Panoramic format is finally here! I got my XPan with the 45mm f/4 kit in the mail a couple of weeks ago and have run a couple of rolls through it so far (kinda on the busy side these days), and I'm loving the results.
This is a kickass camera. A 35mm rangefinder panoramic camera that produces 24x65 negatives (almost double the length of a normal 24x36 frame), plus that fact that you can switch between normal and pano frame sizes, it's almost too good to be true! Aperture priority, exposure compensation, self timer and continuous mode, flash sync of 1/125, and motorized advance. It's small form factor, solid build and rangefinder focusing make it really fun to use.
Now the XPan is actually the same camera as the Fuji branded TX-1, and also came out with a later model, the XPan II / TX-2. In the new model they implemented shutter setting readouts in the viewfinder, multi-exposure, longer bulb time, and a bit of remodeling of the ISO dial. The *Hasselblad Xpan has a bit of a flaw in that the paint they used is flakey, it'll come off if you so much as look at it wrong. They improved it in the XPan II, and as far as I know the Fuji's don't seems to have an issue with the paint job. The system has 3 lenses, a 30mm, the standard 45mm, and a longer 90mm. The 30mm fetches quite the pretty penny nowadays, and requires the use of a external viewfinder for accurate framing.
For these shots I used HP5+ as I knew it was less resistant to curling than Tri-X, which is important because the wonderful Pakon I've been using lately (post about that soon) can't scan xpan negs so this job goes to the V700 whose holders are notoriously weak at holding curly negs flat. It's critical I have the negs as flat as possible when scanning these long negs, as much as I'd love for my Pakon to be able to scan 24x65, it's not able to. After developing, I cut and sleeve the negs, and then roll the entire sleeve and tape it into a tube as to flatten them out both long ways and edge to edge. I find this faster than putting the sleeves under heavy books which can take a while for them to flatten, I'm impatient like that. Then scanning is a breeze.
A 36exp roll gives you 20 panoramic frames. I really love the cinematic look of shooting panoramic, it's a new perspective and it lets me take pictures I probably wouldn't have even considered with a normal frame. There will be lots more to come from this beautiful piece of hardware, color shots too! Here are some shots from around Central Park and the Lower East Side :)
XPan + 45mm | HP5 + XTOL | V700 (Top 4 @ 1600, bottom 4 at box speed)