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Hasselblad XPan

"Why so serious?" Hasselblad XPan image by Nathan Keirn

My friend Nathan dropped by recently to show me his newly purchased Hasselblad XPan camera. The camera is a technological marvel, a truly beautiful piece of engineering. Hasselblad managed to design a compact camera that was light yet strong due to the titanium body. It had excellent optics, and amazingly it could shoot both regular sized frames of 35mm film and also double length frames. This gave 35mm shooters the ability to get image quality on a level with medium format in a tiny 35mm rangefinder body. (The XPan negative is roughly the same width as a 6×7 negative, just half the height.)

Hasselbald XPan II 35mm film Panoramic Camera

The Hasselblad XPan is fantastic, but I am not the only person aware of this. At a time when the resale value of analog cameras has plummeted only a few rare and collectable cameras have maintained their value. The XPan is one of them. Used cameras range in price from around US$1500 to US$8000.

Of course there’s always the possibility you’ll see one of these “obsolete film cameras” going for a few bucks at a flea market or yard sale. While you’re there you should also pick up the Ming vase, the Fabergé egg and the sketches by a young man from Vinci.

This entry was posted in: Photography


Travel writer and photographer living in Okinawa, Japan

1 Comment

  1. Tord S Eriksson says

    I thought I knew my Haselblads – evidently not! But I that using remember using the Hasselblad SWC was a delight!

    I’ll keep an eye out for an XPan, next time I go to the used camera shop ;-)!

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