Xpan/TX-1 30mm Lens

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by manoj_ramanchira, Jan 7, 2022.

  1. Dear All,

    Would like to know the feedback from users of Xpan 30mm lens. Is it too wide for most of the shots?
    Or 45mm is good enough? Which is your most used Xpan lens ( Assume, you own all the 3 lenses )?
  2. I don't own an Xpan and assume there will be situations that might urge you to shoot in regular 35mm mode. These will make a 30mm really nice to have, but most likely still not the most used lens. YMMV, if you earn your living advertising restaurants or factories.
    Shooting 35mm I am content with occasionally using 21mm; 15/14mm were frequently way too wide for me. Journalists settling for 24mm (which would equal 45mm on the long side of a panoramic negative) as their widest have my understanding too.
    If you currently have any camera system at hand, try to emulate Xpan use with it and figure out what might float your boat.
  3. You probably need to specify what you intend to photograph or what you hope to accomplish if you want a meaningful answer.

    As I don't own an Xpan, I can't comment on the specifics, but I never really understood the intended target group of that camera.
    For general pourpose rangefinder photography I'd much rather use a Leica (or Konica RF, or Zeiss Ikon ZM), and for 35mm panoramic shots, a dedicated Noblex 135 would not only be less expensive but in many ways a better tool for the job.
  4. Well, the Xpan is mainly used for lansdscape photography and with the 90mm lens and some creativity, can take portraits too.
    My actual question is, for a lanscape panorma, whether 30mm lens is too wide and 45mm good enough or 30mm is a MUST for such taking such grand panorama.
  5. I do have an X-pan, but not the 30mm. But I don't think we can answer your question, "Too Wide" is a personal opinion.

    If you take a 16mm~17mm FF lens and crop a FF pisture to 2.7:1, you will get the approximate FOV of the 30mm on the X-pan. Then you can decide if it's too wide.

    Personally I would like to have the 30mm, but I should have bought it back when it was just really expensive.
  6. After reading up on the Noblex 135 and tom_chow's comment above, it might be the better choice for panoramic landscape pictures, with the rubber friction wheel inside replaced. But it would also be a one trick pony, what might mean ultra slow turn around time for pictures, since it might take ages to finish a roll.
    I should shut up about panorama cameras; I didn't get one during film days. When a landscape knocks my socks off these days, I 'll sweep a digital, most likely a primitive one, that makes me stitch results with computer software. My last attempt was with a 50mm in landscape orientation on an APS H (1.33x). Would you climb a mountain and shoot a 30mm lens with an ordinary 35mm? Surrounding mountains will look small in your picture and super wide pictures usually demand something in the foreground. While there are subjects for any lens and I know you want to capture the width of your view... - As stated before: If you have anything system camera or at least a revolver finder, take it out or mask pictures you took and judge yourself what might work for you.
    I have no clue which labs handle 35mm panorama negs and recommend asking around before you 'll buy a camera, unless the paper for your home printing arrives as a roll. As a rangefinder fan in general, I guess the Xpan must be fun to shoot and f4 is a reasonable compromise for portraits with a 90mm (my wide open Summicron gets me nowhere).
  7. Thanks everyone for your input.

    Since I didn't really get the answer I'm looking for, let me rephrase my question.
    ( Probably this may be applicable for any format whether it's 35mm or medium format ).
    So the real question is, can we get the 30mm panoramic field of view ( or is the right word, perspective?? !! ) from a 45mm if we just step few yards back??
    Assumtion is that, there's no constraints like a wall of anything to restrict our movement.. Ofcouse we can argue that, when we step few yards back, we eget even wider view with a 30mm. I get that. All I'm trying to convince myself is that, with little bit of extra work and inconvenient movements, we could get the same wide view from a 45mm lens. Am I missing something here?
  8. The answer is no.

    The reason people use a different focal length lens is because to of the change in Field of View. The FoV of the 45mm is different than the 30mm, and even if you move back to encompass the same subject, your FoV is still different, thus the fore & back-ground will be very different. If you are shooting landscapes at infinity, there is no stepping back. The only way to mimic a wider FoV is to stitch, which may create the same FoV, but changes the effective format (ie: to a larger sensor).

    Of-course this may not be important to you. The best way to tell is to shoot with a 24mm and a 17mm lens, and see if you can do without the 17mm (on FF!), which are close to the equivalent changes in FoV between the 45mm and 30mm on the X-pan.
  9. I don't have an Xpan, but I would imagine a 30mm would be an excellent addition. Panoramic usually means wide and the 30mm is as wide as you can get. Also, and not trival, in normal 35mm format it would provide a reasonable wide angle for non panoramic use.
  10. Makes sense. Bottom line is that the 'look' 30mm lens gives can't be replicated by a 45mm. Thank you..
    But that price of 30mm Ouch !!
  11. ..i think you need to pick your compositions quite carefully to make the most of the 30mm lens's superwide fov. The centre filter can cause lens flares and also absorbs 1 1/2 stops of light. 980_5_d20_fez tannery_1500px.jpg
    q.g._de_bakker and Jochen like this.
  12. I used to have the xpan ii along with the 3 lenses. I used the 30mm far more often than the the 45 or 90mm. It's a great lens for landscapes. This is cropped in on the sides.

    FranklinPanoBarrensCrop x1500.jpg
  13. I believe there were plans for a 135mm XPAN lens, but unfortunately it never materialised. I've used a Nikon lens instead via a dumb adaptor. Doesn't quite cover the full frame. Useful in some situations though. _O124811.JPG
  14. taken with XPAN + 135mm Nikkor f/3.5 1279_34_d30_waghora river1500.jpg
  15. Thanks everyone for your responses. Another question. Can we use these Xpan lenses in a V system through an adapter?
  16. Very nice! I've tried the Nikkor 1.8/50, and the 2.8/35 PC, as well as the Mamiya 645 3.5/35. Both 35mm's vignette because there is a baffle in the X-Pan that prevents any lens with a nodal distance >~50mm from seeing the film plane, plus the lens mount is pretty small. And both 35mm's are retrofocus (ie: long rear nodal length). The trick is to find lenses with short rear nodal distances that cover a 645 format, which is hard to find. The Hasselblad/Fuji 4/90 has a high telephoto factor, with a very short rear nodal distance to clear the baffle.

    Basically, no. The X-Pan lenses can only be used for extreme closeups on a V body, and as they have no shutter, unless you are using a F body, you have to use long exposures with the body shutter. The X-pan is basically a mirrorless camera, and the lenses made for it sit very close to the film plane (compactness by design), whereas the V body has to accommodate the mirror.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2022
  17. another one with 30mm. 980_16_d20_fez tannery.jpg
  18. ..quicky remove staff from dome+warm it up a bit 1311_7_humayun's tomb-scaff.jpg

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