Is This the Best Alternative To the Hasselblad X-Pan?

There's something unique and appealing about shooting panoramic format. The most popular camera for it is the Hasselblad X-Pan, which goes for several thousand dollars these days. Do we finally have an affordable alternative?

In this video, Jess Hobbs introduces us to the Presspan. The Presspan is a relatively recent camera to the scene coming in a small fraction of what you'd expect to pay for the Hasselblad X-Pan. It's really great to see someone, anyone, helping keep the film scene alive with new gear. That said, the Presspan is made by canibalizing an old Nikon film camera, so I do hope that at some point someone starts making new cameras from scratch!

Personally, I don't have any experience with panoramic film cameras; the closest I've come to it is shooting the 16:9 format on my Sony a7R II, which admittedly feels like it isn't close to the film experience. A couple years ago, a good friend of mine made me an adapter with a 3D printer to shoot 35mm in my Mamiya RB67, and I've tried it twice with no luck. This video really makes me want to give it another try to see if I can get it sorted out this time. 

Do you have any experience with shooting in panoramic format? What about shooting panoramic film? What are your thoughts?

James Madison's picture

Madison is a mathematician turned statistician based out of Columbus, OH. He fell back in love with film years ago while living in Charleston, SC and hasn't looked back since. In early 2019 he started a website about film photography.

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Best alternative is getting the Fuji GFX50R and shooting it in the 65:24 aspect ratio. No cost of film and it costs about the same on the secondhand market.

I loved my Xpan and have looked for years for a digital equivalent. I wish Fuji would at least make those proportions an option on the X cameras.

I have a russian made 35mm film panoramic camera. Because of light leaks i tape the film compartment with black electrical tape. For some reason anytning larger than 24 exposure film gets jammed the sprocket holes get torn. 24 shot equates to 12 expoxures in tnis camera. The lens rltstes to cover 120 degrees of exposure on a curved focal plane. In its day it was cool bjt noone can print the negatives any more so it just collects dust on a shelf. A digital conversion would i nteresting but probably cost preventative.

You can scan those negatives pretty easily these days.

You are correct, thanks, this comming summer i will include. A few rollls of 24 exp film black electrical in my travel packing and my rusian made panocam.Then dust will be my enemy:

Would I be right in saying that a Mamiya 6x7 could easily be cropped to these dimensions?