Please talk me out of an Xpan

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#41
We have managed to identify two distinct camps in this thread:
1. Those who have an XPan and bought before the prices rocketed
2. Cheapskates who think medium format is better :D

Apart from @FujiLove has anyone else bought recently?
 

StephenM

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#42
I haven't but I'm beginning to find the idea interesting; on the other hand I wonder about a 10x8 conversion for bigger panoramas...

The last few posts have started to make me wonder about an XPan though.
 
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#43
Lets face it, they are expensive for what they are, but its about more than just 24x65
Its an rf for starters so its compact relatively...errr...I was gonna go on but everyone knows what it is and what it does, I'm gonna cut to the chase, the top and bottom of it is, there isn't anything else, its a cornered market and besides it being bladd and zeiss, that's a big reason why its value has escalated, it has no competition.
The decision is really about whether you want one enough to pay the man market value, there isn't an argument against buying one tbh, except the price tag.
Sorry, its harsh I know but ya can't put a price on happiness, that's what my SO say's anyway....lol
 
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#44
I can never be bothered trying to sell things, hence my Nikon 24/35 lenses I have here with no use for them.
Heretical suggestion: Keep the 24mm and buy a D800 body for half the price of the Xpan. You'll have about the same angle of view as the Xpan 45mm, and a crop to the Xpan aspect ratio will still leave you with about 20MP, which is plenty for a high quality print.
 
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#46
Heretical suggestion: Keep the 24mm and buy a D800 body for half the price of the Xpan. You'll have about the same angle of view as the Xpan 45mm, and a crop to the Xpan aspect ratio will still leave you with about 20MP, which is plenty for a high quality print.
Heresy indeed! ... better watch out... no-one expects the Spanish Inquisition!
 
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#49
Heretical suggestion: Keep the 24mm and buy a D800 body for half the price of the Xpan. You'll have about the same angle of view as the Xpan 45mm, and a crop to the Xpan aspect ratio will still leave you with about 20MP, which is plenty for a high quality print.
The problem with that is you still get the same rectilinear distortion as a 24mm. The lack of distortion on the XPan is one of the main draws.

Like @joxby said, it's pretty much the only game in town and I wish I started playing it earlier.
 
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#51
its a cornered market and besides it being bladd and zeiss, that's a big reason why its value has escalated, it has no competition.
To my knowledge, it's not Hasselblad and Zeiss for the body and lens manufacturing of the XPan, but actually Fuji... and Fuji again...
 
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#54
To my knowledge, it's not Hasselblad and Zeiss for the body and lens manufacturing of the XPan, but actually Fuji... and Fuji again...
From reading around the history of the Xpan, it seems it was an entirely Hasselblad concept and the body was also designed by the Swedes. Fuji was brought in as a manufacturing partner on the understanding they could sell the camera under the TX name in Japan. As far as I can tell, the lenses were entirely Fuji designs...which makes sense, seeing as they have a long history of making fantastic medium and large format optics. Fundamentally, the Xpan is a Hasselblad...in same the way an iPhone is an Apple (even though it's made by Foxxcon in China!)
 
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gazmorton2000
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#55
Heretical suggestion: Keep the 24mm and buy a D800 body for half the price of the Xpan. You'll have about the same angle of view as the Xpan 45mm, and a crop to the Xpan aspect ratio will still leave you with about 20MP, which is plenty for a high quality print.
That's still about 20mp too many for my liking. :)

We have managed to identify two distinct camps in this thread:
1. Those who have an XPan and bought before the prices rocketed
2. Cheapskates who think medium format is better :D

Apart from @FujiLove has anyone else bought recently?
Erm yes, I have! Ha.

So after all this thread, I was browsing a FB group yesterday and one popped up at the right price with 45mm and 90mm, all boxed in excellent condition and including the centre spot filter. A 6 hour round trip to Milton Keynes later and I have an XPan. Expect a report soon to how well (or not) it is going and if I don't get on with it, expect it in the classifieds. Ha.
 
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#56
That's still about 20mp too many for my liking. :)

Erm yes, I have! Ha.

So after all this thread, I was browsing a FB group yesterday and one popped up at the right price with 45mm and 90mm, all boxed in excellent condition and including the centre spot filter. A 6 hour round trip to Milton Keynes later and I have an XPan. Expect a report soon to how well (or not) it is going and if I don't get on with it, expect it in the classifieds. Ha.
Excellent news :)

I'm looking forward to seeing the results.
 
