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Wednesday, 05 February 2014


Coincidentally, you can buy a new Hasselblad Lunar for about the same price.

...that's a couple of more weeks to play the lottery...

13 were jettisoned ??

Where on earth were their sense of priorities ?


So this is the ACTUAL Hasselblad Lunar!?

And isn't history pleased they didn't take a Leica or Nikon.

Now imagine how much they'd be worth if they had exotic wood handgrips and 18-55 Sony zoom lenses. Prices would be... erm... astronomical.

Hasselblad should have given more thought to calling their re-branded Sony Nex camera something better than "Hasselblad Lunar Limited Edition."


While you might not have the camera, you can at least have a copy of the manual:


(Though this seems to be Space Shuttle era, not Apollo)

WestLicht is among the rare auction block I care sometimes to look at, not because I want to fuel my indignation at high prices, but because they tend to have some of the most historically interesting pieces.

Everybody can sell a Leica with a rare serial number or whatnot, but WestLicht has sold the Daguerre cameras, many important prototypes, and now the moon camera.

Complain all you want about the tastes of the 1%, at least they're helping to put some data on the history of photography out in the open.

Rather....wouldn't that mean they were rocket-sined....

I imagine their priority was getting back off the moon, and as light as possible when they did it.

[No, NASA has actually stated that the weight was offset by moon rocks being retrieved. Not a joke, truth. --Mike]

Hasselblad should buy it and use a piece of it in each Lunar to justify the price. ;-)

Mike, I think Rick Popham has just finished the comment section on this article. No one can follow that one...

How did it get away from NASA in the first place? I know that NASA was not sentimental at all about keeping memorabilia, but why would the Smithsonian not take it as soon as NASA let it go?

Now if it had been black...

I've heard the image quality is out of this world.

Tim F. that was priceless !!! (no pun intended)

Obviously those were film cameras. Nowadays, you just take them pictures, pull out the SD card and chuck the camera into a moon crater.

I wonder why was Hasselblad chosen over Leica, Nikon, Kodak, Canon, Topcon, Mamiya, Rollei, Asahi, Diana...... gosh the list of contenders could stretch a mile.

I expect better reporting. Just following links from the stories about this it is trivial to find that at least three of them were brought back.

That is a lot of bucks for us shooters and even if you have it ... there are some waiting lists to actually travel into space yourself in the near future.

I happened to stumble upon a great inbetween option this weekend at my sister's home. For years my office desktop wallpaper image showed the picture of Buzz Aldrin on the moon ..with Neil's reflection in the helmet .. and there it was on her bookshelf and it is signed bij Buzz on the back of the limited edition and came with the wonderful Taschen Moonfire book. And Taschen still sells more expensive Moonrockedition (check page 2 for more) which includes an actual moonrock as well here: http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/artists_editions/reading_room/305.own_a_piece_of_the_moon.1.htm
Expensive, yes , but in my opinion more interesting than the Hassy.
Or you can always just look for a non limited version of 'just' the wonderful Moonfire book.

12 days, 17 hours and 12 minutes. And he took 395 pictures. Nowadays some brides expect more than 395 pictures. Still, I guess he had a few other things he had to be getting on with ;-)

I would guess they chose Hasselblad as the most versatile camera with the best image quality. Why mess around with 35mm, especially when those NASA Hassies were either weightless or one-third as heavy in use? Hasselblads, back in the day, had an honest reputation that you young whippersnappers will never know again. They were simple, rugged tools, with a wide range of great lenses and accessories that made them very practical cameras. No special editions, no boutique rebadges of other brands. Like the Volvos of the camera world.

I purchased an original "astronaut on the Moon photo" apparently they were given them out for free then) and it's among my most treasured photos.

"I wonder why was Hasselblad chosen over ..."

The history of this has been written up and is worth a read if you're curious.


When John Glenn flew Mercury-Atlas 6 (the first American manned orbital flight) he took a modified Anco Anset 35mm camera (on a pistol grip. This was the only mission for the Anco Anset.

On Mercury-Atlas 7 Gordon Cooper used a different camera the Robot Recorder 35mm camera with f/0.95 lens. The Robot Recorder previously flown with Shepard on MR-4 suborbital mission.

For Mercury-Atlas 8 NASA had thought more about camera systems and imaging requirements in space and released that the film was limiting the quality of the images returned. Flexibility in film choice (interchangeable backs for color or black and white films) and flexibility in lens choice (interchangeable lens) would be useful.

All though the full story is not recounted in the NASA document above the story told (by Shira) was a little more improvised:

I proved man's advantage in space in other ways. With the photographic experiments, for example, I took the approach of an engineer rather than a sightseer. I sought advice from professional photographers such as Ralph Morse and Carl Mydans of Life and Dean Conger and Luis Marden of National Geographic. I decided that a Hasselblad, with its larger film frame, was more suitable than a 35 mm camera. I had the Hasselblad adapted. A 100 exposure film container was installed, and an easy aiming device was mounted on the side of the camera. Focusing would not be required from the infinity of space, I figured. Finally I learned how to repair the Hasselblad.

Shira was an amateur photographer (like a lot of men of the time) and was already using a Hasselblad 500C which might have biased his choice. The flight Hasselblad 500C was purchased at a Houston camera store. It was then modified by NASA techs to remove the reflex mirror, adding a crank for winding on (using a gloved hand whilst wearing a space suit) and a modified back for 70 frames of 70mm film rather than 12 frames of 120 film (from Kodak). Later flights used a Hasselblad developed 200 frame back.

The MA-8 mission flew with both a Robot Recorder and the new NASA modified Hasselblad 500C cameras. The 500c proved a success on Mercury-Atlas 8 after which NASA approached Hasselblad directly to work on future custom cameras for NASA.

There was no bidding or formal selection process. It just sorta happened in a very "amateur photographer" way.

What? No viewfinder? What a lousy camera. Funnily enough, I just started the Tom Hanks series "From the Earth to the Moon" on DVD this evening. Sure enough, an astronaut points a Hasselblad out the window and aims it without a finder.

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