For over 60 years Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad has been one of the leading lights in the world of photography. Renowned the world over for their superb quality and technical excellence, Hasselblad cameras have been used by some of the most acclaimed photographers. In 1962 NASA selected them for their space mission.

Those first shots of Earth from outer space: they were taken with a Hasselblad. The Hasselblad 500C, bought from a shop in Houston, was modified by NASA and taken into space, a lighter and stripped down version. Seven years later, as the world gazed in awe at the first moon landings, a specially designed motorised 500L was used to take those first lunar pictures. Incidentally, the 13 cameras they took were all left there - only the films returned home.

And now they’ve produced the Lunar Compact System. Working with Italian designers, the Lunar is a reinterpretation of their classic 500C. They’ve maintained its vintage look by retaining the chrome-plated frame but have softened the edges, making a far more sinuous edition. By using carefully selected materials, such as deep grained wood and soft leather, they’ve fashioned a camera with a comfortable and warm grip that handles beautifully.

There are 5 finishes to choose from: black leather, with a textured, firm grip; brown Tuscan leather, hand polished for a classic look and feel; carbon fibre, for a high tech, minimal look; mahogany, crafted from the finest Italian wood, in a waxless matt finish; and olive wood, unmistakably richly-veined and comfortable to handle.

The Hasselblad Lunar available in these finishes; black leather, brown Tuscan leather, carbon fibre, mahogany and olive wood

As for the specifications, well naturally they’re impressive. Boasting a high performance 24.3 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, the camera offers amazingly detailed imaging. The precision electronic viewfinder is particularly useful when shooting in difficult lighting conditions. Its built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation system lets you produce sharp images even when shooting handheld in low light. The Sweep Panorama function is great fun to use: take a range of shots as you pan across, then let the camera put them all together in one impressive sweep. And for full HD video capture all you need to do is press the dedicated movie button.

The Hasselblad Lunar is definitely an investment camera and not one for the casual photographer but its premium price is backed by brilliant features, simple operation and stunning, handcrafted looks.