Another Hasselblad NASA Special Edition is for Sale

Nov 12, 2019
6 min read

For once I’m stepping out of my waters to dive back into the digital world for a moment and talk about an(other) Hasselblad NASA Special Edition camera that’s just been listed on the eBay. Ladies & Gents, let me introduce the Hasselblad 40th Anniversary 203FE NASA Apollo 11 Ltd. Edition Buzz Aldrin.

While this Hasselblad 203FE didn’t make it to the moon, it’s nonetheless special! To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, two Hasselblad 203FE were customised and one was offered to Buzz Aldrin himself during the commemoration event that took place in 2009 at Cape Canaveral.

The other one stayed in the hands of Christian Poulsen, the retired Hasselblad CEO, who kept it in his personal collection…until today.

According to the seller:

“They consisted of (at the time) the biggest and the best available. The 203FE body with a metered Blue line matching prism finder and 6×6 film back. The lens is the Zeiss Distagon CFE IF 4/40mm. The two cameras were modified to accept a digital back. 
And the piece de resistance is the CV-39 digital back with the Apollo 11 emblem”

The auction is also accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Poulsen himself:

12 September 2019, Dear Hasselblad Fan 

Upon the 40th anniversary year of the Apollo moon landing, Hasselblad held a commemorative event at Cape Canaveral. 
It was held under a 2,970,000 kilogram Saturn Rocket, the same as that which powered the Apollo mission. 

Our guest of honour was Buzz Aldrin who together with Neil Armstrong were the first men to step on the moon. 
In honour of Buzz, we made a special Apollo camera for presentation to Buzz. 
I had a second one made for me personally as the Chairman and CEO of Hasselblad. 
There were only 2 of these very special cameras produced. 
Mine was 203 body #18EC10951 and the CFV back #3ESE10810.
It was very interesting to find that Buzz still remembered how to take perfect pictures after 40 years! 

This letter is to certify its authenticity. 

Dr. Retired Chairman and CEO of Hasselblad A.B. Retired CEO of Carl Zeiss, Asia Pacific 

As you could expect, such a rarity comes at a steep price and you’ll have to dive deep in your pockets to get your hands on this piece of history!

But hey, at least shipping is free 😂

For more information about this event, below is a copy of the Original Hasselblad Press Release

Hasselblad celebrates 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Landing

Hasselblad commemorates first lunar landing by inviting selected photographers to join Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Hasselblad designers for special photography weekend.

Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first man – and first Hasselblad – on the moon by inviting a limited number of H3DII photographers to join astronaut Buzz Aldrin and the Hasselblad design team at the Kennedy Space Center for a weekend of seminars, professional photography training, and photography. Aldrin, who shot with a Hasselblad while on the moon, will present a selection of his favorite lunar photography, while the Hasselblad design team will provide photographers with “behind the scenes” info on Hasselblad design, past, present, and future. A special Space Center Photo contest, featuring valuable Hasselblad gear as prizes, will round off the event.

In 1962, Astronaut Walter Schirra took his Hasselblad onboard the Mercury-Atlas 8 and took the first images of earth from space. Hasselblad followed NASA on space flight after space flight, with Hasselblad cameras proving that they could meet the stringent demands made by extraterrestrial travel. And in 1969, when the world watched in awe as the Apollo 11 astronauts became the first men to set foot on the moon, those astronauts also carried Hasselblad cameras, capturing some of the most definitive images man has ever captured.

“Obviously, lunar travel posed even more demanding challenges than shooting inside a space capsule, with the extreme temperatures and dust and such placing serious trains on any equipment,” explains Christian Poulsen, CEO of Hasselblad. “Lunar photography leaves no margin for errors, no room for second chances. NASA wanted the best cameras possible – and they chose Hasselblad. Basically,” says Poulsen, “we were chosen to go into space because we had the best cameras on earth. A claim that we are still proud to make today, forty years later.”

The research and development that were required to meet the challenges of space travel benefitted not only extraterrestrial photographers, but even those with both feet firmly planted on the ground. The advancements gained during the space camera design process were implemented into the standard Hasselblad line as well. This formed the core of a design approach that Poulsen says lives to this day.

“At Hasselblad we are always striving to push the envelope of photographic technology. Each and every advancement that graces our flagship H3DII-50 and H3DII-60 cameras is also ported down to every other H System camera. This “top down” approach dates back to the first days of our NASA collaboration. To paraphrase Neal Armstrong, what was A Small Step for a Man, was A Huge Leap for Photography. And now, to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of this historic partnership, we are inviting selected Hasselblad customers to join us and guest of honor Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. in Florida at Cape Kennedy to join us in celebrating both the past and the future of photographic technology. This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we are thrilled to be able to bring some of our most dedicated customers along for the experience.”

Hasselblad customers who purchase an H3Dll-50 or H3Dll-60 camera between July 1st and August 21st 2009 will be eligible to join Poulsen, Buzz Aldrin, and the Hasselblad Design Team on an all expenses paid trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA between September 24th and 26th 2009. At the event, guests will be able to mingle with fellow professional photographers, industry insiders, and journalists, attend a gala dinner featuring a special lunar photography presentation by Buzz Aldrin, receive a “Condensed” Hasselblad University training session, participate in professional training sessions, and to take part in instructional lectures and other activities designed to help photographers get the most from their Hasselblad gear. A special guided photo tour of the Kennedy Space Center will give participants an unforgettable, behind the scenes look at the world’s most advanced spaceport. Photographs taken during the tour will also be entered in a contest with valuable Hasselblad prizes presented to the winners on the second day of the event.

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