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Filters BW and XPAN shade


New Member
I bought two filters B+W model Slim for my x-pan II (circular pol and skylight). I have noticed that after having mounted the filter, unluckily the lens-shade of 45mm cannot be mounted ! Because these filters have the external circumference lightly bigger of its bordering. It is really a pity! Has someone had any problems with filters as me ??
Massimo Vannozzi
Hello, ciao Massimo,
I never used a polar on the Xpan nor on LeicaM.
But I have to say that you choose the more difficult way to use a polar. For the polar use, you have to use a reflex camera, because you have to see the good effect on the image through the lens + filter. So I think that you will have a lot of difficulties to use it, and you will have a lot of not wanted selection of the polar filter.
Hope you find one solution.
Cordiali saluti
Massimo, I haven't tried any other filters than the original center filters on the Xpan so far. These, however, appear to be really slim and are perfectly in line with the lens barrel. If you can't find any matching third party filters, you might consider a third party lens shade instead. You might want to adapt it for best panoramic masking.

As far as the polarizer preview issue is concerned, there are solutions for rangefinder cameras available. You might want to check out

Another solution is to use an oversized polarizing filter in the manner that Michael Reichmann at Luminous Landscape uses and demonstrated on his quarterly video.

Simply purchase a 77mm or so polarizer, hold it up to eye level to determine the proper affect and hold it against the lens during exposure. This is on a tripod of course, but works very effectively.
I often use an 81B filter B&W non-slim with no difficulties at all. The filter works just fine. I have found that you cannot stack more than the center filter and the 81B. When trying to polarize I use my 77mm size and hold it in front of the cameara and look to see the effect and then hold it in place. Like another poster mentioned you might see an uneven effect with the wide angle view.
Look at the Leica M flip-up Polarizer.

It has various sized adapters (one of which fits the X-Pan threads if I recall), a rotating polarizer, and a built in metal shade. It all comes in a neat little case.

The way you use it is to flip it up away from the lens above the camera, look through it and rotate the filter until you see the effect you want, then flip it back in front of the lens where it clicks into place.

Not inexpensive, but very easy to use, superb glass, and built beautifully to match your X-Pan.
Having had problems mounting a hood over a B+W filter on a Leica 24mm lens, I switched to Heliopan filters, all of which use a slim mount. The Leica hood mounts over them, as does the hood on my Xpan 45mm lens.

I should add that I've not tried the Heliopan polarizer (their wide angle polarizer has "an increased front thread size to avoid vignetting," as they explain in their catalogue), which would probably cause the same problem. Other filters (I have UV, yellow and dark red filters) work fine with the Xpan hood.

Also: if you decide to look into the Leica polarizer, definitely do your research. I've heard from a number of people that there were quality control problems with those filters.
Thanks to everybody for your pleasant messages !
A good idea is to use Leica M flip-up polarizer as said by Marc or to mount an oversize filter (ex: 77mm ). But for the moment I use my polarizer filter looking at the effect with my eye and then
I mount it in the lens making collimate the position of the ring on the lens itself. But the real problem is that with all filters B+W model slim it is impossible to mount the lens-shade on 45mm. That it is not a drama but it give me trouble! Leaving out that I ordered another 7 filters B+W for my black and white shots !!! I think I'll switch to Heliopan filters if I find them in Italy

Kind regards to everybody!
Regarding availability of Heliopan filters - in my experience they can be difficult to find! Though I can find a few filter types at a local (Los Angeles) camera store, they are not available at a single camera shop in Paris, where I spend a few months of each year, at least not according to Heliopan themselves, whom I queried via email. Here is a link to their site:

You can write them and ask if they are available in Italy, or how you might order them directly from Germany in case they are not. Here also is a link to a U.S. based distributor, in the event that others may find this useful:

I have no connection with either the above distributor or the company, other than being a satisfied user.
I have an XPan and a Hasselblad 501. Using the 'P" size Cokin Filters with the 49mm adapter works well on XPan as well. The filter holder acts as a hood as well.