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#57
So after all this thread, I was browsing a FB group yesterday and one popped up at the right price with 45mm and 90mm, all boxed in excellent condition and including the centre spot filter. A 6 hour round trip to Milton Keynes later and I have an XPan. Expect a report soon to how well (or not) it is going and if I don't get on with it, expect it in the classifieds. Ha.
Pics or it didn't happen!!!

Just thinking, if you're still doing weddings this could be great for that massive group shot with all the in-laws (had to stand in 6 of those over the past couple of year!)...

Excellent news :)

I'm looking forward to seeing the results.
Yes indeed!
 
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#58
Excellent news :)

I'm looking forward to seeing the results.
If it's anything like my last roll of 35mm, it's destined for the bin. Ha.

Pics or it didn't happen!!!

Just thinking, if you're still doing weddings this could be great for that massive group shot with all the in-laws (had to stand in 6 of those over the past couple of year!)...



Yes indeed!
It definitely has happened. My bank account agrees. :(

I have actually chosen to given up weddings now unfortunately. Thought I would take a year out and see how I feel about it.
 
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#65
Had an XPan for a while, only regret is selling before the price rocketed, not that I sold it. For me film is such a PITA that even tho I still own some decent film cameras I rarely shoot + have loads of expired film / undeveloped rolls. Nearly bought an M7 at the weekend but talked myself out of it... M9 + VSCO and you’re pretty much there.

It’s a nice thing to own, but I’m in no hurry to buy another.

You could just buy one, get bored, then sell for little loss?
 
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Woodsy

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#69
I really fail to get the 'Leica' thing. Can someone explain it to me?
 
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#70
I really fail to get the 'Leica' thing. Can someone explain it to me?
They're expensive so you can feel superior while owning a new one :) That's it.

I tried a cheap second hand one and didn't like it much as it weighed a ton. It did produce nice pictures and the summicron lenses do seem to have something about them.
 
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#71
I really fail to get the 'Leica' thing. Can someone explain it to me?
Partly what Suz says, partly the reputation for quality, partly the rangefinder thing. Maybe part of the allure is also the "old school technology" thing (RF focusing) which presumably is partly what motivates us as well?
 
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#73
I really fail to get the 'Leica' thing. Can someone explain it to me?
I came to own a Leica after years of using SLR's. For me I appreciate the different experience of using a viewfinder/ rangefinder and have found that it's easier to compose with. They are premium products and the feel (and weight) of them is pleasant. I think that in this day and age when everything is made to be disposable it's nice to use something that has been made to outlast it's owner(s).
 
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#74
Leica M2 compared to a Nikon FM...

Bodies weigh almost exactly the same - about 600g for the FM, and 580g for the M2. The M2 is about the same size as the SLR body without the pentaprism or extended lens mount...

M2 + FM 01.jpg

M2 + FM 02.jpg

M2 + FM 03.jpg

The Leica's top plate is a bit higher than the Nikon's, and it's a smidge fatter front-to-back, but that's about it apart from the obvious SLR protrusions.

In terms of weight in real-world use, I usually have a Tokina 25-50mm f4 on the Nikon...

FM Real World.jpg


...and a Voigtlander 35mm f2.5 Color Skopar (LTM with M adapter), and an M grip on the Leica...

M2 Real World.jpg


Whether or not the Leica is considered big and heavy depends entirely on what it's being compared to. Certainly bigger and heavier than small rangefinders like the Olympus 35RC, but the latter isn't a full-fat interchangeable lens camera while the Leica is. I think comparing it to a compact SLR is more realistic. Given that I don't have a 35mm prime for the Nikon, and that the Tokina is probably bigger and heavier, I'd say there's very little in it. If the 50mm Pentax prime I have is more representative at 200g, the Nikon with a small prime lens would come down to just about the same as the Leica with the Skopar & grip. It would still be a bit more bulky overall, but in terms of actual shooting, it's neither here nor there - I shoot medium and large format as well, and class both of these as small hand cameras.

Aside from the functional SLR and rangefinder differences, the Leica feels much more refined. When I got the FM, I was surprised at how ratchety and noisy the film advance was - the Leica is nearly silent. The Leica's shutter noise is a very quiet snick, while there is the added mirror slap in the SLR. In terms of feel, the mirror movement is quite obvious - you can feel the weight moving around, but there's none of that with the Leica. I'm much more confident about hand-holding at slow speeds with the Leica than I am with the Nikon (eg, 1/4 sec).

