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Flash recommendation for Xpan II


New Member
I would like to purchase a flash unit for my XPanII, and would like to hear any of your recommendations, experiences, etc.
I've never used flash before, and therefore have a lot to learn. I'd like the flash unit to be capable of performing a variety of functions - ranging from simple fill-flash uses (outdoor portraits, etc.), to more complicated situations (providing wide-angle light for dimly lit architectural interiors, for ex&le). The cost, size, and wieght will not be the primary criteria influencing my purchase - I can probably afford the best, and am not planning to lug it around with me while hiking, etc. What I need is something that will be versatile, reliable, capable of providing light over the entire panoramic field of view, and, with a build quality equal to that of the Xpan itself... Not asking for much now am I :)
Any advice, and/or comments would be greatly appreciated,
Mark, good question. I'm about to buy an XPan II and already have a Metz 45CL4 which will operate in TTL mode with the required SCA adapter. This flash has generous output (currently use it with my 503CW); wide angle difuser; and a long narrow bracket for attaching to a camera (hate using that bracket on my 503CW as it's too long and narrow, but it seems ideal for the very long and somewhat narrow XPan body).

So, in part I may be answering your question while adding a new question to your thread - what SCA adapter is suitable for the XPan II?

My Metz has the standard SCA 300 (i think) adapter (flash connection to hot shoe) and for use on my 503CW in full TTL flash mode it has a second cord that is an SCA 390 adapter with Hassy body connector - connects to the end of the SCA 300 and then plugs into the 503CW body. Question is, will the SCA 300 cord hot shoe end just connect to the XPan II hot shoe and operate in full TTL mode (or does it need a different SCA adapter)?

Mark the Metz 45 CL4 is a good option (very tried and proven units and a favourite of wedding shooters), but being a "hammer head" unit it's not a "discrete go-anywhere" unit, but it is robust, offers full manual and at least 4 auto aperture settings as well as TTL flash. I am sure it will throw a suitablly wide and even light for 45mm lens in panorama mode if the wide angle difuser is fitted.

To be even more sure of very even light in panorama mode (I do this with a wide angle lens fitted to my 503CW' 6x6 image) fit a Stofen difuser and set the flash head to a 45 degree angle - this ensures a wide and even light for up to 6x7 MF so should do fine on the XPan in panorama setting.

The question remains about what SCA adapter is required for full TTL flash shhoting.

Other options are likely to be the other Metz "on-camera" style units like the 54XXX models. A high'ish guide number is obviously preferred since the Xpan lenses are slow'ish, centre filter is desirable on the 45mm and panorama is horizontally like a 6x7 image - thus flash reach is limited and requires a good guide number to give reasonable reach.

Finally Mark, go to the web site and use their step by step selection tool and see what options it brings up.

Hope I've helped and others can add info about SCA adapter requirements.
Unfortunately, the Hasselblad Xpan and Xpan II do not offer TTL flash control. It only has a hotshoe; the sole function of which, is to fire the flash. You should use the basic shoe connection that came with the Metz 45CL-4(single pin).The 45 will allow for "automatic" flash with the gun's sensor and can be used at various power levels to achieve "fill" flash. It is a mystery to me, as to why Fuji/Hasselblad never designed the camera with ttl capabilities. Probably saved $25.00 on each body.
Thanks Colin. That's a very cheap and nasty oversight on Hasselblad's part. Leica could be excused since the M was a favourite of low-light shooters and has had TTL flsh for many years now.

But, especially given the XPan lens speed limitations, TTL flash was a basic expectation of any user.... and Hassy has the TTL flash experience from 503 cameras anyway!