Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/02/06

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Subject: [Leica] X-PAN...Leica M6 off topic!
From: Ted Grant <>
Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 18:05:31 -0800

HI folks,

I realize there has been some discussion about this Hasselblad attempt at
35mm, a kind of get the Leica folks to get excited and buy this instead of
a Leica!  Blasphemy!!!!!!!!

Eric Welch and I with M6 camera's hanging on our shoulders were visiting a
friend  who had the nerve to pop an Expan in our faces. When we regained
our composure and let him up off the floor, so he could once again breathe,
he explained.

"I know it's not a Leica but gee it has a nice feel."  Second comment, "
but it doesn't focus where it is supposed to.":)  Great opening for a new
model camera!

Eric and I both used our M6's to focus on fixed points,then  tried the
XPAN.  The EXPAN was off 10 or more meters from what we discovered when we
used our M6's to compare! The leica rangefinder in focus alignment compared
to the lens markings on both Leica's were right on the same mark, even
though they were different lenses, 35mm & 50mm.

My friend, a fine art and commercial photographer had bought the EXPAN to
shoot environmental interior portraits due to the EXPAN's ability to set
for the panaroma mode.  However, he had been getting things out of focus
and he wasn't a "happy camper!" with his EXPAN Hasselblad.

We of course took great delight in making him feel even worse when we
assured him the error of his ways was.....Hasselblad!:) So his new XPAN is
now on it's way to the service department for correction, but he is left
with the nagging doubt,  he bought wrong! :)  We of course enhqnced the
"buying wrong!"

OK general comments:  I found the camera to have a nice feel. much like the M6.
Don't get antsy now because I said that. it does fell kind of like a an M
camera with a grip attached. The covering has a very nice hang to your
fingers feel without any fear of slipping away from your grasp.

The viewfinder seemed OK as it was changed from Panoroma to normal. It's
the kind of camera you might buy for the functions available, as my friend
Neil Newton did. He didn't care what else it might do, he purshased for the
one function only...panorama.  And it was alot cheaper than buying Leica!

Would I purchase one? Yes, if I could see a need for what it might give...
panorama cropping. Although if I were desperate I'm sure I could figure out
some way to panorama crop with my M6 or R cameras if it were really

So there you are and I'm sure Eric may have something to say in the coming
weeks, once he gets his life off holiday mode and back to the real world of
news photography.

Ted Grant
This is Our Work. The Legacy of Sir William Osler.