With regard to the Leica 'thing', if it exists at all, it's probably mostly in people's heads. There is certainly the history - Leitz effectively invented 35mm photography as we know it, and it just so happened that the cameras they made for that format were of outstanding quality. The cameras have stood the test of time over nearly a century in a way that very few others have. In physical terms, perhaps the Leica thing is evident in the feel of the cameras - they're very smooth and slick. The FM feels like a well made, slightly workmanlike camera, while the M2 has class and refinement that's on another level. By 'class', I mean the approach to design and manufacture - the film advance doesn't need to be that smooth and quiet, but they made it that way anyway. If a Zenit feels agricultural compared to the FM, then there is an element of the FM feeling agricultural compared to the M2.

While I quite like the history of Leitz/Leica, and admire the sheer quality of the classic products, it's still just a camera, albeit one that's a pleasure to use. For me, it's not really about the Leica 'thing', but simply about using a very high quality bit of kit. I started with a Barnack Leica - a IIIf - and was impressed with the build quality, but not so much with the quirky old-school controls and layout (fun to use, but not 'serious'). So, after some research, I went for an M2 because it was a 'modern' camera (lever wind, standard shutter speeds, better finder, etc). As a picture taking tool, it doesn't get in the way - extremely intuitive and transparent.

Ultimately, it's down to what you expect or want from a camera. In the 35mm rangefinder world, the Leica M is the top of the tree.
 
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#75
In the 35mm rangefinder world, the Leica M is the top of the tree.
And therein lies the puzzling thing for me; the Leica rangefinders, no matter how nice they are, are still wholly in the realm of 135 format. For the sorts of money that some of their cameras go for, you can get some really great medium format rangefinders that will blow the socks off any Leica in terms of results. The restriction to the terrible 3:2 aspect ratio further rules them out from my perspective.
 

Woodsy

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#76
My issue personally is that, aside from build - which is a little silly in itself, as I'm betting an F5 (for example) can stand up to just the same amount of hammering if not more - there seems to be no quantifiable reason for the price premium of a Leica. I should also point out that, a Nikon FM can be had for £50, whereas a Leica M2 goes for £400++?

And otherwise, I completely agree with RJ regarding the MF comparison. I'd sooner have a Mamiya 6 or 7 any day, if a rangefinder was something I was after.
 
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Woodsy

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#77
Anyway, I have just realised I've derailed the thread. Apologies.

Show us some scans @gazmorton2000! :)
 
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#78
Film people. I really need talking out of this before I end up buying one having turned one down recently in the classifieds. That was such a great deal and went for £2,000, boxed with 45mm and 90mm. On eBay, they are asking around £2,000 give or take with just the 45mm. Now, I have never shot one but love the images I see people post with it and would love to try the format, but is it just something I will put a couple of rolls through and get bored of?? My go to 35mm is my M3 with 50mm f2.0, so even in non-panoramic mode, I would be losing two stops with the X-Pan so it wouldn't replace that.
Who has one or has owned one? Please share your images here or tell me why I shouldn't spend around £2,000! The last 35mm images I took were terrible (just not very good subjects/compositions). Do I need more expensive disappointment? I am also travelling to the Scottish Highlands and Outer Hebrides in March so would love it for that to compliment my medium format stuff.

Help. :)
I have not read all the entries in this thread.
Have you considered the Hasselblad SWC.
 

Woodsy

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#79
You may want to have read the thread ;)
 
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gazmorton2000
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#80
And therein lies the puzzling thing for me; the Leica rangefinders, no matter how nice they are, are still wholly in the realm of 135 format. For the sorts of money that some of their cameras go for, you can get some really great medium format rangefinders that will blow the socks off any Leica in terms of results. The restriction to the terrible 3:2 aspect ratio further rules them out from my perspective.
I thought you might respond. :) I know your thoughts with regards to 35mm and I totally get what you mean.
35mm still has a little something for me and I enjoy shooting it.

My issue personally is that, aside from build - which is a little silly in itself, as I'm betting an F5 (for example) can stand up to just the same amount of hammering if not more - there seems to be no quantifiable reason for the price premium of a Leica. I should also point out that, a Nikon FM can be had for £50, whereas a Leica M2 goes for £400++?

And otherwise, I completely agree with RJ regarding the MF comparison. I'd sooner have a Mamiya 6 or 7 any day, if a rangefinder was something I was after.
It will stand the same amount of hammering, I’m sure you’re right however, will the electronics still be functioning in 60 years like my M3 is?

I do get the arguments against 35mm and for MF but for me, it’s small and quick and easy to use and the image quality is very good as far as 35mm goes. I still have a thing for 35mm.

Anyway, I have just realised I've derailed the thread. Apologies.

Show us some scans @gazmorton2000! :)
Still not sure about that. My photography lets the format down.

I have not read all the entries in this thread.
Have you considered the Hasselblad SWC.
Shane you haven’t read the thread then.
 
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