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Sad XPan II story


Active Member
I could shoot myself!! :z04_smileys26:

Last night while unpacking my XPan II I broke the viewfinder (not the rangefinder)!!!

I had the fumbles while I removed the camera from a foam filled Storm Case. My fingers slipped and my thumb grabbed the centre of the viewfinder where the dioptre sits.

As my thumb gripped the back of the camera it squeezed the viewfinder eye-piece and PUSHED IT INTO THE HOUSING. :angry:

However the good news is that the rangefinder is functioning perfectly and so too is the read-out display. It seems I have just busted the eye-piece section by forcing the dioptre inwards.

I have taken it into the distributor's repairs centre since it will need a new part. A nice repairer said that at worst I'll need to replace the eyepiece section that is mounted to the back of the camera (a rectangular section that sits proud of the camera body).

My fingers, toes, legs and arms are crossed!! :z04_photos:

So, my tip to others is to take care with the viewfinder section at the back of the camera. The dioptre section is not strong enough to be grabbed. I suppose I am so used to handling my Leica M7 I never dreamed that the XPan's dioptre section feature was fragile. It's a good feature but it must be treated with care.

Please hold the shooting part of the message.
I am about to send you some supplies for the collectors section.
Shipping will cost me an arm and a leg which is money not well spent
if the parcel comes back.

G'Day Paul. Your "coded" message has me intrigued! :) But of course at this end shipping currency is a very small cost making the postage great value for money.;)

Breaking the XPan's viewfinder was such bad luck after I spent a nice day with friends shooting at amazing beaches in the area known as The Great Ocean Road. Fortunately the new narcotic patches I am wearing did not interfere with that too much; but, at the end of the day the fumbles these patches cause got the better of me as I was unpacking - so annoying! :z04_head_wall:
Hello Simon,

Some of the things I want to send you take much more time to be completed.
I have no alternative than to wait as there is no other supplier.

I know this does not make it easier to guess what it is all about.
That is exactly what I aim for.

I am engaged in a very innocent illegal activity.
Some readers know what I am talking about and so will you in a little while I think.

Hello Simon

I am sorry to read , that you damaged your XPAN II and I do hope , it will not cost you a fortune , to get the camera repaired .

As I never had an XPAN in my hands , I wanted to understand , what you mean by the eyepiece section , mounted to the back of the body .
I had to saerch a lot in the net , till I finally found a good picture , which shows exactly what you mean . Most pictures I found , just show the camera from the front .
There was also a picture , which showed the camera and two additional lenses stored in a very good bag .
The camera was stored vertical with the "handgrip" pointing to the top .
So storing or removeing the camera is always done by using the "handgrip" .

Best regards Jürgen
G'Day Jurgen.

You are absolutely right! I was stupid!!

But, when I normally use the XPan on its own I have a Billingham Hadley Pro - the link takes you to Billingham's web site and the Hadley Pro.

Because it is a satchel style of camera bag (very narrow from front to back compared to normal camera bags and PERFECT for range-finder cameras), the XPan is placed in the bag exactly like you say - that way I always grab the camera by the rubberised hand grip.

My disaster happened because the XPan was sitting in my StormCase brief case sized case with great rollers. It was sitting in the foam cut-out with the top plate facing up - grabbed the wrong end of the camera!! :angry:

I used that case because I was not up to having both the M7 and XPan in one bag over my shoulder and together they and some lenses fit in the StormCase very well.

I also have a Hadley Large, which I use with my Leica M7 kit. The camera is stored into that in exactly the same way you mentioned also, which is very convenient for me although the M7 has no "fragile" parts on the body because dioptres are not fitted in the same way as the XPan. This is the info on the Hadley Large:

When I am shooting with a Hasselblad 6x6 I also take the XPan - all that gear fits nicely into a Lowepro Stealth Reporter AW650. I aslo love this bag because the back of it curves a bit making it more comfortable to carry.
This is the link to that bag:,2049,20.htm

Again I store the XPan vertically in a corner of the bag.

So, silly me - this was the rare occasion in which I had the XPan sitting horizontally on its base plate in a case/bag of any type.

You have reminded me that I must call the repairers to find out the cost bad news and when I can get my hands on my beloved Xpan.:(

Oh and finally, the 1600F masterpiece has its own bag now - A Lowepro "snoot" style called a "top loader", often used for a pro 135 format SLR with a large f2.8 lens fitted. It works a treat for the 1600F! :) Here it is:,2057,8.htm

So life is a learning experience - but sadly we often learn from bad experiences!! :z04_nein1:

I am grateful to Jurgen for his post that prompted me to call the repairer -
The total repair cost is AU$66.00. They replaced the viewfinder assembly; tested and adjusted it and the rangefinder. Tested all camera controls.

This is a very heartening result because I think we all fear getting taken advantage of when we drop in a beloved camera for repairs. How would I know how serious the damage really was; how would I know how difficult the labour is; how would I know if the part price was bad (I have learnt over the years that nothing on a camera comes cheap!!)?

So Hasselblad's Australian distributor's repairs department certainly has integrity.

My beloved will be back home tomorrow!!

AU$66 + AU$115 for your two repairs are about 106€ . This sounds very reasonable for HASSELBLAD repairs . I would have expected more .
But of course , good for you and I am happy to hear , that the repair time was rather short .
Hmmmmmmm , on the other side , thats about the cost for 12 bottles of good Hunters Valley Shiraz wine . Cheers .

Ok , ok , I know , you can not shoot with a bottle of wine , but , it must be said , you can not drink a repaired XPAN II . :)
Wonderfully said Jurgen!! :)

Alas my justification for a rather expensive hobby has become the fact I cannot drink! So, I am delighted by your cost comparison with the Hunter Valley's great red wines!! I can now relax with that endorsement my friend.

Maybe in the future I should just take cases of wine to the service people to pay my camera bills!!! :)

Yes, I am very relieved - fast turn-around, reasonable costs, and excellent workmanship.
Hello Simon,

We have a drought season here with some serious repercussions.
While you are buying cases of wine you may as well get some more.
Wholesale gives a better price anyway.
The Hunters Valley Shiraz will be a perfect solution as far as I am concerned.

Some examples of what I shot the day I damages the view-finder. Every time I pick up this camera I am reminded of how powerful its format is.

The images are taken at Anglesea, which is a small beach township in Victoria along the "Great Ocean Road" which is very popular for international tourists.

I used Sensia 400 - no manipulation or filters (except the centre graduated ND filter on the 45mm lens.


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Thanks for posting your X-PAN images . It is in deed a great format .
I like the images , especially also because I like stones and cliffs very much . That reminds me , that I have not been to any shore since many years .:z04_2171:

Regards Jürgen