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August 30, 1998

Hasselblad XPan Dual-format Camera

US Launch of Hasselblad XPan Dual-format Camera

Hasselblad is now expanding its world of imaging by opening the door to a 35 mm film based dual-format camera - the Hasselblad XPan. This new camera concept can be seen as a bridge between the medium format and the 35 mm format, and is a natural development of the Hasselblad camera system, enabling it to cover an even broader spectrum of photographic needs. 

The Hasselbad XPan appeals to a wide variety of photographers involved in advertising, architectural, nature photography, and beyond. In addition, its use in illustrative and art photography can be advantageous as the full panorama format can provide an additional creative input into image making. 

The Hasselblad XPan incorporates a dual-format facility providing a full panorama 24x65 mm format as well as a conventional 24x36 mm format on the same film. This innovative camera offers all the convenience and advantages of the 35 mm format, but provides the option to rapidly switch to the full panorama format, without changing film. It becomes, therefore, the first and only dual-format camera on the market that expands the format instead of masking it, ensuring that every exposure utilizes the full area of the film. In addition, the 65 mm width of the full panorama images is similar to the medium format, ensuring that the Hasselblad XPan will always give you superb image quality. 

The Hasselblad XPan is a feature-packed and highly professional rangefinder type camera that combines the user-friendliness of modern technology with Hasselblad quality. The camera body is compact and ergonomically designed. It is a robust aluminium and titanium construction partly clad with synthetic rubber and built to withstand many years of hard work - a camera suitable for the true professional photographer as well as for the discerning amateur. 

The full panorama format is made possible by the large image circles of the interchangeable 5.6/30 mm, 4/45 mm and 4/90 mm lenses, which have been specially designed for the Hasselblad XPan. These light and extremely compact "medium format" lenses are characterized by razor-sharp image quality and excellent coverage. Multicoating of the glass elements ensures top quality results, exhibiting brilliant contrast and full tonal scale. The focusing ring with its smooth action ensures quick and accurate focusing, and the lenses are stylishly finished in black, in tune with the rest of the camera. 

Viewing and focusing are by way of a bright-frame viewfinder and coupled rangefinder. Viewfinder information is adjusted automatically according to the focal length of lens as well as an automatic parallax adjustment for close shots. No accessories or manual adjustments are necessary, so changing lenses is rapid and trouble-free. 

Film loading is automatic and convenient. After being inserted, the film is automatically withdrawn from the cassette. The camera has a DX code sensor with manual override for maximum control. As the film is exposed, it is transported back into the cassette, frame-by-frame. This valuable feature cleverly protects the exposed section of the film, even if the camera is opened by accident. 

The TTL exposure meter supplies a centre-weighted average reading to provide an automatic aperture-priority facility with manual override.The camera can be used in single or continuous exposure mode. In continuous mode the frame rate is 3 frames/s with 24x36 format and 2 frames/s with 24x65 format. Using the camera in its auto-bracketing mode provides three consecutive exposures in ± 0.5 or ±1- step differences. 

The main LCD display, located on the camera back, presents all necessary information including film speed, shutter speed and battery status. Another LCD provides exposure counter information, with further information being shown in the viewfinder. 

The Hasselblad XPan camera was introduced in July 1998. The camera was introduced to the American press at a Press conference in New York on August 19, 1998. Deliveries will commence in September 1998. 

Update:

In August 1999 Hasselblad XPan received the prestigious EISA award as the European Professional Camera of the Year 1999-2000. The award citation was as follows: 
"In principle, Hasselblad XPan is two cameras in one. Firstly, it is a remarkably slender panoramic camera that delivers sharp 24x65 mm extended format images on 35 mm format film. On the same roll of film, it is also possible to take (24x36 mm) regular format pictures. This makes XPan a highly versatile camera, being the ideal choice for landscape, while providing unique capabilities for documentary, fashion and commercial photography in an unusual image format." 
Hasselblad USA, Inc.
10 Madison Road
Fairfield, NJ 07004

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