Review: Hasselblad XPan
The Hasselblad XPan – a legendary rangefinder with both panoramic and standard 35mm modes, which is interchangeable mid-roll! It’s a beast of a camera with a gorgeous viewfinder and excellent lenses. I shot a roll through it recently around South Leeds and was very happy with the results, so I thought I’d do a review on it here.
A few good bits
Panoramic & normal 35mm modes – Unlike most panoramic cameras, the XPan has a nifty little switch next to the viewfinder which allows you to switch between panoramic & normal 35mm modes. Panoramic shooting can be quite restrictive and specific to certain needs so having this functions makes the XPan useable for every day situations as well.
Hasselblad optics – Not much else to say here! Hasselblad are obviously known for their quality, and the XPan lenses are no different. The images you get from them are fantastic.
Built like a tank – With a solid metal build, you could club an elephant to death with one of these and it’ll still be fully functional afterwards (although I’d advise strongly against doing so).
Automated wind on – For the lazy bunch out there, myself included. Some people may not like this due to it relying on electronics, but the electronics in these are very reliable, not like shoddy £20 camera electronics – these were actually built to last.
Metered & Auto modes – Again for the lazy bunch who can’t be bothered carrying a meter around too. Or if you’d rather focus on composing rather than the correct exposures. There is also a manual ISO override for pushing/pulling, and also a -2 to +2 exposure compensation dial.
The switch to go between panoramic and standard 35mm modes.
A few bad bits
My hands hurt – It’s not the most ergonomic camera, it could definitely do with a hand grip on the right hand side. Not a major issue though, I’ve definitely held worse.
Vignette – Not so much a problem on negative film, but on slide film this can apparently be a problem, this is caused by the panoramic nature of the camera. Hasselblad released a filter specifically for the XPan which is basically a centre-weighted ND filter to counteract this.
Click to see higher resolutions.
All images shot on West Yorkshire Cameras C-41 Black & White film.
The bottom line
Brilliant finder, excellent build quality, and fantastic image quality. The best feature is of course the panoramic mode which can be switched on and off mid roll. A must have for panorama lovers.